I was not expecting that!

Yesterday and the night before I was feeling queasy and my breasts were sore and when I felt my abdomen over my uterus, it seemed bigger and harder than is normal for cycle day 7. I told myself I was imagining things and denying reality, and I needed to take a pregnancy test to prove it wasn’t true so I could stop thinking about it.

But that is not what happened when I took the pregnancy test. It looked like this:

2015-07-08 08.25.21

I called my fertility specialist’s office and told them the story of last week’s bleeding and today’s test. They said “Come in for a blood test.” I did that. They said they would call between 2 and 4pm. At exactly 2pm my phone did one of its favorite things, and didn’t tell me anybody was calling, so they had to leave a message.

I may keep that message forever. It was positive! 93! I go in again tomorrow (48 hours after the first) to make sure it’s doubling. I need at least 186.

I happened to be seeing my GYN yesterday afternoon about how it seemed like I had developed ovulation induced migraines, so I told her about the test. She said implantation bleeding can be bright red and last a couple days. She told me the migraines will probably stop, but to call if they don’t.

The Dad and I are so excited! I’ve told all the grandparents and they’re excited too, of course.

I have high hopes and I really, really want this baby. I know we have so much love to give this kid.

I also know that if the child I now carry doesn’t get to stay with me, I will get through. It may take me a little while to want to, but I will live. I don’t want to have those thoughts the day after learning I’m pregnant, but those thought come unasked for when recovering from having lost my first four children.

Our chances of life go from 50% to 85%  with the donor sperm. It’s a pretty good increase, but it’s not all the way up. Nothing is. All of living is a risk of pain. And yet, life is so, so beautiful.

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Preparing to try again

I spent most of my post-IUI two-week-wait on vacation. The distraction was incredibly helpful. I relaxed, ate pineapple (not core, my experience of that stuff is like chewing bitter, sour wood pulp, I won’t do it) and drank lots of milk. Unfortunately, the bleeding started on day 10 after the IUI.

I am less distraught and hopeless and despairing than I have been on previous months of failure to conceive. DBT Distress Tolerance skills have been massively useful.

A 24 day cycle means that the next ovulation is pretty certain to occur before the weekend theatre-watching trip in two weeks. It had to be rescheduled for mid-July to accommodate my brother-in-law’s wedding Labor Day weekend, when the trip was originally scheduled. The wedding date was confirmed about a week ago. (I’m really excited for them, they are so good together, and just adore each other. He’s close to 7 years younger than The Dad, and watching how much he has changed the last 8 years that I’ve been in this family has been interesting. He has grown up tremendously since he was the best man in our wedding 6 years ago.)

If a July IUI fails too, and the cycle is average length or shorter, we can fit in an August IUI before the European vacation. All this vacation! I am so incredibly lucky that we can do all of this. I wouldn’t have any vacation left if I hadn’t been fired. They only gave me 5 days a year, and those were only going to start after I’d been there 13 months. That was another piece of stress I didn’t need.

I ordered two vials of donor sperm this time because shipping is insanely expensive, and there’s still an 85% chance that this cycle’s IUI won’t work, so I’m being prepared. If it turns out I’m over-prepared and we need to save a vial for trying for a second kid, storing the vial that long won’t actually cost much more than shipping it by itself would have. Possibly I should just get 8 vials, and be really prepared, but at $825 apiece, I just can’t. It’s not like they’re returnable. Maybe I’ll need 8, maybe I’ll need 3. There is just no way to know and I hate that.

Today was my first appointment with a fertility acupuncturist. We talked about all of my health history for over an hour and a half, and then did a needle treatment. I go again next Monday for a similar appointment, but with more analysis from her. I have hope that it will help.

The IUI should be sometime between Saturday and next Thursday. So I should know by July 30th. In between will be the anniversary of Anastasia’s due date. The anniversary of Josh’s loss date was last Friday, and I have some things to say about that, but in another post.

It’s tomorrow!

I got the smiley face on my OPK today, so the IUI will be tomorrow!

I was hoping for it to be much earlier, because we were scheduled to go to our annual family camp today. It’s Danish Folk Camp, but almost nobody is actually Danish. It’s a three and a half hour drive to a tiny town in southwestern Minnesota where we stay in a dorm for a week with 150 other people, including my mom and in-laws. The Dad’s first time going was 21 years ago, mine was 7 years ago, my mom started coming 4 years ago. Every day we have three meals and two snacks, two singing sessions, at least one dancing session, a discussion (or playing on the lawn with the little kids), two craft sessions, free time in which I often take a nap, and something special right after supper. There are games and chatting until the wee hours of the morning, but I usually just go to bed for 8 hours sleep, so that I stay a pleasant person to be, and to be near. Thursday free time I usually volunteer to help silk screen the year’s logo onto about 200 things, mostly t-shirts, but pillow cases, bags, and tea towels too. I always teach a craft, this year, it’s attaching glass beads to headbands with wire wrapping. The Dad’s craft to teach is coffee roasting, both with his special coffee roasting machine, and air popcorn poppers. We will end up being at least 24 hours late, since the earliest appointment available is 11:15 tomorrow.

I was planning on the IUI coming sooner, since I am on day 15 of a cycle that started 4 days late. The babycenter due date calculator says that if I conceive tomorrow, my due date will be March 14th, 2016, five years and one day after Josh’s due date.

Our doctor said there’s a 15% chance it will work each try, so after 4 tries, more than half of patients are pregnant. We will definitely be on vacation for an August ovulation, current predicted start date is the day we leave for 2 weeks. A July ovulation may be overlapping with a weekend away seeing plays, but only if my brother-in-law needs us to change when that is currently scheduled in order for us to attend his wedding. They haven’t set the date for sure yet. September, October and November look fine, but with my cycles varying in length between 24 and 30 days the last 4 months (less variation than the first 6 months after the failed IVF), who knows?

Someday, we will get to meet our kid(s).

Big step coming soon

I am waiting for the morning when my ovulation predictor test gives me the smiley face. It’s cycle day 13, and so far no luck.

We met with the counselor two weeks ago and made sure we were prepared. The two major things we learned were:

1. Children conceived with donated genetic material usually like to have the option to contact or learn the identity of the donor. Even if they don’t want to use the option, they resent having that possibility taken from them. This option generally comes as a facet of the donor profile, whether he or she is willing to have his or her identity and contact information available to the child at age 18.

2.  These children also appreciate that if they have a sibling, having a sibling with the same genetic lineage. This means for us that it would most likely be better for our second child, if we have one, to have the same donor.

She signed the required document stating that we know what we are getting into.

I also got the lab result back that I am negative for CMV. What is CMV? This surprised me, since I’m pretty sure I’ve had every cold or flu virus that was ever near me. We’ve decided therefore to choose a CMV negative donor.

We have chosen the donor, purchased one vial, and it has been delivered to our clinic. These steps in the process are incredibly expensive and not covered by insurance.

When I get that OPK smiley face, I will call the clinic and we will schedule an IUI (intra-uterine insemination) for the following morning, and get everything ready.

According to the first day of my last period, if I get pregnant this cycle, our fifth child will be due exactly 5 years after Josh’s due date.