The (em)babies are coming home!

Transfer day has come and almost gone.

I woke up this morning, did my fertility yoga and got ready for the day. Since you aren’t supposed to wear scents into an embryo transfer, I opted for my natural wavy hair (translation: pure ball of frizz). My hair straightener is no match for the refreshing sea air mixed with precipitation.

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My husband and I ready to leave for the clinic

Since it’s so cloudy on the coast, my husband joked that my rainbow socks would be the only bit of sunshine we see before we head home.

We arrived early for our appointment to pay our FET fees and stock up on much needed supplies: needles and syringes for my PIO injections. I chugged the mandatory 2 bottles of water and waited for my turn.

When he entered the room, my RE had a good laugh at my rainbow socks.

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My beautiful rainbow socks from MLACS

Then, he proceeded to sing Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection as he prepared for transfer. I wasn’t familiar with this song, but now it totally resonates with me. “Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection”… We made our wish. We are ready for our rainbow baby – or maybe two!

Our beautiful Day 6 embryos thawed at the same grade 17 that they were frozen at. One of the pair was already hatching.

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Our embryos on the screen. Two beautiful diamonds this time.

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Double thumbs up!

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I’m so excited!!!

The transfer went smoothly. My bladder seemed fuller this time as I patiently waited out my 10 minutes before I could pee and move to the recovery room.

In the recovery room, my RE gave me acupuncture and I fell asleep. My husband said I was snoring (which is not a surprise – haha). I rested for just over an hour before we left the clinic.

It’s been grey and cloudy since we arrived, but the sun was shining brightly when we left the clinic. Perhaps another good sign??? We grabbed lunch on the way back to the hotel and then snuggled into bed to watch a movie.

I’m a little crampy and bloated, but otherwise feeling great. My honest opinion is that FETs are SO MUCH EASIER than fresh cycles. I’ve barely had any side effects from my current drug cocktail. I hope that this means pregnancy symptoms will be easier to notice.

Beta is scheduled for February 9th. Yes, I will POAS before then. I set a goal of holding out til February 7th, but we will see how things go. My goal remains the same: one day at a time.

Snuggle in there babies. We are bringing you home tomorrow.
❤ XO ❤  

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We loved you before we ever knew you

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A change in plans: UGH! Really?!?!

To recap from our post-ectopic and FET discussion with our RE”

Our RE prefers singleton transfers, but he is open to us transferring more than one, particularly because we have Day-6 embryos frozen. He said since they were slower to grow and are likely to have a lower survival rate. The choice is ours to transfer one or two. My husband and I both agree we want to transfer both embabies.”

My logic for transferring 2 embryos is:

  • Increased success rate: Less survival rate for Day 6 embryos. Put two in and you increase the chances of one or both surviving.
  • Determine embryo quality sooner: If it’s not going to work, it’s not going to work. We will know if it’s an embryo issue sooner, rather than after 2 transfers.
  • Cost-savings: Transferring two is a safe guard for in case we need to do another round of IVF. We only have another 5 cycles before our Premier Plan expires (meaning another fresh cycle at 1/2 price). There is a slight possibility that we could squeeze it in before the cut off. At that point, we also would have incurred the cost of 2 FETs. :/
  • Two and done: Twins. My Grandma had ’em. My Mom had ’em. They survived… I will too. One pregnancy = DONE! This may seem selfish as twin pregnancies are high risk, but I honestly am ready to move forward and leave the (in)fertility crap behind me.

In December, we sent our signed FET paperwork to the clinic stating that we would be transferring 2 embryos. Last night, my nurse coordinator contacted me to let me know that my RE had me down to only transfer 1 embryo.

SAY WHAAAAAAT?!?!? 

Now, I have a call tomorrow morning with him to plead my case.

I just really want to bring both of our babies home. I hate the thought of them being without us. Yes, this is a very intuitive and connected Mother speaking here. ❤ All of my pre-transfer visualizations and meditations have focused on BOTH embryos being transferred.

I know he is going to say, “But Lindsey, you are young. You did get pregnant. You will again. Let’s take a safer route for you and the babies.

I’m open to hearing what he has to say. I just wish I had more of a final say in it.

I currently don’t know the grade of our frozen embryos. We won’t know what grade the embryos will be post-thaw until we get there.

What are your thoughts/opinions?

FET cycle – CD1

CD 1 – Frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle has begun!

The details:

  • This is our 1st (and hopefully last) FET following a fresh IVF cycle that resulted in an ectopic rupture
  • We are transferring our 2 embryos. I’m super excited to see them! 
  • It’s a natural FET
  • Tomorrow,  I start 400 mg of Estrace 2x daily + 1 Asprin
  • First monitoring appointment is Jan 19th – blood work + ultrasound. Welcome back Dildocam! It’s been a while… 
  • When I get the go ahead, I start Prometrium + Doxycyline and BOOK OUR TRIP back to the clinic
  • Transfer is tentatively scheduled for January 27. My guess is it will be a few days later as I typically ovulate later on a natural cycle

This afternoon when I heard back from the clinic, I felt a bit anxious. I reviewed my medication schedule. I counted my pills (yes, I’ve got some left from when I was pregnant). I went on Expedia and looked at travel options…

Then, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that:

My goal for this cycle is to remain calm, go with the flow and feel at peace with the process.

The only thing that mattered tonight was whether or not I had enough Estrace and Asprin for tomorrow. Answer = Yes.

There’s nothing to worry about.

One day at a time, one step at a time…

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We are coming back for you babies! Your Daddy and I are so excited to see you. We love you and can’t wait to bring you home. XO

Do numbers really matter?

Ever since our retrieval of 27 eggs, I was a bit surprised to see things rapidly declining. 

Our fertilization counts were:

  • Day 1 – 13
  • Day 2 – 12 
  • Day 3 – 11
  • Day 4 – no update
  • Day 5 – 2 blastocysts. 1 transferred. 1 discarded as low quality. 
  • Day 6 – 2 blastocysts frozen.

After a few days of phone tag, I finally caught up with our embryologist today to ask her a few questions. I was concerned that maybe my egg quality wasn’t great or maybe it was a sperm issue? Basically, I just wanted to know why we went from 13 fertilized to 3 embryos. 

She explained that they expect your Day 3 numbers to decrease by half on Day 5. Ideally, we would have gone from 11 to 5-6. She said it’s too difficult to determine where the problem lies (might be a better question for the RE), but that it’s clear that ISCI is the best for us. All 3 of our strong embryos were from the ISCI group.  I’m not upset that we chose to do half and half. I get that your first IVF cycle can be a bit of trial and error. In our case, there was no error. Although slightly below expected, our numbers still give us 3 chances at conceiving our babies. She reassured me that the one we transferred was very high quality, as are the two we froze. 

In the end, I’ve realized higher numbers don’t matter. All that matters is quality. You could be left with 1 embryo. As long as it sticks, the IVF process was a success. 

9 days til Beta… stick little bean, stick. 

Officially waiting for Beta

Today, we transferred one beautiful high-grade already hatching (!!!!) embryo. Here she is:

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Our nurse said she was like a diamond on the screen. ❤

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Our beautiful em-baby!

When Dr. H walked into the room he asked if I could hear the cracking? My response was obviously ummm what?

They had a bit of trouble finding my uterus as my ovaries are still a bit swollen and have sort of pushed my uterus around. Once the nurse got the ultrasound positioned correctly, the rest of the process went smoothly. After doing 3 IUIs, I can tell you this man knows how to work a catheter! I felt almost nothing.

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Relaxing post transfer – ultrasound shows are beautiful embryo has arrived home.

I got a bit emotional after everyone left the room. It was such an amazing experience to see our beautiful embryo on the screen.

After I peed, we moved to the recovery room for acupuncture and a 1/2 hour lay down. They decided to put me on 15 units of HCG until my Beta. Does anyone know how this affects home pregnancy tests? I know you would want the second line to be extremely dark to ensure it’s not just a false negative. I figure I probably should just wait for the blood test now.

My Beta is scheduled for 12dp5dt – September 17.

We decided to spend another day here tomorrow and fly home on Sunday. Can’t wait to see my fur babies!

Officially pregnant until proven otherwise (PUPO). Wow. This is a great feeling.

Tomorrow is embryo transfer day!

Well, I am feeling MUCH better today. My nurse said I could stop my Doxycyline early and that would probably curb my nausea. I didn’t tell her that I had already tested this theory out. I took all of my morning pills with breakfast and waited to take my Doxycyline with lunch. It made a HUGE difference. Anyway, doesn’t matter now. Bye, bye Doxycycline. She also mentioned that the Dostinex can cause nausea, but I’m stuck with two more doses of that.

My husband and I had a relaxing day enjoying the ocean scenery. We took a nice drive along the coast and spent some time at our fav dog park (Yes I’m a crazy dog lady who goes to the dog park on vacation because 1) it’s a beautiful view 2) I love playing with the dogs). We also stopped by a lake and spent some time on the beach.

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Tomorrow, we find out how many of our embryos made it to day 5. I’m super excited to watch them put my embryo into my womb. I feel like this is the best chance I’ve had yet at becoming pregnant.

We haven’t had a talk with our RE yet about how many to transfer. If all our embryos are high quality, we are now leaning towards only transferring one. Does anyone have any advice on this?

I’m off to have a shower and shave my legs since they’ve been neglected for the past 5 days. I told my husband I want to look and feel good tomorrow. This is the first day we will be meeting our baby – even if it’s in the tiniest embryo form. 🙂

Relief, oh sweet relief – Fertilization Report – Day 2-3

Well, yesterday was NOT a good day for me. I woke up nauseous and ended up puking in the afternoon. My nurse suggested I take Gravol to help with the nausea. She think it was from all the meds and the whole process just catching up to me. My ovaries were also so sore and I was extremely constipated. I tried a Senokat-S before bed and it did nothing to relieve my backed-up rear end. 

We went into the clinic today for a check up. My ovaries are still swollen but there’s no fluid in my abdomen. Dr. H told me to buy some glycerine suppositories to relieve my constipation. Let me tell you – those suppositories work miracles! I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER. The constipation must have been putting extra pressure on my ovaries, because they aren’t as sore either since I finally had a bowel movement. 

He also wants me to continue sticking to the OHSS diet, but I am allowed a little bit of Gingerale if my stomach is bothering me. I’ve started eating a few more fruits and vegetables too. I can’t handle feeling like crap from high protein/high salt foods. It’s kinda ironic that I spent months eating healthy only to be told to eat crap to prevent getting really sick. Why do so many aspects of (in)fertility have to be so contradictory?  

We are on track for a Friday transfer. Right now, we currently have 12 embryos. Our clinic grades them on a 20 point scale with 19-20 being rare. We have 9-18s and 3-17s. We expect a few to drop off before Friday but it’s nice to know we have some high quality embryos to chose from. 

I’m looking forward to the transfer and to getting home. When you are sick, there’s nothing that compares to your own bed. I also really miss my fur babies. 

I did get a nice surprise in the mail today. My best friend mailed a package to our rental apartment that contained a beautiful rose quartz sphere, some foot soaks and CHIHUAHUA socks!!! Seriously, I never know where she finds these amazing items.
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Note to MLACS: I will wear your socks to my first ultrasound. After going through all this, I am telling you there will be ultrasounds. 🙂 

One thing that I’ve learned throughout this process is that I have the utmost respect for any woman who has been down this IVF path – especially more than once. IVF is hard physically, emotionally and spiritually. People don’t realize that you are having legit surgery and putting tons of foreign drugs into your body with the hope of creating an embryo, getting pregnant and then maintaining that pregnancy. For us, it doesn’t end with a positive pee stick. 

I feel fortunate that this cycle has not been much of an emotional roller coaster for me, but I have been feeling it since retrieval. In the clinic this morning, I started crying while reading one of those “This is how we made you via IVF” books for children. I just truly hope that our (in)feritility journey is close to an end. I can’t wait to one day read that book to my children because I’m damn proud of everything I’ve gone through to get them here. And I know my husband and I will appreciate them even more because of it.