I am finally sharing the third part of this *journey*, the transfer on what happens to be the week of the 1 year mark of our second loss and the bursting of the ectopic pregnancy and cyst that was the first domino of the past year. But for this post, I am keeping it positive because I am so thankful we had a successful transfer!
So, to back up. You do your retrieval, get the final embryo count, possibly do testing (we did), and have the absolute number of healthy transferable embryos. From there we went straight into a transfer cycle, aka new meds to prep the body. These meds include estrogen and progesterone (and others I am blanking on) in form of shots, pills, patches, and vaginal suppositories. Yes, vaginal suppositories. Your mix and amount of these will vary and change throughout the month and let me just say this because I really don’t think any men are here……stock up on panty liners, hell stock up on pads – trust me, it’s not cute. For the shots, they are in your bum and for me personally didn’t hurt too bad but everyone is different!
You start these meds a few weeks leading up to the transfer and continue them until 10 weeks pregnant. Now for the actual transfer, it is WILD. At our clinic, they rolled in an incubator that had a petri dish with the embryo for us to look at, it was again, WILD. The Dr. picks it up with some tool and you watch on the screen as he pops it into your uterus. The entire thing took I want to say 15 minutes and then you go home and wait. That is when for me, it got weird. Did it work? Am I pregnant? They have you wait about a week before coming in for a blood test to see if the transfer stuck and if you are indeed pregnant. In that time, some people do take an at-home test, but I did not…despite by every-other-day asking Mike if I could. It starts to eat at you but (in my opinion) there is no win in doing so, the possibility of it being negative but in fact, it’s just too early is high, and then if it says yes but between then and the blood test something could happen…so I wouldn’t. On the day of the blood test, we really thought they would call on the earlier side of the day so Mike worked from home and of course they did not call until 3ish but the news was good, I was pregnant!!!! Here is the lowdown on the schedule from there:
November 29th: Transfer
December 8th: Blood Pregnancy Test
December 12th: Blood Work (make sure everything is trending where it should)
December 28th: First Ultrasound (around 6-7 weeks pregnant)
January 4th: Ultrasound (I had subchorionic hemorrhages, they are what I like to call little bruises from the implantation that do not affect the pregnancy at all but the pockets of blood do release which is alarming. They are fairly common but this ultrasound was an extra one as I was nervous about them)
January 12th: Graduation from IVF clinic at 9 weeks! You have a final ultrasound with the Dr. and they send you off to begin routine care with your OB.
After “graduation” we went and got ice cream and ran into the OB who did my second surgery which was kismet and was amazing to tell her the good news!
That was a lot of information but I hope informative and helpful for those interested! Let me know if I forgot anything or if there are questions…you know I am an open book!!
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Who Needs Tubes?!
So my last, and first post about our journey to become parents ended with these points: I had one tube removed in March and the other doesn’t look great but we’re gonna test it and you don’t even need tubes to do IVF so it’s OK if I have to get the other removed.
Now fast forward to June. I got the HSG test on the first which showed that my left tube was not in working condition. We knew these results were a huge possibility so there wasn’t much shock there. I got an apt on the books with my IVF Dr. to discuss next steps (if it should be removed or not) later in the month and began packing for my 10 day east coast trip in the middle of the month. The plan was to start in New York for a friend from colleges wedding then visit my in-laws in CT during the week and then go visit a friend in New Jersey for the weekend. This was all kicking off on a Thursday and the Wednesday night before Mike and I went to dinner and I had 2 cocktails. 2. That night I woke up and felt like it was freshman year of college and I had just gone to my first date party….aka rough. The next morning I felt hungover and flu-ish which was odd considering I had 2 drinks – not hangover worthy. I thought maybe I had a stomach bug or just ate something that wasn’t sitting right (had negative covid tests) and that I could make it to NY and sleep it off on the plane…..lol. I was at the airport just long enough for Mike to get home and play 1 video game before I called and said “I am changing my flight to tomorrow, please come get me!” Again, no big deal – I would take the Friday flight and it would all be fine.
Jokes on me. That night along with the flu-ish symptoms I got terrible lower abdominal pain and was up the entire night. Around 5am I woke up Mike and we decided to go to the ER – I knew in my gut something wasn’t right and I was right. We beat the morning rush and were quickly admitted and the tests began. All of the symptoms turned out to be from an infection in my lone tube. My Dr. believes the infection was caused by bacteria that got in the tube during the HSG test, but because the tube was closed off it stayed in there versus moving through and my body naturally killing it off. Once there was a plan in place, she even sweetly laughed and said “ok enough weird medical issues with your tubes, you’re done and I don’t want you back here unless it’s to have a baby”.
5 nights and 5.5 days in the hospital later I was discharged. In that time I was on antibiotics online to bring down the infection, cried a lot, became besties with nurses, watched a lot of TV, made a morphine fueled Tik Tok and had my left tube removed. The two big silver linings? My IVF Dr. wanted me to have the tube removed anyways (just maybe not in this dramatic fashion) and post-surgery, by the grace of god, we were placed on the nicest floor of the building. Our IVF Dr. was thrilled to hear the tube was removed because it meant in a month, once I am fully healed, we are going to begin the 3-month IVF process!!!!!! Not gonna lie, it is a weird feeling knowing my body no longer has the “parts” to get pregnant naturally but I know that will dissipate once I am carrying!
Moral of the story – LISTEN to your body, you know it best. Oh and, don’t get on the flight. But truly, I cannot believe I almost got on the flight, like got it changed 20 minutes before boarding began. If this had gone down in New York, in my poor friends apartment….OY is all I can type.
Hopefully my next blog post is about hormones and shots!
p.s if you’re wondering how Mike was…. snoring and sleeping away, unphased by the 2am and 4am nurse check-ins and blood draws.
Infertility Awareness Week
It has been a minute since I have even been on this website but I have been having the itch to share / write down what has happened in the last few months. And I still can’t decide if this is premature or too much but with everything, I have no chill so here I am.
The start to me and Mike’s journey to trying to become parents has had a rocky start. In December 2021 I found out I got pregnant on my IUD (insane I know, my doctor was shook but I hope I’m not scaring anyone), it didn’t stick (we think I was around 4 weeks) but it made us realize we were ready to start trying.
Soon there after, in March 2022, I got pregnant again and was so excited! At week 7 I had what we thought was a miscarriage, Mike was out of town (he never is) and it was an incredibly hard week but I was so thankful I had told a few friends who were able to be there for me. That Friday, I went to dry bar for a pick me up and left rushed in terrible pain. After talking to my Dr. I had a friend take me to the ER and my mom met me there. Hours upon hours later I was admitted to the hospital with a plan to have exploratory surgery in the morning because something was not normal . Thankfully Mike arrived the next morning right after I was out of surgery – a surgery that ended up being more than exploratory. While in that yellow dry bar chair trying to get my groove back, a ectopic pregnancy and a small cyst both burst 🤯 and they had to remove 1 of my fallopian tubes and the other 1 didn’t look so hot. Even reading that back is wild and honestly comical – after grieving the miscarriage I was getting some energy back and was trying to feel myself again and BAM I am one tube down and in pain. Also, clearly I am a ‘if you don’t laugh you’ll cry’ type person and am OK which is why I am able to share and say this with a bit of humor.
The thing keeping me from crying or worrying an exorbitant amount? Reading all the amazing infertility week stories of successful IVF babies. We are starting the next chapter of this journey next month and are feeling excited and hopeful.
Say hello back to the blog because I’ll be sharing the journey here. How many times have I said journey 🤦🏼♀️.
Oh wait, one last thing. There is a lot of stigma / conversation around telling people before 12 weeks that you are pregnant and I get it, I do but I also know I could not have gotten through the IUD pregnancy or everything in March without my girlfriends. I am [clearly] a sharer and so sharing the news is what felt most natural to me. So with all of that said and done, if you feel the desire to share with your people, share!