1 Day Until Beta

Confession: I am getting my hopes waaaay up there. It is my 6th day of a positive home pregnancy test; and, yes, the lines are getting darker. I haven’t been wanting to write because I don’t want to be excited. I’m afraid that IVF has made me bitter. I see other women’s excited posts about getting their first positive and being so excited to have a baby. I just think, “Suckers. They have no clue that they shouldn’t be so happy right now. It could be nothing. They shouldn’t get so ahead of themselves.” Of courses my mom pulled it out of me. She wouldn’t stop nagging me about whether I tested and I felt guilty outright lying to her when evading the questions didn’t work. This prompted my partner to feel that it was only fair to then tell his family. I also then had to tell all my siblings because I new that my mom would if I didn’t, then we had to tell his siblings. Ugh. It’s just now how I always imagined telling my family the news. I remember my Cousin announced his first baby at our family Christmas gathering. They hadn’t even told my Aunt so everyone was surprised and crying with happiness. I always imagined something like that or all the cutsie announcements for grandparents that you see on Pinterest. Well my announcements went something like this, “So, you know we’re doing another IVF cycle. Well this time, we’re seeing some positive signs. Now we don’t know anything for sure yet, but we have had positive tests for the last few days. Don’t get too excited yet, we really won’t know anything until the beta and then we’ll have to wait two more weeks for the first ultrasound and we won’t really know viability until then. So, yay….” By that time, they’ve tempered the little bit of spark that they did have in their eyes. Thanks, infertility. Forgive this post for being a bit overly negative. Over the last two days, the hormones have gotten me completely out of whack. I’m super irritable and emotional. So, for the sake of you readers who may be wondering what to expect in the future, I will end the HCG-tainted philosophizing here and get right to the symptoms and pee stick pics.

1dp5dt (1 day past 5 day transfer, equivalent to 6dpo (6 days past ovulation)):

HPT (home pregnancy test): FRER (First Response Early Result) negative – Yes, I tested. Yes, I expected a negative.

Symptoms: Bloated and gassy, Irritable and moody, Overly tired (You will notice these as recurring themes) *Note: Constipation & Tender breasts – I had these symptoms every day, but I’m not going to write them everyday to spare you repetitiveness and because I’ve had these symptoms from the progesterone in oil for every cycle that I’ve done.


2dp5dt (If you don’t know what that means see above):

HPT: FRER negative

Symptoms: mild, dull backache, lightheaded, Overly Tired, Frequent Urination (probably because I upped my water intake), gassy, markedly increased appetite


3dp5dt: (Come on get with the acronyms! Or are you not crazed TTCers who are waiting for your BFP during the TWW and are tweaking out on tracking your CM, BBT, CP and CIO as you count DPO and try not to POAS while you can’t BD with your DP?) MVIMG_20171114_070157

HPT: FRER x2 negative

Symptoms: Bloated & gassy; mild, occasional cramping; mild headache; Nausea; Overly Tired


4dp5dt (See now you’re an expert):


I know I see a shadow of a second line on the bottom one!

HPT: FRER x2 negative (but I really, really think I can see a shadow line, for real this time.)

Symptoms: Bloated and gassy (yes, still!); lightheaded; Overly tired; Notably increased appetite




HPT: FRER x2 POSITIVE!!!!MVIMG_20171114_175425

Symptoms: Runny nose (Hey, that’s different!); Overly Tired; Irritable (like more than my normal irritable); an pulling/stretching feeling that’s uncomfortable in my low abdomen




HPT: FRER and ClearBlue Rapid Detection – POSITIVE!!!! (Yes, I’m going to keep screaming that because I just can’t bloody believe it.)

Symptoms: Moody/Emotional; Bloated; That pulling feeling again; Mild headache; Heartburn (like waaay worse than my chronic heartburn that I’ve had a daily basis for years); Increased Appetite (I am eating like 4 full meals a day when I usually eat 2.5.)





HPT: FRER and ClearBlue Rapid Detection – POSITIVE!!!!


No pic of the FRER

Symptoms: Noticeably more acute sense of smell; Runny nose; Bloated & gassy (Let’s just assume that I have that from now on so that I don’t have to keep writing it.)


8dp5dt: HTP: FRER, Rite Aid Digital, & ClearBlue Rapid Detection: POSITIVE!!!!


Both with FMU, no pic of ClearBlue

Symptoms: Runny nose and mild sore throat; Overly tired; frequent urination; mild headache; Irritable; Acute sense of smell



9dp5dt (equivalent of 14dpo):



Bottom one is 9dp5dt

Symptoms: Runny nose; mild sore throat; very mild occasional cramps; Overly tired; Mild headache; Horrible heartburn; Irritable; Acute sense of smell







Wha-hoo!! (Bottom one is 10dp5dt)

Symptoms: Extremely irritable, plus the usual suspects: bloated, constipated, overly tired, gassy, soar boobs – You know, keeping it super sexy over at the Impatiently household.) 11dp5dt: Beta Day! ?????

Update While Waiting

Written on 11/14:

It’s official. I cannot concentrate on work. I am in the thick of the infamous “two week wait.” I am super hopeful and pessimistic all at the same time. I will let you in on a secret, Reader. I got a very faint, but definitely there positive this morning. I’m so sad that I can’t let myself be excited. Part of me is excited, but most of me is worried it will turn out to be yet another chemical pregnancy.

I would like to start celebrating now. If I don’t, when is the time? The 1st beta? The second? The first ultrasound? Week 10? The end of the first trimester? Birth? Age 18? Something can always go wrong, but I still want to celebrate each landmark without worrying if the next one will happen. That is easier said than done.

Transfer Day

Whoo hoo! Transfer Day. This is the day that hope is at it’s peak, before it takes a nose dive into the “two week” wait of doubt and obsessiveness. I put two weeks in quotes because with a 6 day transfer it’s a 9 day wait, but it still feels like an eternity.

This is my first transfer at my new clinic, and it’s been 13 months since my last transfer which ended in a chemical pregnancy (and was the first time ever that I saw a positive pregnancy test). The clinics are like night and day. I am completely aware that I am in a small privileged minority who are able to get IVF treatment, let alone go to one of these “boutique” clinics. That is a battle that I will fight another day.

I arrived at the clinic an hour prior. They took me right back for blood work and vitals, then to one of the rooms that I go to for morning monitoring. I changed into a hospital-type gown and they had socks and a blanket for me as well. All my stuff was right next to me on a shelf in the room. There was no hair net, and I didn’t have to remove my jewelry. (At the other clinic it was just like prepping for a transfer: clothes/possessions in locker, jewelry off, hair net, moved to a waiting closet, then the transfer was done in the same room as the transfer. It’s all very clinical and cold. My partner was never allowed to be with me, even after they almost transferred some else’s embryos, and I was crying and asking for him. (True story.)

Ok, back to the present: a nurse came in and checked my identity, had me check the info on the hospital bracelet and put it on me. She also gave me some Valium Then she sent in the acupuncturist. Yes, you read that right. They offered to set up acupuncture sessions with an in-house acupuncturist right before and after the transfer. I’ve never had acupuncture before. I tend to think of it as woo. But I’m all in on this cycle, so I decided to give it a go. I felt very relaxed during the treatment, but to be honest I can’t tell how much was the acupuncture and how much was the Valium.

Waiting for transfer

After a 30 minute session, they brought in my partner. This was the most exciting part for me. If this works our future children will not have even been conceived while either of us were in the room, and everything leading up to fertilization happens separately. I was so happy that we could be together for the transfer. He was underwhelmed, but thought it was cool to watch everything happen on the ultrasound screen.

I always freak out about filling my bladder for the ultrasound. It’s painful for me to have my bladder full so I usually under fill it. Not today. It was so full, it was partially blocking their view if the uterus and I was in a ton of pain. They offered to bring me a bed pan, and I was like fuck that shit, “Where’s the bathroom?” I was afraid of emptying too much, so I ended up having to make two bathroom trips before the transfer.

Pre-transfer acupuncture (The room was dark for relaxation, so picks are blurry.)

Once that was taken care of, the embryologist wheeled in an incubator. It looks like a preemie incubator. She had me check my info on the tubes they came from and the petri dishes. Then she showed them to me. One 6-day fully hatched and fully expanded; One partially hatched and mostly expanded!!! What!? I’ve never had even partially hatched blastocysts before. The embryologist said they were beautiful. Of course Potential Impatient 1 & Potential Impatient 2 are beautiful!

Fully Hatched (example, not my actual blast)

Partially Hatched (example, not my actual blast)

The transfer was super quick. (No one yelled at me to relax like my last transfer). I watched the whole thing on the screen. One of them went back into the tube, but they got it in the second time. The whole thing lasted no more than 10 minutes. Then it was time for a little more acupuncture, and we were done!

I firmly believe in the pregnant until proven otherwise philosophy, so I am considering myself about 3 weeks pregnant in this moment. Instead of fighting the urge to test and then giving in (which I always do), I’ve decided to test every morning until the beta. The transfer was yesterday afternoon, so here is my first test from this morning. I know that it’s supposed to be negative, just go with me on this, ok, Reader?

1 day past 6 day transfer (1dp6pt for those of you in the “know”)

1 Day until Transfer (or Rude Awakenings)

Hello reader, whew that last month was a really rough patch. Thanks for hanging in their with me. I called my best friend last night. I got into this huge fight with my partner, and I was feeling really isolated. It was so good to hear her voice! My isolation melted away. I had a realization while we were talking:

Every time that I say yes to another project at work. Every time I over commit myself, I am de-prioritizing my family and my relationships.

There is a balance of course, we weigh these trade-offs all the time and picking work is often healthy. However, the scales have been tipped way too much toward work and away from myself and my partner. It’s time for a reset. So, tomorrow is the transfer, and I’m going to take two days off. Then, when I return, I’m going to re-establish boundaries with my work hours. hands

Ironically enough, being infertile created the opportunity for my career to take off in ways that I never imagined. Now it’s time to be a mom though. I’m not talking about the cycle working. I’m talking about prioritizing my relationship with my partner and the creation of my family. My kids don’t exist yet (or if we end up adopting, I don’t know who they are yet), but I can still do what moms do and fight for my family. In this case, that means fight by guarding my time and relaxing.

I really think that this just might work….

Medication update:

Progesterone: I’m now taking 1cc of progesterone in oil every other day and progesterone suppositories 3 times a day. It’s been my worst progesterone experience of the four cycles I’ve done. My partner hasn’t done intermuscular injections since last year, and I’m pretty sure the nurse drew the circles too low. So, I’m dealing with really awful hip pain all day long. However, even hip pain that’s a 6/7 out of 10 throughout the day is better than suppositories. I’ve never used these in prior cycles. They are unpleasant.

For those of you new to IVF or who haven’t used them. Here’s what they’re like. Mine are a small white oval that I put into an applicator. You insert it just like a tampon. Then it’s best if you can lie down for a while or where a pad because the white tablet melts as it delivers the progesterone. It just feels yucky down there ALL THE TIME now. Just what my sex life needed: white goo everywhere that is actually a skin permeable hormone. I have to say though that the worst part is inserting them at work. So. Gross. mvimg_20171108_200143_exported_42492323143523291002220213076083639542.jpg

Estrogen: I’m on four estrogen patches every other day plus 2mg of estrogen daily. Other than my supplements, I’ve tapered off of all my anxiety medications except for the one which I will take throughout pregnancy.

Side Effects: Almost constant dizziness, nausea, working memory malfunctions, mild cramping, exhaustion, and vivid dreams. I’ve had very weird, very vivid dreams for every single night since starting the suppositories.

Watch out for an update on the transfer coming in the next day or so.

Hormones Suck… Seriously.

Yesterday, the shit hit the fan or rather the IVF hormones hit the fan. I had a lining check on Friday. My lining was 7.8mm which is apparently good, so full speed ahead. All my medications were changed on Saturday morning. My last dose of lupron was Friday night. I continued with 4 estrogen patches every other day and added progesterone, medrol, and an antibiotic.

I took everything Saturday morning and spent the better part of the morning completely naseous, trying to keep it all down. Then, Saturday night the hormone crazy kicked in. As someone with an anxiety disorder and history of depression, it can be a bit confusing when this happens. At first, you think, it’s just my “normal” ups and downs.

I had a an awful day at work on Saturday. I had to run an event and, aside from the naseia, I was convinced the entire time that it was a disaster and I would soon loose my job. By the end of the day, I was able to see that this was not reality.

Then I got home and immediately had the craziest fight with my partner. It was not his fault at all, aside from him thinking that it was a good time to talk about relationship issues. I could not think straight. Everything was bigger in my head than in real life, and I felt very disconnected from my body.

After the fight, I was super worried that I was losing my mind, becoming mentality I’ll. Then my partner reminded me that the exact same thing happened the week before my last frozen cycle last year, to the point that I was even saying some of the same things.

Then this morning I had a crying incident. He wanted to watch the NY Marathon. I really don’t get the hype. I mean it’s exciting for the people participating, but I don’t know why I’d want to each a bunch of people job by. Seconds after I finished explaining this, we arrived on the scene. I took one look at the runners and started sobbing uncontrollably because I was so moved by it. Oi. I also had these random crying spells the week before my last transfer as well. Tonight, I feel all over the place and that weird disassociated feeling again.

So, now I know, it’s definitely the hormones.

I’m now bracing for a week of this. Here we go! I’m at the point where it doesn’t matter what is scheduled at work. I now have no choice except to step back, try to relax, and just go along for the hormone roller coaster with my body.

Also, I’ve always only done progesterone in oil (PIO) before, but my new clinic has me on a combo of PIO and suppositories. Suppositories are even more disgusting and inconvenient than I imagined. So, on top of everything else, I have to deal with a constant feeling of goopiness. Delightful.

The transfer is a go for Thursday. Wheee!

FET Update

I had my first lining check today: 6.3mm, 10 days out from transfer. They bumped my estrogen patches up from two to three today, then to four patches on Thursday. I’m continuing 5 units of daily lupron as well. That’s it. Just waiting, trying to keep my stress level down amidst the jet lag from my recent trip and the loooong work hours that I’m putting in.

Have Needles, Will Travel

So I traveled to a an international conference this weekend. I finished the letrozole, but am still on daily lupron, estrogen patches, and my meds for anxiety and depression (in the process of tapering off two of them and continuing with one). The lupron was already opened and has to be refrigerated. The nurses told me that the refrigeration is to discourage bacteria growth and not for stability of the medication. She said we’d be ok, if it wasn’t refrigerated 100% of the time, but that we’d have to be extra careful with sanitation when preparing and administering it.

So I had my whole set-up ready to go. First I put the lupron bottle in it’s box then wrapped it in bubble wrap, partly to help keep it upright and partly to keep it from freezing. I packed it in an insulated reusable grocery bag with cold packs. In the outside pocket of the bag, I had a copy of my doctor’s note on letterhead from the clinic and the top of the outerbox where the actual prescription sticker is. A while back, I had to take home a pre-filled needle of medication from the clinic. They sent it in a hard case that zips shut. I kept stored the needles and alcohol pads in their and put that in the outer pocket too. I also had an extra copy of the letter from my doctor in my carry on. I was prepared.






It turned out to be no big deal. They didn’t even look at the doctor’s note. I just told them that I had a refrigerated medication with me. They put it through the scanner and then did an extra check by just looking inside the main compartment of the bag and waving some kind of sensor near the box of medication. That was it. They also did an extra check of my carry-on, I’m guessing because I had like five prescription medication and a whole bunch of over the counter supplements and things in their. Once we got up to the x-ray machine, the whole thing took like 5 minutes.

Then, when we got on the plane, I asked the flight attendant if they could refrigerate it for me. He said they weren’t allowed to, but he could give me as much ice as I wanted. He also said that we could use the bathroom or he’d clear out the galley when I needed to administer the injection.

Our flight ended up being pretty turbulent and the seat belt sign was on for the majority of the flight. It was a redeye and we had our own row, so my partner did the injection quickly in our seats when no one was looking. Happily, we did not hit any bumps at that moment. I put the cap back on the used needle and put it in an inside pocket of the hard case. Once we got to our destination airport all the bathrooms had needle disposal bins, and I was able to dispose of the needle safely.

One thing that I didn’t think about was the time change. I actually have to do the injection around 2am here to keep the time between doses consistent. This also affects when I change the estrogen patches. I’ve been keeping all the used needles capped and in the hard case. I plan to dispose of them at the airport prior to going through security on our way back.

So that’s the DL on traveling with needles:

  • It’s no big deal
  • Have a doctor’s note just in case
  • Have a plan to safely dispose of needles
  • Mind the time change

FET Update

So I made it through the testing gauntlet. Suppression check looked good and so did my endoscopy (though the biopsy results aren’t back yet). So, I started medications to prepare for FET  #4 last Saturday.

So, for three days I’ve been on an estrogen patch, letrozole, and am back to the daily leuprolide acetate at half the dose I was at before. Apparently the letrozole is specific to a protocol for women with endometriosis. Haven’t started crying randomly yet. (That’s what happened last time I was on estrogen patches.) I’m also in the middle of tapering off of the benzodiazepine that I was on to counteract the side effects of the lupron.

Trying to hang in there and cut myself a break every now and again, but it’s also exciting to be proactively doing something again. I calculated my chances of pregnancy over several transfers. I took a percentage on the conservative side of the range for my chance of conceiving per embryo. I put that at 20%. So each transfer of one embryo, I always have the same 20% chance. legendary item However over time, my chance of getting within that 20% increases. I actually found the formula for this on a website calculated the chance of different bosses dropping loot in WoW. LOL.

Here it is:

1 – ( ( 1 – x ) ^ y )

So, using this formula, I calculated my chances for this transfer with two embryos is approximately 36%. If I transfer all six embryos (not all at once) at my current clinic, my chances are about 74% and if I transfer all nine that I have on ice we’d be around 87%. My partner then pointed out we should include all of our previous attempts (six embryos). That would put us at a total of 15 attempts, each with the more conservative 20% chance of working out. Plug that into the formula and we get a 96% chance. Of course that doesn’t take into account the long journey we’ve had to find the possible cause of our infertility (endometriosis). The treatment of that underlying factor and any other factors that we might not know about.

Still, a girl’s got to hope. I’d say these are some pretty good odds of a legendary loot drop 🙂

By the way, here is that probability formula graphed: my chances are beautiful….
probability graph

Schrodinger’s Pregnancy


So “Week 1” of pregnancy is technically two weeks before you even ovulate. I will be 1 week Schrodinger prego on Oct. 26 if all goes as planned. I figure most couples are two weeks away from fertilization at this point and I’ve got six day old blastocysts, so I’m already more pregnant at week 1 than them. This is one way that I cope with IVF cycles. No can know whether I’m pregnant or not, so if nothing else, I get to be pregnant for four weeks, dammit!

My meds finally arrived (with ice packs completely melted). I made a big enough stink that I got not one, but four calls from managers at UPS confirming that I received my package of medication on Monday morning.

Tomorrow morning is my suppression check. (I guess to make sure that the Lupron is suppressing my hormone levels enough?) If all goes well, I’ll be one step closer to staying on schedule.

I also have to get through an endoscopy on Friday with normal results. Apparently daily nausea caused by either eating or not eating is not normal even for someone with a hiatal hernia (which is a fairly common type of stomach hernia).

Get ready for some TMI…. In addition to having a camera shoved down my throat, I also have to drop off a stool sample at the lab in the morning. I have to use this device (see pic) to scoop it into four separate vials. Mor-ti-fy-ing. Not to mention logistically tricky. Could things my relationship get any less sexy at this point? “OK, Hon, we have to drop my shit off at the lab on the way to my transvaginal ultrasound in the morning.”

Sooooo, if all of that goes well FET prep will start this Saturday, and we’ll be off and running.

IVF is a time commitment

Today, I spent over two and a half hours on the phone with UPS. I was trying to track down my refrigerated medications for my upcoming cycle that we’re supposed to arrive today. They gave me the complete runaround. First, they said my pharmacy called them and told them to hold the medication at a UPS facility an hour from my home. I called the pharmacy, who of course said they did nothing of the sort. They called UPS. By this time I’ve escalated to the first agents manager’s manager. He tells me that it’s locked in a truck and no one can access it until Monday, so they can get it to me Tuesday. Round and round we went. Finally, I outlined the cost of not receiving the medication in time, including the cost of a cancelled cycle, replacing the drugs, and missing work time to figure this out. Once they heard the amount, and I mentioned the possibility of involving attorneys, all of a sudden the morning managers are supposed to call me first thing in the morning and get the box to me by noon tomorrow.

Yes, this is an extreme example. However, I feel that an often unacknowledged toll of IVF is the time commitment. Instead of relaxing and perhaps playing Civ VI or reading a book on a Saturday night, I spent it with four different UPS customer service agents. In my time before and after work, I run around the city picking up medical records that have to be signed for in person, going to monitoring hours, and making endless calls to insurance and doctor’s offices. That and I go the therapy one evening a week and touch base with my reproductive psychiatrist twice a month.

Infertility takes a lot from you and this week, I’m really feeling the pain of replacing down time and time with friends with being my own IVF case manager. Is that something that clinics can get? IVF case managers to help coordinate care and figure all of this crap out.