Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This is worse than the two week wait and this wait of mine is only two full days. I know I was lucky enough to only experience the TWW once, thus far, and I am sure I would not feel the same if I had the roller coaster ride most do. Nonetheless, Friday's blood test seems years away. Of course I've googled a gazillion different variations of "slow HCG rise," "HCG not doubling," and "HCG low, progesterone fine." The results feel like a punch in the stomach - miscarriage as a very real possibility. I keep telling myself my numbers weren't drastically low, 271 instead of 320, and the progesterone and estrogen are fine. But statistically, the HCG didn't double as it should have. And I am sad, so very sad. Hopeful, but sad. I didn't realize how much I love this little soul inside me until the possible threat we might lose it. And last night when I got home, there was a package from my mother on the doorstep waiting for Dana and me. Inside was a Beatrix Potter baby book with pages just waiting to be filled out and two infant outfits. I cried. Today I asked her not to send anything else yet and to just hold on. We're all holding on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beta Update

First, I have to say that Dr. W's nurse is quite possibly the sweetest nurse I have ever met. If the world were coming to an end, she would make it seem alright. She called back a few minutes ago and wouldn't you know it happened to be the two minutes I stepped out of my office to go to the bathroom. Murphy's law. Her message said that my estrogen and progesterone levels "are enough to support a pregnancy" so I suppose they are not quite as concerned although they do want us back for another blood test Friday morning. If all goes well on Friday, they will schedule us for an ultrasound the following week.

My next acupuncture appointment is Thursday and I have a call into my wonderful acupuncturist to see if she thinks I should come in before then since I couldn't make last week's appointment. Perhaps I just need my qi to be helped along a little bit.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support. Within moments of my last posting I was reassured with your kind words. I could not immediately get Dana on the phone, and it was great to know all of you are out there for me and us when we need a pick-me-up.

Today's Beta

We went in this morning for the third beta test. The nurse just called and I don't know how to feel. Today's numbers are 271 which seems to be a slight cause for concern. She said they like to see numbers in the 320s at this time and she's ordered some further tests to determine progesterone levels and estrogen levels. She also said she has given this info to our RE but he hasn't commented yet.

I asked what this all meant and she explained if my progesterone levels are high (in the 20s) then my body is preparing for pregnancy. If not, there may be a miscarriage soon. She assured me I did not need to worry now and they would call me back later this afternoon. She said often times the numbers catch right up to the appropriate level. How can I not worry? I am a worrier even in the best of circumstances. Was it all too good to be true because it all came so easily?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Wishful Writer

One of my dearest friends has been nominated as a 2008 Bloggie Finalist in the GLBT category. Wow! Check out her blog here. She's up against the likes of Perez Hilton who has 10 million readers a day so if you like what you read, you can vote for her by going here. Did I mention that she is an all-round great person too? She can make you laugh your ass off. Really.

In a side note, my beta was 147 today. Hooray! One more beta next Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Beta

I apologize in advance for the short post, but (fortunately) work has picked up and so I do not have a plethora of time today, not to mention I was away yesterday and Monday was a holiday. Sigh. Work is good, right?

Monday our beta numbers came back in the 60s. Tomorrow we go back for another blood test to confirm the numbers are increasing accordingly. I have so much more running through my head to write about - like I've always been a 32 A and now I can actually feel my boobs bounce when I walk down the stairs at home without a bra on. I think I am more marveled at this than anything else so far. Ha!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Birthday Cake Makes Everything Better (Part II)

Two pink lines! Positive test #1: 8:15 AM yesterday. Positive test #2: 7:30 PM yesterday. Positive test #3: 6:15 AM today. We are still in a cloud of wonder and amazement. I keep asking myself why we are the lucky ones, the one hit wonders. I cannot help feel a bit of guilt when I know there are so many traveling down this path that have to ride this roller coaster for months and even years before they conceive. My heart goes out to all of you and I am sending you any residual luck I may have left over!

Nonetheless, we are overjoyed, to say the least. Our RE will want to confirm with a blood test. As I posted previously, I have to be in another city, 120 miles away, for work at 10 AM so they are letting me come in today and will have the beta back to us later this afternoon.

Dana says she knew all along. She says there were signs. I discounted all of those signs:

Sore chest/breasts - the day before this sign appeared I worked out at the gym, doing various upper body strength training.

Sore abdominal area - again, the day before the sore abs appeared, I was at the gym and my workout included multiple reps on the ab machine.

Gassy - I am a vegetarian. I am always gassy. What else can I say?

Hungry - I am always hungry. Dana says I've been more finicky about what I eat. This is perhaps true.

There you have it, in a nutshell. Still in disbelief. Did I say that already? :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why Birthday Cake Makes Everything Better (Part I)

Two of our dearest friends have twin boys that turned one year old on Friday. We have followed their journey from the first IUI through the fourth, from their birth through the first year. Sometimes I cannot even imagine how much I will love our own children because I love these boys so very much. So here are a few reasons why birthday cake makes everything better:

Dana and the boys

Part II to come....

Saturday, January 19, 2008


We tested this morning at 6:15. Negative. I am not as disheartened as I thought I would be. I know the result could change tomorrow or the next day, although I do not hold out much hope it will. The statistics show First Response can detect pregnancy in 83% of women three days before a missed period. Sure I could be one of the 17% but I think that not likely. Nonetheless, we will try again tomorrow.

Some of our closest friends have twin boys who were conceived after four rounds of IUI, all with Clomid. The boys turned one yesterday and their first birthday party is this afternoon. We can't wait! Those beautiful boys always remind me this whole process is worthwhile.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Countdown

Today is 10 days post IUI and either 10 or 11 days post ovulation, depending on who you ask - the RE or fertility friend. No testing today. I am trying to hold out until Sunday but the box of First Response Early Result is taunting me from our bathroom counter. Here is the worst part. If this cycle is unsuccessful, Tuesday should be CD1. I can handle that. New beginnings. BUT if by some stroke of luck we have a positive test result, and my cycle does not start, Dr. W. wants us in for a blood test on Tuesday. A few hours ago a partner asked me to represent one of his clients at a mediation on Tuesday that he cannot attend - out of town. I am low on the totem pole and although I could say no, that would not be a wise answer on my part. So Tuesday I'll be traveling for work without the chance for a blood test. But why worry when it seems likely we won't even need one? Happy long weekend to you all!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow, Southern Style

Yes, it snowed here in Charlotte, North Carolina sometime last night. No more than an inch. By morning the precipitation changed to rain. All of you out there lucky enough to be in New England or other snowy places would find this comical. Schools are closed. Business are closed. The court system is closed. By the time rush hour started, some snow lingered on grassy areas but not a flake on the roads. Just rain. Watching the local morning news (which, by the way, preempted the Today Show and all other national morning news programs due to the "winter storm") you would have thought this was the biggest natural disaster since Katrina hit New Orleans. Seriously. The footage showed snow plows plowing nothing (this city has over a million people and 32 snow plows, up from the previous 16), reporters standing roadside picking up snow that could not even amount to enough to form a snowball, and local police officers warning people to stay off the roads. After years of living in New England and Alaska, we just laugh at the silly North Carolinians, who are probably all still nestled up at home with their bread and milk while we are at work. I am not sure what you even make with bread and milk. Milk toast? What is that anyway?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One Week Down, One To Go

We've made it through the first week of the two week wait plus a day. Today is 8 days post IUI. Time has passed slowly, although I must admit it has not been nearly as terrible as I expected. I still have no symptoms. No matter how much I analyze my body and wish for bigger boobs, nothing seems to appear. Admittedly, I am cautiously optimistic, but not expecting a pregnancy this cycle. I know, I know, I know. Every woman is different and it could still be possible. So, we still hold out hope and will be pleasantly surprised if we get a positive.

I'm trying to hold off until Sunday to test, which will be 12 days post IUI. I have a feeling I might breakdown and test Saturday, but I promised Dana no more than one test per day. If I do not start my cycle, then the RE wants us in for a blood test on Tuesday. Next week seems so far away. Sigh...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh, the Waiting....

Officially we are now 3 days post ovulation and insemination, although fertility friend thinks I am four days past ovulation. Not sure which to believe, our RE and the blood test, or fertility friend and the temps. I admit I have a love/hate relationship with fertility friend. I know the first part of this cycle was a little wacky because we went to Alaska which is a four hour time difference AND I was sick for most of the days we were there. But since our return on the 1st, everything has returned to normal, whatever that is.

Time is passing ever so slowly. Sigh. I have no symptoms. Zero. Nada. Zilch. But I am only 3 days into this whole waiting thing. I am trying to be cautiously optimistic. Statistically, one of us has to be a one hit wonder, right?

To distract me from my ever-present wondering, in a few hours I depart for an all weekend work event. Although normally I would not be thrilled at the prospect of spending my weekend listening to various panels about how women can succeed in the big male-dominated law firm world and how to use our individual strengths in achieving our goals, the entire program is being held at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, a swanky getaway that we would never go to otherwise. I even get a 50 minute facial on Saturday as part of the weekend - on the firm! Dana will drive up today after work to meet me there to lounge in our plush hotel room all weekend. She starts school again next week (she works full time and is getting her masters degree) and this will be a great way to relax before her chaos begins again.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Swimmers Are In

When we pulled up to the RE clinic just before 7:00 AM for our blood test we saw one other woman waiting for the doors to open. As we walked up we realized this person was one of our good friends; she and her partner actually accompanied us on our trip to VA. Wouldn't it be great if we were pregnant at exactly the same time? This will be her 6th round of IUI - the first three were not medicated and she has been on Clomid the last three. It was great to see her there and to have a familiar face walk us through the so very rote procedure that seems to happen at the clinic each morning.

At 7:00 AM women who are scheduled for lab work line up outside. Once the doors open, everyone files in and takes the elevator up to the second floor where all walk into the office and resume their place in line according to the order they arrived while waiting for the doors to open. Everyone signs in, gets their lab order paperwork and gets back on the elevator to go to the third floor. Two women at a time get their blood drawn and then head back downstairs to check out. It all happens in less than 10 minutes. I cannot even begin to tell you how many women are there - and this happens every morning, including Saturday and Sunday.

Dana commented how it is so bizarre that the clinic can be such a happy and sad place all at the same time. She also noticed that many of the women seem embarrassed to be patients there. I do not feel this because I do not necessarily think I am infertile; we just need some help with the sperm part. My heart goes out to them all though, because ultimately, we are in the same boat.

A nurse is scheduled to call between 9:30 and 10:00 AM to let us (and everyone else) know if my progesterone levels indicate I am in fact ovulating. If so, we are to return at 11:00 AM for the IUI. 9:30 - no call. 10:00 - no call. 10:30 - no call. I call and leave a message. 11:00 no call. 11:10 the nurse calls and says the machine that analyzes the progesterone is broken so they had to send all the blood work to a local hospital's lab. The hospital promised to have the results back by 10:30 but failed to do so. They would call when they get the results back. 11:20 - the nurse called back and said, "Today is the day. Can you be here at 11:45?" Absolutely I say. Dana is on her way to pick me up.

Unfortunately our RE is in surgery today so the doctor du jour was charged with performing the IUI. I was a little uneasy because he tried two catheters and then asked me if I knew which way my uterus slanted. What? Isn't he supposed to know that? Dr. W. has done ultrasounds and an HSG so perhaps it would be in my records somewhere? I have seen my uterus on a screen multiple times and all I was ever told is everything is normal up in there. I mean this is an RE clinic and they only work with fertility patients so this must be routine. Anyway, they moved us across the hall to another room so he could do an ultrasound and check out the slant of my uterus.

Next thing I know I feel a slight ache and the swimmers are in. We are told to wait 10 minutes and then I can dress and go on about my day. It was all so very uneventful. Dana was so incredibly sweet the whole time. She rubbed my belly and told the swimmers to keep swimming, she held my hand, and the best part was that I could truly see the excitement in her eyes too. She is so very supportive and I would not for one minute want to be on this journey with anyone else.

So now we wait, and wait, and wait. I am up for any bits of wisdom from those of you that have gone before me about how to make it through the two week wait and when you tested. Anything else any of you want to share is always welcome. Enlighten me!

Monday, January 7, 2008

We Have a Smiley Face!

I started testing last Thursday, CD 10, just to be safe. In November the positive showed up on CD 17 and last month I the positive showed up on CD 13. My acupuncturist believes the shift forward to be due to my weekly sessions that started the middle of October and my RE also believed the earlier ovulation to be much better than the previous month. I strongly believe I am seeing beneficial results from acupuncture because not only am I ovulating earlier, but my cycle length has decreased, I no longer have sore breasts before my period and my period is much lighter. I digress...

We splurged for the digital tests this month and there it was this morning. A big smiley face! At 7 AM tomorrow we will go in to the RE's office and for a blood test. The RE will have the results back within a couple of hours. If my progesterone levels are high enough to indicate ovulation, we will go back at 11 AM for the IUI. It is possible they will want to wait another day, in which case we will go back the following morning for another blood test and then IUI accordingly.

It seems like we have been waiting for this day for eons. OK, so really we have only been waiting a few months, but we are so very excited it is finally here. Soon we will be entering new territory...the two week wait.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We're Back!

As I sit here in my office on the 34th floor, looking out my window, everything looks so flat - and small. No mountains as far as I can see. No snow either. Sigh... We are both very much wishing we were still in Alaska, or even back in the mountains of N.C., or anywhere but here!

Despite my somewhat persistent illness/cold that lasted the duration of our trip to Anchorage, we had an incredible time. We went snowshoeing for two days and cross country skiing for two days, had incredible lattes and hot chocolate (the baristas there are unlike any in the lower 48 it seems), ate great food (although I refuse to proclaim that Anchorage has the best Mexican food that has passed my lips - but it was good), and saw nine moose up close and personal.

Now the vacation is over and we are back to the daily grind. Without fail, I always become disgruntled when returning to work after time spent in the mountains - or anywhere that fills the soul. One day we will move to such a place but for many reasons, we are here in Charlotte for a bit longer. Really, life here is not so bad. We have wonderful friends, a great house, and we are not far from the mountains or the beach for that matter.

Nonetheless, our return to the south is bittersweet, because sometime in the next week we will have our first IUI. Tomorrow is day 10 of my cycle and we will start the OPK process. My excitement by far outweighs any anxiety or nervousness. I cannot believe after months and months of planning we have finally arrived at this time. Here we go!