I gave myself a month to recover from the failed IVF. In that time, I did lots of research and tried to enjoy life. I was excited to be matron of honor in a friend’s wedding and even got to enjoy some cocktails at the event since I was between IVFs. I also mentally prepared myself for the next round of IVF. I was very cautious about not getting excited. Obviously, I hoped IVF 2 would be successful, but I remained indifferent and reminded myself that there was a good possibility we’d have to participate in a third round of IVF or even a fourth. I treated the cycle as more of a procedure rather than a potentially life changing event. I even had a job interview during that time. I’m proud of how calm and grounded I was able to remain. I can be quite passionate so this was a major accomplishment.
I started IVF 2 in late March. The injections, multiple blood draws, and ultrasounds were similar to the first round. There was one very stressful evening when the doctor decided to switch up one of my medications at the last minute. I was literally waiting for a courier to deliver the hCG medication minutes before I was supposed to make the injection. Not cool. And I should mention the medication switch wasn’t due to how I was responding; the doctor just preferred one type over another.
Retrieval day arrived and the RE was able to obtain 20 eggs. I was excited to make it to the 20s. I had to remind the nurse that we’d be using frozen swimmers and we were doing a 3 day transfer. She seemed surprised by the 3 day transfer and asked if that was what I really wanted. The apparent lack of communication has persuaded me to schedule a consultation with another clinic before going through IVF again, but that’s an entirely different post.
I received the fertility report when we went in for transfer. 12 eggs were mature and 11 fertilized. This time, A came with me (we didn’t even have to take the day off of work because transfer fell on a Saturday… woohoo!). The embryologist sat and talked with us before transfer and I appreciated that he took time to explain the embryo grades (the previous time, it had been a quick 10 second report before I was whisked off for transfer). He said that he thought our embryos looked better this time around and was hopeful we’d have some to freeze. Great news, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up. Transfer was smoother than it had been for IVF 1. Hubs really enjoyed getting to watch the embryos being transferred (there’s a screen that shows the embryos being removed from the dish and being placed) and I enjoyed his support.
For IVF 1, I rested quite a bit (as recommended) after transfer. This time around, I rested less. I didn’t do anything crazy, but I also didn’t put my life on hold. I went to brunch the following day and to a baseball game two days later. The baseball game was so much fun. Hubs and I went with two friends who are hilarious. I think I laughed through the whole game and I’m now convinced this helped with implantation. The next few days I was crampy and bloated and absolutely convinced that the second IVF was also a bust. It didn’t help that the embryologist called to tell us that once again we had no embryos make it to freeze. So disappointing. But I wasn’t completely devastated like I had been with IVF 1 since I knew what to expect. I had also accepted a job offer just before transfer so I told myself that perhaps it just wasn’t my time for a baby. I really do think everything happens for a reason and I figured I’d immerse myself in my new job and wait a few months before undergoing yet another round of IVF.
Making it to one week post transfer was an accomplishment for me since my cycle had started at that point after the first transfer. I think it was 9 days post transfer when I was getting ready to hop in the shower. On a whim, I decided to take a pregnancy test. At this point the hCG from the trigger shot should have been out of my system, but I also knew it was really early so there was still hope even if it turned out negative. I peed on the stick and set the test on the bathroom counter. The first line showed up right away and I thought that was it. I turned on the water and grabbed a towel. Right before hopping in the shower, I glanced at the stick and saw a faint second line. Oh my gosh! I wrapped the towel around myself and ran downstairs to tell A. We were both excited, but we knew this was just the beginning and we still had a long road ahead.
I was scheduled for beta 13 days post transfer. The morning before the blood draw, I decided to take another pregnancy test. I wanted to be prepared for the news… if it was still positive that was great, but if it was now negative, I knew I’d probably receive bad news. I promised A I’d let the phone call from the clinic got to voicemail so we could listen to the results together. Besides, if it was bad news, I didn’t want to be alone.
The call came early. I recognized the number right away and my phone soon showed that I had a voicemail waiting. Seeing the voicemail notification and not listening to that message was incredibly difficult. THEN, another call from the SAME number came that afternoon. Oh no! What should I do?!? I hadn’t expected TWO phone calls!! Why would they call twice?? What if something was wrong and the nurse really needed to talk to me?? If something was wrong, maybe it was best to listen with A anyway. I let that call go to voicemail as well.
I FINALLY got home from work and A and I both sat on the couch staring at my phone in anticipation. I was so so so nervous. I hit the play button. The first message was from one of my favorite nurses at the clinic. She asked that I call her back as soon as possible. Oh no!! What if they didn’t want to leave my results in a message? I hadn’t even thought about that scenario. I looked at A wide eyed… I HAD to know what the results were TODAY and the clinic was definitely closed by now. I hit play on the second message. The same nurse explained that she was hoping to talk to me to give me the good news… my beta was 299… a really great number. She congratulated us and said I’d need to come in for an ultrasound.
Again, I knew that this was just the beginning. We had a long way to go and I didn’t want to get too excited yet, but I was extremely hopeful and happy.During the next few weeks, I took things one day at a time. I didn’t want to look too far into the future and was happy to be pregnant with each passing week. Every Wednesday was a victory because it marked another week pregnant. Every ultrasound and blood test brought positive news much to my relief and I was so so thankful to be carrying our perfect baby.