Saturday, September 27, 2008

We Almost Were There

We drove into Fredericksburg today figuring on attending the Obama/Biden rally. We had some work to do at Secret Headquarters first, though, so we were a but late arriving. By the time we got there the line to get in was stretching over half a mile around the perimeter of Mary Washington campus. We knew there would likely be rain and/or isolated thunderstorms so we decided to pass and head home to try and watch online. We weren't the only ones to not get in. The campus police reported that about 12,000 people got in, but about 14,000 more were not able to.

The Obama website has a live feed page for events and, except for a few drops, we were able to watch. It was pretty good, touching on McCain's flaws & shortcomings and Obama's plans. I'm definitely voting for Obama this year.

We watched the debate too, and felt that Obama did eke out a victory there on McCain's "home turf" of national defense. I think Obama sees a bigger picture than McCain and understands that it doesn't matter how well or poorly we are doing in Iraq. The big point about Iraq is that we shouldn't have started the war to begin with. It's a distraction and a drain on our resources and the lives of our soldiers. The real front is in Afghanistan where Al Qaida's stronghold & haven is.

McCain Wins Debate with TrumanWe did find it amusing when the McCain campaign released a "McCain Wins Debate" ad on the web before the debate had even started. Oops! To commemorate the event I put together this little tribute to history.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Beta Test 2

We got the levels for the second beta test today. The beta level was 335. I did some math and figured three days of doubling every 48 hours would give a level of about 322, so we're right in the groove for a single baby. My sister in law's progesterone seemed a bit low, but when we asked the doctor about it he said her levels were just fine considering she's using vaginal suppositories. The progesterone's at higher levels locally, apparently.

Next stop: first ultrasound in two and a half weeks. We should find out for sure how many we have then. We're testing right in the zone for a single, but we're still in the range seen for multiples, so it's still not 100% sure. Pretty sure, but not 100%.

My wife has been having stomach- and headaches the last couple evenings. I think it's stress and worry over all this. She's better during the day when she's occupied. Fortunately the next several days look like good weather, so we might be able to extend the day with some walks around town or along some local trails to keep busy. It'll be good for us to get back into an exercise routine. Doing IVF cycles does interfere a bit with that, what with the bloating and all.

Anyway, that's one more hurdle out of the way, and things look good so far. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beta Test 1

We got the results of the beta hCG test: 114. From what we gather the average at this point for women who have a single baby is about 100, so we seem to be in the groove. The next test, to see how it's increasing, is scheduled for Monday. The real test, though, is the ultrasound later on. That will tell us how it's developing and if we have more than one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Testing... Testing...

We've been doing a lot of pregnancy tests the last couple days, or my sister in law has anyway. Here are the latest. If there was any doubt, having it confirmed by a third brand of test, the digital, removed it.

Friday she goes in to get blood drawn for the beta test which will tell us how much hCG she has in her, which will give us some idea of how well things are along. There will be another one later to see how things are progressing. Then it'll be officially official, but I'm going to say it now: WE'RE PREGNANT!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hope or a Tease?

Faint lines on the latest pee sticks. They run in the picture from the earliest at top right to the latest at bottom left. Click the picture for a larger view.

We stopped at my sister in law's house this evening to check on her report of faint lines on the pregnancy tests she's been taking. We were honestly expecting them to be merely evaporation lines - greyish lines sometimes visible on such tests after they dry, even if the result is negative. This is what we saw.

The fourth down was from this morning. The next was from this evening. The last was from late tonight, and was done about an hour after my sister in law last used the bathroom. We were not expecting to see anything at all on that one, but the fact that we saw a faint line on that one leads up to believe there is something happening. We know it's not an evaporation line since it started to show while the strip was still wet, and they are definitely pink/purple colored.

False positives are very rare, but we are trying to be only cautiously optimistic. Even so, it's difficult to restrain ourselves. Only our past disappointments keep us from being more positive about our chances. Realistically, though, a pregnancy can fail at any time. Our previous attempts failed before this point, so hopefully the one problem was that my wife's uterus was somehow inhospitable, but these are from forty year old eggs so we're not free and clear yet. On our first attempt we got a single test with a faint line - probably what's known as a "chemical" pregnancy, when an embryo starts to implant but doesn't quite. This has gone on longer, so we're hoping for better but still worried.

Wish us luck. We'll still need it!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Trouble With Autofocus

Since my parents live in New Orleans I've been watching hurricane Gustav and looking in from time to time on a couple webcams there. On one in the french quarter the last update was around a quarter to 6PM Monday, so I'm guessing it lost power or its connection to the server around then. The other is still active, but the camera evidently does not have its autofocus turned off because it's focused on the water drops on the window it's looking out of. Here are a couple shots from today.

Going For Five

We did the transfer this morning, putting five of our embryos into my sister in law. They were of average quality, all with some degree of fragmentation. We have some somewhat lesser quality ones still incubating, and will hopefully see a couple make it to blast and be freezable.

My wife's parents tagged along this time, though they had to sit in the waiting room. I was waiting with them during the actual procedure, though I did go back with my wife and her sister to weigh in on how many to transfer. We were pretty much unanimous on five given the quality and the nine we'd transferred in previous failed cycles. They had her drop trou and get ready right away, though, so I had to duck out of the room until she was in the bed and covered. The procedure went smoothly and afterward they left a freeze frame of the ultrasound up for me to see, showing my sister in law's uterus in magnified cross section with a little white line visible where the embryos and the fluid containing them were released. We talked with the doctor and estimated about a 20% chance of success.

Afterward, we went home to tend to some business and then went to my sister in law's to hang out and talk while my father in law cut the grass. My other sister in law, the middle one, showed up later with her two kids.

The doctor recommended three days bed rest, but everyone says he's a bit conservative about that. We talked about it among ourselves and decided her taking off work today and tomorrow would be a good compromise, given that she has a desk job.

We'll find out in about a week and a half if it worked or not. The odds are long but we can't help but hope for the best.