Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dreaded UTIs

I went to see a urogynecologist this morning because I wanted to see a specialist about the recurring UTIs that I get after having sex. He told me that this has nothing to do with my husband and that some women, for unknown reasons, have defects in their immune systems. That means that when bacteria get forced into the urethra during sex and then up into the bladder, the immune system doesn't take care of it and a UTI ensues. He told me that I am already doing the best things I can, including taking the prophylactic antibiotic after sex. It is much better to take that as preventative medicine than to treat an infection later. He recommended that when I'm no longer pregnant, I come back for a cystoscopy (taking a look at my urinary tract and bladder) and ultrasound of my urinary system to make sure there is nothing actually wrong with me. He suspects that these tests will come back normal. So I got what I needed, which was confirmation that I would most likely be mixing antibiotics and sex for the rest of my life and that there didn't seem to be any safety issue with that approach.

I found out today, unfortunately, that my regular OB/GYN is not really available to help me with my pregnancy. Not only is she part-time (which makes seeing her quite difficult), but she is pregnant with her second child, which means that she is definitely not going to be available when I go into labor. So I'm going to see the other female doctor in her practice, who I have seen before, and who I like well enough. I'd rather not have to think about switching doctors because this doctor's office is so close to work and makes it very convenient. In addition, this practice is affiliated with Brigham and Women's and that's where they do all their deliveries. It is an excellent hospital and so I should be happy to be going there.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I had my ultrasound this morning. The pregnancy is confirmed in the uterus and we saw the gestational sac and yolk sac. The fetal pole measured 6 weeks, 2 days, which is right on track. And we saw the heartbeat! It was measured at 122 (nice and healthy). It was pretty damn cool to see and I'm so glad my husband was there with me. The doctor gave me a due date of March 15, 2009 and told me that I am no longer a fertility patient. I should make an appointment now with my regular OB/GYN. So cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm at work, totally unmotivated and sleepy. I went to bed last night at close to midnight and then surprised myself this morning by waking up, on my own, at 5:58 am. Since I woke up on my own, and without alarm clock assistance, I figured I was ready to get up and went for my 3 mile walk around the neighborhood. I did this walk in 46 minutes 30 seconds, with an average heart rate of 122 and a max of 157 (when I climbed that last big hill).

But now, this afternoon, I'm completely dragging and can't get anything done. I will probably call it a day early and go home and take a nap. I would like to start getting into more of an exercise routine. Before we moved to the 'burbs, I was so good at getting up in the morning and exercising. But my commute was a lot shorter then. But I feel bloated and fat at 142.5 pounds and I would like to get more in shape. I know I can't diet or go nuts with exercise at this point (5 weeks pregnant), but I would like to try and at least do moderate exercise more often.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It More Than Doubled AGAIN!

I had blood drawn this morning at 8:30 am. Around 2 pm, I started getting anxious for the results (as usually). I finally got the call that my beta HCG level was 2933. That means it is doubling in less than 48 hours. The nurse said it was extraordinarily encouraging and a very good sign that this is a healthy pregnancy. So I'm extremely happy. The next step is an ultrasound next Monday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It MORE than doubled!

My beta HCG this morning was 538! It more than doubled since Monday's 164 level. The nurse left a fantastically positive voicemail for me and said that these results are very "encouraging." I go in for bloodwork again on Monday and once they confirm my beta HCG level is over 1000, they will schedule an ultrasound for me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bloodwork Confirmation!

I got blood drawn this morning and this afternoon I got a call from a nurse in the fertility lab. My 16 dpo beta HCG level is 164! The absolute number isn't critical, but the number should double every 48-72 hours. So on Thursday, I'm getting tested again. I'm crossing my fingers!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Final Test

This is the final test. I'm having blood work done on Monday to confirm.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Still Positive!

I know. I'm a freak for taking pictures of the postive pregnancy sticks. But my friend Lynn really wanted to see and analyze for herself.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's DEFINITELY Positive!

Yahoo! Now my mother can see the line!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

IVF Cycle

Here is the summary of my IVF cycle:

May 8, 2008: Started period

May 10: Began taking birth control pills

May 24: Began injecting 10 units of Lupron

June 2: First full day of next period

June 2: Suppression check

  • Estrogen was 21
  • There were 12+ and 18+ follicles

June 2 - June 6: Injected 5 units of Lupron

June 6 - June 9: 5 units Lupron, 150 units Gonal-F

June 10: First ultrasound

  • Estrogen was 407
  • All follicles under 10

June 10 - June 11: 5 units Lupron, 75 units Gonal-F

June 12: Second ultrasound

  • Estrogen was 402
  • Left Ovary: 10
  • Right Ovary: 10, 10, 11

June 12 - June 13: 5 units Lupron, 75 units Gonal-F, 75 units Luveris

June 14: Third ultrasound

  • Estrogen was 350 (ruh roh!)
  • Left Ovary: 11, 10, 10, 10
  • Right Ovary: 15, 11, 10.5, 10

June 14 - June 15: 5 units Lupron, 150 units Gonal-F, 75 units Luveris

June 16: Fourth ultrasound

  • Estrogen was 575
  • Left Ovary: 13, 12.5, 12.5, 11, 10.5
  • Right Ovary: 19.5, 12.5, 12.5, 10.5

June 16-June 17: 5 units Lupron, 150 units Gonal-F, 75 units Luveris

June 18: Fifth Ultrasound

  • Estrogen was 1205
  • Left Ovary: 17.5, 17, 15, 13.5, 11.5, 11.5
  • Right Ovary: 22.6, 16.5, 11, 10.5
June 18: 5 units Lupron, 150 units Gonal-F, 75 units Luveris

June 19: Sixth Ultrasound
  • Estrogen was 1536
  • Left Ovary: 20, 19.5, 17, 11.5
  • Right Ovary: 24.5, 16.5, 11.5
June 19: 8:30 pm trigger with Ovidrel

June 20: Blissful drug-free day

June 21: 8:30 am retrieval and 8 eggs retrieved

June 21: Began Medrol, tetracycline and 1 cc (50 mg) of Progesterone

June 22: No news. Medrol, tetracycline and 1 cc (50 mg) of Progesterone

June 23: Found out after 4 pm that we had 4 embryos. No news about quality. Medrol, tetracycline and 1 cc (50 mg) of Progesterone.

June 24: 1:40 pm transfer. We found out we had good quality embryos!
  • Of the 8 eggs, only 4 were mature. Thus all 4 mature eggs fertilized with ICSI.
  • We elected to do a single embryo transfer and the lab chose the 6AF to be transferred back into me. When I saw the picture of the embryo, I immediately called it George.
  • We ended up freezing the other 3 embryos (6BF, 5AF, 8BF)
  • We found out later that the 5AF made it to 6 cells and was frozen with others
    • As a guide, the number at the front is the number of cells of the embryos. For a day 3 transfer, they look for 6-8 cells. Thus, the one with 5 cells was a little bit slow.
    • The next letter indicates the level of fragmentation. A is the best with less than 5% fragmentation. B is the next level with less than 25% fragmentation. They doctors look for A or B. They chose the 6AF to put back into me instead of the 8BF because the level of fragmentation was less in the 6AF.
    • The last letter indicates symmetry of the cells. All of ours were "fair." The best rating is "good." We weren't too worried about not having any "good" because even the doctors admit they don't know what role symmetry plays in the quality of an embryo.
June 24: Medrol, tetracycline and 1 cc (50 mg) of Progesterone

June 25 - June 30: Waiting game. 1 cc (50 mg) of Progesterone

July 1: HPT negative (10 days post ovulation)

July 2: HPT POSITIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with an extraordinarily faint line 11 dpo. My mother, who just happened to be visiting, couldn't even see the line.