Choosing Hope and Faith

* pregnancy mentioned *

Today I am 5 weeks and 2 days pregnant. By this time next week I will have completed ultrasound #1 with Dr. Braverman. I have had moments of intense anxiety but in the past 48 hours I have made conscious choices to reflect a hope and faith I *want* to maintain but which sometimes eludes me.

In one of those mind-over-matter, hope-and-faith-forward moments, I booked future flights to New York City. Flights for dates well beyond my 6-week ultrasound. If this is not an act of faith for me I do not know what would be. I am either very hopeful and prayerful or I’ve lost my mind.

The pragmatic me rationalized the flight bookings in light of the fact that my flight for next Friday cost me basically double what each of the later November and December flights set me back. Plus I can get most of the flight costs as a credit if my hope and faith are misplaced and next weekend’s ultrasound spells Game Over for Gertrude and Alice.

In a moment of terror I dashed out for another set of blood tests yesterday morning. The results (hCG 4705 U/L, progesterone 202.7 nmol/L, TSH 0.81 mU/L) allowed me to breathe this weekend. Phew!

The terror that prompted the blood tests was brought on in part by some serious cramping on Thursday and early Friday. I was well hydrated and the cramping was definitely uterine and bad enough I had to take Tylenol before going to work yesterday morning. I am so glad that those cramps have settled down since yesterday.

I do not have a clear feeling about whether either or both of our embryos has already dropped out of the race. My past experience and betas make me suspect that we have already lost one one but hCG levels can vary so much I know better than to put too much stock into them, for better or for worse.

It will be a long wait from now until next Saturday’s verdict. In the meantime I will try to keep my chin up, choose hope and faith and let go.

3dp5dt: Holding Fast to Blissful Ignorance

This morning some fearful thoughts tried to sneak their way into my mind. I beat them back with a stick and sent them packing.

Up until that moment, I have enjoyed a very uncharacteristic confidence and sense of calm about this transfer. I never spend the two-week-wait (or the ART variation thereof) in a zen-like state of calm. I am never flooded with peaceful energy and thoughts of my life being pregnant for the coming 8-ish months. Never. Until now.

I feel rather chilled about the whole thing. Yesterday my acupunturist and TCMD asked if I felt optimistic. I could not say yes, not because I don’t have hope but because until I thought about how to answer that question I had been simply feeling comfortable. Comfortable and content. Comfortable that I have done everything possible for this cycle to be successful and odds are that I am pregnant. Content believing that even if it is a complete delusion.

I have discovered the experience of blissful ignorance. How completely fascinating.

I have never understood women saying they did not want to take a home pregnancy test before their beta because they wanted to savour the belief that they were “pregnant until proven otherwise” (an expression I feel quite loathsome toward, even now that I have clearly drank the kool-aid). I’ve always been a band-aid ripper-offer. I routinely and compulsively test early and test often. I have never not tested out my triggers, for example.

This time, I had no trigger. All of my low-dose hCG injections were complete well before transfer (Dr. Braverman prescribed them to help implantation, in lieu of Lupron since we did a protocol without that drug this time). I have no trigger to test out this time. I pulled out tests to stuff into the bathroom drawer last night on the basis that I would start testing Saturday because it is a special day for the LP and I. I knew that would be too early (4dp5dt) but I thought it could give me a baseline against which to measure any changes.

Today, I am reconsidering my decision. What if I feel completely anxious after testing and getting a negative, even though I know it will be negative? I will lose this moment of bliss. My zen-like, peaceful, “optimistic” state will be dashed and it is unlikely I will be able to recover or restore it. Or will it? Can I maintain my faith and find peace in all of this even if I start testing early?

As I think about it, I believe Sunday is the day to start testing. 5dp5dt or 10dpo is the earliest I have ever had a positive HPT before and often the second line is not really visible to anyone not suffering from line-eye until 6dp5dt or 11dpo. But that begs the question, doesn’t it? Should I test at all before my beta next Wednesday? Whether I should or not, I will. That much I know. I just don’t have it in me not to test early. I am who I am.

In the meantime, I am deeply committed to the blissful ignorance that is my unwavering faith that Azulito and maybe a companion are along for the ride and have chosen this cycle to make his/her/their way home at last. I love you, little babies. I know you are only embryos right now but I’m calling you babies anyway. Science be damned.

The last two mornings I have looked to my Animal Spirit Guide cards (I used the physical cards, not the online link or the app). I asked for a message from Spirit about our embryos, Gertrude and Alice. Each morning I drew the Unicorn:

FullSizeRender

Immediately after drawing the Unicorn this morning, I realized I had to indulge in some creative play. I took out my intuition journal (because I couldn’t find my art journal) and some oil pastels, picked up the pastel that my hand first gravitated toward (green – coincidentally the same colour as I had my toenails painted for this cycle), closed my eyes and put pastel to paper. Next my hand went to blue – Azulito’s colour – and I closed my eyes again. I continued until it occurred to me that when I’ve been visualizing the mind-body connection to my uterus lately it has been taking the form of a lotus flower. I felt strongly that oranges and reds belonged in the flower out of which the blue and green presences seem to have floated. Here is what resulted:

FullSizeRender

When I look at the finished product now, I see flames and our Gertrude and Alice rising out of the fiery lotus flower in phoenix-like resurrection. Gertrude (in green) looks a little rougher around the edges and Alice (in blue) a little more contained.

I do not know entirely what all of this means. But it feels right. And I like that.

I could get used to this blissful ignorance thing. It’s almost as good as Val.ium.

Welcome Home, Sweet Babies

From the depths of my heart I extend each of you who read, supported, commented on my pre-transfer post yesterday tremendous gratitude. Your support and caring means the world to me.

I am relieved and pleased to report that both Gertrude and Alice were smoothly and successfully transferred to my uterus yesterday afternoon. Welcome home, sweet babies.

One of the embryos is not as high quality as the other but Dr. Braverman’s darling embryologist assured me they are both beautiful. I drank the kool-aid. I choose to believe we have a real shot at overcoming my immune and HLA issues this time.

Speaking of beautiful, I was so grateful to get texts and emails from several of my blogging friends today. Thank you for holding me in your thoughts today.

Also on the theme of beautiful events, I enjoyed a delicious meal and excellent company post-transfer on Tuesday evening. Thank you, E and M, for making me feel at home in yours. Thanks are also due to a certain Bull Mastiff who decided my air bed was a good place to hang out for a while in the night. Dog love is so good.

Come to think of it, I feel surrounded by love. I cannot believe I had not noticed this until now. I noticed a presence with me all afternoon but I thought that was the Val.ium talking. The effects of that drug are long gone and I still feel the presence and a general sense of being surrounded by love. I don’t know how to describe it.

On that happy and peaceful note, I must put myself to bed. It was a long, adventurous day, the14th day of October, 2014.

As synchronicity would have it, October 14 happens to mark the one-year anniversary of my registration with WordPress. Here’s hoping that is yet another good sign or at least a happy coincidence.