Friday, August 31, 2007

Beta didn't double

Tuesday's beta: 198 (4w6d)
Thursday's beta: 225 (5w1d)

I started cramping and spotting yesterday afternoon and came home and rested last night. I stayed home from work today -- I am scared to death and just can't concentrate on work.

My doc isn't convinced it is the end of the line. She says she's seen weird things turn into healthy babies. I'll repeat betas over the weekend and see her wednesday. Besides miscarriage, I am on ectopic watch. Oh the joy!

I'm trying to keep my chin up but it's tough. I'll update when I have news.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I realized on the way home last night that August has been a big month for Scott and I. It was August 2001 that we decided, on our first weekend trip together, that we wanted to get married and have children some day. In August of 2002, he decided to ask his mother the ring he later gave me when he proposed (it was a gift from his grandmother to his mother on her wedding day).

In August of 2004, as our first anniversary approached we spent weeks discussing whether we should participate in his families’ globe trotting or save our money and vacation time for the baby we hoped to have in 2005 (we chose stay home). All the conversations boiled down to Paris or day care and I chose day care. I wanted a child more than I wanted to see or do anything, including a house (which was his first choice).

In August of 2005, I called my OB/GYN in tears to ask for help. We’d been charting and using OPKs since January of that year and no matter what we did (Pre-seed, Robitussin, you name it we tried it), I was still not pregnant and every month I spotted for three days before my period. She took mercy on me and referred to an RE.

In August of last year, I had a bad injectables cycle. It started bad when on CD3 I only had 5, yes only 5, antral follicles. I had been nervous about the count for months as it dwindled, from a high of 20, for no apparent reason. That cycle I hit the wall and cried uncle. I was done with IUIs and knew it was time to move on to IVF. My favorite NP agreed despite months of reassuring me that it was not cause for concern. She said with a count that low, I had months to get it done before I ran out of time. Months. I cried every day that August as we consulted three IVF docs and poured over our records and begged someone to help us sort out how we went from unexplained, “no problem getting us pregnant,” “worried about multiples,” to “you may have to consider an egg donor.” I was freaking the fuck out.

Two of the docs we consulted had kind words for us and calmed both of us down. One said the antral counts were wrong (he checked) and we had at least a year before we needed to come back. Another said he wasn’t convinced I couldn’t conceive on my own and that I should follow his prescription (lose weight, take baby aspirin and a b-complex supplement) and see him in 6 months if I wasn’t pregnant. Six months came and went and we didn’t go see him. I was terrified. We were broke and couldn’t afford IVF. We waited and waited and waited.

And then of course there is this August. My insurance changed to offer some coverage for IVF. It felt like we were starting over. Like the slate was clean. Like the excitement was back. I felt happy and hopeful and satisfied. All of that before we made our recent, oh so exciting discovery.

As for the beta, I haven’t received those results yet. I’m sure they are ready but I am not ready to hear them. I have a follow-up scheduled for Thursday and we decided to get the results of both tests on Friday. I’m taking progesterone suppositories, which I started on my own after one little spot on Saturday night. Seemed like a good idea. They were still good and I didn’t want this to go away while I waited to see a doc. The OB I saw Tuesday agreed and gave the thumbs up on continuing. I still feel pregnant (sleepy, aching boobs, nausea) but I know that could be from the suppositories. I've taken them 10 times before and never felt like this so I've decided to consider it a good sign.

So Friday. I really will post my betas. I swear. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's been a fun week

I spent all day Monday in a fog, exhausted from a bit too much activity on Sunday and staying up way past my bedtime. Midday, I called and was able to get a follow-up appointment with my OB for Wednesday.

On my way home Monday I got a voicemail from my doc that said the pregnancy test was positive and that she'd see me Wednesday. She also said if there was any more pain or spotting to come right in.

This morning I had more cramping, this time on my left side. I've had ulcerative colitis for 17 years so that isn't unusual but they had me sufficiently freaked out that I called the nurse again. I went in at 11 am this morning to see a different doc. I found out when I went in that the blood test done Sunday in the ER was not a beta (WTF? how does one turn a BHCG test into PREGS?). Crap. The result was positive but we don't know how positive. Anyway, we did an ultrasound on which the doc could see nothing but a nice lush lining, no free fluid or cysts. None of us expected to see anything anyway and we were happy that at least she took a look. She also did a pelvic exam and said the uterus feels big for the dates. I did another blood test, which should be a beta, and have instructions for a follow-up on Thursday.

I'm scheduled for my next ultrasound on Monday, 9/10. Until then we hope the numbers double and the cramping subsides.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Well that was fun

I called the advice nurse on Sunday evening to make an appointment with my OB/GYN. She went over all my stats and upon hearing I had cramping and a little spotting she asked me to go to the ER. I told her that I didn’t think they’d be able to do or see anything but she asked me to go anyway. So I did. And we waited for 3.5 hours to be seen and then the doctor almost laughed at me. I agreed it seemed ridiculous – I’m barely pregnant.

Anyway, they were relieved when all I wanted them to do was a beta. It seemed simple enough so they agreed. And gave me the lab slip for the follow-up on Tuesday. woohoo!

So I had to stay up way past my bedtime but the blood test is being done. Should have results Monday afternoon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Holy shit!

Holy shit!
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I took a pregnancy test today. I didn’t think it would be positive but the case of the missing period was annoying. I tried to be all casual and cool about it so I did the dip and brushed my teeth. I almost choked on toothpaste as the second line showed up. It wasn’t bright at first so I stared hard. And there it was. It is now plain as day and I really can’t believe it. We have been trying to get pregnant for almost three years. We did one full year of treatment, which resulted in one chemical pregnancy. I’ve never even been late before.

I have no idea what changed. I sort of don’t care. For today I’m pregnant, and hopefully will be for a good long 8 or so months to go.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer shirt success

linen top arm detail
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I made my fourth shirt this weekend. The first three were a bit of a disappointment but this third one is just what I wanted. I used Simplicity 4177 and made view D. I made the Built by Wendy version of this pattern on Saturday but it was way too small. This one is really similar (the instructions are almost identical) so I altered this pattern to make it simpler. I skipped the neckline facing (because I didn’t want a split collar), all the trims, the neck tie, and the hem on the sleeves (I did a stay stitch instead). The bottom section was too tight so I added small panels to get a better fit – when I added them I did a French seam with the raw edges showing.

I love the casual look of it and it is super comfy. Finally!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

hope is being a bitch

For those of you who read this who aren't interested in conception, stop reading. ;) For the others, WTF? I'm two days late. I'm never late. This wouldn't be a big deal, but the lateless has invited hope to my house and um, we don't really get along that well. She's screwed me too many times to count. And I told her not to come back until I can get on an IVF calendar in the fall. Why is she messing with me???? Why now?

In other news, I got written confirmation today that the new insurance does in fact cover IVF. Unless my doc is really good at working the insurance company, I doubt it will cover the whole thing (there is a $5K per person lifetime limit), but it will seriously save my butt financially. We just could not afford to pay for it on our own. So I will take the coverage they have offerred and be thankful. Some really is better than none.

And if this whole late thing pans out to be the very very unexpected, I might die laughing at the joke. Switch insurance to get coverage and find out you are pregnant? That is a piece of assvice even I haven't heard before.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big News, not BFP big, but still big

I got great, surprising news today and I’m so excited about it I feel like a new, different person. My employer is changing insurance plans and one of the new options is a plan that includes some coverage for IVF. I’m shocked and thrilled and more excited than I have been in years.

Scott and I have been TTC since January 2005 and did a full year of treatment (8 medicated cycles, 6 with IUI) before realizing a year ago we needed IVF. We started the process and chose a doctor but we never completed all the lab work or signed up for a cycle because we didn’t and don’t have the money to pay for it. It has eaten away at me every single day for the last 18 months (when I first realized drugs and IUI alone weren’t going to fix it). Every single day I’ve worried and stewed and cursed the gods about it. I’ve cried a million tears about it. We decided along the way that I would borrow the money from my 401K to pay for it but since making that decision I have stalled and delayed. It just didn’t feel right. Before we ever started IF treatment I decided I wouldn’t do IVF because it felt like too big a gamble with our future. When I realized it was the only way to get pregnant I changed my mind but the gambling our future thing gnawed at me.

Until today. I was ready to skip open enrollment and stick with our reliable, cheap HMO. Then I hear a rumor about chiropractic benefits under the new plan and decided I should investigate, hoping it would save us a few thousand dollars a year. By the time it is all said and done, I think in one twelve month period the new plan will save us about $15K. We’ll get some coverage for IVF, coverage for chiropractic care, plus acupuncture and the special nutritionist my IVF doc recommends.

Once I realized what switching would mean for us, and for our future, I sat at my desk and cried. I prayed and dreamed about the day that we’d be able to do IVF and not go broke. I didn’t think it would come. I was starting to daydream about not doing it and moving on with adoption. I was doing okay and had put off thinking about it or doing anything until after our trip to Paris (booked using miles) in October.

Instead I need to quit caffeine ASAP and get an appointment with my doc for September. I hope and pray this is the year we get our Christmas miracle.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

farmer's market dinner

farmer's market dinner
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
Wow, I needed that. I had a great weekend and it was just what I needed.

I left work early on Friday, and stopped at the mall. I finally found the perfect bra. I’ve been searching for years and then there it was, and it was on sale. Now that is how to start a weekend!

We went out for Indian and then spent a couple of hours reading travel books at the Barnes.and.Noble before heading home.

Saturday, we got up early (boo) and drove to Hollister to spend the day babysitting my brother’s boys. We love them dearly and though we’ve volunteered a million times, we’ve never had primary babysitting duty with them before. I was so excited I didn’t care that it meant getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday.

We took the boys out for doughnuts. They LOVE doughnuts. My dad takes them on the Saturday’s he baby sits them and now everyone wants a little kiddy doughnut love. Nash gets a chocolate old fashioned and chocolate milk. Jack will eat anything, god love him. They were sticky and on a sugar high but it was fun anyway.

Later, we hit a street fair with PopPop (my dad) and took the boys to the jumpy house. It was rough going but they had fun. They fell asleep on the way home and napped for almost 3 hours! They woke up in time for my brother and his wife to get home and get us all (including my other brother, his wife and his adorable daughter) pizza for dinner.

After dinner I was done. Twelve hours with them was just enough.

This morning I got up early and had coffee and read the paper on the deck while Scott slept in. He joined me for breakfast and I decided it might be my most favorite thing about our house. It is exactly how I imagined spending Sunday mornings when I imagined being married.

We went to our favorite farmer’s market and it didn’t disappoint. The produce, as always, was incredibly fragrant, colorful and delicious. We got sweet Brentwood corn, red bell peppers, Happy Boy Farms sweet lettuce mix, peaches from Winters, lavender from Santa Cruz, and a single tomato (it was so pretty and fragrant I had to buy it even though I had half a dozen at home). We went to Tarjay, and Tj’s for other goodies (lavender oil, chili oil, goat cheese, watermelons), before coming home to make dinner.

Dinner. Oh sweet dinner. I think it was the best summer dinner I’ve ever made. I made a tomato corn salad, adapted from recipes from Sunset magazine. I shared a bit with Scott but only because he looked jealous. ☺

Here’s the how to on my salad:
One ear super ripe sweet corn, cut from the cob
A few cherry or small ripe tomatoes
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
a little chopped red bell pepper
a few chopped basil leaves
a handful of baby greens
freshly ground pepper
freshly ground salt
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of red wine vinegar

Toss and enjoy!

I hate to go back to work tomorrow. I want to have a summer full of Sundays instead.

Oh and it is 61 days to Paris.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I joined flickr and uploaded a bunch of pics of our neice and nephews from lats weekend. They were all being super cute. Maddie was really affectionate this weekend and it just makes my heart sing. And when we went to my older brother's house to visit, his boys ran in from the backyard, jumping up and down with excitement and asked us to take them for a walk. I feel like we waited forever for them to love us back but now they do and it is better than I imagined it would be. It really does fill part of the hole I felt after years of trying to conceive our children. Being an aunt doesn't replace being a mom. But right now, when the kids are so full of excitement when we see them, it takes away a little of the sting.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Yesterday was better. My brother’s doctor’s office finally sent the necessary info to the insurance company. Wooohooo! Progress. I only had to make two dozen calls to get it moving.

Last night, DH and I rode our bikes to the free music in the park. The ride was nice right up until the end when his bike stalled out. LOL. It just refused to go. We decided to enjoy the evening anyway and settled in with our pizza and beer for the free show. The music was great. The people watching was great. The weather was perfect. It was quite a lovely evening.

We decided to take the lightrail home, get the car and come back for our bikes. Only problem was we missed the train and the next one wasn’t for another 30 minutes. And it was a 30 minute train ride to get the 2 miles to our house (tons of stops!). So we got a cab, got the car and went to get the bikes. We treated ourselves to our favorite ice cream on the way home and it was the perfect end to a really good night.

I love Friday’s. Friday is my Star.bucks day. My favorite barista made my grande triple vanilla latte with extra foamy organic milk with just the right balance of foam and steamed milk. Yumm.

I hope I can find some time to sew this weekend. Summer is coming to a fast end and I have three more summer shirts I want to make. I need to get cracking if I have any hope of finishing them and wearing them before it gets too cold.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Today was rough. So many frustrations to pack into one day. A car has been parked in the red zone and blocking our driveway since Monday night. I've called the police and they haven't come to tow it. It greeted me as I left this morning. I called the police again from work and they wouldn't even promise to tow it!

Then I had recurring technology issues at work. It's been going on for two solid months with no resolution.

My brother, who has been really sick (he hasn't been able to work in a month) didn't get the treatment he needed at his doctor's appointment today. His doctor's office is jerking him and us around and I can't figure out why.

Grrrr. Grrrr. Double Grrrrr.

And the darn car was blocking the driveway when I got home today.

I was about to call the police again when one happened to show up! Yeah! Turns out the car was stolen and dumped there. Boooo. A bigger issue is the shooting of two people (one of whom died) down the street on Sunday night. Our city is purported to be safe despite its size (a million people) but a murder on the block certainly doesn't feel safe.

The day was redeemed by a trip to the gym, a sunflower that FINALLY bloomed (it's over ten feet tall already and hadn't bloomed), and a nice light dinner on the deck with my hubby, followed by fireworks from the nearby county fair.

Hope tomorrow has more ups and a little less frustration.