Saturday, February 27, 2010

look out, i'm quoting tolstoy today

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line

Does the same apply to pregnancies? High-risk pregnancies (as unhappy families) can have all kinds of drama and complications - it's the stuff of soap operas. Trust me, I've been there. I had a complete placenta previa with Waffle Girl. Not only did the previa *not* resolve, but there was bleeding, weeks of bedrest, and then an early c-section finally revealed a dangerous velamentous insertion. If you don't know these medical terms, consider yourself lucky and don't bother Goog.ling - it could give you nightmares.

But how interesting is a run-of-the-mill healthy pregnancy? Sure, it's a wonderful, joyous thing - one that many of us dream about and work toward for years and years. But is it really blog-worthy? Do you get on-line every few days and say, "Yep, everything is still awesome here!"?

Well, I'm nearing the point where I'll have to make a decision about this. We had our second ultrasound today at 8 weeks and, yep, everything is still awesome here! The measurements were spot-on (16mm) and heartbeat was great (166 bpm). Dr. Snaggletooth wants to see our lil' Mutt one last time in 2 weeks, then we'll be done with him, maybe forever. Oh, this boring-ness is sooo delightful!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ultra-cool ultrasound

So we had our first post-FET ultrasound yesterday. I would have posted a quick synopsis last night, but the annoying Mr. Foxy was hogging the laptop, looking up tiles and whatnot for his big bathroom rehab project. This is what IF husbands do while IF wives are busy blogging, posting on support boards, and getting opinions from Dr. Goog.le.

Our exam was one day short of 6 weeks, so we expected to see a fetal pole and (maybe or maybe not) a heartbeat. I was relieved and surprised to see that, even though the embryo was a mere 2 mm long, the technician was able to point out to us a faint little heart flicker. The whole thing was too tiny to zero in and actually measure the heart-rate, but the techie was upbeat and went so far as to label "BABY" on the u/s printout. Our ill-fated pregnancy in October never got beyond the "SAC" label. Ugh.

Dr. Snaggletooth wants us to come back in 2 weeks for another u/s. I expected him to have us back in one week, so I guess 2 weeks is a sign that he's pretty confident in Lil' Scrappy's growing potential. He said that if things look good at 8 weeks then he can comfortably pass us on to a regular OB. All-in-all this is very encouraging. I'm not yet 100% convinced that this is for real, but I definitely feel more "pregnant" than "in limbo".

I took the opportunity to inquire about our other frosties and to mildly critique my clinic's freezing protocols. (You may recall that our highest quality AA and AB blasts were frozen in pairs and the lower-grade BB that we transferred was the only one frozen as a single.) The doctor confirmed that our 4 remaining blasts are frozen in pairs and so there's no easy way to do a single transfer again in the future. If Lil' Scrappy doesn't pull through, or if we want another child in the future, we'll have to thaw 2 embryos and either transfer both or do one and discard the other. (It's not really advisable to freeze-thaw embies repeatedly.) I refrained from complaining about the single BB we received (instead of the AA or AB), because *knock wood* this one is going great guns so far.

Dr. Snaggletooth didn't really have a good explanation except that 2 embies is their standard procedure, most patients transfer 2-3, I'm really a "special case", yadda yadda. I didn't lay it on too thick, but I did suggest that they should get their freezing protocols more in line with the trend toward doing more single transfers. (It was their idea, not mine, but I've read up on it since and think it's a very good thing.) I may be a special case for my age group, but I know they have much younger patients with great embies who are increasingly inclined to do single transfers.

In the next few days, our embie should grow from the size of a sesame seed to a lentil bean. Then it goes through a progression of ever-larger beans, followed by a sequence of increasingly large fruit. I really hope we get to do the whole gastronomical sequence.. fingers crossed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

the other 2 week wait

I'm pleased to report that our scrappy little embryo is kicking ass and taking names. The HCG level today (beta#2 @18 dpo) was 1296. Hmm.. it's kindof hard to read that number.. I should use a comma, right? Yep, let's call it 1,296.
The nurse told me to come in for a 3rd beta on Wednesday morning, but I might wait until Thursday in order to avoid driving in a blizzard. Yes, I'm confident enough to delay the next blood test by one day.

What am I NOT so confident about? The first ultrasound on Tuesday 2/16. This is where everything started going to hell during our last cycle in October. I'm trying not to worry too much, though, because our betas are great and so far everything looks like the '07 cycle that gave us Waffle Girl. So I'm in that other 2 week wait. The two weeks between a first positive pee-on-a-stick and possible ultrasound confirmation that we have a viable embryo.

Luckily Mr. Foxy was good for a laugh today. I texted him from work with results of the blood test and next steps. He responded with a single word: Titties! Thank goodness noone heard me laugh, because there's no way I was going to explain THAT one. *swoon*

Friday, February 5, 2010

i've been holding out on you

Yes, I've been doing home pregnancy tests every day this week. Monday was 6 days past a 5-day transfer, which means 11 days past ovulation, or 11dpo as we say in the business. (Never mind the 4 months frozen in a nitrogen tank.. that's just a little embryo nap.)

Well, my dears, between 11dpo to 14dpo we went from a very faint pink line to a line that basically matches up with the control line. (see photo, for posterity, below). I only bought 4 pee sticks, so there was nothing left to pee on this morning - the day of our official blood test @15dpo. I woke up well before the alarm clock and killed a little time on the computer before heading out early. Mr. Foxy called out from bed "Good luck to us!" I was in the phlebotomists' chair 15 minutes before my actual appointment.

I picked up coffee and donuts on the way home. As I walk in, Mr. Foxy asks, "So how did it go? What was the result?" Silly man. I said, "Is this the first time we've done this? You know they won't call until later in the day!" I had showed him the pee sticks all week, so he was obviously a little keyed up. For extra hilarity, he asks me about 30 minutes later, "Did they call yet?!"

** many hours pass **

I finally called at 3:00 and got the good word. We have a big-time BFP: 384! There's no questioning THAT number. I'm super-relieved and DH is pretty giddy, too. I'm trying not to think ahead too much, but it will be a few weeks before we hopefully get some confirmation and then maybe slide into a comfort zone. For now.. *sigh*.. happiness.