“Don’t mind me, I’m here for the baby”

I’ve had two pregnancies since I started blogging and each and every time soon after IVF transfer, my shih tzu becomes very clingy and protective of my uterus. Seriously, he literally sleeps beside my bum. I took this photo just as I was about to flip on my tummy for the progesterone in oil shot.

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Categories IVF

IVF #2 – 9dp5dt Beta #2

We managed to really enjoy the day when we found out the news of our first beta. After four years of trying and getting low betas, this small win was a big step in the right direction (small in the grand scheme of 9 months). When the Mr. came home from work, I was finally able to be happy and scream “I’m pregnant!”, contrasted by my monotone-ice-queen version the day I peed on a stick for the first time.

But the roller coaster continues.

I woke up the day after I got news of my first beta, peed on the stick again and then was absolutely convinced that the nurses had somehow mixed up my blood work with another pregnant patient. Was the line darker? Yes, but seriously, you would think at a 175 beta the day before it would be dark-dark by now. Not faint! I was too embarrassed to blog about my fears because I knew I sounded crazy.

So the rule still stands. The faintness of a line on a pregnancy test DOES NOT directly relate to how much HCG is in you.

So while at 9dp5dt, my line was still faint, my second beta came in at 473!

The nurse said that it’s still too early to tell whether this beta means multiples (she in fact thought it was low until she realized that I had taken the pregnancy test at 7dp5dt versus the date scheduled at 13dp5dt). She said it could just be a strong blast that attached very early and she’d have a better idea when I go in at 13dp5dt which is Monday.

Symptoms

  • No craving for junk food (even an aversion to it)
  • Sometimes no appetite, sometime ravenous (I enjoyed a second dinner at 4:00AM this morning)
  • Frequent urination – 3 times in the night
  • Fall asleep at 9:30 after progesterone and fragmin shots then wake up at 3:00 and don’t go back to sleep
  • The evening of 8dp5dt I felt unwell
  • Today at 9dp5dt I had a very sharp pain for 1 minute in my right ovary (this is the side of my blocked tube), the nurse told me to tell them if it happened again and I will be scheduled for an ultrasound to ensure it’s not an ectopic
  • I’ve had stuffed sinuses since the day after transfer, this is finally just starting to clear up today
  • Other than those listed above, I still feel 100% myself. I don’t think the pregnancy symptoms of very obvious yet. If I weren’t to have tested early, I wouldn’t have been convinced that I was pregnant

Has it really been bad luck all this time? 

I’ve always wondered, how do people go from recurring chemical pregnancies to having multiples in IVF? Or go from years of BFNs even with the help of IVF to having multiples. It is one extreme to another. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I asked the RE about whether the stim protocol has an effect on egg quality and he said it’s a hard question to answer, but generally no. So if I am really pregnant this time, could we really chalk up the past 4 chemical pregnancies to bad luck/chromosome errors? The chances of that happening 4 times in a row are less than 1%! I found these interesting stats online:

The incidence of pregnancy loss among all women is about 20%. Statistics show that if the first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, the second pregnancy has a similar probability of miscarriage. After two miscarriages, however, the risk rises to 25%-30%. Approximately 3-5% of pregnant couples suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss. Less than 1% will experience 3 or more consecutive miscarriages. For a woman who has had three consecutive miscarriages but no history of live birth, the next pregnancy has a 30-45% chance of ending in miscarriage. Keep in mind, however, that this means she still has better than 60% odds of carrying the next pregnancy to term!.

I am moving forward with a hopeful heart. I hope I can beat my odds and be part of the 60% this time around.

Next beta is Monday!

Categories IVF

IVF#2 – 7dp5dt Beta #1

My last post was laced with fear. Today, I dare to hope again.

I diligently took the home pregnancy test again this morning at 7 days past 5 day transfer, and it came back darker thanphoto-26 the previous days. These particular tests are ultra sensitive, and can detect hCG as low as 10miu, so the fact that it wasn’t as dark as the control line made me think I was again hovering at a beta of less than 10, something I am all too used to. I also had to wait around 4 minutes for the second line to come up, another thing that led me to believe that things were on the lower range.

Friends, my betas usually come back at 9, or 17. I’ve never even hit 20. Today at 7dp5dt, it’s 175!

How on earth did the “ultra-sensitive” hpt show such a faint positive if my beta is so pronounced?? Maybe I didn’t hold my bladder long enough for things to register properly. Anyway, I hope this gives someone hope out there that even if you have a faint positive, it could still amount to a strong beta.

Maybe once or twice a day I still have those 3 second episodes of period-like cramping, if I weren’t so intensely symptom spotting, I would have chalked up the cramping to gas pains. Otherwise I feel 100% normal. I am not tired and my boobs are still their floppy old self.

My shih-tzu, the trusty pregnancy meter has been on and off. Recently he’s had these moments where he is desperately trying to kiss my face in an urgent way as if he’s trying to tell me something important, what he is trying to say, I haven’t a clue. He hasn’t slept beside my belly for a few days now. I will continue to monitor his actions!

Today is a milestone, at such a high beta, I am treading unknown territory here! My next beta is in two days. I am going to enjoy this time and not fret about what tomorrow may bring.

I don’t know where this journey will take us, but I am thankful that I’m not alone in this. Thank you for holding my hand through the good, the bad and the ugly. Hugs!

Categories IVF

5dp5dt & 6dp5dt – pregnancy test results

This email to a friend pretty much summarizes what I was thinking on Saturday which was 4 days past 5 day transfer, I was incredibly anxious, stressed and restless:

I am doing okay (read: totally NOT okay)…today is 4 days past 5 day transfer. The last time I did IVF and was pregnant for a few days, I did feel some pulling and pressure in my uterus for 5 days after transfer. I could just feel that something magical was happening, that life was happening inside. I don’t feel anything this time around. My boobs feel absolutely normal. I know it may be too early to tell anything since my body hasn’t started producing the pregnancy hormone on its own yet. Since we transferred 3 blastocysts, the odds should be on my side that implantation of at least one of them will occur since getting pregnant has never really been my problem, but I can’t help but feel, oh I don’t know, sad that I don’t feel anything yet. I really hope I start vomiting real soon so it can ease my mind. I’ve never experienced morning sickness before and I am looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe. 

So that night, I decided it was time to break out the home pregnancy test. I laid it out the night before so I wouldn’t wake my husband in the morning while I tested. 

I have been peeing extremely frequently, like getting up 2-3 times a night, so at midnight, I decided it was go time. 

5dp5dt pregnancy test result: Faint positive. 

My husband heard me in the washroom and asked what I was doing. I told him I was just testing, and he didn’t even ask me what the result was until the next morning! When I told him it was a positive, I said it in a really flat-tone, no hugging, no cheers, just “it was positive”, and he didn’t say anything. Well he wanted to make sure that I took a cab home from acupuncture the day of transfer. But that’s how it goes when you’ve gone through the roller coaster of recurrent chemical pregnancies. You’re scared to be happy  because the fall from happiness is too great a jump. The positive pregnancy test at least put my mind at ease and I was less restless for the day. I stayed in bed and watched the Titanic, the longest movie I could think of. It’s been 17 years since I last watched that in the theatres, and I was surprised at how good it is even to this day! 

Later in the day at 5dp5dt I started to feel these 10 second episodes/waves of period-like cramps, complete with lower back pain. 

The last time I did IVF I thought I’d rather have a BFN than suffer another loss. Well we ended up having another chemical pregnancy, but this time I am thankful for the opportunity at a pregnancy. Our PGS results show that I don’t have a glaring chromosomal problem that would render the majority of our blasts abnormal. So this means if this IVF fails due to another chemical, we’d be ready to move on from my uterus. I am learning more and more about surrogacy these days.

6dp5dt pregnancy test result: faint but darker positive

I’ve been keeping my pregnancy tests in the spare bedroom hidden away from my husband. Every so often I peek in on them as if they’re my sleeping children. 

I emailed the clinic to tell them about the positive result and the fact that I’d like my thyroid retested tomorrow. I figure if I miscarry, I’d like to know what my thyroid level was during the critical time. I know this may all sound very pessimistic, but I feel like I’m being my own advocate, this is the info I wish I had  during my first IVF and more information is better than less information. 

They responded and said that I could get my first beta done at the same time. 

Please, please, please…let this be the one that makes it. 

 

 

PGS Results and symptoms post transfer

PGS for recurrent miscarriage

4 out of 4 of my pregnancies have resulted chemical pregnancies. Each and every time I see a positive pregnancy test, I think THIS IS IT, and each and every time it has resulted in crushing disappointment. So we shelled out the $4,000 to have PGS done on the 3 blastocysts we did not transfer in this round of IVF, and the results are in:

2 normal with 23 pairs of chromosomes
1 abnormal (also good to know!): duplication of chromosome 12 and 22

The two that were normal are now frozen, and through PGS we found out that there is 1 boy and 1 girl! 

Symptoms post transfer

The following day after transfer, I came down with this awful sinus cold which I still have today. I’m stuffed up and sound like I’m speaking through my nose. I have a headache which I’ve always had with my pregnancies, but I can’t tell if it’s the sinus cold or a real symptom. Could it be pregnancy rhinitis? I find you can google any symptom and find that it’s pregnancy related, so I’m not sure how reliable this is.

In my last round of IVF, a just knew I was pregnant. In the very early days past transfer, I could feel cramping, and a pulling sensation in my uterus. I even got implantation spotting 36 hours past the transfer which looked like transparent peony-pink watercolour. This time around, I have zero spotting, and zero sensations in my uterus. I’m trying not to think too much about it since some people are pregnant even with twins and don’t have any symptoms until much later. 

 

 

 

IVF#2 Transfer Day

Having coffee on a day that really requires no more stimulus should have been a no brainer. Even if it was decaf.

A part of the nerve-wracking experience of waking up on transfer day is that you never really know how many “made it”.

I learned that in IVF #1 that while I had 8 survivors on day 5, none of them had made it quite yet to the blastocyst stage, so they transferred the two best looking ones at the time, and went to day 6 on the ones remaining. I ended up having only 1 blastocyst to freeze –a grade 1AA. My golden egg.

So yesterday was transfer day, I had to go in to see the RE during cycle monitoring hours to discuss in advance of the transfer whether we’d be moving forward with PGS. In my head I thought it was never going to happen because my fertilization results up to day 3 were exactly the same as my first round of IVF, and as you see above, you know how that went down. Imagine my shock and awe when he told me that we had 5 blastocysts!

I was hoping that the hundreds of dollars spent on supplements every month would pay off, and I think it did! It is said you need to be on the supplements for 90 days for it to make a difference in your cycle, here’s what I’ve been taking:

600 mgs of ubiquinol which is the active form of Coq10 for cell energy (started 4 months ago)
PQQ for cell energy (started 2 months ago)
DHEA for egg quality (started 2 months ago)

RE was strongly recommending we do PGS, and yes it did make sense with the 5 blasts we had, but I really was ready to do transfer, instead of waiting to day 6 for them to have the results. So I suggested we go ahead with day 5 transfer and do PGS on the remaining so if we need to do a frozen transfer in the future, we’d know which ones to put in. We also got onto the topic of my golden egg which was already frozen. Then he suggested something that floored me. He suggested that we transfer the golden egg in too.

Did I just hear what I think I heard?

RE suggested that based on my history, he thinks that we could transfer 3 BLASTOCYSTS. Um, let me think about that for half20140121_132128 a second. YES. YES. and YES!!!

I felt great about the game plan and was so excited as I left the office and headed to my acupuncture appt. Until I called my husband. He was upset and thought it was a waste of money to perform the pre-implantation genetic screening on blastocysts we weren’t implanting and asked me to cancel it immediately. This took me for a spin. I DESPISE discord and it set panic, regret and anxiety for the remainder of the day. I usually fall asleep at acupuncture, but my eyes were wide open the entire time. By the time Mr. came to the clinic for the transfer, he was a bit more level headed especially when I told him how upset I was, he apologized and told me not to worry about it, but I still feel a bit bad 😦

The transfer of the three blastocysts went on without a hitch. It’s amazing how quick the process is, I think it took all of 15 seconds, it was like a pap smear without any of the discomfort.

I lay down for an hour while listening to my guided meditation which I am so thankful I have. It’s a peaceful time which I’ve come to look forward to.

Less Than Optimal Thyroid Again
Without anyone having definitely told me why I’ve been having repeat miscarriages, my hunch is the thyroid (my mom and aunt also have hypothyroidism so it runs in the genes). My thyroid results came back yesterday elevated at 3.2, which was what it was prior to being on the medication. How does that happen? Just last week it was at the optimal range of 2.1 (optimal being 1.0 – 2.0). The RE suggested I double up on the dosage. I’m glad we caught this in the nick of time because in the past, my miscarriages have always coincided with a thyroid of 3.2 or higher.

Symptoms
I’ve been having dinner-like meals and portions at odd times in the day to satisfy my extreme hunger which started last week. A second dinner at 2:00am? Sure why not? Third dinner at 5:30? Yes please! My days are beginning to play out like an italian wedding.

The bloating which I had after retrieval is 100% gone, and I’m back to my usual weight.

Puppy pregnancy meter
Oh my word. How does he know??? The shih tzu knew!!!

As soon as I lay on the bed when I got home, he leaned all his weight against me and was all snuggly (this is NOT his usual self). Then at night time he slept by my uterus the entire night! This is so strange. I’ve had the HCG trigger shot in me since last week and he didn’t seem to care much about that, but as soon as the babies are inside, he’s become my little uterus protector. Ugh, I love him so much.

Today’s distraction
I wanted one day to laze around horizontally, so I’ll be heading over to a friend’s house today for some company.

That’s all for now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Transfer day tomorrow and baselining the puppy pregnancy meter

With 8 eggs fertilized after day 1, there was a chance that I would have been called in for a day 3 transfer. Luckily, I was told that we’d be waiting to go to blastocyst which is…TOMORROW! I think I have at least 6 embryos left as of day 3 (the nurse didn’t know how to read the report, so it’s a guess).

Depending on the number remaining tomorrow morning, we’ll be deciding whether to move ahead with the pre-genetic screening. I’ll be heading to acupuncture pre and post transfer.

The progesterone has been good to me so far. Besides the sore boobs and bum, it’s not much to speak about.

I’ll be doing a few things differently this time around during the two week wait:

  • I have decided that I will be pregnancy testing like a maniac -I won’t be holding myself back like I tried to last time (I found some cheap ones online that can detect as little as 5 units of Hcg)
  • I will be shutting down my left side brain, or at least keeping it busy and occupied, this is the side that thinks it needs to google and throughly research every single question that pops up in my mind
  • To do this, I’ve downloaded lots of e-books so that my mind is occupied
  • Instead of googling about fertility stuff, I’ll be researching and planning out a 5 day juice detox which is my plan B if IVF 2 doesn’t go as planned
  • Distractions –and lots of it. I plan on working throughout the two weeks, this is something new that I didn’t do last time.

Baselining the shih-tzu pregnancy meter

If you were following IVF 1, you’d know that my shih tzu told me that I was pregnant before any test or anyone else did. He is usually in his own little world, but for the handful of days I was pregnant, he would cuddle up right beside me andphoto-25 lean against me at every opportunity. He stopped being that way when my HCG dropped and hasn’t been that way since. I just wanted to note that, a baseline of sorts. We’ll see what the shih tzu has to say in the coming weeks.  🙂

This photo is of him in all his glory. Check out those teeth!