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the details

I’m incredibly superstitious, so writing the words “I’m pregnant” makes me very nervous. (Thus the simple photographic evidence in the last post.)

But it’s true: I’m pregnant.

I even managed to avoid those home pregnancy tests until after my beta last Friday. Sheer willpower plus a husband who argued strongly for waiting for the official test kept those sticks in the drawer until after the phone call came.

Ahh, that phone call. I wish I’d recorded it. Few things have surprised — or delighted — me more than that call.

So, the facts:

Beta #1 (13dp3dt): 320

Beta #2 (15dp3dt): 732

Beta #3 (17dp3dt): 1971

Those are the good parts. I’ll leave out the parts about the minor spotting (likely caused by the progesterone suppository applicator irritating my cervix), and the full-body aches and low fever (likely caused by … well, who knows?). For a minute, anyway, this card-carrying worst-case-scenario girl is going to try and focus on the positive.

I’m pregnant.

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evidence

evidence

I shouldn’t be surprised the time seems to have slowed to a crawl. I’ve read enough blogs and message boards to know that the second week of the 2ww is excruciating for most women. I am no exception.

There are three home pregnancy tests in a drawer in the bathroom. Every second is a battle between my heart and my head: to take one out and finally end the waiting or to, well, wait a little longer. Until Friday, to be exact.

So far, my head is winning. The tests stay in the drawer. I try to ignore the PMS symptoms, try to find something else on television, try to swallow the anxiety that threatens to consume my day.

Try to wait.

the numbers

6 = the number of eggs we got at retrieval on Wednesday

5 = the number of eggs that were mature and were ICSI’d

3 = the number of eggs that fertilized

2 = the number of embryos we transferred at three days

8 = the number of cells one embryo had

9 = the number of cells the other embryo had

7 = the number of cells a third embryo (now being watched to see if it will make it to freeze) had

10 = the number of days one nurse told me to wait before coming in for a beta

13 = the number of days a second nurse told me to wait before coming in for a beta

infinity = the number of times I will think about the two transferred embryos over the next 10 (or 13) days

trigger me this

I’m up to 8 follicles, and they’re apparently not as delinquent as I thought, because today I got the call: we trigger tonight at 10 p.m. for egg retrieval on Wednesday morning.

I’m a stew of emotions now — anxiety, excitement, hope, fear, etc. The Lupron/stimming phase felt so much faster than I expected it to. Suddenly here I am with a vial of HCG and a crazy-big needle and my heart in my throat.

Here we go.

As someone who’s always been prone to what ifs and worst-case scenarios, I didn’t realize how uncharacteristically optimistic I was about this cycle until my monitoring appointments began and it became clear that my body isn’t responding very well (or at least very quickly) to the meds. And then suddenly I was defeated: what? You mean this might not work?

At my first appointment, after 3 days of stims, I had no measurable follicles and an estradiol of 119. My nurse told me it was very early in the game; my RE told me it doesn’t matter how long it takes to “get there.”

Second appointment yesterday, after 5 days of stims: 1 small measurable follicle and estradiol of 502. Moving in the right direction, sure, but slowly enough to make me really fear the possibility of a canceled cycle. Which threw me for a loop I thought I’d prepared myself for. Isn’t that what all the pessimism and worst-case-scenario worrying is for? To protect myself when something actually does go wrong? Note to self: apparently that strategy doesn’t work. Good to know.

Now I’m squeezing in extra acupuncture appointments (or, more accurately, the acupuncturist is squeezing my wallet) and praying (me! Praying!) for better results when I go for monitoring tomorrow.

And, for the first time in my life, I’m talking to my ovaries. Urging them on. Pleading with them. I’m the external cheerleader, rallying my insides to do what they need to.  Slow and steady. Let’s go win this race. Please?

IF + if

Seven days of Lup*ron down, how many to go? So far, I’ve had a surprisingly easy go of it. I’ve had a low-grade headache off and on since I started the injections last week, but other than that: nada. The shots are easy and painless. The N**varing is done; my period seems to be arriving in time for my baseline appointment tomorrow.

Still, I can’t shake the worry that something’s going to go wrong and our cycle will be canceled. When friends ask when various things will happen — the retrieval, the transfer — I qualify everything. “The retrieval will be a week or so after I start stimming … if we make it that far.” The transfer will be either three or five days after the retrieval … if we make it that far.”

It seems I’m living in ifs these days. Between IF and if, those two little letters are forever on my mind.