Friday, July 29, 2016

Mary's 1st beta

Sorry I'm posting this so late, it's been a hectic day.  So, today I'm 4 weeks along and my beta at 14 dpiui is 311!!  Yes, it's a good number and yes, it's high.  It's actually the medium beta for triplets according to betabase.  I know betas don't always mean anything, I've seen multiples with low numbers (like my friend who's beta was 45 and found out today she's having twins) and higher numbers don't always indicate multiples.  I think I would be shocked to find out I'm carrying one, but glad and honestly, that was my preference.  I think right now I just hope no more than two, but the reality is I had three eggs and that chance is there.  We'll see.  It absolutely terrifies me to think of multiples, but right now I'm going to try my hardest not to focus on that.  Right now I'm going to try hard and focus on the fact that right now I AM pregnant and right now Mary is doing awesome and that's all that matters.  Tomorrow will come, but for now I'm in today.  It's the only way I can do this.

On Monday I have my second and last beta and the ultrasound will be scheduled then.  I'm guessing it's on 8/12.

Well...  This was the "Hail Mary" and I do live in Texas, so go big or go home?

Praying this works out.  Here's my last strip of testing.



Some symptoms have kicked in.  I have nausea starting today, my pregnancy insomnia has been going on since about Wednesday, and I've had a touch of round ligament pain today.  All in all, not complaining.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Progress

Today I'm 13 dpiui and tomorrow is beta.  My lines show up better with SMU, so I haven't tested yet today.  Yesterday it took me a long time to get a test because I seem to have some kind of stomach bug that lands me in the bathroom frequently, joy.  Dealing with it today too and I hope it passes soon.  Naturally, I'm terrified of any kind of illness and I'm lucky that since I was last hospitalized in Sept, I've been very healthy.  I went nuts on a bunch of vitamins and I am a user of essential oils and use a health one daily and will continue to do so.  I will also ask for frequent monitoring of infections, but one step at a time.

Here's the progression so far.  I've had a few people ask and I'm careful where I post these because there are many others still trying for their BFP and I'd hate for anything I have to cause someone else pain.  The lines are looking good and I do suspect multiples, not just due to lines, but it's a gut feeling.  I told DH this will either not work at all or it will and there will be more than one.  He's eerily calm about this, I'm not, but I keep going back to focus on today, focus on today.  Today everything is okay, today the pregnancy is going well, today "Mary" is thriving and that's all I can do for now.

I've had an outpouring of congrats and support.  It's really meant a lot to me.  Anyone who's seen me from the start or even a few months ago can see that I'm handling this emotionally better than I did Ivy.  Ivy is the reason why this was able to happen.  Ivy led me to healing after I realized how lost and broken I was.  I'd like to think that my three, beautiful angels, are watching over "Mary" and helping keep everything well until "Mary" can join our family in person.  But that's a long road off and I'm only focused on today.

Progress so far.  The first FRER is 10 dpiui, I just didn't have a chance to mark it.  For anyone not familiar with fertility treatments, in my case dpiui = dpo.




I'll update with beta results tomorrow once I get them. They tend to come later in the day.

My thyroid appt was kind of a bust. I'm going to get the testing that was recommended, but I'm not sure I like the clinic.  I felt very dismissed about everything, I newly pregnant, and while happy, I'm terrified, there's also grief, it's just a lot, although I'm doing what I can to remain optimistic.  Anyways, I felt like she didn't care about anything I had to say.  I did meet with the PA and not dr.  I explained my loss history and my thyroid issues, explained how I currently feel. She said all she cared about for pregnancy was my TSH, but they are testing a few things and want to do an u/s on my thyroid.  My followup isn't until 8/17.  I'd hoped for a sooner followup and also a script, because my free t3 is low.  I'm going to look around and see if I can find another clinic.  I'll call the recommended one with the weight loss and see if being pregnant helps me get an appt sooner.

For now I'm mostly okay, trying to stay positive and think good things.  I don't know how long "Mary" will live or be a physical part of me, so I'm trying to take advantage of all the time I do get.  Other than the stomach thing, I'm doing okay.

Thank you everyone for your words of support, encouragement, and for supporting me on this journey.  It means so much to me.

Monday, July 25, 2016

10 dpiui

I know I left the last one off on a cliffhanger and a few people have been wondering what's happened.  Yesterday I honestly wasn't sure and didn't feel too optimistic, then today's test put in "Phase 2".

I am cautiously optimistic to call this a BFP.  I will, of course, be testing, but right now I feel comfortable enough calling it.  Both the bottom tests are today, and the last one is only with a two hour hold.


So, naturally I'm feeling a million different ways.  I'm scared, so scared.  I'm trying to remain optimistic and keep my mind from going to questions, such as "how long with Mary will live?" "How many Mary's are there?"  I'm petrified of losing "Mary" and at the same time I'm so glad I've been given the chance to add to my family.  This definitely adds to my family regardless of outcome and I'm trying to make the most of each day with "Mary", something I unfortunately didn't do with Ivy.

Once I knew, I had to tell the hubs.  He's been very anxious and asking me all the time and very sad about the thought of Katie being our only living child.  With the help of a good friend, I obtained this shirt and little Miss Kate greeted "dada" in all her glory today.


Outside of a small circle of people, I'm not sharing this info right now, so the shirt will mostly be tucked away and hopefully can come out later.  

So, what's next?

7/26-I have an appt tomorrow with Thyroid specialist.  This is of utmost importance now.
7/29-I'll be 14 dpiui and this is the date of my beta.
8/1-Beta #2, assuming the first one is a strong number and also a consult with my RE.
8/12-I'll be 7 weeks and I'm guessing my viability ultrasound.  It should get scheduled on 8/1 so I'll know for sure then.
Viability is Katie's 3rd birthday 12/16!!  If I can make it here, then "Mary" has a "chance" at life.  Nothing is certain, of course.  My HEDD is 4/7/17.

It's a long, long road from here to bringing home a baby, but without a BFP, my journey would already be over.  I'm very lucky and grateful to be given this chance and I hope "Mary" will join our family in the same manner as her oldest sister. We will always remember and honor ALL of our children and I'm a lucky mom to all of them, including this pregnancy. One day at a time, today I am pregnant. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The final 2ww


So here I am, 8 dpiui, after today, it's going to be reality. Feels like a game show, am I going to phase 2 or is it game over?  Today it feels like game over, but even if I continue to play, the fear will be there.  For the first week I was pretty calm, after all, nothing much happens in the first week.  The second week?  That's when I struggle and since about Thurs, 6 dpiui, I've been having depression.

It started when a person I know gave birth to her twins on Thursday.  I am thrilled for her and it was good to see the whole family healthy, happy, and together.  Of course I thought about my own twins, my story, the one that ended differently than that.  It doesn't matter that it's been nearly 14 months, it still hurts.  It will always hurt.  I miss them.  I miss them all so much. 

Friday was better, but still hard.  I ended up going to a Pot Luck Memorial Dinner for an amazing person who passed away in June.  She was a friend and co-worker.  I got to know her more this year than before and even moreso the past couple of months.  She's the one who gave me the Femara I used this cycle. I'd like to think she's with my babies and cheering me on.  What seemed to her to be discarded meds she no longer needed were to me a chance at another life.  Another co-worker brought her month old daughter.  It was my second time seeing this precious baby and while the first time I easily held and looked at her, this time it hurt. I kept seeing all the newborn stuff babies do, the hands, the faces, the sounds, just all of it and my heart broke.  It broke because Katie's grown up so quick.  She's become a little girl, not a baby.  It broke because I have three amazing children I wish I could've seen and held at this stage and I won't get too.  Finally it broke, because this might be "game over."

Today I'm pessimistic, I'm moody.  I'm scared.  I'm so scared.  I don't feel like it worked.  I just don't.  My poor husband.  He keeps asking me if I know yet, wants to know when I'll know.  I'm delaying telling him that I'll most likely know in the next 48 hours.  That with Katie and the twins the test turned darker at 9 dpiui and with Ivy it was 10 dpiui.  Of course I always need a few days of darkening to feel secure in a bfp.  The trigger is faint, but still present, but I'll know how this worked or didn't in 48 hours.  It will devastate him if it doesn't. I can see it in his eyes and it kills me.



This sentiment is the torture of the two week wait.  In reality if I find out I passed phase one and onto phase two, I'll remain here.  If it's over, then it will be agony.  I will get through it because that's what we humans do.  We deal with our circumstances the best we can and move forward.  I have Katie and many walk away without any child to raise. 

I colored this picture.  I started yesterday and finished today.  Hanging onto that hope and agony as I colored each item. I felt like teenager with a flower, BFP, BFN, BFP, BFN.  It's torture. It's purgatory.



Tonight I'll have a relaxing bath and drink what I hope is my last glass of wine for quite a while and cry, hope, and despair. I'll cry for Katie who's growing up too fast for me, for Emma and Chase who I got to carry for 19 precious weeks, deliver their bodies, and hold each one for a few hours, for Ivy, the baby who got the worst of me.  The baby who felt the anguish I carried for his older siblings.  So much anguish it was hard to feel the love I had for him.  And for "Mary" who at this moment is only a dream, but begging for reality.

And we will see.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kindness of others

There's one thing I've been amazed about since I lost Emma and Chase.  It's been the extreme kindness and support of people.  I'm going to honestly say, I don't think I'm that great a person at all.  In fact, I very much despise myself and yes, this is being addressing in therapy, but it's very slow going because I struggle more than I could ever explain.

Anyways, it started with the group of people I've met throughout my infertility journey and those close to me in my life.  I figured as time went on people would forget about me.  I know to me this is a major thing in my life, 3 of my kids are gone. No matter what happens with this cycle, rainbow or not, nothing will ever change the fact that they are gone and I miss them and I'd give anything to have them back.  My life is touched and changed.  I don't regret a single day with my kids, only that it was too short.  However, they are MY kids, so this is expected.  However, even though I'm now almost 14 months out from the loss of the twins and 5 months out from losing Ivy, people do care, people are still there for me.  I'm amazed, humbled, and honored.  I think this has to do more with my babies than with me, because again, I'm not that great a person.

I have people who have done random acts of kindness in the name of my kids, given me gift cards for a date night, keepsakes with my children's name on them, random messages and cards letting me know I'm being thought of, or pictures of rainbows, skies, and just things that make people think of my children in their day to day life.  All of this means so much to me.  I know there's people reading this blog who are praying and thinking of me and I probably have no idea who you are.  I'm seriously humbled and amazed and in tears over the kindness and caring my kids and I have received.  I hope everyone knows how much this means to me.  How real my kids are and how much they continue to exist in my world and will forever.

Yesterday, someone shared with me pictures that were colored in memory and thought of my children and I.  This person told me she's been thinking about us all a lot.  This was extra touching because even "Mary" was included.  A dream, prayer, and hope child.  Someone who isn't and may never be real.  We'll see.  When I said this, she said, that's why I made her picture rainbow colors. Someone spent time, with a vision, and us in thought.  I'm truly amazed.  I can't thank everyone enough for caring.

I wanted to share the pictures and she's going to send them to me.  I'll have to frame them once they're here and put them up, I can't wait!!

To everyone who supports me, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.






Friday, July 15, 2016

IUI Day - "Hail Mary"

Well, today was the big day.  I've been all kinds of emotions the past few days and even this morning I was so anxious I thought I was going to throw up.  I felt better once I picked up DH and I had so much love and support from the circle who knows what's going on.

I'm okay at the moment, my right side is hurting like hell.  I hope I get to bring home one more baby, but we will see.  It's out of my hands now and as best as I can I'm trying to "let go and let God," when fears come to my mind I'm trying to push them away, but it's hard.  I go to the "what if" scenario a lot.

So the stats. On paper it's really picture perfect.  You can't ask for anything better.  I'm scared for the amount of follies, but here's how the cycle ended up:
Right: 3 follies, 22, 21, 20
Estrogen: 323 (I did take Femara so this can only say so much, but for IUI it's a phenomenal number even without the Femara)
Lining: 8.66
Sperm: 11 million

I've been hanging onto this today to help me through it.




This morning I had my kids with me and lit candles to help bring me peace and acceptance that whatever happens, happens.  Some how, some way, it's going to be okay.



Everyone at my clinic was awesome.  I had a few coordinators walk into the room after the IUI just to tell me they were praying for me and wishing me luck.  The nurse practitioner who has done every successful IUI, Mary, did my IUI today even though the coordinators now do them, because she knew it was important to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Scared

I'm just so incredibly scared.  What am I doing?  Is this right?  I want to run and hide.  I feel like I'm either going to get a BFN or multiples. I'm not trying to replace the children I lost, they aren't with me and I'll forever love and miss them.  I just wanted to raise more than one and have Katie grow up with a sibling.  I know the "consequence" or "side effect" of these treatments is the possibility of multiples. I also know the whole thing could just not work out.  I know even a BFP doesn't mean I'll bring home a living child(ren).

I'm second guessing myself.  Should I have walked away and not done this last chance?  I'm scared, so scared.  I just wanted more than one child at home.  Was that wrong?  Am I making a mistake?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Follie check #2 of "Hail Mary"

I had my second and last follie check and blood work this morning. Stats:

Left: Nothing
Right: 22, 21, 20
Lining: 8.66
E2: 323

Instructions-Trigger tonight at 11:00 pm and IUI on Friday at 11:00 am

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To say I'm scared right now is an understatement.  I am downright terrified. Like petrified fear.  What am I scared of?  I'm scared it won't work.  I'm scared it will work.  I'm scared of multiples, actually, terrified of multiples. I'm scared of losing more baby/ies.

The right side has been the one that's given me success. With Katie I had one on the right, two on the left. With the twins, I had two on the right, one on the left.  I forget the failed cycle, but I can look.  I want to say one each.  With Ivy, I had two on my right, none on my left.  This is the first time I've ever had 3 on my right.  This is the highest my e2 has ever been.  I'm just scared.  Anything is possible and I can choose to risk and go and choose to run away and hide.

I want to run away because I'm so scared, but I want another baby.  I'd prefer Katie not grow up alone and this is the risk and chance I have to take for this to happen.  I don't have other options.  So on Friday I'll go in for the IUI and pray that somehow, someway, however this cycle turns out, that it's going to be okay.  That if there isn't conception, I can let go in my heart, accept the child I do get to raise and the others who live in my heart and go on.  That if there is conception that the child(ren) be healthy and born alive.  That if I lose another child, I can somehow find peace.  More than anything I hope for peace inside my heart, that's what's best for my family.

I thought my husband would be more scared, but he isn't.  He said lets just go with it and then whatever happens, we will be okay and deal with it.  I'm glad I have therapy tonight, but I am so scared I can barely breathe.

Please, God, just let it be okay.  Please.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Follie check #1 of "Hail Mary"

I had my first follie check this morning.  I'll go ahead and post the stats.

Left: Nothing
Right: 17, 15, 13, 11
Lining: 8.1 mm
E2: 120

Instructions for Mon and Tues:
Gonal F: 150 IU
Menopur: 75 IU

Wed morning U/S & B/W and further instructions.  My guess is trigger Wed, IUI on Fri.
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I'm still emotionally whatever.  To me, it's a long way away from seeing some follicles on a screen and bringing home a baby.  I think I'll end up with two mature follies and one "kinda".  I don't think the 11 will grow enough, but honestly that's fine.  I want "a" baby. I'm not trying for twins or multiples or anything.  I'd like to bring home one healthy, living child.  I'm aware this carries the risk of twins, that's how I got Emma and Chase and I'm okay with that.

Hubby is kinda freaking out over all of this, but I told him if he wants done, then we're done.  I know in his mind he sees like 3 or 4 babies right now, but we all know how unlikely that scene is. Heck, to me, even one is pretty unlikely, but we'll see.  I have no control over this, over anything.  I just have to do what I can and accept the rest.  For me it's just doing what my RE is telling me to.  That's why I stopped fighting about the thyroid, etc.  I just said whatever.  He's the guy who's supposed to help me conceive.

Speaking of thyroid.  The palps have stayed "better", they aren't gone and I can still feel them more times than others.  I did find a thyroid specialist that I feel comfortable checking out and my appt is 7/26.  I'm VERY sure I need a diff med than the one I'm on and hopefully I'll like this doctor.  The location is really good too.

So, that's about it.  Just keep going and see what's what on Wed

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hit me with your best shot

So, last night started the shots.  Today I took my last Femara.  I've had a wicked headache and some issues sleeping, but otherwise no side effects.  My anxiety has been very manageable.  I'm pretty checked out emotionally and just going through the motions. I've also just been planning for life with a family of 3 and focusing on after TTC plans.  I have:

* Turning the extra bedroom into a play room for Katie.
* Tattoo for my birthday.  I know what, just not sure where.  It's a family piece so that I can have my family as a physical part of me.
* Redoing master.  I want to rearrange furniture, paint walls, and get a new comforter.  I'm thinking seafoam and tan color.  Just something peaceful and relaxing.
* Focus on thyroid and health and honestly myself.  I'm going to continue with counseling because it's become so much more than my fertility and losses, but I'll probably take a break to regroup myself and head back.
* Sell off Katie's baby things.  Keeping a few things that mean a lot, but otherwise selling it.

The heart palps are a lot better.  I'd say about 85-90% better.  I still have moments where it can be kinda bad and it's still a little bit harder than normal, but it's manageable.  I did find a thyroid specialist and I have an appt on 7/26.  The location is super convenient to my job, so I hope I like this person.  I'm very convinced I'm on the wrong medication altogether, but I'm scared to stop it, so I'm just saying on the half dose for now.

I am bootless!!  Back to walking on my two feet.  It actually took the full six weeks to recover from falling down the stairs on Chase's birthday.

I always take a pic of the first shot, honestly I'm not sure why, but here goes. I guess it's really the first of the last.  Ultrasound and bloodwork tomorrow, so I'll update once I have confirmed info.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Thyroid update/emotional

I started having heart palpitations on the 4th of July.  I was stressed family was coming, then they did and I was drinking, I didn't think much of it.  Stopped drinking alcohol as it intensified and figured it would be gone.  It wasn't.  Worse yesterday, got so bad at night I could not sleep.  Took a sleeping med to knock me out.  It's bad again today.  As I type this I literally feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest.  It's horrible.

I called my REs office, begging for my thyroid numbers.  They weren't releasing any testing to me because not everything is back.  I explained the palpitations and I've been having worse than usual insomnia and I asked to please tell me what they are.

I got into an argument with the nurse. She did give me numbers, but I had to pull them out of her.  I was shocked some didn't change much and she told me it was because they won't ever change and I didn't understand.  She was snippy and hung up on me saying my RE would call me.

I decided to get a labcrop account, see if anything more was in there.  I didn't realize what I'd see. I made my account, logged in and BAM, 5 years of infertility stared at me. 5 years of pain, anguish, joy (Katie and the twins-for a while), loss, just all of it there. I saw my OB, where I first went asking if I had an issue, RE #1, RE #2, RE #3 (current RE), new OB after I conceived, back to RE, twins, back to OB, then I switched OBs, then it was goodbye.  Back to RE, Ivy, back to RE, now.  5 years of trying to have a family, 5 years of hoping, praying, wanting, rejoicing at Katie, and then pain I can't even describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it after her.

I know how the story will probably end. But I guess it's not over yet.  I cried as I stared at the labs and then my RE called me.  He calmed me down, explained that the antibodies will NEVER be normal.  The medication is doing what my thyroid can't do.  It's instead of, that number won't ever change much. He said once Hashi's is dx, they don't even test it anymore. He said for me to cut the pill in half, take .0.025 mg of the Levy (generic synthroid) to help with heart palpitations and insomnia.  I asked about the cycle, he said it would be okay, just keep going.

So, I keep going, because what choice do I have?  Right? Therapy night.

Here's numbers for anyone interested:

May:Free T3 2.5 (2.3-4.2)
Free T4 1.02 (.82-1.77)
TSH 1.650 (.450-4.5)
Thyroid Antibody 7.9 (0.0-0.9)

June:Free T3 2.8 (2.0-4.4)
Free T4 1.38 (.82-1.77)
TSH 1.180 (.450-4.5)
Thyroid Antibody 7.6 (0.0-0.9)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The "Hail Mary" begins

Yesterday, I started CD 1.  I somehow knew it would come on the fourth.  I just felt it.  However, when I woke up I had no sign of AF and then boom, an hour later, along with the fun cramping.  Luckily CD 1 is drink all the drinks, and well, holiday time, meant drink time, lol!

The synthroid has continued to be life changing.  Yes, that big a difference.  I can't explain how much better I feel.  I'm still in counseling, still working on things that happened to me, mostly in my childhood right now.  We bounce around a lot depending on my needs, but in case anyone was wondering, I still see her twice a week.

When AF started I also remembered 4th of July, three years ago.  I went to the ER, crying.  I was 16 weeks pregnant with Katie and I started bleeding.  I sat in the ER as I was being ignored, because I hadn't reached viability and just cried.  I knew bleeding past the first tri was bad news.  It ended up that I had a low lying placenta that was irritated.  I continued bleeding off and on from week 16-24 when the placenta finally moved.  Had it not, I would've been put on bed rest at 28. I ended up on bed rest at 33 weeks after being hospitalized for pre-term labor, but that's a different story. Yesterday was also the "new moon," hopefully a time for new beginnings.

The point is this is one cycle where I had a memory associated with Katie, unlike Ivy, who so mirrored the twins, at the time I couldn't separate the pregnancies, and of course, Ivy didn't get to home like the twins either.

This time, though, I had a memory related to the baby I did take home.  My pregnancy with Katie was scary.  I had a lot of things happen.  Me being ignorant and not wanting to be the paranoid pregnancy girl calling my OB or L&D every five minutes didn't help, but I've learned a lot and ultimately Katie was born only one day before her due date, perfectly healthy.

Anyways, so it begins.  I'm CD 2 today of my "Hail Mary" cycle.  I feel a million different ways, but right now I'm calmer than I've ever been going into a cycle.  I'm hopeful, but realistic.  I want baby "Mary" more than anything, but I'm aware it probably won't happen and I'll walk away from this with the four children I have.  One to raise, three angels who are with me in heart and spirit.

I'm focusing on "after TTC" projects. I'd like a redo on the master bedroom.  Paint color, new blanket, rearrange some furniture.  I have Katie's infant stuff in a room, so I can take pics and sell off and get her more "big girl" fun stuff. I'm going to be crushed and disappointed when it doesn't work, but hoping these projects will help distract me.  I've also started looking into "only child" groups, so I can focus on the positives and also make sure I'm giving her the best life I can.

Anyways, for now, I'm on my last chance to bring home one last baby. My schedule is this:
Femara 5 mg CD 3-7
Gonal F 150 iu CD 6-7
Menopur 75 iu CD 6-7

My first follie check will be CD 8-Monday the 11th.  My clinic was closed yesterday so I'll find out what time today, but I'm sure it will be mid morning.  If I look at prior cycles, I'll have my follie checks Mon and Wed. Continue with injections Mon and Tues (So CD 8 and 9), Trigger CD 10 (Wed) and IUI Friday the 15th (CD 12).

Painted my toes yesterday for good luck.  All kids colors are represented, including the child I hope to conceive and bring home.

Purple-Kate
Pink-Emma
Blue-Chase
Green-Ivy
Yellow-"Mary"

Please, if you're reading this.  Take a minute to say a prayer, good vibe, wish, whatever that this please, please work.

Let the games begin.......




Friday, July 1, 2016

5 years ago today

5 years ago today, DH and I started TTC.  I'd graduated with my masters that May, we'd been married for 6 years, things just felt right.  I was 30 and he was 31.  We figured plenty of time to try and have two children before age 35.  I didn't think anything of it.  I joined babycenter and the Getting Pregnant board and was all ready to get started with conception.  I had no idea what I was in for.  Neither family had a history of fertility concerns or anything like that.

5 years later, I have one living child, three angels, and I'm on the end of my journey.  I had my bloodwork and baseline appt.  I'm 8 dpo and AF should be here next week.  They don't need any cd 3 numbers, they have current info.  They took the blood they needed today and also make sure I didn't have cysts.  My lining was nice and thick, so it's good to know the D&C didn't affect that.

So, this is it.  I call once CD 1 starts and I start the journey to the end.