An unconventional journey through assisted reproductive technology (and hopefully pregnancy and parenthood.)

About Me

My photo
They say 30's are the new 20's. My wife and I have been together for over a decade now. We both work in the fast paced world of academia. Our state (and recently all others across the country) have finally allowed all marriage so we made that happen October 2014.

I'm a pretty big nerd, I'll be the first to admit. I love video games (yes, as a girl and yes, at my age). I have lots of other nerd hobbies and since I was unceremoniously banned from RuneScape, I've been playing Civilization and Skyrim. My real first nerd love is Magic the Gathering. 10,000 cards and growing, but that's an expensive hobby when you have two babies.

I have other grown-up interests too, especially reading. I like reading so much I have 3 Kindles and I also used to be a martial artist (one belt away from black belt. I'll finish someday.)

But now I've got twins and I have a feeling a lot of those hobbies are going to change.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cautiously Optimistic

Has medical science suddenly cured me of my infertility? Well, no but here I am again. Why?

If you read back, you may recall that we were considering trying again with the uteruses reversed and using my leftover embryos. Well, we decided to give it a go. And what do you know? It worked. Yeah. 'Tis quite the story that follows.

We met with the doctor in October to see what our options were and she said that we could try the next month in November if we wanted to. It was tempting, but my lady had been training for almost a year to run a half-marathon that happened to be in November. The doctor said to give them a call with the first period after that. That was sometime in December.

The marathon was great, by the way. I didn't run the marathon myself. Distance just isn't my thing.

Now, around this time I noticed that the fertility clinic was having a contest where clients and potential clients could make a 1 minute video of how they're getting ready for their baby. The winner would receive 50% off the next treatment cycle, which is no small chunk of change. We decided to give it a shot and made three pretty hilarious videos. I don't think my girlfriend would want me to post them here, but trust me. They were great. Anyway, we didn't win but we did get sort of an honorable mention and got $500 off. I think it was a pity prize because when they called they said something like "Now, we didn't announce other prizes but we are giving you $500 for second place!" I really think there were originally no other prizes, but I feel like we've been there so long and everyone there knows us, they felt they had to give us something. Whatever. I'll take a pity prize.

The doctor wanted to try a natural cycle but put her on birth control for a month to regulate her period. That was a rough month. Everyone reacts to hormones differently and well...this particular birth control did not agree with her. But after that we were ready for a transfer. This was January.

However, towards the middle of January my lady started to feel ill. Turns out it was the fucking flu and we were both down for over a week. I, myself, had to take three days off from work and I never take time for being sick. Time off to play Civilization and pick my nose, sure. But not for actual illness. Anyway, this week happened to coincide with the week we would have done the transfer so that was put on hold.

New Home Sweet Home
Oh and hey, did I mention that right smack in the middle of all this we decided to sell our old house and buy a new one? Call us gluttons for stress, I guess. But it all worked out. We ended up closing on the new house just a few weeks before the old house sold.

So, back to the babby. Well, as you know in this process when there is a delay, it's usually 2 months or more. So we weren't able to try again until around March. Got all medicated up and went in for ultrasounds after day 3. Things were looking good but after a couple of ultrasounds, the doctor couldn't find the follicle she had been watching for ovulation. See, with a natural cycle you have to transfer pretty close to when you actually ovulate. The bloodwork later confirmed that we had indeed missed the window and had to wait for another cycle.

But this time the doctor wanted to do a more controlled cycle. Not Lupron controlled like I was on, but more birth control in addition to estrogen and progesterone. Started that up at the beginning of April and we were ready for a transfer at the beginning of May.

May 9th rolls around and we head back in to the IVF room. She in her spa wrap, I in my hairnet. This time I was able to look around. When you're on the table there's not much to see, but it's pretty interesting in there. I got to see the embryos when they put them under the microscope before the suck them into the transfer catheter. I also got to see them go in on the ultrasound.

Before the transfer, the doctor said this has to work so she can take us off of her bucket list. Lol.

Anyway, we went home for the long, agonizing wait. The first few days were whatever, just a lot of resting and stuff. But then she started feeling really crampy. Could have been period cramps, though. Then she started having boob pain. Again, could have been a period coming. I get pretty bad boob pain myself. But the one symptom that couldn't be explained by an oncoming period or medication side effect was the cat. Tyler.

Guess that shit isn't getting graded today.
Now, he's a little neurotic anyway. He's a rescue cat and has had issues with anxiety and other things since he was a young cat after a bad experience at the vet. I could write a whole blog just about him and what he's put us through. Anyway, he started acting very peculiar, even for him. He would follow her around the house, circle her legs and yowl at her constantly. He wandered around yowling. He was driving himself so nuts that we had to give him a Valium. Seriously, he has kitty Valium prescribed to him. Anyway, he was just not acting like himself and we are pretty sure it's because he knew. I've read that animals can sense pregnancy hormones. Call him our little First Response.

I left the pee soaked end out of
the image. You're welcome.
The first two blood tests looked good. On the first one her progesterone was already 6 and mine never got anywhere near that, even after increasing the disgusting progesterone cream. The second one was the one I was worried about because that was usually when my levels would take a dive. But hers went up. Final blood test was on the 21st. But before that, she decided to take a pee test. I kind of didn't want her to because I have very bad feelings associated with them and because I thought it was too early anyway. But she peed on it the morning of the 19th. The little hourglass came up for about a minute and then said "pregnant". We both looked at it and at each other and couldn't really believe what we were seeing. I went to work in shock.

After we thought about it more, we thought the test might have been expired and it turned out it was. So on my way home I picked up a new one and she peed on that when I got home. The test said to wait 3 minutes, but you could see the second line almost immediately. This put any doubt out of our minds. After this the blood test on the 21st was just a formality and it was positive as well. The doctor ordered one more blood test to make sure the levels were still increasing and all is well.

Normally the doctor likes to keep people on for about 11 weeks and do the first ultrasounds herself. But our insurance covers none of her services so she is releasing us to our regular OB, which our insurance will pay for completely, minus the copay. We have our first prenatal appointment June 6. They'll do the first ultrasound and hopefully we'll be able to see if one or both of these little things took. Based on the last bloodwork, it seems like the both might have, which is a little scary, not going to lie.

So that's where we are now, which brings me back to the question of why I'm writing again. When I started this I intended it to be a record of my journey to get pregnant and eventually the pregnancy. When that dream was destroyed, I didn't see the point since my journey was over. But one of the things I've been working on with my therapist is that my journey is not over. I'm still part of the journey, just in a different capacity. So I've decided to write again.

I'll try to keep it positive and interesting to read, but you've got to understand I still have a lot of issues to work out so you're probably going to get glimpses of that here and there. For now, I'm still in shock and disbelief. But in a good way, I think. If all works out, this little bundle will be born late January 2015. Or if it is two little bundles, early January.

Thanks for reading again. See you on the 6th.