The Eternal Guest Room

Infertility kinda sucks.



We walked into the clinic thinking “this may be the last time we ever come here.” Ironically, I had to give them my license and insurance card and sign new papers because they got a new system. I guess I’ll think of it as “new beginnings.”

In a blur we walked to the sono room. She got the wand where it goes, turned on the screen, and said “let’s see…you’ve got one sac…so you’ve got one baby. We’ll just check to make sure there’s only one in there.”

One embryo implanted.

And then split.

We have identical twins.

“Shocked” is an understatement. There was a 3% chance of this happening. This was the one scenario we hadn’t even considered.

I’ve gotten so attached to my little embryos that I thought I would be sad if one didn’t make it; now I’m relieved.

Both babies (babies!) measured at exactly 7 weeks, where I am today. Both babies had good heartbeats – in the 140s. We saw two babies on the screen. Two babies with beating hearts. As she printed photos for us, she placed them on my stomach. “Here’s baby A. And here’s baby B. And here’s both together.”

Baby A was floating in the middle. Baby B was hiding in the corner. The heart beats were very, very obvious.

As awesome and shocking and surreal as it was to get that positive test, this is a thousand times more, for all of those. I can’t even wrap my head around it. Any of it.

After the sonogram we saw the doctor. He came in with a “congratulations!” and then a serious “here’s the bad news.” They didn’t see a dividing membrane between the babies, which means that there’s nothing to keep them separate in there (they are sharing a gestational sac). It might just be too early to see it, but if it never appears, it’s potentially dangerous – the babies could fight for blood & necessities, or they could move around and get tangled in each others’ umbilical cords. Bad news.

So even though we’re thrilled and happy, we’re still somehow in the bad statistics zone. We’re staying positive and hoping that the membrane will show up soon so that we’ll have less to worry about. Obviously with twins there is always concern, but ruling out monoamniotic twins would be lovely. Our first OB appointment is next Thursday and we’re hoping to find out a little more then.

This is finally starting to feel real and exciting and awesome, even with the big “what if” looming over us. For now we choose to be ecstatic, and happy, and hopeful, and believe this is the amazing thing that we’ve waited for for so long.

It’s totally crazy though.



Tomorrow’s the big day. Twenty four hours from now (2:00). The day we find out if this is real. If there’s an actual living, growing baby in there with a heartbeat.

I’m more nervous than I can even say.

It’s been a long 3 weeks. The longest 3 weeks of my life. Much longer than any 2-week wait. I try not to worry but I can’t help it. The whole thing just feels so surreal, seems too good to actually be true. Everything went so almost-perfectly with our IVF cycle that I’m constantly just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know that’s the wrong way to think, but I can’t help it.

My friend keeps telling me that the statistics are on our side – just because we were on the wrong side of the statistics in getting pregnant, doesn’t mean we’ll be on the wrong side for staying pregnant. I know that’s true, but after so many years of failure and disappointment it’s a little hard to truly believe.

If tomorrow goes well I’ll let myself start dreaming and planning. I’ll finally be able to hear someone say “congratulations” without getting a sick, nervous feeling in my stomach. I’ll start believing it’s true.

Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

the results


I won’t leave you in any more suspense.

It worked.

It really did.

I think I’m still in shock.

I got my first positive test the morning after my birthday (6dp5dt); it was a faint line on a stick, but it was there. Three days later I went in for a blood test, and got the call that afternoon: It was positive. First beta was 224. Two days after that I had my second beta to make sure it was doubling, and it was: 465. That’s when it started to sink in. We were driving through a wind farm in the middle of nowhere, West Texas, and I will never forget that call.

Our first sonogram is scheduled for January 4. The wait is killing me. Absolutely killing me. After all these years of waiting, the reward is…more waiting.

When I first sat down to write this post, I was surprised to realize that over all these years, I never really thought about what I would write if we actually had success. I’ve imagined other things, but somehow, never this. And I had no idea what I wanted to say, or how to say it. This post took me 4 days to write.

I write this knowing that it’s too early to tell people. I know how much can go wrong. But you’ve all gone through so much with us and supported us so incredibly that I can’t wait any longer to tell you. Please don’t tell anyone else – it’ll be a while before we make any announcements. A few people know – parents, siblings, close friends, my support group – but that’s it for now.

We are cautiously excited – we have a long way to go. Once we hear a heartbeat I think I’ll be able to believe it. I try to strike a balance between being thrilled and remembering that a positive test does not necessarily equal a baby. But I do let myself be happy for this. We’ve come so far and tried for so long, and we finally got the beginning of what we want. It’s a crazy feeling.

Telling people has been so weird; I’ve found that it’s incredibly difficult to say to people “I’m pregnant!” So I usually call and say “IVF worked!” That seems much more realistic and attainable.

I’ve been kind of shocked at how little has changed. Of course I didn’t expect my feelings to change overnight; nearly 5 years of infertility can’t go away in a day, let alone ever. But I’ve been really surprised at how I don’t really feel any different. I still dread pregnancy announcements. I still don’t want to hear anything about my little sisters’ kids. I still hate seeing pregnant ladies. I still feel a strong sense of loss.

But here we are. Here I am, with one or two of those little embryos, whose picture I stare at every day, actually living and growing inside of me. Here I am, with a bag of positive pregnancy tests, which I can’t bear to throw away, and one that’s sitting on the back of the toilet where I look at it at least once a day. Here I am, sicker every day, and loving it, because I feel that it must mean something is going on. Here we are, with hopes and dreams that we can actually think about a little bit, and know that they might actually be real, not in the distant future but in 8 months.

I can’t believe we are here. I feel a peace I haven’t felt in years, but I also feel more terrified than I ever have in my life. Every day is forever. The countdown for the sonogram has gone from 20 days to 8, but it feels more like weeks than days. Please keep us in your thoughts, and if you pray, your prayers. Being infertile means that the sonogram is as scary as it is exciting, and probably even more so.

I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support. When we started going through this, we were alone. And now we are surrounded by support. And I really believe it made a difference in the outcome.

(And again, please please please don’t say anything to anyone, don’t write anything on my facebook wall, etc. etc. etc.)

to test or not to test?


That is the big question.

Some people don’t test at all until their beta (blood test). They want to wait until the definitive answer; those sticks can be so ambiguous. Plus, it’s hard to see a negative result on a test, and sometimes those can be wrong, either way.

Other people can’t wait until the blood test, or would rather find out on their own instead of a call from the doctor. I’ve seen a lot of girls, mostly on my online forum, who test every day until the trigger is out (the trigger shot you take before retrieval will show up as positive on a pregnancy test – the only + test I’ve ever seen is right after triggering for an IUI), and then keep on testing.

I’ve gone back and forth about this for months. It’s mental torture.

For about 3 years, I tested every single month. For me, personally, knowing it was negative was easier than anxiously thinking maybe it was positive. Well, I guess in the beginning it wasn’t, but as the years went on, that’s what I remember – the disappointment was so much easier than the hope. For a lot of people, it’s the complete opposite. I stopped doing that about a year ago, when I realized what a complete waste of money it was for me. And I guess when I completely gave up hope of it ever happening on our own.

But IVF is so different – in every way in general, but in this specifically. There is only one shot. If it’s negative this month, there isn’t an “oh well maybe next month” shrug to follow. So I debated for a long time – test or don’t test?

I’m being intentionally vague about my official beta bloodwork day. Only a handful of people know when it is. We won’t be telling anyone the results right away (well, except for my support group, those girls don’t have to wait) because we want to be able to tell them in our own time.

And I’m not going to say whether I test or not at home. If this was an anonymous blog I’d be 100% open about everything, but it isn’t, and more and more I realize I have no idea who I know in real life that reads this blog.

I’ve made a decision about testing. It was not an easy one, but it’s one that I feel most comfortable with.

The days are passing, albeit slowly. Yesterday was a really good day – we walked around the square a little, relaxed in our cottage, ate amazing food, and read books. I skipped the bath out of paranoia and some time on google. Better safe than sorry I guess. But next time we stay somewhere it will have the most incredible bathtub available.

I survived another birthday. This one was easier than the last 4, but it still carried some sadness. I hope that next year will be The year. For now, I continue to anxiously wait.

shot in the hip


We had another bad shot last night. Afterwards we went out to dinner at my favorite pizza place for my “birthday dinner” and I could barely walk without feeling extremely uncomfortable. Sitting was hard, too. This morning I looked at the injection site in the mirror and it looked angry. Red.

It all hurts so bad. I have knots everywhere. My skin is burning. It itches like crazy and nothing helps.

I couldn’t imagine doing three more shots like this without having access to the nurses, so I went ahead and called to make sure everything was normal. She told me to come in so she could look at it, which I wasn’t expecting. I thought she’d say “oh that’s normal” like every other concern I call with.

Not this time.

I’m allergic to the oil that the progesterone is in. That’s why my skin is red and hot and itchy.

No more shots for me. They switched me to suppositories, which are maybe equally as bad, though in very different ways. I won’t get into details here, but it’s not so fun.

So it turns out that I wasn’t just being a big huge baby about the shots – they really disagree with me.

It still hurts a lot, but at least that’s the end of the shots.

passing time


I’m already starting to lose it and it’s only been 3 days.

I’ve watched movies and tv shows, read a book, read several magazines, crocheted some stuff, worked, and slept. I’ve also eaten a lot.

This morning I went to drive my car for the first time since Saturday and discovered that my battery was dead. I wasn’t really even annoyed, I just kind of thought, “oh, that figures.” So now I have a fresh new battery for “winter.” If we have winter this year.

My birthday is this coming Saturday. I debated for a long time about what I wanted to do. I went back and forth between wanting to go out of town for the weekend because until recently we didn’t know when the beta would be and I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling. The other night I finally decided to just “get away” for a bit. Just for one night, and we’re not going far, just an hour & a half away, but I’m really looking forward to it now. We’re staying at a bed & breakfast that’s actually private little cottages. With a cute little porch & a big bathtub & a sitting area & someone else to make us breakfast. I can just feel the relaxation oozing out of the pictures on their website.

I think the mix of distraction & relaxation will be perfect.

The shots are still not fun, although icing beforehand does help the injection pain and the lower spots hurt much less than the higher ones. I’m still super sore in the general areas though. Laying on my side can hurt and it’s still uncomfortable to lay on my stomach or back because my ovaries still don’t feel up to 100%, so falling asleep can be rough. My heating pad that I actually bought for photo shoots has become my new best friend. It even rode to work with me (though I left it in the car).

I still look at my embryo picture all the time. I kept it propped up on the coffee table while I was spending my days on the couch, and now it’s on my desk where I can see it. I wonder how they’re doing in there. I think about them all the time.

Time has never passed so slowly.

transfer day


I meant to wake up early to get allĀ  ready for bed rest (clean the house, do some last minute work, etc.) but I didn’t get much sleep the night before so I ended up sleeping late. I had an acupuncture session first, then it was off to the clinic.

I drank 24 ounces of water on my way because I needed a full bladder, so I was uncomfortable when we got there. I put on the surgery outfit and got in the rolling bed. A lady came in to give us the news about our embryos – we had 5 left out of the original 19. She handed us a photo of the two that they planned to transfer. It was so surreal, looking at that picture. She explained how they graded them, though I didn’t totally understand; it would have been helpful to see it in writing as I’m not good at processing things that are spoken. But basically one of them was an A on one part and a B on another, and the other was a B for both parts.

She left us with the photo and paper to sign saying we understood the risks of transferring two. We waited a long time. I really had to pee. After much debate, I went across the hall to pee a little bit. Finally the nurse came back and told me to go again. Then, finally, 30 minutes late, the whole gang came to cart me away.

Being rolled in the bed without anesthesia is way less fun. I was totally awake and alert the whole time. We got into the room, which was dark because the embryos don’t like light (aw, so cute). First the doctor showed us the screen that had our 2 embryos in their dish and we got to see them “live.” The doctor, nurse, and sonogram lady all raved about how gorgeous and beautiful they were (that’s right, our kids are already freaking adorable). Then I got in position on the table.

D sat next to me (in a gown, cap, that white mask thing, and booties) and held onto my shoulder (I later squeezed the crap out of his fingers because it hurt). The sonogram lady put the gel on my stomach and watched the procedure on the screen. The doctor put in the speculum, then took one embryo and put it inside with a long thin thing. Then the second. We watched the whole procedure; you could see the tiny dots going in. It was super, super weird.

Then it was over. Both embryos floating around in there. The doctor and D worked together to lift me back to the other end of the bed while I tried not to move. Very weird.

And we rolledĀ  to our room. They knew I needed to pee but told me to wait at least 10 minutes, unless I was going to pee in the bed. I think I made it 9 and a half.

After coming back to bed, I laid down for another 40 minutes, and then it was time to go. D drove me to my post-transfer acupuncture session, and then it was on to the couch.

I slept most of the afternoon and woke up for the shot, which was another bad one (though no bleeding). After that, some friends came over to visit. They said they were coming over to hang out and bring dinner, but I was shocked when they walked in with balloons, gifts, and sparkling juice – they turned it into an “embryo party.” I was so touched. The napkins & plates were even all pink, blue, or polka dotted (circles to represent eggs/embryos). It was like the best thing ever.

Yesterday could have been a lonely day. But it was amazing. In addition to the party, I got so many texts and so many comments on my group’s wall wishing me luck, not to mention the comments here. I felt so loved and not alone at all.

Now we wait for them to hopefully snuggle in. I hope they make it. I go back and forth between whether twins would be awesome or terrifying, but all I really know is that I want that test to be positive so, so badly.

We also found out this morning that we had 2 embryos make it to freeze, so we’ve got two snowbabies waiting for us for the future. I never wanted more than 2 kids, but at this point I just want all 4 to make it.

Here are the two that are hopefully making a comfy home as we speak:


super quick update


Everything went well today – we transferred 2 good-looking embryos and are waiting to find out if we have a couple to freeze.

It’s been a full but very good day. I’ll be back tomorrow to fill in the details but I just wanted to post that it went well because I know people are wondering.



Tomorrow’s the big day! I’m not really sure how this weekend has passed as quickly as it has. I guess trying to cram all my work in before Monday paid off in keeping me distracted.

In the meantime, Ow. I started progesterone shots on Friday, the ones I had been dreading. After the first two I was a little sore, but tonight’s just sucked. It hurt a lot while D was giving me the shot, I bled, and now I have a knot and a throbbing pain.

We tried the things I found online and heard from my support group – warmed up the oil, used a heating pad, massaged the area for several minutes afterward – but somewhere we failed. D does a really great job with them; up until tonight, they’ve barely hurt going in. Last night’s was so tame I wasn’t even sure if it was in (and didn’t ask; just kept watching Finding Nemo to try to keep my mind off it). My technique is to lay on the bed and watch Pixar movies while D stabs me in the hip when I’m not expecting it. It’s about as romantic and awesome as it sounds.

I haven’t tried icing it because I’ve heard mixed things about that – icing an area that needs to be warm for the oil to spread. And really the needle going in hasn’t hurt until tonight, and even that was bearable. It’s just this lasting pain that’s driving me nuts.

Does anyone have any advice or any magic cures?

Because ow.

3 days


After picking up my phone every 5 minutes between 8:00-11:00 to make sure it hadn’t rung, the lab finally called with the report. Of the 19 eggs that fertilized, this is what we have for embryos right now:

7 excellent quality

6 good quality

3 average quality

1 poor quality

2 very poor quality

They probably all won’t make it until Monday, but we’re told that usually around half make it. I don’t really understand the grading system so I can’t explain that, but honestly I’m fine not knowing. I’ve heard of excellent embryos not implanting and terrible ones become healthy children so I’m trying not to obsess over that aspect.

I am obsessing over the rest though. Monday feels like forever away. Our transfer is scheduled for noon.