Transfer Day

2 May

By the grace of God, I actually managed to get some sleep the night before transfer. I woke up with the sun, excitement racing through every inch of my body. My mom stayed with the kids, and Ben and I snuck out early so we could enjoy some time together before the appointment. We picked up some muffins and a mocha from Starbucks and headed to one of our favorite places. A beautiful little duck pond tucked up into the hills near our clinic. We call it ‘The Peaceful Place’.

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I read somewhere that walking for 30 minutes prior to transfer increases the bloodflow to the uterus, thereby possibly increasing the chance of implantation. So, we walked. And talked. And prayed. The last thing I said to Ben before we got in the car was, “What if one of the babies doesn’t make the thaw?” I don’t even remember his response because I was too consumed with that thought.

When we arrived at the clinic and got settled into our room, the embryologist confirmed my fear. Only one embryo had survived the thaw. Her voice was very sympathetic as she tried to explain what happened. Apparently one of the embryos just literally fell apart as soon as it was removed from the freezer. She said she had really never seen anything like that happen. Great. Very reassuring. Our RE shared that she can’t even remember the last time an embryo of it’s quality didn’t survive the thaw. Also super comforting. I managed to hold my tears in until after they left the room. And then I totally lost it. Ben did his best to comfort me. To remind me that I needed to focus on the baby that remained. He prayed and rubbed my head and wiped my tears. He texted my girlfriends, mom and sister and asked for their prayers. He’s a good man.

And then it was time for the transfer. Time to be reunited with one of the babies I’d been holding in my heart for 3 years. The procedure is quick and painless. Over and done with in a matter of seconds. We watched a tiny, bright flash streak across the screen and then settle in my uterus. I prayed as hard as I could that it would snuggle in and make a home. But I didn’t feel hopeful. My excitement had been replaced by sadness. Ben said it was because we’d lost one of the embryos. And it was. But it was also because from the instant that embryo was placed inside of me, I had a feeling that I’d only get to hold it for a short time in my womb, but never in my arms.

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I’m not gonna lie. It was a rough day. But all the while, I felt my Heavenly Father with me.  I surrendered my hopes and dreams to Him, knowing that His plan is perfect. And then I waited in His peace.

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FET in Pictures, Because Words Are Too Hard Today.

26 Apr

 

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Building A Nest

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Decisions, Decisions

24 Apr

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Our FET is in just 2 days! I’ve literally been counting down the hours. It doesn’t seem real. I’ve been waiting for this day for 3 years, and now it’s just around the corner. Yesterday we had to give the clinic our final decision on how many embryos to transfer. We have two 5 day blastocycsts remaining, and honestly we’ve both always assumed we would transfer them together. It wasn’t really until my first appointment in March when my RE told me that they’d been frozen in separate straws that I began to consider doing a single embryo transfer.

I asked my RE her opinion on how many to transfer and her answer surprised me somewhat. She said that obviously the goal is to be pregnant with one baby at a time due to the increased risks associated with multiples. That part I expected. But she followed that up with saying while she almost always recommends a single embryo transfer,  she thinks I would be an amazing mom to twins, and would support our decision to transfer two if that’s what we choose to do.

Then at my last appointment I saw another RE because mine was out of town. I was supposed to give the clinic our final decision at that appointment. We had decided to transfer both, but when I shared our decision with the RE he suggested I take a bit more time to think about it. He gently laid out all of the increased risks that a multiple pregnancy carries. He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I’ve researched it myself quite a bit. But I didn’t feel 100% confident in our decision.

I decided to contact my OB who knows my full history. She’s cared for me during all of my pregnancies, and I trust her medical opinion. Her suggestion was to do one at a time. She said that twin pregnancies are a lot harder than people think. That I’m still young enough to do one now and one in a couple years. That caring for and homeschooling 3 kids while pregnant with twins would be really, really difficult. UGH.  It’s what I expected to hear…just not what I wanted to hear.

After weighing everyone’s opinions, both medical and personal, I was left feeling even more confused. And time was running out. We were down to less than 24 hours before I had to give the clinic our decision. Thankfully I have a husband who always reminds me to cast all of my fears onto the Lord. We prayed about it together and asked for direction and confirmation. For peace and faith. And then I texted my mom, sister and best girlfriends and asked them to pray for the same. And just like they always do, they came through. They shared words of encouragement and scripture, asked all the right questions, gave insight, and most importantly prayed for us. And just like that, our hearts were at peace. Our decision was made. No more worrying or what-if-ing.  No more pro’s and con’s lists. No more second guessing.

In 43 hours and 21 minutes our precious babies will be back in my belly where they belong.

Both of them.

FET Timeline – Updated

14 Apr

I went in for my baseline ultrasound on Friday, April 11th which was cycle day 4. My lining is thin and I don’t have any cysts, so we are good to go for our frozen embryo transfer this month!

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Here’s the plan:

CD11
April 18

  • Ultrasound to measure follicle size and endometrial lining adequacy.
  • Update – I have one dominant follicle measuring 15.5 on the left, nothing on the right. My lining is measuring at 7.7
  • Trigger will be tomorrow!

CD12
April 19

  •  Administer Ovidrel HCG at 9:00pm to induce LH surge.

CD16
April 23 (4 days past trigger shot)

  • Begin Endometrin 100mg vaginally twice daily until negative pregnancy test OR 12 weeks gestation.

CD17 thru CD19
April 24 – 26

  • Begin Doxycycline 100mg twice daily
  • Begin Prednisone 10mg twice daily

CD19
April 26 (7 days past trigger shot)

  • Frozen Embryo Transfer at 10:00am
  • Come to clinic with a full bladder
  • Take 10mg valium 30 minutes before transfer
  • Do not use progesterone on morning of transfer

CD28
May 5

  • Beta HCG blood test
  • Arrive at lab between 7:30-10:00am

Preparing Our Nest

6 Apr

Building A Nest

This soon-to-be-Mama and her mate have been busy for the past week.

Back and forth, gathering twigs, preparing their nest.

They are committed.

And they’re a team.

Ben and I stood at the window this weekend.

His arm wrapped around me.

My head on his shoulder.

Both of us silently admiring their quest.

Our hearts smiling with anticipation.

Because we are also busy preparing our nest.

We are committed.

And we are my favorite team.

Endometrial Scratching Boosts IVF Odds By 20%

3 Apr

CBS News Video Clip about Endometrial Scratching

 

When I first read about this breakthrough in fertility treatments I was so excited to know that there was a new procedure that could boost my chances of actually bringing home my remaining two embryos. And it is SO simple!

The increased implantation benefits of endometrial scratching was first discovered in 2003, but it wasn’t until recently that the promising results from clinical trials have brought it to the forefront of fertility medicine.  Research has shown that implantation rates improve by 20% after simply scratching the uterine lining. The scratching  causes a ‘repair reaction’ which releases growth factors, hormones and chemicals. The new lining which regenerates after the scratching is thought to be more receptive to implanting embryos which increases the chances of pregnancy. The procedure should be performed in the cycle before your embryo transfer. Ideally on cycle day 21 . It’s a quick procedure, much like an embryo transfer actually.

I had my scratch performed yesterday, on cycle day 23. I had spoken with my RE about it at my initial appointment, but she didn’t seem to think it would provide much benefit because I’ve never had implantation issues. But…the more I read about it, the more I realized that for my own sanity I needed to do everything possible to give these babies their best chance. I called my clinic, the nurse checked with Dr. W. and she agreed that we had nothing to lose.

I was a little nervous that it was going to be painful. I’d read mixed information on good old Dr. Google. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t comfortable. I could definitely feel a pinching, cramping sensation but  just as I started to get hot and sweaty from holding my breath, it was over. The entire procedure took 3 minutes.  I was in the exam room for a total of 7 minutes.  I had a slight amount of spotting for a couple of hours. A bit of cramping throughout the day, nothing compared to the cramps I get with my period. As I was drifting off to sleep last night I was rehashing the appointment in my mind and marveling at how something so quick and simple could  be so beneficial.

Hope in A Promise

31 Mar

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Here’s the thing.
Every frozen embryo transfer I’ve done has resulted in pregnancy.
And then miscarriage.
I am so fearful of that trend continuing.
So afraid that once again the thrill of excitement is going to turn to heartbreak.
But honestly, whether the initial test results in a positive or negative, if it ends without a baby in my arms 9 months from now, my heart will break.
Those frozen embryos are already my babies.
They have been my babies since the day they were conceived.
I’ve thought about them and prayed for them every day for 3 years.
I dream about them.
I imagine what they will look like.
I daydream about holding them in my arms and telling them I’m their Mama.
That they are loved.
That I’ve been waiting for them.
And I WILL tell them all of those things.
Whether it’s in this lifetime.
Or in Eternity
Because I have this promise.

John 14:1-3

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.