October 29, 2010

8 week update

Posted in Pregnancy tagged at 5:50 pm by lifebytheday

I can’t believe I am officially 2 months pregnant (!), or that I’m going to write a blog like all those “confident” pregnant women…but I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m a day late (we were 8 wks yesterday), but I think I might like to have a record of how I’m feeling from month to month.  I don’t think I’m willing to start posting belly shots yet (actually haven’t even taken one yet 😉 ) but maybe next time.

How am I feeling?  Pretty good lately!  Now that I’ve stopped fighting the carbs, and as long as I eat something every 3 hours or so, the nausea seems to have disappeared.  I’m still having some food aversions, but more in terms of just not being tempted by food, rather than actually feeling nauseous at the sight of it.  I’m still super tired – in fact, had to pull over on the way home from work yesterday and take a nap – but my cold is finally getting better and I feel much more energized.  More than anything though, I think I’m starting to accept and enjoy the fact that I’m actually pregnant!

Weight gain?  -6!  I’ve actually lost weight since our IVF cycle (about 8 lbs) but have gained 2 back in the past few days.  And I am actually kind of starting to show!  I know that it’s probably mostly bloating, but I definitely have a little lower pooch going on.

Cravings?  CARBS, and popsicles.  I’ve kind of lost my major craving for mashed potatoes – sorry Spud! – and now I’m all about bagels, toast, crackers, etc.  I’m sneaking in protein (cashew butter) and dairy (cream cheese, and chocolate milk) and I’m also really enjoying apples right now.

Aversions?  Yogurt – which I really miss – vegetables, and meats.  I force myself to have half a portion of animal protein and some vegetables with each dinner, but I definitely don’t want them.

Umm…?  Okay, so I guess I don’t really know what else I’m supposed to include in these updates!  Suggestions?? 😉

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October 27, 2010

Book recommendation – pregnancy cookbook

Posted in Books, Pregnancy tagged , at 7:49 pm by lifebytheday

Again, THANK YOU for the reassuring comments that my baby is not going to be born with two heads.  I’m feeling better today, and just trying to think zen for the next week.  Wish me luck.  😉

I thought I would start a little mini-series of book reviews since I am now in posession of 7 (seven) different pregnancy books.  Yes, that’s a little OTT (over-the-top, as S would say), but in my defense, I’m a book lover!  Two of the seven were loaned to me by a friend, one is a cookbook, one is an organizer, one is about finding bargains on baby goods, and the other two…well, they’re more your standard pregnancy book. 

My current FAVORITE is a cookbook called “The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook – 100 recipes that adapt to fit how you feel”.  Along with a great introduction about eating healthy and whole, each recipe comes with three variations based on whether you are “feeling green” (nauseous), “feeling food” (hungry), or “feeling full” (bloated, not hungry, etc.) 

I have been lucky enough not to have any morning sickness, but I have been having a lot of food aversions, so I was surprised to discover so many recipes that looked tempting and delicious!  I tried a chicken recipe tonight and actually enjoyed chicken again!  I am so excited to cook my way through this cookbook, and foresee myself using this cookbook for many years to come.  I just need to ask Santa for an immersion blender so that I can make the soups! 😉

October 26, 2010

Good news, and some questionable news

Posted in Pregnancy tagged , , at 8:37 pm by lifebytheday

So we had our second ultrasound today, and got (mostly) good news.  The baby is looking great and growing right on track (7w4d), and we actually got to HEAR the heartbeat today (155) which was totally amazing.

I had a hard time enjoying the experience though, because they also found “something else” in there besides the baby.  The RE (not mine, another one of the team docs) thinks that it could be either part of the baby that was just overlapping on the ultrasound, or part of a twin that stopped developing.  Either of those options could be dealt with, but I now have myself convinced that it’s a second head or something.  :-/ 

Hormonal pregnant women should not have to deal with unknown issues.

And the worst part is that they can’t get me in for another ultrasound (on the more high-powered machine in the OB office) until a week from tomorrow.  Like I wasn’t worried enough before.

October 25, 2010

What worked

Posted in Infertility, Pregnancy tagged , , , , at 7:48 pm by lifebytheday

First of all, thank you all so much for the thoughtful and insightful comments about my post yesterday.  I hope you know that it wasn’t intended to make anyone feel guilty, but was just my attempt at honestly recording my feelings at this point in my life.  I completely understand if there are people who need to stop following my blog, and if that’s the case, just remember that I will be rooting for you – all of you.

I have been holding off writing this post because I don’t want to jinx ourselves, but I thought that other IF-ers might be interested to know what we did differently this time around.  For background, I’m a high-responding, severe PCOSer with primary amenorrhea.  My problem has always been a quality issue in terms of growing and maturing follicles at a steady rate (and regularly get put on the lowest dose any clinic has ever seen).  So here’s what we did for lucky cycle #5:

  1. Met.formin.  I’ve been on Met.formin off and on for the full four years we’ve been TTC, and always on during active cycles.  That was one of the few things that all of the Drs and REs agreed upon and absolutely required for me.
  2. Gonal-F and Repronex.  My first two cycles we used Follistim, and had to deal with a lot of seesawing of meds.  In fact, seesawing was characteristic of most of my cycles, with the exception of this last one.  This time, my RE chose to start me on a super low dose and then tried to keep the meds consistent, just for a longer time.  I honestly think that this was the biggest change – I didn’t have any majorly huge E2 rises or drops and I feel pretty confident in saying that the slow and steady growth led to better quality eggs, and therefore embryos.  I also think that the combination of LH and FSH in the Gonal-F led to a more balanced response.
  3. ICSI and assisted hatching.  We did ICSI and AH for our fourth and fifth cycles, and I know that at least the ICSI made a big difference.  With our first two cycles, we only had one embryo fertilize (of approx. 16 eggs), whereas with our fourth cycle, we had seven embryos, even with the lower quality eggs.
  4. Medrol, baby aspirin, and estrogen patches.  My second clinic (where I did cycles 3, 4, and 5) prescribes everyone steroids (Medrol) for the four days following retrieval to aid in implantation, and baby aspirin for the entire 2WW to avoid clotting.  They also have their patients use estrogen patches (Vivelle) for the last week and a half of the 2WW.  I’m still not quite sure what this is for – besides to try and mimic a “normal” woman’s “normal” hormones – but these additional meds definitely couldn’t have hurt. 
  5. No acupuncture.  When I was on my year-long break (between cycles two and three), I did acupuncture regularly, and really liked it.  We were never able to regulate my cycles, but I did have one non-medicated ovulation which was a huge accomplishment.  But I stopped due to a conflict with my acupuncturist, and then switched to a practioner who was loosely affiliated with my RE’s office.  I didn’t have a great experience with him – in fact, I’m fairly certain that he’s the reason my third cycle had to be cancelled.  When I first met him, I tried to emphasize that my problem is over-response, rather than the more common under-response, but I always felt like he was just doing the regular fertility points and not really trying to get to know me and my body.  I chose not to do acupuncture with my last cycle and I think it was the right decision.
  6. Diet.  Many of you know that I have previously done a no-sugar, no-dairy, no-gluten diet, and also that I have not chosen to maintain that diet long term.  I found my body missing dairy too much, and never felt like the no-gluten made a difference one way or another.  The one thing that I know did help was the no-sugar – I felt much more energetic and generally more healthy – but I missed it too much to continue that forever.  What I have tried to do is cut way back.  I gave up all sugar in my tea/coffee, and switched almost completely to water and flavored seltzer water over soda.  I also cut back on sweets and cookies and tried to use real dark chocolate when I simply had to have a fix.  I also have gone completely natural/organic with my meats and eggs, and stopped eating anything with artificial flavoring or coloring.  Oh, and I switched to 1/2 decaf coffee and tea, and tried not to have more than one caffienated drink a day.  I honestly don’t know how much of that made a difference, but I know that I feel healthier since I’ve shifted to this more natural diet. 

So, that’s everything that I can think of…besides my “giving up” that I’ve referenced a few times ;-)…is there anything else that you’re wondering about?  I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!

October 24, 2010

Tap, tap…is this thing on?

Posted in Infertility, Pregnancy tagged , at 5:20 pm by lifebytheday

Pregnancy after infertility is a lonely place.

I don’t mean to imply that I’m lonely, I have an amazing support system in real life…but it’s become very obvious to me that I no longer “belong” in the IF community, at least not in the same way.  It’s almost like as soon as you’re identified as “pregnant”, then you lose all credibility in terms of how much you’ve suffered to get there. 

I don’t want to seem like a hypocrite – I vividly remember not being able to follow or comment on the blogs of the newly pregnant – but it’s been kind of eye-opening.  I know that it’s hard to hear about people who have reached their goal when you’re still struggling to get there, but it’s just amazing to me how divisive TTC and children can be.  You would think that women would want to stick together, but there’s so much judgement, jealousy and guilt that it just seems to take over.

I would like to think that if we hadn’t gotten pregnant this cycle, that I could have continued to follow TTC and pregnant bloggers, but honestly, I don’t know.  I think part of it is natural, that we look for people that are the “same” as us…but there’s definitely another – more emotional and insidious – layer to this issue. 

I sincerely wish that everyone who is reading this blog is able to have the family that they desire…and that your relationships become strengthened through the challenge of infertility.  Prayers and best wishes to all.

October 22, 2010

My life in a nutshell

Posted in Infertility, Life tagged at 9:12 am by lifebytheday

I’m doing ICLW again (International Comment Leaving Week, for those of you not in the IF community 😉 ), in the hopes of meeting some new bloggy friends.  So, for those of you visiting for the first time, I thought I’d give you a quick snapshot of me and what’s been going on over the past several years.

I am 28, and have been married to my soul mate (my Irish leprechaun) for six years.  We live in a western suburb of Boston with our dog and cat furbabies – we bought a house and moved back to my hometown about two and a half years ago.  We love living life, but we’ve definitely had our fair share of challenges.

I was diagnosed with a severe case of PCOS (without the weight gain or hair ;-)) and we have been trying to have a baby for more than four years.  We’ve been through four rounds of Clomid, and five rounds of IVF – and just got our miracle BFP on our fifth – and final – IVF cycle!  I am now seven weeks pregnant and trying to wrap my head around the fact that we might actually be having a baby in 7+ months.

I would love to meet some other pregnant bloggers (I still can’t believe that I’m part of that club!) and some other IF-treatment veterans.  I had a great support system, both IRL friends and bloggers, and I’d love to give back to the community if I can.  So drop me a note and say hello!

Happy Friday everybody! 🙂

October 21, 2010

Happy first day of ICLW!

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:28 pm by lifebytheday

I promise that I’ll write a real intro post tomorrow, but I just wanted to say hello and welcome to anyone visiting from ICLW. 🙂

October 20, 2010

The cat’s out of the bag

Posted in Pregnancy tagged at 8:05 pm by lifebytheday

I’ve been getting a little bit nervous that so many people know about our pregnancy…a lot of my IRL friends follow this blog – which I love – but it just means that I can’t keep it quiet for as long…or at all. 😉  And I just can’t seem to lie if an IRL friend asks how things are going.  Yes, I am also terrible at poker. 😛

I know that the likelihood is that this pregnancy is going to progress with flying colors, but you just never know.  I wouldn’t want to jinx anything by telling the world.  So I’ve been trying to cut back on the people that I am telling, even going so far as to not call some friends because I can’t trust myself not to tell them.  LOL!

S on the other hand…

                                                is telling EVERYBODY! 

He’s told his coworkers, some of his customers (he was trying out some poor woman’s stroller the other day, lol!), and he even told a few of our neighbors!!  I think it’s super cute that he’s so excited that he can’t hold it in…just keeping my fingers crossed and praying that we’ll actually have a baby in our arms at the end of this.

(Still no commenting on FB though okay?! 😉 )

October 19, 2010

Hello hormones

Posted in Pregnancy tagged , at 3:46 pm by lifebytheday

I was extremely naive and thought that since I had experienced the full range of IF-induced hormones, that pregnancy hormones would just be more of the same.  Boy, was I wrong.  I have already had two major meltdowns in the past 72 hours – mostly due to stress at work, but also because I am just so GD overtired. 

I am still so thankful that I have actual symptoms to complain about, but let me tell you, pregnancy exhaustion is NO JOKE.  Gives me yet another reason to look forward to the end of the first trimester… 😉

October 16, 2010

Introducing Spud

Posted in Pregnancy tagged , , at 9:06 am by lifebytheday

Yesterday definitely ranked in my top five best days ever, which last night’s insomnia can attest to.  It was the most amazing thing to actually see our baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound, and to hear the doctors say that the measurements look perfect. 

I have a very dear friend who did not get good news at her first ultrasound, and that worry was almost consuming me as we waited for yesterday’s appointment.  Both S and I had a moment of panic that there wasn’t going to be anything in there, and then maybe the briefest flicker of disappointment and sadness for the baby that didn’t make it…which was followed by complete and utter excitement.  I literally was shaking for a good hour!

I decided that we needed to celebrate with my parents, so we took them out to dinner, and over the course of the night, we christened our baby-to-be.  I was mentioning that I’ve been craving mashed potatoes – literally, I had them with dinner every night this week! – and it just popped into my head…”we should call the baby Spud.”  Everyone started dying laughing, and the nickname stuck.  At least we know that the baby is Irish, right? 😉

Oh, and one other thing – we have a due date – June 9th, 2011!!!  That means that I’m offically six weeks (and two days), counting down to magic week #13.  Oh and our anniversary is June 12th, so we figure we’ll be getting a very special present that day…at least we’ll be celebrating our seven-year itch anniversary in style! 😉

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