A Letter From Our Egg Donor. 7.27.17

This needs little introduction. This is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me. This process has been awful, but the woman that we so luckily, fatefully, and stressfully chose to be our egg donor, is amazing.

Below is a letter that we received from our fertility clinic. They do not encourage egg donors to reach out to their egg counterparts, but they will allow it if it happens. We feel so lucky to have received this letter. Honestly, it makes me feel so much more secure in my choice because this is something I would do. The description of herself that the donor provides sounds more and more like me, and I feel good knowing that these genes are helping to create my child. Read it! You won’t regret it. And share it, it’s beautiful.

“To the New Family,

Maybe writing you a letter is not typical of this experience, but then, I’ve never been one to follow the norm. J I want you to know that I am SO excited that I get to be a small part of your lives for this one moment. Although I think of both of you all the time, I have found that through this process I feel the most connection with the future (or maybe already!) mom. So, it is to you that I write now, grateful that you trusted me to give you this incredible gift. I promise I did everything in my power to make sure these little baby eggs were as perfect as they could possibly be for you, and I know you can’t wait to see the fruit of that effort turn into your perfect little baby girl or boy!

In just a few days now you are going to be a mother, and I will have the lifelong honor of knowing that I was able to be a part of making that happen for you. That thought has been on my mind ever since I first received the phone call telling me that somewhere out there a couple had chosen me to help them fulfill their dream of becoming parents. In some ways, I still can’t fully believe that I get to do this, that I get to be the reason you are able to be a mom!

Years ago, I had friends who found difficulty in conceiving a child together. As I read her words in her blog, seeing the struggle of her heart as she so desperately wanted to be able to bring a child into her world, my own world was changed. At the time, I had no idea that one day life would bring me to the other side of her struggle, but when I think about this entire process I picture her struggle when I think of you. Though you likely have not taken every step she did and you are a very different person, I know in my heart that you, like her, are meant to be a mother. This child is meant to be yours. I don’t believe in fate, but I do believe that this small piece of me was always meant to be a piece of you. Next week I won’t be losing anything, but finally giving you what was rightfully yours.

When I think of the future this beautiful baby will have with your family, I can only feel that he is so lucky to have parents who wanted him so much. To know what you did, what you sacrificed, how hard you prayed for her, will only be the tip of the iceberg in realizing just how much she is loved. If there is just one thing I would tell him, one thing I want her to know, it’s that you, his mother, could never love him more and that no other person on this earth besides you will ever love her the same. To have you in his life means that he already has the best gift the world could possibly bring to her. That little baby is so blessed.

I know that you have my entire medical history. You’ve seen pictures of me as a small child. You know the color of my hair and eyes and skin. Maybe any more information about who I am doesn’t really matter, but I do want to share just a little bit of me with you. I am a bookworm. I love to read and I love to learn. I excel in science and English, but find little interest in math or history, though I still always manage to get that all-important A! J I adore music and I listen to everything from classic rock to electronic to folksy acoustic music. I like to stay active. I run and hike and twist myself into knots during yoga classes. I love to laugh and find so much happiness and joy in the simple things in my life. Most importantly, I cherish the people I love and would do anything for them.

I wish for you and your new family a lifetime of laughter, of cuddles and kisses and happiness. I know you look forward to so many firsts for this sweet baby that you’re going to have soon, and I know that you will cherish every one of those moments more because of what you’ve been through to bring your child into the world. I hope you know that whenever you cross my mind, I will think of each of you with so much love and excitement for the future that you have together. Your family is such a beautiful one and I am eternally grateful to be able to help you make these moments a reality.

With so much love,

Me”

I’m in tears again.

Xoxo,

Sara

Your life doesn’t have to revolve around your infertility. 7.13.17

But who are we kidding? It kind of does. Especially when you’re on devil drugs and your body kind of hates you and everything hurts. Oh and people with brand new babies are pregnant again. And maybe they had trouble too?! But you can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

Back to the original topic. As powerful, painful, time-consuming, and life-consuming infertility is…it’s not your life. It’s not forever. You will find your family or you will find your new dream (like a farmhouse with a donkey, goats, chickens, and 10 acres…yeah, we’ve thought about it). Eventually the struggle of the inbetween will just be a gross memory.

I have to say, though, infertility is one of those things that you can’t truly understand until you’re in the thick of it. Trust me when I say that you can’t even understand it when you’re walking into it. Over four months in and the game changes constantly.

But what about all of the other great things you get to do? What about your wonderful husband, friends, dogs, mountains, beautiful summer days? I’m trying so hard these days to focus on the positives, and I recognize that I shouldn’t stay focused on the shit storm that is IVF, but it’s very hard to pull away.

I’ve been on Lupron (supression injection) since 7/2. I feel horrible. I’m having body aches, headaches, weird cramps, bad moods. This is WAY worse than last time. The body aches are the most surprising and most painful. My joints even ache. What is so different?! My body seems mad. I didn’t choose this, I can’t control it, can’t this just be over?

We got a call today that after some additional blood work this morning, it turns out that my lazy ovary from our last cycle decided to ovulate. Less than 10% of patients ovulate while on supression meds. How come you had to over acheive this time, righty? Totally unexpected and unwelcomed. The estrogen that I’m taking won’t do it’s job at this stage in my cycle. My uterus cannot be properly prepped for a transfer now. So the phone call came with the instructions to stop all meds, put them aside, and wait on my period. It should take 18-20 days to come on, and with cycle day one, I will once again start birth control. 7-10 days of those devil pills, and then back to the Lupron injections. I’m telling myself that this break will be beneficial. I will take a mini-vacay, try to relax, get in some work outs…and hopefully start back up in a great place mentally and physically.

Maybe this is the best route? But it’s switching our plan from a fresh transfer to a frozen transfer and we don’t love that. Our donor will continue her meds and her egg retreival should happen in about two weeks. We will get continuous updates on that, and then once I am back on my period, we will get a new calendar to determine our transfer date.

Delays suck. Unexpected results suck. Drugs suck. Being infertile sucks. I just want my baby and I just want to move on. But hopefully this is what’s supposed to be happening and the next few months will bring the great news we’ve been so impatiently waiting for…

Chicago

Took this on our plane ride to Chicago last weekend. I think it’s a nice reminder that there are many other things to be thankful for and many other things happening, other than our time of suckiness.

Xoxo,

Sara

 

How to Suck Less at Being Fertile. 6.23.17

WHEW. Hey June, bye June! Where has the month gone? Half of the year has flown by and I feel like I can personally attribute most of that to infertility. My brain, my life, my decisions have just revolved around a calendar of periods, drugs, donors, dates. Trying to travel, work, go to weddings, all while trying to just MAKE A BABY. 2017 will be one for the books.

But I digress. We have updates! First, I’ve been trying to suck less at being fertile by going to acupuncture every week and I’ve started Chinese herbs. Or I could also refer to them as liquid-shits. Not only do they taste and smell like it, but they give them to me too! TMI? 😉

Recently, one more herb has been added, but I rotate through these as I move through my monthly cycle. They’re not great 🙂

Why am I putting all of this effort into being fertile if we’ve decided to use donor eggs? I don’t even know. But I do know that acupuncture can help me to maintain a pregnancy and reduce stress. And my life has been FULL of stress. So I’ll do it! I have to admit though, I’m not as focused on these practices as I should be. I sometimes think that my brain is forcing me to rebel on some of the rules of “how to not suck so much at being fertile” because of our next round of IVF being donor eggs. I honestly just am not committed to giving up ALL caffeine, alcohol, sweets, keeping my heart rate under 140bpm (that’s hard to do when you’re trying to race your husband on the elliptical). Does that make me a bad momma-to-be? I don’t think so. Life is all about balance.

Infertility SUCKS and if I’m going to survive it, I’m not going to try too hard to not be good at it. Are you following? 🙂

I’ve also had the pleasure of squeezing, loving, hugging, possibly-torturing my first nephew who’s here for the summer.

Sara and Felix

I don’t care how much he might drool, spit up, cry, scream…it feels too good to just hold him. He’s so alert, lively, seriously gorgeous, and has the best rolls. I need a baby.

Latest update would also be that we did a genetic screening panel on Dawson to make sure that he is compatible with our donor and that he doesn’t carry anything scary. He came back as a positive carrier for a few conditions, but really nothing to worry about. And we can use our donor!

I started my period and get to start the wonderful birth control today. I HATE YOU BC. I get acne, I get irritable, I feel fat. This is such a not fun part of infertility, another reason to rebel. But this WILL be my last go at birth control…and fertility treatment!

I heard that our donor has not started her period. So that’s good! It means that hopefully we can sync up on this cycle and do our transfer with the next cycle. That means, fewer days to a positive pregnancy test.

Oh hey, a pregnant lady just walked past my window, how’d you make that baby, lady?? This is a question that I find myself wanting to ask of strangers. I never will! But sometimes it’s nice to find out that you’re not the only one fighting this battle.

So…wanna suck less at being fertile? Try new things. Accept your circumstances. Whine when you need to. Count your blessings when you can. And rebel a little. You won’t regret it.

Xoxo,

Sara

I thought IVF was scary. 6.7.17

I thought IVF was scary.

There are many emotions you experience when looking back on the fact that months of physical, mental, and financial effort failed you. Straight up FAILED. YOU. That’s the whole truth (and remember, YOU didn’t fail). You saved up money, you read lots and lots of information, you got lots and lots of things pushed into your vagina, and you experienced so many feelings…only to fail.

So now, as I’m looking back on the process of IVF, I’m thinking “I thought I was scared then”. I’m so scared now. The feelings of the unknowns and the what-ifs, and the sadness that IVF did not work, are all outweighed by all of the things that I’m scared of.

I’m scared of making the next decision because no matter how we look at it, it will shape our entire future. There are two things I know to be true: 1) making this decision is just a small step in the baby-making process, but 2) it will determine our future.

If we choose to proceed with IVF with my eggs, we are bringing onto ourselves another month of stress, pain, and very little chance of success.

If we choose to proceed with IVF with donor eggs, I have to let go of my genetics. I have to mourn the loss of what a Dawson + Sara baby could’ve been, and choose to explore what a 50% Dawson + 4392498% loved, nurtured, and carried by Sara baby will be (and of course, loved and nurtured by Dawson).

I’ve pored and pored and stressed and stressed and cried over this decision so many times. Dawson has given me my space and been there to support me when I’ve cried. He’s made his preference known, but in the most respectful, kind way.

After weeks of stress-induced acid reflux, a heavy heart so heavy that my chest hurts, distraction, and a few low points…I can take a step back and look at the big picture and realize “We went into this wanting to make a baby, so let’s make a baby”.

I can’t do IVF and fail again. I can’t do it again and know that doing it with my eggs could very well mean we’ll be doing it again in another year. I might look, seem, and sound strong throughout this process, but I am beaten up. I have so much respect for those women who have made it through numerous rounds of IVF.

I want a baby, I want to move on and raise a baby with the coolest husband around. I want to carry Dawson’s baby and I’m going to do just that…with donor eggs.

Hey egg mama (I’ve decided she’s the egg mama, I’m the baby mama). Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your body, your time, and I’m sure a little of your sanity too to give me what it is I want so, so badly.

Commence “babies, babies, babies” round 2!

Baby Momma Shopping_LI

Egg mama shopping…you guys like my professional editing job of blurring personal info? 😉

Xoxo,

Sara

White. Effing. Folders. 5.18.17

We have…too…many.

preg

As insignificant as it may seem, each of these folders represents a time that we made a visit to the fertility clinic and our plans changed. The first visit…when we learned how much harder conceiving our own biological children would actually be. The third visit…when we were given contracts, instructions, pricing, INFORMATION OVERLOAD on IVF and what it all means. The day of the retrieval when we were sent home with new medication instructions and rules of what to do and what not to do. Then there’s today, the newest white folder with information and options on what we should do next. Information on acupuncture, egg donors, a 13 page egg donor recipient agreement, a profile page to fill out of what we would want in an egg donor….literally choosing “career, marital status, child status….freckles? Rosy-complexion? Curly hair? Some high school? Professional degree?”. Blerg. Is there a box to check for 50% me and 50% Dawson?

We haven’t decided to use an egg donor. We haven’t decided ANYTHING. And while this new information is sort of overwhelming, I think we also feel excited over new possibilities. Crossing the “sorry, you’re not pregnant” hump into the “where do we go now?” hump. I think the obvious choice is taking our time. My body might be a ticking biological clock, but it won’t do me any good to rush into any thing.

But I must admit how super effing weird it is to think that I might not ever have a child that is actually made up of my biological matter. That I might have to choose someone to mix up with my (truly) perfect husband. That one day I might carry that child and then try to figure out how to explain to them what a miracle/cluster-you-know-what their creation really was.

IVF is hard and every decision feels like it’s the hardest one yet, but woe is me, what is life? Our doctor told us today that all of his patients felt like they were making the hardest decision of their lifetime when they decided to use an egg donor, but now, looking back…it got them to where they wanted to be. It got them to the role of parents and holding a baby in their arms. And isn’t that what we came for?

Xoxo,

Sara

 

I’ve Been Sadder than This. 5.10.17

My first IVF-induced panic attack came from all of the rolling thoughts in my head while saying to myself “I don’t know what I’m going to do if this doesn’t work”. And you don’t know. There’s no way to know what your reaction is going to be.

We were told on April 28th that our IVF procedure did not work. We were not pregnant. We weren’t shocked. We knew that there were only two possible outcomes…pregnant or not. It sucked more than anything else has ever sucked when we found out we were not, but I’ve been sadder.

I was sadder when the idea of cancelling or delaying our IVF round was brought up halfway through my STIM shots. Dawson was sadder when we were told that, I too, had reproductive issues. That sadness was one that consumed me on those days, crushed me a bit, and made me unable to focus on literally anything else. But on the day of the news that our $18,000, months of effort, and such precisely scientific impregnation process had failed, we felt this weird wave of calmness. A sort of “okay, it’s over”. Not over indefinitely, not our last shot, not the last time we’re going to try…but these few months of what really could’ve been some of the hardest things we’ve ever done, were over. That was it and we had our answer. And we were going on vacation.

Maybe it’s wrong of me to admit, but having the weight of the looming day of the pregnancy test off of our shoulders was huge. I was really looking forward to a drink, coffee without guilt, and working out again. Taking the two week wait off from the gym was pretty awful (and never in my life would I think I’d say that).

Dawson and I had a five hour road trip ahead of us to get to the beach for a week; it couldn’t have been better timed (and it was not intentional). We were able to speak so freely in those five hours about what we could do next. We didn’t stress, we just discussed. We have one more vial of sperm, maybe we do IVF again? Maybe we move straight to adoption? Maybe…we buy a farm and never have kids and instead have the house that everyone wants to visit! We spoil their kids, bond with their kids, and send them back home when we’re ready to be just us again. We didn’t make any final decisions, but it felt really good to talk about all of these things with my husband. I have the best husband.

I won’t forget the day that followed the pregnancy test, though. I felt a way that I can’t describe all that well and that I’ve never felt before. Throughout the whole day, I was functioning, but I cried whenever and wherever. Literally. We went to dinner at our favorite BBQ place, just the two of us, and I started crying into my smoked turkey. Why? I don’t know. No…turkey doesn’t remind me of the babies that never were. I was just overcome with a sadness. I was heartbroken. I think we’re still a little heartbroken.

I told Dawson in the moments shortly after the dreaded phone call that I felt silly. An emotion I didn’t expect. That I felt like we had just been through this HUGE THING that lead to nothing. And many people were going to find out. But of course, he assured me that this was what we had to do. Never would we have dreamed of not doing it. And I felt better.

I want babies. Lots of babies. Lots of little Dawson/Sara babies. I want them now, I want them yesterday, I want them as soon as possible. But I’m back to my normal routine, I’m going to start some new things over the next few weeks, and I’m going to head into these next months of decision-making with the best partner around.

I’ve been sadder than this.

Xoxo,

Sara

thoreau

Two week wait. 4.27.17

TWW, that dreaded acronym. It’s all too familiar to anyone who’s “TTC”…or trying to conceive. Another acronym. Oddly enough, the infertility world is FULL of acronyms. I was at a major loss when I started Googling in the beginning. TWW = two week wait. This is the time from the point of conception to when you should be testing positive for a pregnancy. For me, it’s more like an EDW, or eleven day wait. I will be heading to the doctor tomorrow for my first beta blood test to confirm if I am indeed pregnant or not. I am going in 11 days past my 3 day transfer of 2 embryos…or! 11dp3dt, 11 days past 3 day transfer 🙂 tired of acronyms yet? I kind of hate them.

I came up with some better definitions for the TWW, here we go:

-Tortured while waiting

-Two whiny weeks

-Two wasted weeks (because I can’t think of anything else)

-Terrible waiting weeks

-Terrified while waiting

-Take (me to the) Wine (bar) While Waiting…..ok, it’s a stretch but I could REALLY USE SOME WINE RIGHT NOW.

I think this sums it up:

Infertility Sucks

As seen in my doctor’s office when I went to pick up some drugs yesterday. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and take a picture. I’m not sure if the girl who was sitting directly to my right appreciated my laugh, but it was much needed.

That’s another topic, the lack of eye contact and lack of general friendliness that I run into in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. I get it. Not a ONE of us is there for any good reason (well, unless you’re back for your second beta after a positive test, that’s AWESOME), but couldn’t we at least smile at each other…? Infertility is weird.

I’ve been quite distracted today by work and volunteering, so I’m happy to see it’s almost 5pm. We’ve got a doggy obedience class tonight that will take up most of our evening, so yay for more distractions! But then I have to attempt to sleep. And wake up early for a big volunteer/networking event where I’m just going to have the nervous sweats for 3 hours because I’m heading to the doctor straight after for my test. And the nervous sweats are the worst kind of sweats, amiright?

LAWD. Here’s to getting this TWW over. Either way, we’re heading to the beach for a week on Sunday, and I couldn’t think of a better time for a vacation…

Xoxo,

Sara

Lazy Ovaries. 4.25.17

Or in medical talk- Diminished Ovarian Reserve. That’s me now. The DOR girl. So as I suffer through the TWW (two week wait), let’s explore my problems! 🙂

I’ve never been labeled with any kind of disease. Sure, I had appendicitis in 7th grade and I thought I was super cool because my chubby belly button looked like I had had it pierced thanks to my new scars!! But I’ve never been sick, hindered, different…just chubby.

So here I sit with a new label that means my lady parts are aging faster than me. According to my doctor, I will most likely go through menopause in my 40’s. Dawson and I both had the same thought- saving money on tampons! Whoop whoop! But it’s hard to understand how this can be me.

I have always had regular periods. I have never missed one, skipped one, nothing. I distinctly remember starting my period in 6th grade and my best friend saying “maybe you popped your cherry when we were riding bikes?!”. Oh, shout out to you most knowledgeable BFF, you know who you are 😉

I remember instantly feeling like I was becoming a woman. Seriously. That day I baked brownies, read a book, became more solemn in my disposal. WTF.

So now here I am, my lady parts failing me. WHY, OVARIES? My doctor says some women are born with fewer eggs, and some just have a faster rate of losing their eggs (also know as the oocytes in the follicles in your ovaries where just one wins the ovulation race and pops out for baby making). DOR can also be caused by other diseases or damage done to the ovaries (endometriosis, tumors, autoimmune disorders)…really the things you can read about it are kind of scary. But none of these things have ever happened to me. I was on very low dose birth control for about 5 years, and off for another 5 years before getting to the IVF process. The problem with DOR is that women with this issue are typically poor responders to IVF drugs. So is it even worth it?! The stress, the money, the time….well, we decided yes.

So what can you do? Many of my friends have expressed concern of what will happen when they try to start a family in the future- “I know you and so many other friends who have struggled, how can I know if I will too?!”. A first step would be a transvaginal ultrasound during the first few days of your cycle, the doctor counts the resting or “antral” follicles within your ovaries. 8-9 is a good count that means you are most likely normal! Yay you! Another option is FSH testing, this is testing your levels of the follicle stimulating hormone. This involves blood testing. Low levels are good levels. My DOR was determined through one ultrasound and a blood test that revealed very low levels of AMH, or Anti-Müllerian Hormone. The AMH test helps to determine approximately how many eggs a woman might have left. A normal level would be 1-3.5, anything under is bad, anything over can also be bad (signs of PCOS). Mine was .7.

What perturbed me was that when my tests came back, my doctor didn’t explain that this could all be a sign of me being a poor responder to the IVF drugs. He did say that I would be on the highest protocol of the drugs (though I did 4 days on a lower dosage, and was then upped) and that we would probably not have any embryos left over to freeze after treatment. He was right! But his reassurance was that age is, above all, the number one factor for success. 27 year old eggs are going to be of better quality than 35+ year old eggs. But there’s no way to know until they are used.

The conundrum then is…if this round does not work, time is of the essence for me. Every month means fewer and fewer possible eggs for me produce. But ya’ll, IVF is expensive and hard…and can you really do it again knowing what happened the first go-round? I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

Baby countdown chain

My “babies, babies, babies” countdown chain I made post-transfer. It’s much shorter now!! Three days to go.

Xoxo,

Sara

P.U.P.O. 4.19.17

Also known as, pregnant until proven otherwise! Meh. I’m not sure how to feel about that label. But according to the world of IVF, this is me. We will know for sure on 4/28.

I’ve struggled to put my thoughts to keyboard over the past few days. I guess the easiest, most natural next post would be to sum up our last few days of living in the IVF twilight zone.

Friday the 14th we went in for our egg retrieval. Piece. Of. Cake. I really barely felt like anything happened, to sum up the day.

Tip: schedule the retrieval for as early as possible, so the lack of food and water doesn’t turn you into a hangry patient. This was very helpful! You are not allowed to have anything up to the retrieval because you are given light anesthesia. The worst part of the day was the blood work really, which I should be used to at this point. But it was a new-to-me-nurse and boy did she sloooooooooooowly inch that needle into my arm…it should be like a dart, lady! Like a dart!

So then they moved me on to anesthesia, where the small needle in my hand was uncomfortable, but eventually unnoticeable. I was rolled into a teeny operating room in the fertility clinic that had a back door that led to the lab where all the embabies are kept! Fertility speak for fertilized embryos. They threw my legs up into some SUPER comfortable stirrups (can’t say I ever thought I’d type that sentence) and slid the oxygen cannula into my nose. A few deep breaths, and the next thing I knew, I was back in my chair, behind my curtain…BAWLING. I heard the nurse say “oh this is a very normal reaction to anesthesia!” But I was in a couldn’t-see-through-my-soaking-wet-eyelashes, couldn’t-catch-a-breath, hysterically bawling state. I’m sure everyone thought “she must be so emotional from the retrieval!!” WRONG. I was taken over by the anesthesia monsters. So they went to get Dawson and I remember telling the lady, through gasps for air, “you…can’t…miss…him. He’s the one with the big mustache!”. Thank you hipster, well-groomed, handlebar mustache.

Dawson says the nurse warned him that I was a little weepy, but as he pulled back the curtain, he found me with a blanket over my face still crying. Shortly after, I tried to pull off my blood work bandage and flung it across the room, so then the crying turned into a laughing fit! But that was the bulk of what I remember that day. I went home, slept, slept some more, boom…retrieval done.

Numbers: we got 4 eggs, 3 mature, 2 fertilized. The embryologist called us by 7:30am the next day with the results. We were very thankful that we didn’t have to wait all day, impatiently, for the news. The news wasn’t great, but it was what we expected, and you only need one right???

Fast forward to Monday the 17th, it was transfer time. IVF transfer days differ based on the patient. Most clinics will do a 3 day or 5 day transfer. Making it to day 5 is great because at that point, the embryos are fully formed “blastocysts” that can be graded and the quality is better known. But it’s impossible to say that a day 5 transfer is best. Our doctor recommended a day 3 transfer because we really weren’t working with much, and what was the point in keeping the embryos away from their natural habitat? With only 2 to use, the idea is that they might have better potential for survival and flourishing back in the uterus. So we made it to transfer day, with these two embryos coming home with me:

Embabies.jpg

A 5-cell and a 6-cell, both grade 2 of 5 (5 being the worst). We say you can already tell which child is the better one…the smooth, put-together guy below. Dawson says the top one is a boy because the dark blur is either his penis…or a mustache.

Transfer day was far more uncomfortable than anything else that we’ve done so far. That’s not to say that it was painful, but it wasn’t fun. You have to go in with a “full bladder” so that your bladder is pushing up your uterus and giving the doc a better view of where to put the embryos. I didn’t want to be the girl who had to chug water on the table half-naked, so I had a FULL. BLADDER. To the point that I was struggling to walk while also being high on Valium and Feldene. Those went to my head very quickly, hit me more than the anesthesia on retrieval day.

So the nurse was pushing on my bladder to do an ultrasound and see that everyone was in place. YUCK. That sucked. Then the doctor came in and started opening everybody up, and that movement at least relieved the pressure of having to pee. The cleaning of the cervix and the catheter used to transfer the embryos weren’t bad, but I would compare it to a pap smear that was taking too long and an inexperienced doctor did the smear. Meh, we make it through!

Dawson got to sit in on the procedure and we both laughed at the formality between the doctor and the embryologist (of course this is necessary, but it gave us a giggle). The doctor yells out “READY!” and you hear the embryologist from the embabies cave yell “LOADING FOR SARA, LOADED, COMING IN”…SWOOP, embryos back in me. Just like that.

Best part, the doctor used a catheter to drain my bladder and it’s really hard to remember a time that I’ve been that happy…

So now we wait. For 12 days. Some say the two week wait (TWW) is the hardest part, I do think that could be true, but there is some relief in the fact that I’m back to a normal routine. No shots, no doctors appointments, just back to “normal”. That part feels really good. I am taking estrogen twice a day and progesterone supplements twice a day to prepare my uterus for a successful pregnancy. I paid a little more for the progesterone vaginal gel (you just pop it up there like a tampon) and I think that has been more than worth it. Sure, I feel a little gooey, but not having the mental pressure of a butt shot every night is a nice relief.

A friend asked me if I had a “gut feeling” about how the transfer went. I am a very “gut-feeling” kind of person, but I can honestly say…I have no feelings. I feel the only thing I can do right now is sit and wait. I am trying so hard to not over-analyze the daily cramps and feelings like I’m about to start my period, that it seems easier to just not think about the embryos inside of me. There’s nothing I want more than for them to continue growing into babies, and I’m confident in preparing for a pregnancy, but not knowing….it’s a mind-f**k 🙂

Luckily, we leave tomorrow to go to a friend’s wedding at the beach. This will be the best possible distraction. Then the following week, leading up to our pregnancy test, is extremely busy for me with work/volunteer events. I will say that you don’t have to go out to dinner every night, go to a movie, or get your nails done to distract yourself. You will NOT be fully distracted during this wait. Pushing through IVF is like struggling to make each day work with a heavy, shifting weight on top of you. Each step and each day lightens the load bit by bit. But you won’t feel a full relief until the end result is achieved.

I’m trying not to go to the place of “what if this didn’t work”? And that’s leaving me in a twilight zone. Floating through each day, somewhat distracted, somewhat happy, trying to remain positive. Every step of this process has been so different emotionally. But…what else is there to do but wait?

Xoxo,

Sara

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