Thursday, May 8, 2014

IVF 4.0 (Yes, really)

So here I sit on the other side of infertility, finally a mother to a perfect twenty-month old after three fresh cycles of IVF and a handful of IUI's. The time, oh the time, it goes much, much too quickly. People tell you this, but in the haze of newborn nights and breastfeeding and endless diapers, you can't believe it to be true, but it is. It is painfully true and the tiny baby who I thought was never going to fit into his three-month sleepers is now saying oodles of words and has a mouthful of teeth and can operate a stick vacuum.

Earlier this year the husband and I were looking at switching G's daycare. Not because we don't love our current daycare, but they are closed a lot more than we'd like them to be and it's hard when you don't have a back-up childcare provider. I really wanted to move him to the local Jewish community center daycare, which is open more frequently and has a similar program to our current daycare. They do not have infant childcare though so if we left our current provider and had another child we'd have to start all over again getting on the waitlist and infant childcare (twelve months and under) is nearly impossible in the city. Anyway, all this lead us to have a come-to-Jesus meeting on trying to have another baby. Since we never had any embryos make it to freezing we'd have to start all over again. So we made a late February appointment (on our 10th wedding anniversary) with our RE (who we've been patients of for NINE AND A HALF YEARS). Our initial appointment was "hey let's check your AMH/FSH/antral follicles before we make any decisions." On CD 3 in March I got my levels checked and I honestly can't remember my exact numbers but the AMH was down a tiny amount and the FSH was up a tiny amount. My antral follicle count was 13, also down slightly. Dr. Groucho, our RE, told me to not worry about the small drop, he didn't think it was that significant. I'm still worried about the numbers. Anyway, after a lot of hand-wringing we decided to go ahead and try one more time, because what the hell right? We have been given a 30% chance of success. 30%. Ugh. I would never gamble on anything with those kind of odds, yet here we are gambling $16,000 on something with those odds. Oof.

We are currently in the birth control phase of IVF. I take my last pill on the 17th and my baseline ultrasound is on the 21st.  I also ordered $5,000 worth of medicine this week. When that happened I almost passed out. I mean I *knew* it was going to be around that much, but still, I just wasn't ready for the sticker shock. Then I started having IVF cold-feet. I do want to have another baby, I would love to have a sibling for G but I am completely terrified we're doing the wrong thing. Before G there was so much desperation and so much of just wanting one, one perfect baby. We got our perfect baby and I had a perfect pregnancy and a perfect labor and delivery (in my mind at least). Now I feel like wanting one more of that is selfish and tempting fate too much. How likely is it that lighting will strike twice? But then again other people who don't have to do IVF to have kids have second kids that are totally fine and I seriously doubt they spend much time worrying about it. So many conflicting emotions too. If it doesn't work (and there's a 70% chance it won't) I'll be really, really sad and I'll probably be really, really mad we wasted $16,000. But I know if we don't try this at all, that in six to seven years we will probably regret that we never tried again. 

Back on the IVF train we go...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What's next

I didn't mean to totally abandon this space but life has gotten in the way and so has writer's block. Life has been pretty busy since our sweet boy's arrival. Since he came right around my busy work season I was working pretty early on during my maternity leave. Then I started back to work after six weeks with the baby and it's been almost impossible to update either of my blogs. 

Having a newborn is hard, but it's not nearly as hard as the years we spent waiting and wondering if we'd ever get here. Infertility has not been magically cured now that we have a baby, we're still infertile. I still bristle at pregnancy and parenting complaints that people post on Facebook. I still feel a tiny bit bitter towards people who get pregnant so easily and don't realize how lucky they are when there are so many women who want to be in their shoes.

I don't really have an intention to blog about parenthood, singularly at least. On my other blog I'll mention it (whenever it gets updated) but I don't want that to be the sole thing I talk about. I'm leaving this space as is and I'll  probably post some periodic updates. I'm curious to see what my FSH and AMH levels do in the future. I wonder if they'll continue to decline or hold steady? We have only briefly discussed the possibility of trying for second baby. We don't have any frozen embryos so it would have to be a fresh cycle and we have to have to funds to attempt IVF again. We would both love to have another child but I almost feel like I was so lucky to have an uneventful pregnancy, an easy delivery and a healthy child that I don't know if we should tempt fate again. We have a little  time to think about it though. Right now we're spending almost all our time enjoying the baby we wished so hard for.

I'm hoping everyday that the bloggers I have been following will finally get their positive tests, their high betas, their strong heartbeats, and their take home babies. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A real live miracle

Our tiny IVF miracle arrived one week early on July 24 after a quick labor, weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces. It's a boy and he has a head full of dark hair. I can't tell you ecstatically happy and grateful we are. When I start thinking about everything we've been through to get here I start crying. So many years, so many procedures, so many tears and he's finally here. 

From one of these tiny clusters....
 To this beautiful boy
We're finally parents

Friday, July 20, 2012


We're getting so close! My weekly appointment was Tuesday and there was no change but she said the head was still very low. I've had some light cramping off and on but nothing awful. I also feel more pressure down below when the baby rolls around. 

Last weekend we got a lot of odds and ends done. Doug installed both carseat bases and put together the stroller caddy and the giant swing (which I'm sure we'll be thankful for later). I made another couple of freezer meals and a few batches of frozen cookie balls that just have to be stuck in the oven and baked. This week we had a cleaning service come and clean the house and I'm so glad we spent the money. 

Speaking of money, we got our first dose of how expensive childcare is. We went on several daycare waiting lists in March. We got in our number two pick shortly after. It's a great program, it's just no. 2 because it's further away from our house so we'll have to drive a little bit out of the way to take the baby there. Anyway, I called our no. 1 pick to see where we stood on the waiting list and we're third on the list, but there's only one spot so it looks like we'll be using the place we have a spot at. So the place we'll be sending the baby has a dayschool so it runs like a school, starting in August, running through May, etc. We found out that we have to start paying the full tuition for the months of August, September, and October, even though our baby can't start going until twelve weeks, which will be around the first of November. I was pretty upset by this, Doug isn't as upset about it as me. On one hand I'm so glad to have a spot at such a great place, but on the other hand I feel like we're essentially having to throw away a substantial amount of money for no services. I guess this is normal protocol but we really didn't realize it. Plus it stings to have to shell out more money when we're still trying to recover from all the IVF expenses. Sigh, I think it's always something though. 

We're still very excited and I'm hoping for an uncomplicated delivery that gives us a healthy, happy baby. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

36wks & 37 wks

So this is really happening. I think we're really having a baby in a few weeks. Un-freaking-believable. 

Our maternity pictures turned out really well, super sweet couple and super nice to work with. I kind of hate my hair but that's because it's still in the weird growing out phase and the humidity/natural curl doesn't help. Meh. I'll be posting some of them on my other blog later this week. 

My appointment last week was uneventful (I did not get bitten again). I've stopped asking about my weight gain, I know it's hovering around 30 pounds so I'm just going to leave it at that. I did get to drop trou for the first time since the transvag ultrasounds stopped. I got swabbed for Group B Strep but since I hadn't had any cramping she put off doing a cervical check, which was fine with me. 

We have our carseat and bases (thanks to some very generous family members and a friend) we just need to install them, sooner rather than later. I started washing the swaddle wraps, bibs, burp cloths, and blankets this week and I need to sort the clothes and wash a few outfits. Our diaper bag came in, it's not really a diaper bag, it's really the Clipper Tote from Timbuk2 but we didn't want something super baby-ish. I've made my hospital bag list, now I just need to pack it. I also called our insurance company to make sure I had the correct information on how to add the baby to our health insurance. It still seems weird to be making all these major preparations.

I've continued to feel pretty good. Minor aches and pains, heartburn/indigestion, and frequent potty breaks are about it. It's been crazy hot here but I've stayed indoors as much as possible and I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. The baby has continued to move around a lot, my doctor said since my amniotic fluid has peaked movement will probably be less pronounced now. I still feel a lot of shudders and pokes, again it sometimes feel like this baby want to exit through my stomach.

Today I had my 37 week appointment and my doctor said I tested negative for Group B, so no antibiotics needed. I had heard cervical checks were painful but I thought it couldn't be that bad, I mean I've had giant needles poking into my ovaries how bad could the doctor's fingers be? Well, it was pretty toe-curling and not in a good way. But I know that actual labor and delivery will be far more painful so I'll suck it up. I expected her to tell me that everything was long and closed (cervix-wise) but she said I was 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced. Basically it means nothing though, based on what I've read you can be at 1 for weeks. This baby can keep baking for a couple of more weeks though. I have a ton of work stuff at do before my maternity leave starts and I feel like I need every minute I have. Although really I know that in the end if baby comes early work will figure out how to manage without me. 

T-minus 3 weeks....(or 4 if he/she is stubborn)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

34wks & 35wks

Things I can't believe sometimes: 
- IVF #3 actually worked
- We're 5 weeks (give or take) from meeting this tiny little person who's stretching my belly out to weird configurations
- There's really a baby coming & it's ours

Last week I had my 34 week appointment, the seeing that doctor part was pretty uneventful but the waiting room was a zoo. My doctor has a private practice, it's just her, and her waiting room seats about 11 people snugly. On Wednesday I walked in and it was standing room only. Until I realized one woman had her purse in a chair, which she eventually moved so I could sit. There was a super loud grandmother there with her pregnant daughter and her 2ish year-old  granddaughter who was running around the tiny waiting room like a lunatic. There was also another loud couple across the waiting room who was having a conversation with the loud grandmother. Right after sitting down the 2 year-old ran and planted her face into my lap and then proceeded to bite my knee through my dress until her grandmother pulled her off. Fun times. After that I got to listen to the ramblings of the loud couple and the loud grandmother until they each got called back. I think that was the longest I've sat in the waiting room. When I finally got back to see the doctor everything was fine, my BP is good, weight isn't that bad(still more than I'd like though), baby's heart rate is good, etc. My next appointment is at 36 weeks (next week) and I'll get the Group B Strep test (not looking forward to that). I don't really know when (or if) my doctor does internal checks, my best guess would be that I'd get one next week while she's down there...

Over the weekend my best friend threw me a baby shower in my hometown. It was so nice, it was at a local restaurant and she and her mom did an amazing job putting it together. Our family and friends were extra generous and we got a lot of useful baby things. I can't tell you how weird it was to be at a baby shower for me instead of someone else. It's even weirder that now there's a whole lot of baby things in our house for us, not waiting to be gifted to other people but for us and our baby. Amazing. Doug's department is also throwing a shower for us on the 12th and I can't wait to see him open baby presents. 

This Sunday we're having some maternity photos done at our house. I went back and forth for awhile about having pictures done and then I thought this might be the only time I'm ever pregnant and if that's the case I want to capture that you know? So a friend of my mine recommended a couple who do very nice work and they're coming Sunday. It won't be anything cheesy or silly, just us and this giant bump of baby : )

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

32wks & 33wks

Getting closer and closer. According to the compare-your-baby-to-fruit-website, our baby is the size of a pineapple this week. That's given me this unshakable image of a pineapple-baby in my stomach.

My 32 week appointment last week was uneventful, up about 1.5 lbs. (ugh). BP is normal and all that jazz is still good. I'm starting to feel more hefty and tired, mainly in the afternoon. It's more difficult to sleep comfortably and I have to roll over a lot because my legs get sore. I still have nothing to complain about, I'm pregnant, I'm healthy, as far as we know baby's healthy and hopefully we'll have a healthy full-term baby with an uncomplicated delivery. Baby moves around a lot and I think I've felt hiccups. Sometimes he/she will curl up on one side of my stomach, making it appear lopsided and it's equal parts weird and amazingly awesome.

Our childbirth classes were this past weekend. On Friday night we had a two-hour class called 'Mind Over Body'. I wouldn't call it a natural childbirth class exactly but it focused on ways to use your mind/different positions, etc. to work through labor without an epidural. We learned breathing techniques and used birth balls and chairs and massage. At the end we went through these stations and used clothes pins on our ears and ice cubes in our hands to simulate the pain of a contraction. On Saturday morning we had the all day 'Pregnancy to Parenthood' class. It started at 8:15AM and finished at 4:30PM. It was useful, there were a lot of couples in there with due dates close to ours, lots of younger couples too. I think there was about 12 couples total. The guys seemed kind of immature for impending fatherhood. I was really glad to have a husband who is not worried about the lack of beer, parties, and money after the baby comes. I think we both learned more about the actual length and the stages of labor, plus we got a tour of the Labor & Delivery unit and the nursery, which had a teeny, tiny newborn in it. At one point we were standing by the elevators waiting and there was a little chime. The nurse told us that every time a baby is born the chime plays. Cue the tears (for me). Of course I only teared up a tiny bit, I didn't want all the other people around us to think I was insane. But that little chime just made this actual birth of a baby thing seem a little more real. Plus I started to think about everything we've been through and how we got it, add to that the fact I'm full of hormones and then you have the tears. All in the all I think the classes were helpful, even though we both know how to change diapers, feed, bath, and swaddle babies. I've been around little ones since I was a kid and Doug has been around all our nieces and nephews since they were born so we've both changed our share of diapers.

I can't believe how quickly time is flying by. It's just a few short weeks until it's July and then not long after that it'll hopefully be baby time.