Thursday, 31 December 2009

Back in England

Pheuw! What a whirlwind the past week has been. The warm kind of wind that you don't mind being in at all. I have so many stories to tell and no time to do it right now, but I'll make sure to sit down some time early next year to write. The trip across the Atlantic is a chapter of it's own, including an emergency landing in New Foundland and a spiritual  aha-moment for me, I'll make sure to tell you all about it later. 

It's been wonderful to spend Christmas with J-girl, Snorkel Kid, Froggy-boy and Sta-Bas. I loved seeing Diver Dudes eyes lit up when we first walked in the door and he was attacked by Froggy-boy with a big hug closely followed by Sta-Bas yelling "E-paaaa, E-paaaa!!" (StaBas is two and that's how grandpa is pronounced.) The week's been filled with frogs, insects and other creepy crawlies that Froggy-boy captured and showed us (he's seven, going on forty and a future biologist/zookeeper/snake-tamer), Star Wars toys in all thinkable sizes and shapes (Sta-Bas is obsessed, hence the name {Sta-Bas = Star Wars in Sta-Bas language}), doctors visits, contractions and wild baby moves with J-girl + bump and lots of dive related discussions between Diver Dude and Snorkel Kid (who is following in Diver Dudes footsteps as a Navy Diver), some chillaxing by the pool and a whole lot of wii sports. 

We also got to spend time with Diver Dudes MOTHER, Spoiled Brat (youngest brother), Hippie-Jew (step-dad), Marie Antoinette (sister, and that's her real name!!) and her two boys Billy-Bob and The Professor. Oh boy, do I have some good stories, they are one crazy family! 

Anyway, I better get back to preparing for the party tonight and taming the laundry monster, I really just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2010 be the year when all our dreams come true.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas Travels




Bags are packed. Presents are wrapped. Pets are off to the neighbors. And passports are out on the kitchen table. We're ready to go. Tomorrow morning we'll leave this snow clad picturesque english country side to go to a cooler than normal big city in Florida. 

We're going to spend Christmas with Diver Dudes middle daughter J-girl and her family. It will be great to see them all and to spend some quality time with my two bonus-grandsons. I'm just not sure how I'll react when I see J-girls beautiful 8-month-pregnant belly. Hopefully I'll be just fine, but part of me fears that the emptiness of my own womb and our recent loss will hurt badly. I just have to remember to breathe and try to smile through the pain. I need to be strong for her. J-girls pregnancy wasn't planned and is very high-risk. She had complications after her youngest son was born two years ago and was told by her docs to not have more children. But she got pregnant on BCPs because of a stomach flu. She has kidney problems, there's been cysts on the baby and in her uterus, lots of bleeding, and she's been on and off bed rest throughout the pregnancy. Just last week she started having contractions and was told she would most likely have the baby before Christmas. It's a weird situation and a very modern family complication when bonus-mom and daughter were hoping to both be pregnant over the holidays. Unfortunately our hopes were short lived. Now all we can hope for is that J-girl stays pregnant and that the little guy continues to grow strong.

While we're in Florida we'll also spend time with Diver Dudes mom, brother, sister and nephews. All very special people and I'm sure we'll have some good stories with us going home.

Last night me and Diver Dude had our own little Christmas and opened presents by the fire place. Pressies, saffron buns with milk and Rudolf the Red Nosed Raindeer. It was great. The best part was when Diver Dude opened the model train I got him, his face lit up with childish joy and he dove down on the floor to put it together. Got me lots of brownie points in spite the fact that I broke our rule of no gifts to each other this year. Our combined Christmas-Anniversary-My-35th-Diver-Dudes-50th-super-duper-awesome-present happens to be a trip to Jamaica in January. But I couldn't help myself. And I'm kind of bad at following rules. Muahahahahahaaa.

Before I leave I just wanted to wish you all a Merry ChristKwanzHanukKalikiJul and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Bloody Monster, is that you?

Oh. 
My. 
F-ing. 
Gawd. 
It hurts.
Tell me this is the Bloody Monster. It has to be. Right? She's earlier than they said she would be. They told me between one and three months. I stopped bleeding/spotting completely on the 28th. My hcg was at 1 on the 7th. But it could still be her. Right? Not some weird complication. Please let this be OK. It could be good. Right? 


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Maybe.

Just maybe, I got a little annoyed with all the happy family holiday cards attacking our fridge.
And maybe, I had a glass of wine or two tonight.
Possibly did I force my husband to wear a silly santa hat on his chin.
I might have even bribed the critters to wear that same silly hat.
But I most definitely have the most awesome x-mas card.

Happy Holidays dear friends!! 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Cold Morning Air

A dark shape by the side of the road
Struggles to get back on his feet

Back legs betray with impossible angles
Black eyes reflect the cars that I meet

Burning hot breath in the cold morning air
Tell a story of pain with no option to flee

That's when I hear a desperate scream
And realize it's coming from me


This morning on my way to the vet with Athena I saw a deer that had just been hit by a car. I felt so sick, helpless and angry when all I could do was to plead with the Circus Director to please make it quick. I can't seem to shake the image of his desperation and get a big lump in my throat every time I think about it. 
I try to not see myself as a victim but maybe on some level I saw myself in his pain. 


Thursday, 10 December 2009

A friend in need


A RL-friend of mine, the only one that knows about this blog, is in need of some love and support today. 

Louise-in-the-middle and her man went through a DE IVF beginning of November and she had two perfect little embabies put back. She was thrilled to get a BFP that was followed by two consecutive perfectly rising HCGs. We were all hoping the high numbers indicated twins. She recently had a couple of bleeding/spotting episodes but kept her spirits and hopes high. This morning was her first u/s. Unfortunately they could not locate any embryo in uterus. She is now waiting to get confirmation of her loss with a repeat HCG test.

Her blog is written in swedish but she's fluent in english and could sure use a virtual hug and some kind words of comfort!

Louise, nästa gång är det vår tur. Stor kram till dej! 


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Tori Amos

Wanted to share this beautifully dark Tori Amos song from the mid nineties that I suddenly and unexpectedly find myself drawn to. I suppose it helps me through the grieving process. It's a song she wrote after her first miscarriage. 

"Spark"



CLICK HERE to watch video


She's addicted to nicotine patches

She's addicted to nicotine patches

She's afraid of the light in the dark

6:58 are you sure where my spark is

Here

Here

Here


She's convinced she could hold back a glacier

But she couldn't keep Baby alive

Doubting if there's a woman in there somewhere

Here


You say you don't want it again

And again but you don't really mean it

You say you don't want it

This circus we're in

But you don't you don't really mean it

You don't really mean it


If the Divine master plan is perfection

Maybe next I'll give Judas a try

Trusting my soul to the ice cream assassin

Here


You say you don't want it again

And again but you don't really mean it

You say you don't want it

This cirucs we're in

But you don't you don't really mean it

You don't really mean it


How may fates turn around in the overtime

Ballerinas that have fins that you'll never find

You thought that you were the bomb yeah

Well so did I

Say you don't want it

Say you don't want it

Say you don't want it again

And again but you don't really mean it

Say you don't want it

This circus we're in

But you don't you don't really mean it

You don't really mean it


She's addicted to nicotine patches

She's afraid of the light in the dark

6:58 are you sure where my spark is

Here 

Friday, 4 December 2009

The story of us - part 1

In honor of our six year anniversary today (which is Dec 6 in spite of what the publishing date says... how do you change that?) I'm going to start writing down the story of us. How we met, fell in love and got married all in the course of six months and in spite of being oceans apart.

Once upon a time there was a 28 year old swedish girl called Circus Princess. She was living in Hawaii in a house with her room mates Carlos and Swedeheart. Carlos was a 40-something hairy Mexican Army biker and Swedeheart an über smart Swedish-American waitress in her twenties with multiple degrees. Her room mates had during the four years they had lived together turned into a married couple and also produced a little Peanut. Peanut is proof that when opposites attract magic happens.

Circus Princess was studying Communication Arts and living la vida loca single style. Carlos had tried to fix her up with many of his hairy biker friends, but Circus Princess was not impressed. She'd even humored him and went on dates with a couple of the younger cuter variety, but no dice. She had also met his less hairy biker friend 43-year old Diver Dude on several occasions and thought he was cute but way to old for her. She was just happy on her own and was the kind of girl that never really dreamed of a fairy tale romance or a white wedding.
Then one day Circus Princess had graduated school, posessed a soon-to-be-expired student visa, and decided it was time to move back to Sweden. The same week decisions were made she met Diver Dude at a biker party in a beach park. He walked up to her sitting on the ground having a beer and a laugh with Swedeheart. He flashed her a big confident smile and said "Hello beautiful". She looked up into his brown eyes (or are they green, she still can't decide) catching the sun and his perfectly white wide smile and thought "well, well, well". She immidiately decided that since she was going home in a few weeks one date with this hot old guy couldn't hurt. So when Diver Dude offered her a ride on his Pit Bull Chopper with a "NO WIFE" license plate she hopped up on the fender with a smirk on her face. 

He took her out to dinner and ordered a trash can lid filled with ribs, corn on the cob and crab legs. Circus Princess LOVED crab and was surprised to see that Diver Dude wasn't eating any (she later found out he'd been afraid she'd bite his hand off if he had tried grabbing one) but gladly ate every single one herself. They had a great time; conversation was intriguing and laughter was easy. After dinner and a few drinks at a bar Diver Dude took her home. Circus Princess then realized she had lost her keys. Like the gentleman he is Diver Dude offered to take her to his place down the road and wait for her roomies to come home. A couple of hours later she had forgotten all about Carlos and Swedehearts comings or goings and was solving life's mysteries under the starry skies in Diver Dude's lanai. 

That first night slowly turned into day, the day mulitplied and turned into weeks and Circus Princess just sort of forgot where her home was. She had found a new home in the arms of Diver Dude. Their new love for each other was crazy, passionate, unexpected and completely inconvenient as Circus Princess would turn into an illegal alien if she stayed beyond the four weeks she had left on her student visa. So much for one harmless date with this hot older guy.

In a blink of an eye the month had passed and Circus Princess and Diver Dude found themselves entangled in an emotional goodbye at Honolulu airport. With tears streaming down her face Circus Princess looked back at Diver Dude as she walked through security and wondered if she would ever see this wonderful man again. As her plane was taxing out she had to resist every fiber in her body urging her to run back out into the arms of the man she was madly in love with. 

Little did she know that six months later they would not only be together again but that she would also have broken her vow of never getting married.

To be continued...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Our first Circus Performance - The long story short

I've put together a short version of the long (but not long enough) story of our first IVF. Mainly for me to remember but also for others in a similar situation to find information.


Oct 7 - Start stims CD2 of natural cycle. Gonal F 225IE. Stims make me tired, thirsty and "fuzzy" in the head.

Oct 11 - Fly to Sweden from England. 

Oct 12 - First u/s shows 3 follicles in right, left ovary not found. Increase Gonal-F to 300IE and add Orgalutran (stings and irritates).

Oct 16 - Second u/s shows 6 follicles in right, 2 in left (still hard to find). Ovaries slightly achy.

Oct 18 - Trigger shot of Ovitrelle. Do the baby dance.

Oct 20 - Egg retrieval with local anaesthetic and morfin. TESA with local anaesthetic. 8 mature eggs retrieved (6 from right, 2 from left). 5 successfully fertilized with ICSI. Start vaginal progesterone suppositories 3 times/day - boobies start getting sore almost instantly.

Oct 21 - 24 - Have a few glasses of red wine. Eat good, spend time with family and relax.

Oct 25 - Embryo transfer, 1 blastocyst transferred, 1 frozen. Drink lots of water and a glass of pineapple juice a day.

Oct 26 - Fly from Sweden to England. 2 additional blasts are frozen. 

Oct 27 - A pulling, tugging sensation in uterus all day off and on

Oct 28 - First nose bleed ever and start falling asleep on the couch by 8 pm

Oct 30 - Light brown spotting after walk

Oct 31 - Nov 1 - Spotting continues and gets a little heavier

Nov 1 - Get disgusted by crayfish that I normally LOVE

Nov 2 - Spotting starts to look like a light period, this is the day my period would have arrived in normal cycle (full moon)

Nov 3 - 4 - Bleeding increases and turns redder

Nov 5 - BFP!?!?! Red bleeding continues to increase

Nov 6 - 7 - Bleeding gets BRIGHT red and I pass small stringy clots. Start to get attacks of nausea and/or hunger 

Nov 8 - Find an old HPT in a drawer and take the test at night after drinking lots of water and peeing like a race horse... Get another strong positive.

Change insertion of progesterone suppositories from vaginal to anal in hopes to stop the bleeding, thinking they're irritating my cervix.

Nov 9 - Worst day of bleeding yet, like a full on period in a crimson red color. Go see doctor to take Beta HCG test. HCG comes back 490 mlU/ml.

Nov 10 - Bleeding seems to slow down, pass a few clots the size of a quarter (common during my regular period). Feel nauseous all day, have hunger attacks and boobies are very sore. No pain.

Nov 11 - Bleeding picks up again and get a lot worse. Bright red. Fill a big pad in less than an hour. Stop progesterone supps.

Nov 12 - Heavy bleeding continues, feel faint and weak, go to ER. Heart Rate 105 and Blood Pressure 150/48. Get fluids via IV. HCG test shows 1044 mlU/ml. No embryo seen in uterus with vag. u/s. Endometrial stripe 9mm. Told I'm miscarrying and offered meds to speed things up. I decline and ask for repeat HCG to confirm miscarriage.

Nov 13 - Heavy bleeding continues. Repeat HCG shows 1331 mlU/ml. BP 115/69. HR 91. Mildly anemic. OB/GYN can't find embryo in uterus and is worried about ectopic and wants to give methotrexate to terminate pregnancy. I decline and ask for options. Offered to come in two days later when HCG levels should be above 1500 mlU/ml to try to locate pregnancy. 

Nov 15 - Bleeding slows down a little. HCG shows 2168 mlU/ml and OBGYN is able to locate a gestational sac in uterus. It measures a little small (0.51cm) and is slightly irregular. Get a little hopeful in spite of all the bleeding. BP 124/73. HR 98.

Nov 16 - Wake up early morning with a feeling of not being pregnant. Boobs are less sore. Still have food aversions. Bleeding changes color to slightly darker and slows down. Pass a few clots and start having mild cramping.

Nov 17 - Turn 35. Dark bleeding, mild cramping, pass a few clots.

Nov 18 - Extreme fatigue. Bleeding slows down to heavy dark red spotting.

Nov 19 - Miscarriage confirmed with HCG of 894 mlU/ml. Mildly anemic. Opt to miscarry naturally, prescribed iron (Ferro-Sequels). My heart breaks.

Nov 20 - 28 - Spotting gets less and less. Have one or two bleeding episodes and pass a few more clots. All pregnancy symptoms slowly disappear. Do the baby dance on 28th.

Nov 29 - Bleeding stops completely. 

Nov 30 - HCG shows 12 mlU/ml.

Dec 7 - Miscarriage complete. HCG shows 1 mlU/ml. BP 116/68. HR 80. No longer anemic, stop iron supplement. Told that period can arrive in 1-3 months and will most likely be abnormal. 

Dec 15 - Light spotting starts

Dec 18 - Bloody Monster arrives. Painful cramping but otherwise she seems normal.

January 1-2 - Ovulation pain on my left side.

January 14 - Bloody Monster arrives 27 days after last bleed. Pheuw! Heavy, but normal.


Seems like my body has bounced back nicely. Now we can start planning our natural FET in February 2010.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

12

Dr. Swedish called today with Monday's hcg test results. It's down to twelve. He said he was pleased that the numbers are going down nicely and that he's hoping the levels will be below five for my next visit Monday. He asked how things were going and if I had contacted the fertility clinic in Sweden. I said "better" and "yes" and continued by telling him about my conversation with Dr. Boss Lady in Sweden and the FET in February. 

After we hung up I gave myself a big hug. I thanked my body for working through this and taking care of things naturally. I thanked it for giving me some sort of a consolation in this mess. And then I apologized for all the cursing it has received over the past month.

I also can't thank all of you enough for all the kind words and support through these weeks of hardship. You helped me get through the dark waters and made me want to move towards the surface. 

Every day I'm taking another step in the right direction.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Healing



I've been in pain. An intense emotional pain. But also a physical very tangible sort of pain. 
Never before have I experienced a sadness that lives in the body, but grieving the loss of our acrobat has effected me in unexpected ways. I wasn't expecting to feel betrayed by my own body. I couldn't anticipate having these strong conflicting emotions of pregnancy and loss. How could I explain to D that a compliment regarding my new "voluptuous" figure felt like a kick in the stomach this week when just last week it had made me smile. How was it possible to feel devastated and relieved at the same time?

When we first got the news I experienced a tight squeeze around my heart and a firm pressure over my chest. The only thing that would temporarily relieve that feeling was to sob. Loudly. Over the next few days my entire body started to tense up and I felt like every muscle was an achy knot. Taking hot showers worked at first but soon that just wasn't enough. D volunteered to give me a full body massage and that made me cry uncontrollably but left me feeling better for hours. But the pain kept creeping back. A few days ago when my bleeding had finally tapered off to minor spotting D suggested making love to relieve the pain. At first it didn't sound very tempting. All I wanted to do was hibernate until everything was back to normal. So what we hadn't been intimate since the egg retrieval over five weeks ago? Had it really been five weeks? I let him talk me in to it. Reluctantly. 

Making love was like therapy and when I finally had an orgasm it felt like my body and mind exploded. Sorry about the bad romantic novel line here but seriously, although sex with D is always good, this was different. It felt as if all the pain and hurt left my body and I started shaking, crying and laughing all at once seconds after climaxing. Scared the heck out of D, he probably thought I had completely lost it. The day after I stopped bleeding completely and for the first time in a very long time I started feeling almost back to normal.

Today I went to have my hcg levels checked. I'm hoping that my body has taken care of this miscarriage on its own and that I won't need a d&c. I talked to Dr. Boss Lady at the fertility clinic in Sweden last week and told her what had happened. She was sad to hear about our loss but made sure to tell me that medically they consider this good news. She said it's nice to know you can get pregnant with yours and Ds embryo, and that what happened is most likely just bad luck and that out of our four nice blasts they happened to pick the one (statistically) with a chromosomal defect. She was very confident next time our chances of success would be even better. We talked about doing an unmedicated FET in February if my cycle is back to normal by then. I feel pretty good about that. It will give me time to heal. It will give me and D time to find each other again. We'll have a Christmas free from worry and we'll be able to toast in champagne for New Years and Ds birthday. And we'll have time to make a whole lot of love.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Making small movements

towards the surface. Finding it a little easier to breathe. Letting some peace and light back in my soul. Starting to look up and to the future. 

Physically I seem to be near the end of this nightmare. The bleeding seems to finally start tapering off. My boobs are almost back to normal size. My body is still tense and with residual pain, but I can sense a change for the better.

Just taking one day at the time.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Early Pregnancy Loss


I'm floating in a deep ocean of sadness. My body goes through the motions of normal daily routines but my mind is somewhere else. The sound that goes in through my ears is distorted and muted like under water. My chest feels too tight and I have to remind myself to breathe. I can see light at the surface but am too tired to swim towards it. 

Early Pregnancy Loss. That's what the brochure I was given by Dr. Swedish on Thursday is called. He must have given me the wrong one. I was six weeks and two days pregnant when I miscarried but getting pregnant took us two years and five months. Getting pregnant required a ton of hormones, doctors, embryologists, money and determination. Emotionally this was not an early pregnancy loss. This was the loss of a child we've longed for for years. This was the loss of the last of our innocence. 

The brochure talks about what to expect physically and emotionally after a pregnancy loss and ends with the words: "You can ovulate and become pregnant as soon as 2 weeks after an early miscarriage". I can't help but smile. A crooked smile with teary eyes. I wish it was that simple.

For all of you visiting from ICLW, welcome. I'm sorry you had to find me in such a dark place, normally I'm quite a happy girl. Sometimes even funny. Me and D struggle with male factor IF due to a much regretted vasectomy thirteen years ago and a failed reversal almost three years ago. We went through our first IVF with ICSI and TESA in October, miraculously got the much coveted BFP but lost our little acrobat last Thursday after weeks of drama. Right now I'm just trying to stay afloat. Hope to see you again when I get my head above the surface.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Time to say good bye

One hour after the nice nurse drew my blood we walked in to Dr. Swedish's office. 
One glance confirmed my fears. 
He said in a low voice: "I'm sorry Circus Princess, it's not good news". 
"Your hcg has dropped to 800". 

With a tiny sound my heart broke into a thousand little pieces. 
Deep down I knew it was coming. 
The bleeding that wouldn't stop. 
The lack of tender breasts when I woke up Monday morning. 
A sobering feeling of no longer being pregnant. 
But I wanted it so badly. 
My wish was so deep and my prayers so intense. 
I nurtured that speck of hope after seeing our impossible ultrasound on Sunday. 

Now I have to say good bye. 
Our acrobat is gone.
 
Tonight I'll cry myself to sleep.


Birthday trip to the zoo

Thought I'd share a few shots (taken with brand spankin' new toy) from my birthday visit to the zoo:
I tried to smuggle this little guy in to my purse...
This guy was a little too big to fit in my bag...
so I had to leave him at the zoo...
This last crazy critter actually lives in my house. Ladies (and gents) meet Kona-boy :)

♥ my new camera!

Visit Mel's Show & Tell to see what others are sharing today.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Surprise!

Yesterday I turned 35 years old. It was a very unusual birthday in many ways. First of all because I'm pregnant. Second because I'm exhausted from all the heavy bleeding and worrying. And third because I got to spend it surrounded by people I love. 

You see, my whole family had flown in to surprise me and showed up on my doorstep the other day. Do I need to say I cried my eyes out when I opened the door and saw Mamma, Pappa, Sister, Mr. Sister and Nephew standing behind D who had snuck out to get them at the airport. And it wasn't the pretty, happy kind of tears but rather the snot-flying-barely-breathing-sobbing-loudly not so pretty kind. It was just so wonderful to see them and I'm quite frankly an emotional wreck right now.

So my birthday started with the famdamily waking me up with breakfast in bed, a traditional swedish happy birthday song and a small mountain of presents. Among them was a very special present from D that I've had on my wish list for a long time now... one of these:

Happy-happy-joy-joy! I promise I'll post pictures as soon as I figure this baby out.

Later that day we all went to the zoo which we pretty much had to ourselves. I was rolled around in a wheel chair next to my nephew in his stroller. We went exploring, had wild races and made obnoxiously loud animal noises.
For dinner we went to my favorite local restaurant and ate way too much yummy foods and when we came home we stuffed our faces with birthday cake. 

Do I need to say it was a wonderful day? Did I mention I have the most awesome family? I just felt surrounded by love and could not have wished for anything more. Except... when I blew out the candles on the cake I closed my eyes and wished for the acrobat to hang on, grow and join us strong and healthy in nine months.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

A tiny speck of hope

We went in to have my hcg levels tested again today. They were at 2100. Not quite double from Friday but Dr. Swedish was still pretty sure we'd be able to locate where the acrobat was today based on those levels. So with trembling legs expecting the worst I got up in the stirrup throne and said hello to Mr. Wand. Two seconds later Dr. Swedish turned the screen towards us and here's what we saw:

Somehow, miraculously there was our acrobat. Right where it's supposed to be. A little small. Not perfectly round. But hanging on. In the right spot. Amazing.

I cried. D cried. And the doctor cried. 

I'm still bleeding, but it is a little less. Still no pain. Next appointment is on Thursday to see if the hcg is still climbing and if the acrobat is growing. We're just taking one day at the time. And today has been a very good day. 

Thank You Mr. Circus Director!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Friday the 13th

This should be a long post but I don't know if I have the strength to write. I'll try to stick to the bare minimum so I can at least keep you all updated. I can't thank you enough for all your support through this nightmare.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the ER at the Military Hospital and got hooked up to an IV as soon as they noticed my heart rate was over a hundred. Got examined inside and out and they ran more tests than I could keep track of. Apparently my blood pressure was also very high (I'm normally on the low end of normal BP). They saw lots of blood, it was actually gushing out at them as they were examining me... scary. They couldn't find the acrobat anywhere. Not in uterus, cervix, tubes or ovaries. My HCG came back at 1000. They also called the NHS clinic I'd been to on Monday to get the result from that bloodtest... and suddenly the results had magically appeared (it wasn't there a few hours earlier when I called!! OK, I won't get in to that whole mess today). Monday's HCG was 415!? The ER doctor scratched his head and didn't know what to make of it so he paged the OBGYN on call. She came down. Repeated all the probing and poking. Looked over all the test results and told me that I had probably just had a miscarriage when I arrived at the clinic and that she was going to give me some meds to stop the bleeding and make my uterus contract. I said "No Thank You" and asked to come back in the morning to recheck the HCG levels and get that miscarriage confirmed before I took any meds. She said alright and told me the bleeding should be slowing down and my HCG levels should stop or drop.

This morning I went back to the Military Hospital. Waited for an hour and a half to get the result (needless to say I'm never going back to the NHS clinic I went Monday even if the drive down to base is 45 min). Went up to the OBGYN and met Dr. Swedish (crazy, an american who spoke swedish fluently after living a couple of miles from the swedish town I grew up for 2 years). He went over the notes from yesterdays visit to the ER with me, looked at todays HCG result and scratched his head. Todays HCG was 1300. He got me up on the table, brought out the wand and gave me another good scan. He was greeted by a blood bath. He saw nothing. Except... maybe... a tiny speck on the uterine wall. He then gave me the verdict. "It's a mystery. It's possibly an ectopic pregnancy, but we just can't be sure until your HCG levels are at 1500." I guess that's the magic number when they're able to see the embryo on an ultrasound. He said "we can either do a D&C and see if the tissue we remove contain an embryo and/or we can give you methotrexate to help your body terminate the pregnancy no matter where in your body it is". I was confused. So if they'd do a D&C to remove tissue from my uterus and they found the embryo there... wouldn't that in fact mean they would kill the embryo to rule out an ectopic? So again I said "No Thank You, what other options do I have?". He told me that if another blood test showed my kidneys functioning ok and that I'm not too anemic he'd consider waiting until Sunday when my HCG levels would surely be over 1500 if the pregnancy continued to develop, he could then make sure the acrobat wasn't hiding somewhere in my uterus and comfortably give me methotrexate to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. And if my levels would still be under 1500 that would mean it's not a normal pregnancy and a D&C would just help nature along. I went and had the blood work done and was cleared to wait until Sunday. Before we left I asked if there was any chance of bringing home a healthy baby from a pregnancy that starts out like this. He said: "probably less than a 1% chance". 

So that's where we stand. In a great vast landscape of gray. 

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Time to go to the ER

This is the eighth day of bleeding. I'm now soaking a pad an hour and there's no end in sight. Feeling exhausted and devastated. Still no HCG test results. I think it's time to go to the ER. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Still in limbo

If miraculously everything turns out alright with the acrobat in spite of all the bleeding, I'm five weeks pregnant today. 5w, 21dpo or 16dp5dt if I've got the whole counting system correct. I'm going to write down everything about the bleeding and all my symptoms because I've been desperately googling for more information during all this and maybe this post will eventually help someone in a future similar situation. Those of you who are faint hearted should probably stop reading here.
 
Oct 7 - Start stims day two of natural cycle
Oct 20 - Egg retrieval and TESA, 8 mature eggs retrieved, 5 successfully fertilized with ICSI - start vaginal progesterone suppositories - boobies start getting sore almost instantly
Oct 25 - Embryo transfer, 1 blastocyst transferred, 3 blastocysts frozen
Oct 26 - An hour flight from Sweden to England
Oct 27 - A pulling, tugging sensation in the baby department all day off and on
Oct 28 - First nose bleed ever and start falling asleep on the couch by 8 pm
Oct 30 - Light brown spotting after walk
Oct 31- Nov 1 - Spotting continues and gets a little heavier
Nov 1 - Get disgusted by crayfish that I normally LOVE
Nov 2 - Spotting starts to look like a light period, this is the day my period would have arrived in normal cycle (full moon)
Nov 3 - 4 - Bleeding increases and turns redder
Nov 5 - BFP!?!?! Red bleeding continues to increase
Nov 6 - 7 - Bleeding gets BRIGHT red and I pass small stringy clots. Start to get attacks of nausea and/or hunger 
Nov 8 - Find an old HPT in a drawer and take the test at night after drinking lots of water and peeing like a race horse... Get this:

Change insertion of progesterone suppositories from vaginal to anal in hopes to stop the bleeding, thinking they're irritating my cervix.
Nov 9 - Worst day of bleeding yet, like a full on period in a crimson red color. Go see doctor to take Beta HCG test.
Nov 10 - Bleeding seems to slow down, pass a few clots the size of a quarter (common during my regular period). I've felt nauseous all day, had hunger attacks and boobies are still sore. I've have had NO pain what so ever and that's weird... I normally have light-moderate period pains since they removed the polyp in February, before that severe pain... so you'd think if this was a miscarriage I'd be in pain... but what do I know.

I'm waiting to get the results from my Beta. I've called a gazillion times already and pestered them but each time they tell me the results aren't in yet and to call back in two hours. Now the damned clinic is closed for the day! SIGH! 

I'm slowly going crazy here and I really need to know what's going on with my body. If it is a miscarriage I need to have it confirmed so I can grieve and move on. If the numbers are within range (135-1690 mIU/ml for 20dpo)... well... I guess... I can worry a little longer... and keep wishing, hoping, praying that the numbers double for next tests, the acrobat hangs on tight, I stop bleeding and that this will all have a happy ending. 

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A place I'd rather be.


Went to the bathroom for the third time in two hours. Noticed lots of bright red blood and tissue on pad. Tried to breath hard quietly. Tried to not sob loudly. Folded up the pad and laid it in the trash can. Wiped my eyes. Put a new pad in. Flushed. Opened the door of my stall in the crowded public restroom and washed my hands without making eye contact with anyone. Walked out to the mall where D was waiting. Bumped in to a woman rocking her beautiful baby in her arms. Put on my sunglasses. Struggled to find my breath to answer D when he asked where I wanted to go next. Whispered: "home". 

We didn't talk much on the way home. Well, I tried, but was sobbing too much to really make any sense. When we got home D walked me to our bed, put me in it and wrapped himself around me. He kissed me and told me everything is going to be alright. I love that man.

The neighbors are having a bonfire party. I'm having a pity party. I'd rather be over there.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Always look on the bright side of life.


Today has been a day filled with whirlwind emotions. How are you supposed to feel when you find out that you're not having your period but are in fact pregnant after years of trying, but that you might be having a miscarriage at this very moment? 

After getting the unexpected plus this morning I called Nurse Inga who was happy to hear about the pregnancy but concerned about the bleeding. She asked a bunch of questions and I answered by giving her dates, PMS-colors, pad sizes and pain status. She told me there was nothing I could do right now other than hang tight and see what happens. It could be a miscarriage but it could just as well be nothing to worry about. If I'm still bleeding next week she asked me to go to my GP and ask to have an HCG blood test and call with the result. If the bleeding stops I should schedule an ultrasound for Nov 26th. She then asked me if I had gotten the paperwork about the frosties. - Frosty, I said, we only had one, and no we haven't gotten it. -Actually, she said, the two slow ones caught up and you ended up with three nice blastocysts for the freezer. 

So, I can be happy about the fact that I'm pregnant and that I have three beautiful snow babies in the freezer or I can be devastated that I might be having a miscarriage. Or I can be both. It's like skipping around next to a ravine. Like singing a happy tune in room full of tigers. Like being barefoot and pregnant on a kitchen floor full of glass shards. 

I'm so confused.

This morning I got up when D's alarm went off at o'gawd early to pee on a stick. I was expecting a confirmation of my fears. I had imagined a day of crying and a night of serious cabernating. I had written a list of questions to ask Nurse Inga today about why this cycle failed and what we could do differently next time.

Instead... as me and D stand with our heads together staring at the little window to show us a minus..... we get this:



HOLY CRAP, I'm pregnant! I have no words. I'm flabbergasted! And now I'm even more puzzled/worried/freaking out about the spotting/bleeding...  I'm so confused!!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It came back last night.

In a worse shade of red. A lot heavier. No matter how I twist and turn things this can't be good news. 
I had a good cry in the shower. Put on some make-up and let D take me out to dinner. Half way through the main course in a conversation about Christmas my mascara started running down my face. D squeezed my hand, paid the bill, and took me home. Fell asleep on the couch before 8. Woke up in bed at 5. 
Tomorrows test will probably just confirm my fear. The acrobat is not around anymore.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Riding the emotional roller coaster.


Up and down. With thrills and scares, screams and laughter. Hanging on for dear life to not fall off.

The spotting continues but after being heavier yesterday it seems to have gotten lighter today. And it's still brownish. Being a designer I often use the Pantone Color System to find just the right color and I find myself grading the color of the spotting in PMS colors. It started out at 429 on 5dp5dt, changed to more of a 1525 7dp5dt, then 8dp5dt it was suddenly a 483, today it's almost back at 429. Nuts I know, occupational injury. 

Today I'm starting to think/hope that this spotting/bleeding is my body being confused about the fact that The Bloody Monster normally would have arrived yesterday, but that something is different. I'm also thinking the full moon has something to do with it... I've had no cramps or other signs of The Bloody Monster. I have however been extremely tired and not able to stay up much past 8pm and Sunday when D had crayfish for an appetizer I was disgusted (normally I LOVE all seafood). So there might still be a small chance... right?

I'll just keep my fingers tightly crossed and try to stay on this roller coaster for a couple of more days.

Monday, 2 November 2009

To keep my mind off the spotting

I've watched all the recorded shows I missed while in Sweden. Worked hard on the non-profit magazine I art direct. Tinkered with a new logo for a friends company. Finished the book I was reading. And now I'm finally going to thank Kari for the award she gave me a couple of weeks ago. 

All we need is a little LOVE! This blog is about sisters uniting together and giving others some love because life is hard and who couldn't use a little love? The rules for this award is simple. 
I LOVE YOU = 8 letters which gives you 8 rules :)


Here are the rules:

1 Thank the person who nominated you for this award and write a little bit about why you love them.
2 Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3 Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4 Nominate no more than 17 people (why 17?) who you love or you think could use some love.

5 Write one word (you can only use a word once) about what you love about their blog.

6 You cannot nominate someone who has already been nominated-the love has to spread to all.

7 Post links to the 17 blogs you nominate.

8 Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.


Here we go:


Thank you Kari!! 
Through your creative and talented writing you always make me feel like I'm part of your journey. And your sweet and thoughful comments make me feel like you're part of mine. 



I'd like to nominate all the wonderful women whose stories I follow but I'll settle for four of them today:
Wishing4one - exotic
Raining Raining - honest

Now I'm going back to obsessing and worrying about the spotting. But first I'm taking my Dogster for a walk.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Grasping for straws


You ladies are wonderful. Reading your comments on my last post made me feel all warm inside. Thank you for helping me stay positive through these weeks of violent roller coaster rides between hope and despair. 

I'm still spotting. Possibly getting a little heavier. Tomorrow The Bloody Monster would rear her ugly head if this was a regular cycle for me... But it's not and Test Day is still four days away. 

I'm pretty sure it's not implantation bleeding. Or could it still be? Could it be my body's way of adjusting to a little acrobat settling and burrowing in snugly? Could it be that I'm shedding the exess lining that was built up by the extra hormones? Could it be the progesterone suppositories irritating the area and causing the spotting? Could it be that IVF patients generally spot?

Or could it simply be that this little one didn't stick?

I'm normally not the praying kind but I'm grasping for straws here. 

Dear Mr Circus Director, 
Please could you find it in your great big heart to give us the gift of life. 
Would you please help us create, nurture and add a child to our family. 
I'm down on my knees, begging you, please.

Circus Princess

Friday, 30 October 2009

5dp5dt

Went for a walk. Came back. Went to the bathroom. Found little brown spots on pantyliner. Cried. 

I want to stay positive and keep praying my little acrobat is sticking around and growing. I want to be hopeful and trust that some spotting is normal and doesn't mean this circus performance was a failure. 

Wipe the tears off my face. Cross my fingers hard and whisper: Please, little acrobat, grow.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Nurse Inga's Don'ts


On transfer day when Nurse Inga was telling us about the dos and don'ts she told me: "You won't have any symptoms of pregnancy before your HPT so don't go around trying to feel if anything is different". I told her I was already feeling knocked up because of the progesterone induced boob soreness and that I'd try to not drive myself crazy. And I'm not. Really. But I can't help but noticing things that are out of the ordinary, right? I'll share if you promise not to tell Nurse Inga...

• Yesterday I had cramps. Or more like a pulling tightness in my lower abdomen. 
• I also came home from the store with pineapple juice. I've never drank that before, I'm more of an OJ or Cranberry kind of gal. ???
• Last night I slept TEN hours! and could've easily kept going if it wasn't for the Dogster wanting to go out and pee.
• Today I had a nose bleed. I've never had one before so that's a little weird.

I'm sure those are all signs of me slowly becoming a looney toon. But maybe, just maybe, they're also signs of a little acrobat growing inside of me.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Welcome home little acrobat


Last night we flew back to England. Not just me and D, we had a little extra something on board.

Sunday me and D went up to Gothenburg for the transfer. Driving up in pouring rain we were still anxiously waiting to hear the status of our acrobats. I was under the impression the clinic would call us at eleven (an hour before our appointment) to let us know. But eleven came and went and the cell phone was quiet. D tried to make me call them but I refused. Until I realized we were going to be a few minutes late. I dialed the number. And got the answering machine! 

At 12.05 we spun into the parking lot, ran to the locked front door but managed to slid in behind a couple that just got buzzed in. Nurse Inga was waiting for us inside. After apologizing for our tardiness I bombarded her with questions: "Do we have any good looking emryos? Will we get to do a transfer today? Do we have anything for the freezer?" She just smiled and said: "You're here aren't you? We would've called by eleven if there had been bad news." I let out a big sigh of relief and then I asked her another thousand or more questions. She asked me to be patient until Doctor Doodle could tell us the details.

I changed into the fabulous circus costume (gown, socks and hair net) and the doc arrived before I finished buttoning up. He started telling us what we already knew but with some added details. All my eight eggs had been mature and Ds swimmers extracted from the testies had all looked normal and healthy. Five out of the eight eggs had fertilized. He then continued by telling us the news we'd been dying to hear. He said four of the five fertilized eggs had divided nicely, two had slowed down Saturday but there was still a chance they would continue to develop and be ready to freeze on day six, and two had reached blastocyst stage Sunday morning. One to transfer and one for the freezer. Great news!! Doctor Doodle said he was very pleased with the result and told us we should have a good chance of success.

He asked us if we were ready and then we all walked into the theatre. We met Kristina the Embryologist and I got up on the stirrup throne. As I lay there with the ultrasound wand on my belly I heard Kristina the Embryologist open a door and shuffle something around before she exclaimed: "Oh, my goodness". My heart skipped a beat and I envisioned a smashed petri dish with our precious blastocyst splattered on the floor. Then the live feed from the lab came up on the screen and Doctor Doodle echoed: "Oh, my!". And there it was, our little acrobat. 

Doctor Doodle explained that this is what they like to see and that our blastocyst was at a perfect stage to transfer. He pointed out the gray mass forming on the top right inside the circle and said it was a good sign. Without further ado he then inserted the catheter, Kristina the Embryologist came in with our acrobat and then the transfer happened. He showed us the drop of nutritional fluid containing the embryo on the ultrasound and when Kristina the Embryologist had made sure the catheter was empty he told us we were free to go. They both wished us the best of luck and on our way out Nurse Inga told us to "break a leg". 

We were in and out of the clinic in less than half an hour. I felt like everything had happened at warp speed and had to take a moment with D before we started our two hour drive back. We kissed and shared a nervous laugh and then just sat in silence for a few minutes listening to the radio. On the way home I got this intense feeling of calm happiness and a single thought appeared in my mind: "Välkommen lilla frö". It's swedish and translates loosely to "Welcome home little acrobat". 

Now all we can do is keep our fingers tightly crossed and wish for a miracle. Hatch, attach and grow, little acrobat, grow!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Ten fingers and ten toes


I have my fingers crossed. 
For five little acrobats dividing in a warm place. 
For a successful transfer tomorrow. 
For a big fat positive in a couple of weeks. 
For a successful pregnancy and textbook delivery. 
For a healthy baby. 
For a beautiful life for our child. 

I also have my toes crossed. 
For all of the above. 
For all of you. 
In whatever way possible. 
Join me.

Love

Friday, 23 October 2009

Unexpected revelations.


A few months ago I had a major melt down. I found out that four of my coworkers at my first agency job were expecting their first child. All of them successful women and men ranging from their mid-thirties to mid-forties. I wasn't upset because I didn't think they deserve the happiness of having a family. It was more that I thought they were happy without children. In the back of my mind I had used them as positive role models in case I was never able to have a child of my own. And now I was suddenly robbed of said role models. Of course I was happy for them but the selfish little girl that lives in my chest was bawling her eyes out, screaming "it's not fair!". 

Over the course of the past weeks since we joined the circus I've posted cryptic status updates on facebook. Things like "... has a bruised belly, ... has retrieved the magic number eight, ... has five little sparks of hope". So people that know that we're going through our first IVF gets an update and it's still vague enough so people who don't know won't get it. 

Wednesday I got an email from one of the before mentioned coworkers (who had her beautiful baby girl in September) saying she had followed my daily updates and was hoping everything's okay. I wrote back telling her what was going on, about the circus and that we had just gotten the news of our five fertilized eggs. Here's what she replied: 

Hi Circus Princess (all names have been changed),

I had a feeling.....only because I just went through it myself. (They were able to extract 6 eggs from me — 3 of which fertilized.)

We had been seeing a specialist and trying different things for 8 months. Each time the treatment didn't work so he continued to get more aggressive. That led us to our first round of IVF last December. (A week before the procedure, I landed in the ER with an asthma attack. Not good.) The odds were completely against us... a 20% chance. And it actually worked. The Dr. was even surprised. Little Miss V is a result of that IVF.

I COMPLETELY understand how difficult this is. Physically and mentally exhausting. I don't know how I got through the shots!! All so fresh in my mind.

Hang in there. Most of all, relax and stay positive. Best of luck to you!!!

Big hug, 
T

When I finished reading it felt like something inside me had healed and that I had gotten one of my role models back in a completely unexpected way.  Her story gave me more than hope. It also opened a door to a new friendship.

Meanwhile I'm trying my best to not go nuts about not knowing how our five little acrobats are doing. Relaxing, staying positive and embryo whispering: Divide and conquer, little acrobats, divide and conquer.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

And then the phone rang

I woke up this morning at six. Got up and inserted progesterone where the sun don't shine. Went back to bed and read a few pages in my book until the letters bounced around on the page. D woke me up again at eight with a kiss and asked if I was hungry. Got up and had some juice and a yummy cheese and marmalade sandwich D had made - did I mention I have the most wonderful Hubster in the world? 

At nine thirty the phone rang and I nearly fell off the chair. It was Farmor and she just wanted to chat for a while. Pheuw! At ten-ish D and Pappa went to play golf. I helped Mamma start tonight's roast and fold some laundry while trying to not obsess about the phone. Eleven o'clock came and went and I started feeling a little hopeful that maybe, just maybe, the phone wouldn't ring. 

Eleven thirty loud ringing pierced the silence and I threw myself on the phone. A familiar voice said: "Circus Princess, this is nurse Inga." I held my breath and braced myself for bad news. "You know we don't normally call with good news... but I thought I'd make an exception for you so your husband don't fly back to England without knowing the results." Pause. "Are you there?" I managed to make some sort of noise and she continued: "We have five fertilized embryos!". 

I screamed, I laughed, and I cried and I hardly heard what she said after that. I rushed over to my Mamma and gave her a big hug. Finally I inhaled and composed myself enough to let her finish telling me how from now on they would leave the embryos alone to make their magic and not check on them until Sunday morning before transfer to decide which one has the best chance of success. I thanked her excessively before we hung up and immediately called D to tell him the good news. He laughed and said: "I guess that means I need to look into changing my return ticket. I would like to be there when my wife gets pregnant." Then I called my sister. She screamed as loud as I did. Now I can't seem to wipe this big smile off my face. I imagine the cells multiplying and turning into strong, healthy blastocysts while I whisper to my fantastic five: Divide and conquer, little acrobats, divide and conquer.