Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's in the uterus!

I was a wreck this morning. A tiny bit more spotting last night didn't help my mind at all. I was ready to see nothing at all in the uterus, to see something outside the uterus, to see nothing anywhere, and of course a tiny bit of me was hoping for the best news possible. I had not peed on any more sticks either, that's just too stressful at this stage and like you all said I'm just over analysing the intensity of each line making myself insane.
The Fav Doc called us in and immediately noted how nervous I was. But she didn't leave me hanging long, she immediately saw the sac in the right place and the developing yolk sac. Right on track for 5w3d.

What a relief! Again she said the spotting is so normal (but I never had it unless things were going wrong) between the progesterone, the clexane, the aspirin etc, it's almost a miracle not to have spotting. She'll see me again next week to see how things progress, but at least now I'm at peace! Thank you all for your support, this pregnancy will be lived differently, I just cannot waste this other chance to enjoy it rather than constantly worrying.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Picking up

Thanks so much for your support, I was really down. I didn't have a good day at all, quite a lot of back pain (can't remember having it with Oliver), and just feeling like this is going to end any minute now. I was alone with Oliver for a few hours, and again I had to lift him and bring him the stairs etc, and I could tell I over did it.

In the evening I had a bit of spotting. Not much at all, and only because my clinical eye scrutinise the toilet paper every time. But this is just too familiar. I re-read my old posts on the ectopic of 2009, had a good cry and just got off the internet and started reading a book.

This morning I tested again of course, I figured if it's over, the line will start to fade and the control will be even stronger. But it has not done so, in fact the control is fading and the difference is quite obvious today. So Deng the Penguin is hanging on. Let's hope to get a glimpse of something on tuesday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

5 weeks

I will have a scan next tuesday at 5w3d at my clinic. The Fav Doctor estimated that by then my HCG should be over 1600 considering a doubling time of 48 hours.

This morning I tested again, the clinic actually suggests you test every week till the viability scan. The line is darker but not as dark as I had at the same time with Oliver. So I am now not feeling that great about this anymore.
You know the way on a FRER the control line tends to fade as the test line becomes so much stronger? Mine is still not that different.

This is the comparison with the exact same test I had with Oliver at 5 weeks.

I just want to curl up in ball. Today it's raining here, perfect day to feel sorry for myself. Maybe I should call the clinic and go for another blood test today? I am in no pain, which is good, maybe it's not ectopic and maybe it's just the pregnancy arresting. I have of course already looked at the library of pics on fertility friends and all of them show the control line fading with respect to the control, so I don't think I have much hope.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

13dp5dt (4w4d) and beta

The HPT this morning looked promising, still pregnant and probably more intense, I thought it was at least as intense as the test line (by the time it had dried at least). 

Would it have been enough? I went in to the clinic got the blood test and waited. I would have been happy with 150, better 180 or so. 
I just got the call and the value has gone up to 218!! Isn't it great? Doubling time of 30.4 hours, pretty much in line with the previous result. I am a bit relieved that it looks unlikely to be ectopic at this stage. I still want to go in for an early scan and I left a message with the Fav Doctor to see when she'll be happy to give it a go. I'm hoping she'll chance it for next monday (5w2d). 

HCG summary:

9dp5dt: 25
11dp5dt: 73
13dp5dt: 218

To be honest with you the first value didn't give me much hope, but for now it's looking good, another day in the Personal Penguin life, and he seems to be a right fighter! Don't give up little one, despite my best effort I'm feeling more and more attached to you every day that goes by.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Today would have been the day my clinic recommends to do and HPT. And just because I do things my way I didn't! I figure I'll do it tomorrow, no point in me worrying for a day if I were to be unhappy with the intensity of the line. So for today I'm free from worrying!

I managed to get myself an awful cold with coughs and sneezes, which trigger bouts of nausea too. Which is somewhat reassuring.

Not much else to update you on, no twinges since yesterday (nice).

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 20, 2012

11dp5dt (beta update)

I have stitches on my right side. It can be just in my head of course, and I do remember I had them with Oliver too, still not a nice thing to feel!

Tested again this morning, I'm sure you are sick and tired of my HPT pics, but I can't help doing all the comparisons between this series and the previous ones! So here it is for your delight, line getting definitely stronger, we'll see if the HCG will follow suit.

I'm going to the clinic shortly, will update when they call me back with the results. It will have to be at least 50. I had 52 with Oliver at 10dp5dt (but even though he was frozen, the embryologist said it looked like he never was and had fully re-expanded before transfer). Today is 11dp5dt maybe it will be ok. Thanks to you all for the kind support in my never straight forward positive cycles!

Beta update
The clinic just called, the number is up to 73! This gives a good doubling time of 31 hours. In fact, as you know I'm paranoid and I would have liked a less fast doubling time. With the ectopics, believe it or not, I never had that erratic increase you read on the internet. My beta were good. Great in fact, doubling time between 27 and 29 hours. With Oliver, the only normal pregnancy I had a doubling time of 37 hours. In any case, I am safe for now, nothing can happen at this gestational age, I'm going in again on wednesday for a 3rd blood draw and take it from there. I am happy, still very very cautious, but happy for now. I want my Personal Penguin!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


You, my friends, are wonderful. I can't help being very very cautious. You know, among the signs I never mentioned, there's the fact that August cycles never brought good news when it came to pregnancies. I am trying, I swear, to tell myself this is ridiculous etc, but you know how it is.

Anyway, this morning I had a bit of brown spotting, nothing major, and certainly nothing that made me freak out as such, it could be the Personal Penguin nestling in of course, it could be that today would correspond to the change of the month, and of course it could be ectopic (but I am doing all I can to block this out of my mind). It could be that yesterday I was on my own with Oliver quite a bit and I just cannot not cuddle him and lift him when he wants me to hold him. He is a real baby we have, in my scale of priority he's a mile ahead of the potential one growing inside. Mike is being fantastic, he's doing a lot around the house (did I tell you we got finally someone to help with the house cleaning? She's on holiday now though) and handles Oliver's lifting, dressing, bathing etc since the day of the transfer, so I have as much time as I need to take it easy.

I of course tested again to see which way the line was going. I was quite prepared to see it vanishing, but it didn't, it's stronger. We are still talking quite significantly lighter than the control, but what can I expect when my value yesterday was 25?

Beta #2 tomorrow. If I compare numbers with Oliver's pregnancy, I think this looks at least a couple of days behind, unless beta pick up swiftly tomorrow. So this pregnancy lives to see another day. But I think (fear) its days are numbered.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hello Deng (beta update)

Signs started being more positive in the last couple of days. Yesterday I even won 5 solitaires in a row (thanks to Mina for reminding me about the cards game!) and the number 8 ball upon being asked the question "Will I get a BFP tomorrow?" answered "Decidedly so". The physical symptoms also became a bit more difficult to ignore, two nights in a raw I woke up in a sweat, that only happened to me during pregnancy, but still, maybe the progesterone does the same.
In any case, last night I also had THE dream that it was positive.

And this morning it was positive. Second line definitely there, not very strong at all, but I don't have to squint to see it.

It's 9dp5dt, we are cautiously optimistic (very cautiously). It was a FET and the blast didn't look that good or at least not that expanded like we had with Oliver. I'm going to try and go for bloods today and monday, I don't think they'll be able to process today sample till monday, but I am at such a high risk for ectopic I don't want to delay any investigation. It's funny how depending on your past experience the priority after seeing a positive test change. For most is to have a baby at the end of it, for me, still, is trying not to end up in emergency surgery.

Went in for beta this morning and the clinic already called. 25. What a number, eh? We just have to wait and see how it goes on monday, Fav Doc was very happy, but she always is. I would have been happier with a 40.  Never straight forward with us, hold on tight for this new ride.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


If I see a particular car today, then it's a good sign. If I see this other car on the other hand...

Do you ever play this game? Not necessarily with cars of course, that's my thing. I realise that in the 2ww I tend to become a tad superstitious. Not that I really believe it though, but I realise I play "the game" and look for signs from the Universe to talk to me in advance to see if I'm pregnant or not. This is of course because I learnt that your body is completely unreliable when it comes to the 2ww.

6dp5dt and no idea. This is a phrase I used as a post title when I did get pregnant the last time. I really have no idea (may be a good sign?). I think signs point mostly towards not pregnant though.
Here's a list of the signs so far.
It started badly at the clinic the day of the transfer. Bad sign.
They did not give me a pregnancy test. Good sign.
The Fav Doctor did the transfer. Can be both, she only did it once before and it was ectopic.
We have no real name for the penguin (ok, it's just "The personal penguin" from one of Oliver's books, which he calls Deng for some reason). Bad sign. It is very sweet though!

Urge to test early. Bad sign. (I will resist till 9dp5dt)
I played the number 8 ball online and it said "No" than "Yes" and all the shades in between. Irrelevant.
No cycle buddies as such. Irrelevant (I'm generally the Fertility Goddess for others).

Physical symptoms.
2 days of headache (4 and 5dp5dt). Bad sign.
Boobs not sore. Irrelevant.
Insomnia. Also irrelevant.
Cramps on and off. Irrelevant.
Tiredness. Irrelevant.
Heartburn. This is new, I'd class it irrelevant though.

So I really don't know. As I said many times, having Oliver makes this a completely different experience in any case. One thing we know is that we'd like to donate our embryos (if we have any left after adding one more child to the family) to a friend who may need them to build her family. One of the sweetest things Mike said was "I hope it works the first time so there will be more penguins left". This for me would also be one of the best reason why I wish it will work despite all the signs.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The 10 Days on my own

Thank you for all your support on my FET day experience, I don't know if you guys get back to see the comments, I realised I could reply to what you have said and I did it in a couple of occasions!

Anyway, 2dp5dt and trying not to think of it, so I'm writing my last blog post on the holidays.
You may remember that Mike and Oliver travelled back to Europe alone, while I spent another day in San Fran before flying back East to Boston and to a nearby conference. 10 days were LONG without the family. Sure, by the time I was at the conference I was quite busy, but I did miss my little one terribly. The fact that he wasn't sleeping for Mike at all made it even worse. Thanks to the time difference, I was often able to be on skype with them when Oliver would wake up in the middle of the night and not resettling at all. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Mike had relocated Oliver's cot in our bedroom. Still, the one thing that really seemed to help, was me singing to him lullabies through Skype. Given that I am a terrible singer and that I may know about 2 songs, I really think he was just worried I was never coming home. Poor chicken! Of course on top of this he was teething, top two premolar are nearly out now but it wasn't fun.

I loved Boston, I actually prefer Boston to San Francisco, probably just because it has a more familiar feeling. I did one of those hop-on, hop-off tours and it was great. Weather was hot and definitely more humid than in Cali, but totally manageable. I stayed at the Kendall Hotel in Cambridge and totally recommend it. It's a lovely area (I had to go and walk the grounds in Harvard!), hotel is superb and very very conveniently located. So keep it in mind if you happen to go that way! Tripadvisor never lets me down!
Of course one of the highlights was buying the Mac Book Air! And thanks to you all for the tips, yes I have the Office 2011 but the incompatibility I was mainly talking about were between graphic programmes we use in chemistry which lose their original formatting when you copy the schemes in Office for Mac (only). So it's a bit of a pain, but nothing too major.
The conference was a great success, definitely one of the best I've been at and will certainly re-attend in two years time (same place, same venue!) but by the time it was over I was well ready to go back home. I had already described my quite eventful journey back so I will close this post with another little paragraph on Oliver and some of the things that worked for us to help resettle him in a proper routine.

So a part from the first two days I was back, with Oliver really tired and unwell due to the viral infection, our little man stopped sleeping through the night. This was already happening while on holidays, but it was getting out of control. Not only he would wake up for hours during the night, but he had also started not wanting to go down to bed at night. At the beginning I was certain it was separation anxiety, what if mamma was disappearing again? I could see he really wanted to be held tight and his crying wasn't the annoying nagging one, it was the sobbing type, the "I'm really afraid/upset" kind of cry. Furthermore, I seemed to be the only one he wanted. Let me tell you, after a week of this I was ready to hire a nighttime nanny. Surely others may have had this experience, surely there is some technique we can try. I looked among the various books my SIL had given me on parenting (and I never read) and found I had this one called "Beyond Toddlerdom" written by Christopher Green. That was not really suitable as it deals with children behaviour from 4 onwards, but the same author has written this other one called "New Toddler Taming" and the reviews were great. Anyway, I bought it and I am really glad I did. The book is full of very good tips and mostly common sense, but it also shows you how a toddler thinks and gives lists of things that are normal behaviour and others that are behaviours to be rectified. It has a full chapter on sleeping and he has optimised what it is called the "controlled crying techniques" which is NOT the CIO technique, it specifically prevents any crying situation from escalating, the author states that it is proven that after 10 minutes, most toddlers don't actually know anymore why they are crying and become very scared. It's totally pointless to ley it get to that level. Anyway, we tried it and within 2 days our Oliver was back to full night sleeps. Seriously, this was just a little short of a miracle. He says it in the book you have to allow 3 days and 90% of the time it works like a treat. Glad we were not the 10%! The going to bed protest occasionally resurface (mostly monday night, after the first day back in the creche) but we now have the tools to handle it very well and within 10 minutes at the most he's always quiet (normally we don't know when he falls asleep as we leave the room that he still awake). Let me know if you try it out. Of course there are many other chapters dealing with tantrums, feeding and toilet training, so it's really good and furthermore it's written very lightly, with lots of examples from his experience as a paediatrician who specialise in behaviour.
Anyway, going to read a bit more of the book!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

FET day

And so today arrived. I got my usual call in the morning to make sure we were still alive and happy to progress with transfer. It was a new embryologist, I never met her before, somehow I was hoping that Ivy would have handled my embryos. But ah well. As always they have to tell you that they will defrost one at the time (in our case we wanted a single embryo transferred) and should the first one not survive they go ahead with the next one and so on. If I didn't hear anything then come to the clinic for 3.30. Transfer scheduled for 4.
I went on with my day and for 3.30 we were at the clinic. I was called almost immediately to the pre-transfer area and I kept drinking a bit as I usually pace myself not to be too full.
Here things started going not so well. Mike found a newspaper and just started reading it. So much for company and support. I had to tell him it wasn't very nice for me to watch him reading the newspaper. 4 came and went. By 4.20 I was literally in pain my bladder was bursting. I sent Mike to the nurses to see what the hold up was. Sorry we are a bit behind, she can use the toilet to relieve the pressure but it'll only be a few more minutes. So I waited. The usual theatre nurse came to get us, and brought us to theatre. She scanned me and my bladder was a balloon! I decided to pee a bit. By the time I came back I was again in pain. It was 4.45 by now. I had to go a second time. Furthermore, today there was the female boxing final at the Olympics and an Irish boxer was going for gold. At 4.45. Everyone seemed to care just about that. It really wasn't a nice feeling. Not only I couldn't give a shit about it, but boxing is my absolute least favourite sport. Anyway, the embryologist came in to tell us they only had to defrost one embryo, so we still have 4 in storage. This embryo by the time of the transfer had started to re-expand, so I think she was optimistic it has a chance. Me not so much. But I'm sure it's because of all the emotional surroundings of the day. When we transferred Oliver, by the time of transfer it had fully expanded and it looked like it had never been frozen. This one is definitely slower. The Fav Doc did the transfer, it was over very quickly and I was wheeled back to recovery room just in time so that Mike could rush out to see the end of the boxing. So there I was, bladder bursting and unable to get up from the bed. A nurse came in to say she just couldn't watch the match she felt so anxious and off she went again. Ireland got a gold medal, lots of cheers from the crowd outside my cubicle, the telly happened to be just outside. Mike came in for a second and off he went again. At this stage I was really getting upset. I had to call Mike to help me get up and finally pee. I had a knot in my throat and just wanted to go and pick up Oliver. Which I actually cannot lift now for a few days. Such an anticlimax. I sent Mike to get the nurse, I had enough. I had to listen for the 7th time to all the recommendations which always end in "stay positive, it can and it does work".
I am at home now, I won't be going into work tomorrow, not that I think bed rest is necessary at all, but I also don't think I have ever felt so negative about a cycle so soon to be honest. And sure I know even in the absence of an important sport final, doctors and nurses are just working, but it's just so much nicer when you think it actually matters to some one else other than you only. I also know my feelings are completely irrelevant to the outcome of this transfer, I won't feel guilty one bit for being upset. Mike specially really let me down, but I wonder why I keep getting surprised. You know I gave him a voucher gift last Christmas for an hour with a pilot in a flight simulator? It took ages to find it, I was so so happy I got that idea, I was sure he would have loved it, and maybe he did, but he actually has not done it yet. Why do I bother, seriously, is it me expecting too much?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Apple Bug!

I have always been a pc gal. Well, Cali changed me radically!! I really like Apple product, just not laptops and computers (I mean...I didn't!) and I of course know it's a matter of habit, but the things that bugs me the most is the incompatibility between programmes and the occasional glitch between the same programmes which are share between pc and Mac. Some of my students have Macs and let me tell you, it definitely takes longer to write up stuff between us.
In any case, when you travel to the States, you can't help but notice that every second person will use a Mac. And there's no question, they are awesome (see...the American in me coming out!). But still I would not have really gone for it. Till I calculated that in dollars, the cost of a super fab Mac Book Air would have been over 20% cheaper than if I bought it in Europe. Irresistible. So of course, as a newbie at the Apple Store in Boston, I got the full intro on the machine, which is of course very straight forward and let me tell you, I'm in LOVE! Now, I have not made the full switch yet (and I'm still learning), too much stuff on the work laptop, but I'm keeping this new toy for home, blogging, surfing etc. I'm really glad I got it, I got the feeling there will be many more in the future!!

On FET news, I have started PIO and pessaries, all going well, I'm going to take friday off and just chill. Mike should be taking Oliver to his parents on Saturday so I will have another day with very little to do. Three more sleeps!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cyber Friends

I was so so fortunate to be able to meet in person two fantastic cyber friends that I have followed for years. Best When Used By and Rain were as amazing as I expected. I think the best thing of meeting people you "know" through the blogs and occasional emails, is that there is an immediate connection, things are easy, there is lots to talk about and it feels like you know them quite well already. I met Cadet who is the softest baby ever, really he's so so cute and cuddly, Oliver was really taken by him too! And Scout is such a big boy now, we had a lovely time at the park with me and BWUB chasing after the children up and down the slides. I also had the chance of meeting Rain's husband, McRuger, we had a family day out with them and again it was so easy going and enjoyable, I wish we could have done it again. Seriously! And I'm hoping they'll be coming to Ireland one day soon and though we don't have the weather to offer (Rain may actually love the weather here!) and neither the food, I'm sure we would have a great time together. Now, BWUB is about to become mom again (twins!) so I suspect she'll be busy for a while, and Rain is planning adoption number two...but one can hope right? Worse case, we'll be meeting them in Cali the next time we go over!

In FET news, today was the last scan. The Favourite Doctor was there and scanned me herself! There was a new doctor that joined the clinic and so she assisted at the scan too. I love when this happens as generally I learn a lot more. My lining is at a whopping 11.1 mm! Wow! The transfer is confirmed for thursday next week at 4pm and hopefully I won't start panicking about my penguins surviving the thaw...ok, I'm already thinking about it... Anyway. I'll start progesterone in two days time and maybe I should start listening to the meditation tape soon...Stay tuned!