Former Egg Donor Undergoing IVF

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Friday, August 31, 2018

14 weeks 6 days pregnant with twins

I told myself I would blog consistently so that I could always look back on my first pregnancy. Every time I thought about sitting down to blog though, I felt "too sick," "too tired," or had so much to say, I felt "too overwhelmed." The general theme of this pregnancy from 6 weeks 5 days even up until today, is nausea and vomiting. Mid my 12th week, I also experienced bleeding with quarter sized clots for one day. I attributed it to possibly stopping my progesterone and estrogen pills the first day of my 12th week. My OB did an ultrasound 1-2 days later, and the babies were bouncing around with healthy heartbeats. On my 13th week, I started feeling safer, being in the second trimester, that my chance of miscarrying were low, and the genetics testing (nuchal translucency an trisomy blood test) returned normal. My in-laws still didn't know I was pregnant, and my husband was dying (begging me) to tell them. His family had planned a camping trip when I would be exactly 14 weeks pregnant, and I gave my husband the okay to announce that I was pregnant. We said nothing about it being a twin pregnancy though. As fate annoyingly would have it, I started bleeding bright red and pink blood without clots an hour after he announced. I didn't have reception in the woods, so we just prayed everything would be okay and finished the last 2 days of the camp out. 

I called my doctor at 8am on Monday to let them know what happened Saturday, and they immediately saw me within 2 hours of my call. The ultrasound showed two healthy babies wiggling around with healthy heart beats. He did note a possible subchorionic hemorrhage on my left side though. He referred me to a perinatologist. 

I had a long ultrasound with the ultrasonographer and a consult with their doctor. It was such an amazing experience. My sonographer asked me if I wanted to know the genders as soon as she spotted both babies, and I enthusiastically told her I would. Baby A, was a "he" and was obvious! Baby B, was a "she" and also obvious. I would have been happy with any result, but if we had done PGS testing, this is how my husband and I would have chosen. Otherwise, she did not note any subchorionic hematoma. The perinatologist did note that baby A's placenta was 9mm away from my cervix, which may or may not have caused the bleeding. If it would have been over the cervix, that would have been called "placenta previa." She said the placenta would not grow over my cervix because the placenta would grow away from it, which made me feel better. 

My husband was working, and didn't attend the appointment, so I got to think of ways to surprise him when he got home. This was exciting to me, because nothing in IVF is really a surprise because everything is so meticulously planned. I quickly ordered 2 custom cream filled cupcakes for him. 


When I got him, he was already showered and ready to slice open some cupcakes to find out my secret. He didn't hesitate. He grabbed a plastic knife and plunged it through. He selected the blue cream filled cup cake first. He was ecstatic. I think every father wants to know he has a son, right? He didn't even stop to take a bite from the $10 overpriced custom cupcake before slicing through the next cupcake. Again, he was ecstatic. Every father wants to know they're going to have a daughter, right? I took video of the whole thing, but to spare my anonymity, will not post it here. 



We are overjoyed with this news and it makes all my sickness worth it!

Monday, July 9, 2018

7w2d: Nausea without vomiting

Nausea without vomiting is an ICD10 code. It's also the definition of most of my days.

I am barely functioning at work when the nausea hits. I feel like I want to throw up and sometimes I feel the vomit coming up, but as gross as it sounds, I swallow it before it can make it out of my mouth. I don't want to be throwing up the Estradiol medications I am taking three times daily. IVF doc called me in Bonjesta after giving me six free tabs. At first it was helping, but has since stopped. It made me very drowsy, even the next morning. In a way, I am kind of glad it stopped working. Even with my insurance, it was $600 for 60 pills! That is robbery. Diclegis was not much cheaper at almost $400. I asked the doc for some Zofran prior to the frozen embryo transfer (FET), but he said there were too many side effects. My co-workers just keep telling me to "sneak" a zofran, because they all did it in their pregnancies, and they were fine. But I have always been one to listen to what my doctor tells me. I would feel guilty if something happened to my babies and I had taken zofran.

I also started having strange aversions to some foods. I don't want to look at fruit yogurt, chicken doesn't taste good, and mint ice cream looks disgusting. The only thing I want or can eat is at dinner time, at this one hole in the wall Mexican food place. I love their carne asada burritos. Except last night, it started tasting questionable to be too. I force myself to eat breakfast, since I wake up ravishing, but nothing sounds good. Eating breakfast sometimes helps the nausea subside slightly too.

I am still getting intermittent cramps, but they kind of feel like round ligament pains, just based on where the cramps are. It hurts when I sneeze or cough. I have never spotted or bled though.

I have never been prone to headaches, but I have been getting them more often. Not migrainous in nature, and not the worst headache of my life, but definitely there. I take Tylenol and a two to three sips of Pepsi sometimes to settle it.

Later this afternoon, I will have my second ultrasound with the IVF clinic. They had appointments early this morning, but I wanted husband to be there, in case it is bad news. I keep thinking of the worst. I can't help it. Today I am 7 weeks 2 days.

I am hoping for the best, because I haven't had any bleeding or discharge.

Is it this normal to be anxious about every ultrasound?


Sunday, July 1, 2018

So this happened on Friday

I went in to my first ultrasound with extremely high anxiety and my husband cool as a cucumber. I joined a IVF FB group that terrified me with all the things I could see if the pregnancy was non-viable based on the ultrasound.

After what seemed like an hour in the lobby (it wasn't), they called my name and they performed our first ultrasound. Prior to the first ultrasound, I did a crash course on youtube of prenatal ultrasounds, Just things to look out for.

The ultrasound tech inserted the wand, and I quickly caught a glimpse of a sac... then two sacs. The image was so quick, I couldn't check off my mental check list of fetal pole, yolk sac and heart fluttering. She got the wand in better position, and I saw one sac only. She measured it and 6 weeks 3 days. She was surprised because at the time, I was only❤️ 5 weeks 6 days. She maneuvered the wand, and the second sac I thought I had initially seen showed up. It measured and looked much smaller which worried me. The ultrasound tech said this is actually what it should be measuring because I was only 5 weeks 6 days. Baby B measured a day behind at 5 weeks 5 days. Baby A did have a visible heart movement (fluttering), but baby B didn't. The ultrasound tech did not seem too concerned though as I was not even 6 weeks technically yet.

My husband reached over a gave me a high five.

We did it.

We made it to our first ultrasound without bad or sad tears.

She asked us to come back on July 9th to see how babies were doing. We are crossing my fingers baby B's heart is fluttering at that time too!




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Second Beta Results

After the longest 48 hours, my appointment finally arrived to draw my second beta results. I walked in at 7:54AM for my 8AM appointment trying to shield my mind from all doubt.

The night before, I took my second home pregnancy test. My logic for this, was that if my hcg levels increased, my line would be much darker than my 11dp5dt one (from Monday). And it was much darker! Even though this was my second home pregnancy test in a 48 hour period, this "magic trick" of seeing double lines never gets old.  The darker line gave me some assurance and some sense of security that my numbers had to hav increased in the past 48 hours. 


3 hours and 20 minutes later (which was almost as long as the 48 hours in-between the two beta tests) I got a call from my fertility clinic. The nurse on the other line sounded monotone, and I felt my heart sink. Then I heard the words "came back good." I breathed a sighed of relief, and asked her what my numbers came as. She said 810. The number from my first beta was 276, so my beta number didn't double, it tripled! 

The first half of work day after that phone call was easy breezy, and I was slap happy. Come 3pm, I had a whole mood swing, I felt moody, exhausted, and overwhelmed. On top of that, I was insanely bloated to the point my  loosest scrubs felt tight. I took a gas-X that morning to help, which it did, but I don't like taking anything unless absolutely necessary. I hate that I am already having to take Tylenol everyday for my extreme back pain. I should have brought another one from home, because the bloat was unbearable as the gas-x wore off that afternoon. Gas-X was one of the medications on my pregnancy approved list from my IVF doctor. 

We had such a large influx of patients come in from 2pm to 8pm that I had just enough time to eat a small portion of my Mac & Cheese and yoplait peach yogurt lunch I brought from home, but barely enough water. I usually drink 160oz, but barely drank ver 80oz yesterday. I felt so nauseous that I had to carry a vomit bag in-between seeing patients. My head started spinning, and I got my first headache since starting hormone therapy and since finding out I was officially pregnant. I took 1500mg total of Tylenol yesterday for my back pain and headache, which helped, but nothing would stop the nausea. I had no mints to suck on, and I had no time to eat. My 12 hour shift felt like 24 hours, and I didn't get home until 9:45, and I was 45 minutes late for my PIO injection. 

I woke up in the middle of the night with just my torso and pelvis drenched in sweat. Granted, I get very cold before bedtime these past two weeks, so I bundle up in sweaters, and sweats, with three blankets... but have never woken up in a cold sweat just over my torso before. I also had my first bout of mild diarrhea between one of my many night time trips to the restroom to pee all night. 

Despite all the crappy symptoms, I am grateful to be bloated, cramping, back pain, frequent urination, cold sweats, and even my one bout of diarrhea. 

Sincerely,

The former, now pregnant, egg donor

Monday, June 18, 2018

11dp5dt: Beta Results

I stopped updating the blog after 6dp5dt because we went out of town from 6dp to 10dp. It was the best thing I could have ever done to take my mind off of things. We arrived home last night, and the whole night I had vivid nightmares about having a bad beta result. I went to my beta test appointment this morning, expecting the worst at around 9am. They pulled me back around 9:15am. Waiting in the clinic lobby was torture. I kept seeing and hearing reassuring voices telling me they had a feeling it was going to be positive. I even saw my doctor, who had come up to the front desk and he was telling me he had a feeling mine worked. He said that my embryo transfer went very well and that every transfer he did while the patient was under anesthesia was successful. I gave him a faint hint of a smile, because I was still expecting the worst.

The MA drew my blood, telling me my results would be back by lunch time. I then rushed off to relieve the Physician Assistant that was nice enough to cover the first two hours of my 12 hour shift. By 11:54am, I was anxious. I tried deep breathing exercises and focusing on work, but my thoughts kept returning to beta results. Finally, I swallowed my pride, and called the clinic asking if my results were back. My heart skipped three beats when I heard my number was 276! I started to cry a little bit. Tears of joy of course.

I then rewarded myself by taking an at  pregnancy test from work; something I never afforded myself to do before knowing my results. I didn’t want anything to mess with my emotions prior to the beta test. My heart fluttered when I saw a line pop up almost right away! I kept starting at it, making sure the line didn’t disappear.

I dialed my husband’s number at work, but he wasn’t answering. I been tried calling his brother who works with him, but I got no answer. They were probably in a place without service. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I called my mom and texted my sister. My sister, who has never seen an at home pregnancy test result, questioned what the heck those two lines meant and I told her. She was estatic. I really wanted to tell my husband first, but I was bursting with excitement, and I had to tell someone!! I told my sister in law next. She’s the only one in my husband family who knows, and that’s because she has gone through several rounds of IVF herself.

Finally, my husband called and I gave him the results. He was so happy too!

Now, we wait for my second beta test results which will be on Wednesday at 8am!!

Sincerely,
The former, now pregnant, egg donor

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

6dp5dt: Second Day Back to Work

I didn't write yesterday because I forgot to bring my laptop to work to "blog" during my down time. It's a shame I didn't. I only saw 17 patients in 12 hours (aka: slow day for me) and I had plenty of down time. Plenty of down time (aka: plenty of time to worry about implantation).

In regards to my symptoms yesterday 5dp5dt: I felt bloated... more than any other day. I literally could feel stretch marks developing as the skin over my abdomen stretched. It was terrible. My IVF doc told me it was okay to take simethicone, but I know nothing is deemed perfectly safe, so I opted against it. I did take 1 gram of Tylenol yesterday though for my back pain that has been going on for 2-3 months now. I'm not sure if there is a correlation, but every time we switch to the right flute for my PIO (progesterone in oil) injection, the right side of my back pain is worse. Since I am having to pee frequently lately, I attempted to get out of bed around 12AM, but felt severe spasms in my back (again, not unusual- I've had this for 2-3 months intermittently) preventing me from turning, changing position, or even getting up from bed. It was easily a brief 10/10 pain. I started crying (cue the estrogen please), and my husband woke up immediately helping me up to use to the restroom. Poor guy. He wakes up at 4AM every morning to go to work, and I just woke him up for my spasms. They were so bad, and I was writhing so much to move, I am afraid that maybe it harmed the implantation process? Ugh, I can't think that way anymore.

Today is officially my 6dp5dt and other my low back pain, I felt okay. Bloating nearly resolved, but still burping frequently (I never have burped this much than I have than in these past few days). No real cramping. I pretty much feel 100%. I don't know if this concerns me or not though. I took 1gram of Tylenol for my back pain this morning and will try not to take anymore the rest of the day. I've noticed that I am getting hungry for small more frequent meals these past two days. Don't know if thats normal, or the placebo effect of me "feeling" or "wanting" to be pregnant though.

I've still been holding on any hcg tests. There are plenty of them here at work I could pee on, but I am testing my will power beyond measure. It feels great to be so strong! Plus, it feels great to be PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). I've never been pregnant before, nor even had a miscarriage, so I'm savoring it. If anyone is wanting to take one, I hear the best day to take one is 7dp5dt at night.

I am working a half shift today, and then heading off to a political conference via airplane. I asked my doctor if I could my PIO injection 2 hours early (my plane leaves at 8:10PM and lands at 10:30PM). My PIO injection is done at 9PM nightly. My doctor advised no earlier than 8PM. I have no idea how I'll pull this off while sitting on a plane, but we'll figure it out. Already have my doctor's note explaining my armory of needles, injections and what not for TSA. That always went super smoothly when I was an egg donor, so hopefully, this will be just as smooth.

Baby dust to all of you reading,

The Former Egg Donor

Monday, June 11, 2018

4dp5dt

I am so new to the world of IVF that I didn't know 90% of the acronyms used by others in the internet, making it extremely difficult to understand anything anyone was saying. Needless to say, searching google to make sense of the endless acronyms has been my best friend. The newest acronym introduced to this blog will be: 4dp5dt. If one was not familiar with the IVF world, this would just appear to be a difficulty algebra equation initially. What this means, is that today I am 4 days post my 5 day transfer. I also found out that the day of the actual transfer does not count. If it did, I would be 5dp5dt.

Quick recap: On June 7th, 11:30AM, my doctor transferred two five day embryos, grades 4BB and 3AB, because these were the best ones of the 6 total that were fertilized and made to blastocyst age. I admittedly do not handle pain well, and my doctor could barely finish the HSG because I was in so much agony, that I requested to be put under during the transfer. I was afraid I would move too much and the embryos would not be able to go in without me moving and writhing in pain. In my defense, I think I am post traumatized from my first donation, where they cut costs by not putting me under during my first egg retrieval in 2010. That was so painful.

Yesterday, I went to church, and I was so bloated, that I looked pregnant in my wrap around dress. This morning, my fat pants felt a little looser than they have been which was a nice feeling. However, it also got me scared because at least I was having symptoms of a possible pregnancy. Today, I am only slightly feeling bloated. I am still feeling fatigued and took a 4 hour "nap" after leaving church yesterday, making it so I could not get to sleep until midnight. I did not wake up until 9am this morning though, which is unusual for me. I am early riser because of my work schedule. Luckily, I am still out on PTO at work until tomorrow. I am still having cramps in my lower abdominal area, that are felt mostly when I am at rest, not so much when I am out running errands. I noticed that I when I bend over or lift something light (like a bowl of homemade soup weighing 5lbs or less, I get twinges of cramps in my lower abdomen, which I don't even know how to explain. I am also super emotional. Mind you, I never cry, and when I do, it is when something absolutely terrible happens. My husband swears that I have emotions to his family and friends, because no one can believe how many things I don't cry at. I am still not sure my in-laws know I have a heart. I know my emotions are running amuck because I cried at "Coco" the Pixar movie by Disney, when it wasn't even sad! Another symptom is intermittent nausea without vomiting or the feeling that. That feeling is pretty infrequent though and I had nausea with vomiting prior to my transfer, so I take that symptom with a grain of salt. Last symptom that started today is clear vaginal discharge. This could be due to the estrogen, but I’m not sure?

For my cramps, I have been taking up to 1g of Tylenol daily for pain. I have been having pretty bad back pain with left sided sciatica pain, but I was having that for months even prior to the transfer, so I don't count that as a symptom.

 It is hard to differentiate what is is an early pregnancy symptom vs the PIO (progesterone in oil) and estradiol symptom though to be honest. I still don't have ant spotting which I am not sure is concerning or not. Yesterday, I felt pregnant (which could be because I looked pregnant with my bloat). Today, I feel like it was a failed transfer. This is an emotional rollercoaster, and I finally know what it was like for my IPs (intended parents). They call this wait until the beta test the TWW (two week wait). My beta hcg test is scheduled at 9am on the 18th. I found coverage to cover my shift from 8am to 10pm to do my results that day. I am terrified of receiving bad news while I am work though. I'll break out my water proof mascara that day.

I almost gave in to take a HPT (home pregnancy test) today. I joined a couple facebook IVF groups under a fake name to see how others are coping. Why a fake name? I am way too scared of people seeing that I am a part of these groups on my profile. I told you, I don't want anyone to know I'm vulnerable. Hence, my anonymous blogspot. I saw other women getting BFP (big fat positives) on 4dp5dt, and I wanted one too! If, for whatever reason, it was a BFN (big fat negative), I don't know what I would think or feel. No wait, I would know. I would be heartbroken. Someone somewhere on facebook IVF group refused to do it because she enjoyed the feeling of PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). I have to admit, I think I like that feeling better, than seeing what could be a BFN. Especially because it is really early on in the post transfer process.

As of right now, I have 6 days, 9 hours and 47 minutes and 44 seconds until I go in for my beta test. We'll see if I can hold out until then. Thank goodness we have a short trip to Texas coming up soon to attend a political conference. Pretty sure if there was anything that could keep my mind off  uteruses and embryos implanting it is politics.

I plan on keeping my blog and whoever reads this updated on my progress. After doing major research on symptoms by the day on the internet, there is simply never enough. Here is to help anyone else going through this wait to find out if we are going to be mothers.

Sincerely,

The  Former Egg Donor





Saturday, June 9, 2018

Day 3: Post embryo transfer

The day of my FET (frozen embryo transfer) came and went on June 7th. My experience might be a little different because I requested to be put under during the procedure. I didn’t have to drink 32oz of water before my procedure. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything eight hours prior to be put under anesthesia. They asked if if could hold my urine until 11:30AM. I woke up at 7:13AM, and I tried holding it for an hour. I have the smallest bladder in the world, and after feeling like I was going to burst if I didn’t urinate right away, I gave in and peed. I didn’t pee until my procedure. I let them know and they said they could fill my bladder up for me if needed.

When they strapped my legs into the stirrups on the procedure table, the nurse pressed her ultrasound wand on my stomach, and she stated that I had plenty of urine in my bladder. Whew. 

I have really high anxiety, and my lower lip was uncontrollably shaking and I started breathing faster. The anesthesiologist noted this, and started my propranolol smoothie to my veins. It burned going in, but I didn’t fight the sleepy feeling off. I was down in a few seconds I’m sure. 

The rest of the stuff, I don’t remember. My husband was there and kept asking him if he saw the two thawed embryos go into my uterus on the screen. My husband has Superman eyes, and swore he didn’t see anything on the screen resembling an embryo. The doctor told him they’re about 2cm big so it would be hard to see anything. We did get a photo shot of it. All I can see is my full bladder and my thick uterus though. The embryologist or lab tech then comes in, used a scope to make sure all the embryos are no longer in the catheter. Once that’s done, I think they woke me up. 

I woke up to the feeling of a sharp pain in my low back. I was still drunk off the propofol, but two nurses guided me and helped me empty my bladder. Once I relieved myself, the back pain wore off. In fact, I felt fine right after. 

My husband ordered take out as my late breakfast and we munched on it at home. Afterwards, slept a few hours and woke up to some very mild cramping in my lower abdominal area. Like menstrual cramps. 

That was pretty much it for that day.

The day after my transfer, the cramps were back but less intense and i had no vaginal discharge, which i can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. I also felt very bloated and so gassy (ugh). I took it really easy. My doctor had stated that I could return to 85% of my normal activities by yesterday but. I still took it easy. I alternated between lying down, sitting up with my feet elevated, and walking around the house. 

Today, I feel soooo bloated, less gassy, breasts slightly tender, and very swollen. The last few symptoms I mentioned could just be the estrogen and progesterone though. I am still having intermittent cramps, so I took two 500mg tabs of Tylenol to ease up the cramps. It feels like I’m going to start my period, is the best way to describe it. Except that I’m super emotional. I was alardeado crying at everything before the transfer so I don’t think that is too reliable of a symptom. 

My husband wanted me to go outside and do something normal, so we went to Costco together. I didn’t lift anything over 6 pounds, because I’m still scared about doing anything to ruin the implantation process. I know it’s out of my hands now, but I can’t help but feel like I can still take precautions. I noticed I was short winded walking, and my fat pants were becoming tight on me today. Like I said, so much bloating!! 

I have two more days off from work to rest. 

I hope my uterus is helping my two embryos implant, then these weird symptoms will all be worth it!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Starting the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Process

I started my Estradiol  two 1mg pills twice daily started from May 20th to May 28th. On May 28th, I went in for my baseline ultrasound checking my uterine lining. I think they said it was almost 9cm. From my understanding, over 8cm is the desirable lining thickness.

On May 28th, after my baseline ultrasound, they increased my 1mg Estradiol dose to two 1mg tabs three times daily. With the increased dose of Estrogen, I felt incredibly nauseous and even some vomiting. My doctor advised against Zofran, and instead just sucking on peppermint for now. Looking up the drug's side effects, only 4% experience nausea, so it doesn't appear to be a common side effect. One night, my nausea came on abruptly, and I vomited at my in-laws yard. The questions started to my husband, "Is she pregnant?" We have kept this entire IVF thing a secret from most of his and my family. I already have high hopes, and will be crushed if it doesn't work out, and didn't want to have my family be disappointed. It would only devastate me further. 

On June 2nd, I started 2cc of Progesterone (in oil). I had briefly taken a look at you tube videos about how painful these are, and "ways to make it less painful." I was frightened the first time my husband injected me with it. I barely felt the 22 gauge needle going in and didn't feel the medicine entering my body. We do that every night around 9PM. I get off work ideally at 8pm (unless there are patients that come in at closing, grrrr), it takes an hour to get home, just in time for my injection. It's all "very exciting." I have noticed, that the upper part of my bum feels a little numb, and wondering if its all that oil? Prior to my injection, I put an ice pack directly on my skin over the place he will inject it, to numb ti initial prick of the needle and it totally works! 

I wasn't emotional during the estrogen pills, but with the progesterone injections, I was a hot mess. I would get frustrated or sad and even cry happy tears during cute dog videos. I'm not a crier and I'm not emotional usually, so these were all new feelings for me. 

My embryo transfer is on track for June 8th at 11:30. I don't handle pain very well, and requested that I be put under for my transfer. Usually, you are just put under for the retrieval. It would be an extra cost, but there is no way I would sit still with a full bladder, an ultrasound pressing on my uterus and full bladder, and a catheter inserted in my cervix. I will update on my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) later. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Embryo Transfer Scheduled

Our tiny six blastocyst embryos are being stored away until transfer, and we can't wait!

Initially, the plan was to transfer the embryos this month, but we decided to hold off until June. We decided that if we could "schedule" pregnancy, I would want to be at my "biggest" during pregnancy during winter and deliver AFTER flu season. If we transferred in June, a baby would come around March- after the peak of influenza season. This is important for me, given I work with sick patients all the time, being a medical provider. Transferring in June would also give me a chance to lose weight. I want to be at a more healthy weight as this will increase chances of a successful embryo transfer and subsequent pregnancy. We are also very busy at work with one of our medical providers out on FMLA, and I am filling in for her for now. I do not want a busy schedule after my transfer.

I contacted the IVF clinic to let them know of our change of pans, and they were more than accommodating. The plan is to let the nurse know day one of my period in May for an embryo transfer in June. The embryo transfer will take place on June 4th at 11:30AM.

At work, my sick leave and PTO were approved the week of my transfer. I will take the week off to relax, chill and watch Netflix to help my little embryos attach to my uterus. I have already told my work that I do not want to work more than 20 hours weekly after my transfer. I am part time, but have been working longer hours weekly lately, because we are down one provider out on FMLA leave.

I am praying for a successful transfer!