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Surrogacy Blogs:
Part of a Miracle
Bump Fairy
Our Surrogacy Adventure

Working on it:
Mad Hatter
Chick N Chicken
Ambivalent Womb
Stirrup Queen's List of Blogs
Delinquent Eggs
Life and Love in the Petrie Dish
Life in the Infertile Lane
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Barren
Everyone Else But Me
It Takes a Village
Stella Part 2
Music Maker Momma

On other paths:
Fertile Soul
MLO Knitting
Out, damned egg! Out I say!
Holding Pattern
Hummingbird Chronicles
Velvet Cage

Adventures in Baby Making
Barren Albion
Barren Mare
Dead Bug
Due Dates
Fertility Shmertility
Fumbling Towards Eggstacy
Great Good Fortune
Healing Arts
Hopeful Mother
I Can't Whistle
IF & the City
It Only Takes One Egg
Waiting for Baby Orange
Jenny From the Infertility Block
She's Back!: Manana Banana
Smarshy Boy
Stella and/or Ben
Tinkering with the Works
Twisted Ovaries
Wishing For One

Other Good Reads:
Dr. Licciardi's Infertility Blog

Mc Gill Reproductive Centre - Montreal
Georgia Reproductive Specialists
Jinemed Hospital - Turkey

Cooper Center - NJ
Conceptions - Colorado
Red Rock Fertility - Dr. Eva Littman
Pacific Fertility Center
Zouves Fertility Center"
Nova IVF

IVF Meds - UK
Free Garage Sale
Flying Pharmacy (IVIg)

Blastocyst Grading Criteria
How much hCG is Left After Trigger?
POAS Ratings
More POAS Ratings
The Beta Base

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pondering Pregnancy Symptoms

One thing about early pregnancy and IVF has me totally baffled.

Let me explain.

During an IVF cycle, we shoot up 10,000 units of HCG to "ripen" our eggs. 36 hours later they are removed. HCG has a halflife of 24 hours, which means that it decreases by 50% every 24 hours. HCG is also the "pregnancy hormone" that doctors test for to see if we're pregnant. It's "reported" to be what causes symptoms of pregnancy.

This is what I don't understand.

After 7 complete IVF cycles I have to say that I don't think I've ever had what one would call symptoms of pregnancy after shooting up 10,000 units of HCG. A blood value of 10,000iu of HCG while pregnant would be indicative of a pregnancy of at least 30 days if you look at most HCG charts. I will agree that at one full month of pregnancy, most of us would have major breast tenderness and other clear symptoms of pregnancy that would be unmistakable.

But why is it that "I" don't have symptoms which concur with this level right after having shot up my HCG? I also notice that many bloggers undergoing IVF also do not complain of this. It is more likely that we complain of uterine cramping once we start PIO than we are to complain of anything after HCG.

I am starting to wonder if our current understanding of what causes pregnancy symptoms is just incorrect.

Read here:

"Specifically, breast tenderness is caused by the increase in hormone levels that happens during pregnancy. To prepare for baby, your body increases its levels of estrogen and progesterone."
Source: http://www.pregnancy-info.net/breast_tenderness.html

OK. Our estrogen levels soar during the stim portion of a cycle. I get bloated and my breasts may get a bit bigger, but I'm not sure I've been tender from stims. Progesterone is more evil and definitely causes uterine cramping for me but again, not sure about breast tenderness.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rude Awakening

I went to bed with a terrible stomach ache. It's been a stomach ache that has been building for a week or so. I'm not sure what it was but last night it was pretty bad.

And then AF woke me up in the middle of the night. Usually I get a pretty good warning but not this time.

Thank god she's here. I wanted this fucking failed cycle to be OVER.

So now the question is whether I get my FSH tested to see if it's still elevated from the 2 back to back cycles...or if I just take an ENTIRE month off from "collecting data" and get ready for IVF#8 in 4 week's time.

I sorta want to know if the elevated FSH is persisting, but then I sorta don't want to know.

The scientist in me usually persists. So on Monday I'll probably zip over to Dr. Italian's at lunch to get a blood draw. (I'd go there because if I go to the other clinic they do their draws between 7 and 8AM and that's just too bloody early, pun intended, to get on a train on a Monday morning).

I do fully intend on leaving Dr. Italian's clinic though. I did like having him as a "fall back" clinic in the case that the other clinic cancels me for a cyst, but as we've proved, draining a cyst doesn't always work, neither does sclerotherapy for endometriomas. I feel that I would be more successful staying at the old clinic.

So, a potential blood test on Monday...then a month long wait in which I hope to get some of this steroid weight off.

Speaking of which, I can't tell you how affected I was by steroids these last two cycles. OMFG. Lupron is bad, but these little bad boys are a very close second.

I am thankful to be off of them. I finally feel a lot more like myself. I came "this close" to making some rather rash decisions while on 'roids these last two months. I am glad that it's over. For now.

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