Second beta was 1166, doubling time of 38 hours!
First ultrasound is scheduled for January 16th, at 7w2d.
Here we go!
Second beta was 1166, doubling time of 38 hours!
First ultrasound is scheduled for January 16th, at 7w2d.
Here we go!
I haven’t spent a Christmas with my family in Colorado for 6 years, since La and I got serious and I started travelling with her to Indiana for the holiday. We went to Indy for every Christmas because we lived in the same state as my family and spent time with them regularly (and we could very easily have a Christmas celebration prior to the actual holiday) and didn’t often have the opportunity to see all of L’s family. My mom was not happy about this, but mostly kept her mouth shut about it until I got pregnant, and then was especially vocal after Ansel was born, to the point of accosting me in April, at just 3 weeks postpartum, about where we’d be for a holiday more than 6 months away. Every time she brought it up, we reminded her that when we moved (and it was always when, not if), we’d start alternating Christmases between CO and IN. And so, now that we live in Washington, it was time to make good on that promise.
So, last Friday we flew out to Colorado to spend the weekend with my family and, hopefully, see at least a few of our friends. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’d gotten used to L’s family and the Christmas gatherings and traditions in Indiana. L asked me what my family did for Christmas eve and Christmas day and I could only tell her what we did 7 years ago. I was excited though. Because while I loved being with L and was used to how things happened in Indy, I had also missed being with my family over those years and was looking forward to being ‘home.’
Yesterday on our way back to Seattle I said to L, “I wish we’d gone to Indiana.”And, “at least we are off the hook for two years now.” So, it maybe didn’t go as well as planned.
THE LESS GOOD
And finally . . .L went in for her first beta yesterday (Weds) and it came back at . . . 492.9 MIU/m! She goes back tomorrow to see if it’s rising, but things are definitely looking good for Tiny! After the second beta, we’ll have an US with the clinic at 7-8 weeks, and then graduate to a regular OB/midwife. Unlike me, L is still unsure who she wants to handle her care or really much about her pregnancy and birth . . .other than in a hospital and with an epidural.
We are both incredibly shocked that it worked on the first try. And, even more so, the first try that also got kind of screwed up. There’s some irony in the fact that here, where we hit the proverbial fertility/queer conception lottery, we have the insurance benefits to pay for more invasive and expensive options. The last try, when we really thought we’d just get lucky with a turkey baster, we had to escalate to IVF. A friend asked if I was “mad” that L had conceived so easily. . . and someone else mentioned they’d wondered as well. Of course I’m NOT because 1) it’s not a competition and 2) this baby is my baby too which means this fertility/conception process is also mine (just as my trying to get pregnant was L’s experience) And I wouldn’t wish my process on anyone, least of all my beloved. I think, perhaps, if L had gone first and had an easy time of it and then, afterwards, I struggled – maybe I would have some sense of resentment or jealousy or pain. But I did it, I had my experience and we got through it and we have the cutest child imaginable, so it feels very much like water under the bridge. And, if/when I do want to have another, there are 4 tested embryos to choose from (plus that fertility coverage that will now have nary a dent in it and be able to pay for a FET!)
I do feel rushed. I expected to have more time – even if it was just a month or so more – to contemplate this whole huge thing. So, I feel a little taken aback. I’m not scared or regretful, just slightly overwhelmed. Every part of this process has gone quicker than we expected or anticipated – from getting started on the testing and process on the day of our consult to ending up pregnant with a converted IUI. So the feelings I thought I’d have months to sort out are here now, needing to be addressed.
I’m excited to see what things are like on this side of the experience, being the NGP. I don’t think I feel loss, really, but it is harder to feel connected to it all right now. I know L has been having a lot of anxiety prior to the beta and because she’s having cramping. Of course, I did my best to reassure her that cramping is normal while also not being unrealistic about things. I realized how much easier it is to be calm and confident on this side of things. She also asked me last night, “what’s your experience of a pregnant wife?” and I realized I hadn’t thought about it, really – not in the depth that she had, and not with the intensity I though about pregnancy when I was a week deep in my own. It’s not that I don’t think about the fact that we are going to have another kid – I do, lots! – it’s just a different kind of connection to the whole thing. It isn’t rooted in my body, and so the experience has been more cerebral this time around. So far, anyway.
I’ll keep y’all updated with numbers and the deets. Also, we are totally weirded out by the idea that we don’t know the sex of this embryo because when you do IVF you get accustomed to weird shit like knowing the sex of your potential child before you’re even sure you’re pregnant.
We still haven’t hit 24 hours puke free, thanks to Ansel’s penchant for barfing in the middle of the night, but the volume of vomit is way down, and the number of pukes per 24 hour cycle is down to just one. He’s also regained a lot of energy and is interested in eating and drinking, so while we’re not out of Baby-FluTown, we are definitely on our way past the city limits.
Of course, now sets in the end of the TWW panic/hope/desperation/waiting. L took a test on Saturday and yesterday, and both had lines so faint that her amateur eye couldn’t see them – but my practiced pee stick vision saw those faintest positives. Of course, those faint positives could be the last traces of the trigger leaving her system, or they could be just the beginning of Tiny beginning to snuggle in – there’s no way of knowing. She took another this morning and I feel reasonably sure it was a negative – I thought maybe there was a line but upon close inspection, I think I was imagining it.
The stomach drop I felt at seeing that negative brought me back to just how awful this game makes you feel. After all, it’s really very much too early to count a negative test as anything. BUT, the tiny build up of hope that those faint, faint positives caused exploded into grief so easily. Afterall, if the test today was negative, it meant those faint positives were the trigger, not a baby. There’s still time for a legitimate positive to appear, but the hope gets more slippery the closer to 14 days we get . . .
I thought I was in a sort of zen place about this IUI, but now I know I’m not. The problem is, I think, that IVF (especially with the genetic testing) feels a little like a silver bullet for us (it’s not, that’s just how it feels) Since we had so many failed ICIs and IUIs and then a helluva time with my IVF cycle . . .but ultimately, we got pregnant on that first transfer. So, going into this process, knowing it made the most sense logistically and financially (thanks, insurance!) to just go to IVF – I think we probably felt a little invincible, you know? And I carried a little of that over to the IUI briefly. But now I remember. I remember what a total and complete crap-shoot this is, and how hard it feels no matter if it’s the first or the fifteenth try.
And I want SO BAD for this time to be easy, for this time just to work. I want so badly for my beautiful partner to not have this be a struggle, I want her to get this thing easily. I want it for both of us, for our family. But I want it more for her. Because I know all of the things that race through your head about your worth, about fault, about your body and I don’t want her to feel that. I just want the joy, the hope, the excitement of creating something in your body.
But. We just don’t know. Could be or couldn’t be. Maybe/maybe not. All we can do is wait.
In other news:
3 1/2 more days fo work, then off to Denver we go. 4 1/2 more days and we’ll know if 2017 starts with the first trimester, or if it’s back to the fertility clinic for us. Plz plz plz, hoping for an Xmas miracle.
Not inhabiting the potentially pregnant body means both less obsessing about symptom-non-symptoms and also a greater feeling of general disconnection and anxiety about the whole process. Like, mostly I am not constantly thinking about maybe being pregnant but then when I do, I feel so crazy because I have absolutely no information at all, not even the vaguest hint of false information. It’s . . .weird? different? better? I don’t know.
I do know that L’s boobs hurt REALLY bad because she talks about it all the time (this is not complaining, BTW; I also complained about boob pain because when those things hurt they fucking HURT!) – so it’s the clearest symptom I can point toward. Of course, we both know that those fun little progesterone pills up the vag can cause breast tenderness just as easily as a burrowing embryo. I’m hoping that the intensity of the breast pain means good news is on it’s way but . . .”could mean everything/could mean nothing” is the meditation of the TWW, is it not?
We still haven’t decided when to test, I suggested this coming Wednesday or Thursday, figuring the HCG should be out by around 10-11 days after trigger, and a positive is possible. We all know that I am terrible about waiting to test. I did go buy L a bunch of walm.art tests (which is significant because the walm.art near us makes me feel fucking intensely anxious every time I even get near it) with a plan of testing out the trigger but the first test she took on Monday to do so ended up being a dud (no control line popped) and the rest of the week’s events have sort of eclipsed pee stick obsession. So, now we are stuck in the trigger/legit positive limbo that so many of us know so well.
But on to the rest of the week!
So, last Saturday we all got up early and headed out of the house. Ansel and I took L to the clinic for a 9:30am IUI and we went to an indoor play cafe to bide our time. The IUI, by all accounts, went well – aside from the nurse apologizing that L might feel more discomfort from the speculum if she’s “not used to things being up there’ – somehow insinuating that heterosexual ladies experience so much comfort with the process because a penis and a speculum are so similar?! In any case, the donor had great numbers and the process itself was uneventful. L felt fullness in her ovaries until late Saturday/early Sunday – so, good news on that front too.
Once the deed was done, we picked L up and got on the road to Portland so L could attend a meeting. Unfortunately, thanks to a small fender bender I was in a while back (I will save my tirade about Seattle drivers for another post), my car was in the shop getting repaired and L’s was getting a factory recall part replaced, leaving us with the rental my insurance was providing – a tiny, 3 door coupe with zero pick up. The worst part of this car was that it’s size meant A’s carseat sat up more vertically than normal (he’s still rear facing) which limited his ability to nap well on the drive. I spent half the drive down in the back with him, letting him watch youtube to keep him from totally losing his shit. It was nerve wracking for all of us, and then just blocks from the hotel, he barfed all over himself and me after shoving too many goldfish crackers in his mouth.
Salt in the wound when we arrived – the hotel room wasn’t ready yet. L had to get to her meeting, Ansel hadn’t napped and we were both covered in vomit. We changed him, but in a request for the room to be made up, then went across the street to a hipster deli where he ate an entire hotdog and his own weight in ketchup off a pickle spear. After lunch, the room still wasn’t ready so we walked down to Powell’s, where we made it 5 minutes before a full scale body-on-the-floor tantrum ensued. We walked back to the hotel and I decided the best way to expedite the room readying process was to expose the hotel staff to my tantruming toddler to prove just how badly we needed the room. That plus full term nursing seemed to work. Ansel was able to get a little nap and I got a little downtime.
L’s mom got in to PDX late that night – unexpectedly, since we anticipated her arriving on Sunday morning – so we slept three adults to the queen size bed, with Ansel joining us in the early morning. No one slept well, and I woke up with a head cold. The highway to Mt Hood for the Polar Express was closed, so we took the tiny rental roller skate on the slushy back mountain roads to the train. Ansel slept only briefly before we had to resort to youtube again.
The train ride, though, was magical! He loved the train! He loved the hot cocoa and cookie! He loved Santa! He loved his Oma! He also licked the seat of the train which, in retrospect, was probably the worst thing that could have happened. For the three hours we were on the train, it was magical!
Monday was uneventful, for which I am grateful.
Tuesday morning, A woke up around 6 and I went in to get him. I noticed his sleepsack felt wet but I thought he might have peed through his diaper and I know from experience it’s best to just let it be until after he’r nursed since changing him before he’s fully awake leads to meltdown. I nursed him in the chair for a bit, then he sat up and barfed all over me . . .once, twice, three times. I woke L up and we looked in the crib – more barf. I changed, we changed him, he wanted to nurse more – so I let him. And he barfed again.
Things would basically continue like this for the next two and a half days. Ansel would want to nurse, or maybe drink a tiny bit of water, barf and then collapse in exhaustion and either sleep or zone out until the cycle began again. On Tuesday, L and her mom were on duty; Wednesday I took the day off to try and shake my own cold which had now moved into my chest and took on the barf catcher role. We called the doctor on Wednesday after we found blood in his vomit the night before. They reassured us that this was likely due to small tears from the intensity of vomiting and to keep an eye on dehydration. He would sometimes be able to keep some pedialyte or breast milk down and we’d feel hopeful, but an hour or so later, he’d be back to the barf.
Finally, on Thursday we decided to take him in. I had to teach, so L brought him to the doc. They told her he was definitely showing signs of dehydration and recommended trying to give him tylenol suppositories to get him feeling enough better to keep something down. I thought he needed something more significant, and we ended up deciding together to take him to the ER at the Children’s Hospital. They gave him Zofr.an which made an incredible impact – he nursed a bunch once I was able to get away and meet them and drank some water – and kept it down. They sent us home with some additional to give him over the next few days, and some additional reassurance that it was likely a very bad stomach bug and not appendicitis or something else surgical. Once home, he nursed more, drank more water and even ate some food! We gave him some additional zo.fran last night when he woke up screaming, and he went back to sleep easily after some rocking.
This morning it was clear he was on the way back to health. He nursed at wake up, then leapt off my lap to play with the trains he hadn’t touched in three days. When I left for work, he’d managed to spill a cup of coffee and create a toy-naydo in the living room. So, it’s safe to say he’s feeling better -although still a bit on the low energy side of things.
I am very grateful that this is the first big barfing illness he’s had. Grateful for insurance so good we don’t even second guess taking him to the ED when we think he needs it. Grateful for the distraction from whether tiny is becoming an embryo. But also, fuuuuuuck this week. Also, if someone could come lysol our whole house that would be awesome.
**UPDATE: IUI is now scheduled for 10am on Saturday, if you need specificity to direct your woo**
Change of plans. Of course.
If there’s anything reliable about the TTC game, it’s that it probably won’t work out the way you plan it.
This morning, L went for her day 5 check – her first ultrasound since starting stims. After bloodwork on Tuesday, they’d lowered her dose of menop.ur based just on E2 levels. Today, the NP told her that there was one dominant follicle (at 23mm) on the right, and two on the left at 12ish mm. Not ideal for an IVF cycle, but not terrible news for an IUI. So, that’s what we’ll be doing. Tomorrow.
Of course, it’s a mixed bag of feelings. On the one hand, plans changing (almost) always gets me down. There’s the money already sunk into an IVF cycle (I think we should be able to work this through with the clinic, though – and of course, it’s a tiny proportion compared to the past and what others spend) and the meds (that’s another story.) There’s the lower chance of success (they quoted her at 12-15%) vs. IVF (70% with the genetic testing we’re electing) and the waiting another cycle if this one doesn’t work.
But, also . . .it could work. And if it does then – AWESOME. If it works, there’s no having to go through retrieval, there’s no having to do a FET, there’s a September Virgo baby (just like Oma!) And after the difficulties of conceiving Ansel, maybe this is the universe’s way of telling us we get to do this one easy?
But, there also wouldn’t be extra L-egg embryos to maybe transfer to my uterus for baby #3 (yes, if I hadn’t mentioned, we are definitely on board for 3 tiny Lyonches – at least, right now we are) which would be a loss. So, it’s never straightforward, you know?
But, the only other option is to cancel altogether, and why do that? So, it’s earlier than I thought we’d be asking . . .but I’m asking for the baby dust, the sticky kind (ugh, I shudder at the phrase but, you know, it is what it is I guess) because we are diving into an unexpected TWW that will end right before Christmas. It would be really nice to get a little miracle in the season of Hope.
Here’s to Tiny and the Twins and successful fertilization (of one, or maybe two of them but definitely not all three!)
Today is L’s day 4 of stims. According to bloodwork yesterday, things are going well. They dropped her dosage of menop.ur from 150IU to 75IU and I think her E2 was in the 600 range? When it’s not your blood they’re taking and your electronic chart, it’s easier not to obsess about the numbers. Or, maybe it’s just easier to not get the information without looking like a total obsessive asshole? Alternately, it’s hard not to compare everything to my experience (numbers, procedure, etc.) which is maybe a little fun but could also easily become obnoxious. I’m trying to just Be Cool. Tomorrow is her first ultrasound of the cycle – and we all know that’s when the real fun starts.
I haven’t given you a solid, dedicated update on Ansel in a while, so maybe I should do that? He’ll be 21 months in a 10 days and is morphing steadily from baby into child in ways that are exciting, exhausting, frustrating and wonderful.
He’s talking SO much more, although he seems to mostly have mastered the beginnings of words and the ends seem to come later. But, in addition to adding words (sometimes 2-3 a day), he also seems to be shoring up the pronunciation of some of the long standing ones. And, in any case, we can differentiate between book and basket – which is really what matters at this stage in the game. He’s started to occasionally string two words together – nigh nigh ‘ights! Hi-Dah Bo! Ah-Suh teeth! – and is doing a decent job of communicating verbally these days. He can sort of count to three, but mostly he only pronounces ‘two.’
He’s also entered the full blown intensity of toddler feelings, which includes the whiney-cry, the body-slam-temper, the food-driven-joy-dance, the in-love-with-life spin, the punch-drunk-wrastle. Where Ansel is a little behind his peers verbally, he’s pretty advanced physically – jumping, climbing everything with ease, dancing, stomping, clapping. He is fully and wonderfully in his body. This does mean that hanging with him means doing a LOT of physical supervision and a LOT of watching to ensure he doesn’t hurt himself. There’s a fine line these days between wanting to allow him the space and freedom to explore – so necessary for a toddler – and also keeping him safe. He really enjoys creating tunnels out of things like chairs, blankets and furniture and then crawling through them. He also especially loves climbing our bar height kitchen chairs to get to the table top. We are hoping to re-direct this behavior through the learning tower he got as an early xmas gift from my parents. He’s the fastest little scrabbler I’ve ever seen and loves climbing the big-kid size structures at the park. We are so, so fucked.
We are still nursing. Mostly, this is great. Sometimes, it is annoying. On work days, he nurses on wake up, when I get home and before bed. On the weekends, though – he could nurse all damn day if I let him. He also enjoys tweaking/pinching the opposite nipple which makes the whole experience less enjoyable. I’ve been trying to set some boundaries about the tweaking, and sometimes about when and how long. In the moment, he hates it. In the long run, it seems to mostly work. My goal is really to allow him to self-wean but I’m also not into letting something continue that might end up growing resentment between us. On the more endearing side of things, he has recently started holding his doll or his train up to my opposite breast to ‘nurse’ alongside him. This morning when L leaned down to give him a kiss while he was nursing, he pointed to my other breast and then shoved her head towards it like, ‘Hey Ma! This is for you!’ Ah, if only he knew.
He loves Elmo, and Puffin Rock and also Mickey Mouse (so, basically I guess he loves all of the TV shows we let him watch? Does this mean he loves all TV or just that we have chosen well?) Right now, he’s mostly obsessively into Puffin Rock. He will shout “Baba! Baba! Baba!” whenever he sees the laptop. It’s so sweet and calming that I kind of don’t mind letting him watch it. Soothing Irish narration and nature scenes. Like toddler meditation.
He loves trains, he loves his baby dolls, he loves all manner of vehicles and will frequently make whatever he’s holding (a stick, a light up wand, a graham cracker) into a flying or ground traveling vehicle. He loves going down slides, dancing, stomping, being upside down, riding the bulldogs like big lazy ponies, taking baths, reading books, telling us what to do (when he wants to nurse, he takes me to the chair, sits me in it, lifts my feet onto the ottoman, and climbs into my lap), and cackling. He continues to be brim full of a deep, deep joy and smiles that are infectious and incredibly charming.
He saw the dentist for the first time last week, and she pronounced his teeth to be healthy and coming in just as they should. He’s basically been in the process of getting a tooth constantly for the last 6 months so it’s nice to know that’s normal? He mostly sleeps well – from 7:30ish to between 6-8am (it varies widely which sucks for me as it seems that he prefers to wake up early on my days off and sleep in when I have to get moving early) His naps for the last few weeks have been in the 2.5-4 hour range (?!?) – this is on top of the close to 12 hours a night he gets – which means he takes after my Champion Sleep Habits. I swear I’m not bragging, y’all. I feel guilty just writing about this.
I could go on and on because OMG he is the most amazing, magical, sweet being. Every night, L and I spend 10 minutes laying in bed recounting the adorable antics he got up to during the day. And while there are also more moments these days when I feel at my wits end, they seem to pass fairly quickly. Ansel continues to be our trick kid. Which means we are probably just asking for trouble by having another, right? I do so love tempting fate!
Last night I gave L 300 units of gon.al-F and 150 units of menop.ur while Ansel sat in his highchair and watched an episode of Puffin Rock (Irish cartoon birds, super soothing animation and good learning, highly recommend.)
This IVF 2.0 sure is a different animal.
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