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Archive for the 'IVF' Category

Paul Exhales…

Well, I’m back from my brief trip to Washington, D.C. This month is going to be a whirlwind of (business) travel, followed by our planned annual (vacation) journey to London in early August. I actually have a lot to bring you up to speed on: telling the fam about the pregnancy status (and IVF history); first “normal” OB/GYN appointment; update on the PIO shots, etc.

However, I don’t have the time or energy for all of that tonight. I just need to relax… and unwind.


That’s what I need! To take a breather, which we all need from time to time.

This seems especially apropos, as my first column at Exhale Magazine came out today! Yup. That’s right. I’m now one of the regular writers for this smart online magazine for people who have either lost babies or struggle to make them in the first place.

So, I’ll have more to say tomorrow. But, in the meantime, why not go Exhale with me tonight?

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Graduation Day

Following yesterday’s ultrasound, we met briefly with Dr. Goodman, L’s reproductive endocrinologist at the Reproductive Medicine Group. She seemed genuinely thrilled about our success… complete with an ear-to-ear grin and hugs for us both! Up to this point, she’d been mostly “down to business” (which I appreciated), but I have to say that L and I have been very favorably impressed by the RMG throughout. They’ve been both technically competent (obviously) but also demonstrably caring.

In short, we’d highly recommend the Reproductive Medicine Group.

Now returning to regularly scheduled programming…

Yesterday was also graduation day for us. This was (thankfully / mercifully / hopefully) our last trip to the RE office. We’re now just a “normal couple” expecting their first kid. So, L will be headed back to her regular OB/GYN practice (after confirmation w/ Dr. G that it was “recommended” by her).

L’s first appointment at the OB’s office is next Wednesday. I think I’m planning to attend this appointment too. My schedule should allow for it, as I have a short business trip (leaving tomorrow, returning on Tuesday) to a conference.

Here’s a gift for the lovely parting contestants.

WTEWYE -- The Book

As a graduation gift from the RMG, we were given a copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I’d been tempted to order this on Amazon, but then I opted not to because I’d read a lot of reviews that said (paraphrasing) “this book will scare the shit out of you.”

Not exactly something I thought we’d need. :-)

That said, having now read a lot of it, I think it’s only scary to the uber-fertiles, who are generally (as we all know) completely and utterly ignorant about matters of conception and pregnancy compared to their IF counterparts. I was surprised by both how much I already knew (good Paul!) and how much we’d already been through (good news!).

Conception: Ha! (ROFL) Check. (After writing a large one.)

Dietary changes / restrictions: check.

Activity restrictions: check.

Symptoms: check, check, check.

First month: check.

Second month: check. (Well, nearly over…)

Knowing that shit can go wrong: check. (All too familiar).

So, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” isn’t too scary at all (and an easy read).

No more PIO shots! Ohhh… maybe not!

Finally, we learned yesterday that L could stop the IM PIO shots, if she wished, and move on to Crinone (a Vaginal gel), but when we called the pharmacy we got a crazy price for the product ($405 for a 12 day supply, which we’d probably need to order twice).

Libby’s attitude: “Fuck that! I’ll stick with the shots.”

So, it seems that we’ll continue the PIO shots until: 1) we find a lower price for Crinone, 2) we get Crinone covered by my medical insurance (possible as this is for pregnancy, not infertility), 3) our doctor switches the prescription to a lower cost alternative, or 4) we simply make it through the end of week nine (when all progesterone support ends).

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First Ultrasound

Here’s the picture!

Our Baby!

The “B” stands for, “baby.” Singular.

How cute is he / she? :-)

Everything remains on track. We saw (and heard) the heartbeat: 153 beats per minute. The growth rate seems good. All in all a very healthy pregnancy.

No twins.

After much speculation, given L’s strong beta scores, it turns out twins were not in the cards for us. As both “only children,” we always thought of ourselves as the likely parents of one child… maybe two at the most. So, this probably means that we’ll only have one kid.

Am I disappointed? Not really. Well, maybe a little. In truth, I’m probably 10 times more relieved than disappointed.

I’m confident that we can handle a singleton. Twins seemed far more daunting.

My rationale (in football metaphor form as this is “Adventures in Fatherland” after all): when I’m not traveling on business, we’ll be able to keep the kiddo under mostly double coverage. And, when I’m away, L can play man-to-man. In contrast, twins would have meant that we’d be playing man-to-man in the best of times, and L would likely have to play zone defense when I’m off the field.

Clearly, this is flawless logic. :-)

We’re just grateful.

In the end, we’re just thrilled to have a nicely rising bun in L’s oven.

Our dreams are becoming a reality. I can’t ask for more than that…

I’ll post more tomorrow about our: RE’s reaction/congratulations, first pregnancy book, “graduation” from the ART clinic, and next steps.

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The New Math of “Due Date” Calculation

Today, I decided I’d try to figure out L’s expected due date.

As I do with most attempts to understand the universe, I consulted Google.

Unfortunately, most “due date” calculators are based on the date of expectant mother’s last menstrual cycle. I had no earthly idea when that was given that 1) I don’t normally track such things, and 2) I found it even less useful in the midst of an IVF cycle.

Not to be deterred, I next searched for due date calculators for IVF cycles.

Bingo! I typed in “May 19, 2009” (retrieval / conception date).

Up popped the answer: “Congratulations, you’re 7 weeks, and 1 days pregnant. Your due date is February 8, 2010.”

What the fuck?

Ok, I’ll admit that despite having a Ph.D. in Information Systems, I’m not the best programmer in the world. I’m passable… but that’s not my strength (I’m more of a strategy / ideation guy). That said, I know darn well how to write a JavaScript applet to calculate the difference between two dates.

Man, this application must be totally fucked! It thinks L is 7 weeks pregnant, when clearly she’s only 5 weeks pregnant (May 19 to June 24… you do the math).

Time to try another calculator. Same result: “Congratulations, you’re 7 weeks, and 1 days pregnant. Your due date is February 8, 2010.”

Another one? You must be kidding.

Is everyone stupid? No. It turns out that only I’m stupid.

You see, due dates are calculated from the date of last menstruation. So by the date of conception, everyone is approximately two weeks pregnant.

It’s like New Math. Or Voodoo Economics.

Makes perfect sense right? Ummm… no. Not to me. But, I’ll roll with it.

Good grief, we really do need to buy a book! I’m an ignorant git!

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One Down, Eight To Go

After the whirlwind IVF cycle and anticipation of awaiting the outcome, life seems to have settled back into a steady (and rather pedestrian) rhythm.

Thus far, L’s pregnancy has been very uneventful. Some of the earlier symptoms, like nausea and cramping, have subsided more-or-less completely. The fatigue and swollen/sore breasts continue. Note: I’ll refrain from any editorial comments on the “swollen” part as that seems inappropriate to speak of someone’s mother as such. Note #2: A female friend / colleague of L’s did comment on her suddenly more ample cleavage yesterday: she wondered if L had a “boob job.” Note #3: Really, this isn’t a bad side effect. Enough said. Sorry. I’ll say no more.

The PIO shots continue as a nightly but now rather blasé ritual.

What a difference a month makes.

That’s right: we’ve been pregnant one month!

We still haven’t really told anyone in “the real world” about our success yet.

Of course, we hadn’t really told anyone about our struggles with infertility either. We made the decision to wait for a few reasons. We’re certainly not embarrassed by infertility. It’s just that we’re fairly private people (by nature, despite evidence of this blog to the contrary) who lead fairly public lives (by profession). As such, we didn’t want to have to make a lot of small talk about the status of fertility treatment.

On a more personal level, we didn’t want to involve our families, because we realized a couple of things. First, it would simply add stress to their lives (which in turn would add stress to our lives). Second, there’s nothing they’d be able to do to help resolve the situation. So, in the end, we opted to spare everyone the grief.

We intend to execute the “public relations campaign” once we get past the ultrasound, starting with our families and closest friends.

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