Monday, August 30, 2010

Betas Galore

Beta level this morning: 2352! I'm not so much good with the math, but I do believe we are continuing to more than double every 72 hours. This brings me a lot of confidence in the strength of the little bean. My ultrasound is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 9a, yay! I am officially 5 weeks pregnant today.

Is this my 3rd post about my beta levels? I believe it is. I'm wondering if you are finding it rather boring reading all my numbers; I'll try to jazz it up a bit for you all. I will warn you though that I am not my usual chipper self today; I'm in quite the cranky mood and I rather enjoy it.

At the present moment, I'm watching Lifetime (yes, I'm admitting it) do a cheesy portrayal of teenage pregnancy. All I can think about, other than the BAD acting, is why constipation is never glorified, hahahaha!! You can check that symptom off my list now, too. While I don't feel the need to add a TMI disclaimer, I will occasionally remind you that you must "pass" the warning page before entering, so you were aware of the possibility. After much googling, I learned that the extra does of hormones present during pregnancy cause the intestinal muscles to relax, thereby slowing the, erm, movement of said intestines. My mission now to to drink water like a camel and hope I can button my pants tomorrow. Lovely mental image, wasn't it?

And so you all don't walk away from this post with thoughts of my gastrointestinal woes dancing in your head, I'll leave you with this:

Fetal image at 5 weeks, approximately 1.25mm - pretty cool, huh?!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Movin' on Up!

An update for those of you who can't get enough of me...

Beta levels came back today at 778, whoo-hoo! Again, I have no idea what the specific number means, but it speaks well that it is rising. Thanks to the google, I know that beta levels are expected to double every 72 hours, and since my numbers on Monday were 251, we are more than double. Please don't read anything in to that - It simply means that baby bean is growing strong. I'll check in again on Monday for a final beta.

So that's it, that's my update. But since I have an aversion to short blog posts, I'm going to continue...

I had a very "not my day" kind of morning with regards to my bootay shots yesterday. First stick hurt so much that I could not even get much past the skin; perhaps I had hit some sort of nerve back there. Upon repositioning, I dropped the syringe and silly me tried to catch it. It stabbed me in my knuckle of all places. Puncture count at this point: 2. Reattempt resulted in a successful shot, however removing the needle caused much bloodiness. And continuing the spirit of clumsiness, I dropped the cotton ball that was so supposed to stop the bloodies. So, now I have a nice stain on the backside of my purty unmentionables.

Oh, and yes the nausea of pregnancy has hit me. Luckily, it's not in the morning so as not to disturb my walks (oh, how I miss sweaty cardio, but that's too long of a lament to post here). I get the icky feeling right around lunchtime-ish and it lasts until around 6-7p. It was a bit worse tonight, so I didn't even eat dinner with the family, but who could blame me? It was pigs-in-a-blanket afterall, sick!

One more "symptom" before I go. Ever heard of this fancy term: dysgeusia? I thought maybe not, but as you can see I've been on the WebMD. Basically, it's the medical term for a change in the sense of taste, most commonly a sour/bitter or metallic taste that exists even when not eating. It's pretty yucky and lends to the nausea, although not uncommon in pregnancy. I started to experience this when I first started all the hormones, so I think that's the culprit with the added pregnancy hormones kickin' it up a notch. (Emeril didn't trademark that, did he?!)

I'm off to lounge on the couch, take in some AFV, and see if I can eat a bit o'something. In the meantime, if any of you fabulous readers are wondering what you could do for me: (cup)cakes, cookies, and anything in the pastry family can always make me smile like this ----> :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Holy Smokes

It worked! (And for the record, I do not think smoke is actually holy, but could find no other words to convey my amazement.) Our transfer a week ago "took." And by that I mean:

I'M PREGNANT (but that baby's not mine, ha! I'm going to love using that one!)
(okay, I'm not this pregnant, but somebody make me this cake, pleeeeaaase!)

My beta level came in at 251. Now I will confess that I know nothing about beta levels or what they could imply, except that the higher the beta, the more "sure" the pregnancy is at this point. I tried to look up some information on it, but there seems to be a rather large range in numbers, so I'm just happy that we're pregnant, "very pregnant" to use the words of my clinic coordinator. I will have another test for beta levels on Thursday and Monday; we definitely want to see those numbers rising rapidly. Our first ultrasound will be Sept. 13 to confirm a heartbeat.
Fortunately, I am not experiencing any symptoms yet, but it is rather early. I can however tell you that the moodiness of the progesterone will not lay off, even for a second. And my poor hubby gets the brunt of it all. I'm so thankful for a passive and forgiving husband in this....even when I asked him to leave the hotel room because his mere presence was irritating me. Go ahead and giggle -- we did after I said it, both realizing how INSANE I had just sounded. I'm glad we can laugh together through those trying moments.
My meds will remain the same until my 10th week of pregnancy. So, that means I will stay on the aspirin, the estrogen, the progesterone shots, and the prometrium. So, if you'd like a count: 5 pills/day, 1 injection, and 2 other stuffs. Oh, and prenatal vitamins of course, so make that 7 pills/day.
I just spoke with C about all this too. She is very excited, and I think we are both in little bit of disbelief. Yes, we knew what we were doing and what we had hoped, but the realization can be astonshing at first, espcailly considering pregnancy is a miracle in it's own right. This is a huge, giant step in the process for both of us and we're just getting started. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lovin' from the Oven

The embies are in and hopefully getting all set to begin baking. My transfer was complete a couple of hours ago, and my job now is rest to allow the little babes to latch. The procedure was very quick; in fact, I think I was on the table all of 3 minutes before the doctor was done. That's crazy, right?! C and her mom were there for the procedure. While the doctor didn't allow them in the room (it would have been too small anyway, I think), they were able to view the embryos on the screen as well as watch the procedure from a window into the room. I think we would have both preferred for her to be in the room.

The doctor transferred 2 of C's embryo's. Both embryos were at the blastocyst stage (feel free to google that) and were a grade A. Basically, this means they were the best of the best, and as high of a grade and as developed as they could get. We couldn't have had better embryos. The chance of implantation is 70%, so we are quite hopeful.

My instructions are to rest and lie around the rest of today and through tomorrow as well. After that, I will no longer have to be on bed rest, but I won't be clear to return to my normal activity (read: receiving the cardio high that I live on most days) until after a confirmed pregnancy. In the meantime, I am permitted to get my activity through walking. And since I find the treadmill quite boring, it seems I'll have to take joy-walking trips to Target and the local mall, hehe! I have a blood test for (pregnancy) beta numbers on August 23. I can begin home pregnancy tests earlier, but the blood test will be more accurate.

My plan for the next few days includes trying to relax. That will not be an easy feat for me, but I'm going to give it my best shot. To help me with that, my agency sent a care package to the hotel yesterday:

So, my loot includes a comfy pair of pj's a la Target, chocolates, a novel, a puzzle book, and a magazine. It was so thoughtful of them to think of me like that. I'll also spend time sending the hubby on food runs. :)
Thank you for all the prayers, the thoughts, and the encouragement. I'm now back to another waiting phase, looking forward to a POSITIVE outcome.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flying, Driving, and Transfers, Oh My!

I'm here! And I'm waiting again. It seems the name of this whole process really is, "hurry up and wait." But hey, I'm waiting in a nice hotel room in beautiful Connecticut with the best weather (79 degress!) I've seen in months, so who's complaining? Not this girl, I'll tell ya.

Our flight out yesterday was actually nice, although I still do not like to fly. We departed a little bit early and landed even earlier. Traffic to the hotel was a bear. we rolled along about 20-30mph for about an hour off and on. I guess that's how we roll, ha!

We spent most of yesterday just relaxing. The hubby and I took in a movie and had ice-cream for dinner. (Shhhh, don't tell me kids!) Today, C and I are going to enjoy some girlie time, so you know that must mean there is a mall trip in our future. I think we're also planning on getting manicures and grabbing a bite to eat. The hubby will stay here and enjoy his ESPN quietly.

C spoke with the embryologist this morning, and we have transfer set for sometime on Saturday. We likely won't find out what time that will take place until Friday. So, until then, C and I will hang out and the hubby and I will hopefully get some good quality time together. (As much quality as a couple can get bring in a nice hotel in a pretty state WHILE being on intimate restriction from one another.) *If that was more than you needed to know, then I assume you did not read this post with my disclaimer regarding TMI; it might also mean that this blog is not for you*

I also feel like I need to share with you all that the mood swings from the progesterone are definitely here, and I almost feel no desire to control them, ha! I'm only kidding -- I'm going to do my best to combat what my body think is it's natural tendencies. Hopefully that won't require too many cupcakes as well, bleck. But thank goodness for the hotel gym, right?!

Come back on Saturday; I will definitely have an update then seeing how I will be on bedrest for 36hours after transfer: just me on the couch with my laptop, books, magazines, and the remote control. See you all then, friends!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bringing out the big guns!

Good evening, lovelies! I have quite the informative update for you all. Read on...

Today was my first day of the progesterone my derriere. I will admit that I was quite apprehensive, as you would be too after seeing this ginormous needle that had to be jabbed into my rear. Here, maybe this will help:

(not my photo - thank you, google)
See, I told you it was large. And the kicker of this is: I have to be sure the entire needle is completely "in" before I can plunge the meds. So, after poking around a few times - to see where the needle pricked the least - I found a nice spot and did my business. It wasn't too bad actually. The worst part was plunging the meds since it's progesterone in oil. The oil is thick so I couldn't just plunge quickly like I did with the Lupron belly shots. The challenge will now be to continue finding new places for each dose, as intramuscular shots will bruise more. :( And perhaps another challenge will be the side effects from this particular hormone. Incase you forgot, here's a refresher: bloating, weight gain, and mood swings. Eeek, right?!? But seeing how I was not affected too terribly by the previous hormone set, maybe I can avoid these effects as well. *fingers crossed*
C has spent the last week driving to and from the fertility clinic (a 45min drive for her), almost daily, to have her ovaries monitored for the egg retrieval. Our doctor is very pleased with how her body is responding and he will retrieve her eggs tomorrow morning!!! So, embryo transfer will happen in less than a week. I know, right! My flight leaves very early Wednesday morning; transfer will occur either Thursday or Saturday, depending how the embryos are developing.
It was quite an exciting journey just to get to this point, but I think the real adventure is only beginning.