Third time lucky?

I actually got really nervous today about my third hCG test and not just because they’re running out of places in my arms to take blood from. Lurking in my not so deep conscious is the never ending fear of this all going bad again. Even though my first two hCG tests have been more than ok, I just can’t let myself think it’s all ok. 

Well all the worry was for nothing. Today’s test result came in at 1305. So I’ve gone from 176 on Friday (14DPO) to 500 on Monday (17DPO) to 1305 today (19DPO). If this was someone else’s blog I would be telling them to chill out because everything is good. 

So yeah, note to self EVERYTHING IS OK!! 

In case anyone is interested, I knew something was happening on the hormone front because even with steroids keeping me perky I’ve been so bloody tired the past two days. And my boobs are getting increasingly sore – and a little bigger (hubby is delighted). Also my skin is kind of washed out like I’m hungover so don’t know where all this “pregnancy glow” BS originates because I don’t see any glowing yet (although clear skin so yay!). 

Good news today. Please keep growing little embryo!!! 

Everything is fine, right?!!

You know the worrying never actually stops, does it? I am feeling pretty confident this time around, but the spectres of the failed pregnancies of yore are really tenaciously digging their nails into my puny little mind. 

Even after the strong blood test results on Friday I still started to get edgy yesterday, so I did another home pregnancy test to see if the line was darker (it was). Then today I went to have another blood test and the hCG results came back at 500, which is well within a normal range. Somehow though I still have the lingering frustration that I wish it was higher. I wish it was heading towards the 1000 mark right now, which is not impossible but might have been a bit unrealistic.  

The thousands of online articles I have read on this subject say the rate of increase of hCG is often related to the chances of a full term delivery. So while I’m still definitely in the acceptable range, I long to be in the exceptional range!! I’m not settling well for mediocrity right now.

I have even put my results into this super-fab HCG calculator – http://www.babymed.com/tools/hcg-calculator (get on it, ladies!) and it tells me that my hCG levels are tracking above average! It is very hard to trust anything right now as I know that even though my data is technically good (see below), it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Does anyone have any data on their hCG levels that will make me feel better about mine?

 

#paranoid

My IVF doctor (the one that is literally desperate for me to have a full term pregnancy so that I will leave him the hell alone) gave this feedback: “It’s only been 3 days since the last one so it seems ok for now. Let’s keep doing them every 2-3 days to see how they go”.

Which means I am going to do another round of hCG testing on Wednesday. While I am not enjoying being stabbed every few days I think I am finding the testing mentally helpful (though it might not seem it here).

I also had my progesterone tested today so I’m waiting for those results too.

Apart from regularly freaking out and googling everything every time I get 5 minutes to myself (standard), I had a pretty restful weekend. I must say I felt pretty average on Saturday – a bit dizzy and fuzzy headed. I also did my second round of intralipids on Saturday afternoon and they took more than 3 hours – it was so incredibly boring! Not helped by the fact that while I was at the clinic strapped up to the IV hubby was off having a beer with friends (he told them I was having my nails done – ha, I wish!)

Another fun part of this weekend was that I had the most epic outbreak of insomnia yet. I’ve been a bit plagued by insomnia recently, waking up around early every day, but this is probably thanks to the steroids. However, this weekend on both mornings not only was I awake, but I was unbearably so and just had to get out of bed before sunrise. It’s like jetlag without the nice holiday destination.  

Yesterday afternoon I had an afternoon nap and then I slept really well last night so maybe the jet lag insomnia is tempered for a bit. I haven’t really noticed any other steroids-related side effects but the messing up my sleeping is definitely, definitely not my imagination!! However, if it means we get a baby out of this then I am TOTALLY FINE with my jet lag insomnia.

Apart from the aforementioned jet lag insomnia, I also have tender, slightly bigger bbs and I think my husband would tell you I’ve been a bit cranky. Otherwise, no other symptoms yet. I have got some mild bloating, but that’s most likely down to our best friend, progesterone pessaries.

I’m trying to stay positive, but my heart is so fragile. Part of me knows I have to not relax into this and consider it a done deal because it will make any potential loss so much worse, but at the same time I know I have to stay optimistic. Arrgghhh!

The small things count

Today I don’t have any news but I want to do a shout out to my lovely husband. This IVF stuff is hard and miscarriages are even harder, but this guy has stuck through it all with me and has been my strength. He probably knows more about female hormones and how they work than he ever wanted to know about. But he’s amazing and I love him. 

Last night I can’t home to the most hilarious and touching gift. In our bedroom were 3 giant balloons spelling out 176! 


It was so incredibly thoughtful, funny and cute. I laughed so much and so hard that I was doubled over – tears streaming down my face and snorting with laughter!!!

We are not clear yet by any means but the fact he wanted to celebrate this small victory in the sweetest way really touched me!! It’s funny how it takes such tough times to make you stronger. 

Also, the balloon shop people were very confused by why he wanted 176 in balloons!! Not your usual order!!

Show me the numbers!

My blood test was this morning and I went in feeling good after yesterday’s positive home test and all your wonderful comments to me over the past 24 hours. 

But you don’t care about that. You want to know my numbers!!

The magic number is 176!!

This is entirely normal for 14 days past ovulation and 9dp5dt. It is also the highest number I’ve had for the beta test. Pregnancy one was 120, pregnancy 2 was 80 (ugh). 

Please let this one be my baby!!

🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

Hellooo potatoes!

Potatoes. Probably not your usual early pregnancy symptom for most people, but for me yesterday’s sudden and intense desire for potatoes was a very welcome sign! 

In my first pregnancy I could not get enough of potatoes in all forms so this was good news for me. I was starving in general yesterday and this is also very strange for me so I knew something was up. 

In my previous pregnancies I have known before test day that I was pregnant by the way my body was (mis)behaving and so I was pretty confident something was going on as of yesterday. 
I know some people enjoy the surprise reveal of the blood test results but the one time I held out for them I nearly had a nervous breakdown on test day. Now I make sure I do a home pregnancy test beforehand so I have a general idea of what to expect. 

So of course I tested this morning!! And the result was a faint but visible line showing a positive!! 🎉🎉🎉

As I have shown twice before with my miscarriages, while this is good news, it is far from a solid win for us. The next step is the blood test to make sure my numbers are viable. If they are (fingers crossed) then we have to make sure it sticks. 

But for now, we are happy!! 🍀

The Phantom of the Uterus

….. is there.

Inside my mind!

One for the fans of show tunes there!

The Phantom of the Uterus is in full session right now at 6dp5dt. I have symptoms galore and I’m not sure which are my imagination, which are the result of the medications, and which might (might) represent a potential BFP. I am sharing these “symptoms” here merely as a record of my observations and of course if I get a BFN at the end of this week you can all laugh at me for my vivid imagination.

Boobs

Yesterday I was quite confident my boobs were bigger. Husband came home yesterday (yay!) and was required to do a full visual and feeling test to assess their growth or lack of (he gets all the good jobs!!). He confirmed that he too believes them to be bigger – and was incredulous that I was doubting it. This morning I woke up and they feel even bigger and more sore which I’m delighted about. This is probably the best bit of all of this for the husband as my usually micro-sized boobs grow to be quite a lovely size and shape. Of course they usually get really sore at a certain point and then he can’t touch them so he has to enjoy them while he can! Haha!

Fatigue/sleep

I have felt a tiny bit more tired than normal, but nothing like previously when I had BFPs. This could be for several reasons, one of which being there is no BFP (not the option I’m going for), but most likely is because I am taking 16mg of Prednisolone and from all reports that gives you a lot more pep in your step than you might otherwise have. I did go to bed a little earlier than normal last night at 10:30pm, but I was then WIDE AWAKE and ready to party at 5am this morning, which is great except there was no one who wanted to party at that hour with me. I also needed a 5am toilet visit which has previously been a sign of BFP, but maybe this is just because I went to bed a little earlier than usual. Hmmm….

Bloating/cramps

I am very bloated (eeewww) and I seem to be having low level cramps on and off almost constantly. I think I’m a tiny bit more hungry than usual too, but I’m not sure if that’s just because I’m back in the office this week and being in an office usually makes me crave the munchies. 

Husband is convinced the transfer has worked and is expecting a BFP. I am afraid he is a little over confident but don’t want to ruin his buzz as he is in charge of positivity in our partnership. But I bought a double-pack pregnancy test yesterday so that we can test before the blood test on Friday. I know some people like the element of surprise, but for me I like to have a sense of what to expect in advance of the ominous call with the blood test results.  No testing before Thursday though. 

Please, please let this little one stick!

Gimme some cheese!

Today is 4dp5dt and I am floating about in that special kind of mental hell solely reserved for the 2WW. I have no idea if this has worked and it’s driving me crazy!

So what symptoms or “ghost symptoms” do I have?

Since Friday I have had a very, very sore back but the reality of that now seems to be that I actually do have a sore back.  I’ve got a reoccurring thing with my back which is not serious, but I think that’s what’s happening now, rather than implantation pain.  However, occasionally today I have felt some feelings that might be a little like period pain, but I am afraid I am imagining it.  Also, as my back is so sore I feel that any other pain would be almost unnoticeable in comparison.  After my last transfer, it was day 4 when I got very noticeable implantation pain so I am a bit worried that I haven’t been feeling the same things as last time. Maybe that’s a good thing though as we all know how last time turned out. 😦

Overall today I feel a bit lousy.  Nothing really serious, but that kind of weird feeling you get before you come down with a cold.  Your throat is a bit scratchy, you’ve got a bit of a headache, maybe you’re a bit hot and then a bit cold. However, I am also feeling freaking miserable and I’ve been home alone now for 4 days (husband is abroad with work – great timing) and I think I’m losing my mind.  Can losing your mind give you a headache? (I’m sure the answer is yes, by the way)

I am a bit tired today, but not sleepy.  I am wondering if this down to our nice friends the steroids? Normally progesterone makes me super snoozy, but this time round I’ve barely noticed its impact. I can’t say I have insomnia either (one of the reported side effects of steroids) though I will confess to waking quite early the past few days.  Both times when I was pregnant I also found I would wake up very early, but again, I don’t want to read anything much into this. I’m also really into eating cheese today and I don’t each much cheese generally.

Finally, I’ve got a couple of small, blind pimples that have popped up in the past 24 hours and I think my boobs are microscopically bigger, but I can’t be sure.  All of these (ghost) symptoms could mean nothing or something.  Arrgggggh!

This weekend has been such a downer in general with my husband away and I’ve felt so incredibly lonely. One of the drawbacks of living away from your own country is that in times like this when you just want a good friend to come over and watch movies with you there is no one to turn to – not to mention someone help you do the grocery shopping (helloooo lifting!!).  My best friend back home has been sending me encouraging text messages of support but she is really my only support beyond my (currently absent) husband.  I might have underestimated how hard it was to go through the 2WW without him here…

And just to stab me in heart a tiny bit more, someone I know well and who knows my IVF situation (I will not describe them in any more detail for fear of identification) very kindly called me last night to ask how I was doing.  We had a nice chat, she asked me what I was doing today and when I said my schedule was pretty open she invited me to lunch with her and some others. I accepted the invitation and she said she would call me in the morning to arrange the details.

The morning came.  No phone call.  Of course I could have called her, but as the invitation came from her it seemed a bit pathetic for me to go chasing after her to check she still wanted me to come. At about midday I see on Facebook that she’s posted selfies at lunch – that’s the lunch she had invited me to go to but didn’t tell me where it was or when. Might have been nice to hold off on the selfies don’t you think?!

It wasn’t so much the lunch itself, but rather the rejection that struck me right in the core of my heart. So I went grocery shopping at lunchtime instead and bought cheese.  I think I might actually be looking forward to going to work tomorrow as a distraction!