All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Transfer Done – and Feeling Good

Greetings from bed rest.  This is much harder with a toddler in the house – man alive Matthew is requiring lots of attention and it’s hard not being able to give it to him.

Our transfer was scheduled for 2:00, which meant that Matthew had to be at the sitter’s at 1:40 – which was only 1.5 hours into his (wonderfully long) nap.  We woke him up at 1:30 to take him to the neighbor’s (his best friends V & W) so that their mom could watch him while we did the transfer.  (V & W are IVF twins so their mom knows the drill and has been so very helpful to us this cycle!  We trade babysitting services and it’s wonderful!)  It was actually fun to wake him up together – we went in and slowly turned his light on, which didn’t wake him up at all (poor tired boy) so we went and stood by the crib as I talked softly to him and B rubbed his back.  He woke up happy, even if it was 1.5 hours too early.  He was pretty excited to see us both and was even more excited to see his friends.  W was the only one up from his nap and greeted us at the door.  We kissed Matthew goodbye, told him to go show W his cup, and off he went.  As did we.

We arrived right on time (my offline friends are reading this now, shocked that we weren’t late) and S, my favorite nurse, took us back to get changed.  I was ready to ask some questions.

Me:  How many do we have?

S:  Two.

Me:  How many did we need to thaw to get them?

S:  Just the two.

Me:  Seriously?

S:  Yep!  You still have five left.

So there it is.  We are still holding strong at our 100% thaw rate.  YES!  If this works, that means we’re going back for Baby #3 in a couple of years.  More importantly, if this does not work, we have 5 left to use.  I wasn’t really that surprised, because the first time we did this (July 2010), the two they used survived the thaw with no problem.  But it’s always nice to hear it.  For it to be real!

I took a note from Belle and Shannon and wore special socks for the transfer.  The procedure room is so cold, and I usually just wear the booties they give you but I thought some special socks were in order.  I hate being cold AND just in case this works, I can tell this baby that, “I wore these specific socks when you were put in my uterus” (at which point the child would respond with, “what’s a uterus and why didn’t I get there the normal way?”).  I don’t believe in hocus pocus but I wanted to do something different, and FUN for this transfer.

I got the photo of my embryos and immediately I could decipher how they were doing.

The top right one is hatching (that’s the bubble on the right) and the lower left one had not yet expanded fully.  I didn’t say anything because this is an FET and that’s why they don’t usually give you photos (because they don’t usually look like fresh embryos due to re-expansion).  Often times, the blasts re-expand once they’re transferred and all is well.  I know this.  I kept my mouth shut knowing that they did me the favor of printing the photo  🙂

Dr. Y came in and greeted us, cheery as always.  He made small talk with us before discussing the embryos with K.  K said that the first one was terrific and was already hatching (HA!) and took off immediately in the dish.  The other one was, “not doing anything,” but afterwards, they explained that they can take a while to “take off.”  He made it sound like the expansion and hatching of the other one was a quick and unusual, and he sounded happy about that.

I have high hopes for that top right one.  😉

It was time to transfer and, as anyone who’s done this before knows, it’s no big deal and it’s over before you know it.  They inserted the catheter, transferred them under ultrasound guidance, and then verified that they were all in there.  This time – they were not all in there.  “The big one,” as K stated it, was still in the catheter so they had to reload it and transfer again.  No biggie.  I did say, “well that’s the one we want!”  At that point, they said that the other one has good potential too.  After the second transfer, K gave them the “all clear” and we were left to rest for 30 minutes.

No biggie at all.

Here’s a photo of the embryos in my uterus.  They placed them right next to each other (they pick the specific spot at an earlier appointment during the mock transfer, so they worked to get #2 right next to #1 since they didn’t go in together).  The bright spot in the middle of the orange circle is the embryos huddled together:

During our 30 minute rest, K (the embryologist) came in and gave us the straws the embryos had been stored in.  We’ve never gotten those before!  He said that he could tell that we were the type of people (or that I’m the type of person) who would want those for memories’ sake.  YES PLEASE!  It was neat to see them and hold them.  They were labeled with our names, date of freezing (10/12/10 for one and 10/13/10 for the other), and “1xBlast” each (meaning there was only one blast in each – they usually store two in each if possible).

Our 30 minutes were up and it was time to go.  They scheduled my beta for 10/23.  They scheduled it a day early (11 days versus 12 days) and I didn’t say anything because HELL YES I’ll take that beta a day early (I do not believe this was a favor – I think it was a mis-calculation on their part which is just fine)!  It’s also good because we’ll be in KC (hello, Steph and JJ!) on the 25th which would have made beta #2 hard to get done if we did the first one on the 24th.  This way, we’ll do beta #1 on 10/23 and then beta #2 (if this works) on 10/25 before we leave town.  PERFECT!

Now we’re all in the basement and we’ve just eaten dinner.  B is taking good care of us both!  Matthew is super tired with only 1.5 hours of naps under him, so I expect him to go to sleep easily tonight.  I’m sad that I won’t see how easily he goes down – I’m not allowed to rock him since it will take more than 10 minutes and he climbs on me like a jungle gym.  B gets the honor tonight and tomorrow night… but come Sunday, I’m taking that job back!

(Actually, I’m updating to say that I did get to rock Matthew to sleep today and I absorbed every moment of it.  I breathed him in!)

Oh – and the 2 hour massage was unreal!  I am adding that to my IVF/FET protocols in the future.  I have never been so relaxed.  I am prescribing it to anyone else who does IVF/FET in the future as well!


Crazy Fun At Our House

Oh Matthew – I heard this going on out in the hallway today while I was folding diapers.  I heard the sound of something sliding on the floor, and honest to God belly laughs coming out of you.  This went on for a couple of minutes before I thought to get my phone to record it.  CRAZY!

I don’t know if you were laughing at the sound the charger was making on the tile, or if Jane was playing with you that entire time.  Either way, you and your laughing made my day!


Transfer Eve

It’s the day before transfer, and I’m calm.  So very calm.  I’ve never been this calm during a cycle before, and I know it’s because of this:

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I’ve been thinking about the 40% success rate of frozen transfers at our clinic versus their 60% success rate with fresh cycles.  I don’t know why I’ve never thought about this before, but maybe it’s not due to the embryos being frozen.  Maybe it’s due to the grade of the embryos.  It’s no secret that they use the best looking embryos for the fresh transfer and freeze the “leftovers.”  What I know, though, is that our embryos are very highly graded and we’ve been told that there’s really no difference between the ones that are frozen, and the ones that were used for our fresh cycles.  So maybe our chances are a little higher than the clinic average?

I don’t know.  I’m just thinking through it.

I’ve been asked if I’m excited.  No, I am not.  I will be excited if it works, but I’m a seasoned veteran who knows that there is nothing exciting about the dreaded two-week wait.  I hope that I’ll have something to be excited about a week from tomorrow (when I POAS at 7dp5dt), but I’m not excited right now.  I’m most definitely not excited about two days of bed rest.*  I’m not excited about not being able to really play with Matthew for a few days.  I’m not excited about our cable being disconnected today – just in time for bed rest.  HA!

But I am excited about my two-hour massage tomorrow before the transfer!

* Bed rest really doesn’t improve odds of success at all.  Much research has found that clinics only prescribe it so that you don’t blame yourself later if the cycle doesn’t work.


The Mom Stays in the Picture

Over at Pail, a news item was shared about moms not being in photos with their kids.

Let’s be clear – I do not have that problem!

Call me narcissistic or whatever, but I LOVE having my picture taken with Matthew and B.  Being a SAHM, most of our “funnest” moments* happen during the day when B is at work, hence, no one is here to capture those moments on “film” (or on memory cards – HA!).  I’ve mastered the art of self-photos and I take them daily.  Most times, I’m unshowered, without make-up, in jeans and a t-shirt, and wearing a hat.  I would call this, “my uniform.”  Most pictures of Matthew and me together have me in “my uniform” and I wouldn’t have it any other way – because that is just how it is most mornings.

Showers are a luxury.  Perfectly quaffed hair is a gift!  Make-up beyond eyeliner and mascara is a novelty that usually signifies to B that he’s about to get lucky (if he so desires – HA!).  But smiles and laughter with my family?  Those are the norm around here and I insist on capturing as many of them as I possibly can!

Here are a few of my favorites.  You’ve seen many of them before (because the narcissist in me posts them regularly**), but here they are in one spot.  There are a few nuggets of tiny baby Matthew, which occurred before I was blogging!

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* I hope you all know that I know that “funnest” and “funner” are not real words, but I like them!

** I actually post these photos on a regular basis because this blog is for Matthew, and I want him to see these photos of us together since I’ve failed at creating a baby book for him so far.  Ugh!


FET Update

We started PIO shots last night.  I am two nights into this and hopefully we have 3 more months ahead of us.  They are easy, but they’re not easy.  Psyching myself up for each one is a struggle and then it ends up being no big deal.  B is a wonderful shot-giver and makes it painless, for the most part.  I remember us hitting a vein (or whatever) a few times and that hurts – so I’m always worried that will happen.  That’s crazy because seriously, it happened only 3-4 times in all the PIO shots we did in the past 3 cycles.  That’s not a lot.

Transfer is on Friday.  My favorite embryologist (H) called me today to discuss which embryos to use.  We have 2 from Matthew’s cycle, and 5 from our first cycle.  I told her to use the ones she thinks are the best – that I trust her judgement.  And I do.  I found the conversation interesting because no one, in all the blogs I’ve read, has ever mentioned collaborating with the embryologist on which embryos to use.  I asked H a week or so ago which ones she wanted to use and bless her heart, she decided to involve me in the decision.  I just love the people at this clinic!

I did ask H a favor.  They don’t usually give you photos of your frozen embryos at our clinic because, “they can be worrisome to people because they don’t look like fresh embryos,” but I asked her to make an exception for me and she said yes.  I think it’s important to have that first photo just in case it works out.  How can I tell our next baby that I don’t have a photo of them as an embryo, but we have one of Matthew?

I also learned that we have 3 embryos in their own straws.  This is very important!  We have 2 straws with two embryos, and three with just one in each.  This is important as they thaw those straws with pairs – and what if one survives the thaw and one does not?  Do you thaw the other pair then too and what if those both survive, leaving three alive?  Now that I know about the singles, I am much more at ease about this and H assured me that we should not end up with 3 unless something “very unusual” happens.  Crisis averted!  (I was actually getting pretty worried about this, but now I’m not.)

Everything else is rather calm over here.  Matthew is a bit sick – not sure what’s going on there.  I’m bracing myself for a bad day tomorrow given that he’s had runny diapers all day and a snotty nose.  He’s been especially tired as well (3.75 hours of naps today) so I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring.

I lied.

Things are not 100% calm.  I setup my password for my PWP posts on October 1, feeling like the inevitable was about to happen, and shit hit the fan on the 5th in regards to holiday planning.  I am not directly involved, but it’s irritating and upsetting.  I will be posting about it, but I’m too exhausted from it right now to write about it.  I am not stressed about it – just so sick and tired of things being so hard with my family.  Ugh.

Besides that, though, things are good.  HA!

“Don’t fret about the holidays, Mama! You’ve got Daddy, Jackson, Lily, Jane, and me and that’s all you need!”


Fall Clean-Up

I was cleaning out Matthew’s closet today since the weather has finally changed for real.  It’s cold.  All he has in his closet that fits is shorts, jeans, and short-sleeved t-shirts – so it was time to pull out the sweaters, long-sleeved T’s, and more pants.

I’ve been slow in moving things out of his closet – it’s a big chore.  I bought altogether too many clothes in 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 month sizes.  I was super excited about having a baby and bought enough clothes for two babies (but averaged $8 per item!) – it’s embarrassing (yet – my uber-honest self is admitting it here).  I still had all of his hanging 6-12 months clothes on the top rack of the closet (the folded stuff was long gone because drawer space is much more limited than closet space), but needed to free that space up now for the 12-18 month pants and t’s that still fit, freeing up the bottom rack for sweaters, hoodies, bigger jeans for December onward, etc.

Going through all of the clothes I’ve bought for 18 months – 3 years, I’m proud to say that the buying has gotten WAY under control.  I mean – besides his stack of sweaters (I just love sweaters on little boys), what we have of each item is perfect through next summer.  No need for pants, shorts, t-shirts (unless they’re the Junk Food brand from Baby G.ap), or sweaters.  I am so proud… and I’m even more proud that at least half of his future stash was bought at consignment shops!

He’s getting so big, I cannot believe it.  I held up some 2T shorts and B asked if they were for a kindergartener.  Nope – they’re for our boy next summer.  Unreal.  The fun part, though, is that they will be super cute – even if they mean he’s growing up.  I can’t wait to see him running around in his cargo shorts and big-kid T’s  😉

“See ya, 6-12 month clothes! Onward and upward!” (Notice B’s nervous hand … that was actually necessary – Matthew almost tumbled during this shot. HA!)


I’m Not Blue

I walked out of the clinic today with the diagnosis of a “perfect, thick lining” and no prescription in hand for smurf pills.

Transfer is set for 2:00 next Friday.  I have a 2 hour massage booked beforehand.

This cycle is going better than I assumed it would  😉

No blue lady bits for me this time, thank you very much!