Monday, April 30, 2012

White Knuckles

 This post contains very delicate information. If you know me in my non-blogosphere life, please don't share the information below. We will share as we feel ready.
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I'm sorry I disappeared. Blogging is a funny thing. I wrote about every intimate detail of this cycle, but when it came to the end of the cycle, I hesitated to put it out there. I've felt guilty about this for a few days. You all have shown me so much support throughout this IVF cycle (and the other cycles that have come before it), so it feels strange not to share what's been going on. Additionally, this is my space. I use the blog to write about whatever feelings or issues I am dealing with. Nothing is a bigger issue for me right now than my efforts to be a mother. So, superstitiousness be damned. Here's what's been happening in the last 9 days.
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This week, I felt shy about posting. Maybe it's because I'm extremely superstitious about "jinxing" during the two week wait. Maybe it's because I was trying so hard to distract myself from how crazy I was acting. Maybe I was too busy.

Nah.

I wasn't posting because I was ashamed. Consider this post a confession.

As some of you know, because of my PCOS, I never get natural periods anymore. Since my miscarriage in August 2010, I have had exactly one natural period. So, as you can imagine, KG and I have had very few actual two week waits in our experience with TTC. We've had a few weird Clomid cycles, a couple of failed IUIs, and one failed IVF before now. In all those cases, either my period came quickly (short luteal phase) or we had to cancel the cycle.

So, I've had a lot of time to forget what a real, long TWW is like. And boy this was a doozey. All the lessons I learned when we miscarried went out this window. I swore then that I would remember that early BFPs and good betas do not mean you end up with a baby, so I wouldn't torture myself in the future with POAS. I would be patient. I would just wait for things to happen in time.

However, a year and a half later, I forgot all of that. I hang my head in shame as I write this. Last week, I became a testing addict once again. I was out of control and spent more money than I care to admit.

No kidding - 15 tests between 7dp5dt and 12dp5dt (Friday).

Even worse, I tested using multiple brands, different times of day, and obsessively photographed them, saved them in a Ziplock bag in my bathroom, arranged them in specific ways to analyze them, blah blah blah.

Seriously, it was behavior that was completely beyond me. Some might shake their head and laugh, but until you have been in this position, you don't know how you'll react. 

The good news: the reason I kept testing and testing is because I got BFPs all week.
The bad news: the darkness of the lines on the tests were highly variable by time of day, and scared the crap out of me. (I must be the only weirdo in the world who had darker FRER's (supposedly the most sensitive test) in the afternoon than with first morning urine. This issue deserves a whole separate post. Lesson learned? Internet cheapie tests are way more accurate for me.)

Although I was tempted to jump on the blog and post every picture of every positive test, something held me back. Despite seeing 2 lines on all of these tests, and seeing the word "Pregnant" on a digital test, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. If I said it publicly, maybe it would all disappear. Maybe I would get my period within hours of sharing. Maybe it would be my fault.

Then, Friday (12dp5dt) was beta day. I held out hope for a number around 100. I always get my blood drawn in the morning, and wait for an afternoon phone call. However, I checked my phone around lunch time, and saw I had a voicemail. I was shocked because it was so early, and my stomach was in knots because I didn't know if it was a good or a bad sign.

It was a good sign. The nurse enthusiastically said that our number was 859!

I sat at my desk, replaying the voicemail over and over to make sure I heard the number right. I even called her back, to ask her to repeat the number. I was so prepared for bad news, that I didn't know how to process good news.

Since the call, I've felt really stunned. Muted. Cautious. It really hasn't sunk in yet. How could something go right? KG is with me on this one. He's happy and optimistic, but we both have an undercurrent of white knuckles. Despite this, we did celebrate with a dinner out Friday night, and talked about the future. Superstitions be damned.

My mom has been emailing, encouraging me to see this as a totally new, separate experience from our first pregnancy. She says we should expect it to be a healthy, uneventful pregnancy, one that deserves to be enjoyed. I know she's right. I know we can't spend every day petrified and expecting the worst to happen. It's just so hard.

As I said to a fellow IFer the other day, "Once you've taken the pill and seen the Matrix, there's no going back."

But, unless something changes, I really am pregnant.

We went back in this morning to make sure my number is doubling. We got 3,247! Ultrasound in 2 weeks...

Please stick little one.

60 comments:

  1. What amazing news. I am so happy for you guys and am keeping my fingers crossed for your upcoming u/s!

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  2. Yay!!! What awesome betas! Very excited for you. White knuckling is to be expected--comes with the territory. Sending lots of good vibes your way!

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  3. How exciting! Hope is SO hard after you've been down the road of despair once (or more).

    Fingers crossed on your behalf.

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  4. Wow!! So great! Great words of advice from your mom. I know it's easier said than done, but try hard!!

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  5. YAY!!!! Congratulations!!!! So very very exciting and scary for sure. Those are some awesome beta numbers! Thinking of you and crossing my fingers for you also. :)

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  6. not to sound like that creepy chick on the internets, but i am so happy to read this news that i teared up a little bit. yay!!!!!! and i totally get it - even after our beta, i was scared to POAS. IF really messes with our heads, huh? but today...today you are pregnant, and that is wonderful news. congratulations!!

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  7. Congrats! And what amazing numbers! Sending you so many good thoughts.

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  8. Yaaaaaaay!! Congratulations! I kept checking my google reader feed to see if you posted an update. Those sound like awesome beta numbers! So happy for you and lots of prayers that it is a sticky bean!

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  9. Hooorraaayy!! I've totally been stalking and waiting for good news! That's fantastic!

    OK, now we really need to meet up IRL one of these days.

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  10. Wow, those are fantastic betas. Congratulations lady!

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  11. No shame, lady!! I say take advantage while your pee does something to those tests. I was always like, "I may as well be peeing on the sofa, some dead leaves, a copy of last week's *People* magazine and get the same results." Those are *fantastic* numbers. I had numbers slightly lower than that and took home a baby, so YAY. But yes, I know I know, hard to believe, hard to balance being happy and feeling like you're jinxing or getting ready for heartbreak.

    I have a friend who had a cervix issue (I hate the term "incompetent cervix," but that's what the medical community calls it) and had a late-term loss, and never knew after that if she'd be able to carry a child to term. When she did get pregnant again, she said, "I'm just going to enjoy every day I have with this baby, even if I don't get to meet him or her." I know that sounds really morbid and drear, but it stuck with me (and she delivered a healthy baby, now almost five years old, I think?), and I found myself thinking about it throughout my IVF pregnancy. I didn't know until they discharged us from the hospital that I'd get to take a baby home, and every day I thought, "Hmm maybe today my baby died," but I did try to enjoy every DAY, and say, "Thank you, thank you for staying with me this day, unknown baby." It was the only way I could be happy without feeling like I was going to be ruined, you know? I don't know if that would help you or freak you out more. I'm sorry if it's the latter.

    I do hate how IF taints everything, how some people can just POAS and then make announcements that they're having a baby. It's all about just holding your breath once you've realized how your body can fail. But the good (?) news is that no matter how much you believe or don't believe in the viability of this prrrrr(sometimes it feels like jinxing even to type the word, I know), it has no outcome on whether the cells divide and stick and develop and all that jazz. So that means no matter how negative your thoughts, you are not going to hurt your chances. If you're happy and positive, you are not going to hurt your chances. All that determines what happens is up to science and that little blob of cells churning out a shitton of hCG right now. And of course taking care of yourself--like, don't start a meth addiction now. It is probably not the best time.

    ANYWAY. I am THRILLED for you and those numbers, and I hope your u/s goes perfectly and reveals the most wonderful flickering light you'll ever see. LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU.

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  12. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I have been WAITING! This is so wonderful. I know EXACTLY how you feel about being scared and cautious, not wanting to jinx yourself. The 2ww is insanity and drives you to think and do crazy things. I don't blame you at all for waiting to tell us until after your beta. In fact, that is my plan as well.
    Congratulations my sweet friend. I am beyond thrilled for you.

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  13. Congratulations! I have been thinking about you daily, waiting for your update! Wonderful news! :)

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  14. Yay, yay, yay, yay! I hope to be as equally terrified as you soon. And I know I will start testing as soon as I actually have something back inside of me. Good luck (since I don't like congrats)!

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  15. THAT IS INCREDIBLE! I am so stunned at the number! So happy for you!

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  16. Very Very exciting! Those numbers look great! Can't wait for the u/s!

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  17. There are no words, my dearest. I'm beyond happy for you, I'm beyond excited for you...what joyful news!!! The cute little ball of rapidly dividing baby cells has been set in motion--I can't even imagine how "white knuckle" that is. I like the sentiments that SKB expressed: it is totally in your power to enjoy every last moment of the here and now. MUCH LOVE my dear friend!!!

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  18. I love the Matrix comparison, so true.
    And now to the important part:

    Congrats! Those are amazing numbers!

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  19. No shame in being silent, its perfectly reasonable to be nervous and afraid of jinxing it right now. But holy crap those are nice numbers, I am so happy for you!!!!!

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  20. Yay! Such good news, congrats! And no shame, I kept quiet for a few weeks after both of my BFPs, sometimes this community can be a detrimental when you don't want to read stories of miscarriage or get your hopes up with everyone else's pregnancies. Sometimes you just gotta take a step back and enjoy BEING PREGNANT, regardless of what may happen =)

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  21. Congratulations!!!! This is so exciting. Do you think maybe more than one....? :)

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  22. Yay!! How very exciting!! Those betas are so high....multiples?? :) How exciting!!

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  23. OMG such amazing numbers!! Congratulations to you lady! I know how easy it is to want to temper your excitement but please, for all of us, enjoy every moment of being pregnant!!! Someone once told me, even if the worse happens (and it won't for you, but hypothetically), at least you will know that you enjoyed and sent positive happy thoughts to that baby for the whole of its existence. So congratulations, enjoy, and take all the love this community is giving you and pass it right along to that little stick bud in there. YAY!!!

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  24. I see twins in your future, that is a really high beta!! CONGRATS!!!

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  25. Y'all, don't freak HRF out! They only put one back!

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  26. No twins - Thank you elective single embryo transfer :)

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    1. Were your betas done at 12 and 14 days past a 5 day transfer? Your numbers are fantastic! I wasn't trying to freak you out, I promise, BUT embryos DO split, I will be sending strong singleton vibes your way though! Our numbers were higher too and we are having ONE! :) CONGRATS AGAIN!

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  27. Congratulations!! I have been thinking about you all weekend and kept checking back for updates!! I wish you a healthy, an uneventful pregnancy!!!!!!!!!

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  28. White knuckles indeed. I totally get that, and the Matrix reference. I'm so glad you got such wonderful news! Congratulations and good luck with the ultrasound!

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  29. Yay! I spent way too much $$ on tests, too. You are not alone. Enjoy your BFP and beautiful beta numbers!

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  30. AAAAAHHHHHH!!! Screaming, jumping up and down and literally doing cartwheels on this end!!! So excited!! Today, you are PREGNANT! And I'm praying with my whole heart for a very noneventful, healthy and happy 9 months! Woot woot!!!!

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  31. Wonderful news! Congratulations! I couldn't sleep last night and was thinking about you and worried that you hadn't posted. All your thoughts and emotions completely make sense. Can only wish you the best and promise to support you through whatever happens. Stay positive!

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  32. Congratulations! This is really wonderful news!!!

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  33. CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so thrilled for you! Those are amazing beta numbers! And just for fun, more exclamation points!!!!!!!

    Also, I'm right there with you, weirdo. My PM pee is always much better than fmu!

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  34. Yessssss!!!! I've been checking your blog to see what happened and am thrilled at your bfp!!! Congrats!!! Looking forward to staying tuned as your pregnancy progresses!

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  35. WOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!! WHAT a difference from the last IVF cycle! STICK LITTLE ONE!

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  36. I love it, love it, love it! So you have some coping mechanisms, so what? Do whatever makes you feel better right now. I have been thinking about you so much!
    Congratulations!!!
    I agree, superstitions be damned!

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  37. Great news!! I am looking forward to hearing your updates!! Hang in there little one...we all want to meet you!

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  38. AAAAHHHH!!! I'm laughing and crying at the same time! (That's my favorite emotion.) I am SO SO happy for you! I'm with Lacey - you were just coping. We do what works for us. I still have 4 BFPs stashed upstairs, and my LO is two. I got my first BFP on a $ Store test at NIGHT. (What was I doing testing at night, you ask?? Being a crazy person. There's no shame in that.) And I come from a mother who NEVER got a BFP on a home test AND managed to FAIL a urinalysis at the doctor - and have me eight months later. Everybody is different, I guess!

    Those numbers are RIDICULOUS! And should make it slightly easier to breathe. I vote that you take this in stages. You can't worry about everything all at once.

    Hang in there! (And stick Little Royal Fabulousness!) Can't wait to hear all about your ultrasound and watch this journey unfold.

    Lots of hugs!
    E

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  39. HOW WONDERFUL!!! Praying your LO sticks!!! This made my morning :)

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  40. Huge congratulations!! And you are not alone in testing so many times, lol.

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  41. Congrats to you!!!! I had high betas and my RE told me higher numbers make it more likely the pregnancy will stick. I found comfort in this during my wait for my first ultrasound, and I hope you can too. Your betas are great!!! I'm so happy for you!! Could it be twins??? Enjoy this time. I know it's scary and your worried about jinxing it, but you've worked hard to get here and deserve to enjoy it. Congrats!!!

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  42. Fantastic news! It's alright to be feeling as you are, I think w/loss you loose some innocence w/ future pregnancies, always fearing the what-ifs. But you know what - tell those what-ifs to just take a hike and give them a swift kick out of dodge. This wee one will do well and keep growing, giving you all sorts of surprises and excitement as you go along. My best to the RoyalFabulousness Family! Doing the happy dance for you :)Look forward to your future news, good going mama!

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  43. Wow, congratulations!!! So glad to hear this news!

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  44. I knew it!! Congrats! With betas that high sounds like your little one has most definitely split into two. That can happen. Wishing you a ery smooth pregnancy.
    With regards to sharing I say it's your blog do what you want. I've decided not to blog our second cycle. I feel a bit sad but it's a decision I can live with.

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  45. WOW- GREAT NEWS!!!! So understand about the POAS tests and you are not crazy!!! And it is your right to be scared to post good or bad news! So happy for you though and yes- feel free to celebrate TODAY that you are pregnant! Those are GREAT beta numbers!!! Congrats on the positive tests!

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  46. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Awesome awesome awesome!

    Something I tried to tell myself at the beginning: You are going to have all those bad thoughts no matter what. You might as well have them all up front and get them out of the way so you can focus on positive thinking. It pretty much worked. I was a basketcase for the first week or so but then I got to the point where I'd worried so much I didn't have the energy to do it anymore. But that's just me! Who knows how it will work for you. ;)

    It also helps to stop reading blogs for a while. :)

    Holy shit, this is so awesome!

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  47. Yay, this is amazing. So happy for you! Congratulations and fingers and toes crossed for you miracle to dig in happily for the next 9 months.
    Be happy, celebrate, and try not to make yourself too crazy. But when the craziness and the anxiety show their head, acknowledge them.
    Oh, and no shame (I was almost as crazy regarding those pee sticks)!

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  48. Congrats!! And I also get darker lines in the PM with FRERs. So much so that I would have a positive one afternoon, and an almost negative the next morning. I could never figure that out.

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  49. I am so happy for you!!! Hoping and praying for an uneventful, wonderful 9 months!!!

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  50. Congratulations!!!!! so happy for you!!

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  51. Congratulations!! Those are awesome betas!! I still feel like I can jinx my pregnancy even now, so I thinks that's totally normal and I still have all my pee sticks and I won't be throwing them away anytime soon. I'm so happy for you!!!!

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  52. I clicked to your blog to see an update, and then went back looking for a post like this one. It gave me goosebumps to read.

    A million congratulations again. :)

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