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! ?????

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.

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.

Just Enough, No More

Whew! After three weeks of 10-14 hour days including weekends, I am just a puddle. And I realized that I need to work on doing just enough. When I was in grad school, my therapist counseled me to try to get B’s not A’s. This is great advice for a perfectionist. More often than not, I stressed less and still got A’s. So now I’m trying to apply the same principal to work. I can always imagine doing more, doing better. However right now, it’s important to do just enough and no more.

Lupron update: constant and intense hot flashes, brittle nails, still feeling pretty bitchy and irritable. My partner is just done with the lupron. He’s completely out of patience for the irritability, and I don’t blame him. I am too.

FET Update: I finally have a plan! The transfer is Nov. 9! That’s T – 4 weeks & 2 days. More details to come. In the meantime, I’ve got all sorts of drugs showing up in the mail….

IMG_20171010_190757 (1) I’m starting to get super excited and hopeful again. I’m still waiting on a couple other things to get started. Cycle prep officially starts October 19. Until then, my mottos are:

  • Do just enough
  • Do whatever it takes to get through the day
  • Ask for help
  • Have compassion for myself