Another distraction while we wait…

Beta #2 has been drawn. Only one poke again! We are on a roll here!

I am currently anxiously patiently awaiting the call from my favourite nurse.

If you are looking for a humourous distraction on this snowy Monday morning, check out Infertility explained by 33 impossibly adorable cats on Buzzfeed.

Baby dust to all! XO

A state of loving non-attachment

My intentions for this weekend were:

  • to distract my mind from Monday’s beta results
  • to be gentle with myself and do what my mind/body needs
  • to feel peace and love

It’s been fairly easy to stay in neutral territory this weekend. We’ve kept ourselves busy and I’ve stayed off the internet as much as possible.

Friday night, my husband called his Aunt and asked if we could come for supper. Whenever we are both anxious or stressed (especially after waiting all day to receive Beta #1), we don’t feel like cooking. Rather than getting take out, we went for a home-cooked meal with people who support us. We didn’t stay out too late as I’ve been exhausted lately. I was in bed by 9pm which is very unlike me. I clearly needed it, so I went with it.

We had a funeral yesterday for my husband’s best friend’s dad. I seriously contemplated not going as I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around sorrow. I decided that I should go to support my husband. It also was a good opportunity to practice love and forgiveness. I made sure to protect myself before I left and brought a few crystals along to help. Throughout the ceremony, I sent reiki to those that seemed to be suffering the most. I honestly didn’t feel much sorrow (thank goodness!) until we went to the grave site. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were both crying. It was a very enlightening moment to see them express such emotion (as my husband comes from a family that rarely shows emotion). Overall, I had a decent day visiting with friends and family. It really made the value of family obvious to me. A man died who left behind the legacy of his family. I hope that one day I have children and grand-children who have such fond memories of me.

Today, I had a chick flick marathon since cable TV is crawling with them leading up to Valentine’s Day. I also played a game on my phone that I downloaded after so many of you suggested it would be a good distraction. Boy were you right! I’m currently building a butterfly colony. Figured it would maybe give me good vibes since the butterfly is a symbol of fertility. 🙂 

I haven’t let myself get excited, but I continue to acknowledge my baby(ies?). I’ve been connecting my heart to my womb and sending my babies love. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized I can be connected to my babies without being as emotionally attached as I was before we lost our little girl.

This whole process has really given me an opportunity feel how different it is when you take thing as them come.

One of my best friends said to me, “It’s out of your control now“.

She’s undoubtedly right.

What will be will be.

Tomorrow will give us a better idea.

I’m glad I’ve been able to find a sense of calm this weekend as we move through our wait. One day at a time…

Beta #1 Results

I had my cell phone by my side with the ringer on all day – minus one 5 minute stint where I left my office. Well of course, that’s when the clinic called. :/  I waited another hour and a half to hear back.

My 1st Beta at 10dp5dt is 55.

My clinic normally doesn’t do betas until 12dp5dt. I convinced them to let me go 2 days early after I got my thrush (which is almost cleared up by the way). My IVF nurse said she considers this a positive first beta – especially since it’s earlier than they normally test.

During my ectopic pregnancy, I took HCG boosters daily up until my beta. This meant I had an accumulation of HCG in my system before my 1st beta of 47 on 12dp5dt. After that, my 2nd beta only rose to 52. There was a good chance my initial HCG was less than 20 as the HCG booster was doing just that – boosting my beta.

Starting off with a beta of 55 – 2 days earlier than my previous cycle test date – is potentially a good sign. It doesn’t mean I’m in the clear, but I won’t fret so much until we get our next beta on Monday. If it’s over 100,  I will take a deep breath and pray that things continue on the up and up.

My blood lab experience was super positive this morning. I walked in and only had 1 person in the waiting room a head of me. One poke (SHOCKING! I know this NEVER happens!) and I was out the door in 13 minutes. I just knew this had to be the start of a positive day for us.

Keep me and my baby in your prayers. I’m riding on all of your positivity until I feel that I can sustain my own.

I don’t know what I’d do without my cheering squad. XO

thinkpositive

8dp5dt: I told you so!

Yesterday was hard. It seemed harder on my husband than me, but still hard. I was starting to figure out our next steps, while my husband was in shock. He kept saying he couldn’t believe it didn’t work.

Today, I worked from home. At noon, I decided to write a blog post. Whenever I feel like I’m losing hope, I always feel like I have to defend my reasons for why. I decided to pee on a cheapie test just so I could say, “I told you so…”

When I returned to the bathroom, this is what I saw:
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HOLY FUCK! 

There is only one word to describe my reaction: SHOCKED!

I wasn’t going to write about our BFP tonight. I was going to wait until after I use a FRER tomorrow. My husband told me I HAD to write this post. He wanted the satisfaction of hearing you all tell me, “told you so”.

Did the title of this post throw you off? Because that was my intention! 🙂

I couldn’t leave my support network hanging. Especially since all of you have been there for me when I couldn’t believe in myself. Thank you for holding onto hope, for sending positive vibes, and lots of baby dust. XO

I know we still have a few hurdles to cross: Beta #1 on Friday, Beta #2 on Monday, rule out our ectopic risk, first ultrasound, find out if there’s 1 or 2…

I’m cautiously optimistic.

I’m relieved.

I’m feeling that hope again.

keepthefaith

5dp5dt: symptom check-in

Wow. My emotions have been flying high.

I cried myself to sleep Friday night and had a major meltdown on my husband Saturday morning. It was like hope had been sucked from my me. I kept telling him I should have symptoms by now and that it must not have worked. He kept telling me to relax and give it a few days, but my irrational, emotional mind wouldn’t listen.

When I finally got my shit together, we ran some errands, then went for supper at my husband’s Aunt and Uncle’s house. After supper, we went to a friend’s to play games. Once again, I had a good time, lots of laughs and no alcohol. I can honestly say that I don’t miss drinking.

Getting out of the house yesterday was the best thing I could do for myself. I worked from home on Friday and being alone all day – even if I was distracting myself with work – just gave my mind too many opportunities to ponder our current situation. We also declined an invitation to visit with friends on Friday night and instead, stayed in to watch Netflix. Lesson learned: when I’m feeling highly volatile, I need to surround myself with my support people to regain my balance.

As for symptoms, this is where I’m at:

  • Cramping during 1-2dpt (no implantation spotting though)
  • Bloatedness that comes and goes; a sense of fullness in my womb
  • Slightly sore boobs (an increase since yesterday though)
  • My nails are harder. I noticed this during my last pregnancy.
  • Chest/back acne – this one is gross! Yesterday morning my chest, back and shoulder broke out in tiny little zits. YUCK! I don’t normally have acne. This is very odd for me.

I keep reminding myself that I can not compare this cycle to last as too many variables are different. I have no fake HCG in my system. Besides Estrace, Prometrium and PIO, my body is doing all the work on it’s own.

I think my breakdown yesterday was most likely hormonal, but also a bit of a protection mechanism. Less connected = less hurt? Well, I know that is a farce. It’s hard no matter what. Last time, I was so connected that I was crushed when we found out our pregnancy was an ectopic. Leading up to our FET, I did lots of visualization exercises, but I haven’t let myself get as connected to these spirit babies. It eases my anxiety to keep myself at arms length right now. I will grow my relationship with these babies when the time feels right.

I’m still staying strong and keeping away from the pee sticks. My goal remains to make it to 8dp5dt – this Wednesday. 3 days to go… Wish me luck. XO

happyending

3dp5dt: pleasant distractions are appreciated

It’s so much easier to ignore my current limbo status when I’m around other people at the office or even at home with only my husband. Ensuring that my mind is constantly occupied has kept my anxiety to a minimum.

It’s when I’m alone that the obsessive symptom checking and the “what if” thoughts creep in.

“Grab a handful of your boobs again. Are they sore?” 

“Go pee and see if there’s any spotting…” 

“Am I tired from the progesterone or pregnancy tired?”

“I’m not noticing enough symptoms! What if this…didn’t work…?”

After a few minutes of obsessing, I snap out of it and remind myself of my mantra: one day at a time.

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Last cycle, I was taking an HCG trigger which gave me pregnancy symptoms and positive pee sticks right off the bat. I had implantation spotting, cramping, and ridiculously sore titties.

This time, I can’t even legitimately say I have any signs. So far, I’m only tired, have the occasional boob twinge, slightly bloated and gassy.

My husband keeps reminding me that I’m ONLY a few days past transfer.

I know people say pregnancies can be very different – especially since our last was an ectopic. I just hope that is true for me.

I’ve set a goal of holding out until 8dp5dt to pee on a stick.

5 days to go.

What advice can you offer to make it through the much anticipated 2ww?

The (em)babies are coming home!

Transfer day has come and almost gone.

I woke up this morning, did my fertility yoga and got ready for the day. Since you aren’t supposed to wear scents into an embryo transfer, I opted for my natural wavy hair (translation: pure ball of frizz). My hair straightener is no match for the refreshing sea air mixed with precipitation.

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My husband and I ready to leave for the clinic

Since it’s so cloudy on the coast, my husband joked that my rainbow socks would be the only bit of sunshine we see before we head home.

We arrived early for our appointment to pay our FET fees and stock up on much needed supplies: needles and syringes for my PIO injections. I chugged the mandatory 2 bottles of water and waited for my turn.

When he entered the room, my RE had a good laugh at my rainbow socks.

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My beautiful rainbow socks from MLACS

Then, he proceeded to sing Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection as he prepared for transfer. I wasn’t familiar with this song, but now it totally resonates with me. “Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection”… We made our wish. We are ready for our rainbow baby – or maybe two!

Our beautiful Day 6 embryos thawed at the same grade 17 that they were frozen at. One of the pair was already hatching.

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Our embryos on the screen. Two beautiful diamonds this time.

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Double thumbs up!

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I’m so excited!!!

The transfer went smoothly. My bladder seemed fuller this time as I patiently waited out my 10 minutes before I could pee and move to the recovery room.

In the recovery room, my RE gave me acupuncture and I fell asleep. My husband said I was snoring (which is not a surprise – haha). I rested for just over an hour before we left the clinic.

It’s been grey and cloudy since we arrived, but the sun was shining brightly when we left the clinic. Perhaps another good sign??? We grabbed lunch on the way back to the hotel and then snuggled into bed to watch a movie.

I’m a little crampy and bloated, but otherwise feeling great. My honest opinion is that FETs are SO MUCH EASIER than fresh cycles. I’ve barely had any side effects from my current drug cocktail. I hope that this means pregnancy symptoms will be easier to notice.

Beta is scheduled for February 9th. Yes, I will POAS before then. I set a goal of holding out til February 7th, but we will see how things go. My goal remains the same: one day at a time.

Snuggle in there babies. We are bringing you home tomorrow.
❤ XO ❤  

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We loved you before we ever knew you

How to get through Beta Limbo

It’s been two weeks since my 1st beta from my 1st IVF cycle. I can tell you this waiting game hasn’t been easy.

Here’s what I recommend to help you get through Beta Limbo:

Keep yourself occupied

I am on pelvic rest which means NO exercise, lifting or sexual activity. My RE recommends doing the bare minimum daily.

It can be challenging to keep your mind occupied when your ass is glued to the couch. Find some easy tasks to occupy yourself.

Here are a few things I did:

  • Made two burlap wreaths inspired by Pinterest
  • Started online Christmas shopping
  • Enjoyed Netflix marathons. You can watch ENTIRE seasons of shows on Netflix. This will eat up many hours of your time.
  • Meditated
  • Coloured Mandalas
  • Wrote in my journal
  • Invited close friends over for a visit
  • Ordered take-out via delivery J
  • Enjoyed stillness in nature. I sat under the tree in my backyard. You don’t have to go far to get outside.
  • GOT OUT OF THE HOUSE! I went to the bookstore, picked up a few groceries, and went to lunch with a few fertility friends. Just because you are going through a hard time, doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. Quick, effortless outings can easily take your mind off what’s going on at home.

If you find yourself loosing focus and feeling anxious, I highly recommend breathing exercises and meditation. I also used some essential oils to help ease my tension.

Limit your time on Google

I know realistically you are NOT going to completely avoid Google. Everyone faced with infertility knows the power of the Google.

If you have to give into the urge to search the internet, I recommend a small dose of realistic, sad stories combined with many, many successful ones. I’m not saying this to give you false hope. I’m saying this because you don’t have much left in Beta limbo except hope. Feed it. Let it grow.

I wish that your story will be the next miracle I stumble upon online.

Allow yourself to feel

I’ve lived the past 2 weeks in increments of 48 hours waiting for my next blood draw with uncertainty, fear, hope and many, many prayers.

My betas continue to very slowly rise, but I have grieved for this child. Some days, I can barely hold it together. Other days, I’m fine as if I’m regular not pregnant Lindsey. And then, I even get excited. I dream and hope and wish for a positive outcome. I visualize my baby in my arms. I feel happiness.

Don’t hold in your emotion. Hide in the washroom where there’s a steady supply of snot wipes. Put a few Kleenex in your purse for those spontaneous outbursts while driving home, or after being stuck in line between two pregnant ladies at the book store (True story).

Go with the ebb and flow. Be gentle with yourself.

If you can’t be gentle with yourself, you can blame it on the hormones. 🙂

Lean on those who support you the most

I’m not sure if it’s because people think we are hiding out to announce our pregnancy or if they are just afraid of catching me in one of my emotional moments, but I can sure tell you that many of my friends and family have disappeared since we got home.

Toss ‘em aside. You have bigger worries on your mind. Those who don’t care to support you don’t deserve your attention or time.

Show gratitude for the ones who are there for you.

These are the people who show up unannounced for a visit when you are wearing two-day old stinky sweats, a greasy pony tail, and  “obviously been crying” red eyes. They don’t care about your appearance; they just want to know HOW you are doing.

These are the friends, who may be miles and time zones away, but still send a “Thinking of you” message each morning on testing days.

These are the people who send flowers, not because they have to, but because they know you love fresh flowers. This act of kindness brightens a dark and uncertain future.

These are the women who have never met you personally, but anxiously wait for your blog update knowing that you may need their sympathy. They have been in your place before. They understand the heartache and the fear.

This is your support circle. These people are your cheering squad, your shoulders to cry on and your ultimate strength when Beta Limbo becomes unbearable. Don’t try to do this alone. Lean on those who support you.

Be your own advocate

Even though I trust the professional expertise of my RE and the nurses, I have read way too many misdiagnosed miscarriage stories (courtesy of Google) to have them tell me that my pregnancy will not be viable without proof.

Stand up for yourself. Ask for validation by getting another blood draw or ultrasound.

I’m not saying to ignore what the doctor says. I’m just saying we all have the right to a validating test, a second opinion, or an opportunity to think about it.

Make those difficult decisions when you are ready to. Consult your partner and ensure you get their opinion and blessing.

Trust your instincts. Do what’s best for you and your baby.

I believe that a miscarriage plan is much like a birth plan. You can hope for a natural occurrence, but when the time comes, you may have to accept medical intervention if necessary.

And if that time doesn’t come, you are a miracle! Share your story and give hope to others.

Don’t forget to laugh

My husband and I were laying in bed the other morning. He said something funny and I couldn’t stop laughing. I also couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed. Wow. That’s not like me.

Beta limbo is scary and emotionally draining. Don’t let it completely engulf you. Find those simple pleasures that bring joy into your life – even if it’s just for a moment.

Best of luck to you in your 2WW or Beta Limbo. I send you baby dust, love and light. ❤

Confessions of a POAS addict

Remember when I said my husband was going to hide my cheapie home pregnancy tests? Well… he didn’t.

I’ve been testing every morning from 4dp5dt until today 7dp5dt.

This morning, I woke up to pee when my husband left at 4:45 am.

Peed.

Waited.

Looked at the test and…

It looked lighter? WTF? I considered it a dud (as we all know sometimes a prego test can crap out on you).

Went back to bed.

Woke up at 6:45 am.

Got up.

Peed.

Waited.

And this is what I saw…

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Now, I have been concerned with testing due to the fact that I am taking 15 units of HCG daily.

DrunkStorks suggested I email my clinic to see if HCG accumulates or not. I emailed them this morning. They gave me the run around and suggested I wait until Beta.

A few days ago, I spoke with AndiePants. She mentioned that HCG has a half life – meaning half of the quantity is gone from your system 24 hours later. This made me believe that if I saw a progression where the tests started to get darker, there would be a good chance that my body was starting to produce it’s own HCG.

As you can see from this photo, things look like they are progressing (I wish I had removed the dud from this photo though):

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It turns out that my sister-in-law is a pharmacy technician. I spilled the beans to her this morning and sent her the pics. She looked it up, did the math and validated that the artificial HCG would not accumulate in my system.

I’m hoping and praying that this is the start of a good sign. I’m going to buy a pack of FRER’s this weekend, but I won’t do the first one until Sunday (9dp5dt). *fingers-crossed*

My beta still isn’t until 12dp5dt on September 17.

❤ ❤ ❤

There has been lots of heartache in the community lately. After enduring a chemical pregnancy in June, Jen took the summer off and is now facing the potential of an ectopic. My heart just breaks for her. I drove to work this morning crying tears of joy that we may be pregnant and tears of sadness for Jen’s potential loss. It pains me to see someone who has been such a support to me go through another horrible experience. Please head on over to Infertility, Why Me? and give Jen some love.

How to overcome a peeing on a stick addiction

I am a POAS addict. Some months, I keep it together and only test 1-2 times. Other months, curiosity gets the best of me.

I’m currently injecting 15 units of HCG each morning. I know this means that my home pregnancy tests (HPT) will have at least a faint positive.  I want to see how it progresses.

Initially this morning, it took a little while for the line to appear. BUT, I was convinced it wasn’t going to appear. I sulked back to my bed, mad at myself for letting my curiosity get the best of me. I stayed in bed for 45 minutes. I was scared to go back in the bathroom and see the result. The test was still faintly positive, but slightly darker than 2 days ago.

Here are the results from testing 2dp5dt and 4dp5dt:
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Now I get why the clinics recommend not POAS-ing. It’s a complete mind-fuck. As of right now, I’ve told myself I will wait until 8dp5dt (Saturday) to test again.

To keep my mind off whether or not I’m pregnant, I’ve created a list of things to do before my Beta:

  • Finish unpacking
  • Organize my sock drawer (long overdue!)
  • Continue watching Mad Men on Netflix
  • Have a Netflix movie marathon on the weekend
  • Meditate
  • Play with my animals
  • Go to the Farmer’s Market
  • Start Christmas shopping online
  • Browse Pinterest (this can waste hours!)
  • Stay engaged at work (translation: STAY OFF GOOGLE!)
  • Avoid Facebook (no joke – since our IVF cycle started, we’ve had 7 pregnancy announcements)
  • Call my bestie
  • Research baby gear (This is a double-edged sword. So fun, yet also builds the anticipation)
  • Make a Fall wreath to hang on the front door (Pinterest inspired obviously)
  • Make a wreath to give to my MIL for Christmas
  • Plan some date nights for my husband and I (as inspired by Ever Upward)
  • Back-up the photos on my cell phone
  • Clean off my old laptop
  • Research how to replace front step (I’ve told my husband this NEEDS to be done once I’m prego)
  • Update my fertility expenses spreadsheet
  • Submit my acupuncture claims
  • Write a daily blog post
  • And most of all… JUST BE!

I don’t expect to get everything on this list done. I plan to use it to distract myself if I sense a case of the baby-crazies coming on. Most importantly, I plan to honour myself and my body. If I’m tired, I’ll take a nap. If I need a night alone, I’ll stay home. Right now, I want to stay in a healthy, happy mindset. 

Tonight, I’m letting my husband hide the HPTs. He can give them to me one at a time when we both decide it’s ok to test.

8 days til Beta ❤

Do you have any other ideas to pass the time?