Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our Infertility Journey: Round Three, Part Three

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two

Thursday, May 25 - Retrieval Day
It's the morning of retrieval and I'm getting so excited to see how many eggs they're able to get today! I haven't really thought about the fact that I'll be sedated and having a procedure, that hasn't really made me nervous yet. I'm just so anxious to see how the next three-five days go, and I'm already looking forward to the transfer. :)

PM update: Well my nerves set in pretty much as soon as we got there. We arrived a few minutes early, but they were waiting for us and took us back immediately. They had me take a pill, then set up my IV. The woman who did it was fantastic and got me in the elbow crack on the first poke. :) They had me change into a gown and told Tim to put XXL "scrubs" over his clothes - he looked hilarious! We both had to wear the hairnets and booties, then they brought us back. When they laid me on the table, they hooked up a blood pressure cuff, O2 monitor on my finger, put an O2 canal in my nose and that's when I started getting nervous because I was about to be knocked out. They wheeled me back into the procedure room next door and had Tim stay in the recovery room, but he was able to watch what they were doing on the TV.

I remember when they wheeled me in the fertility doctor said, "you ready?" and I said, "this is kind of intimidating!" and he calmly said,"no, you'll be fine". Then the nurse explained that she was going to be right by my head and that if I open my eyes during the procedure, I might see her and hear them all talking. Then she started putting the meds into my IV and I kind of remember them saying, "is she still awake?". During the procedure, I remember hearing the doctor count, "9, 10" and then later I felt some pressure/cramping and heard him say "14"...then I was out again.

After they were done, I kind of remember waking up and them making me stumble (with their help) back into the recovery room where I just laid and slept. Tim went to do his part and I didn't want to move when he got back - I was so tired! While I was in recovery, I remember coughing a few times and having a really productive cough, but I just swallowed the mucus because I was too sore to move. I remember asking Tim how many they got, or maybe saying, "did they get 14?" I'm sure I asked him a few times. Finally, I had a few sips of water and Tim helped me get dressed, then they wheeled me out to the car.

After leaving the fertility clinic, I felt kind of nauseous, but just assumed it was because of being sedated. We stopped to get gas and I ended up throwing up. I was trying to text our neighbor who was watching Anna, but I couldn't focus. I just opened the passenger door and threw up on the ground, haha! It was all mucus and water. I think I threw up about 3-4 times, but I felt a lot better after I did. I slept pretty much all of the way home (we were home around 11:30, I think) and wobbled straight to bed. At some point, Anna came in and slept with me for a little while, according to Tim. I don't remember much. I tried to get up and eat around 2:30 or so, but felt like I was going to throw up again, so I just went back to bed and slept til about 5-5:30.

I finally got up, went outside with Tim and Anna for a few minutes, and then just hung out on the couch for the rest of the night. I was able to eat and drink a bit without feeling too sick. I haven't taken any pain meds and don't feel too horrible. I feel kind of crampy, but it's bearable. I'm not allowed to lift anything over 20lbs (Anna) until after my pregnancy test in a couple weeks. And now I'll be anxiously awaiting the call from Jim, the embryologist, tomorrow to see how many of the 14 follicles fertilized and made it through the night.

I also had to start Medrol (pill) until the transfer and also progesterone shots. Those shots are intimidating and I've heard they're awful. They have to be given in the upper, outer butt region, into the muscle by Tim. I was SO nervous that it was going to hurt so bad, especially with him giving it to me instead of me just doing it myself, but he did so good! It didn't hurt as bad as I expected it to, so tomorrow night when he does it, hopefully I won't be shaking like I was tonight!

Friday, May 26
Just got my phone call today and it's good news! Out of the 14 eggs they got yesterday, 10 of them have fertilized into embryos!! The embryologist said that typically 50% of them will make it to day 5 (today being day 1), so we're hoping that we'll have five good embryos on Tuesday. From there, they'll take the best one to implant and freeze any left overs. I'm hoping this weekend goes by quickly and that things go well Tuesday afternoon. :-)

Sunday, May 28
Anxiously awaiting the call about our little embryos!

We have NINE perfect little embryos still going (one looks a bit odd, haha)!! He still thinks that we'll have about five by Tuesday, which will give us a great chance of picking the best of the best to implant and freeze the rest! :) I am SO happy that all of this is going so well! I really have been pretty relaxed over the last couple of weeks because everything has been going the way it should be and that's very reassuring right now.

Monday, May 29
It's been four days since our little embryos became fertilized and started developing. Tomorrow, we'll go in and they'll pick "the best" one to implant in my uterus (and hope there are a few great ones to freeze). About this time in development, the embryo is ready to embed itself into the uterine lining and begin developing even more. I have VERY high hopes that this little bean will stick and thus begins the next worried nine months of my life. I am ready to embark on this pregnancy journey again, no matter what happens. I'm ready for some good news. I'm prepared to worry a lot. I'm ready to finally bring home a baby brother or sister for Anna (which she thinks grows in my belly and then comes out my butt!). We're set to go in for a blood pregnancy test on June 9th, which is two weeks from the first day of fertilization, so I really hope the next week and a half pass by quickly or that I start feeling different soon.

Wednesday, May 31 - One day post-transfer
Just under 24 hours ago, we watched our precious little embryo go from the lab's petri dish, where it's been under great care, into my uterus where we hope it'll begin to develop into a beautiful little fetus. We even got our first ultrasound picture of our tiny little white "speck" after the procedure was done.

The procedure itself was relatively easy. The hardest part was trying not to pee myself! So, directions were to come to the office with a full bladder because....well, I'm not sure why, but I'm a rule-follower. So I tried to hydrate really well in the days leading up to the transfer and drank a lot of Gatorade on the way there. We arrived about a half hour early (again, as they told me to) and I already needed to pee then, but figured I could hold it for 30 minutes. Turns out for some reason the doctor was running late and the procedure didn't begin for an hour and a half after we arrived! I'm sure Tim was tired of listening to me complain about how BAD I had to pee, but it was torture! I ended up asking to go a little bit because I couldn't hold it was a very temporary relief.

Anyway, around 1:45ish, they walked us back into the same area as the retrieval. We put on our booties and hairnets and walked into the room where the doctor told us we had a "beautiful embryo". They set up an external ultrasound on my belly while the doctor prepared me. The room was adjacent to the lab, so we literally watched the embryologist put our little embryo under the microscope which projected onto the TV in our room. We were able to see it move around a little bit before he sucked it into the catheter. He handed the catheter through the window joining the rooms, to the doctor who then used the ultrasound to guide the insertion of the embryo way up into my uterus. It was fascinating to watch! And took all of about five minutes! Finally, they emptied my bladder for me (such relief!) and reclined me back in the bed. The pushed the bed into the recovery room where I laid, and Tim sat, for 35 minutes. After that, I was able to get dressed and leave. My only instructions were to take it easy the rest of the day and all of the day today.

I decided to ask Grandma watch Anna today so that I could really take it easy as the doctor told me I should. I'm allowed to resume normal activity tomorrow, but try not to stay on my feet too long and I'm still not allowed to lift over 20lbs. This has been tough because I've never realized how much I pick up Anna during the day - whether it's to help her reach/see something, get in or out of the car or shopping cart, or just when she needs a little snuggle, especially at bedtime. We've explained to her that I can't pick her up right now because I was a little sore (after the transfer) and then that the doctors put a baby in my belly yesterday. Of course she doesn't quite understand what that could mean months from now, but it satisfied her questioning and we've been holding hands to go to bed instead of me carrying her, and she's been really good about letting Tim do more things for her. She's also been talking about me having baby(ies) in my belly since being pregnant with the twins, so this is not really new for her to hear.

Oh, and how could I forget - we have some embryos to freeze! Before the transfer yesterday, the embryologist came to talk with us about our little embryos. He said they chose the best and most mature one to implant yesterday, but that I'd likely have another 3-4 to freeze today. He wanted to let them develop for another day before deciding how many and which ones to freeze, so I'm curious to know how many he chose. I'm excited that we have the possibility of doing this again without having to go through ALL of the steps. He said that frozen transfer would definitely not be as many appointments and that I'd probably be doing an oral medication (not injections) and a patch, along with the progesterone shots leading up to the transfer. This definitely gives me some peace of mind because even if this little bean that's in there now doesn't stick, we have some "back-ups" ready to go. This also makes me excited that we may be able to have more kids down the road. It's been a lot to process over the last few weeks, but I can honestly say that I've had a good experience. I was so nervous before beginning, but it's all been working out so well. I hope that we're able to bring home our rainbow baby in nine months (and no sooner!).

And now we wait until next Friday, and I will soak up every minute with my beautiful baby little girl because we are so lucky to have her! :)

Friday, June 2 - 3 days post-transfer
One more week!! I was very tempted to take a pregnancy test this morning just because, but I restrained myself. I know it's way too early, but maybe Sunday or Monday...haha! I'm not noticing any huge symptoms or signs yet. I am still having some cramping in my uterus area, but that's about it. Oh, and tonight, my face is kind of oily and is breaking out, but that could just be because I was outside all day for our garage sale. I've been trying to take it easy as much as possible and Tim's still giving me my nightly progesterone injection. He's been very helpful around the house and with Anna these last few days.

Sunday, June 4 - 5 days post-transfer
I took a pregnancy test this morning just for the hell of it, but it was negative. It's still pretty early, but I'm getting anxious to know what's going on in there. I wish I was having some kind of physical symptoms, but I guess it's still kind of early for that, too. Hopefully Anna and I can keep busy during the days this week so that Friday will be here quickly.

Monday, June 5 - 6 days post-transfer
Negative again. I keep feeling the sides of my boobs hoping they'll be sore one of these times. I know it's still technically early, but I'm dying over here! I plan to test every day this week up to my blood test Friday morning. I'm sure this is going to be the longest week ever!

Afternoon addition: I've been thinking about that negative test all day! I'm starting to seriously doubt that the IVF worked. Even with a busy day today, it's constantly been on my mind. I just want to feel something, to reassure myself that it's working. But I also need to start considering that it may not have worked, and that we still have 3-4 embryos left to try again.

Tuesday, June 6 - One Week post-transfer
I took two tests this morning around 5am and was extremely disappointed when they looked negative. I laid in bed almost in tears thinking that this really might not work. Around 7, when I got up again, I decided to look at the tests, just to double check. Well, it looked like there might have been the faintest second line ever on them...but it also could have just been an evaporation line because it was two hours later. So I took another test (#3 for the day) and if I hold it in the correct light, I can see a second line. I'm REALLY hoping I'm not going crazy here. Thankfully we have plans all day, so the soonest I'll test again will be this evening. It's been 12 days since fertilization, which is about the earliest I've gotten the second line on my previous pregnancies, so we'll see. I am completely torn.

PM update: I took a fourth test today and there is the lightest second line ever there - even Tim saw it! I'm getting hopeful again...I have seven tests left and two more days until my blood test. I'm sure I'll use every single one of those tests through Friday morning. Let's just hope this line gets progressively darker these next couple days!

Wednesday, June 7 - 8 days post-transfer
The line definitely didn't get darker this morning. I'm making myself a mess obsessing over these little tests. If I really think about it, I'm not feeling any different at all, but I am over-analyzing everything. I feel silly writing this down each day, but I really am making myself go nuts over here. I know I should probably just stop testing and wait for the blood test Friday morning, but I'm so hoping that I will get a decent positive at home first. Right now I'm wondering if this super light second line is just because of the extra progesterone/hormones in my body from the IVF cycle. Just within the last 24 hours I've been down, then up, and now down again - I need to quit doing this to myself, but I just want to be pregnant so bad!!

Thursday, June 8 - 9 days post-transfer
I'm honestly feeling defeated. I have very little hope left. I took a test last night and another this morning and the lines were the same - super faint. It has not gotten any darker since Tuesday morning, so I'm taking that as the pregnancy isn't progressing, kind of similar to what happened after our very first IUI before Anna (when I had a very low number, just enough to register on the test, but then it went down) - that's what I'm guessing will happen. We'll have confirmation tomorrow, but as of right now, I'm expecting them to tell me it hasn't worked. I guess I could be surprised and get some good news, but I'm not counting on it. Right now I'm just trying to remind myself of the positives - that we have some frozen embryos and all summer to keep trying.
I appreciate my friends and sister-in-law who have helped keep me busy this week and have been extremely positive and reassuring as I drive myself crazy over this. It's just been so hard because I feel like we've gotten so close, twice now (the twins and now this), but it's just not working.

Friday, June 9 - 10 days post-transfer
It's darker, people! It's darker! Just between yesterday evening's test and this morning's. MAYBE, just maybe we might have some positive news....I can actually see the second line clearly without having to hold it at a weird angle or in certain light.

I'm back from Springfield and anxiously awaiting my phone call. I told the lady taking my blood that I felt like I was going to throw up because I was so nervous, haha. She said, "I just ask that you don't throw up on me." Then she asked if I cheated - I said, "uh yeah!" And she just laughed.
Even with the darker line this morning, I'm still nervous about the HCG level not being strong enough.

I'm pregnant!!!! My HCG level is 188, which is just one point lower than when I got pregnant with Anna. The fertility doctor was the one who called me (with everyone in the room with him on speaker) at about 11:25 this morning. I was so nervous because not only was he the one that called me, but it was also not the afternoon. This made my heart sink & I told him he was making me nervous! He said, "You're going to be a mommy again!" I almost started crying, my hands were shaking, and I was so happy! It's been a LONG ten days and I was extremely doubtful at times, and Tim was, too. The doctor told me that everything looks great, to keep up with the progesterone shots, and to come back on Tuesday morning for a follow-up blood test. If everything looks good from there, then we'll schedule an ultrasound. YAY!

And now the nerves kind of set in, in a different way. I really, really hope this pregnancy sticks! It's tricky right now because I literally am feeling no different. So to think, "I'm pregnant" still definitely hasn't set in (it's only been two hours) and I think it won't until we see the little baby and hear it's heartbeat. Even still, it's going to be hard to decide when to announce to everyone. I'm going to want to tell everyone immediately, but I know that Tim likes to be a bit more cautious and wait a little longer.

Tuesday, June 13 - Two weeks post-transfer
It's 3:37pm and I'm STILL waiting for the fertility clinic to call me back about my blood draw this morning! I'm currently doing my second set of treatments for the day, and if they don't call by the time I'm done, then I'm calling them!

Wednesday, June 14 - 15 days post-transfer
I called the clinic when I was done with my treatments and they "left a message for the nurse to call me." Probably about ten minutes later, they finally did call. She asked how I was doing, and I told her I was nervous. She said, "No need to be nervous." Woo hoo! My level climbed just as it was supposed to and was now at 731. I asked about my progesterone and she said it was well above 40! :) They'd like me to continue my progesterone injections and then when I'm out of those, I'm going to switch to the vaginal suppositories (same ones I was on when pregnant with Anna), I'm guessing for the first trimester. We have our first ultrasound scheduled for a week from today! I can't wait!

I guess this brings us to the end of Journey #3 - we're officially pregnant. Let's hope that this little bean sticks and makes his/her arrival later this winter. :-)

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