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The spotting and light bleeding I posted about on Saturday turned into a medium flow Sunday and a very heavy flow today. I went in for my beta as planned and got a call today from the nurse congratulating me on my pregnancy. I honestly don’t even remember the number – it was 107 or 127 or 157? Technically positive (though at this time in my pregnancy with Riley my numbers were in the 300s, and my pregnancy tests with her were much lighter than this weekend’s). I was pretty pissed that they didn’t read the note from the on call RE this weekend to at least note my bleeding. I had to rehash it, and confirm that the amount of bleeding I was experiencing was most likely not consistent with a viable pregnancy. Things being as they are, I apparently have to keep taking the Crinone at least through Wednesday (not that it’s staying in there long enough to absorb …), and will get a repeat beta on Wednesday to see how the numbers are trending. Once I get back to 0, they can submit to insurance for a frozen transfer. Most likely, I’m looking at a transfer in early May if all goes to plan.

Today was the Monday of all Mondays. My daughter started a new daycare (her old one asked us to leave because they weren’t comfortable with her allergies), which was nerve wracking. Also, our beloved 10 year old dog had surgery to remove a very large fatty deposit that was starting to affect her gait, which resulted in them finding and biopsy-ing a lump under her tongue (more uncertainty). She’s doing ok tonight but occasionally starts whining and it’s very sad to hear. Also, Riley has been sick and we took her to the pedi after daycare only to find out she has an ear infection. Em and I both woke up with sore throats, probably with whatever virus Riley has/had. Add to all of that my insanely heavy period/miscarriage … Just in general … an epic Monday.

For now, I had a lovely glass of wine tonight and am partaking in a little retail therapy. I know this post is super blah negative – I’ll pick myself back up tomorrow but tonight I’m wallowing.


Uncertainty sucks

So, it’s exactly 2 weeks since egg retrieval (9dp5dt), and I woke up this morning with a bit of brownish red spotting, so took another pregnancy test just to see. I knew it would probably still be positive given that my HCG was high enough yesterday, but it felt like something concrete I could do. Anyway, it was definitely positive. I know the darkness of the line doesn’t mean much, but it was way darker than yesterday’s, and almost as dark as the control line. Even so, my spotting turned into some red bleeding. Nothing needing more than a liner, but definitely beyond spotting. I called my RE’s office and spoke to the on call RE, who basically confirmed what I already knew – could be a chemical pregnancy, could be a non-viable pregnancy, could be normal bleeding, and there’s nothing I can do but watch and see what happens. I’ll keep taking the Crinone and go in for my blood test on Monday morning as planned. Those numbers will give us more info.

For now, it sucks to have the uncertainty. But I suppose it was uncertain anyway! I’m trying to stay positive. I know red blood is not a good thing, but I also know that it could just be a little bleeding that doesn’t progress. I also know I have 3 frozen embryos in the wings.

Just to make things extra fun, we are on a family trip in DC (doing a 5k in memory of my aunt who passed away from colon cancer). Traveling, especially on a plane, with a 16 month old is stressful. Throw in that she has a full blown cold … and you can see how things are feeling in my life right now.

Here’s today’s pregnancy test just for shits. Any and all good vibes appreciated. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Well damn

Not feeling super positive

Today is 7dp5dt (basically 12dpo). I’m not feeling any symptoms, which is fine. I’m also spotting a bit, which is less fine. It is honestly just a bit (once when I wiped but not since), but that paired with the brown tinged Crinone left overs (so gross, so sorry) has had me mostly counting this cycle out today. I’m also feeling a ton of anxiety this evening without a real discernible cause.

Anyway, I plan to test in the morning but I also plan to pack the menstrual cup for our weekend trip to DC. Blood test is on Monday (11dp5dt). Last ditch baby dust appreciated. Otherwise I’m guessing I’ll be back her waxing poetic about an FET cycle in May. Here goes nothing.

The State of my Uterus

I think it’s time to fill you in on our journey to conceive #2! I did update my timeline if you are inclined to just jump to the quick and dirty facts. If you like my prose, feel free to stick around.

Em and I like to make big life plans. And our big life plan has always included trying for #2 once Riley was about a year old. In Em’s head, that meant starting the week after her birthday haha. I was on a slightly longer trajectory because I knew it would take some time to wean. I know that some folks choose not to wean before doing IVF, but I needed to do a retrieval (which means lots of drugs), so was just not on board with that plan. It took a little over 2 months to totally wean, and we were done mid-January. Because I’m a procrastinator, I didn’t call my RE until that week, thinking I’d be able to get an appointment within a couple of weeks. Dumb assumption! When I called, they booked me for an appointment on April 28th.

I’m not really particularly good at waiting, so I directly e-mailed my doctor and came just short of begging for a sooner appointment. She wonderfully agreed, and squeezed me in the next week, AND agreed to have me do CD3 blood tests that day (I just happened to get in touch with her on CD3).

I know I mentioned it in my last post, but it bears repeating. This second time around has been so polar opposite to our first attempt to conceive. My day 3 labs all looked good and my RE booked me not only for a consult, but also for all of the other testing I would need to complete in order to submit for insurance approval. So on January 25 (CD11), I had an ultrasound, sonohysterogram (SHG), consultation with my RE, and meds teaching session with her nurse. The SHG was about a billion times more comfortable than the HSG thank goodness. All systems were a go for IVF, so my doctor submitted for insurance approval. If you recall (you probably don’t, so I’ll remind you), my insurance plan covers IVF and fertility related treatment once I prove a diagnosis of infertility. That meant I had to pay out of pocket for all of my treatments (IUI, meds, ultrasound monitoring, lab work) for 12 cycles, which I did. Thus, I qualify as “infertile” and now can have all of the things for free (except not for free because I have a deductible and co-insurance, but for cheap anyway). As you probably also know, insurance companies like to take their sweet ass time and make you sweat it out. I was fairly convinced that they would take about 30 days to respond, which would mean we could proceed with my cycle beginning in late March. But the TTC karma gods smiled on me and BCBS gave me the thumbs up a whole week before CD1 rolled around!

February 20, 2018 was CD1. By then, I had approval for treatment, all of my meds were in the cabinet/fridge, and our sperm was at the clinic. On CD2 I had a baseline ultrasound and got the go ahead to start the IVF stim meds. My protocol this cycle was:

  • Gonal-F 300IU in the evening starting CD2
  • Menopur 150IU in the evening starting CD2 (this was a change from last time – I believe I did Menopur 150IU but I didn’t start until day 4 or 5)
  • Ganirelix pre-filled syringe in the morning starting about a week in (I responded well early, so they had me add in Ganirelix after about 4 or 5 days of stims)
    • My LH started rising earlier than expected, so I added an extra Ganirelx twice during the cycle. Once on the day I ended up triggering – they were worried that I was already starting to surge and wanted me to do the extra dose “as soon as I had access to it” (they assumed I was at work – I was actually home so did it right then). Thus leading me to an all-consuming obsession with the worry I would ovulate early and there wouldn’t be any eggs in there at retrieval.
  • HCG and Lupron trigger (last time I just did one trigger with Novarel. This time they wanted to add Lupron – my RE said that it would help release any less mature follicles and thus decrease my chance of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome?)
    • When the time came, I ended up just triggering with HCG as they were worried that the Lupron would actually over-do it and make me ovulate too soon.
  • Crinone 8% in the morning starting after retrieval

After only 9 days of stims (I think), I had 11 follicles on the left and 13 follicles on the right over 12mm (AKA measurable). There was a good mix of sizes – the biggest were 20 and 21. Because many of them were over 16-17mm, they had me trigger that night on March 1st (which I believe was 2 or 3 days sooner than my original calendar had predicted). I had my egg retrieval on Saturday March 3 (which was also Em’s 33rd birthday. My gift to her was having to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the clinic and then let her take care of me all day). I was so epically disproportionally worried that I had already ovulated and was going to have no eggs at all. My brain latched onto the fact that my LH was high during my last 2 tests and added that to the fact that my cervical fluid had gone from OMG super fertile too much EWCM to pretty much dry once I triggered. Also I was super anxious because I had a REALLY tough recovery last time. Like, weeks of pain and limping. In the end, it went great! My recovery has gone so well. I have no pain at all now, less than a week out. And they got 23 eggs! 23! The nurse whispered it because she didn’t want to upset anyone else in the recovery area. I know not all of the 23 would be mature enough to fertilize but I was really happy with that outcome. Last time I got 12 eggs (from 20 follicles) so I was expecting about the same. We did “natural” fertilization (no ICSI) and ended up with 10 embryos from those 23 eggs. After 5 days, 5 were still contenders. They transferred the best one yesterday (grade 4AB), and ended up being able to freeze 3 others. It’s less than I initially expected but I’m not at all disappointed. I’m happy to have what will hopefully be the option for 2 more pregnancies.

So that’s where we’re at! The state of my uterus is … pregnant until proven otherwise. Official blood test day is March 19 (because 2 weeks from retrieval falls on a weekend). I’ll probably take a home test on Friday March 16. Anyone else on a similar timeline?

I’ll leave you with a pic of the little guy who’s in there now!

I guess I’m going a year between posts now …

You guys. I can’t believe I fell off the blog wagon for an entire year. Actually, I totally can believe it, but I’m a little bummed about it. I really like going back and being able to see where I was at different points in time. It’s cathartic.

ANYWAY I felt like I needed to do another update. Let’s see if I get back into the swing of things again. First of all – is anyone still out there? Or is this going into the internet black hole? I’m not sure that it really matters to me, but I am curious.

Okay onto the goods … Riley is 16 months old. I can’t believe my last update was when she was 4 months.


Those blue eyes get me every time

She’s amazing and I am obsessed with her in every way. I love this transition from babyhood to toddler hood. Don’t get me wrong – I miss baby Riley so much! But it’s so fun to watch her learn new things so quickly. For her first year, I used an app called Moment Garden to hep me keep track of her “baby book” moments. It was actually really great, and I was able to create a baby book when she was 1 using that. Let me see if I can do a quick milestone recap …

  • 5.5 months: first food – sweet potato
  • 6 months: started responding to her name, sitting unassisted
  • 6.5 months: finally rolled over (on Mother’s Day!)
  • 8.5 months: mobile by rolling
  • 9 months: scooting backwards, clapping, understanding some words
  • 9.9 months: crawling! (she crawled literally the day before turning 10 months)
  • 10 months: first tooth (upper right – so weird), started pulling to stand
  • 11 months: pulling up, cruising, babbling up a storm, pointing, waving hi/bye (when she felt like it), first word: “done”
  • 11.5 months: first steps a week before her first birthday!

Riley is now walking, running, climbing (ugh), and dancing. Her favorite things to play are stacking cups (the Ikea ones = gold) and stacking rings. She loves to read books but sometimes only 3 pages before she’s on to the next. She is so chatty, and this speech language pathologist mom LOVES it. I think she has around 35 words. Her favorites are: all done, more (sign), different (sign), duckie, night night, bye bye, uh oh, baba (bottle), yeah, no, up, down, and agua (she goes to a Spanish speaking daycare).

So the major update since my last post is that we obviously figured out what was going on with her skin. As it turns out, she has multiple severe food allergies, which is a big fat bummer. Right around the time of that last blog post (4 months), the pediatrician ran some allergy blood tests just to “rule out” food allergies since there is a family history (I am allergic to tree nuts). At that visit, she tested very positive for peanut, milk, egg, and dog, and borderline/unknown clinical significance for wheat and soy. I kept breastfeeding (started to wean at 12 months and fully weaned by about 14.5), and ended up cutting out dairy, eggs, soy, and peanuts. By the time she was 9 months, I was able to add back soy and by 10 or 11 months I added back dairy and eggs. I wasn’t able to add back peanuts per our allergist. We’ve since done further testing and dealt with many reactions to foods as we started to introduce real food, so the current/updated allergy list is: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, dairy, eggs, wheat/barley (gluten). She is able to eat soy, which is great. But she is definitely a very allergic kid. Sesame was a recent discovery that ended in using her Epi Pen and a trip to the ER. It’s scary and a big fat bummer, but we are learning to live with food allergies. Up side is: she eats a very healthy diet of mostly whole foods (processed foods always have something she’s allergic to in them). She drinks Ripple as a milk substitute, which is a plant-based milk made of pea protein. We love it – it has more calcium, Vitamin D, and protein than most other plant-based milks like soy and coconut. She loves avocado, applesauce, veggie straws (may as well be crack), and homemade risotto.


Can you even handle the cuteness that is kids being tossed in the air? 

So I think that’s our update! Oh, the other fun thing is that we are working on making her a little sibling … I just saved that for the end there 😉

We had planned to start trying for number 2 when she was about a year old. I knew we’d be doing IVF again, and am lucky enough to have coverage for IVF this time (now that I spent 2 years proving I’m really for certain infertile), so we needed to wait until Riley had weaned to get anything started. We didn’t have any frozen embryos from last time (Riley was our only frozen embryo from that cycle), so had to do the whole thing again. I knew it would take a while to get the ball rolling, but didn’t know how long it would take to wean, so I didn’t call for an appointment with my RE until I had actually weaned. They didn’t have anything until the end of April! Luckily I’m a good squeaky wheel and she was able to squeeze me in that week.

Long story short, this process has been the polar opposite to our last process in every way. Mostly in that it is happening in a timely manner. In fact, it’s all going VERY quickly. I think I’ll make a separate post for those that are interested in the facts and figures. If there’s anyone still out there, that is. I hope a few of my old buddies are still on here – give me a shout if you are! And happy Friday 🙂

4 months

4 months

Riley was 4 months old on Saturday. I CANNOT believe it has been 4 months. It simultaneously feels like she has been a part of our family for my entire life, and feels like I was squinting at a line on a pregnancy test literally yesterday (side note: that was actually just over a year ago! Holy shit!).


The thing that is at the forefront of my mind this month (or maybe just this week? Today?) is her skin. She has always had super sensitive skin. She’s just kind of a rashy baby, and clearly would get contact dermatitis whenever someone who was wearing a fragrance or wool or anything irritating would hold her. Over the past month or so, she seems to be having more significant allergic reactions to something and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS. I think about it all day long and my gray hair is spreading rapidly because it is all I think about and I worry all the damn time. The rashes come and go and this is a kind of dramatic picture because it is basically the worst it’s been plus I took the pic right after I rubbed lotion all over her so it’s kind of extra red.


We tested her poop for the possibility of an allergy to something I’m eating (apparently if that were the case there would be blood – possibly not visible) and it was negative. I don’t think that means that it is definitively NOT something I’m eating, but I think it is less likely. She has also been having liquid poops (like, not that “seedy” look, just the yellow color and totally absorbed into the diaper) for a full month as well. The doctor isn’t concerned about the poop given that she doesn’t seem dehydrated and she is gaining weight, etc. She has never had a fever. I think it could be the dog? But we are being super vigilant about vacuuming all the time and keeping Riley’s things off the floor etc etc etc. I also cut out dairy anyway and that hasn’t helped at all (it’s been almost 3 weeks). My working theory is that it’s the dog and we just have to get an air purifier and be even MORE vigilant, but the poop changes throw me off. Ugh. Anyway, that’s all I think about so, any theories are welcome. Of note, we have already done the following things:

  • We use a free and clear detergent for her things and ours (duh)
  • We use an “extra rinse” cycle on the laundry
  • We bathe her twice/week and use a sensitive soap (Aquaphor baby wash)
  • We hydrate her skin multiple times/day. We used to use Aquaphor but the doc said it has lanolin in it which sometimes irritates skin because it is a sheep product, so we switched to Hydrolatum at her suggestion. That actually helped for like 2 days – she totally cleared up. And then it came back. We use coconut oil on her head for cradle cap/dry skin there
  • I vacuum a lot
  • We got the dog groomed
  • We try to only dress her in 100% cotton and only wear it ourselves.
  • I cut out dairy

Sigh. Anyway I’m sure you didn’t come here for an obsessive mom waxing poetic about baby skin. So let’s talk about Riley at 4 months old.


She is at such a fun age! She’s learning so many new things

  • She is WAY more aware of everything going on – and very distractible (especially when nursing)
  • She can reach and grab toys and loves to play with her O-ball and little dangling animals on her play mat.
  • She has her hands in her mouth all the time. She has taken to sucking on her index and middle finger and it. is. very. cute.
  • She brings her toys to her mouth and tries to eat them too.
  • She can almost stay in a seated position all by herself, and really likes sitting up (between our legs, in a Bumbo for a few minutes)
  • She likes tummy time for about 5 minutes and then she doesn’t anymore.
  • She is almost ready to roll from front to back. She can do it if I tuck her arm under and kind of coax her to start (she’ll kick her leg over and roll the rest of the way).
  • She smiles and giggles and is just the most fun baby to talk to in the world.
  • She has full-on conversations that are passionate and serious and full of eye contact and awesome facial expressions.
  • She loves music and songs.
  • She is mesmerized by sign language.
  • She loves to facetime and seems to actually recognize people on video chat?? Or at least, she smiles at people on facetime despite not being the type of kid who smiles at the phone when it’s not on facetime. And she’ll have little vocalizing conversations with the phone too. GUH.
  • She recognizes and prefers her moms 😍

Also, on a less exciting note, she is certainly struggling to learn how to sleep effectively as her little brain grows and grows. I hesitate to use terms like “4 mount sleep regression” because I really feel like those things are kind of made up and in general serve more to give parents anticipatory anxiety than to help describe a developmental phase but… Her sleep has suddenly taken a dive. (and she happens to be 4 months old…). She has always been such a good sleeper! And she still does an awesome job of falling asleep- I don’t have to nurse her or rock her to sleep or anything. She goes down awake and swaddled with a binky (my least favorite part but ya win some ya lose some I guess). So she’s still doing that, but now she’s waking between sleep cycles and having a hard time getting back to sleep on her own. We are kind of sort of if starting to sleep teach? We’re doing some extended waiting before going in to give her the pacifier at night. So far I can stand to listen to the fussing and crying for like 7 minutes before I cave. About 50-70% of the time she will fall back asleep in that time, but will often wake back up crying again like 20 minutes later. We’re working on it. She’s also added back in a 2am wake up which I am so not having. She was on a pretty good steak of sleeping about 6:30-10 or so, then nursing, then back down until 4 or 5, eating again, and back to bed until about 7. I know we’re lucky but also that’s our reality so this new habit of crying and walking up in the middle of the night is rough and I don’t really know what to do about it. Sigh.

So aside from my current all consuming worry about her skin (oh, and did I mention she might be coming down with something today? Her little cry is all hoarse and scratchy, her lymph nodes are swollen, and she has a low grade fever of 99.7), this is such an awesome age. She learns new things every other day and is generally so happy and playful. I’m so happy Wednesday is finally over because I get to spend the next 4 days with my little love before I have to go back to work. We are looking forward to her 4 month doctor visit tomorrow (maybe we’ll start to figure all this out) and my parents visiting this weekend! Grandma is on daycare duty next week. Any and all positive thoughts about her poor skin are appreciated! Happy hump day. 

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