That gibberish up there is what the message boards would call my progress, of sorts: I'm nine days post five-day transfer, which means my eggs got deposited after five days in the petri dish rather than three. In other words, things are chugging along, doing whatever they're doing.
If you're curious: Some clinics do three because it's faster, but some do five, and I like the logic of the longer wait. For one, at three days, they'd generally still be in your fallopian tubes rather than your uterus, and for another, eggs that look to be dividing properly and well at three days can slow down or stagnate in another day or two. In fact, some of mine did just that. My doctor pointed to several embryos that looked great on day three, but which he'd have been uncomfortable about implanting on day five. This also gets them to the blastocyst stage, where they're ready to hatch and latch. I don't know if it ups the odds, but it FEELS comforting, like they've been more thoroughly vetted somehow. Hopefully it was enough.
Not knowing is tough. A friend of mine who just had a baby empathized with my wait, and then corrected herself by saying that she probably couldn't imagine how hard it was. I contend that's not true -- she knows exactly how hard it is. Because however you get here, be it naturally or IUI or IVF, the two-week wait is a nightmare. It deserves caps. It's the Two-Week Wait. Probably even a bit longer for people conceiving the standard way, because you are probably waiting to miss a period, and that could add another week of wanting to be SURE you missed it before peeing on a stick. And in the early going, IVF and IUI are in some ways less stressful, because at least you KNOW. You're doing shots. You're getting ultrasounds every other day, for an instant progress report. You give yourself a shot to trigger ovulation. You know exactly when it happened, you know sperm is meeting egg. There's no guesswork, no wondering if you botched the timing. Other than the money issue -- this suffocating fear that it will take several tries that will drain your entire nest egg -- there are a lot of ways in which IVF has been a bit of a relief. Yes, it's been emotional, challenging, full of needles, painful, and expensive. And if/when we have to do it again, and again, and again, I'm probably going to throw up my hands and cry a lot, because there is nothing easy about it or about what it does to your body. But because I hate guesswork, it's also been empowering; in that first half of the month I feel as proactive as I ever have.
But the wait... The Two-Week Wait is a mindfuck, truly. First there is the bedrest, which differs based on what your doctor thinks is best. Mine was one day lying down in bed, not even sitting up for meals, and then two days of being able to move to the couch and sit up to eat, and then slowly resuming normal activity. During that time, there is a lot of, "Oh my GOD, am I allowed to curl up? Can I move my knees? Will that put the wrong pressure on my belly? HOLY CRAP I just involuntarily stretched and I felt it in my stomach muscles -- is that BAD?" You get the gist.
And then there's the sport of symptom-spotting. One thing I've learned from Google and the message boards is that there are no answers to the question, "What am I supposed to feel right now if I am pregnant?" Some people get nausea, swollen and tender boobs, hot flashes, frequent peeing, extreme thirst, cramping, fatigue, sensitivity to smell. Some people feel absolutely nothing this early. Some people have had two different pregnancies where they felt a completely different set of symptoms. So no matter what you're feeling, there's no way to use it as a clue -- complicated, thrillingly, by the fact that PMS and elevated progesterone levels can cause a lot of these same feelings without there being a baby involved.
I have been having some light abdominal cramping. Kevin thinks my boobs are a little bigger, but I'm not sure. I now get up at least once a night to go to the bathroom, and sometimes wake up and have to kick off the covers because I'm hot. This could all mean everything, or nothing. I'll read about someone who had twinges before a BFP -- big f'ing positive, in forum parlance -- and then I'll get nervous because my twinges haven't happened in a while. My OHSS bloat will seem to go down a little and I'll think, "Well, if you're pregnant, it's supposed to hang on until the end of the first trimester, so clearly, this didn't work." Then I'll hear about someone whose symptoms went away until two weeks after their BFP, and then returned with a vengeance. So anything is possible.
And, yes, the OHSS is still there. I think. I have always struggled to distinguish bloat from sandwiches -- as in, am I gaining weight or am I bloated? I'm not exercising right now because of all this, and it's the holidays, so I know I've traded muscle for fat and have probably added a bit more of the latter than I'd like. But some days it feels like ALL fat and some days I think, "No, that's still bloat." I know it's supposed to be springy vs squishy, as a basic indicator, but for some reason both always seem to apply. With the exception of the second day after the transfer, when I was big as a house and rock-solid, I've not been sure where the bloating stops and the fat starts. It's fun! I wear a lot of maternity-looking sweaters. People totally think I'm hiding something. They're right, in a sense.
I'll find out later this week -- I have one blood draw, and then if it's not an OUTRIGHT negative, I get another one two days later in which they want the hCG (hormone) level to have doubled, at least. By next week we'll know whether we're going forward with happy caution, or sad determination.