BFN

Yeah sorry guys.  I wish I had better news for you.  But this is not it.  God has other plans.  I will grieve the loss of being able to see a blend of myself and my husband in my child.  I know it’s going to be tough, but I truly believe that we’ll get to hold our child one day.

Thanks for all the love.

Now I have to go and focus on the rest of the work day.

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MicroblogMondays: Beta Day

Microblog_Mondays

Today is beta day.  Fourteen days past 2 day transfer.  Sixteen days past ovulation.

It also marks the day we find out if a child genetically linked to me will be a possibility in nine months, or if this is the end of one journey and the beginning of the next journey.  There is a sense of finale.

It feels huge to me.

I have been very calm and at peace, except for that one Friday morning.  And then Sunday night, I was a little more nervous, but nothing debilitating.  Overall, my emotions are as good as can be for someone in her two week wait.

I will go in today at around 8:30am to get my blood drawn.  I hope that my nurse will call me late morning or early afternoon.  She wrote me last week answering my question and saying “Fingers crossed to share good news with you!”

I am sure I will be increasingly anxious today.  But it’s okay.  I will accept it one way or the other.

Thanks so much for everyone’s prayers.  I feel very loved as we embark on our next journey, whether towards parenthood or donor egg cycles.

Will I be opening this tonight?

11046612_10152795474581482_1657098977731612618_n

We will find out soon.

Almost Caved, but Said No to POAS

I almost caved.  Almost.

I woke up Friday morning feeling little anxious.  It was the first time I felt this way since the two week wait began.  All the so-called “pregnancy symptoms” all had disappeared.  Not that I felt pregnant before, but the extreme exhaustion, the abdominal tugging, and the whole waking up in the middle of the night got me thinking that I probably was pregnant.  When these symptoms were no longer felt, I panicked a little and had an urge to pee on one of my four FRER.  I had already gone to the bathroom once after waking at 4am.  When we got up at 5:30am for bootcamp, the pee that I was holding was second morning urine.  However, Bob was a little upset that I went crazy on him the night before.  Yup.  I was unreasonably emotional the night before, which made us go to bed late.  He woke up groggy and tired.  We would’ve had enough sleep had I not acted in a crazy way.  Since he was a little upset, I really didn’t want to ruin everyone’s morning by testing and risking a BFN.  I sat there in the bathroom with ten thousand thoughts moving fast in my head.  To test, or not to test?  To test, or not to test?  It was a tough decision for me.  Last year we had our beta on 13DPO.  Friday was 13DPO.  In my head, if we have a chemical pregnancy this time, 13DPO would be a good day to test.  However, getting a potential BFN so early in the morning would not go very well with Bob’s mood that morning.  You see my struggle here?  So I just let it all go.  The one thing that would make POAS happen that morning went down with the flush.  Bob walked in and saw the look on my face.  I told him what I did.  He said, Oh if you decided to test, I am okay with it.  Well, buddy, it was too late now.

On my way to work, I still couldn’t shake that anxious feeling.  And I really hated it.  I was again a little panicky that I no longer felt the so-called “symptoms”.  My mind was definitely doing tricks on me.  I know it is not abnormal to feel this way.  I totally think that it being 13DPO had something to do with my feelings.  I had to share with someone, but I was busy all morning.  Finally at noon, I chose to talk to the one person I knew would definitely talk me out of testing.  My friend M is always against testing and all for waiting until beta day.  She said, “I always ask, ‘What will annoy me more?  Knowing I didn’t win the lottery now.  Or enjoying my weekend with hope and then killing it on Monday.'”  I told her that I would want to know if I had a chemical, to which she answered, “The blood draw on Monday will tell you that.” She also told me that I was not reacting to cues from my body but to the cues from my mind.  And she is right.  It is all in my head.  And then she said, “At this point, your body can’t tell you if you are or are not pregnant.  I know you want to think you can tell, because sometimes cats can tell.  But you’re not a cat, and even cats wouldn’t know yet.” Hahaha.  I love her.  What she said next sealed the deal for me.  She said,

“What you’re feeling about whether you are or aren’t pregnant at this point has more to do with your history of pregnancy and your thwarted hopes, the fear of daring to dream that this could be the time, than anything your body is actually doing.”

You know, I have been doing something crazy.  Pregnancy is associated with something called “slippery pulse“.  The previous week on 6DPO, my acupuncturist felt my pulse and told me that it was strong and slippery.  From that day on, I had been feeling my own pulse.  It had been feeling strong, fast, and rolling from one finger to another.  I felt Bob’s pulse and my sister-in-law’s pulse.  Both of theirs felt very different from mine.  I don’t know Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I don’t pretend to know.  This slippery pulse can also be associated with AF coming soon, or other conditions in your body.  My pulse did feel “slippery”.  So like any other TTC ladies who do crazy things during their TWW, I am also crazy and obsessed with this slippery pulse.  I kept on feeling my pulse every five minutes.  Sometimes it felt strong and fast and rolling.  Sometimes it didn’t feel so much so.  I was going crazy thinking that I was pregnant and then I was not pregnant.  It was agonizing.  I basically do not know a thing and I keep depending my hope on this one thing and other “symptoms”.  I seemed to have forgotten that the last two weeks I had been focusing on God, His will, and His power, which gave me so much peace.  This pee stick business had taken away my peace.  I really need to put a stop to it.

After talking to M, I made a decision.  I wrote Bob a message asking him if he could hide the pee sticks for me on Friday night and we won’t POAS at all.  We will just wait for the beta.  If it’s BFN, I want the blow only once and not twice.  Even if the pee stick is positive, I would be trying to analyze the darkness of the line.  If the pee stick is negative, then I would be upset the whole weekend.  So we might as well enjoy our weekend without knowing because BFN and BFP both won’t give us any quantitative information that would ease our mind.  Bob’s response was an emphatic “YEAH!”  He has always been against testing.  He said, “Let’s celebrate not peeing on a stick!”  Silly man.  🙂

Wow guys, the sense of relief and peace that I have been feeling ever since making that decision has been so amazing.  I am no longer anxious.  I am at peace.  I could focus at work without obsessing over whether or not I should save my pee for a more concentrated version after work for the pee stick.  It has been wonderful!

It’s already Saturday and I have been feeling so good.  God really answered my prayer for being at peace and calm during the last 48 hours of our (more than) two week wait.  I am also feeling very loved that so many people are praying and rooting for us.  I don’t feel as tired as last week.  I don’t feel the tugging anymore.  But ignoring the symptoms or the lack thereof has been so liberating.  It is what it is.  By now, it’s a done deal.  I am very grateful that after half of a day of panic and craziness I am back to my calm, happy self.  I don’t even need Bob to really hide the pee sticks from me because I have enough trust and will power to refrain from testing.  They are still in the bathroom drawer exactly where I had left them a few days ago.

Less than two days to go.  🙂

(And thanks M!)

Symptoms?

So… I have been feeling things.  I was exhausted yesterday.  My right leg started to feel very tired at 11am.  Then the fatigue expanded to my left leg at noon time.  Whenever my legs are tired, it tells me that I am really tired.  At our departmental meeting at 1pm, I was sitting in the chair with my head leaning back resting.  I could really use a nap.  I tried to power through the next few kids.  I was yawning nonstop for my 4pm client.  Good thing that kid is usually so oblivious to things around him that he did not pay attention to me doing anything.  At 5pm, the thought of standing up in front of the stove making dinner made me feel sick.  I was driving home and trying to figure out what I should get for take out.  I made a short detour, pulled into the first parking spot I saw, and walked across the street into a Mediterranean fast food restaurant and bought a beef shawarma and a Mediterranean burger.  Very thankful that they made it so quickly.  When I walked into the house, I was so tired that my mom took a look at my face and asked if I was okay.  I told her that I was just tired.  I devoured my burger.  She came and examined my face and asked, “Are you having your period?”  I said no.  Then she examined my face some more.  Then she said, “Are you pregnant?” I shook my head.  I still haven’t told my mom about the transfer and don’t plan on telling her anything until after beta.  So I just shrugged and pretended that I didn’t hear her.  My mother is smart.  She is onto something.  But I kept a straight face and fooled her.  That was 7pm. I really wanted to do some work but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I lay in bed and took a nap.  I would have continued sleeping had I not had to go pick up Bob at 8:30.

It’s so very out of the ordinary for me to take a nap in the evening.  I asked my secret Face.book friends if extreme exhaustion is a good sign or it is progesterone messing with me.  I got an overwhelming response of it being a good sign.  I still don’t want to read too much into it.  Last night I went to bed and woke up four times in the middle of the night.  When I woke up at 2am, it was also with a headache.  I don’t know what is up with that.  But apparently that could be a symptom too.  One of my friends who just got pregnant with twins told me that her early symptoms this pregnancy were exactly the same as my current “symptoms”: extreme exhaustion, waking up in the middle of the night, and feeling of tugging on the abdominal area.  I told her that I don’t recall having the same symptoms last year although I was on the same progesterone suppositories.  She was so crazy and funny. She went through thousands of lines of chat to find out what I said last year.  She later confirmed that I said I didn’t have any symptoms last year.  So this transfer feels different.  I was still tired at work today, especially at 2:30pm when I was writing a report.  I couldn’t think straight.  But I felt more energy in the evening and could even make dinner for myself and Bob.

A few of my friends have been asking me to pee on a stick.  They are suggesting creative ways for them to see the sticks if I don’t want to see them, such as peeing on the stick, not to look at it, and FaceTime with them so they could see the result.  Uh.  No.  If I peed on something, I don’t think I could refrain from looking.  My friend Jo is the most convincing one.  She thinks that a negative stick doesn’t mean a thing (coz it could still be positive in the future), but a positive stick would be a reason for early celebration.  And then I could see the progression of the darkness of the lines.  She tries and tries, but I just won’t budge.  One of the reasons why I may want to test before beta is that I would want to know if I had a chemical pregnancy.  So Jo doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to start testing at 10dpo (yesterday).  At 10dpo, it would still be very possible to have a negative test even if there is a pregnancy.  I just don’t want to put myself in that emotional state if the test came back stark white.  Plus the thought of testing really makes me nervous.  So I would rather wait for a few more days and decide.  I did order three FRER which arrived yesterday.  I was also gifted an extra FRER by my Dear Colleague.  I have four in possession but I am not testing.

Am I being crazy?  I am sure I am not imagining things.  I do feel those things.  But whether or not those are pregnancy symptoms, it’s hard to say.  I am still quite calm and happy.  God is giving me peace and calm and I am very thankful for that.  I am still hopeful for a positive outcome.  I still want to bask in the joy of the possibility and not knowing.  I know I am driving my friends crazy for not peeing on a stick.  But I have to do what I need to do to make myself sane.  If I am pregnant, a positive pregnancy test will be a lot more likely on 14 and 15dpo than 10dpo, right?  So I will wait.

Five more days before beta!  Scary…..

MicroblogMondays: While We Wait

Microblog_Mondays

Hey not bad!  It’s been already seven days since our transfer a week ago.  We have exactly one more week to go.  While we wait, these things are happening:

  • The day after my transfer, I felt like I was carrying the biggest secret around at work.  And ever since that day, since I can’t see inside my uterus, it feels very surreal that a transfer actually took place.  It’s like life as usual.  Did a transfer really happen?  Do I really have five embryos inside me?
  • That said, everyday I talk to my embryos.  I tell them to grow and be strong.  And I want one or two of them to be the winners and attach to the lining.  I keep my feet warm every single day so that the rest of my body will be warm.  At my acupuncture appointment, I was told that my pulse was strong and slippery.  I take that as a good sign.
  • Everyday I feel like I am having a white period.  This is the fun thing about using Endo.metrin.  Panty liners are not enough to contain the amount of fluids that leaks out.  I have to wear a pad.  Fun times.
  • My husband is very sweet.  He comes home everyday and asks, “Are you feeling anything?”  I think it’s tough for guys because they are not the ones who receive the embryos and they rely on us to tell them how we’re feeling.  He puts his hand on my tummy and tells the embryos to stay put.
  • So am I feeling anything?  Of course not.  But there have been a few days when I was tired beyond belief.  Saturday was six days past two day transfer (6dp2dt).  I did wake up before 6am.  I can usually last for quite some time before I get tired.  But definitely not on that day.  Bob and I traveled to downtown for my dental appointment.  I was so tired that I had to rest my head on his shoulder on the train. That was 1:30pm.  Right in the middle of the day.  While waiting at my dentist’s, I leaned my head against the wall.  I was that tired.  I am quite sure that my body is reacting to the progesterone.  But of course I secretly hope that it’s a pregnancy symptom.
  • By the way, I asked for x-ray not to be done at my dental appointment because of those embryos inside me.  I hope that this is going to be proven to be a legitimate thing to request rather than wishful thinking.  Otherwise, I’ll feel like a fraud.
  • I also feel some tugging in my abdominal area.  When that happens, I can’t help but think that maybe something is happening there because it is around implantation time.  Or maybe the progesterone is fooling me.
  • I think my friends are more nervous than I am.  Many of them are counting down the days for me.  I am grateful that I am so loved.  And many of them are praying for us daily.
  • It’s been fun to show the pictures of our embryos to people.  Some friends have not experienced (or will never experience) infertility.  One of them pointed at my 8-cell embryo asking if a few babies will come out of that embryo.  She thought that each cell is a possibility of a baby.  This is a woman who herself has two children.  It just boggles my mind that some people really have no clue how their children were made.
  • Oh and the question of POAS or not to POAS.  My first beta day is March 16th, which is 14 days after transfer.  That will be 16 days past ovulation.  It’s a very long time to wait for beta.  And it happens to be Monday, a very busy day for me.  I asked my nurse if it’s possible to move the beta sooner to March 13th, which is a Friday.  I was just thinking that maybe it’s better to find out on a Friday so we could either celebrate overcoming the first hurdle or I’ll have a whole weekend to wallow in my own sorrow.  My nurse said that they can’t possibly let me move it any earlier.  So March 16th it is.  Then I wonder if I should really POAS on Saturday or Sunday so we can be mentally prepared for the blood test result on Monday.  I don’t have any pee sticks at home.  I think I’ll only test on FRER.  So I think I will order some from Ama.zon and be prepared if I really feel like testing before beta.  Even though the thought of it makes  me a little nervous……
  • In general I am feeling hopeful.  There is no reason to believe that it won’t work until we test, either at home or at the lab.  I have been quite calm.  And I want to remain this way.  However, I know that in a few days I may feel more and more anxious.  And that’s okay.  I just have to look to God and let Him take care of things.

How good are you at waiting???

More Twists and Turns But They Are Home!!!

It would not be like Isabelle and Bob’s fertility journey without a bit of twists and turns.  But, all is well.

Today is our transfer day.  We went to fitness bootcamp like usual, but I was good with modifying my movements.  No jumping.  No running.  No lifting.  No abdominal exercises.  I maintained a very calm and happy mood for the whole morning.  Bob and I left at 11am to go to my first acupuncture appointment.  It was such a luxury to lie there for 45 minutes just relaxing.  We had plenty of time before our transfer so I began to fill my bladder by drinking water.  At lunch, Bob and I prayed before the meal.  Our prayer was for God’s will to be done, and we will follow.  Not even a minute after that prayer, I received Dr. No Nonsense’s phone call.  I was a bit nervous that he was calling me right before the transfer.  My worst nightmare was that he’d tell me that nothing survived the thaw.  Well, he didn’t say that.  Instead, he said that there was good news and a bit of not so good news.  The good news was that all of the embryos thawed beautifully.  The not so good news was that somehow the nurse with whom I called and double-checked yesterday about my order somehow had a miscommunication and passed on the wrong information to the embryologist.  In the order, Dr. NN wrote down “4” for the number of embryos to transfer, with the condition of us making one fresh embryo and thawing three frozen ones.  I called to make sure that the nurse and thus the embryologist understood that since we didn’t make any fresh embryos, I only wanted three embryos thawed.  She told me that she understood and would pass the message along.  Somehow, the message was not given.  The embryologist must have just looked at the original order and thawed four embryos.  So the dilemma now was, what to do with the last embryo?  My heart skipped a beat and sank for a little.  I just hate that every single time we are put on the spot to make a quick decision.  I mean, what are we to do with one final embryo?  I asked which embryo it was.  It was the three-cell grade one that wasn’t thawed.  It would really be silly to just leave one embryo hanging.  I asked Dr. NN how he felt about us putting all five in.  He said that it would be a wise decision.  He said leaving two embryos hanging would still not do too good.  He would recommend putting them all back in.  He asked if I was afraid of multiples.  I said I was.  He asked for my age again.  Then he said, given my age and my history of taking so long to make these embryos and all the failed cycles, the chances of having multiples are very slim.  If somehow we end up with twins, then it is meant to be, then we’ll count it a blessing.  I stopped my conversation and asked Bob.  We contemplated for a minute, then both said that we would just also thaw the last one.  Dr. NN seemed very pleased with our choice.  He said that this was not bad news at all.  We’re doing what we can to help you get pregnant, he said.  Then we hung up.

After that phone call, and after I wrapped my mind around the idea of five embryos, I was again at peace and happy.  God has made the choice for us.  And we followed.  I was also very relieved that the embryos thawed well.  We finished lunch and I downed two more glasses of water.  Then we walked back to the clinic and arrived very early.  We usually check in on 7th floor at the clinic and are sent to the 8th floor for the procedure.  When I waited for Bob to finish with the bathroom on the 7th floor, I saw Dr. Dry Humor coming into the clinic.  I said Hi to him and was a little puzzled why he was down on the 7th floor since he should have been upstairs waiting to do my procedure since he is the attending RE of the week.

We were on the 8th floor getting ready for the transfer.  My bladder was not overly full but was getting there.  Bob also had to put on this yellow gown that covered up his Batman shirt.  My choice of socks today was ones that my TTC friend gave me, Wonder Woman:

photo 2 (4) photo 1 (4)

 

When I was waiting, I saw Dr. No Nonsense show up with his scrubs and gown.  I was puzzled by his presence, and it dawned on me that he was going to do the transfer for us!  Yesterday when we talked on the phone, I asked if we could talk about the embryos right before the transfer.  He said he might or might not be able to, but he would try.  I took it as that he could show up to talk.  He took it as him doing the procedure.  So it was a surprise and extra blessing that my own RE was doing the procedure.  It was like our journey at this clinic coming to a full circle.

Bob and I walked into the transfer room.  I sat on the table.  The embryologist verified my name and date of birth.  Dr. NN showed us our souvenir:

photo (44)

All five embryos all thawed beautifully.  At freeze, they were supposed to be 4-cell, 4-cell, 4-cell, 3-cell, and 2-cell.  It seemed like one of the 4-cell expanded into an 8-cell (that’s the one in the middle that looks like a flower and you have to zoom in to see the 8 cells).  The other 4-cell on the right became about 6-cell.  And the 2-cell had become a 3-cell.  In other words, they were all doing well.

I lay on the table with my legs up.  The nurse checked my bladder and found that it was full enough but not too full.   Yay no singing Jeopardy to release any urine!  I turned to Bob and asked if he wanted to take a video.  Dr. NN was like, What? Video?  Ha.  He is so different from Dr. E.  Dr. E was the one who insisted that we took a video of the transfer.  So yeah, since we had done it once, I was okay with not videotyping the transfer.  Bob was happy to be just sitting there and watch.  Dr. NN took some time to clean the inside.  And he did a trial run of putting a catheter in.  Everything seemed good.  The most uncomfortable thing was the nurse putting the abdominal ultrasound wand over my bladder.  I felt like I was almost going to burst.  Then Dr. NN announced to the embryologist: Let’s load!  She handed him the catheter.  He put it in.  And that was it!  The embryologist checked and announced that all the embryos had gone in.  We were done!  Six months of waiting, banking, and more waiting finally came to this point.  I felt tremendous joy to have finished this task.

We have truly done our best.  I am proud of us. I am proud of Felicity, Gabriel, Harriet, Ivan, and Jenny.  They are all inside me now.  I feel that we have a good chance.  When I went to my post-transfer acupuncture appointment, my acupuncturist said that I looked happy.  I am happy.  I really feel that we have done it regardless of the outcome.

So this will be a very long two week wait.  I asked my nurse and we moved my first beta to March 16th.  It is still a whole two weeks from now.  I opt to go to the lab associated with my clinic instead of Kais.er because apparently Kais.er does not do beta test STAT so the results would be next day. What the heck?  I can’t wait for the next day.  So I will pay out of pocket for that test.  Our next question is to POAS or not to POAS.  I am always against POAS.  So maybe I really won’t and I will just wait.  Time to think of something to occupy my mind.

We’ve done it!  I am so happy.  I already love the embryos so much.  Praise the Lord that everything went well.  May His will be done, whatever it may be.

MicroblogMondays: Transfer Day – Hope and Optimism (200th Post)

Microblog_Mondays

Wow this is my 200th post!  I can hardly believe it…

Today is my transfer day.  It will take place at 2:10pm.  This is our second transfer.  Our one and only transfer was on February 10, 2014 with a blastocyst and a morula.  It’s been over a year.  My heart is full of gratitude that we have another chance.  And I am even channeling my friend Jo’s optimism.  For our last transfer, she looked up our due date for us.  I really didn’t want to do it being afraid that it would be too good to be true and we would jinx things.  This time, I feel that if I truly believe that there is a chance of pregnancy, then I should embrace the possibilities that come with it, including learning the due date.  So I looked it up online.  November 21 for singleton.  The calculator even gives you due dates for twins and triplets.

I have scheduled acupuncture appointments pre- and post-transfer with two different acupuncturists due to availability.  I am relieved that I still get to do both.  I still have to choose the socks to wear.  And not to forget I’ll have to fill my bladder with water.  I hope that they won’t ask me to go release some urine while singing Jeopardy again, like last time.  I also have the joy of sticking myself with Endom.etrin three times a day.  Fun times.

I mostly recovered from Saturday’s crazy roller coaster ride.  I was sad for a little, then I remember something that Elisha posted on Facebook.  I hope she doesn’t mind me posting it here.  This is what she wrote:

“I over heard Goldilocks [note: her foster child] praying this morning while she washed her hands and it went a little something like this…

“The bottom of my foot hurts Jesus but it’s okay because Father I thank you that I have feet. Amen”

And folks, I couldn’t help but do a dance because she get it! She gets the simple fact that we must still praise Him even in the midst of our unpleasant circumstances.”

Man… It totally blows my mind that child-like faith is so simple and powerful.  The bottom of my foot (the unfortunate event of premature ovulation before retrieval) hurts but it’s okay because I have to thank my Father that I have feet (five frozen embryos).  This simple and powerful prayer kept me going on Saturday and continues on until today.  It teaches me to focus on the Lord and be thankful for what He has given us instead of our sometimes unpleasant circumstances, like what Elisha said.

Dr. No Nonsense and I talked on the phone yesterday.  So here is the plan.  We will thaw three embryos that the embryologist chooses.  In the case of one of the embryos not surviving the thaw (there is a 5% chance of that), then we will thaw the remaining two to put them all back in because to me it will be silly to leave just one embryo behind.  I asked Dr. NN how he thought about it, and he said that would be the perfect plan.  If we do use up all the embryos, then this will definitely be the last chance to have a baby with my own eggs.  I have tremendous peace with this plan, so praise the Lord!

Please pray and think very good thoughts for the embryos to thaw well.  May God’s will be done.  He chooses and we follow.

Thank you!  This is the best topic for my 200th post.  🙂