MicroblogMondays: 7DP5DT, AKA Half Way Done

Microblog_Mondays

Life is good, although I am in the middle of an extra long, longer-than-two-week two week wait.

Ever since Lucy came home, I have been feeling happy, calm, at peace, and ridiculously optimistic.  It’s not that I have any psychic ability to know that I am pregnant.  It’s just that I have decided to live these two weeks with an expectation of being pregnant and staying pregnant.  I am determined to keep this attitude all the way until beta day.  I choose to believe in God’s power to make the impossible possible.  Plus, there is a good chance that I could be pregnant, so why not stick with this attitude for now until we see the results?  I am very thankful that God answers my prayers by keeping me so calm and at peace.

I chat with Lucy daily.  I wake up in the morning praying.  Then I put my hands on my tummy forming a heart shape with my fingers.  I talk to Lucy about where it should be, hatching, finding a site to attach, start to implant, and now just basically to grow and grow and divide, and grow some more.  We are a team of two, traveling together, doing everything together.  Whenever there is a new experience, I share with Lucy about it.  You would hear me mumble sentences like, “This is your first yoga class”, or “Oh this is your first time meeting Auntie Q”.  When we went grocery shopping over the weekend, I was walking to another produce store by myself while Bob went to the car, mumbling this to Lucy, “We come here a lot although it’s 15 minutes away from home because you just park the car and walk to Tra.der Joe’s, produce market, drugstore, the bank… When you are born, we’ll wear you on us or we’ll put you in a stroller, but we will come back here all the time.”  During the Sunday sermon, I wrote in my notebook, “Lucy’s first sermon”.  I am loving this period of time of visualizing this little embryo having a chance at life.  You know how they say that distractions are the best during the two-week wait.  I am doing the exact opposite.  I am constantly and deliberately including Lucy in my daily activities.  I am glad that this approach has been working out for me so far.

This attitude spills over to Bob who is also ultra positive this time.  He has definitely been affected by my attitude.  Bob goes to bed placing his hand on my tummy, saying good night to Lucy.  In the morning, he does the same thing.  When I leave for work, we have group hugs for our little family of three.  He sends me G.chat messages and asks “How’s Lucy?”  This has created a very nice and positive environment for Lucy to grow and grow.  I am assuming that it’s growing and growing.

Physically I am not feeling much.  And I know I am  not supposed to feel much.  I went to see my acupuncturist on Friday.  She commented on my pulse, saying that it was nice and strong.  She mentioned that the kidney energy and the earth energy were both strong.  And those are the energies that are important to fertility.  On Sunday, I felt this tugging sensation on my lower abdomen repeatedly all morning and on and off the rest of the day.  I usually don’t attribute any physical sensation to a pregnancy, but I am taking a different approach this time.  I am assuming that this pulsating and tugging sensation has to do with the hormones from a pregnancy.  Whether or not it’s true, I don’t know.  But I am going to keep a uniform line of thinking here for the rest of the wait.

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law asked Bob about us having a baby for the first time since we got married.  Honestly, I was surprised that it took her so long to ask.  She told Bob that it’d be too late if we waited because we are getting old.  I wasn’t actually offended by her.  I am glad that she cares and actually wants a grand child.  Yesterday during their Sky.pe session, she once again asked for a baby and said something that really blew my mind.  She said that the stars are aligning for Bob and something good in terms of fertility would happen to us in September or October.  My mother-in-law studies astrology.  You know me, as a Christian, I don’t believe in fortune telling, psychic, or anything that predicts the future.  It makes me extra uncomfortable.  If she is right, then it is just going to be a beautiful coincidence that will change our lives forever.  I sure hope that this coincidence will happen and we have one more good story to tell in our lives.

Sometimes I do get this anxious feeling.  But I’d say it happens about 5% of the time.  Majority of the time I am full of happiness and gratitude.  A friend from bible study studied my face and said that I have a lightness that she hasn’t seen since my journey started.  I am glad it shows, and it means that I am not forcing it.  I know that there is a possibility that this doesn’t work.  I know that I will be able to sort through the heartbreak, disappointment, and devastation.  I am just determined not to live it twice if I don’t have to.

Seven more days to go.  I can’t wait to see a fantastic beta number!

MicroblogMondays: The End of the Two Week Wait

Microblog_Mondays

This morning at approximately 7:30am, I will walk into a lab at Kai.ser and get my blood draw for my first beta.  The last time I did it at the U.CSF lab and didn’t get a phone call from my nurse until two or three in the afternoon.  This time I asked my OB/GYN and found out that she could order STAT for me, the results will come back within one to three hours, and I can either call a nurse over at the OB department or I can check for the results on the Kai.ser website.  She also put in an order for my Wednesday beta if this first beta turns out to be positive.  I am happy that I control when I check/contact the office for the results rather than waiting for that dreaded phone call from my nurse coordinator at my fertility clinic.

Physically, I have been feeling nothing.  Business as usual.  No unusual tiredness.  No cramps.  No soreness of the boobs unless I squeeze it.  And I know that this soreness could be from the progesterone.  I have been feeling very normal with my energy level and my sleep.  Emotionally, I have been the most at peace and calm out of the three transfers in my history.  I just feel very covered in prayers.  My friends at church, at my bible study, my online groups, and from the blogging world all have been checking on me, thinking about me, and praying for me.  No wonder I feel so at peace.  Mentally, I just feel that this transfer is not working probably because of 1) my knowledge of the blastocyst’s less than stellar day three status, 2) the lack of physical symptoms (although I know many people don’t feel anything at this point), and 3) my usual sense of failure after getting bad news over and over again on this journey.  I think I am partly at peace with it because deep down I feel that it is not working.  At the same time, I am hopeful that this embryo from my young donor’s egg could actually work out.  The good thing is, I am really not that anxious about it, at least most of the time.  When I am anxious, my shoulders hurt, my stomach sinks, and my heart feels heavy.  I haven’t had these feelings the majority of the time in the last 12 days.  I carry on my life as usual.  I have not had any urge to pee on a stick.  And surprisingly, none of my friends have asked or urged me to do so.  Very unlike the last transfer.  They all know that no amount of convincing would make me go anywhere near a pee stick.  So nobody knows except for God.  And I am fine with it.

I have kept myself busy this past week with social engagements and holiday parties.  I would take a walk during lunch and talk to Kevin.  I did feel a need to talk to my therapist because of my belief that this transfer wasn’t working.  My friend Q urged me to make an appointment but I hesitated because it was last minute.  I wrote my therapist, and of course she was all booked.  Well, God had His hands on it because the same day, my therapist had a cancelation for the day and time that suited my schedule!  That hour of talk with her really helped put me back on the positive frame of mind.  A few take home from her: 1) I need to let go of Kevin the embryo’s day three report because that really means nothing and it’s not helpful to hold onto that thought, 2) remind myself to be open and curious about what can happen because this is something Bob and I had never done before, 3) there is no reason to believe that it doesn’t work until proven otherwise, so in the mean time, think positive thoughts about this great embryo and my great uterus and welcome Kevin with warm thoughts, 4) and even if it doesn’t work this time, we have an option (Lucy the frozen embryo) that we can use whenever we are ready. She is very excited that we have two blastocysts to work with, and encourages me to be excited about them too.  After talking with her, I have been focusing my thoughts on the possibility of this working.  It has been really helpful.

Bob is the best.  He talks to Kevin daily.  We have “group hugs” as a family of three.  He encourages me that if this one doesn’t work out, we still have Lucy.  If Lucy doesn’t work out, we’ll move forward and find another donor.  We will try until we become parents.  He knows that we are ready to be parents but if this doesn’t work for now, it doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future.  I know that we both will be very disappointed if this doesn’t work, but we have faith that it will eventually work some day.

I do get Tuesday off (because I have too much vacation time and will lose some if I don’t take time off, and Tuesday is my boss’ baby shower at work).  So Tuesday could be a day of mourning or a day of celebration.  We will see whichever way it goes.

MicroblogMondays: Distracting Myself During the Two Week Wait

Microblog_Mondays

Today is 5 days past 5 day transfer.  Unfortunately, beta blood test is not until 12 days past 5 day transfer, which is December 7th, 2015.  How am I doing?  I think so far I am doing pretty well.  At times I imagine it all working out, beta being over 100, second beta doubling beautifully, and a strong heartbeat at 6 1/2 week gestation.  At other times, I doubt the quality of Kevin, our embryo, and think for sure that it might not have implanted and might have been absorbed by my body.  I know that it’s quite normal to move between being hopeful and having doubts.  Despite feeling doomed at times, I talk to Kevin many times a day.  I tell Kevin how much I love it, and how much I hope we will meet face-to-face in nine months.  I tell Kevin to stay put, grow, and hang on tight.  I wake up in the morning talking to Kevin.  At night I close my eyes with my hands on my belly, telling Kevin good night.  Bob is the same way.  Since these last few days were a holiday, we spent a lot more time together than usual.  Throughout the day, he would call me over and say, “Let me say Hi to Kevin”.  He would put his hand on my belly and say to Kevin, “How are you doing?  Stay there and be strong.”  At night, he tells Kevin good night.  We joked that the sermon yesterday was the first one that Kevin attended.  It probably sounds very silly because maybe we are actually talking to nothing.  Kevin may or may not still be there.  We still hold on to the hope that Kevin is still there hanging out and snuggling in a cozy spot that would be its home for the next nine months.  There is hope before the beta.

For those who have been following me for a while, you know that I don’t use home pregnancy test.  I would rather be ignorant and think that I am pregnant until proven otherwise on beta day.  In that sense, I am a wimp.  I cannot bear the possibility of a stark white pee stick.  I just can’t.  At times, it feels very surreal that a transfer actually took place a few days ago and I have an embryo inside me that was made with my husband’s sperm and a donor’s egg.  It sometimes feels like I can almost just carry on with my life as if nothing had happened a few days ago, and be ignorant about it until beta day.  At other times, I just want to be able to close my eyes, fall asleep, and wake up on the day I give birth to my child.

Physically I have been feeling nothing.  No pregnancy symptoms.  No side effects from the progesterone in oil.  It really just feels like any normal day.  I know I am not supposed to be feeling anything.  At least many of my friends told me that they also felt nothing during their two week wait.  After my previous transfer last March, I was feeling symptoms and that resulted in nothing.  No baby.  No pregnancy.  So symptoms may really be overrated.  Emotionally, I feel very differently from my last transfer.  The last transfer was my last chance using my own eggs before moving onto donor eggs.  It felt like a huge weight on my shoulders because the hope was that we would never have to make a decision about using donor eggs.  This time, I know that if this round doesn’t work, we still have Lucy the frozen embryo.  If I don’t get pregnant with Lucy, we will look for another donor and do a fresh cycle.  As long as we still have the funds, there is still hope that we’ll become parents one day.  In a sense, the pressure is off, although it would still be a huge blow if this round doesn’t work.

Parents Via Egg Donation has a wonderful article about how to survive the two week wait.  Since I don’t POAS, distraction is the key.  The article has so many great suggestions.  I have done quite a few things to distract myself.  It started with visiting with Jate and my wonderful friend Jane the day after thanksgiving.  The last time we met Jate was right after we lost our first donor.  She was just two months old.  This time she is already over four months old and is so much more interactive.  This little baby girl has the most entertaining facial expressions during her nap and while awake.  When she woke up from her nap, she looked at me and gave me the biggest smile, the kind that would melt hearts.  Bob helped feed her the rest of her milk while Jane had her lunch, and he held her the rest of the time.  Here are a few snap shots of her.

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Jane asked if I minded maternity stuff because some people are afraid of jinxing things.  I absolutely am not afraid of it, so I received a bunch of books and a fetal doppler!  I gave Jane a huge hug, thanking her for the vote of confidence that some day I will carry a baby so I can be obsessive and check the baby’s heart beat all the time.

Another way to distract myself is to cook.  Tonight I made two dinners in preparation for lunch and dinner for the next couple of days.  I tried two new recipes and loved them both.  I particular like the turkey and butternut squash soup.

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Bob and I took a nice walk around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon.  It was crisp and Sunny.  I am thankful that I have a job to go to so most of the time I don’t have to think about the beta.

Seven more days to go.  I will take a good look at all the suggestions for distractions.  Maybe curling up with a good book in my bed.  What do you think?

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!)

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???