Positive… And negative.

*disclaimer – this post may be TMI for some of you, so if you don’t want to hear about… Uh… women problems… Then stop reading*

Today was the day that I found out whether I am pregnant or not. Before I get to the results of my beta today, let me go back to Friday.

On Friday I was 6dp5dt (6 days past 5 day transfer)… I knew it was too early to take a home pregnancy test, and that it would be negative, but I just couldn’t resist. So I bought 2 first response tests. Up until that point I hadn’t had many symptoms. I had very slight spotting and cramping on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it came and went, but I was told after my transfer that it was completely normal so I didn’t even stress it. I took the pregnancy test and it was negative… I wasn’t surprised it upset, I expected that response and was still SURE I was pregnant… Why wouldn’t I be? I had a great looking embryo, my uterus had looked perfect, it just made sense. I decided I would wait 2 more days, and then test again on Monday… The day before my first beta.

Sunday night I tried not to drink too much before I went to sleep, because I knew I’d have to use first morning urine for my test, and I didn’t want to have to pee in the night. Well I woke up at 1:30am having to go and forced myself back to sleep… Then again and 2:30am… And finally again at 3:30am. It was then I couldn’t hold it anymore and so I decided to just take the test then. My pregnancy test came back positive and I was on cloud 9! Holy moly, I am pregnant! I couldn’t fall back asleep because all I kept thinking about was this precious little baby growing inside me.

Fast forward just a few hours later, and I began to have some bleeding… And I am talking more than just spotting. It was bright red and resembled a period. I was beyond crushed and freaking out all day. How could this be happening? I just tested positive only a few hours earlier?! Several of my family, friends, and co-workers convinced me that sometimes it is normal. There have been people who have had bleeding the first few months and it is no big deal. I was able to call myself down enough to convince myself that there was still a good chance that things were okay, but I was very afraid of having a chemical pregnancy.

So today I went in for my beta, and the nurse asked me how I was doing. I let her know what had happened, and she said even though they don’t want to hear that a patient has bleeding resembling a period, that there was still a chance that things would turn out positive and everything would be fine.

Everything is not fine. Not even close.

My beta tested positive, I am pregnant. But my hcg levels were very low. She indicated that this means 1 of 2 things.
1) the embryo implanted, but it isn’t going to be a viable pregnancy and I am miscarrying or
2) the embryo is just being slow to implant, and my numbers may begin to increase.
She said option 2 is very unlikely given how heavy my bleeding is, and that she doesn’t want to give me false hope. I have to go back in on Thursday and see how things stand.

A positive test and losing this baby is even worse than just a straight up negative. I feel so defeated. So broken hearted. I wanted this so badly… My love for this little embryo had already blossomed so much, I can’t stand this. I know I have a few tries left, but that doesn’t make things easier. What if those don’t work? I just used my best embryo and it didn’t work! What if I never get the chance to have a baby DJ? I cannot even entertain that thought, it makes me physically ill to think about it. So much time, emotions, pain, love, and hope (not to mention money) was invested in this, it just doesn’t seem fair. The only thing I take comfort in, is knowing that the little munchkin is on it’s way to wherever D is, and they will have each other. I know I’m throwing myself a major pity party right now, but I feel entitled to it.

I feel tired, worn out, and broken. I am broken.

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Two years ago today…

Two years ago today, the man of my dreams left this world. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, and the impression he has made on my life… I truly will never be the same.

You see, Dennis showed me what it was like to be selflessly loved, and he loved me so perfectly that never in a million years did I imagine that a love so amazing existed. Even during the scariest and hardest time of his life (and mine), he cared more about how I was managing than how he was. Up until his dying day, he made sure to tell me I was beautiful and how much he loved me. He made me smile and laugh every single day that we were together, even during the month and a half we spent in the ICU.

Dennis gave me the greatest gift that I’ve ever been given, and that was his time and love. The time we shared will forever be the greatest part of my life, and I cherish every tender memory we have together. Dennis is my hero; he gave me confidence, has taught me how to be strong, showed me how to love selflessly, taught me how to laugh at myself instead of beating myself up. He saw the best in me even during my craziest moments. He is everything I wish that I could be. Now, he is my angel.

For all these reasons, I want our child to be just like him. I am excited to have a little piece of him around, again. I think that’s why it’s so important to me that my pregnancy test comes back positive on Tuesday. I mean, don’t get me wrong… I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I love kids, but this child will be so special to me. Please, oh please, let it be positive.

Yesterday was THE DAY!

Yesterday was my embryo transfer… Holy moly, can you believe it? The day has finally come and gone, I have been waiting on this since JANUARY! We only transferred one embryo because my doctor said it was advanced and looked very strong. I am nervous about doing only one, but I trust my doctor. My beta test to check if I am pregnant is on the 27th, and in the meantime I am thinking positive thoughts to try and encourage the little one to implant!

And now the wait begins.

I am trying to think of things to so to stay occupied. I think I am going to download some books, watch lots of Netflix, and just try to take it easy but it’s so hard when you’re waiting to find out something that is so important to you. Any suggestions on how to stay busy and calm?

Here is a picture of my first ultrasound! This was taken right after the transfer… The white area is where the embryo is. You can’t actually see the embryo, you’re only seeing the fluid that contains the embryo, but I know it’s in there and that’s what counts 😍.

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Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, even if it’s just for me to survive the next 9 days of waiting! Haha!

The news I’ve been anxiously waiting for…

I got the call today from my doctor to go over how many eggs were mature and fertilized.

Of my 20 eggs, 19 were mature.
Of those 19 eggs, 18 fertilized.
Of the 18 fertilized, 17 continued to grow at the rate they should.

My facility grades the embryos on a scale of 1-4… 1 being absolutely perfect, and 4 being poor. The doctor said usually the embryos fall somewhere in the 2/3 range, and that 1’s are very rare due to the stringency of their grading. I have 9 embryos that are grade 2, and 8 embryos that are grade 3. My doctor assures me that this is great news, and that grade 2 embryos are awesome. Even grade 3 embryos can grow to become a perfectly healthy baby.

So there you have it, I have 17 embryos and my transfer is scheduled for this Saturday, the 17th. My doctor said he will give his recommendation on Saturday on whether we should transfer 1 or 2 embryos, depending upon how they look.

Color me excited!

egg retrieval down, the transfer to go…

Yesterday was the day of my egg retrieval, and I am excited to say that they retrieved 20 eggs! I am happy with that amount, and the doc said the procedure went smoothly.

The whole day was so weird for me, though. I really wasn’t too nervous for the procedure because a few weeks ago I had a polyp in my uterus removed, and I figured it couldn’t be any worse than that. So they bring me into the room, set up my IV, and then the next thing I remember is waking up alone and crying. And I mean uncontrollably crying. As soon as I realized I was crying, it dawned on me that the reason WHY I was crying was because I expected to wake up and see my husband next to me. The nurse came in about that time and asked me about my pain level thinking that’s why I was crying, and all I could blurt out was “I just miss my husband, I wish he was here.” Bless her little heart, she was super sweet and gave me a few minutes alone to compose myself. Later on when I spoke to my dad about what had happened, and rosemary too, they both told me they think that maybe somehow Dennis had been there in the room with me the whole time, and that’s why I was so upset when he wasn’t there when I woke up. I don’t know what I believe when it comes to that kind of stuff. I think that I was probably just dreaming about him while I was under, but the thought of him being there is comforting, even if far fetched.

Then I had to move and get dressed… And with that came a surge of pain. They told me to expect “cramping,” but this felt more like all of the organs in my lower abdomen were being squeezed all at once, which sent shooting pains through my body. Nothing even similar to cramping. Once I got home I went straight to bed to try and sleep it off, and I slept ALL DAY until this morning. I used a heating pad during some spurts of my sleep, and it seemed to help. This morning when I woke up, I felt about 80% better. Now as the day is ending I feel almost back to normal. I will say though, that this bloating is the worst it’s ever been, and I can’t wait to be rid of it!

The next step is waiting for my doctor to call me tomorrow (weds). He will call me and tell me how many embryos I have, what the quality of them are, when my transfer will be, and his recommendation of how many to transfer. My transfer will be either Thursday or Saturday, but he told me it will probably be Saturday. Either way I am extremely excited and anxious to get this phone call!

You guys, I may very well be pregnant by the end of this week. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?! I can’t believe it’s finally here. Fingers crossed!

GUESS WHAT?!

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This is my “today is my last day of IVF home injections” face, and I couldn’t be happier!

Don’t get me wrong, they were that bad, but obviously they weren’t enjoyable. Really the exciting thing about this is that my egg retrieval is on Monday. MONDAY! As in less than 48 hours. How exciting?! My doctor called me goldilocks today because he said my egg production was perfect, not too many and not too little. When I see my doctor get excited about what is going on, it makes me stress a little less because it is so encouraging.

So that’s the update – egg retrieval is on Monday, and then my transfer will be 3-5 days after that. If there’s such a thing as heaven, than I know my husband is up there doing his happy dance that things are going smoothly. ❤

HOORAH!

Officially halfway through my stims!

Whether I am on my stimming meds (injections) for 10 or 12 days, I am already halfway done! Today was day 6, and I’ve already done my injection for the night. I had an appointment on Saturday for my first check up since starting my injections, the appointment involves doing an ultrasound of my uterus (to check the thickness of the lining), and my ovaries (to check the status of my follicles).

I was SO NERVOUS for the appointment, because I was so afraid that I didn’t have enough follicles (each follicle contains an egg), or that I was over stimulating. One of the biggest risks to being on these meds is OHSS, or ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. This is a condition where the ovaries become enlarged, swollen, and painful. It can cause fluid retention leading to rapid weight gain, and shortness of breath. It is extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant, and it could put off an IVF cycle for a few months.

Fortunately, I had lots of follicles (between 20 and 25) and the doctor said I was responding to the meds “quite nicely.” They all measured between 4mm and 6mm, and the doctor told me he wanted me to go back to the office on Monday so they could keep a close watch. So today I went back in, and now my follicles are measuring between 6mm and 10mm. My doctor is very pleased and says I am right on track, and he’s keeping my dosages the same. Tomorrow I am starting ganorelix injections in the morning which will prevent ovulation from happening before the follicles are mature and ready. My next appointment is on Thursday where I will be monitored again.

So how am I feeling? I am feeling excited since everything is going according to plan. I have been having some hot flashes, but I haven’t been having many mood swings which is good. Bloating is starting to kick in, though, and that is only expected to get worse within the next 2 weeks.

it will all be worth it though, as long as it leads to a sweet little baby 🙂

My IVF cycle has officially begun!

Yesterday was the “official” start of my IVF cycle. Since January, I have been going to an infertility clinic in Daytona Beach to prepare for in vitro. I have had lots of testing done to make sure my body is ready, and after a few bumps in the road (I had a stupid polyp that needed to be removed, ugh!) I am back on track. Yesterday was the start of my injectable meds which will help my follicles mature rapidly, and at an even pace. This way, around the 14th of this month, they will be able to retrieve eggs that can then be fertilized. Doesn’t that sound so ridiculous? I guess there is no glamorous way to put it!

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Here is a picture of my current medications.

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And this is me yesterday, on day one of injections… Very anxious and nervous. Finally I worked up the courage and did it! The anticipation of shots are always worse than the actual shots themselves.

So far my only side effects haven’t been too bad, just hot flashes. I had two nasty hot flashes earlier today and I felt like my skin was going to melt right off of my body… It’s not a very pleasant feeling, but it is only a small price to pay if it leads me to a sweet little baby.

 

Lastly, I will leave you with a picture of me today after doing my day two injection. I was feeling determined and empowered with my WWDD? T-shirt 🙂 

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Stay tuned for future posts within the next few days! The purpose of this blog is so I can look back and reflect on this journey, and so that I can document everything that I experience along the way.

An introduction to something BIG!

As I sit here chewing on my prenatal gummies, winding down from my latest hormone injection, I think about what has brought me to the biggest, most important, scary and special journey of my life; My journey to motherhood.

Hold on, hold on… Let me start at the TRUE beginning. 

Now it really began when I first met Dennis. As cliché as it sounds, we fell in love, got married, and we had a life plan. I was going to finish nursing school, and he was going to become a counselor for people who had been affected, in any way, by the monster that is cancer. This plan included staying in Florida to be close to both of our families, and this plan most importantly included children. If we had a boy, his name would be Dennis Jr… and if it were a girl, her name would be Layla Bell. Few of these things happened, I never finished nursing school and Dennis never got the chance to be a counselor.

Eventually, cancer ended Dennis’s life, but it didn’t end our dream of having a family or the love that we shared. When we found out that Dennis needed chemo, and that it would prevent him from having children, we made plans so that we could have children in the future through IVF – in vitro fertilization. And that, my friends, is how I got here. This is how i find myself right in the middle of an IVF cycle. I always knew I would have our children, I was just waiting until I felt ready enough to embark on this adventure alone. Becoming a parent is a huge deal, and I wanted to make sure that I could do it. The more I began to think about it, the more I realized that I am not alone. Not only do I have an overwhelming feeling that Dennis is still taking care of me through the opportunities that he has given me, but I have the most amazing family and friends supporting me. One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve been given is that ‘raising a child takes a village,’ I just have to be willing to accept help from the people that love me and Dennis most. I can’t think of a better way to live my life now than to have a little piece of Dennis here with me, and to know that something so beautiful and precious came from our love and time together. If our child is even just half the person that their Dad was, I truly believe they can change the world. Dennis lives in the stories we tell of him, in the memories that his friends and family have. He lives in the smile of his Mom, and the mannerisms of his Dad. He lives in his brother’s humor, and the intelligence and passion of his sisters. He lives in the the beating of my heart, in every crevice of my mind, and in the entirety of my soul.

 

Soon he will live on through our child.