“Everything looks wonderful, congratulations!”

Ha! You stalker ladies are great—sorry I kep you waiting! I got the call from my local clinic, and the words about my bloodwork: “Everything looks wonderful, congratulations!” In keeping with The Numberless Cycle, I asked both my local clinic and RBA to NOT tell me my beta number. Which means that this morning, instead of obsessively typing my beta number into google and wondering is it twins? is it not? is that too low, too high? what should the number be on Thursday? I am sitting here eating a giant plate full of eggs and toast and feeling relaxed. I highly recommend this method! I go back on Thursday for my repeat beta, at which I will ask them to just let me know, via words NOT numbers, that all is okay.

In typical IF/ART-world fashion, yesterday was the one and only day RBA did not receive the fax from Center for Human Reproduction, and I still don’t know why, nor do I know if they have received it yet. I should find out soon. That’s actually why I was waiting to post, waiting until I got official word from RBA that all is looking good, etc. I do want to know my progesterone number, in case there is any problem and I need to take more cri.none or something. So I spent most of yesterday waiting for the second call, the one from Dr. Shapiro, which never came, sadly. I was looking forward to talking to him. I find his voice, attitude, and sense of humor reassuring. But of course he couldn’t call without having received the results. I was inordinately tired yesterday, so tired that I spent hours of the gorgeous day alternately sleeping and watching New Girl. I felt a little guilty, but then I remembered: oh yeah: growing human beings = allowed to take naps and spend day supine.

As for DH, he came home from his licensing exam smiling. “I don’t feel horrible, but I don’t feel great,” were his first words to me. But I could tell by his smile that he did just fine. He’s not so sure, but he does think it is a good sign that he doesn’t feel wrecked about his performance and thinks he did “okay.” He will get his results via snail mail (!!!) in about two weeks. What century are they in? What’s maddening is that the computer calculates the stupid score immediately and they could tell him right away, if it were allowed.

Last night, I made a southern hippie plate for us (vinegar greens, beans, roasted carrots, rice, fried brussels sprouts, watermelon) and then we spent a little time writing a song together. Meaning he spent time working on a song while I semi-vegitated on The Couch, my new address, my eyes fluttering closed. But tonight we’ll do a recording. He wrote the melody on the acoustic guitar, transferred over to the electric guitar, and even came up with the vocal melody (which was supposed to be my job). Tonight I’ll do the vocals and maybe even come up with some lyrics (we started with “dummy text” for the lyrics—which basically means we just read anything from a book off the shelf, just to feed the melody).

Gosh–have I ever told you guys that I sing? I don’t recall. Yeah, singing is a huge part of my life, by the way! One that has, unfortunately, gone by the wayside during the past three years of struggle. I play guitar and piano and love to sing as much as I love to write and make art. I also love to harmonize. Ten years of my life were spent harmonizing with the good women of southeast Ohio, around bonfires, in kitchens, naked in wood-fire saunas. And my social group down there was made up of all musicians, guys and gals–guitar, fiddle, washtub bass, banjo, mandolin, even dulcimer. I did a few Open Stages, wrote a few original songs. But the truth is, my guitar playing has always been just good enough to accompany myself singing. What I would really, really, really love to do next is take guitar lessons and learn all of those fancy chords I just sort of fudge now.

Ah! An email from RBA came while I was chatting away about music-making. My progesterone level is 9, so that is a-okay for crin.one, and my estrogen was 266. I actually don’t know much about what estrogen levels should be like at this point, but they’re saying it looks great, so that’s all I need to know. I love saying bugger off to google, love it. 

Thanks for checking in, all of you. Thank you so much for caring.

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  1. You are a woman of many talents! I’m happy you are enjoying your numberless cycle. Sounds like a perfect fit for you. Sending you good vibes.

  2. yay!! Yes…I was one of those stalker blogging friends yesterday :) I’m so glad to hear everything is great!! Congratulations again girlie!!!


    • Thanks darlin! I could be wrong, but I think you and your praying might have had something to do with it (;

      • girl I prayed lots for you and I’ll be honest…some of it was because I needed Him to answer…i needed to see a miracle. I’m so excited for you and have been on pins and needles just waiting. By the way, I want to know numbers. Just have your doctor email them to me. I gotta know how high so I can start planning one outfit or two. hehe!!!

  3. Great news!

  4. Yay!! You sound so happy, I am loving these posts.

  5. Violet

     /  March 25, 2014

    Absolutely perfect! I have been waiting for this news!
    Very happy for you. Keep on singing, girl!

    • Thank you! Yes, I’ve been singing all day, thanks in part to your comment reminding me, really! I think it sends good vibrations through the body.

  6. Very happy to hear the wonderful news!! That’s absolutely fantastic and I hope that you continue to feel zen as you go through this process.

    All that said, I’m curious as where you progesterone levels should be at. I know it goes against the numberless cycle theme, but you are right that this is something you can suppliment for. For me, Crinone wasn’t enough. It was only when I switched to PIO (and a double dose too) that I got my THB. But for other women, they just need a boost.

    • You must not have read the whole post? I said I wanted my progesterone levels, and did get them—9, which RBA says is fine for Crinone (I’m taking 2 suppositories a day). RBA wants it at 4 and above (?) or something like that. Whatever the case, 9 is well within the safe realm. Crinone is not absorbed into the blood, it’s absorbed directly into tissue, so the bloodtest level of progesterone is much lower than with PIO. Several doctors have now advised me that PIO causes nerve damage and Crinone gives the same live-birth results.

      • Thanks for clarifying. And before I go further, I want to apologize if my inquiry is causing stress. That’s certainly not my intention and if it is please ignore anything I say. You’re doing everything right to take care of yourself and these embies and I really encourage you to continue with the current mindset. It’s truly awesome.

        The reason I ask about Crinone is exactly for your point: it’s not absorbed into the bloodstream as it acts locally and, hence, is pretty much undetectable. Hence I was curious about what levels your clinic considers acceptable as I’m unaware. I do now that if you were not supplementing or supplementing with PIO, 9 is too low. Most clinics want to see levels over 15, with some pushing for 20 with PIO. But, again, they can measure this.

        One of the beauties of Crinone is that people are far more complaint with it because it’s easy to administer and isn’t painful like the PIO. That said, it’s also a newer drug and the one study about it’s efficacy was sponsored by the company that manufactures it. Hence there’s some debate in the field about whether it is on par with PIO and whether people believe the data. That said, I encourage people to follow their gut and work with their REs. If this is the protocol the clinic uses and you trust them, don’t give it a second thought.

        As far as nerve damage to the fetus caused by PIO, that’s data I’m unfamiliar with. Do you happen to have a reference? I can see nerve damage caused to the mother due to improper administration and why it’s so important to be trained to administer this shot.

        • It’s nerve damage to the mother, not the fetus. As I said, RBA considers anything above 4 on Crinone okay. The 15 and 20 you are referring to are the levels clinics want to see when someone is on PIO, from what I’ve read. It is a different situation with Crinone. And yes there are peer-reviewed studies of Crinone out there that are not sponsored by Crinone, and there is certainly more than one.

          I am working with 2 well-respected REs right now. I understand that you are trying to help but yes you are stirring up anxiety where there was none. This is not the time for that. I have a host of medical professionals guiding my care. I’m in good hands and will follow their guidance now and throughout this pregnancy.

  7. I love your attitude with your numberless cycle! Congratulations!!!! I’m very happy for you. Keep enjoying your pregnancy!

  8. I’m totally digging this laid back, relaxed approach. I’m so happy for you. Here’s to lots more good reports, yummy meals and great music in your life!!

  9. Great news! I am so excited!

  10. Yay! So happy to read this. Keeping all appendages crossed that the next numbers are “great” as well.

    • Me too! I might tell them to use a new adjective. Like “astonishing” or “fantastic” just to change things up. I appreciate the pretzeled appendages!

  11. all sounds like it is going to plan :)

  12. Oh, doll, I am so very happy for you! This is great, wonderful, damn amazing news! You are already rocking it as a mom!

  13. Clare

     /  March 26, 2014

    The numberless thing is so genius. After my experiences and discovering my tendancy to google the hell out of everything, I’ve really come to resent the information overload. It’s so bad for the psyche.

    • I hear you! It makes me so bananas and gives me that nervous, pinched feeling I’m trying to stay the hell away from. We really do have too much information at our fingertips—once upon a time I never would have said such a thing. Now it’s like: Oh yeah, trusting the doctors who’ve been doing this for twenty or thirty years when they say “looks great” is probably a lot saner than obsessively comparing my beta number to every scrap of internet info I can find. (:

  14. Sounds great girl! Continue the happy state. :)

  15. JK

     /  March 26, 2014

    I am so inspired by you, I lost my DE baby in February and am really scared to try again. I am supposed to see my RE on Thursday, and am so nervous. But reading your posts has given me hope that I can face it.
    Yes, congratulations indeed! I have a good feeling about this one.

    • You can do it! I KNOW how awfully hard it is to make the leap, gahhhh, it is so damn hard. But if you do make the decision to try again, try to believe and hope. I think I’ve pretty much decided from here on that hope is not a bad thing, and not having hope doesn’t soften the blow (at least for me) if things don’t work out. So much luck to you tomorrow. I’m going in tomorrow for 2nd beta and am starting to get a little nervous, too. I’m going to bake my nervousness away by working on a carrot cake. Keep me posted!

  16. SUCH wonderful news…and I want to hear your song!

    • oh, sadly we didn’t get back to it yet! can we post audio clips somehow on wordpress? i’m sure there’s a way. i’ll look into it….

  17. R

     /  March 26, 2014

    Yes, I’m one of your stalkers and congrats! I am so impressed with your numberless cycle!! Hope the wonderful and numberless good news continues to roll :)

  18. This is so lovely! Really happy for you… stay blessed! Hugs!!

  19. Congrats on your non-numbered beta! There’s no way I could never “not” get the beta….but then again, it has always been my downfall.

  20. Good luck for tomorrow numberless beta. Hope it’s fantabulous. :) x

  21. Yeah!!! This is all awesome news!!! I love the numberless beta idea… I can’t even fathom how much stress it relieves just hearing that all is well and trusting that everything is working the way it’s supposed to! YAY!

  22. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! I love this no-number beta thing, but I don’t think I could do it… but it sounds like just the ticket for you! I love how relaxed you are. I love how you are telling google to eff off and trusting in your body. Hooray for good news!


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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