Monday, November 26, 2012

This week we're having...

This week we're having...

Today MeneerHaan and I are married 6 months! Can you believe it? For outsiders, it must look "picture perfect". Here we are, married half a year and a boy and a girl happily kicking away at 23w in my belly tonight.

From the outside, you cannot see that we almost didn't get married because my dad very nearly died the week before. You cannot see that it had already taken us more than 1.5 years of waiting, surgeries, medication, shots, a chemical pregnancy, a cancelled and a failed FET-cycle to have these miracles grow to 23 weeks. From the outside, you cannot see that we had to say goodbye to my dad the day after we watched a little film of our 9w ultrasound with him.

This week, we celebrate our 6 month anniversary today, our first BFP tomorrow, and Friday we remember our lost little Bob, our first baby bubble, on the same day that we're having a 24 week scan and MeneerHaan's birthday.

It's a week to remember, but also to be thankful. That despite the sorrow and the heartache, we have very special memories, each other and we have come this far with our SuperB's.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 1-11

I have been wanting to do these updates, but feared they would jinx stuff, or I didn't have time, energy or motivation. I wrote this one several weeks ago, and fingers crossed, I'm posting it. It's old, hopefully I will remember to write a new one soon!

Week 1-11

The SuperB's:
Despite everything going on, so far they're doing good (knock on wood). On each ultrasound they measured on or even ahead of schedule. We saw heartbeats at 6w3d, wiggles and waves at 9w2d and even a somersault at 10w3d. Confirmed bodyparts on ultrasounds: hearts, arms and legs, brains,fingers, a bladder and one eyelens. So, what you see below, times 2.

Pregnancy symptoms:
The sore and growing bewbs came with the progesteron suppositories - starting week 3. After that mild/moderate OHSS, then came fatigue and food cravings and aversions. Around week 6-8 nausea kicked in. The day after a GP-visit where I asked for elastic socks - although we both agreed I didn't NEED them - tingling, numb and painfull legs. That was on a busy clearing day at work, where I also experienced my first round ligament pains. Oh. And pimples. Lots of 'em.

In our second waiting week (week 4) I developed OHSS and a belly to go with it. No pants other than the yoga kinds, or I had to let them unbuttoned. After that, even there was no weight gain, I never got back to my pre-ICSI belly. Pants started to get uncomfortable at 7-8 weeks (thank you elastic button holes). I started showing after  my dad's passing, around 9w4d. Though considering the menu that week, it probably is part take-out-food showing too.

The pro.gesterone made me sleepy, the OHSS kept me awake because of shortness of breath and generally feeling uncomfortable. Since then I have been tired in different gravities, of course aided by the other stuff going on. No trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep is a challenge some (a lot of) nights. Thankful for timezones and consequently, 24/7 online twitter-friends all over the world.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Here, still.

I had been hesitant to do updates in the first few weeks. There was the moderate OHSS, lots of worries about my dad, his death, and dealings with our new house. Add the fatigue that made me want to sleep sleep sleep, add the hunger that made me want to eat eat eat.
All in all, not much time and enthousiasm for blog updates. I wrote a few, but never posted.

But here I am, on the doorstep of second trimester at 14 weeks today. Time to start enjoying this pregnancy, and if I ever want to keep score, I have to do it now, as I have already forgotten so much.

So hopefully, if I can keep it up, in the next days, weeks and months, there will be posts again. I'll do the already written ones first, so chronology might not be consistent. 

I don't know what they'll be about. My pregnancy, obviously, including the wonders and anxieties of someone pregnant after IFV/ICSI. But I would also like for this blog to be a place where I can write about the joys of being pregnant, perhaps complain a little (just a little! I'm still SUPER gratefull) about the side effects, and reflect on other things happening in my life.

I hope you will enjoy reading it. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1, 2, 3

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, and don't know me IRL...


I'm pregnant. With twins.

More blogs coming soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pause - Fast Forward - Play

I feel like I haven't updated my blog in months. Technically true: my last post is dated April 11. Two months and a day ago. But it feels like six, or even a year. A lot has happened. And my that I mean A LOT!!!

Those of you who follow me on twitter or know me IRL know what happened in those months, especially in the last four weeks.

The short version of what transpired in the last 9 weeks:
My dad, who was recovering from last years ordeals of surgeries, ch.emo and related ilnesses, found out his ca.ncer was back, spreaded everywhere and inoperable (8 weeks ago). A short while later (5 weeks ago), he got a fever, which turned out to be an antibiotic resistant bacteria, he got septic and we were told he wouldn't survive (4 weeks ago). But then he did, a miracle to us and even all the doctors and nurses, so Fiance and I decided not to cancel the wedding and we got married 2.5 weeks ago, with dad present. We did cancel the honeymoon, went on a citytrip instead, and now we're both back to work.

It's crazy to write it down like this, I know. It does no justice to all the emotions, the tears, the joy, the worries, the beautiful moments. I may or may not write more about these hellish and at the same time wonderful months. It might be therapeutical, but at the moment I don't know if I feel like it. But at least everyone is up to speed.

It is safe to say that "rollercoaster ride" does not even begin to describe what these weeks have been like. My head feels out of breath if that's possible. But hey... why stop now with the madness... There is always room for some more. So, we're starting IVF #2 tonight...

That is, if Husband (hehe :-)) and I pass our test/ultrasound Thursday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Negotiations with the universe 2

Dear Universe,

I take all of it back. Please just let my dad be fine and be a grandfather to my child some day.


Monday, April 9, 2012

The other universe

In the other universe, where we are not the "1 in 8 couples" who face infertility, I already have a child. My first that is. Maybe a second on the way. I probably would have posted ultrasound pictures on Facebook. Or better, if I am as digital on the other side as I am here, my child probably would have had a Facebookpage while still in the womb. We would have had less discussions about what our next house should be because there would be one list of demands, not two (with kid - without kid). I know how to drive there, being tired of taking public transport and cycling with child + stuff. I don't have to think about going child-infested parties, I just go. My child is around the same age as my friends' children, which leads to fun playdates where the moms and dads drink wine and watch the children play. Over there I don't feel left out or behind. I'm not so often angry at myself for being frustrated about our situation or jealous of others. I don't think as much there, I do - because there are more things to do and less time to think.

But in the other universe I have never met my wonderful online twitterfriends, who support me even they don't know me at all. And I may not know how sweet and caring my real life friends can be. Over there I probably don't know how brave I am, sticking needles in my own belly and having awfully painfull procedures done. I might take my children for granted a little bit (not really though - I'm still a good person on the other side ;-)). And maybe in the other universe, I don't realise how much I love my soon-to-be-husband because over there I haven't experienced how amazing he is taking care of me.

This universe is not so bad after all. <3

Monday, April 2, 2012

Negotiations with the universe

One week ago we found out that I wasn't pregnant (anymore?). That made me cry a lot. This morning I was almost as tearfull, because one week of letting go and eating comfort food and I've gained about everything I had lost in the past two months. I think this is very unfair. And we bought lottery tickets. Figuring that if we can't have the baby we should get the bucks. But no, not even a euro.

I need good stuff and fun things. I need to be invited for dinners and picknicks and parties. Including liberal amounts of wine. I need to have fun and laughter around me. I DO NOT need to eat cucumbers and lettuce and water. I need to cook dinner for my friends and family and buy some ridiculously expensive new equipment to prepare it with. And a new house. With a back yard.

The universe is not working properly and it needs to get it's act together. Therefor I have made a list of demands... 

Dear universe,

You have failed, again, to fix me and too many of my fellow infertiles up with a Big Fat Positive. By now, I assume it is just not in your power to make this happen. I am really a bit dissapointed, because frankly, I thought you would be up for the job.

However, I suggest compensation. Mind you, this is no pick and choose, all of the following demands must be met.

All my lovely infertile friends and me who had a BFN will:
  • have the ability to eat unlimited comfortfood for a week after a BFN and still loose a kilo (or two).
  • get an invitation to a fabulous party where no one will be pregnant or talk about children.
  • find a winning lottery ticket for at least the amount of an all inclusive IVF/ICSI/IUI/etc cycle PLUS enough to make a week long luxury trip to a tropical island with white beaches and fancy drinks with little paper umbrella's
  • have no zit's, cramps or other AF-related pains for 3 months
  • be offered business class spontaneously when flying
  • have no stressy work issues for a minimum of 2 weeks, but plenty fun distractions
  • find a bargain but excellent new house if they want to. 

Thank you very much for arranging this within a week.
Kind regards,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Yesterday, our two week wait ended. Yesterday I wrote "you could have fooled me". But looking back, I think I wasn't fooled. My period started in the middle of the night, and by the time I was having some retail therapy in the afternoon, I was having some serious cramps. I know that for many of you (especially with endometriosis) cramps are unfortunately normal when having your period and even if you're not. For me, it's very uncommon. I remember having cramps when I first got my period at age 11, 12, but I never had them since I started taking birth control pills. And luckily, they didn't come back when I stopped 1 1/2 years ago. The only cramping I experienced was after our fresh IVF/ICSI-cycle, which ended in a chemical pregnancy. (By the way, I hate that term. To me it sounds like "make-believe" pregnancy, like it didn't really happen). The fact that I spent my evening hugging a hot water bottle (or actually a cherry pit pillow) strengthens my belief that this one did implant. I wish there was a way of knowing, but I guess it's to late to ask for a blood test and does it really matter anyway...

I waited a day to call the clinic. Don't really know why. Maybe because if I had called yesterday I would have cried to hard to be able to speak. Today was ok. My favorite nurse answered the phone (she is super sweet and we share our first name!) and she was very sympathetic. She noted in our file that I think little embryo did implant, not that it makes any difference, but still. We're going to have a telephone consult mid May to discuss the new plan, and she gave us "priority" when we start again - because it's a small clinic, it sometimes happens that too many couples want to start a cycle and you'll have to wait a month - after that you're priority, so it's never more than one month. But we'll be in as soon as we call next time.

So now we wait. And hope that my periods will align nicely with our honeymoon, so that when we come back we'll be able to start right away. That is my biggest fear - that AF will visit right before we get back, and that the next time she does, MeneerHaan will be on holiday around retrieval day (he's going with his friends for a week begin August). I know it's silly to worry about that now, because one shorter or one longer cycle could change everything.

But wait a minute...We could try and conceive naturally! MeneerHaan came up with this and he is totally right. The concept of conceiving through s-e-x is so alien to me that it never even crossed my mind. All I thought was "now we won't have a chance for at least 3 months". But that's not true. We have a chance each month. And I'm going to use that stash of OPK's!

Of course, the chances of it actually working are slim. I even think that the chance of conceiving naturally is smaller than winning the lottery.

That is why we bought a load of lottery tickets as well. Wait and see!

Monday, March 26, 2012

You could have fooled me

You could have fooled me.

But maybe that's what infertility does to us anyway. It fools us. It makes us crazy paranoid people. People that will worry about their boyfriends underwear, how much caffeine they drink, when they need to stop taking certain pain killers. People that eat pineapple cores for implantation and are scared to do pregnancy tests on Wednesdays because they had a BFN on a Wednesday. People that frantically consult Dr. Google about cramps and pains and symptoms. People that ask each other what CD today is and that know what you mean if you are 5dp4dt FET.

Infertility has fooled me. So far my intuition had not abandoned me. Our fresh cycle I "knew" that it would work but it wouldn't be a baby. The night before we tested a negative, I had a very bad feeling and cried, like I hadn't really done at all that cycle. I had a bad feeling about our first frozen embryo transfer - it was canceled. And I knew that after this one, we would not have frosties left. But that last one was also mathematics, really. So I can't take all the credit.
I have not said these things out loud. To afraid I would jinx anything. But looking back, I kinda sorta knew.

Before we did this FET MeneerHaan and I said to each other that we didn't think it would work with this batch of frozen ones. They were too slow, even in the days after retrieval. No wonder the first attempt got canceled. The embryos were good looking, but not the fastest. Hence our surprise when one was not just good, but even ahead of schedule. The lab tech and our fertility doctor were optimistic. And then, so were we.

Transfer was Friday, and Monday I had some unusual cramping/pressing feelings in my lower belly. I thought that very well could be implantation / my uterus. Second halve of the week I got increasingly tired, also unusual. Whenever I was tired, I got queasy, even to a point of gagging (sorry for the TMI). Also not common. Then I found Countdowntopregnancy (WARNING!!! Infertiles click link at own risk!). I started to think very cautiously that these could be symptoms. I wasn't feeling like myself and I didn't think I could blame that all on my nerves, as I wasn't th├ít nervous. You could have fooled me, but I was starting to feel hopeful. This might actually work!

I tried to fool infertility.

Because my positive feeling left me yesterday, and I got anxious again. Not like the come and go worries of earlier this week, but really a dark feeling. I tried to ignore it, actually saying out loud that I had still faith in our little embryo and I would NOT let the crazies get to me. I forced to smile, but a smile had never felt so weird on my face. I remember wondering if this was, like writers say, "a smile that didn't reach the eyes" (I was in the shower, so I couldn't check ;-)). It was the weirdest feeling, like my cheeks were forced into an unnatural position. But I smiled nonetheless, and I made MeneerHaan tell me he had faith too and then I concocted us a healthy smoothie because embryo and I needed the vitamins.

We went to bed early, I had an (I think unrelated) headache. In the middle of the night I woke and stumbled to the bathroom, had some (safe!) painkillers and then I noticed the spotting. Which by now has turned into a true, unmistakable, genuine visit from the red witch.

And now we wait again. We have to sit out at least three months. Partly because of our wedding, and of course I'm very excited about that. But for now, I haz a sad. Infertility sucks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome on board

Welcome on board, little embryo,

I hope you like this new environment! It's especially made for you, and all natural! No artificial additives!
I suspect it's way better than that dark cold freezer you've been in for a couple of months. And also much better than that hard petriedish they put you in to wake up. Much more privacy in here, nice and warm and lots of soft places for you to hide in. No one bothering you to check you out and take pictures (at least, not for some time that is).

I'm sad you're siblings didn't make it. We would have loved to give them a chance in this new home. Now you'll have to do the honors and we're very happy with you already. Especially since you we're such a good egg, ahead of schedule on day 4.

Welcome on board, little embryo. We hope you'll stay for another 8-9 months. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hoe gaat het met de 101 doelen?

Hoe gaat het ondertussen met de 101 doelen

Doel 5: Aanmelden als bloeddonor
Ik heb me aangemeld, de bloedtesten gedaan. Maar nu ik in India ben geweest mag ik een jaar niet doneren. Wel plasma, dus daar moet ik me nog even in verdiepen. Toch beschouw ik deze als afgevinkt: de eerste stap is immers gezet!

Doel 40: 3 kilo afvallen
Met doel 40 gaat het niet zo goed. Er waren wat kilo's af, maar door de IVF, het emo-eten, de feestdagen en India zaten die er allemaal nu weer aan. Zelfs de Delhi-belly heeft daar niet geholpen. Toen de terugplaatsing van onze frostie niet doorging had ik nog wat extra tijd, en een paar dagen griep en wat maagproblemen hebben weer een flinke zet in de juiste richting gegegeven.

Doel 42: Een grote / wereldstad bezoeken waar ik nog niet eerder ben geweest
Delhi, met z'n ruim 22 miljoen inwoners, telt wel, toch? ;-)

Doel 67: Bespaardingen regelen die Yunoo of iemand anders adviseert
Ik heb het niet helemaal van Yunoo gehaald, maar we hebben wel wat bespaardingen geregeld. Ander telefoonabonnement, verzekeringen samengevoegd, dat soort dingen. Het scheelt nog geen honderden euro’s, maar alle beetjes helpen nietwaar? Deze beschouw ik echter nog niet als voldaan, ik denk dat er meer inzit (tips welkom hoor!).

Doel 69: 5 keer naar een theatervoorstelling gaan
Er is er een afgevinkt: ik ben naar Midzomernachtdroom van het Nationale Toneel geweest. Die kans presenteerde zichzelf, een vriendin had een kaartje over omdat, ironisch genoeg, degene met wie ze zou gaan druk was met IF-issues. One down, maar ik moet zelf ook nog wel wat voorstellingen zoeken!

Doel 99: Mijn hele werk-inbox legen
Die is leeg! In principe iedere dag, niet meegerekend afgelopen week (maar toen was ik ziek). Nu moet ik daar eerlijk bij vertellen dat ik gesmokkeld heb, want er staat nog een ‘truckload’ aan mail in de map “oude inbox”. Maar volgens mij mag dat best volgens de “elke dag je inbox leeg”- goeroe’s!

Er is op verschillende fronten wel wat gebeurd, maar het zet nog niet echt zoden aan de dijk. Tijd om eens echt aan de slag te gaan met deze doelen!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Error 404 - The page cannot be found

February 18, 2012

This weekend I was going to be PUPO and happy and hopeful. The worries would come later.
How different it turned out. On Monday my dad needed to be hopitalized again. After cancer, several surgeries and almost a year of chemo, his kidney (he only has one) was not functioning properly. Being nervous for FET and with Fiancee not feeling well I didn't go to visit him.  Tuesday Fiance got genuinly sick, with high fever. My dread of going to have the FET alone soon was taken away, as the IVF-lab tech informed us that our embryo looked good at first, but didn't start to grow after it was defrosted. They gave it the benefit of the doubt but another 24 hours later (wednesdaymorning), it was a definite no. Later that day I had to tell my sister that our father was in the hospital again. We didn't tell her as she was on vacation, and she was not pleased at all we didn't inform her. Rightly so, I confess. That night I started to feel feverish, and the next day the flu got me too. But with 2 sick people in the house the one feeling "best" is the one who has to take care of the other. You guess who that was. Because of the flu and fever I couln't visit my dad and mom, who started to worry more because no diagnosis or answers had come.

What a week.

It seems like I finally mastered my yoga exercise, where you need to focus only on your breathing. If your thoughts stray, just acknowledge that, don't feel bad about it and return to your breathing. I just breathe and don't think about or feel anything. All of this happening and I refuse to take it in. Just numbness. Just breathing.

Good chance this is going to bite me in the tail. I suspect I'm inches away from a meltdown. Just one trigger and everything will come out - that's got to be ugly.

But for now, I feel like my feelings are in a page cannot be found. They are somewhere out there, but can not be reached.

Maybe an hour after I wrote this (but before I could post it), a silly fight with Fiance was the trigger and despite my efforts not to give in, the meltdown came. I didn't get all off my chest, but a lot and indeed it was ugly. We both yelled a bit (never done that before) and slammed a door or two and after that, we had a good and emotional talk. It was good to let some of it out.

It's a few weeks later now and my head and heart have not yet fully recovered. But that's for another post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The thaw sets in

While almost everyone in The Netherlands was concerned with the ice in Friesland (Elfstedentocht or not), I have been worrying about another frost-related subject. Our little frozen bubbles to be specific.

After the Tiny Little Positive and the BFN came the obligated one month waiting period to let my body (and my heart) heal. Next AF arrived on the first day of the year. 6 Days later we traveled to India for a vacation with parents and brother and sister-in-law. Those two weeks were... interesting to say the least. But that's a story for another time. Vacation also meant having to wait another month.

But lucky for us AF decided to come early on her next visit, at least 5 days earlier than I expected. Clinic called, appointment for ultrasound scheduled for Monday last week. All looked good, lining was thickening, one nice sized follicle in the left ovary... we were good to go! Thus commenced a new part of this infertility journey: OPK's. Also known as Ovulation Prediction Kits. Geeezz. The instructions were not all that clear to me. Use 2nd urine of the morning (said clinic's instruction).  Don't pee for 4 hours before testing (said OPK-instruction). Don't drink too much (said Dr. Google). This might prove to be more difficult than the shots!
After some worrying (most of it unnecessary - as usual) and even minor arguments with MeneerHaan because of stress, we finally got the needed double line, so I could call the lab.

And thus the thaw sets in. Not just outside - where I did enjoy the cold for many reasons, among which that I could wear the earmuffs MeneerHaan got me for Christmas. But thaw sets in the lab in the clinic where our 4 frosties sleep. They will thaw one, check if it's ok, and if so, it will warm up and be good for transfer. If it is broken, they will unfreeze the next one. So we'll have 4 chances, although I hope we don't need them. And I do hope that after being out of the freezer for 24 hours, frosty is still looking good (cause if he isn't, transfer is cancelled).

We're facing our next chance at becoming pregnant. I'm scared, excited, completely unprepared, insecure and hopeful. Let's go for it!