My ramblings about my infertility treatment. I never wrote a blog before. I'm a 35 year old woman hoping to have my first baby this year. My boyfriend is a cancer survivor so IVF is our best option right now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting for the Ultrasound

So, it's been a while. I am now in my 6th week of pregnancy (5 weeks and 4 days to be exact).  My ultrasound is March 4th and I am pretty freaked out about miscarriage, eptopic pregnancy, no heartbeat, etc. etc.

I look up statistics on eptopic pregnancies and miscarriages and first freak myself out and then find some that I like. After I comfort myself, I start to dream of this new life growing inside me. It's amazing!

It's really really exciting, but at the same time, just terrifying! I think it has to do with the nature of IVF - it's so odds based and medical to begin with, so no wonder I am sitting here calculating the odds still. Til I see that heartbeat! Then I'm going shopping!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So, if you read my last post you know I have leftover digital tests. Yesterday, the digital test read out was "not pregnant" and this morning I decided to try again because I'd already wasted the money on them and I got the digital read out "pregnant" well, not "pregnant" per se because I live in Holland it said "zwanger" but that's good enough for me!!! Yaay! Since I first got the neagative and then the positive I think this is a good sign.

Haven't told my partner yet because he thought I was being silly to test so early, but I am now cautiously optimistic.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So I just found out that apparently I wasted a boatload of money on digital pregnancy tests. I went out on Monday evening and bought 2 packs of 3. Why do they suck? Because you just get the read out of pregnant or not pregnant (or an error message which is what I got on the first one). Hey, that's all well and good right? Then you remove the strip from the digital unit and there are lines...hmmmm this looks familiar. I have what looks like a dark line and a light line. Well that sure looks like a faint positive to me. Two lines is positive right? No. Because you can't read the lines. Makes no sense to me. You put lines on a pregnancy test and they are irrelevant?!?! Apparently so.

And before y'all start saying, "why the hell didn't you read the instructions?" Well I can't. Because it's written in a foreign language. And I only understand that language at the 5th grade level which makes reading pregnancy test details quite difficult. But I found this online. it's good to know, but I wish I knew this a few days ago. Read for yourself here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Did It ...

I peed on a stick. Is that how you write peed? Maybe it should be peeed or pee-ed, but then thats a whole lot of 'e's. I could look it up, but I am far too lazy for such things. Anyway, I went after work today to buy some tests for the future and I was so possessed that I  went to the nearest bathroom and whipped out the stick and pee-ed on it like a junkie needing a fix.  I am 6 days post day 3 transfer so thats is 11 days post trigger, and my trigger dose was 6500, not that 10,000 that a lot of women get. Anyway...... I got a big fat .... inconclusive. It was a clearblue digital and it couldn't determine whether I'm preggo or not. Haha, serves me right for trying so early, with very diluted urine. I did have a very very very faint second line which is either leftover HCG or my very own baby making hormone.

So, now I have 5 tests left and plan to test every morning to develop a "trend" until I get a final result. Kind of fun, kind of insane, and that way I won't have any surprises. I am feeling sort of hopeful based on my "symptoms," but also trying to stay realistic that I may very well be feeling things that aren't really there and that I am on progesterone which *might* be responsible for some of the symptoms. I've been pregnant before and I know what HCG does to me --- it gives me something akin to pregnancy narcolepsy. And I attain the ability to smell, not cigarette smoke, but cigarette ashes. Anyway, here's hoping that line gets darker tomorrow!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fifteen Pounds? WTF?

So, I weighed myself today and since starting with stims at the beginning of this month, I've gained 15 pounds?!? I haven't gained 15 pounds in 3 weeks in my entire life. Before starting, my weight was steady. I  don't have any of the OHSS symptoms, so it's either water weight gain or my metabolism has gone insane. And I don't mean to complain, but it seems really excessive to me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am Peggy Ann McKay

I am now 2dpd3t. I'm officially in 2ww hell. Every twinge must be analyzed. Everything means something. It's pretty funny and I blame the fact that for those of us hoping to conceive through IVF, everything is medical and precise. Most women don't see their potential children until they are 20 weeks WEEKS along. We see our potential future children when they are only 6 or 8 cells big. 

We've been poked and prodded so much by the time that the 2ww arrives, it's no wonder we are certain that we can FEEL the teeny tiny microscopic embryo implanting. Just as we KNOW that the twinge we felt at 1:46 am most certainly means that we are not pregnant. Of course it's nuts (especially at 2dpd3t), but it doesn't stop us from googling every thing our body does or doesn't do. 

Here's one of my favorite childhood poems - Peggy Ann very well could have been in the 2ww. 

Sick  by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do Clinics Actually Give Personalized Odds of Success?

I came upon a free fertility success calculator and it made me wonder whether clinics took all your information, did some calculations and gave you a concrete number. "Well Mr. Smith, your sperm looks good, but there's not a whole lot of it. And Mrs. Smith is 33 so when I plug that into the machine [bleep, bleep, bleep] your chance of success is 43.25% over 3 cycles." Does that really happen?

It doesn't happen at my clinic - no one ever spoke of odds. And I'm not to sure I'd want really, really specific numbers like that anyway. But I find it interesting. I got very general messages "Your follicles look good" type stuff. There is also a language barrier as I live in a country where I can't speak the language well enough to converse with doctors about medical things in the local language. So there's always stuff that gets lost in translation.

You'll find the IVF success calculator here.

The Language of IVF (I'm in 2WW - 1dp3dt)

IVF folk, like twins, have their own language. The language of IVF is second nature to me now, but it wasn't always that way.  Learning the language is pretty overwhelming at first. By the time you are in your 2WW, you are considering adding IVF Language to your CV/resume.

I found this list - I think it is pretty funny and I think that things that are funny help the 2WW go by quicker with a better chance of maintaining sanity. It's about the 2WW and IVF speak.

2WW Syndrome

You might have 2WW Syndrome if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Familiarity with the acronym POAS and using it frequently in a messageboard setting. 
  • Repeated questioning when to take a home pregnancy test (HPT) while knowing the answer. 
  • Wishing HCG would go away fast  and then come back even faster. 
  • Stockpiling evil test kits. 
  • Complete disinterest in anything unrelated to an IVF or pregnancy Google search. 
  • Knowing what 6dp3dt means. 
  • Persistent dreams about two lines. 
  • Urinembryophobia - the fear of peeing out embryos. 
  • Desire for 10 days of bed rest or medically induced hibernation. 
  • Being wished 'sticky thoughts' by complete strangers. 
  • Obsessive analysis of every body twinge. 
  • Being certain of pregnancy signs at any given moment. 
  • Being certain of a negative results the next minute. 
  • Not sure if one should laugh or cry, for no reason whatsoever. 
  • The desire to hide from in-laws. 
  • Belief that some food groups conspire to attack embryos. 
  • Talking to a higher power, even if not religious.

How to Drive Yourself Crazy

So if you are like me, you can't just read the literature the doctor gives and follow her recommendations, but you have to scour the internet for tips and tricks so as to up your chances of getting a BFP and possibly drive yourself insane. Some of these tips and tricks, "Dos and Don'ts" if you will, are perfectly reasonable, common sense type stuff,  but some of them are just designed to make you feel like a it's gotta be your fault that the cycle was unsuccessful. And that sucks and is why I hate those lists. 

For Instance (from a list of IVF "dos and don'ts"):

Eat healthy fresh fruits and veggies: Ok, this one is not crazy. A balanced diet seems to make sense in most, if not all, situations. Not really IVF specific, just good advice for life.

Follow Your Doctor's Instructions: Right, I'm on board with this one too. Nothing crazy here.

Have your water checked for lead level: Here we go ... Because you probably are already cycling and full of hormones. The fear of lead filled water is probably not what you need to think about right now. If, god forbid, there are toxic levels of lead in your water, let's just hope you've found it already.

Light exercise (gardening, walk, golf): I am all about "light" exercise. I think it's perfectly reasonable, but gardening?  Gardening is always mentioned as the perfect example of light exercise and I don't get it. I live in an apartment and it's winter. I'm not gardening.

Macagen' root extract: This falls under the category of things I don't know how to pronounce, never mind knowing what they are or their purpose. So with things like this there are two camps - those who figure out what it is, take it, and swear by it and those like me who are too lazy to be bothered. If it was that important, I do think someone would have mentioned it before coming across it on an IVF dos and dont's list. 

Pineapple core:  Oh, pineapple core. It is held up high in IVF circles. Apparently, ya gotta buy it fresh and ya gotta eat the core. And ya gotta eat a whole lot of it to get the benefit - something to do with implantation.  I tried it - once. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but it's not for me.

Pure organic raspberry leaf tea: Yeah, another one of those.  Probably 2nd to the pineapple core. Hey, I even looked for this in a couple of stores and never saw it - only raspberry tea. And I don't like raspberry tea.

Avoid contact with reptiles: How does this make it on the list? I generally try to avoid contact with reptiles. And zombies. But I don't think they need to be on the list.

Avoid herpes: Again, don't most people try to avoid herpes generally? Is this supposed mean that during IVF I should be  extra vigilant against catching herpes? As if normally I'd make out with the troll under the bridge with the mouth sores no question, but shucks, I'm cycling so I can't. 

Avoid hot dogs: This is another one that is not really IVF specific. Do people still eat hot dogs? Do people really need to be told that eating animal scraps is unhealthy? I think this is a general "don't" that hopefully you hear about before IVF.

Avoid X-Rays:  C'mon. Yes, avoid x-rays. While you're at it, don't plan a holiday in Chernobyl while cycling. Don't join a MMA club. Don't sleep on a bed of fire. Don't lick your injection needles.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's official. I'm pregnant until proven otherwise. I've got one 8 celled embie in me - hoping it implants and grows.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tomorrow is my ET

So tomorrow is my ET and then I enter the dreaded 2WW. This journey has taken longer than I thought it would and in another way I am shocked to be at this point already.

I thought I'd try to kill time by writing about my experiences. Maybe it will comfort others as well as they go though this baby quest. 

So, my clinic says I have to wait until 18 days after transfer to POAS and then, and only then, will they be bothered with acknowledging a BFP. Pffft! As if I could wait 2 weeks, never mind 18 days. I once opened all my Christmas presents a week before Christmas and ruined the surprise I would have had of opening my very own Cabbage Patch doll on Christmas morning.

So I decided to get all nerdy and look up the HCG half-life, calculate how long it will be in my body, and then determine when I can POAS. According to my very unscientific waste of a half hour (ok, well the half-life part is scientific, but probably unreliable) I can start on my POAS spree on the 26th and should have real results at the latest, February 1st. Of course I could just wait 18 days, but that would just be silly. And impossible for someone as impatient as me!

I was looking up stuff to do and not do in general and during the 2WW. The background for this is that I live in a country where I can't speak the language well enough to understand what the hell the doctors are saying. And my boyfriend isn't the best translator, so I get the basic information and then scour the internet to fill in the blanks and make myself insane.