Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anyone have a chill pill?

Thank you so much for all of the congrats, best wishes, and kind thoughts you have sent our way.  It means a lot, and I'm glad many of you are sticking with us through the next step in this journey.

First off I apologize for not giving an update sooner.  Work has been busy lately and by the time I get home I don't have energy for much else besides eating dinner.  Since I last posted I've been in the midst of the longest 2WW ever as we wait for our first ultra sound.  Things are still very early but so far I've felt really good.  Seeing as my mom had really difficult pregnancies with lots of morning sickness, to the point my dad says that she looked blue a number of times, I expected to feel pretty miserable from the get go.  In fact when the nurse called me with the second beta results I asked her about morning sickness remedies and bought cereal to keep on my nightstand just in case.  There's still plenty of time for the morning sickness to come, and now that I'm writing this it will probably come storming in as soon as I hit "publish," but the only symptoms I've had are bloating, fuller breasts, and exhaustion.  Give me a blanket and I'll fall asleep on the couch by 9:00. 

All was going well until I woke up last Wednesday and noticed I felt less bloated and not do I say it...chesty.  Of course whether I really was or not is hard to tell but the mere thought was enough to crack the widow open and all my fears came rushing over me.  I told Dr. Love I about my apprehensions and he tried to put them to rest.  "So you are feeling a little better and it is worrying you?" It sounds crazy but it is totally true.  I had a minor (ok maybe it was more major) melt down.  In my mind symptoms easing up meant the hormones causing the symptoms were lessening which then in turn meant something was wrong with the baby.  All sounds perfectly logical, right?  Well apparently not as I'm finding out that in the early stages of pregnancy symptoms can come and go.  Of course I found this out after Dr Love decided to order a third beta draw to see what my levels where and guess what they were perfectly fine, chugging right along as they should.

I wonder if I would be as nervous if we hadn't struggled with IF to get here.  I still haven't bought ANYTHING baby related.  I don't have a ticker up and probably won't until we have our ultrasound.  The only thing I do have is a small little app on my phone.  I want to be clear that I do know I am pregnant and that chances are everything should go just fine as so far I have no physical evidence to the contrary.  BUT I'm not naive.  I know lots of things can happen in the early stages that we may not expect, and I know until I have our little one in my arms nothing about this pregnancy is for certain.   I hate how IF takes away your innocence in this whole matter.  There's a line I found in an article on that I think sums it up well...
The emotional and financial resources expended trying to get pregnant can often create a deep seeded fear of losing the pregnancy or of something going wrong with the baby’s development. 

It's hard to put everything back in Pa.ndora's box once it's been opened.  As things progress, however, I can hope and work to quiet my fears and anxiety.  Until then I need a prescription for one of these...
and maybe some zo.fran.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Surprise, surprise

Short version:
For those who are still battling IF and may be having a bad day I won't beat around the bush.  My one follicle was the lucky one and this week I got a BFP.  I have had a couple of labs drawn since then and everything has come back with strong numbers growing right as they should.

Long version (for those who are interested in all the details):
Wednesday was my scheduled test day.  In the days leading up to it I had mixed feelings but mostly I didn't want to take the test.  The last couple cycles, 2 days after testing Aunt Flow would come to town.  I figured if I just waited a few more days I wouldn't have to go through the disappointment of a negative test.  Unfortunately that plan was thwarted by Dr. Love's good memory.  After getting ready for work, he woke me up from my sleep.

Dr. Love: "Isn't today test day?"

Me: "Yeah, but I think I'm going to skip it."

Dr. Love: "Uh, so when would you test instead?"

Me: "Maybe tomorrow or Friday."

Dr. Love: "Well tomorrow I'm on call, so I don't think that would be a good idea, and Friday's 2 days away."

Me: " <sigh> You want me to test today, don't you?"

I pulled myself out of bed and into the bathroom.  For the first few seconds I didn't want to look at the test.  I didn't want to see that stark white staring up at me.  Moments later I knew I had to look at it.  I was shocked to see not 1 but 2 lines developing.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing and just sat there paralyzed for a moment.  When I finally got my wits about me I pulled out the box of digital tests I bought ages ago for just such an occasion.  While the instructions say to wait 3 minutes, "Pregnant" popped up in less than a minute.  Again I was in shock.  I took a few minutes to gather my composure and went back in the bedroom to show Dr. Love.

Me: "Well that's unexpected," as I handed him the sticks.

Dr. Love: "You took two?" then he looked at them..."Wait, really?"  Then he started counting days.  "We're 16 days past trigger, and it's typically out of your system after 10 days....that's all you honey?"

We hugged and I was still numb, shocked; I couldn't believe this was happening.  Even though we were on a medicated cycle, since nothing was different about the medications and my response for our 4th time, I didn't expect much and thought we'd be moving onto a more aggressive plan next cycle.

I called the RE to notify them of my positive and set up days for beta HCG draws.

Beta 1 at 14 days past ovulation: 447

Beta 2  at 16 days past ovulation: 953

Progesterone: 21.2

The numbers suggest that this is a strong pregnancy that should be sustainable.  Obviously I realize that's not a guarantee and a lot of stuff could still happen thus I remain cautiously excited and a bit scared too.  We are very grateful and thrilled to be here and pray that everything goes smoothly.  I'd like to say that the blood test, the bloating, the swollen breasts, and the exhaustion (I've fallen asleep on the couch like 3 times in the last week) have me convinced but it still seems so unreal. 

Our first ultra sound is on August 4th and I hope seeing the little bean on the screen will help it become more real.  While I'm waiting for a more certain due date from my doctor but right now it looks like our lucky charm should be arriving in the middle of March. 

I appreciate the support and encouragement that I have received from blogland during these difficult months and never giving up on me even when I was less than confident.  I hope that you will all stick around as this blog evolves with the pregnancy, but I understand that for some that might not be possible.  I know that in IF, every BFP that isn't yours stings to some degree.  I wish I could take that pain away and hope that many more BFPs are coming in the near future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tell me I'm going to grow to like this

Recently I crawled out from under my rock and joined the modern age.

I got rid of my "old dumb phone"....

and got one of these, a "smartphone" that makes me feel like a dummy.

I've avoided making this move for years because I did not want to be accessible to everybody all the time. I'm sure we have all heard about, or even known, crackberry addicts that cannot disconnect from the phone or let an email go unanswered.  I enjoy the fact that once the day is done I can walk away from work and not have to worry about it until the next day.  Having a dumb phone made that a lot easier, but the phone companies have a different idea.   They seem to have plans where one day a smartphone will be in every hand.  My dad and I joke that eventually the only option will be smartphones or a phone with 3 buttons (Home, 911, Power) for the elderly...sadly after shopping for a new phone I don't think we were far off.  The selection of non-smartphones are pretty underwhelming

In addition to my desire to not be accessible 100% of the time, I also avoided making the upgrade for so long because, well, I'm a bit of a cheapskate and the idea of shelling out an additional $30 a month for the required data plan made my wallet pucker up.  Alas the wireless providers had an evil plan in the works here as well.  Word circulating on the street was the option for an unlimited data plan was on its last legs being sent into early retirement.  Like a good late night infomercial, they created a sense of urgency and if I had any inkling that I might at some point want a smart phone I needed to act now.

True to my indecisive tendencies, I searched for months trying to decide what phone I wanted.  iPhone vs Android.  Motorola vs HTC vs Samsung.  Virtual keyboard only vs physical keyboard.  1 camera vs 2 cameras.  8 mega pixels vs 5 mega pixels. Etc, etc.  I finally narrowed down my choices to 2 possibilities and we made our way to the store thinking surely the salesperson would be able to help me make a final selection. 

We wandered the store and fiddled with phones waiting for our name to come up on the list for a salesperson blissfully unaware of the mess that was about to ensue.  I was less than impressed with the guy we got.
Salesguy: "So what brings you in here today?'
Me: "Well I'm eligible for an upgrade and I'm thinking about getting a smartphone."
Salesguy: ..............
Me: "Uh, so I've kind of come down to deciding between the Samsung and the HTC."
Salesguy: ....................
Dr. Love: "Is there anything about one or the other that would be better."
Salesguy: "They're both good phones."
Dr. Love: "Do they have Gingerbread operating system?"
Salesguy: "Yeah they're both newer phones so they come with the new operating system."

WRONG.  Samsung had the first version of the Android OS, and the HTC had the second.

Dr. Love: "Have you heard anything about the unlimited data plan going away anytime soon?"
Salesguy: "No, we still have the unlimited plan."
Me: "The rumor on the street is it's being discontinued soon."
Salesguy: "Oh well, they usually don't let us know about stuff like that until a week before it goes through."
Me: "It's supposed to happen next week."
Salesguy: .................
Me: "Well let's get back to the phones."
Salesguy: "One of the tech guys showed me this neat trick last week."Tap, swipe......Tap, swipe...........Tap, Tap, Swipe..........Swipe, Tap......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Hmm, well it's not working now, people are always playing with these and messing them up."

Sure, the problem is customers using the phones, uh huh.

Me: "Where do you go to send a text message?"
Salesguy: "Right through this icon here."
Me:  fiddling with the keyboard "Does it have Sw.ype?  I know the Samsung does."
Salesguy: "It should."  Tap, Tap, Tap.....Swipe, Swipe......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Uh well I'm not seeing it here.  Let me go in the back and look it up."

By now my patience and my blood sugar are running low and I can feel myself getting grumpy.  During his 5 minute break to the back of the store, Dr. Love looked up several forums on his phone discussing my question.
Salesguy: upon returning "I couldn't find any information on whether it has Sw.ype installed or not.
Dr. Love: "I found a couple of forums talking about it.  We'll check that out later."
Me: getting visibly frustrated "Ugh I just don't know which one to go with."

I'm no salesperson but I think this is an open invitation to sway the customer and make the sale. 

Salesguy: ...............

His stunned silence was not reassuring, I guess I should have written the words "SELL ME SOMETHING" across my forehead.  At this point I basically turned my back on him and looked to Dr. Love for advice.

Dr. Love:  "They seem to be pretty equal so I would just go with the HTC since it's the newer of the two."
Me: "Fine, let's get this one."'
Salesguy: "Ok, meet me at the desk over there and I'll go get it for you."

I'm done with this whole mess, I'm cranky, I'm being forced to fork over money when I don't really want to, and my salesperson is about as helpful as the teenager working the drive through at Burger King.  When he came to the counter he even offered the symbolic fries to complete my order....a case for my phone.  He brought 3 options, a black one and 2 different BRIGHT PINK cases.  Now I like girly things but I have a limit on how much girly I can take and BRIGHT PINK phone cases crossed the line.  He directed me to the wall where my other "options" were though selection was severely limited.  I took down a purple case to examine it.

Salesguy: "That's the same one I brought out at the desk."
Me: "Um this one looks purple."
Salesguy: "It just looks darker because of the black behind it."  Takes it from me and looks at the back, "Oh it does say Purple."

Thanks genius, pretty sure I can tell the difference between BRIGHT PINK and purple.  Let's complete the sale before I explode.

Me: "I'll take the purple one."
Salesguy: "Ok I'll ring it all up and get your contacts transferred over.  Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Me: "I think that will be all."

So the relationship with my new smartphone had a rocky start.  I didn't really want to make the move now, the salesguy was less than helpful, then you throw in the inherent learning curve in using / setting up the new phone, I'm surprised it didn't get thrown across the room in the first few came pretty close a few times.  Our relationship has improved since then as we took some time to bond over the fun things it has to offer such as P.andora anywhere, A.ngry B.irds, F.ruit Slice.  I tell myself things will improve, they wouldn't be so popular if they sucked, and one day I won't know how I lived without it.  In the meantime we are still in the early stages of getting to know one another.