Lucky Sevens?

OK, I had this whole spiel about not believing in omens, but get this:

My embryo transfer was 7/7/17

First beta was 7/17/17

Second beta was exactly 777 more than first beta

And my ultrasound? It’s scheduled for August 7

Coincidence? Yes. But still kinda funny.

Also, when I got in the car today to get my blood drawn for my second beta, Sweet Child o’ Mine (Guns ‘n Roses) was playing on the radio.

Another time, before I left for California, I turned on the radio hoping for inspiration, and it was Mama, I’m Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne.

And then there’s that figurine I found in a junk store in Oakland that completed a set I’ve had since I was two years old.

All I can say is: If this one doesn’t work, the universe is really, really, really mean! 😛

P.S. Now that I’m at least mildly confident I’ll be shooting my ass for the long haul, I put together a nice system in the bathroom: Big syringes are in a heavy glass cup, small needles are in a small glass teacup, progesterone is just next to the Q-tip cup, alcohol wipes are in a small painted Turkish bowl we got for a wedding present, and sharps container is in the corner so it won’t block the cat’s way and end up batted into the toilet.

Really hoping I’m settling in for 7 and a half more weeks of it. Now it looks nice instead of everything crammed into a plastic bag and shoved into a drawer.

2nd Beta

I made sure to go in at the same time, after having much the same tea and breakfast, just to keep things as consistent as possible. I was hoping for at least 1464. That’s be a doubling in 48 hours.

The number I got: 1509. Doubling time 46 hours.

My confidence in general is so low that I kinda wanted to blow it out of the water, not just squeak in under the gate, but I’m thrilled that we’re still well on target. It could have gone a hell of a lot worse.

Here’s where we fall on the beta range:

chart

Nothing to do now but keep putting stickers on my belly and shooting oil in my ass and wait for the ultrasound in three weeks. No idea how I’m going to hold out.

For now I keep checking in with my (so far mild) nausea and hoping it gets worse and worse…

My TSH also went up from 1.004 to 2.124 despite upping my meds from 60 to 110. That’s still in range — should stay under 2.5, but between 1 and 2 is better — but it’s probably still climbing, so I’ll up my meds again to 125. As my estrogen rises even more once the placenta takes over (if I’m lucky enough to get that far), I might test again and up it to 150 if necessary.

(Though I did read something interesting today that suggested patches alone didn’t wreak as much havoc on TSH levels as pills. But I’ll need to do more research to make sure. During my previous transfer with CC, I took patches only most of the time, and only pills for a few days to plump the lining, and my TSH still shot up to 5.4 or something.)

I refilled my progesterone today, and insurance barely covers it, so it cost around $100. Good news is, the only expenses I have left are the ultrasound and one more progesterone refill. Then, if all goes well, I’ll officially be a pregnant lady.

I’m sure that will come with its own expenses. But at least all these extra “fertility” expenses will be behind us for a while. (Hopefully! God, believe me, a big part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop…)

1st Beta

This is ten days past transfer, which would be 15 days past (effective) ovulation date.

After the last transfer, my beta on ten days past transfer was 91, which wasn’t doubling like it should and was lower than average.

This time my number is: 732.

That’s exactly twice the median beta value for twins on Betabase. (God, I hope it’s not quads… kidding. The chances for that are astronomically low. There’s just a lot of variance in beta numbers. But a stronger number means a stronger placenta, or possibly more than one.)

Now, a big number is great, but the real test is to see if it doubles on Wednesday. And then, of course, the desperately dreaded ultrasound. (I’ve failed every “pregnancy” ultrasound I’ve gone through.) Etc.

But this is the first time I’ve kinda felt like an overachiever at anything related to conception and pregnancy!

So… two hurdles cleared (home tests and first beta)… many to go.

Today is another good day.

P.S. Yesterday I wasn’t going to watch Game of Thrones — didn’t want to upset my mental / emotional state. But then when we were out walking at dusk, a baby snake wriggled by just in front of me — and those things wriggle FAST. I nearly jumped out of my skin. (Not scared, just really startled.) Then I followed it across the walking path and bike path to make sure it got safely to the grass on the other side.

After that, I figured fictional dragons wouldn’t be any big deal at all…

Breathing

OK… I hesitate to post this, because I’ve done that twice, and both times it ended badly, and I don’t like to put anyone else on this roller coaster. But what the hell. Strap in.

This is 7 days past a day 5 transfer, which in an ordinary cycle would be two days before my next cycle would otherwise be expected to start. (12 days past effective ovulation date.) Point is, any line at all would be good now, much less one that strong.

So now I can breathe until my first beta test on Monday.

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There but for the Grace of God…

My friend Mamjojo23 has a lovely blog with posts that often make me think. Her latest post reflects on how this whole “journey” (she describes it perfectly as “the Groundhog Day from hell”) has affected her now that it’s nearing its end.

I responded in a way that I know to be true, even if I don’t feel it sometimes. I have been trying to live my way into knowing this not just in my mind but in my bones:

Thanks for this. I’m not yet in the “retrospective” phase. I’m right in the hard, uncertain middle of it. Still in the middle of my FIRST try — never mind number two if we don’t end up with twins.

I have also learned to let the sadness pass through me and not dwell on it so much. Feel it, and let it go. But I still most definitely have PTSD that can be triggered without warning. A travel delay (that reminds me of the horrible travel day we had before my first miscarriage) can smack me down into a deep hole.

But I nose my way out of the hole faster and faster, and I always know I CAN nose my way out, even when I don’t yet see how.

That’s not to say I’m not damned tired of holes (and NOTHING else, at least when it comes to this particular life-altering endeavor). But it has been humbling in a lot of good ways. It helps me understand better, truly, deep down, that the sun shines and the sky rains on the just and the unjust alike. I don’t have any kind of special exemption from that. There but for the grace of God go I, in every way imaginable.

If this is the worst burden I ever bear, I can only be grateful. And if things get worse, I can still only be grateful, because even if I never get another thing in life, the universe has already given me so much more than I ever “deserved.” It was just a gift.

If I get this other gift, too, of a child or children to love and raise, so much the better.

Chilling

So glad to be home. I’ve got bone broth on the stove, a cat in the window, a planter box full of herbs on the veranda along with a spindly four-foot-tall tomato plant that seems to like to produce a single tomato at a time (I don’t think it gets enough sun), a river to walk next to every evening, and that drowsy progesterone vibe that feels a little like you’re at the bottom of a warm ocean.

Trying not to think about the possibilities because it can’t help but touch on the PTSD and then make me stress, then stress about stressing.

Just going through the daily motions, one day at a time. What will be will be. Something terrible and frustrating and expensive hasn’t happened yet, so there’s no need to feel bad yet. Something wonderful has never happened, so I don’t quite dare actually hope.

But today is a good day.

Delayed, Delayed, Delayed

One of those travel days. Not a good one. Not as bad as our trip from hell back from Istanbul, but not great. Bringing up bad memories.

Trying so hard not to let it get to me. Trying so hard not to slip back into that place where everything is against me, where every shred of hope and faith is foolish and misplaced and I’m doomed to fail forever. Trying so hard not to feel stress right in the center of my lower belly. Trying to protect two precious little balls of cells who’ve barely even had a chance yet.

Trying not to let the uncertainties and delays derail the good place I was in. Doesn’t take much to kick me back into the hole. I was going to get home at a nice leisurely 8pm. Now I’ll be damned lucky to get home by midnight, or even today at all.

It’s OK. Just a delay. It happens. But it just goes to show how fragile my good state of mind can be after all this.

Trying. Trying not to try. Trying to let it be.

Time to watch funny kid videos on Youtube now…

UPDATE: Arrived in Tulsa just at midnight. Was able to chill after the cute kid Youtube videos and some Netflix. Ready for this day to be over! Tomorrow’s a new one… at home 🙂