I was so sure yesterday’s appointment was going to go one of two ways. No yolk sac would mean impending miscarriage and my heart would break. Yolk sac would mean my baby is there and I would be filled with joy and relief.
I never could have guessed that there would be another outcome- a third path. One that would fill me with joy, fear and shock all at once. A third option that would change our life in a way we never expected.
You see I never expected that seeing two yolk sacs, two embryos and two heartbeats was an option…until it happened. Our embryo split. We are pregnant with identical twins and I just can’t believe it.
The nerves are at an all time high. Tomorrow is my follow up ultrasound appointment. I am praying we see a yolk sac and hear a heartbeat. No yolk sac will indicate an impending miscarriage. It all comes down to tomorrow. Since my last appointment, I’ve had a nice weekend and really tried to relax. Friday evening we hung out with some friends. Saturday we decorated the outside of our house for fall and celebrated my mom’s birthday.
As much as I’ve tried to avoid thinking about the appointment, it kept coming up. Friday evening all of our friends congratulated me as soon as I walked in the door (as my husband had told the other husbands a few weeks ago when he saw them the evening after our good news). I didn’t plan on bringing anything up about the ultrasound but then one of the wives asked if I had an ultrasound yet so I shared some of the details. Of course everyone was overly positive and assuring me all would be ok. Then on Saturday as we were decorating the house my neighbor walked by and asked me about my doctor appointment so I again shared the details again. I was starting to regret that we shared the news with so many people this time around. Later that day we went to my sister’s house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Well at this party, we all got quite a surprise- my middle sister announced she was pregnant! I am so incredible happy for her. This is her first pregnancy and she just started trying two months ago. I had always worried she would have to go through IVF so I immediately felt relieved that she got pregnant naturally and quickly. My sister shared that she has not been to the doctor yet but estimates that she is about six weeks along- meaning we are literally days apart. For the rest of the evening my family talked about how amazing it is that we will be pregnant together and our babies could possibly even share a birthday. Us being pregnant together is truly a dream come true. My sister and I are incredibly close and always say we want to have sister babies- our way of saying babies the same age who grow up together. As excited as I was all night, there was this gnawing anxious feeling inside of me. This dream come true may come crashing down on me in two days. My sister’s news will make my Monday appointment that much better or that much worse. There is nothing to do but wait and hope and pray.
So today I had bloodwork and my first ultrasound… and let’s just say the day started stressful and ended shitty (literally).
Morning monitoring took two long hours! Apparently there was some computer issues at the office so the wait was insanely long and there was no available chairs to even sit and relax. People were getting too close for my comfort in the hallway. It was extremely warm in the office. By the time it was finally my turn for an ultrasound, I was so flustered- I actually just pulled my mask off when I get in the exam room. I took some deep breaths and tried to compose myself. Finally the doctor entered and inserted the wand. I knew immediately something was off. I spotted the black hole (Gestational sac) immediately but also noticed it was empty. I knew there was supposed to be a circle (yolk sac) in there. The doctor said I was five weeks and three days. She noted seeing the gestational sac was good and said it may be too early to see the yolk sac or it may be that she can’t get a good look because of my tilted uterus. She maneuvered the wand around but their seemed to be nothing to find. No sign of the sac. She didn’t seem too concerned but said they would want me to come back in a few days to look for it again.
I tried to tell myself to keep perspective, but already my mind was connecting dots (between lack of symptoms and lack of yolk sac) and drawing conclusions (must be an impending miscarriage).
The day then continued with back to back meetings, no time for the lunch I had planned, running late to pick up my daughter, running late to a Zoom meeting, etc. It was a rough work day!
The day ended with my daughter having multiple poop accidents in her pants. At one point I was playing with her on our living room floor and I noticed some poop on her foot. I looked down at the rug to see that there was poop smeared all over the rug. Apparently she had stepped in the poop and tracked it over the rug. After finally cleaning her up and cleaning the rug, I went upstairs to wash my hands. As I entered the bathroom, I noticed I too had poop on my foot and had tracked it through the house.
It was just one of those days!
So today I am 4 and 1/2 weeks pregnant! I’ll give you a rundown of the past week. At 5dp5dt, I went to bed believing it didn’t work. I told my husband so before we went to bed. The symptoms just didn’t add up for me compared to the other transfers. I was sad and anxious. Morning of 6dp5dt, I tested. I have never tested this early before. The first two transfers I did not test before beta day. With Brynn, I tested on day 7. As I stared at this test I didn’t see any line but slowly a light line showed up. I was shocked and relieved but still worried. The line was light. Would it darken? Could this be a chemical pregnancy? The rational part of my brain knew it was good to have any line on day 6 but the emotional part was still worried. I tested again on day 7 and the line was still light but definitely darker. Then again on day 8 -even darker. I lined up the tests on my dresser and every few hours ran upstairs to look at them again. I kept thinking, could this have really worked on our first try. Last time it took a year (and one filled with lots of heartache and stress). Day 9 was blood test and HCG confirmed pregnancy with a reading of 162. Day 11 bloodwork and my HCG was 400. Now I am on day 14 and go back in 4 days for bloodwork and ultrasound. I am feeling excited but still a bit nervous to accept the fact that I am pregnant. I am feeling pretty good. Besides a bit tired and swollen boobs, the last few days have been pretty symptom free. I did have a terrible skin reaction to the estrogen patches that got worse and worse with each application. I switched over to estradiol pills a few days ago. But other then an itchy and red stomach, I feel good. I am excited to get a glimpse at the babe (or gestational sac at this point).
The best part of this past week was when we told Brynn.
Daddy: there’s a baby in mommy’s belly and you are going to be a big sister
Brynn (with a hug smile): Today?
So I am on day 4 of the wait. I have been pretty distracted this whole time thanks to the start of the school year. Despite not obsessing, I have of course noticed my lack of major symptoms. Both times times this worked for me (my miscarriage and my Brynn) I had a lot of symptoms- the most notable some significant discharge and cramps. By now implantation should have occurred, yet no discharge or cramps. Yesterday, I even would describe my mood as energized. Now I have felt some tiredness and sore boobs earlier this week, but I was feeling that way here and there before the transfer. I know I am still early and trying to maintain hope but this does feel a lot like the wait before my BFN.
I have decided to test myself on day 7 but praying I get some symptoms today.
I had the transfer this afternoon. It’s funny how every time the experience feels a bit different. The big difference this time was my husband was not allowed in the building due to covid restrictions. He was bummed out but luckily the doctor let me FaceTime him in from the parking lot. Also the embryo looked so clear on the screen which was not the case last time. Overall, my uterus looked great, my bladder was VERY full and everything went great (or so the doctor said…I also think would they really say if something seemed off?! Haha). So we are in the wait and feeling boy energy today for some reason. Also a few cool “signs” : 1. My sister in law (Who is recently pregnant) had a dream that the two of us were in a pool and a blue butterfly was flying above us. The butterfly is our symbol for my husbands grandma who has passed. 2. My husband realized he was conceived on this day (so random I know but his cousins bday is today and his parents always say he was conceived after his cousins bday party) 3. The nurse in the transfer shared with me that I have the same birthday as her daughter (totally random but I always take connections like that as a good sign).
So here we are. In the wait!
I just left MM at the large, farther office where my transfer will be. I’m sitting in my car and just wanted to document this moment. My ultrasound looked good with a lining of 10.9. I will receive a call later with bloodwork results and time of transfer tomorrow. It feels like I was just at this facility but in some ways I feel like a different person since my last visit. Funny how time and experience will do that.
I always feel nostalgic here. This is where my Brynnie was frozen for months and ultimately where we were reunited. Praying tomorrow is successful. Feeling calm and excited all at that the same time. It is hard to believe tomorrow I will leave this building with our embryo inside of me. I’m already feeling that heart connection. Time will tell where tomorrow’s appointment will take us but praying it marks the beginning of becoming a family of four ❤️
Just a little update. Patches (while smaller) are just as annoying as I remember. It’s hard to find a spot on my stomach, they are itchy and placement is especially tricky given it’s bathing suit season. They are also giving me some headaches and achy boobs. But otherwise I am rolling with it all and trying to soak up the end of summer.
4 days until the PIO shots start and 9 days until embryo transfer. Sept. 8th will be my pregnancy test AND Brynn’s first day of PreK 3 AND my first day back at work. So I’m hoping to do 6am MM, 7:45 drop off for Brynn and arrive at work by 8:30. Not sure if it’s possible but I am going to do everything I can to make it work. I anticipate it will be a very emotional and anxious day for me. The first day is always hectic and this year with the stress of the pandemic I know my nerves will be even higher. I work in a school and am nervous to go back, especially if I am pregnant. I will be testing early (Probably the 6th) because I want to avoid any big news at work on my first day. I will also need to build in some extra exercise and meditation time those few days to combat those nerves. But I am ready and excited!
I am sitting in the doctor’s office for morning monitoring. My second visit this week. I started estradiol patches on Monday and switched them out on Wednesday. Now it’s Friday and here I am. Whoever improved the estradiol patches since my last transfer- thank you, thank you, thank you! They are much smaller then I remember.
This week I ran into my cousin at MM and also met a woman that I had an unexpected connection to. The woman owns a company that created something inspirational for the school I work at, after our community experienced a tragic accident. The interaction with both my cousin and this woman left me thinking about the strength of women who endure fertility treatments. Those who sign up to be poked and prodded for a chance at fulfilling their dreams of becoming a mom.
My cousin is amazing and starting infertility treatment after a pretty difficult year. Over the past year, my cousin was dealing with her own health issues as well as supporting her husband through a very traumatic and unexpected health crisis, emergency surgery and recovery. This other woman I met created a company focused on woman being kind and supporting one another. Two amazing woman both showing up smiling at MM full of hope and positivity. Both asking me how I am doing.
Today I want to give a special shout out to all the first timers going through infertility treatment. Everyone comes to fertility with their own story- their own struggles and their own life prior to beginning this process. In some ways, infertility becomes your new normal. For me, it was almost like belonging to this secret club. A whole system and world that you don’t know anything about unless you belong to it too. First timers have the unique challenge of trying to make sense of this new club while they are are going through all of these Invasive medical procedures. It can be a daunting task but you do it anyway because your desire to have a baby outweighs your fear. There are many sacrifices you make- your mornings and your comfort level to name some of the common ones. Then of course there is the physical, emotional and mental toll that treatment can take. Many of these sacrifices are invisible. No one may know you are going through the treatment and even if people do know, chances are they don’t understand the treatment. You will most likely have to deal with triggering comments from those who don’t understand. Mostly everyone will still expect you to show up in your normal life as you have been doing.
So to all of my infertility warriors, especially the first timers I am in awe of you. I am taken aback by your strength to show up and do this crazy, crazy thing. I see the sacrifices you are making even though they may go unnoticed by others. You inspire me. Your presence at morning monitoring gives me hope and strength.
I’m back! Well it’s been a second. So we are officially going for Baby number two! Something we have been debating for awhile now. I was pretty much leaning towards one and done and then a worldwide pandemic hit and I re-evaluated a few things. Parenting has been the hardest but greatest thing ever. Simply put we want to add more love to our home. I am so grateful for my little love and if this doesn’t work I will still feel blessed and grateful. She is my sassy, independent girl- the sunshine of my life. I really want to make her a big sister. That is the difference this time. I am doing this for the three of us now and that is providing me with more motivation. So what has changed since I last wrote? We are in a new forever home that we love. My baby is now a three and a half year old who attends preschool, sleeps in a big girl bed, loves princesses (despite my best efforts not to promote them), sings Mary Poppins songs and fearlessly loves running into the ocean. What else has changed ? I have made some big strides in taking care of my mental and physical health. After experiencing a traumatic event at work and having my anxiety peak (panic attacks and all) I have really started working on myself. A New Years resolution to get in shape for a February vacation has transformed into a new way of life for me. Running and strength workouts 5-6 times a week have kept me sane through the pandemic. I am far from a bodybuilder or marathon runner, but I am in the best shape of my life and probably the best place mental health wise as well. So while it may be crazy to start this process now, it just makes sense for my personally. I know it’s not going to be easy and if it works I will be pregnant through a very scary and uncertain time. Regardless, I feel ready and excited.
So what is the process this time? I have completed a saline sonogram, bloodwork/ultrasound and took the pill for a week and a half after getting my period. Now I’m awaiting the call from my nurse to start my medication. Estrogen patches are up first and the PIO shots will make an appearance soon I’m sure. There are also vaginal inserts in my med. box and I have no recollection of when they come in to play. My tentative transfer is scheduled for August 30th. We will transfer one of our two frozen embryos that were created last year. (We had five remaining frozen eggs that we attempted to fertilize resulting in two embryos). Two chances to become a family of four. Here we go!