Etiquette for commenting after a BFP

After reading posts about those who choose to stop following blogs once a BFP is announced, it’s made me wonder what those still in the trenches feel about pregnant women commenting on their blogs.  I assume there is a range of feelings different people may have, but is there a general etiquette to be followed?  I know that I’ve enjoyed receiving support from women in all different circumstances, but I’m thinking I might be in the minority.  Is a comment from a woman with a recent BFP too hurtful?  If the blogger is having an especially difficult time (for example, just had a miscarriage, failed cycle, ectopic) should someone who just had a BFP refrain from commenting?  I would like to comment as I always have, but I thought I should check-in before I hurt someone unintentionally.

In other news, I am extremely exhausted.  I sleep from 8/8:30pm to 5:30/6:00am and yet I still feel tired all day long.  Work has been extremely stressful and mentally draining.  Thinking about our ultrasound on Friday has been emotionally draining.  I’m completely taxed on all fronts.  I’ve had some mild cramping, but it doesn’t last long and it’s not too painful (maybe a 3 on the 1-10 scale).  It may have to do with the mild constipation…I’m not really sure the cause.  I haven’t had any bleeding or spotting.  Most of the day yesterday I experienced mild nausea.  I was able to eat, but it was easier to snack every couple hours instead of eating several meals.  This morning I also felt a tinge and needed to have some saltines and small can of Ginger Ale.  I was feeling slightly off on my drive into work, but otherwise was okay.  I am sick of the prometrium tablets…the amount of goop coming out of me is disgusting!!!  I hope everything goes well on Friday.

Advertisements

No-mans Land

That is the only way to describe how I feel right now.  Technically I am 5 wks, 2 days pregnant.  I can barely admit that I’m pregnant to myself.  B and I hardly talk about it.  The only person other than our Dr. and nurses that knows is my accupuncturist.  We don’t want to tell anyone else until we’ve had the ultrasound on 12/14.  I still don’t feel like I belong anywhere.  I certainly don’t feel as though I belong with others that are pregnant.  I barely even believe that I am.  There has been some discussion about how many in the infertile community no longer wish to be a part of those infertiles that become pregnant.  I feel I’ve been kicked out of the club and am no longer welcome just because I got lucky.  I didn’t do anything to deserve this and I didn’t earn it.  I just got lucky.  Getting lucky has not taken away the pain and heartache B and I have experienced for the past 2 years.  It has not healed the scars.  And becoming pregnant after infertility makes me scared of all the possible things that can go wrong.  We have a long scary road ahead of us.

I’ve been extremely tired as I have been for the past 2 months and I’m still experiencing some cramping/stretching in my abdomen.  I’m slightly constipated so I’ve been trying really hard to increase my fiber to avoid full on constipation.  I’ve had some pain, but not every day.  I’ve been able to go every day, but let’s just say it’s been difficult.  I haven’t had any bleeding so I’m assuming things are going okay.  I wonder when this will feel real.  I feel like we were happy to not have a negative, but it doesn’t feel like we are yet able to enjoy that it’s a true positive.  We are just taking things day by day.

Update:  I was just thinking about what I wrote.  I haven’t had any bleeding.  Does that mean that BOTH embryos implanted?  Is it possible to not have any bleeding and still only have 1 embryo implant?  I would appreciate any insight to this.  Will we be able to find out whether there are 1 or 2 at the ultrasound?  How does that work?  And what are the chances that if both implanted that one will not make it?

The purpose of this blog…

In reading Stupid Stork’s last post, I felt I had a lot to say on the matter of the pregnant vs. unpregnant blogs out there.  Instead of taking up her entire comments section, I decided to write my own post with my thoughts on the subject and how it specifically relates to me.  First of all, let me say that Stork absolutely ROCKS and she is a great voice in the infertility community that touches upon very important topics.

If you follow this blog, you know that B and I have been trying to get pregnant for just about 2 years (we began trying at the end of December 2010).  We were diagnosed with Male Factor Infertility due to 0% Morphology in January 2012 and began with IUI.  I probably started reading blogs around April and then decided to finally create my own blog in June.  I decided to create my own voice for 3 main reasons: 1) I wasn’t finding the support I needed from my family and friends IRL and I could see how supportive this community was of each other.  I believed I would be welcomed and supported in a way that I hadn’t felt IRL; 2) I needed an outlet for what I was feeling and a safe place to put my emotions out there instead of keeping them bottled up; and 3) I gained so much knowledge from reading other blogs that I felt I should pay it forward.  I wanted a place to give all the information I have learned about IF.  I wanted this to be a space where a newly diagnosed infertile could find more information about IF and feel like someone else out there knows what she is going through.  I’m not a creative writer.  I actually don’t enjoy the act of writing.  If it were not for IF, I would not have a blog.

At this point in time, I am not pregnant.  I am 4wks, 6 days.  Becoming pregnant in the land of IF looks and feels very different than what fertiles experience.  Yes, I am now in the “pregnant” category, but I also continue to be in the “infertile” category.  The BFP would not have been possible without IVF with ICSI.  And even with that intervention, it took one failed fresh cycle and 1 failed FET to get here.  Getting a BFP after IF brings complicated and conflicted feelings.  I am thrilled to be pregnant!  I am equally terrified to be pregnant.  I feel guilt about being a lucky one while many of my sisters in shittiness are still in the trenches.  I worry if this will last and how long.  I worry how I’ll feel if/when we get to announce to family/friends/coworkers/acquaintances IRL.  I wonder how women I don’t know around me still in the trenches of IF will view me when I become visibly pregnant.  I worry how I’ll feel when people who know what we’ve gone through will react to us being pregnant. I worry they will treat us as if they knew it would work all along and now that’s over and done with.  We are still infertile and will still experience all the emotions that go along with IF.

I know things may change down the road, but all the reasons I started this blog will continue to be my inspiration for writing.  This will not become a pregnancy blog with bumpdate posts.  There are several blogs that I enjoy reading that do have these in addition to continuing to talk about IF and how it affects them even now.  However, this is not what I want to blog about.  My blog will allow me to still look to all of you for support.  It will still be an outlet for my emotions.  It will still be a source of information and discussion about IF and IF related topics.  Will I occasionally post about how the pregnancy is going?  Of course.  Being pregnant is part of who I am right now (and what I hope with everything I have that will continue to be).  When I created the title of my blog, I wanted it to be something that could apply to anything so that I could write about anything and it could evolve into other things.  For right now, I am going to continue to write about IF, but I’m open to change in the future.

As I saw on Stork’s post, several of you will choose to discontinue reading my blog as you continue reading other people’s blogs once they become pregnant.  I would encourage you to re-think your position on this (unless it’s a born-again fertile situation).  I have many blogs in which I read where the women still need support from this community throughout their pregnancy.  They need support when they get dismissive comments from others IRL as if their infertility is suddenly gone now that they are pregnant.  There are many women that experience a loss or complications with their pregnancy.  Not only do they need your support, but they also provide a wonderful resource of information.  By sticking with these women, I’ve been able to console them and let them know they are not alone, but I’ve also learned about testing and complications that happen during pregnancy.  This will allow me to be a better advocate for myself, my health, and my future (hopefully!) baby.

For the record, I am overjoyed for every BFP I see from an infertiles blog!  At the same time, I feel a twinge of pain b/c it’s not me, but I always am happy for them.  We all deserve the same thing…a healthy take home baby.  No one deserves it more or less than one another.  We all deserve it.

 

When will it feel safe to celebrate?

We got the call today that our 2nd beta level was 491.  Forty-eight hours prior it was 245, so it almost exactly doubled.  The nurse said they hope for it to double by the 2nd or 3rd day and was very happy it doubled in 2 days.  I will continue with my estrogen and proestrogen routine and will come in for a pregnancy ultrasound on December 14th, which is 4 weeks after transfer (so I will be 6 weeks, 4 days).  She also said she was sending me some early pregnancy information in the mail.  My beta doubled.  This is good news.  Why don’t I feel excited?  I definitely feel happy, but there is no excitement at all.  B and I have had very short conversations to the effect of…we will need to discuss childcare options or we will need to make a list of things we need.  We’ve been waiting to have these detailed conversations, but it just doesn’t feel right yet.  It doesn’t feel like we can count on the first two positive betas as an indication of pregnancy.  Will it feel real after the first ultrasound?  Will it feel real when we have our first appointment with an OB?  Btw we don’t have one yet, but the nurse said she could give us a couple names when we go in for the ultrasound.  She said OB’s will not schedule appointments with us until we have been let go from the RE anyway.

When a fertile goes in for a blood test to verify pregnancy, is she automatically asked to come back 2 days later to see if the beta level is rising?  Or is one positive number enough?

At 4 weeks, 3 days I no longer fit into my work pants.  My pants had been getting tighter all through the IVF process, but I could still get away with keeping the top button opened and just wearing a longer shirt to cover.  Thankfully, I did buy 1 new pair of work pants in a size 6 (my other pants are all size 4’s) with a gift card I got for my birthday (I know…not an exciting birthday purchase…work clothes AND going up a size!).  Sunday night, the night before we found out the first beta level, I literally had to take my yoga pants off to sleep b/c they were hurting my stomach too much.  That has gotten a bit better, but all week I have been feeling discomfort in my lower abdomen.  At first it was making me nervous that I had an ectopic, but it’s been more discomfort than pain and I haven’t had any other symptom.  I also read somewhere that you don’t feel symptoms of an ectopic until 7-8 weeks along…is that true?  Either way, as for right now, I have a very full feeling and almost feel like there is some weird movement…like stretching?  It’s hard to describe, but I’ve read other blogs that mention a stretching feeling at this point in time.  The other thing is that I am completely exhausted.  I think this is mostly from the stress of everything.

I just want to be able to have excited about being pregnant.  When will it feel safe to do so?  When will it feel like not only are we pregnant, but this is our take home baby?

ps- I started this post last night, but then fell asleep at 8:30pm, so I finished it up this morning.

Beta = 245

I know.  I can’t believe it myself.  I’m actually still a bit in shock…although every time B looks at me he says, “you’re so happy!”.  So it must be sinking in subconsciously.  I have had a bad feeling all day.  I went to the blood test today and wrote a note for the nurses to call B with the results.  I just could not bear to hear another negative.  I went into work, but ended up leaving just before lunch time.  I couldn’t focus and I was having “cramp-ish like pains” in my abdomen.  I wasn’t sure if it was real or just me feeling yucky in general.  Either way, I just wanted to be home and in comfy clothes.  (I couldn’t button my work pants today.)

I went home and cried in B’s arms.  I was terrified of more bad news.  What would we do if it was negative?  How would we deal?  Would I have a complete breakdown and fall apart?  How would we survive another negative.  So I got it together and B and I watched last night’s episodes of Dexter and Homeland to distract ourselves.  With about 10 minutes left in the 2nd show, B got the call and the nurse said, “Congratulations!  You are pregnant!”.  He had a big smile on his face, we hugged, and I started crying into his chest. I wrote down 2 questions for him to ask if it was yes: 1) What was the beta level?; and 2) When do I go in for the next blood test.  The answers were 245 and Wednesday.

I know we are not out of the woods by any means, but I am super grateful that after 1 year and 11 months of trying, WE ARE PREGNANT.  And I am going to allow myself to feel good about it :)

Thanksgiving At Home

This year B and I decided we were not going to travel and we were not going to spend time with family on Thanksgiving.  B actually had Thanksgiving day (and night) off, which is extremely rare.  However, with going through this last cycle and trying to keep up with things at work and life in general, we were/are both exhausted.  It also seemed exhausted dealing with the, “why aren’t you drinking” and “when are you two going to have a baby” comments from extended family.  You would think intuitively people would pick up on the fact that we told people TWO FREAKING YEARS AGO that we were “trying” to have a baby and the fact that we don’t might possibly mean that something is wrong and be sensitive about the topic.  Whether people are just not that smart or they are just too wrapped up in their own lives to notice, it is just too much for us to handle…me in particular.

B doesn’t seem as bothered by these things.  I think this is because 1) He’s pretty quiet and keeps to himself in general so as to avoid chatting it up with people; and 2) Nothing is different with him physically.  I’m the one that changes my drinking/eating habits (i.e. no caffeine, alcohol, raw foods, etc).  I’m the one that feels and looks bloated due to the IVF meds.  I’m the one that feels crampy and sometime nauseous from the progesterone.  I’m the one who constantly has the prometrium dripping down into my underwear.  All of these things contribute to me not wanting to be around people.  And this is all on top of the most difficult thing to deal with of all…not having a very pregnant belly to give us the promise of a baby or a baby to share the holidays with.  I just don’t feel like celebrating much of anything when the one thing we want most we can’t have (for the moment at least) and it’s possible we may never have.

Staying home for Thanksgiving was a good move this year.  I feel pretty proud of us for making a decision that is protective of us and our feelings.  We had a great day.  We took a couple walks with C, made a nice meal that we ate on our wedding china, I made turkey soup, and we were able to just relax.  We watched TV, spent time just talking, playing with C, and got to wear comfy clothes all day long.  It was great.  Of course it was impossible to keep thoughts of whether this cycle would be successful or not out of my mind, but at least I was in the comfort of my own home and felt comfortable enough letting the tears flow.  There were a few moments in which we commented about hopefully having a baby this time next year.

Zero to Freeze and What Constitutes a Cycle?

I wasn’t even bothered by the phone call I received today.  We had 5 low quality embryos that the lab was going to culture on day 3.  Of course they would not make it to Day 5 if they were looking so poor on day 3.  But then I took that thought a step further, which is if our current cycle fails, we will need to do another fresh cycle.  Does this mean my body needs to take some time off first?  Or can we go straight into another cycle?  And an even bigger question…what constitutes a “cycle”?  And is the definition of “cycle” different for insurance purposes vs. statistics for IVF working?  So here are my questions to wise-women I know in blogland…

1) My insurance has approved “3 cycles” of IVF.  Does this mean 3 fresh cycles?…meaning I’m on stimulation meds and both retrieval and transfer procedures occur.  Or does a cycle mean anytime an embryo is transferred into my uterus?  I’ve had 1 Fresh IVF cycle and 1 FET (a blast that came from this fresh cycle) and now I am on my 2nd Fresh IVF cycle…so is this my 2nd cycle (counts fresh cycles only) or is this my 3rd cycle (3 separate transfer procedures)?  If this is my 3rd cycle…where do we go from here if it fails?  Is it common to resubmit to the insurance company to see if they will cover more cycles?  Is it common that they will actual cover more cycles than originally approved?  What guides this decision?

2) I have the same questions about what constitutes a cycle.  But now I’m wondering about statistics.  I’ve read that if IVF is going to be a successful intervention, it is most likely to happen within 3 cycles.  Is a “cycle” defined differently here than it is for insurance companies?  If this is our 3rd cycle…what does that mean for us?  Is this the end of the IVF road for us?  The nurse at the transfer procedure told us that based on my responses to both fresh cycles they would be changing my protocol next time…but will there be a next time?  If medically they suggest we go through with another fresh cycle (would be our 3rd fresh cycle) will we be on our own in paying for it?

I started writing this post with a simple question…so I thought.  The more I wrote, the more questions seemed to come up.  There is so much that I don’t know.  I think I will give the insurance coordinator a call tomorrow to get those questions answered.  And then I will call the nurses to ask about our statistical chances of IVF working if we were to go through with another cycle.  I feel knowing the answers to these questions will help me if we do get bad news again.  If this cycle fails it will be heart-wrenching…but if I know it’s not the end of the line for us, both financially and medically it will take a bit of the edge off.  I also want to ask the nurses about what happens if we get a positive.  Will the want me to come in for another blood test…when will that occur?  At least there will be a plan in place no matter what news we get.  I am literally willing it to be positive!  I don’t know if I could take another failed cycle (whatever a cycle may be).

And a side note….I have been AWFUL to B lately.  I am incredibly irritable and he is taking the brunt of it.  Literally everything he does bothers me and I just snap.  I have constant cramping from the progesterone and my boobs are incredibly sore!  I’ve been going to sleep between 8:30 and 9pm every night and am just exhausted.  Last night, we went out to dinner with friends and I had to take a 2 hour nap before we went out just so I could stay out until 10pm.  I’m pathetic :(