A Tale of a Two Week Wait

After a very relaxing weekend, Monday morning meant going back to work and getting back into a routine as close to my normal one as possible. I knew having something to focus on would help but all I wanted to do was stay in bed with my fuzzy socks on and color 🙂 Here’s my recap with is more like a novel:

3dp5dt & 4dp5dt – I woke up exhausted. My husband has to leave for work at 5:30am which means a very early wake-up call for my PIO and heparin injections. My alarm does not usually go off until 6:30am and after sleeping in on the weekend, I was not prepared for getting up an hour earlier. I tried to go back to sleep but I pretty much just tossed and turned. Symptoms wise I had what I can best describe as tightening and pulling sensations and the morning of 4dpt I had the tiniest brown hue when I wiped (sorry if that’s TMI but at this point I have no modesty when it comes to this process).

5dp5dt – I threw a pregnancy test in my bag today because it was my mom’s birthday. My mom died when I was 4  and I had thought when I got my calendar for this cycle that it would be really neat if I was able to get my BFP on her birthday. All day long at work I thought about the test being in my bag but never worked up the courage to use it.

On Wednesday nights when I’m not traveling for work, I go to as many youth services as possible to help out. This Wednesday we had a meeting for all of the adults that worked with the youth so I wrapped up work and headed over to church. As soon as I parked, I decided I would test. I made my way to the bathroom and after testing was very excited to see this…

5dp5dt
The line was faint but it was there and it was such a relief to see this light line, as we had been waiting to see this for 2 1/2 years. I went downstairs to the prayer chapel and prayed – for all of the prayer requests that the Insta-ladies gave and for this precious gift.

I had a special way to tell my husband and he was completely surprised when he found out when we both got home that night (more details on that later).

6dp5dt to 10dp5dt – More exhaustion and tightening sensations and feeling really tired. I’m also starting to have tenderness in my breasts. I spend my evenings relaxing at home but ventured out one night to a Restorative Yoga class. Tests continue to get darker:

6dp5dt

8dp5dt

11dp5dt – I’ve established a routine in the mornings: my husband gives me my shots, kisses me, kisses my stomach and heads off to work. I lay in bed and at some point get up to go POAS and then get ready for work. I loved watching the lines get darker and it was nice to leave it out for when my husband comes home for lunch. The routine was great until this morning and my line was lighter than the one I took last night:

10dp5dt

Level 5 panic ensued and I was so afraid something was wrong. I texted my husband to tell him to say a prayer and he called immediately. We spoke briefly and decided we would stay as positive as we could.

Around 11am I received a call from my favorite nurse at the clinic – she has been my rock through this process. She said she was excited to see me the following day for my beta and wanted to check and see how I was doing. I told her about the positive tests – 6 that progressively got darker and the 1 from that  morning that was lighter. She said the darkness didn’t matter, to not worry and she’d see me in the morning. It may sound ridiculous but that helped fix my outlook. I decided I was not going to worry. I had acupuncture that night and told my acupuncturist about it and she made me promise not to POAS again.

12dp5dt AKA Beta day – My favorite nurse greeted me with a huge smile and completely calmed me down. Somehow, even after all these blood draws and injections, I still get nervous when it comes to getting my blood drawn. The process was easy and off I went.

I spent the next hr in the car creating the posts for the Women on Wednesday Prayer list (see previous post if you want more information on that) and praying for each prayer request. I wish I could say the day flew by but it didn’t. I saw my phone ring with the caller ID showing my doctor’s office but unfortunately I was in a meeting that I could not step out of. Go figure – I’d been waiting all day for this call and it happened when I could not answer. I called back and got the news we had been waiting for – my beta was 280! After all of these years, I am pregnant 🙂

14dp5dt AKA Beta #2 day (today) – This morning was a little easier to go through the blood draw process. I had to go to the lab at the medical center by doctor’s office is at. I only had 1 meeting at work today and spent the rest of the day cleaning out old files, reorganizing my desk and setting up the work station for a new hire that starts next week. The day went by much faster and around the same time I got the call from my doctor’s office. Beta was 781! I was and am ecstatic! I quickly plugged my numbers into a beta calculator and it said my doubling time was 32 hours.

She transferred me to the front desk so I could schedule my ultrasound (it’s almost surreal t be typing those words). We will be going in on August 20th so I’m about to embark on another TWW. Here’s to enjoying each day until then!

How was your TWW?

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All because someone was willing to share her story

They say that 1 in 8 couples fall into the infertility category but it seems like I have unknowingly surrounded myself with a higher ratio of couples who are battling this diagnosis.

– Of my core group of college friends (4 of us): 1 has endometriosis and got pregnant a few months after being off BCP, 1 has been diagnosed with unexplained and is pursuing treatment, 1 has not started trying for children and then there is me. 3 out of 4

– Out of my close group of friends here (again 4 of us): 1 has PCOS and does not have children, 1 conceived naturally after trying for a year and half, 1 has children, and then there is me. 3 out of 4

– Out of my close friends that I taught with at my last school: 1 has PCOS and is undergoing treatment, 1 has PCOS but is not pursuing treatment and 1 had repeat pregnancy loss

Apparently I need a warning symbol for people who meet me to let them know that if they want to have children naturally, they are running a risk being friends with me 😉

The sad thing is that I’m sure there were other friends with infertility but it is not something that is talked about often or at least not until the pregnancy gets to a certain point. Thankfully my friend with RPL slowly shared a little of her story with me over the years and when we reconnected a few months ago, she had the perfect words for me without even knowing that we were struggling with infertility. She has talked about wanting to change careers to nursing to be able to help women going through infertility and RPL My brain screamed “Tell her” but my mouth would not get the words out. We gave hugs and said our good-byes.

Every day after that conversation I had a nagging feeling that I need to call her and finally after some time passed, I picked up the phone and made that call. I told her that she didn’t have to go back to school to be a nurse but that she could find another position at an office to provide support and help to women going through this….that it was more important that she knew the words to say. I then spent time telling her our story and shedding tears through it. Tears of relief of being able to share my story and not feel like less of a woman and that telling her was a safe place and she would know what to say.

She told me that she would add me to her Wednesday prayer list because she prayed for the needs of the women in her life on Wednesdays. I loved that idea and started doing it myself. Then a few short weeks later I reached out to the women on Instagram to see if they would like to participate. I have been absolutely humbled by the prayer requests and praises and I have loved seeing the TTC community come together each week to pray for each other’s needs on Wednesdays…all started because one woman was willing to share her story.

I’d love to have you join us. If you’re interested, follow my Instagram account and please comment on the post that looks like the below:

TTC Sister Updates

I post it every Tuesday and then post the list on Wednesdays. My account is private to respect the privacy of the ladies that have private accounts and share their prayer requests for the group. If you do not want to post your information, please email me at Bloomsinthebreeze@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram – I’d love to pray for you.

The dreaded PIO shot

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When I went through my teaching class with the nurse and got my calendar, I remember dreading the day that I would start the PIO shots. She was so calm when explaining how to do the injection and I questioned if she was crazy or not because of the side of the needle – 1.5″ needle…sure, no problem.

My pharmacy sent the PIO separately from the first round of meds and the box sat unopened for 4 days before I thought I should stop the avoidance tactic the the night before the injection was scheduled. I pulled everything out but did not see any type of directions with tips, etc on them so where did I turn? YouTube. Searching ‘PIO injection’ yields all sorts of videos and my husband and I spent 15 or so minutes watching a few of them before he suggested we stop because he could tell it was not doing anything for my nerves.

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The next morning we grabbed everything we needed and I texted and called a friend to help walk me through the steps and also give some suggestions. If you follow my Instagram account, you saw some of the text exchange 🙂 Here are some of her suggestions and some things I found on my own (all were lifesavers during this process):

– Roll the PIO bottle in your hand to warm it up a little bit. This makes it easier to draw it up in the syringe.

– There is going to be some pressure trying to draw the medicine back into the bottle. Either draw extra into the syringe (knowing there will be some that will go back into the bottle) or firmly hold the end of the syringe to not let any go back into the bottle.

– If the medicine is warm it makes it easier to go in. We soaked a wash rag in hot water and placed the syringe on it and then rolled it up like a burrito for ~ 30 seconds.image

– For the injection itself, she recommended I lean over a dresser or something of similar height and bent my knees while my husband gave me the shot. We have a tall dresser in our bedroom and our bed is tall so I leaned over the bed in the guest bedroom.

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– Either you or whoever is giving the shot should massage the area afterwards. This helps prevent it from staying in one area.

The last item that I never thought would be recommendation but turned into one would be to film video the injection (does this age me that I typed film first?). I use the front-facing camera, pressed record, and keeping only my in the shot, talked to her going step by step over everything I did that she recommended and then just talked to her about various things….including calling myself crazy because I never would have thought I would be recording my thoughts while get an injection. Talking through it made the process go by quicker and kept me relatively relaxed during it.

So after all the work-up and stress I put myself through in anticipation of the PIO shot, it was not bad at all. I’m only 2 days into the injections but they are less painful than most of the other ones I have done. In all disclosure, the area where we did the first injection is a little sore but I think that it is because I did not move around as much as I should have after the first shot (we ran errands but that also involved a lot of time sitting in the car). My opinion may change in the coming weeks if the soreness gets worse, but so far PIO is a breeze.

Oh hormones…

There is nothing like a box of fertility meds to throw you off your normal pattern. While this may not be the typical response to the meds, I’m sharing my story so it’s out there just in case it will help someone else. Not all of the meds below are specifically fertility meds but I am including all meds that are on my treatment calendar.

BCPs – I was on ~day 4 of my period when I started a generic pack of birth control pills. I forgot how nice my skin was when I was on BCP in the past (you know, when I thought I needed them to prevent a pregnancy when we weren’t ready for kids). I didn’t have a major breakout but the little one I had cleared up much faster than it ussually does after my period.

Baby Aspirin – Nothing to note here that I was able to notice. I started this the same day as the BCP.

Prenatal vitamins – The calendar from my dr calls out to make sure that you have started them but I haven’t stopped taking them since we started TTC. I like the CVS gummy prenatals. They will run a BOGO sale every once in awhile and I stock up then.

Lupron – I had one prior experience with Lupron prior to this cycle because I used it with Ovidrel to trigger a few months ago and it was not a positive one terrible and caused me to have welts. Within 30 seconds after the inejection, my skin turned red, became very itchy, burned, and of course the wonderful welts started. I remember googling as quickly as possible and found out that some people have this reaction is the drug gets on the skin.

Prior to taking the med this cycle, I researched and found some of the side effects – headaches, hot flashes, insomnia, weakness, cold or flu symptoms…etc. Where is the meme that says something along the lines of “for once I want a side effect to be extreme sexiness”. 🙂 The first week wasn’t bad and I though I might be one of the lucky few who did not experience the side effects.

hot flash

With the drop of estrogen once I stopped taking BCP, the hot flashes and headaches started. The headaches weren’t too bad and I just made sure to drink plent of water throughout the day. The hot flashes were the worst. I am taking the Lupron at night so the hot flashes would go throughout the night. Me on little sleep is never a good thing but me in little sleep and my hormones being off – I was a mess. Not emotional per se but my normal type A self just didn’t have my normal drive and  became rather apatheic (I’ll touch more on this further down). Thankfully the worst of it only lasted two weeks because I started Estradiol at that point.

Estradiol (AKA the fertility version of the little blue pill) – Yes, the pill is blue. Yes, it did increase my sex drive. Yes, it took away all of the negative side effects of the Lupron. This one deserves a gold star! Side note: I did talk to my acupuncturist (who treats a lot of patients who see my RE) and she said that everything I was experiencing was normal.

One thing I touched on above was my change in attitude. I fought feeling anything last cycle and this one I’ve embraced it. I’ve started a vision board and reevaluated some life goals I have. It has been a breath of fresh air and I’ve started working on some projects that I have always wanted to do but always said I was too busy with work, etc to devote my time to a side project. I’ll share more of that later once I get further along.

Hopefully this helps anyone who is curious as to possible side effects of these meds. I have another ppt tomorrow and will be start the dreaded PIO shot on Saturday. What does everyone else think about the meds?