Did anyone else feel like January was approximately 792 days but then the rest of 2018 has flown by in an instant? That’s where I’m at right now.
I have kind of pushed my blogging to the side since March and for a few different reasons. Firstly, there was nothing IVF related to blog about. Our long road to baby was once again on hold after we received our amazing PGS news. Shawn and I, along with three other couples including my “brother” and his wife, took a nice 5 day vacation to Bahamas in April. It was exactly what we needed after two back-to-back egg retrieval cycles. We relaxed, drank all the drinks and ate all the foods. Fast forward to May and I went on a much need girls trip to New York with 3 of my fave ladies. We saw a Broadway show, ate at some of the most delicious restaurants and I drank all of the prosecco my little heart desired. Shortly after we returned, I turned 35. It was a bit of a tough day for me at first but by the end I left my own pity party and enjoyed dinner with Shawn and my family.
We had been preparing for our FET (frozen embryo transfer) to align with my July cycle as when we first booked our trip to Bahamas, it was still on the Zika list and I would need to wait 60 days after we returned. Before we left in April, Bahamas had been cleared from the Zika list as there hadn’t been a reported case since 2016. It was shortly after our trip that I decided I was done with waiting. Since there was no real reason to I wanted to start prep for our FET as soon as CD1 (cycle day 1) arrived in May. That day was May 20th so on May 22nd I headed to the clinic for the first time in over 2 months for a baseline ultrasound and blood work. Everything looked good and I was clear to start meds for our FET. I started on baby aspirin that day as well as 12 mg of estrogen (2 x 2mg tablets, three times a day) as well as 600 mg of progesterone ( 1 x 200 mg suppository, three times a day). FET prep is a far more simple process especially when you’re on what they call a “short protocol”. I took my meds and didn’t have to return to the clinic for 7 days. On May 29th I went in for a lining check where everything looked “beautiful” (as my doctor said) and we scheduled our embryo transfer for the following Monday, June 4th. My doctor also suggested I have an intralipid infusion in advance of my FET. Intralipids essentially reduce your body’s natural killer cells in order to reduce the chance of them “attacking” the embryo and increasing the chance of a successful pregnancy. These infusions are rather expensive and not covered but I was willing to do anything it took to make sure our little embaby got to stick around this time.
On Monday June 4th, Shawn and I arrived at the clinic nice and early. My naturopath met us there as she was going to do acupuncture for me both before AND after transfer on site. I was so happy to be able to have this done. I had downloaded my Mindful IVF pre and post transfer meditations and the whole day was just perfect. At approximately 10:15 a.m., we transferred one of our 5 day PGS normal embryos. Shawn had previously decided since there were 7 embryos, we would name them after the 7 wonders of the new world and first up was Chichen Itza (aka Chich).
After our transfer we received our discharge papers which outlined next steps. Our first Beta hCG test was scheduled for the following Saturday, June 16th. In just 12 days we would know if we were pregnant. Just kidding, in just 5 days we would know if we were pregnant. You see, Shawn annual boys trip would fall over the weekend of June 15-18. This trip is planned 6 months in advance every year and it is probably the only time every year that Shawn actually goes away without me (unlike me who hops on a plane on a moments notice). We talked about it a lot and decided that we would take an at home test early so that if the result was negative, he would stay home with me for the blood test and ultimately, to support me. I told myself I would wait 7 days. I would test on the Monday and that way I could take any additional tests I wanted to before he left. I caved on day 5. I used one of the First Response Early Response (FRER) tests as I find them most accurate when testing insanely early (yes, I’m a pro now). I had previously ordered these on Amazon prime to save some money as pregnancy tests are NOT cheap. On the Saturday morning I had woken up around 5:00 a.m. to pee anyways so I figured, why not? I walked away from the test and got myself a glass of water and returned to the bathroom about 5 minutes later. Much to my surprise, there was the faintest of lines. A line I had not seen since July of 2017 when we lost our sweet little Poppy. I was excited but also very very cautious. I thought I would fall back asleep since it was 5:00 a.m. but I did not. In fact, by 6:30 a.m. I had to wake up Shawn and tell him. His response “I thought you said we were going to wait until Monday”. Ya right! I continued to test daily and saw some pretty great line progression. Could this be it? Was Chich going to stick around for the next 9 months? Needless to say, I sent Shawn on his merry way to Ohio for a weekend of sun, drinking and rest (oh, and strep throat which he gave to me so kindly before he left). I was able to move my beta test to the Friday as it makes more sense for me to go to the clinic on week days when I already have to be in the city. My beta hCG levels on test number one came back at 427 11 days past my 5 day transfer and while I was excited that we really were pregnant, I knew those numbers needed to double in 48 hours. On Sunday I returned to the clinic for a repeat beta test where my numbers came back at 889 and that’s when it hit me that this was going in the right direction. My doctor had me come back for a third and final beta on the Tuesday which came back at 2400 and we booked my first ultrasound for June 29th.
The days between final beta and our first scan crawled by. I remember seeing little Chich on the screen for the first time at 6 weeks 2 days and it brought the happiest tears to my eyes. At one point the ultrasound tech said, “am I hurting you, why are you crying?” and I said “no, I just can’t believe I’m actually pregnant”. Since then, I’ve had 5 more scans and have been able to see Chich grow almost weekly. We have seen the heartbeat every time but I can’t wait for the day we can hear it too.
Today we had our Nuchal Translucency ultrasound at 13 weeks and subsequently graduated from our fertility clinic in to regular OB care. It was a bittersweet moment for us but one we are so happy to have made it to.
We have a long way to go before Chich is in our arms in February but our Long road to baby is finally starting to feel just a little bit shorter. WE ARE PREGNANT AND PLANNING TO STAY THAT WAY.