Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The most boring post ever

I'll just apologize for that upfront. There has been much going on, but little that's of general interest. Our house has been on the market for just under a week. Thankfully the Seattle housing market is still relatively hot, and we accepted a nice offer last night. If all goes smoothly, we'll move in early December.

J and I went to a mountain resort last weekend to escape the realtors and the masses tramping through our house. It was lovely. We napped and read and sat by the fire. On Sunday morning we got up early and went for a lovely hike through the hills. Not long after we returned, the sun gave way to howling winds and snow flurries. The resort lost power. Quite dramatic.

My symptoms are increasing somewhat. Food, a passion in the past, now holds little interest. My queasiness is stronger, particularly in the morning hours, but it's still not terrible. Mostly I'm just tired. Bone tired. All the time. If I thought my body was not my own while trying to get pregnant, it's even less so now now that I am. Simply put, I am at the mercy of the crumbcake.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

(I'm way, way, way behind on reading all your blogs. My thoughts are with you, and hopefully my comments will be soon to follow. I'm traveling for business this week, but will try to catch up with you all as soon as I can.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

So that's what a heartbeat looks like

And it's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. That glorious little flicker beating even faster than I imagined. A strong 160 bpm. Dr. Gentle said the baby is measuring right on track at about the size of a lima bean. J said he's never loved lima beans so much.

We go back in 2 weeks for another scan. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The moment before knowing

Tomorrow is the day. I've weathered the last 3+ weeks relatively well, but I'm starting to come apart at the seams. There is just so much riding on this ultrasound. I can honestly say I have never wanted something more in all my life.

I don't have much in the way of symptoms, and that's making me nervous. I'm tired, but that's as likely to be a result of the non-stop packing and cleaning we've been doing trying to get the house ready to put on the market. I'm mildly queasy throughout the day, but nothing I'd call nausea. I wish there was more to report, but there's not.

My appointment is not until tomorrow afternoon. Of all the time we've been waiting, the moment I am dreading most is sitting on the exam table waiting for the doctor to arrive. That moment before knowing. Part of me wanting more than anything to know the answer, and part of me wanting to clutch that paper sheet around me and make a run for it.

Because no matter what the ultrasound shows, after tomorrow life will never be the same. For good or for bad.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Anniversary

It was five years ago today. On a crisp fall day that couldn't have been more perfect had we ordered it from a catalog. So perfect, in fact, that our indoor wedding became an outdoor wedding under a canopy of autumn leaves. We danced, we laughed, we kissed. A lot. We were surrounded by family and friends. We had lost too many people that year (my grandfather only the day before), but they were there with us too.

My heart was full. Despite everything we have been through ... or maybe because of it ... it still is.

J, I will love you forever.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Eh, what's up doc?

J gave me my PIO shot the other morning as usual. As he was massaging the injection site, he started whistling the overture to the Barber of Seville. (I know. All I can say is J knows a lot of random and completely useless things.) Anyway, here's the conversation that followed.

Me: What are you whistling?
J: It's from the Barber of Seville.
Me: Why in the world is that going through your head?
J: It's from that Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs Bunny massages Elmer Fudd's head while giving him a shave. You know, the one where Bugs is a barber?
Me: Uh huh. (pause) So what you're telling me is that my butt reminds you of Elmer Fudd's bald head?
J: Well it doesn't sound so good when you put it like that.
Me: How exactly does it sound good?
J: (pause) I see your point.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hope and joy

This pregnancy has been very different than my last, but not in the way I expected. I expected to be filled with anxiety. I expected to be overrun by the fear of what might happen, of things ending the way they did last time. But I haven't been. Instead I have been ... happy. There is more joy than fear, more excitement than anxiety. Not that I don't have my anxious moments, believe me I do. But hope is proving stronger than fear.

I spent the few short weeks of my last pregnancy consumed by anxiety. I worried over every symptom or lack of symptom, and fretted that things would end badly. I told close friends that I was pregnant "for now." I left the door open for bad news. But the day before my 7-week ultrasound I had an epiphany of sorts. I was having lunch with a non-IF friend. She told me she spent the majority of her pregnancy worried that something would go wrong. Of course it didn't, and she has a healthy, beautiful little girl. It occurred to me that I could spend all my time worrying about my pregnancy like she did, but it wouldn't change the outcome, for good or for bad.

I realized that if something went wrong, it wouldn't hurt any less because I had chosen to remain cautious and guarded. There was no protecting myself from that pain, so I might as well give myself over to the joy of being pregnant. And so I did. For one glorious day. The next day we learned there was no heartbeat, and I learned I was right: it didn't hurt any less for having remained guarded. Nothing I did could have made it hurt less.

So, this time, from the moment we got the positive beta, I gave myself fully to the pregnancy. I am determined to enjoy every minute of it, for as long as it lasts. I'm not afraid to use the p-word, I'm not afraid I'll jinx it. I don't know what's going to happen a week from today at our ultrasound, but I know I'm going to go into it with hope and with joy.

...Okay, hope, joy and a good measure of anxiety. I'm still human after all.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Diversions with bubble wrap

I've been the master of diversion lately. Anything to keep my mind from obsessing over every twinge, every symptom, and every anti-symptom. In theory I'm at 6 weeks today. No major symptoms except for boobs that seem to weigh 8 pounds more than they did a few weeks ago. Like lead balloons, these suckers.

My primary source of distraction has been packing. We have two big portable storage containers sitting outside our house waiting to be filled. We're getting as much crap as we can out of the house now so we can put it on the market in a few weeks. J and a friend will be doing the heavy lifting this weekend. I will be doing the bossing around.

In news from the other side of the country, we finally broke ground on our remodel. This is the house we will eventually be moving to. It looks so very sad with it's ruffled shingles, missing front steps, and exposed foundation. Okay, it looked pretty sad even before all that, but now even more so.


But one day it's going to be a gem. A four-bedroom gem. That's a lot of bedrooms for just the two of us. Crap, this had better work.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And the wait goes on and on and on

Thank you all for your opinions on my last post (and for your sympathy!). But it turns out the fretting was all for naught. I don't have any more control over scheduling an ultrasound than I do the rest of this crap IF journey.

J and I decided we wanted to schedule the appointment for the 19th. I called the clinic only to find out my RE is booked that day. We were on the fence between the 19th and the 23rd, so I wasn't disappointed. I figured it was fate pushing us to the 23rd. Or not. Turns out my RE is "not available" on the 23rd. Not available? How the hell can that be? Is he taking a personal day? A professional development day? Who exactly does he think he is? Bah.

So our appointment is on the 24th. The 24th! That's a full two weeks from today. Excuse me while I go beat my head against the wall.

Now I know I've brought this all on myself. I could have scheduled the ultrasound with another doctor at the clinic. And I could have scheduled the appointment to be on our anniversary. But I've been bitten once by the 7-week ultrasound and now I'm twice shy. If I'm going to get bad news again, I need it to be on my terms.

I truly hope I look back on this in a month or two and laugh at how completely ridiculous I was to worry so much. But what's that they say? Expect the worst but hope for the best?

I've now got two more weeks to hope.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dilemma

J and I have a bit of a dilemma. We were told to schedule our 7-week ultrasound on October 20th. October 20th happens to be our 5-year wedding anniversary. On first glance this seems like kismet. What could be more perfect than celebrating your wedding anniversary by seeing your baby's heartbeat for the first time? But I know you all immediately see the rub: what if we don't see the heartbeat?

If the worst happens (and we know it can), that memory will forever be associated with our wedding anniversary. One of our saddest days eternally linked with one of our happiest. While there's a terrible beauty in that ying-and-yang, I'd much prefer to leave our anniversary unmarred. There is not much in our lives that remains untouched by infertility. I want our anniversary to be one of them.

Instead we could schedule the ultrasound for the 19th. But is that really much better? I don't remember the date in June when we learned that I would miscarry my first pregnancy, and I'm grateful for that because it spares me having to relive the precise moment year after year. But the 19th is a day I would remember simply because it's the day before our anniversary.

As luck would -- or wouldn't -- have it, October 20th is a Friday. So, if we wanted to wait until after our anniversary to do the ultrasound, we'd have to wait until the 23rd. That's three more days of torture. It's the best option in terms of preserving the joy of our anniversary, but it's the worst in terms of my sanity. I'm actually doing okay with the wait at the moment, but who knows how I'll feel next week? Each day gets a little bit harder.

So, what should we do? Risk it and schedule the ultrasound on the 19th? Or figure we've waited this long, we can wait three more days? What would you do?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A new kind of crazy

My second beta came in at 456. That makes for a doubling time of about 42 hours, so it appears we're headed down the right path. It also means we'll be left to fret away on our own for the next three weeks since there's no more scheduled monitoring until our 7-week ultrasound.

But I have a confession to make. Because our last IVF attempt ended in miscarriage, our nurse offered us additional monitoring if it would give us peace of mind. She said we could do more blood tests or schedule an earlier ultrasound. It was a kind offer, but J and I have decided not to take her up on it.

"What?!? Are you insane? An infertile woman refusing freely-offered monitoring? You give infertiles a bad name, you wench."

I know that's what you're thinking. Admit it. And, yes, maybe we are. But additional monitoring isn't going to change the outcome of this pregnancy, and it's unlikely to contribute any real peace of mind. What if we scheduled a 6-week ultrasound and there was no heartbeat? We'd agonize over whether development had stopped or whether it was simply too early. How would that make us feel any better? Yes, they could do measurements and make sure things were still on track, but I'm not sure that would be enough reassurance. Besides, we lost the last pregnancy sometime between weeks 6 and 7, so a 6-week (or earlier) ultrasound is unlikely to mean much.

Instead we'll hunker down for the 3ww. We'll do everything we can to ensure a happy ending: continue the PIO shots, eat healthy, stay hydrated, watch America's Next Top Model and Project Runway because the embryos like that. And we'll hope. We'll hope. It's all we can do.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Second chances

We got good news today. My beta was 208. Not as high as the first time we got a positive beta back in May, but good enough.

J and I feel we've been given a second chance. We're more cautious in accepting the good news this time around because we know what can happen, but we feel so very blessed. I don't know how this will end, but I'm determined to treasure every minute of it.

Next beta is on Tuesday.