Peeing on a stick….

Was just having a discussion with a fellow IVFer on home pregnancy tests. Listen. I’m a damned expert and I am going to tell you a secret. They all suck with exception of the FRER – First Response Early Result. That thing measured the tiniest beta in the world (beta for you non scientific babymakers is the measurement of the HCG given off by am implanting/implanted embryo in your bloodstream). 11 is very low and FRER got it.

All batches are different but I need to post this.

Tell the others to F off. Seriously…..the dollar tree brand told me I was not pregnant until I was 5 months along. I peed on every one of them just to spite them and then posted them on the wall and gave them the finger. I’m not making this up. I hate that brand – sue me, dollar tree.

I guess I need to tag this as a rant…..and advice. I am also not joking when I tell you that I approach people looking at the clearblue easy in the CVS pharmacy aisle and have convinced them to buy the FRER.

Hey, at least I’m passionate about something.

15 dpo

So the beta HCG rose to 78. More than doubled by 8 points. I’m happy. Sure a lot could go wrong but we are off to a decent start. I bought about 100 dollars worth of pregnancy tests – much to my husband’s chagrin. They weren’t a total waste of money, though – I was able to see the progression and the darkening of the second line which told me that the HCG was indeed increasing – and that saved a lot of tears and agony (I’ll post a photo of them soon for all those who search for such things).

I’m still exhausted and hungry all the time but I can manage that – the idea that IVF and all its trapping might be a thing of the past just seems too good to be true!

I had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Schoolcraft yesterday. I’ll post more about that later – for now, I’m going to try to take a nap.

Thanks for checking in – still kinda shocked that some 50 – 100 of you actually read a blog that deals with news about my boobs and ovaries.

14 dpo

The torture is never ending.

Last night I peed on another stick. Line came up after a minute or so slightly darker than the previous day. When I spoke to the nurse she told me that an HPT would be show a light line with a beta level of 35. The line was indeed light. At 4:30am I tested again – right after I peed on the stick I noticed the blood. Not a lot but definitely red – by 7am it had turned to brown. Implantation bleeding? I had that with Alex so wouldn’t be surprising.

I peed on yet another stick while talking to my friend John. Yes, he is one of THOSE kinds of friends. A good one. He proved to be a lucky charm – the line was instantly darker – in fact, it is the same color as the control. So something is either growing or trying to grow.

My consult with Dr. Schoolcraft is tonight.

12 dpo

I promised myself I was done with peeing on sticks…  I had one First Response Early Result left so I hid it under pile of papers and clothes thinking I would forget about it.  I didn’t.  I managed to resist the urge for practically 2 days now but succumbed about 10 minutes ago.  At first it was white as snow and then came the line.  It is definitely lighter than the other line – but I know very well that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.  I was pregnant with my son and showed negative HPTs for days and days after that initial positive.

So blood test is tomorrow.  I’m trying to remember that I have been here before a few times and the result was never a good one.  Friends tell me that I should think positive but I think that is foolish advice.  Better to expect the worst, prepare for it.  It is a lot easier that way.

I’m off now to http://www.peeonastick.com to compare this recent test to those of the internet!

11 dpo

I’m 11 days past ovulation now.  Normally I would pee on another stick….but I can’t do it.  Never in my entire life of peeing on sticks have I had good news.  Never, ever.  Even when I was pregnant with my son – the tests kept getting lighter and lighter.  That, of course, is when I break out a bottle of wine (and not to share).  So I’ll actually wait for my beta (blood test) and find out the number.  Then I will have to go get another blood test 2 days later – and then 2 days later, repeat.

Normally what happens is that my levels start to go down and then they tell me to stop all medication….a chemical pregnancy.

Even if I didn’t have a chemical pregnancy – even if I did actually see a heartbeat – the stress doesn’t end there.  I’m 40 years old.  The miscarriage rate is…I think around 40%.  So I’m looking at another 10 weeks of worrying and wondering.  And then you have the testing….which is the biggest nail biter of all.

So – I’m looking at approximately 20 weeks of worry here – I might as well just try to ignore it and live my life.  I will tell you this though – I feel very ill (like I might have to vomit) so….that is good sign.

I’m off the march against proposition 8 this afternoon so I’ll post some photos when I get back.

Peeing on sticks at 9DPO

I know better than to pee on a stick at 9 days past ovulation.  But I did and you guess it!  Nada.

Most people would wait until their blood test but I like to soften the blow.  Makes it easier.  Even though I know I still don’t have the answers I seek – I’d rather expect the worst.  So here I am – expecting the worst!

Blood test is on Monday.  I’ll pee on more sticks tomorrow am.

I’ve scheduled my polyp removal, tentatively.  Had a long chat about insurance coverage (and am excited about the fact that we can probably do 3 more IVFs before it starts to really suck the life out of our bank account)….what else did I do?

I cleaned the sink!  Flylady.net is my new thing – because I am a procrastinator and I’m just way too creative and intelligent (her words not mine) to pair socks and organize kitchen cabinets.

My husband came home drunk last night after poker with his bosses.  Kept me up nearly all night as he forgot his key…

He was very excited to read about the lady whose boobs won’t stop growing – so, if you are out there – and I KNOW you are (because I see that someone has done yet another search for BOOBS WON’T STOP GROWING” today)….let us know how things are going.  If you want to know what I really think about your boobs growing – you are either 15 years old and suddenly have hit your growth spurt, you are pregnant OR (and this is pretty common with me) you are about to get your period and you are eating way too many curly fries.

To jinx or not to jinx

I’m going to jinx myself.  I’m feeling sick.  A mild nausea that has been lingering since yesterday afternoon.

And the dreams.  Everytime I’ve been pregnant in the past I’ve had insane dreams involving…well….people having sex!  I had one last night – I walked into a russian bath and there were all these people looking like they might be having sex soon – so I left (wisely) but not before admiring the tile on the bathroom wall.  It was gorgeous!!!

Today is 9 days past ovulation so…I could test tomorrow but I think I will wait until Sunday just to be sure.

I could do this all day long

One hour ago I decided this did not work.

One minute ago convinced that it did.

This is the hardest part for me – between 6 days past ovulation and testing time (probably day 10 because even though I know I should wait until day 12 – I just can’t help myself).  I’d like to think optimistically but history has told me that this is a very unwise thing to do.  So, I’m planning for the failure and what I will do thereafter – get bunion surgery, get the polyp removed from my uterus, drink a bottle of vodka and have a consult with Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM in Colorado.  He is calling me on the 18th of this month and I’m looking forward to his input.  Their stats are just amazing for my age group…and as I approach 41 – there is no time to mess around.

IVF #3 continued..the peeing on sticks begins

Where was I?  I got a faintly positive HPT….I wanted to be hopeful but unfortunately this was not the first time I’d been fooled. 

In November 2005, I was on my second cycle using clomid.  I’d given up on this cycle about a day or so after the doctor injected C’s washed sperm.  The follicles have to be a certain size before the administration of HCG (which tells them to mature and release from my ovary).  The idiots at my old clinic let my lead follicle (the boss of my ovary) mature to almost 3.0 – way too mature and thus completely useless.  I didn’t even bother with the progesterone suppositories – just gave right up and vowed never to go to that crappy clinic again. 

When it came time for me to pee on a stick, my Swiss co-worker urged me on.  He said, “I just know you are pregnant”.  I thought that was very odd and set out to prove him wrong.  Imagine my surprise when the HPT showed a positive sign.  I came out of the bathroom, told my co-worker that his intuition was right…and a small crowd appeared congratulating me.  My boss quickly pulled me into his office and closed the door- “Don’t say anything.  It is too soon and you are likely to be disappointed”.    Of course I didn’t listen.  I quickly called my husband, his parents, my own parents and then put a calendar pop up reminder saying “end of first trimester” on a random date 3 months in the future.  Of course all pregnancy test following were negative and so was the blood test three days later.  A chemical pregnancy.  Imagine the happiness my calendar reminder gave me by announcing “End of first trimester” right smack dab in the middle of my first failed IVF. 

Back to the cycle at hand – May 26, 2006…I did what any sensible POASer would do – I headed to my RE’s office for a blood test.  The blood test measures the level of HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) – which is given off by the developing embryo when it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.  Most HPT measure levels above 50.  The test I took measures levels as low as 25….the one that I used must have been extra sensitive.  My level at 11 days past ovulation was 12.  My doctor looked concerned when he told me and so was I.  Most women on my message board going through IVF had levels of HCG that were 50 – 200 by this time.  I had a measly 12.   We headed upstate to our house in Pawling that weekend.  Some friends from Ohio were coming to visit.  That was promising to be a much needed distraction.

At the same time, my cat Poofie had taken a turn for the worst.  This cat was given to me by my grandmother as a graduation gift from college.  He was a strange cat who seemed to both love and hate me.  He didn’t have the greatest life, poor thing – I lived for years in an apartment the size of a large bathroom with his brother Ted.  Poofie did, however, love my husband.  He lost the use of his legs and we had decided to spend one last weekend with him in Pawling before putting him to sleep.  I was pretty down in the dumps about it but tried to focus on the little miracle inside me..hoping it might decide to stay around.  I promised I would wait until Tuesday’s blood test and not use the 10 remaining HPTs in my purse…but I broke down.  The test was still positive but fainter than before.  I keep peeing on sticks all weekend and watched them become fainter and fainter.  I knew what this meant.  Another chemical pregnancy.  I was devastated and morose.  My husband tried to comfort me but there was no use.  

I tried hard to focus on Poofie’s last few days on this earth and the guests at our house Adam and Shauna..they had been together for a few years, recently had a child and when the subject of marriage came up at the dinner table, I pounced on Adam.  Poor guy.  I had a heck of a time convincing C to marry me and felt great sympathy for Shauna who seemed to wonder what was taking Adam so long!  I basically grilled him – enjoying him squirm in his seat as I reminded him that Shauna had given him a child and that he was being dishonorable to both his daughter and to Shauna by not marrying her that instant!  I kept up my attack until much to the shock of everyone he stood up at the table, pulled a ring out of his pocket and knelt by Shauna’s side.  She began crying and I, of course, shut my mouth!  It was such a surreal moment – I couldn’t believe it was happening right there before our eyes!  Adam had planned to ask Shauna but couldn’t find the right moment and when I started in, he couldn’t bear it anymore.  He had lugged a huge backpack of quarters with him to NYC, cashed them in and bought a beautiful ring in the diamond district.

This made our weekend happier – and I felt bad that my misery seemed to cast a shadow on such a special moment.  I took time to be by myself and meditate.  I began to fall asleep when I suddenly had a huge feeling of deja vu and a sudden knowing.  “You will have three children so stop crying and live your life”.  It was by far one of the strangest things I’ve ever “known”…that is the only way to describe it.  I held on to that and have continued to do so throughout all the hard times and all the disappointments.  

I got up from my rest and joined the group.  Tests were all 100% negative and decided a glass of wine was in order…only I didn’t stop at a glass.  I drank an entire bottle and then in my infinite wisdom, popped an ambien.

The mood at our house greatly improved as we celebrated Shauna and Adam’s engagement…yes, I did wake up with a huge hangover and a splitting headache.  It had been a long time since I’d indulged in a “Judy Garland” night as my friend Sandy and I used to call them…

Tuesday was my official beta HCG test but I was convinced it was over – on to Cornell, a new RE and hopefully a chance to have a child.