If you guys haven’t been following our journey on Instagram, then I have some catching up to do for you all here!! Last time I checked in with you we were just a few days away from our Frozen Embryo Transfer that we’d been waiting for since our last cycle didn’t work out back in late April/early May, and I was asking you all for your good juju and prayers!! (Which, by the way, THANK YOU so much for your overwhelming love and support following that post!!)
Now let’s get you up-to-date!!
I did my pre-embryo transfer acupuncture the night before our transfer and it helped me get int the right brain space and truly relax. Really, I cannot say enough good things about acupuncture! (This is me, all zen and relaxed after my session…)
Then on the morning of 7/7 we headed in to the doctor for the big moment!! I’m not going to lie – it was not as exciting as it was the first time around. I could sense that James was apprehensive about it given how our last round ended, and he generally seemed like he was keeping an emotional distance from it this time as we drove to the clinic together. I was nervous as well, but trying really hard to shake off my feelings and think positive. I’m really convinced that your emotional state (especially mine, since the embryos are getting transferred to me) play a big part in how things go. Being stressed out, anxious, or upset isn’t good for you, so it can’t be good for growing babies… right? Either way – I was doing my best to get excited. I said to James, “Aren’t you EXCITED?!” as we exited the highway. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s not like this is the first time we’re doing this…” I spent the rest of the ride trying to tell him to “get on board” and that I needed him to snap out of it and be happy because he was in charge of calming me down in there!!
(Side note: Below is a photo of a bracelet one of my best friend’s mom sent to me, which was so sweet of her. She said it worked for her daughter when she was going through infertility and hoped it did for me… so of course I wore it to the transfer!)
Thankfully once we got in the room where the procedure was going to happen – he seemed to snap out of it a bit and was even sporting a smile and making me laugh, like the James I know I love! 🙂 I was smarter this time and didn’t chug so much water (last time it was actually painful how badly I had to pee!! haha)!! So I was able to keep drinking water while they set up the room and hope to get my bladder full enough to make the procedure easier for them.
The embryologist came in and told us that they successfully thawed our two beautiful embryos and that we were all set to move forward!! Time for the stirrups and the spotlight! haha (Ohhh how infertility treatments are not for the bashful or shy. I mean – nothing like a spotlight on your lady bits while doctors and nurses are wandering around the room prepping for the transfer. I mean. YEAH. haha)
Then they pulled the picture of the embryos up on the TV screen and my heart fluttered a bit. This was it!! The moment we’d been waiting for. Our last two embryos from our fresh cycle… all in. Putting all our eggs in this one basket!! (Pun intended. ;))
The transfer was quick and easy and next thing I knew I was told I could use the bathroom and be on my way! We went straight from there to my post-transfer acupuncture appointment and I zoned out, imagining all your well wishes surrounding me as I laid in that warm room willing those new little buddies to hang in there!! After that James and I went to grab some brunch together, which so nice to do before heading home to be cooped up for two days.
The first couple days of the wait were spent on bed rest (as required by the doctor) – which mostly meant I worked on my laptop from the couch, and occasionally spent some time coloring (sometimes with friends)! 🙂 We are in the thick of busy season, so there wasn’t much time for real rest… just laying around while working. haha. After that I eased back into normal life, as my doctor suggested. Since frozen embryo transfers are done when your body is “normal” and not all hyped up on stimulation meds with your ovaries all gigantic and sore from retrieval – you really can go back to normal life right after the bed rest is done. So I’ve been walking, stretching and doing some light lunges and things like that in the meantime. (I’m too afraid to lift weights or do too many difficult yoga postures yet, so I’m trying to take it easier than normal. Call me paranoid… whatever.)
Three to five days after the transfer is when they estimate the embryos implant (if they do), and so I went back in for another acupuncture appointment that is supposed to aid in implantation. Other than that I tried to remain as stress-free as possible and listen to my body. I didn’t want to overdo anything and generally was just trying to stay positive and be kind to my body. I was trying to get enough sleep, and eating really well – lots of colorful fruits and veggies and lean proteins!! (I tend to eat this way anyway – but it was a good reason to eat even better!)
During the wait I kept seeing signs everywhere (I swear, I can’t help it). A few days in a Monarch butterfly flew circles and circles around my head when I was out for a walk with Chloe. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I saw a monarch and this one was coming right for us over and over!! I couldn’t miss it! (This happened again a few days later with a different one during another walk!!) I looked up the symbolism of the Monarch and found this:
“The monarch butterfly symbolizes the journey of transformation. You must let all fears and old wounds be released one by one so the transformation can take place. When the caterpillar enters the cocoon, he has surrendered and is ready. He trusts there is something greater than himself to guide him through. Soon the butterfly will emerge with a life filled with new possibilities, new ways of being, and is totally set free – with wings to fly.”
I couldn’t help but smile as I saw the correlation to my own experience… needing to let go of my wounds and my fears – to set myself free of them. Which is funny, because I feel like I have been better about this through this round. I really have let go in ways I didn’t during our first IVF. I wasn’t so strict on myself with all the restrictions. I just felt at peace and trusted there was something greater at play than whether or not I ate or drank certain things (that supposedly help it work), whether I walked or didn’t walk… whether I drank herbal or black tea. I just felt like I had finally released any illusion of control and was allowing myself to just be a part of the process this time around. (Which is an amazing feeling.)
(Below is another sign I saw on a walk with Chloe. The first two lines made me stop in my tracks.)
According to all the women I know going through the IVF – the earliest people have seen any type of positive line on a home pregnancy test was 5 days after a transfer. So you know this impatient girl hopped right to it the morning of day 5 and peed on a stick! And guess what … much to my surprise – a *very* faint positive line appeared. Oh my gosh. I felt so much relief, and then it was immediately followed by a giant rush of fear. If it worked again, that meant that it could end like it did last time again… in a miscarriage. Instead of crying tears of joy like last time, I quietly thanked God and headed right back to bed. I told the Little Buddies (LB’s as James and I have come to call them) that I was so happy they implanted and that they should really keep growing so we could meet them in 9 months, please!! (You can seriously barely even see the line in the photo below – but I swear it was there! After that James and I headed out to shoot a beautiful and low-key Sunday wedding!)
The following days I spent obsessively overanalyzing every feeling I was having in my body and waking up waaaaay earlier than I normally ever do, anxious to take another home pregnancy test to see if the positive line had gotten any darker. (HCG, which is the pregnancy hormone, is supposed to double every 2-3 days, so in theory the line on the test would continue to get darker as the levels continued to grow.) I’m not going to lie. I spent way too much time comparing the tests from day to day to see if the line really was getting darker or if I was just imaging it. I was so worried the line would get lighter… that my levels would drop… that this wouldn’t be a viable pregnancy… that it would end in a miscarriage again. I wouldn’t let myself get emotionally attached to any of it. I wouldn’t let myself say I was pregnant. I wouldn’t let myself think further than a day ahead. As far as I was concerned, the tests were coming up positive, and I was just praying each day that the embryos would continue to grow healthy and strong. There are so many steps to get through – especially in the coming weeks – I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. Having gone through all we have – it has changed how I’m seeing this process. I hate to say I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop… but I am… sometimes. The rest of the time I am positive, but not joyful. I am hopeful, but not certain. I am taking it day by day.
And now here we are – day 10. I’ve taken tests every day this week and it has continued to get darker and darker. I’m hoping this is a good sign. I feel woozier and crampier this time… exhausted too (but that might just be from work being crazy at the moment). I’m hoping these are all good things.
At 10am today I go into the clinic for the blood work that will tell me what exactly my HCG levels are at. I’m just hoping beyond all hope for a good, strong number. And even more so – I’m hoping when I have to go back in a couple of days to test again to see if it has continued to grow – that it has. I’m especially afraid for that 2nd blood test, because last time that was the day we got the heartbreaking news. I’m not trying to compare the two – but it is impossible not to think of it. I just want to get past what we did last time and hope that if we do I will be able to feel more excited, more joyful.
For now – I am so grateful for how far we’ve come… and I’m praying that we make it all the way. And thank you all a million times over for all your love and support!!! You have really helped us (especially me, haha) SO VERY MUCH!!!
Have a beautiful weekend everyone!! XOXO
**Stay up to date with the beta test results on Instagram later today when we get the call. (All your prayers & good vibes are more than welcome and we are so thankful for them!!!!)