Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, I can share this super mega post that I have been saving since our FET. I recorded evvverrything! I’m sorry I kept it secret for so long. Well, sorry but not sorry, because it has been a very stressful time for me too! So, are you ready for a serious novel? No? Well here it is anyways:
After a Frozen Embryo Transfer, you count the days as “post transfer” until you have your hcg bloodwork, which is referred to as your “hcg beta”. My transfer was on 10/25, and here are the symptoms I recorded.
10/26 to 10/28 (Days 1-3 ) – Nothing to note
10/29 – (Day 4) – Stuffy nose, cramping, EMOTIONS, Acne
10/30 – (Day 5) – First positive HPT test!!! Dean saw the line immediately when I put it in front of him. Having lots of little cramps/twinges, sense of smell is insane (thanks, progesterone), and major fatigue. Was up for 2 hours last night with anxiety/insomnia.
10/31 (Day 6) – INSOMNIA. Lots of cramping, and anxiety. Stuffy nose.
11/1 (Day 7) – INSOMNIA. Cramping on the right side, fatigue, stuffy nose, a lot of emotions. Took a digital test that showed “Pregnant” for the first time ever.
Want to see some things that I peed on? YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND.
11/5 First beta: Received the call at 9:30AM, the beta was 251. Dean was home, so we got the results together!
11/7 Second beta: 559. Happy 6 year wedding anniversary to us! Ideally, at this stage, your beta numbers will double over a 48 hour period. As you can see, we exceeded the doubling rate by just a bit. We scheduled my first ultrasound for 11/14 to make sure that the baby is present in my uterus, and that it is developing at a normal rate.
11/14 – We had our first ultrasound at 5 weeks 4 days, and saw a perfectly round yolk sac. Dr. Cass found it RIGHT AWAY. It’s the cutest circle I’ve ever seen, and next week we should be able to see the heartbeat!
Symptoms: fatigue, INDIGESTION from everything I eat, nausea, sore boobs
11/21 – 6 weeks, 4 days – Tiny little blob present, with a beautiful flickering heartbeat. Dean saw it right away and got choked up, which of course made ME get choked up. Once the Doctor left, we embraced and had tears in our eyes. This is a huge milestone for us. Our lives changed when we lost our first pregnancy at 6 weeks 5 days. Making it past this point and knowing that the baby was not only in my uterus, but that it had a heartbeat was one of the best moments of my life.
Symptoms: fatigue, INDIGESTION (living that club cracker and apple slices life), nausea throughout the day, and the sorest boobs in all the land
11/28 – 7 weeks, 4 days – We got to see our little blobs heartbeat again, flickering beautifully. Dr. Cass told us that we will be released from her care in about 2 weeks, and if my bloodwork comes back today as okay, I can begin tapering my medications. Yes, I am still getting daily ass injections. If you’re doing the math, it’s been about six weeks since we started them. So you know, ouch.
Update: No tapering of my medications yet :(. Dr. Cass said that she likes to begin lowering medications when your progesterone is reliably over 20. My result? 19.20. That figures.
12/5 – 8 weeks, 4 days – Our baby now looks like a little gummy bear. We could even see it’s little webbed hands and feet! I couldn’t believe how much bigger it had gotten in such a short time. Of course we saw that beautiful little heartbeat flickering again. Dr. Cass told me that my last appointment with her is scheduled for next week. So many mixed feelings. The growth and baby looks ‘perfect’. Best ass-related news ever: I get to taper down my medication! I am completely off my estrogen, and on 1cc of PIO instead of 1.5cc! It’s the little things.
12/12 – 9 weeks, 4 days – Our last appointment! I only have FIVE MORE INJECTIONS LEFT. My back (and ass) are the happiest in all the land. What’s more, is that it is only .5 cc’s! The nurses made copies of all my paperwork to give to my OBGYN when I have my first appointment on 12/21. It seems so far away when you are used to weekly monitoring :(. I opened everything they gave me to make my own copies, and on my most recent ultrasound report it says, “Impressions: viable single intrauterine pregnancy”. I read that about 100 times, and couldn’t stop smiling. The word “viable” means everything to me. I dont know how I am going to handle having ONLY monthly appointments! How do people survive? Pasta? Cookies? I’m down for any suggestions. Not that I can eat them, because literally everything STILL gives me indigestion.
12/21 – 10 weeks, 6 days. Well, here we are – at an official OBGYN. My regular OB is out on maternity leave, so I get to see her equally lovely sister, Dr. Christina. She reviewed all my labs and everything from the RE and said everything looked wonderful! We reviewed my history, she gave me some pamphlets on what things you can and cant eat, medications you cant take, and paperwork to take to a Quest lab to have my blood drawn. I apparently needed to repeat bloodwork that we had already had done months prior (STD screening, hormonal screening, thyroid etc) as well as also having blood drawn for the state first trimester screening. I scheduled this bloodwork for 12/22 (not that we are eager or anything). I will not get the results of the state screening until we also have our NT scan, which is scheduled for 1/9/2017. I will be THIRTEEN WEEKS and FOUR DAYS pregnant at that point. That’s a lot of growing for a baby to do, and with no weekly ultrasounds I have no idea what’s going on in there!
12/22 – They took NINE vials of my blood. Guess how many were for the baby? ONE. My arm hurts 🙁
12/29 – We made it to 12 weeks!
1/09/2017 – 13 weeks, 4 days – This has been the appointment that we have been waiting for. Since we did not opt to do PGS on our embryos (preimplantation genetic screening, it was very cost prohibitive), we were left hoping that everything was okay. After our experienced failures, we did our best to believe that this little baby was healthy and had no genetic abnormalities. This scan, was by far the COOLEST ever. We saw the babies heart, brain, stomach, bladder, and of course it’s beautiful little fingers and toes. The baby even stretched out completely and made kicking motions towards the Doctor, it was very wiggly. In order to see the back of the neck properly (where the doctor measures the nuchal translucency) the doctor was forcefully trying to get the baby to move by pushing repeatedly on my stomach. It was at this point that the baby turned away from her completely and was like, “I’m done with you.” This baby is clearly a Johnson.
Now, I didn’t get the exact measurement of the NT, but the doctor measured and compared it with my first trimester bloodwork and told me congratulations, we can rule out Down Syndrome 70%, and Trisomy 18 by 80% which is the most they can do at this time. I will have an additional screening in a few weeks.
And now….SOME PICTURES.
I have another post in the works that will essentially be a reflection, but for now I can say – We are pregnant. We did it.
When I gave some thought as to how I wanted to announce, I wanted to somehow quantify the journey we have been on. How do you measure something this personal and this intense? What better way than a physical representation of every single medication that was injected into my body. I saw a similar pregnancy announcement about a year ago, and it struck me then, just as creating our unique version strikes me now. What this picture does not capture is the emotional, physical, and mental anguish that the IVF process can take on you and your significant other. To every single person who has struggled, or is currently still struggling with infertility, I will not send you a message of hope but one of solidarity. Achieving our goal obviously means the world to us, but it doesn’t change everything we had to do to get here. We will always wear our wounds. The connections and friendships I have made over the past three and a half years mean the absolute world to me. I could not have done it without the support of my closest friends, family, and fellow infertility confidants. Your support helped to get me through, and I wanted to extend my deepest and sincerest thanks. I will be making a much more in depth reflection post at a later date, but I wanted to put this out there to anyone and everyone who may be reading it. I truly love you, and will never forget what you have done for me.