Adequate

That would be how my follow-up beta could be described. Not stellar. Not an inevitable crash.

Just adequate.

First hCG:122 mIU/ml Second hCG:217 mIU/ml  
hCG Difference:
95mIU/ml
Time Difference:
48 hours
Total hCG Increase:
78 % (1.8)
Daily Rate Increase:
33% (1.33)
Two Day Rate Increase:
78% (1.78)
 
1st Day hCGAs If:
162mIU/ml
2 Days hCG As If:
216mIU/ml
 
Assessment: The Two-Day hCG rise was 78% and is considered adequate.
hcg_chart_png.png

As you know, my first beta was 122.

My second beta on Saturday was 217.

I was praying like a zealot Friday night while I lay in bed (after bursting into great big sobs and smearing mascara all over Mr. DD’s shirt earlier in the night before because I was scared witless…) and just asked for 244. I didn’t think that was asking for too much. I lay on my back with my hands intertwined over my abdomen and let the tears track from my eyes to my ears while I chanted, “244, 244, 244, 244, …”

Should I even bother to mention how when I called the lab for my results, the phone cut out at the very moment he told me the level and I heard him just say “17”? I almost passed out with grief, but was able to repeat it back to him, which is when he corrected me, “No, 217.”

It was about 40 minutes later when the clinic called. My estrogen and progesterone levels look good (bully for them), and even though my beta didn’t “quite” double, Dr. Samelastnameasme isn’t concerned. Instead I must have a third beta on Friday.

I guess it was too much to ask to go to Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws while Nutbag’s daughter, Unibrow gestates Baby #2 (another girl, too) and not feel as if my insides were shriveling up and my heart was breaking all over again.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time six-plus years ago to remember how easy it was to see the positive pregnancy test and schedule my ultrasound six weeks later. Why is this so easy for so many others?

Why couldn’t I have had “perfect” instead of “adequate”, just this once? I know I’m lucky to even be pregnant, but shit, I just want to be able to breathe again.

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Sorry I left you hanging. Our computer was not playing nice.

2nd Annual Holiday Card Exchange

holidaycardexchange.jpg Too bad those subscribers ’cause now they’re going to miss the Holiday Card Exchange!

And can anyone tell me why my link doesn’t work on the button I set up over at T.K.O.? Meg, you helped me with this once before and I don’t know why after two years of blogging I still haven’t figured how to link a link and an image together. Grrrrrr.

no. 554 – 2nd Annual Holiday Card Exchange

For many, the upcoming Holidays can be . . . bothersome, to say the least.

Whether its dealing with family feuds, insane crowds, crazy weather, or just the way this time of year makes many become even more introspective and pained by the hardships of Infertility, we welcome even the simplest of distractions.

Last year I suggested a holiday card exchange and I was flabbergasted, and flattered, by the number of responses to the suggestion. The cards I received from you outnumbered the ones we got from real life friends or family (of course that could all be a reflection upon our antisocial friends and family…).

I had such a great time last year, that of course, I would love to do it all again.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, etc., or even "none-of-the-above". I’m one of those who will chirp, "Happy Holidays!" when someone wishes me "Merry Christmas!" and sometimes it’s just out of spite. See how Christian I am?

HERE’S THE DEAL:

If you wish to participate in a card exchange, email me your mailing address and I will reply with mine. Simple.

Last year I sent out a variety of holiday cards, but did not include pictures. I don’t know what I’m doing yet this year, but if you wish to NOT receive a picture of We Three Stooges, just add that to your email. I get it and will totally not be offended.

HERE’S THE BONUS:

I decided that I shouldn’t be the only one riding the Holiday Card Exchange gravy train, so I created a button over there on the side bar that if you like (image above), I can send to you so you can set up a Holiday Card Exchange through your own blog.

HERE’S AN ALTERNATIVE:

Ms. Prufrock organized a variation to the Holiday Card Exchange where she collected all the addresses and organized them nicely and then sent the list out to everyone who contributed. You then had an opportunity to introduce yourself, and get introduced, to bloggers you may not have experienced before, so it’s quite cool. See Pru for details.

Of course, you could always do both! What the heck, right?!

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I would like to acknowledge that the above image, which was used for the button as well, was taken from an image on Beth Surdut’s website. It’s one of her creations on silk titled, Pomegranate Stain, which is from her series Enigmatic Paradise.

In Beth’s email to me, she described the series as one, "…that creates a new mythology, acknowledging the  known  myths, the fact that we are all colored by our experiences, but we can change the stories."

How so very true…

Distraction, Long Overdue

Many, many moons ago, I agreed to be intereviewed by Suz. In the interest of brevity and, well, interest, I will tackle the interview questions singularly.

How did you come to live in Nebraska?  What do you like most about the state?  What do you like the least?

I was born in Nebraska. My Dad was born in the house I was raised in…literally. My Dad, the youngest of 4 and the only son, still lives and farms the original homestead (with a considerable amount of help from my bother, the only son of six children). I want that house and the farm to be forever part of my life and will do everything in my power to insure it stays in the family.

When I was in college, I would fib about where I was from. If I did happen to say I was from Nebraska and the person I was telling was not, the disclosure was almost always met with a sneer and the assumption that everyone in the State was ig’nant. Even Kansas seemed so much more sophisticated in comparison and I couldn’t understand why most people took the border as some kind of barrier between the hicks and the chic.

Now that I’m older, I’m really quite proud to announce to new acquaintances that I’m from Nebraska because that usually seems to surprise people. I still have to clear up stereotypes:

  • I am not a Husker fan. It’s nothing against the team; it’s just that I don’t like sports. 
  • Men do not wear flannel shirts with their sleeves ripped off. First of all, that’s totally impractical for farming (sun, feed, dirt, etc. are best warded off by full coverage), and usually, the older farmers, like my Dad are just really outmoded Cowboys, and quite frankly this picture could be my Dad * if he was skinnier and more tan. Secondly, that look is more for those from the Southern-Central part of the U.S. who seek their fame Noodling  (see, I stereotype, too).
  • We also do not talk like this comedian (notice sleeves?) even though he’s from Nebraska. Not one bit. Our accent is that we don’t have one. If you ever seen CSI – Vegas and listened to Marg Helgenberger, another native Nebraskan, you will note that’s how most of us sound.

On the other hand…

  • The weather is predictably unpredictable.
  • The landscape along the Interstate is as awful as you’ve heard. But true to engineering ingenuity, they definitely took the path of least resistance. However, if decided to stray off the Interstate and “road trip” a bit (yes, most “roads” are paved….with concrete no less!), I think the landscape is breathless.

I can’t imagine being able to spit into my next door neighbor’s window. I can’t imagine watching the sunset over trees, two hours before true dusk. I can’t imagine overcrowding in cities and small countries when you can drive here for miles without reaching a small town.

I love living in Nebraska. I just wish more of YOU did.

* Photo courtesy of The Satorialist

P.S. Please remember that this post is not protected, therefore, neither are your comments…

Technicalities

Today I am 8dp3dt.

Eight Days Post Three Day Transfer.

I am also G6P1.

Gravida Six Para One.

Six pregnancies, one birth.

This is one of the hardest posts I think I’ve ever had to write solely based on the emotional toll this is already taking on me. I got a positive on Sunday. The minutes have been eternal.

I will wait until Thursday for the beta, as scheduled. I will then have to wait the 48 hours for another beta, and of course, due largely to my last Gravida that didn’t turn Para back in May/June, I will ask for a third.

I am trying to stay upbeat and excited (not to mention sane) as I have every right to do, but I hope you can appreciate a few simple requests until I can exhale again:

No. 1 – Please, no congratulations yet. Save that for the potential birth;

No. 2 – If you decide to calculate a due date, that’s fine, but please do not tell me or even hint at it;

No. 3 – Please do not suggest multiples. While I am well aware of the risks we started with and the implications of early positives, I also remember back in May I test positive on CD11, and all I got from that was another miscarriage 10 days later.

No. 4 – Please do not suggest that this has broken the “November Curse”. November is not over, and this pregnancy is barely even beginning. This only reminds me of what could have been, and what I selfishly think, should have been.

I’m sorry if I sound rather ungrateful when in fact I shamelessly admit that I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with the possibilities. However, to allow myself to feel so much of what could be good right now, I must also acknowledge that I am acutely fearful of what is to come.

P4 and Counting

The progesterone is certainly doing its job if that includes making me a freak who cries at the drop of a hat and the boobs….

Sweet moses, the boobs! I accidentally got one pinned between XBoy’s elbow and my rib cage last night and it took every once of control not to fling him across the room in a spontaneous reaction to the pain.

I’ve been asked in a couple of emails if I’ve tested yet. If I have and it was positive, don’t you think I’d tell you all by now?

And just final proof that the hormones are working the kind of magic that would make even Criss Angel the Mindfreak envious, a commercial played earlier on the television where a baby begins to cry.

I promptly burst into tears.

Progesterone: an evil necessity if there ever was one.

Googling

Logo_2

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.

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These are some of my favorite key-word searches that show up in my statcounter. I wanted a way to keep track of them and enjoy forever and ever. Amen.

As of November 9, 2007:

  • stripper poll [I thought that was my play on words? I think you were looking for "pole", no? idiot.]
  • you put the cold medicine tips of matches battery acid [I’m pretty sure there’s a better way to clear your sinuses]
  • who got pregnant with one follicle an an iui [uh, yep, that’d be me. most people can do it without the iui part, but they are bastards, every one of them]
  • holding a lemon to avoid motion sickness [ooops! excuse me and the water that just got snorted out of my nose, but you’d look ridiculous on a cruise ship]
  • i am alive can’t you see my picture in posted on the pole [brain…hemorrhage…]
  • one embie fet [please, stop using the word "embie". It’s not a real word!]
  • top model expensive donor eggs [sorry, my eggs are not for sale]
  • why you shouldn’t use the same needle twice ivf [oh for chrissakes! really? you have to ask this? you have to google this?! It’s not like the clinics don’t supply enough needles! I swear it’s an 14 to 1 ratio of needles to syringes!]
  • cougar wearing spanx [you are weird, sir]
  • fucking infertility fertiles [welcome to the club, sista!]
  • odds of a 4th miscarriage [frankly, I thought it would be impossible, right before my fourth miscarriage…]
  • muffin top belly pics [great…wonder whose facebook I’ll end up on…]
  • boobs at prom [is this a question or the answer?]

As of October 15, 2007:

  • fet butt pictures [did you mean "feet" as I’m sure that would make wa-aa-ay more sense]
  • retro muffle haircut [was their ever a time when a muffle was in enough to be retro? wait a sec. what’s muffle?]

OLDER

  • You’re killing me inside with everything you say; I know I have to keep this a secret from you. Don’t mak[e me come over there and throw a cream pie in your face!] Wow!
  • clear dogs nose hard bugars [maybe they meant burgler…yeah, because that would make way more sense]
  • how to stalk someone [Check Barnes and Noble]
  • vaseline hangover [No. Way.]
  • toxic uterus [Yep, that’s my name. Don’t wear it out.]
  • fluffy lining mm [I’m assuming you mean "mm" as in "millimeter", not "mm-mmmm good!"]
  • iui baby less smart [depends on whether or not Mom and Dad are less smart]
  • ultrasound pregnant bitches 5 weeks what to expect [if you call them a bitch to their faces, expect to get punched in the face]
  • i know i am pregnant why won’t the tests show positive i have been pregnant 3 times before [denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, sweetie]
  • why the hell am i not pregnant [aren’t you glad you could find ALL your answers here?!
  • pregnant swollen stirrups doctor moan [uh…what?! that’s just creepy!]
  • nobody good likes me [ugh. I’m the eighth result of that search. how depressing]
  • one lovely lady [now THAT’S more like it!]

At Least I Can Still Create Something With My Hands

I really don’t have enough distractions. I wish it was spring so I could be outside planting, trimming, mowing, something…anything! Of course, I should mention that I find that the housework never ends, especially when there are two male of the species living under the same roof. I swear to god if I sit down on the toilet again and feel a wet spot because BOTH are too damn lazy to lift the ring, I’m going to pull the damn thing off and force it over their friggin heads and let them wear that around for a while!

Tonight, my son went to bed at 7:30 and was asleep by 8:00. He’s got a slight fever and said his stomach hurts. Please don’t let me find him encrusted in vomit tomorrow morning…

Mr. DD awoke at 5:00 a.m. with some mystery malady or another, too, and was asleep by 8:30. I took advantage of the quiet and cleaned up the kitchen and started some laundry and now I’m rewarding myself with some blogging. I have even found myself hooked on etsy.com (curse you, Beagle!) in the hopes of finding some quaint items for MY family’s Christmas gifts. The in-laws? I’ve had their gifts since last Christmas. Some call it re-gifting. I call it taking advantage of the resources available to me. So there.

Other projects have included my window seat. If you recall I bought a piece of who-knows-what to use as a bench under the huge window next to the dining table. Well, the other day my husband acquired several pieces of old furniture and storage drawers from a local jewelry store that had built a shiny new place so all the old and mismatched cabinets were auctioned or given away.

Two of the pieces Mr. DD showed up with were some cabinets that separated into two pieces: one had 10 drawers and the 20-drawer set sat on top of it (I think it was probably made that way due to size??). Each piece was handmade and in fact on the bottom of one of the drawers I found handwritten in pencil “Dewey Persons & Freddie Letheby Mar 24-1954”. I have yet to google their names.window-seat-et-al-2.jpg

window-seat-et-al-1.jpgHere is what the 10-drawer cabinet looked like upon delivery. The stain was mohogany that had patinaed to almost black, but each drawer was perfect in condition and very clean. So last weekend, I sanded the stain off (the pictures show most of the old stain on it but once I added the new stain, I didn’t like the results so I had to re-sand them) so that there was just a little left to define the grain of the wood. Then I went out and had some blue stain mixed.

Yes. Blue stain.

We stained the entire cabinet and added several coats of varnish and then went to pick out new handles since I didn’t like the little wooded knobs. We poured over the selections and brought a few home to see what they would look like, but nothing fit. Mr. DD then came across some old, mismatched dooor knobs I had used on a different project years ago and rigged them so he could attach them to the drawer fronts and voila’!

window-seat-et-al-7.jpgI would like to find some upholstery fabric in some kind of fun novelty print and have a pad covered with it, but once that’s done, I think it’ll look fab if I do say so myself. The drawers will be used to store XBoy’s extensive coloring and activity books, plus maybe some of my landscaping books as well.

As for the 20-drawer cabinet, I think that since this coming weekend is suppose to be nice here in Nebraska, I’ll get that sanded and prepped to turn into toy storage for XBoy’s room, effectively eliminating three separate and mismatched storage bins.

Gosh. With all these projects, I can’t believe how the time has flown!

Yes, I’m being sarcastic.