Number 3, Ranger.

Getting right to the point, Ranger is onboard. Yesterday, we had our transfer and honestly, I don’t think that anything could have gone any better for us.

Let’s talk about the build up to this transfer. After our failed fresh cycle of the two embryos, I decided I wanted to research and make some changes. Several studies have shown that acupuncture is linked with successful transfers and after talking with our nurse and with her referral, I started acupuncture. My treatments were 3 times a week for about 4 weeks up until transfer. The acupuncture is supposed to help with blood flow to your lady bits, which in return, helps with implantation and having a sticky thick lining. It also just feels amazing and it was a nice, stress-free break from reality for 30 minutes 3 times a week. I definitely thought acupuncture was a bunch of mumbo jumbo until I started, now I would recommend it for anyone.

When we received our calendar this time, a number caught my eye right away. Our baseline appointment was on July 3rd, our transfer of our 3rd embryo (Ranger) which was graded 3AB was on July 13, if successful our due date would be March 31st and Ranger would turn us into a party of 3. Now I’m not big into superstitions, but I am sure hoping that the number 3 is our lucky number.

This transfer I have played along with a lot of old wives tales. I’ve drank Pomegranate juice (which I actually love) everyday, I had McDonald’s French fries right afterwards, AJ cut me up a fresh pineapple and I have divided the core into 5 days worth and I’ve also worn socks since after our transfer (and I hate socks) because they say keeping your feet warm, keeps your uterus warm. It’s kind of been fun to participate in all of these old wives tales so we will see how true they hold up in a few weeks.

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I wanted to leave this picture a little bit bigger so that you could see the fetus outline I mention below on the right side of Ranger.

So what about Ranger and our transfer? Right when we got into the room yesterday the first thing the nurse said was that our embryo looked really good which was a HUGE relief right off the bat. Once we got to really looking at our embryo, you can tell that it has started hatching at the bottom and hopefully has continued after transfer. Hatching is a really good sign and needs to happen for a successful implantation. The most amazing thing about Ranger is that if you look closely at the embryo, on the right side there is an outline of what looks like a little fetus to me (AJ thinks it looks like a dog but I’m just marking that up to him being a guy ;)). I simply can’t get over Ranger or that little fetus outline, it has made my heart so happy.

I have spent the majority of my time in the last few weeks bending God’s ear about Ranger. I’ve been praying cooking dinner, laying down before bed, in the shower, in the car driving, and I spent my entire acupuncture appointment on Thursday praying. I know that he has heard all of these prayers and I know that whatever the outcome is, that it was His plan. All of my faith is in His hands and I know that He will show us His grace whether it’s in a tiny little face or whether it’s by gracing us with all the strength and support that we need.

Please send good vibes our way. Please include a little prayer for us while you’re talking to God. We can still use all of them. We have been blessed thus far with the enormous amount of support and love that we have been shown and couldn’t have made it through without it.

Guilty

Since starting our infertility journey I have felt and dealt with an enormous amount of guilt. This isn’t just guilt over the fact that we are going through all of this because of my blocked tubes, but guilt over everyday life, over normal everyday activities. Now I find myself thinking twice or three times before coming to a decision that normally, I would have made in split second if we weren’t on this road. I want to share a few with you to give you a glimmer of life on this road.

 

Food, Caffeine & Alcoholic Beverages

This is my biggest guilt. Sushi is one of my favorite foods. After a long day, a nice cold beer sounds great. I almost always need a coffee in the morning or a soda/tea for a pick me up in the afternoons. Watching the Bachelorette on Monday nights, a glass of wine will almost always be accompanying me through the show. When we had our consult for IVF, I cut out all adult beverages almost completely, I started trying to eat like I was already pregnant and I cut out caffeine almost completely. I had a glass of wine here or there and one drink a couple nights before I started stimming, but I never indulged in more than one or even having one beverage more than once per week. I had coffee every so often in the mornings but mostly tried to stay away from it. A few weekends ago, I definitely had a little too much fun at a wedding and guilt flooded me for the next few days. I talked with one of my IVF friends about this and we discussed how it is so unfair that we have to worry about such little things like this. One night of indulging in too much fun isn’t going to ruin my chances. Having two cups of coffee one morning isn’t going to make or break the deal. Having a cold turkey sandwich for lunch isn’t going to ruin my chances of success. If I were ‘normal’ and could conceive on my own, I wouldn’t have thought twice about any of this. People conceive babies after drinking all too often and people drink in their early pregnancies, before they know they are pregnant, every single day (I’m not condoning this, but it does happen), people eat crap day in and day out and still conceive on their own, people who are addicted to energy drinks don’t have any issues either. Since I know when our transfers will be, these types of things create SO much guilt.

 

Doing Too Much

After we found out that our transfer failed last time, I immediately was consumed with guilt. Guilt that this was entirely my fault. Guilt that I went on with life after our transfer as I normally would. There are many studies out there, some say you should do bed rest after your transfer and some say to take it easy the day of but to go back to normal life the next day. The day of our transfer, I took it easy, but I was definitely on my feet for most of the day and went back to work the following. I didn’t slow down during our two-week window. I carried things that I probably shouldn’t have and worked my body too much. I kept wondering, did our transfer fail because I carried that lawn chair? Did our transfer fail because I didn’t go home and take a nap? Did our transfer fail because I’m stubborn and feel the need to carry every grocery sack into the house at once? Did our transfer fail because I like hot showers?  But truth be told, if those embryos were meant to be our babies, they would have cozied up regardless of how I chose to go about the day of our transfer (even though this time, I plan to do the opposite of everything I did last time J ). I knew that to be true, but still the guilt came.

 

Survivor’s Guilt

I am overwhelmed and praying that Ranger will be our baby but at the same time I am so worried about having survivor’s guilt. I don’t know how I can face everyone and be SO happy that we are finally successful in our journey while there are still others out there who are on this road, just starting this road, or their road has had more detours than ours. I know what it’s like to tell you that our transfer failed but I don’t know what it’ll be like or how I’ll feel coming out and telling you all that we are pregnant, God willingly. We haven’t had our next transfer yet and just the thought of becoming pregnant almost makes me feel guilty. I don’t want to ever forget about this journey we are on and I don’t want others to think that I’ve moved on and forgot how hard it was, because I won’t ever forget these moments & the heartbreak we have faced during this journey.

 

Being a ‘lucky one’

I’ve touched on this before, but while scrolling through an IVF page I’m a part of, I can’t help but feel guilt that we have it so ‘easy’ with the coverage we have received from our insurance. There are a lot of couples out there who find out they need IVF and have to put the dream of having a family on hold for a couple years before they are able to afford to have children. We were so lucky that our insurance covered so much and we could start the following month after our consult. I feel so guilty (and thankful/blessed) reading other people’s financial burdens in this process while we have had smooth sailing in that department.

 

Jealousy Guilt

Sometimes I find myself feeling a little bit of jealousy over others being able to conceive so easily. How is it that all it takes for some people is for their husband to look at them and boom, they are pregnant. Why is it that my husband and I are not that lucky? Why is it that we have to live with the burden of infertility? After the jealousy and the questioning comes the guilt. Guilt that I felt jealous over someone else making another life and guilt that I questioned our journey at all. Truth is, I’m not jealous but sometimes when you’re working this hard for something, every once and awhile you just get those feelings of wanting what others have and can have so easily.

 

When you are trying everything you can to have a baby and knowing that this is your only way to conceive, it really consumes your life and your mind. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t lay down at night and question some of the things I did that day and whether it will affect our chances at having a successful cycle. I feel as if I carry so much responsibility with this situation, I’ve told my husband multiple times that I wish he could take a turn at trying to carry a baby. I know that our time will come one way or another and the control is in God’s hands but sometimes you just can’t help but feel the guilt when you are putting your all into having a baby but also trying to live your life until that time comes. It all becomes a balancing act that you feel you can’t ever get just right.

IVF BRAIN

You know how people talk about pregnancy brain well currently I am suffering from IVF brain. It’s a real thing and I’m pretty sure my brain has gone missing.

Last cycle I didn’t really feel like this was a huge issue. There were a couple times I would put something down, walk away and a few seconds later ask my husband what I did with said object and he’d give me a strange look and say “uhhhh, right there?” Ooops, yes, yes honey, that is exactly where I put it, you’re right. *face palm* But really, I never felt super off, I just had some ‘blonde’ moments, if you will.

This cycle though is a completely different story. If I’m being at all honest, I’m impressed that I made it home from my acupuncture (yes, I’m doing acupuncture for Ranger but more on that in a later post) appointment in one piece or that I didn’t get lost en route. Monday I put my frozen meal in the fridge and when I went to look for it at lunchtime, I was extremely frustrated that someone ate my lunch. But then I found it in the fridge, so all was good except for that brain of mine. Today I ran one red light and about ran the other from just being in a fog. I was looking right at the light and still managed to run it.

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I haven’t felt like myself this last week and haven’t quite felt like my body is mine anymore (which when you go through IVF, your body doesn’t feel like yours for the duration because your medical staff is in complete control over it). I feel like I’ve been in a complete fog and everything is a bit hazy. I’ve messaged my husband a few times and asked him when it was his turn to feel this way because I wasn’t sure if I could take it anymore. He always reassures me that I can do it and if he could take a turn, he would in a heartbeat to give me a break. What a man, right? 🙂

We haven’t given many updates this cycle but all in all, it has been a lot kinder to my body than the last was. We have found our peace with our last transfer failing and have chosen to focus on Ranger and our next transfer date (which has been given to us and will share at a later time). If I have to feel like I’m in a constant fog/haze and like my brain has gone out the window 24/7 for Ranger to be our take home baby, then I will do it with no hesitations.

*disclosure: if this sounds like a jumbled mess, I’m blaming IVF brain – HA!*

 

 

 

 

1 in 8

June is World Infertility Awareness month. This is the month for the world to be more aware of infertility and how it could be or could affect those close to them. This is the month to start talking about it.

When we realized something was wrong and we needed to seek out help from medical professionals we vowed to keep it to ourselves. We did not open up about what we were going through. We thought that we needed to keep it a secret from everyone. Friends. Family. Everyone. This worked for about a month then things started getting a little more serious than Clomid and blood tests, we learned about blocked tubes and if we ever wanted to conceive, it’d have to be through IVF. Once we learned this we realized we couldn’t keep this to ourselves any longer, we realized that this situation needed much more support than the two of us could give, it felt like it was so much bigger than us, the mountain was much too tall.

I started blogging but I only did it as therapy, if you will, for myself, we started opening up to friends and our family and once we started opening up, it felt good, SO good. Then we thought, we aren’t the only people to have walked this earth who have been down this road, what if we could choose to be open about our experience and share all of the raw details? What if we choose to share all of our happy moments along with the heartbreaking ones? What if our story could help just one person to not feel so lonely? What if we could give just one person a safe haven to reach out and talk about their story that they have kept in the dark for far too long? So we chose to be transparent with you all and there still has not been a day that we have regretted it.

Through being open and honest we have been shown that we have an army of people behind us, we have been shown support beyond belief, we have been in many people’s thoughts and prayers, strangers have reached out to share their story and I have met some very amazing women who have been through infertility treatments and opened up to me about their experience. These women have been my backbone to get through this. I know that I can be raw and open with them and quite frankly, they understand all of it because they have lived this firsthand. BUT –  What if we hadn’t chosen to be open about our journey? I never would have met these women and we never would have known the immense support and love that we have been shown. This is the situation and reality for many struggling through infertility. It feels like you should be ashamed for not being able to conceive, it feels like it is something that you should not talk openly about, it feels like there is no one else in the entire world who is facing or who has faced the same struggles as you. If there is one word that I could use to describe infertility, it would be ‘lonely’.

But think of this, 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Wow. That sure is a large amount of people. To put it into perspective next time to go to the grocery store, to work, to the gas station or just in your neighborhood, every 8th couple has struggled, will struggle or is struggling with infertility.

If you are struggling with infertility, please know that you are not alone, please know that this does not define you, please know that you will get over this bump that feels like a mountain. If you need someone to talk to, I will be a listening ear. I will be your safe haven because you will need all the support you can get, this is a hurdle but you can and will get over it.

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling, please just reach out to them and let them know that you are in their corner. Let them know that you care about them and are there for a listening ear even if you can’t relate, don’t let them feel alone in this journey.

I am 1 in 8.

Choices

Hi all –  long time, no talk. We’re still here trucking along.

I know we’ve been fairly quiet since letting you all know that our transfer failed, but turns out that some days are still a bit difficult. I still find it hard to spend a lot of time away from my husband as he’s my comfort through all of this and I know I can be an open book and let him know every thought I have at the second it crosses my mind without him thinking I’m a crazy woman (or maybe he does think I’m a little crazy sometimes, but he does a good job of hiding it – Ha!). Sometimes I think we forget that we are on this winding road and our lives feel less heavy and less busy but then something reminds us that we haven’t found our success quite yet and the day becomes a little darker.

A few days ago I was going on and on about our journey to my husband and I asked him how he doesn’t seem as upset and he said that he does get upset but he chooses to focus on what’s to come for us. He chooses not to stress over what has already happened and chooses to remains hopeful that Ranger will be our baby.

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While I still find times that I am struggling and can’t put what I’m feeling into word, I agree whole heartedly with him. What will be, will be. We can’t dwell over what has already come and gone, we’ve already lived it and felt it (and honestly are still feeling it), we must choose to look forward at what our future holds and remain hopeful and full of faith that we will find success in our journey. This road we’re on, like anything in life, is all about choices and frankly the biggest choice we can make right now is whether we are going to remain hopeful and positive or whether we are going to sit and be sad by the cards we have been dealt. Honestly, I still feel upset by our outcome but along with those feelings of hurt I am going to still choose to be hopeful and optimistic and put all of my faith into Ranger.

Someday we will look back and all of this waiting, hurt, anxiousness, stress, and heaviness will all make sense. Someday when we are holding our Baby A in our arms, we will feel so full of love. Everything will feel like it has fallen into place for us and we will be forever grateful for our journey and the things that it has taught us.

Right now our troubles feel so big. It feels like we are climbing mountain after mountain, and I can’t wait for the day that all of this seems so small and just like a little bump in the road because although it doesn’t feel that way now, that’s exactly what it is – a small bump in the road and detour to our destination.

We’re not far out from our transfer of Ranger and even through the dark, he or she is our light and we are so blessed to have that babe to give us another shot.

 

Ranger & a Plan

Let’s not beat around the bush and just cut right to the chase. Unfortunately, we are not pregnant. Our transfer of two beautiful, excellent graded embryos failed. In all honesty (and almost embarrassingly), I never thought that I would be writing a post saying that we are not pregnant. This came as such a shock and surprise to us.

The morning that our beta was scheduled I took a home pregnancy test. This was our plan because I didn’t want to be caught off guard by what the phone call later in the day would tell me. I wanted to be ready for the news we would receive. That home test came back negative as negative can be. Starch white. One line. Where’s the second line? Nonexistent.

I laid in bed and cried to my husband and he kept his optimism. He kept saying we don’t know for sure yet. Your blood test could still come back positive, don’t lose your faith. When I went for my blood test I sat and cried to the lab tech about my negative home test. She was so sad for us and said sometimes the body just rejects the embryo(s) and there’s no reason why. She said sometimes it takes a couple times before your body accepts an embryo.

Later the nurse called and told us what we already knew. Just about ten minutes later, the doctor called. He sounded so defeated. My husband and I felt defeated, but the doctor sounded defeated. He was so shocked that these were our results, he had no rhyme or reason as to why our embryos didn’t stick because everything had gone so perfectly and smoothly. He told us that once my cycle started, we could gear up for the transfer of our last embryo or we could wait. He said whenever we are ready, he is ready. He said that he really believes that our last embryo will be our baby.

Going into this IVF journey my biggest fear was that my body would reject or almost go into ‘shock’ once the embryos were transferred because I have never been pregnant before. Now, we are living and have lived my biggest fear. It’s been a tough, exhausting and very long week but we made it through. We have made it through the darkest of times and now we are ready to face the sun again, put our trust in God and our doctor and transfer our Lone Ranger embryo.

We now refer to our last Lone Ranger embryo as Ranger. Who knows maybe if Ranger sticks and decides to make us a mommy and daddy, we’ll just go ahead and name him or her, Ranger.

This past week I have found it extremely hard to be around anyone other than my husband. It’s hard for others to understand the pain and heartbreak that comes along with this. Technically, we were never pregnant but the embryos were in there and we saw them in there. That is enough in itself to feel like we are parents and enough in itself to make us feel like we lost 2 babies.

This isn’t the end of our story and we will not give up. Giving up is not in our blood and is not an option to either of us. We will see this through. We have made a plan and hopefully God will choose Ranger to be our baby. This is merely a bump in the road and a detour to our destination.

The Two Week Wait

Here we are nearing the end of our two week wait and boy, this was the hardest part of our entire journey. It sounds easy. You go to the doctor for your transfer, have some embabies put inside you and carry on with life, right? Wrong…

Up until now it was constant monitoring. Constant blood work. Constant ultrasounds. Change in meds. Stim injections. Trigger injections. A calendar that became your life and told you everything you needed. The lab techs, the doctor, and the nurses were constantly in communication with you. After your retrieval you get a call the next day letting you know how your embryos are doing then you find out on day 5 how many are still there, then nothing. It’s literally crickets. There’s nobody poking at you, wanding you, calling you and letting you know what to do now or how everything is looking for you. There’s nobody watching your embryos and letting you know how they are doing. It’s just you, your husband and the embabies that you hope have made you a mama.

Some days I feel extremely positive and hopeful that this has worked out for us and at least one of them has cozied up and will soon be our babe. Other days, I feel like our transfer failed and we need to make a plan on what our next step is. This two week wait is a whirlwind and an emotional roller coaster. I feel as if I have done my best to stay as positive and hopeful as I can be, but there are definitely days that my husband has to really bring me back up or the few friends who have been on this winding journey have to remind me to keep having faith.

The thing is that IVF isn’t 100% guarantee that you are going to get your take home baby. I have watched women get pregnant right from the get go every single transfer. I’ve heard others say that it took them multiple retrievals and transfers before they were successful. There’s others out there who have transferred 5 or 6 times and still have nothing to show for it besides the pile of debt they are in. Who am I to say or even think that this will work right away for us and we won’t be one of those people who have to endure multiple transfers before having a child? I sure never thought that infertility would be a word I would use to describe my life, but here I am.

I have to remain hopeful and keep my faith in God that he will bless us. I sure hope that we have our baby a with this transfer but if not, we will be OK and we will keep trying until we have our baby a or a’s. Our story and journey will not be over if we are not successful our first go around. It will just make it that much sweeter when we finally are holding our babe in our arms.

The two week wait sure will put the stress and anxiety on a person. Everyone prepares you for the stims and the appointments and the procedure for egg retrieval and how emotional you’ll become but nobody tells you that the two week wait will be the most taxing and emotionally draining couple weeks of your life.

Embabies On Board

After our retrieval, we were instructed to start PIO (Progesterone In Oil) injections. These are injected with a needle that is an inch and a half deep right into your hip/butt muscle. We have done about 5 nights of these injections. The first night we did it, I laid across my husbands lap with my rear end hanging clear out showing where the nurse had graciously put a giant X in permanent marker on each side where the injections were to go. AJ kept getting ready to give me the shot and I just kept squealing and wiggling around. By the end of it, we both were in tears from laughing so hard. Finally, I calmed down and let it happen. It seriously was not bad at all. I felt the needle go in and then nothing. Since I am also on blood thinners, sometimes I bleed a little after but I also have some gnarly bruises on my hiney from these shots. That’s about the extent of my complaints from PIO. So all in all, really not scary.

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He really is such a good sport.

Yesterday, Monday, was our transfer. We spent our weekend working in the yard, spending time with family, and just enjoying each others company. I also did lots of house work to keep myself from thinking about Monday too much. I didn’t want to obsess over it because I knew it would eventually come and whatever would be was what God had planned. This weekend was the first time since starting this journey that I felt like myself again. My body felt healed and I felt at peace with where we were at in our journey. I felt like I was physically and mentally ready for whatever our future held.

We were quite antsy yesterday morning and ended up showing up to the clinic a half an hour early. We were called back almost right away. We both had to change into some hospital get-up before we could go back into the room where retreivals/transfers take place. Our doctor came in and greeted us and away we went. We learned that only 3 of the 9 fertilized embryos made it to Day 5 Blasts. There was one more that they were letting grow until today to see if it caught up and unfortunately, it did not make it. Our doctor told us that having 3 make it this far is above average and that all of our embryos were a very high grade. He was very pleased with how our cycle had gone thus far and honestly, we both are too.

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For the transfer you have to have a full bladder. So while you have the doctor putting your embryos into your uterus, you also have a nurse pushing on your tummy to show the ultrasound of what is going on inside. It is super uncomfortable but amazing at the same time. They put the embryos on this little thing that almost reminded me of the tool a dentist uses to suck the water out of your mouth during a cleaning (OK, that might be a weird comparison since they couldn’t be going in more different of areas but that’s all I got. Ha!).

We decided to transfer two of our three embryos. As far as I know, I have never been pregnant and I personally felt that if we put two in, we would have a better chance of having at least one baby. If they both take, then we will be over the moon. If only one takes, we will still be over the moon. So, right now I am carrying two of our perfect, beautiful little embryos. I never understood why people called their embryos “perfect” or “beautiful” because literally they are a ball of cells. But, then I saw a picture of ours and all of a sudden, it clicked. They are so perfect and so beautiful and they are our babies.

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Here are our two perfect little embabies that we transferred

My husband would want me to be sure to share with you all that I cried the whole time during the transfer. It was amazing. One of the most beautiful and amazing things I have ever witnessed. I walked in the room a wife, a friend, a co-worker, a daughter, a sister and when I walked out I was a mama. What a crazy moment. I don’t even have the words to tell you what a special, intimate moment our transfer was and how perfect it all went.

The nurse and the doctor kept telling us over and over again how great everything went and how they are in a great place and it went super well. I really hope this isn’t something they say to just anyone, because I completely took it to heart.

In the IVF world after transfer you are considered PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). I used to LOVE this acronym and I couldn’t wait to use it on myself until we transferred. Now, it almost seems like bad juju to go around saying we are PUPO. So, we will settle with saying we have two embabies on board.

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Could potentially be our first photo with our future children 🙂

My world has changed just since yesterday. It is such a weird feeling knowing that these two little embabies are inside me trying to decide whether they want to make themselves at home or not. I have been talking to them and letting them know that it’s perfectly OK to snuggle right in because we are so ready for them and AJ has been rubbing my belly.

We go back to the doctor in a couple weeks for a blood test to see whether our transfer was successful for us or not. We are asking that our friends and family respect our space during this time. Being open with all of you during this time has been wonderful and we have found so much support from each and every one of you but with being open comes the fact that you all know our story. We plan to tell our families either way towards the end of May. For the rest of you, we plan to share our story, good or bad, with you towards the middle/end of June. We want to have some time to process the results either way together before we let others in. We hope that you all understand this and we want to let you know how grateful we are for all of the love, prayers and support. We still need your happy thoughts, prayers, and all of the baby dust you can give during our two week wait for results.

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This popped up on my Facebook feed the morning of our transfer.

 

 

Our Egg Hunt

We went on an egg hunt yesterday. Our retrieval wasn’t until 9:45 in the morning so I was excited to sleep in a little bit until I woke up at 6 am and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was overwhelmed with excitement. I was so excited to see how many eggs they would get but also to get those eggs out of my ovaries. When you have that many mature eggs and more follicles,  you start to feel like you are carrying grapes around. The bloat is real. I had to walk around work with my dress pants unbuttoned on Monday because I was so bloated!

When we got to the clinic we were called back to the prep area and they had me change into a super sexy hospital gown, a mesh cap and mesh footies to go over my socks. The nurse came to give us our instructions for the next 5 days and then went to get our doctor to say hi before the retrieval. Our doctor is one amazing man. He is so compassionate, so caring and you can really tell that he loves what he does and is very knowledgable in his area of expertise. He came in and made sure that we both were comfortable, talked about what we were about to do, made sure we didn’t have any questions and then told me that he would go let the nurse know I’m ready for my ‘margaritas’. During the egg retrieval you are under a conscious sedation so you get a nice little concoction of meds in your IV. Whoof- that stuff was serious, let me tell you. I remember walking back into the operating room and laying down on the bed. I remember the nurses coming over and saying hello to me. I remember asking them what they were doing (lol – like they were just at home chilling and I was seeing what their plans for the day were. Duh.). I remember my doctor coming in and saying something to him, but I can’t remember what. I remember telling the nurses I was mad that I had those mesh footies over my socks because I specifically wore my egg retrieval day socks for good luck. I vaguely remember saying ‘Ouch!’ at one point and the nurses comforting me. Then I woke up in the post-op chair united with my husband again.

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When I woke up the nurse came to check on me and then our doctor came over to chit chat. Apparently, that wasn’t the first time. My husband said he came over and woke me up to tell me how many eggs they were able to collect, but I don’t remember that at all. He let us know that we collected 11 eggs!! The nurse said that retrieving 8 is about average for their office, so 11 was an amazing number!

Shortly after I woke up we got to break out of there and head home. I planned on feeling much worse than I did. The only pain I was in was kind of like menstrual cramps, the nurse gave me some extra strength Tylenol and sent us on our way. I was so nervous leading up to retrieval that I would end up over-stimulated but thankfully, that was not the case for us.

 

When we left the clinic I wanted McDonalds. Mostly, I wanted McDonalds French Fries because salty foods are good for your body after retrieval. AJ made my wish his command. McDonalds French Fries it was for lunch! We spent the afternoon hanging out on our back deck enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having and just sat and enjoyed each others company for an afternoon. It was very relaxing and a nice slowdown to what our lives have been these past few weeks.

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Today, we received the call that out of the 11 eggs they collected, 10 were mature and 9 fertilized! We currently have 9 Baby A’s! Not all of these will make it to the Day 5 Blastocyst stage but I have a good feeling that our children are in that incubator right now. I’ve been praying and asking God to give us the perfect amount of embryos that would complete our family so that we don’t have to go through all of this again and we don’t have to make decisions if we have ‘leftover’ embryos after we have decided our family is complete.

Tonight we start a new injection. This is an intramuscular injection with an inch and a half long needle. Yikes! The injection is progesterone. This helps women not miscarry because of progesterone levels dipping. If we are successful in our transfer and end up pregnant, these shots will continue for the entire first trimester. But, I’m sure I will have more to say about these later on once I have experienced it first hand.

 

Wake Up & Trigger

 

Phew, what a week. Over the weekend, my husband was able to come to my appointment with me (I really just took him because he promised me a breakfast date afterwards. Joking! Kind of…) and he was able to experience what I experienced at all of those early morning appointments right along with me. I’m not sure if he was nervous or just didn’t know what to say while we were in the room waiting for my ultrasound but he just kept talking about “how expensive that piece of equipment was” referring to the ultrasound machine and monitor. My husband is a man of few words, so I am going to guess he was feeling a little out of place while sitting in the ultrasound room waiting for my scan. But when Monday came around, he asked me if he should come along to that appointment with me as well, so he must have found it interesting!

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After our appointment and breakfast date, we received a call that we would be adding in another injection Saturday and Sunday night. The injection that they had me add in basically keeps all my follicles right where they want them. I wasn’t quite ready for retrieval but the eggs were getting large enough and my estrogen levels were high enough that if we didn’t add in the shot, my body may have released all those eggs that we had been working so hard to grow. I psyched myself up for the new shot by searching the IVF group I’m in on Facebook and saw all the horrible experiences people had with the injection. Once I manned up and did it though, it really was nothing. I had to ice the area for awhile because it broke out in a little rash and was pretty itchy. Other than that, there was nothing to worry about.

Monday I went in for one of those early morning appointments before work. Later in the day I received the call that my follies were where they wanted them and my estrogen jumped to a nice number and we were ready to trigger that night. A trigger shot is basically an injection of the HCG (pregnancy) hormone. This shot would help my follicles to release the eggs so that when we go to retrieve them, they are easier to get. The clinic gives you a very specific time when you should do your HCG injections and our time happened to be 11 pm. My husband and I can not stay awake past 9 (at the very latest) for the lives of us so we ended up having to set an alarm to wake up and trigger. Pretty sure my husband was half asleep giving me my shots because when he tried to put the cap over the needle afterwards, he poked himself in the finger so hard that it bent the needle right in half. He was pretty sure he was dying after he did that, kind of like when he gets a man cold (ha ha!).

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Since we triggered at 11 pm on Monday night, our retrieval is scheduled for 35 hours after the shot and we will retrieve my eggs tomorrow morning at 10 am. I have tried to keep my blindfolds on when it comes to the retrieval and am going with the motto of “ignorance is bliss” because I know that everyone has different experiences and I don’t want to jump to a conclusion on what I think will be our experience until we are living it.

Tomorrow is going to be such a special day for us now and for the years to come. Tomorrow will be the day that our kids will be conceived. What a big day for us. So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow as we check another box off of our IVF journey and are that much closer to our transfer day and hopefully to baby A or baby A’s.