Friday, December 23, 2005

Twinkle Twinkle

So this week’s freak out was caused partially by being so close to deadline on these papers (I’m working through the final edits right now) and mostly by the fact that at Monday’s u/s we saw two sacs. Yes, I’ve been holding out on you. The news freaked us out more than it should have, and talking about it would have made it more concrete than I think we could comprehend at that point. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t know that was a possibility, and we transferred two excellent blasts, and did acupuncture, and everything else we were supposed to do, but I don’t think we really imagined that this is how it would end up. So we spent a couple of days adjusting, and freaking out, and researching, and eating lime popcicles (okay, that was just me), and slowly got used to the idea just enough to contemplate that it might really happen.

And then came today’s ultrasound, where we got to see two twinkly little heartbeats.

Ohmygodwhathavewegottenourselvesinto! I know that we are so incredbily blessed by this possibility and I don’t want to come across as an ingrate. But I also know that this complicates things now and in the future. That it raises some risks. That it increases the chances of having a complicated pregnancy, of gestational diabetes, of preeclampsia, of a premature delivery. I am not anticipating the worst, but I’m not trying to sugar coat the risks. I have watched too many people struggle with even singleton pregnancies - I know it’s not all just ginger ale and flowers from this point forward in any pregnancy, but especially so with twins. And a bit of me is in mourning - I’m not one of those people who looked forward to twins because then we’d be done with all of this. I definitely want more than one kid, but I always imagined them coming one at a time. We have an embarassment of riches 11 frozen blasts, and I was looking forward to using some of them. And yes, I know we still might (I just can’t think that far ahead right now). And I know that just because there are two now doesn’t mean I’ll end up with two in the end. But for all of these reasons, it’s complicated and I needed some time to process.

I have to say, I do so love the internets. First, for worrying about me and making sure I was okay when I didn’t post as expected. I feel so blessed to think that there are people out there thinking about me. And I love that there are other bloggers who have gone before me - that I can read through Persephone’s post at a similar point and be reassured that my internal conflict seems competely normal - at least based on my admittedly limited sample size. (In fact, Persephone said almost EXACTLY what I would have said if I could focus just a bit more. So go read it, and mostly that’s what I’m thinking.)

So, yes. We are still adjusting. My mom was in town this morning so we brought her back to the exam room to see the twinkles. Otherwise, we haven’t told anyone. I think we’ll tell J’s parents on Sunday after we get to DC. (And my dad too, at some point. I think he was hoping for twins, actually.) And then we wait.

I know it’s still early and things could change. But for now, my twinkles are doing fine. And that is a fabulous gift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


For those of you who were wondering, I’m fine. (And thank you so much for caring. Really, I feel so lucky to have such fantastic friends in the computer. MWAH!) There’s no crisis. Just a bit of a freak out paired with my desperate attempts to finish these papers this week. I swear I will provide a report just as soon as I can - hopefully tomorrow if I can polish up the conclusion to the second paper tonight. But rest assured, NBHH.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Saying the words

Thank you all for your birthday wishes - it turned out to be a pretty good one. We went to LA to take my Grandmother to a cousin’s Bat Mitzvah, then spent a couple of hours hanging out at my mom’s house (even though mom was out of town) to rest and watch the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory has two birthday parties, and then we had dinner with my Dad and his girlfriend at this fantastic all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ, where you go through and get raw meat and veggies and all sorts of sauces, and then they cook it up for you on the big grill. Yummy! (And good for me, since I’ve been SO hungry lately. Seriously. I need to eat all the time. Except when I’m napping.)

So even though we saw family last weekend, we didn’t tell anyone any news. It was so new and fresh. If they didn’t know about the cycle, or the specifics of the timing, I think we could have waited another couple of weeks (at least until our first ultrasound, if not until we saw a heartbeat). But they knew, to varying degrees, the cycle timing, and so we figured it was about time to share. Which we did, by phone, last night. We managed to tell 4 people, in three phone calls, without actually using the “p” word. I mean, we used a different “p” word - saying that so far, our tests are “positive”. But no actual speaking of the big “P” word.

I’ve said it a couple of times, in passing, but J can’t seem to do it at all, yet. (He was also the one who REALLY wanted to wait another couple of weeks to tell anyone.) He says that it’s so fragile, and new, and he’s scared it will go away. And I completely understand, but I also think that right now things are okay, and we shouldn’t act as if we think things are going to go wrong (even though I don’t think we’ll ever be those hyper-enthusiastic uber-fertiles who start decorating the nursery at the first sign of a second line). And he agrees with me on this, too. So we’re slowly getting used to the idea. And crossing our fingers and everything else for our first ultrasound (this Monday) - it will probably be too early for a heartbeat (5w5d, I think), but it’ll be something concrete. I mean, I didn’t even get a follow-up beta, so I’m staring at my pile of HPTs and walking on eggshells until I have something more to hang onto.

I will share this, though: I’ve been switched from PIO to suppositories three times a day for the next 5 weeks or so. I’m not having huge amounts of discharge or anything as I’d been warned I might, but I’m really not such a fan of the suppository thing anyway. My vagina seems to find the prospect of things being shoved in it to be less than pleasant. Like, “Hey, I wasn’t even really involved in this process, except when I got a big needle poked through me that one day, so why are you shoving things in here now? I mean, really. Can’t a vagina get a rest?” So that’s been fun.

And in the meantime, I have all sorts of questions, and I can’t bring myself to ask them or to buy the sorts of books that might have the answers. Not until Monday, at least. And then we’ll see if we can say the words.

Friday, December 09, 2005

4w2d(?): Speechless

Beta was 459. Yes, 459.

No repeat beta scheduled, but ultrasound (twins?) on the 19th.

Shock and gratitude and speechlessness.

I still can’t quite say the “p” word, but I did think it once.

My birthday is tomorrow. Best birthday present ever.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

9dp5dt: I can’t think in weeks yet

The lines on my new best friend, FRED, were darker today than yesterday. Still fidgeting anxiously until Friday’s beta. This afternoon, I was so numbingly tired I cried. And I’ve been really hungry. But mostly just tired. Oh so tired. I could just sleep from now until the beta.

On the plus side, I think, I watched an entire commercial filled with babies, and instead of feeling bitter, I felt hopeful. And during one of those “talk to your kids about drugs” commercials, I thought - hmm, someday I guess we’ll need to do that.

I’ve been so focused on the process I haven’t been able to envision what comes next. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still incredibly cautious about this whole venture. Incredibly. But for a few minutes here and there, I’ve been able to imagine a time beyond this one. And it felt good.

Please, universe, don’t let this all crumble away.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

8dp5dt: Motivation

Okay, so I managed to do the PIO myself, with much coaching from J. It sucked, though. But I did it. Not sure how I’ll do alone, but success makes me a tiny bit more confident. (Of course, after I did the shot I had a huge meltdown and sobbed all over the couch. Hormones, right?) J has promised to be on the phone with me when I do the shots (on speaker phone, sillies - I certainly can’t imagine doing the shots while holding the phone - I don’t have enough hands as it is!).

Have I mentioned lately how much I lurve all of you? I told the nurse at the clinic that I knew it could be done because I had friends who had done it, and she asked if maybe one of these friends could just do my shots for me. Yeah, that would have been a nice option! Oh, how I wish we could all just drop in for snacks and shots any ol' time we wanted. (Gives new meaning to the phrase “body shots” doesn’t it!)

The one saving grace that I think will get me through the shots for the next couple of days is this: I took two HPTs today, and they were both positive. And not just in a squinting and hopping on one foot kind of way. J could even see the second line on the FRER in the somewhat dim light of the bedroom, with no coaching. So, um, I think maybe this worked? At least for now. Beta on Friday.

Monday, December 05, 2005

7dp5dt (still): Help!!

Internets, we have a problem. Or at least, a situation.

There’s been a death in J’s family, and he’d really like to go to the funeral, which is Wednesday. That’s not exactly the problem (neither the death, which we knew was coming, nor J’s ability to get to the funeral - assuming he can rearrange work obligations). I really liked this man*, but I don’t think I can make it to the funeral. The stress of the travel, my allergies, the tension of waiting for my beta, and the papers I desperately need to finish all make it seem like not the best idea right now. Although in some ways it would be the easiest option.

So here’s the problem: if J goes to the funeral, I will have to figure out another method of administering the PIO shots for several days. I see a few options, but none is ideal.

1. Do them myself. I know it’s been done, but I’m having trouble envisioning how I’d contort myself to do them, and it seems like it’ll hurt way more if I do them myself, and while I got over the self-stabbing with tiny needles, this just seems different.

2. Find someone we know to do them. If we lived closer to family, or if I had any really really close, medically-inclined friends, this might work. But right now, I can’t think of who I’d ask to do them.

3. Find a nurse to do them. I think that there are nurses at the after-hours clinic run by the Evil HMO. So, if I think they know what they’re doing, I could try to make appointments for each night J would be gone and then take my stuff over there. It seems on the surface like this would be the easiest option, but something about it isn’t sitting right with me. For one thing, I’d be around a lot of sick people (I mean, that’s who generally uses the after-hours urgent care clinic). For another thing, I don’t actually know if they know how to do these shots. I suppose that’s less of a hurdle, though, since J didn’t know how to do them either, and he’s been fine. And finally, where am I going to heat my little heating pad? And will I get to rest for a few minutes afterward? And will they be nice and use my Hello Kitty band-aids and sing to distract me while they do the shot? I suspect not.

Sniffle. Poor me. And, um, help?

* I didn't mean to be glib about the death part of this whole story. He was a dear, sweet, jokester of a man - J's great-uncle, or something. The sibling of a grandparent, I think. He was a jovial man - full of life. The last really nice memory I have of him is from Thanksgiving a year ago. He was playing with his new granddaughter (adopted from China, actually) and the look of joy on his face as he watched her was just fantastic. He was beaming. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see him while he was sick, but I’m glad the vision I have of him in my head is a healthy, happy one.

7dp5dt: Miscellany and distraction

So, I was crampy yesterday. And a bit nauseous. Though that might be from pondering the crampiness. And trying to decide what brand of HPTs to buy (FRED, I suspect, but since I won’t let myself buy them yet I’m keeping busy by exploring my options). Did I meantion the crampy nausea? Beta’s not until Friday (16 dp retrieval!) so I have a long way yet to go. And no, I’m not going to wait that long to do an HPT.


On an entirely different, and totally trivial, subject, I said I’d review all the flavors of Ga.torade I tried. Here are the reviews so far: Lemonade was pretty good. Tasted about like how all fake lemonades taste. Not too sweet. Pretty drinkable. Watermelon Ice? Blech. Not sure why I finished it. (Oh yeah. Because I was on bedrest and J wasn’t around to bring me another flavor. Bah.) Orange/Tropical blend? Eh. Not bad. I’d drink it again, but wouldn’t seek it out. I think I’m not all that into orange. The big winner, though, was the Fruit Punch. First of all, it wasn’t claiming to be something it’s not (e.g. an actual fruit flavor), plus there’s that whole childhood fruit punch thing that made it seem rather pleasant. Especially since I pretty much wasn’t allowed to drink fruit punch as a kid. So that’s my new flavor - now I have two to mix and match. (I also tried another of the Frost flavors - the turquoise one. It wasn’t bad, either, though I still prefer the purple.) Only I have to drink it right out of the bottle - something about pouring icy blue liquid into a glass is just weird - it looks like anti-freeze or something. I am a big fan of the sport bottles though. Very satisfying. And the fruit punch looks okay in a glass (though I still prefer to drink from the bottle). But now I’m a little bit addicted, especially to fruit punch. In fact, yesterday I bought it in the gallon-size bottle, which might last me a couple of days.


One more random point: I’ve always liked Australia in concept. I’ve never been, so I don’t know firsthand, but this seems like yet another reason to like ‘em. Basically, there’s a proposal that’s been put forth to add ART and IVF to the topics covered in school-based sex ed classes, since it’s an issue that has a wide impact. Their point is that there will likely be students in the classes conceived through the use of reproductive technologies (not that the students will themselves be in need of the technologies) but still - demystifying IVF and bringing it out in the open? Sounds good to me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

4dp5dt: Progesterone lullabies

I went in today for a progesterone check. Nurse Sweetie was there, as was Nurse Newbie, who I’d thought had experience in another office and just not theirs (but that might have been another of the army of new nurses). So Nurse Newbie did my blood draw. Or tried to, anyway. Here’s the thing - I’m an easy stick (except after a week of daily monitoring). My veins today were lovely. Honestly, I probably could have drawn my own blood (except I think that if giving myself shots made me squeamish, drawing my own blood would be even worse). So, Nurse Newbie poked, and didn’t get anything, and rooted around a bit, and still nothing, and Nurse Sweetie came over and maneuvered a bit until I said “ow” and then pulled it all and started over (at which point she managed to do the whole thing smoothly and without any fuss).

Nurse Newbie (the same one, I think, though again I really can’t tell - the first time I met one of them was at transfer when I was lying spread eagled, doped on Valium, and everyone in the room (J included) was wearing those paper jumpers, hair covers, and face masks - so I’m justified in not knowing which was which) was the one who did my callback this afternoon. Apparently, my progesterone was a bit low (18.5 today) - they like to see it above 20. Though what she actually said was that they like to see it in the 20-80 range, which made my paltry 18.5 seem dire. I think a different nurse might have anticipated my reaction and provided more reassurance. In fact, I think this may be one of those times when I’d be better off with fewer details. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not that low, and that increasing the PIO should raise my progesterone levels, and that it’s normal for them to adjust the dosage. Breathe in, breathe out.

My mom called right before we did the shot tonight, so she provided my evening distraction. Usually, J sings to me to keep my mind occupied while he’s doing the shot (one day, he did the Jeapordy theme song!) so I asked mom to sing, and she sang me a simple little song with infinite variations - the same song she used to sing to me when I was little. And she was out shopping at the time, which made it even more special - my mommy sang me a lullaby while she was out in public. It’s the same thing I’ll sing to our kids someday (whenever that day comes) when they’re sleepy or fussy or getting a shot. It’s a good mommy thing to do.