We Are Pregnant! All the details
November 27, 2018 5 CommentsCategory: IVF Journey, Motherhood
Tags: IVF Journey, IVF Success, Infertility journey, MS, multiple sclerosis
As you may have seen last week, we shared the very special news that we are expecting our second child! Our In Vitro Fertilization transfer worked and our baby BOY (!!!) will be born in May. Ahh, I still can’t believe it.
I’m writing this “announcement” blog post now at 15.5 weeks pregnant – 11 weeks after learning the wonderful news. To be honest, I’ve been so scared and anxious since seeing that positive test that I haven’t wanted to even write about it for fear that I would jinx it and everything would all be taken away. But now after graduating from the in vitro fertilization clinic, seeing and hearing the heartbeat and even clearing our genetics test at 12 weeks, I finally feel like I can breathe a little (although I don’t think my nervousness and anxiety will ever go away).
So let me take you back to the transfer…
Once you transfer the embryo, you hope that the embryo will implant into your uterine lining which will result in a positive pregnancy. There are many wives tales about what will help the embryo “stick”, one of which is eating lots of fresh pineapple core. I know, it seems kind of silly but hey, I had come this far and would try anything. So every morning – thanks to my dear ole dad – I had fresh pineapple delivered so I could make a smoothie with it. (I mean, can we talk about how cute my dad is… see below).
Since we used a PGS tested embryo – which meant we transferred a normal embryo with all 46 chromosomes – we knew we had a 60% chance of success. This is significantly higher than a standard embryo transfer so if you’re doing IVF and have the means, I would highly recommend PGS testing. If the embryo implants, your body will begin to create HCG, a pregnancy hormone, about 5 to 10 days after the transfer. Some women choose to wait for the blood test that your doctor will order to confirm pregnancy, others like me – who are impatient and very curious – will test early using a “early detection” pregnant test. This will not shock any of you who know me well but I took it to the extreme and began testing after only 4 days after our transfer which is veryyyyyy early but hey, I couldn’t wait to learn the news!
Some people say they can’t physically tell if the embryo implanted, but I had a feeling it did. The Sunday after my transfer (so day 3 after the transfer), I felt crampy and bloated, so I was optimistic.
As you can see (or perhaps only my crazy eyes can see), there was a super faint line at day 4 and I knew then the embryo took! Because it was sooo early, I didn’t tell a soul, not even my husband, because I didn’t want to get his hopes up. I decided to wait and continue to test every day to make sure the line got darker (any line, no matter how faint, is a positive pregnancy but it needs to get darker over the days to ensure your hormone levels are rising). Needless to say, my tests got darker and confirmed the amazingly wonderful news that we were pregnant!
At day 10, I went to the IVF doctor for a blood test that confirmed my pregnancy. Every two days I went back in for a repeated blood test to ensure my hormone levels were rising (doubling to be exact) and I was relieved to know that they were. At 5.5 weeks they gave me my first ultrasound to ensure that there was a yolk sac and to confirm that the embryo implanted inside the uterus (if outside the uterus, it would be an ectopic pregnancy).
We had a first sigh of relief when we saw the sac and again, when we saw our baby’s heartbeat at 6.5 weeks.
Ahhhh. Seeing our baby boy’s heartbeat was the happiest I had been in a long time. We were really having a baby!!!
I should also mention that yes, we did choose the gender and knew that we inserted a boy. Our two “best” embryos were boys, so it was a given that we would transfer the one with the highest likelihood of success.
My ultrasounds continued weekly and baby boy continued to measure on track – in fact, he’s always been 3+ ahead of schedule (my kinda kid!). Every week I returned for a heartbeat check and as time went by, his heart rate increased which is what they hope for. At 7.5 weeks pregnant, I “graduated” from the IVF clinic with a healthy heartbeat of 155. We were elated to say the least.
We are forever grateful to the amazing fertility specialist, Dr. David Cohen from the Institute of Human Reproduction. From the minute I sat down in his office, I knew I was in the best hands. He came across as smart and confident but also as warm and compassionate which is important to me when selecting a doctor. Dr. Cohen was able break down the complicated IVF process in a way that wasn’t intimating or scary and he managed every follow-up meeting in the same manner. I can’t recommend him enough if you’re seeking a specialist in Chicago.
By week 8, my baby bump began to appear and by 12 weeks I felt like I began to look pregnant. It’s crazy how quickly your body bounces back to pregnancy mode the second time around. I looked as big at week 12 as I did with Chloe at week 20. I guess my body knew exactly what to do!
Now, as I make my way into the second trimester, I’m really feeling good.. relieved and physically feeling better too. I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday and am starting to decorate the nursery. It all feels surreal but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so, so happy.
As much as I want to leave this blog series on a positive and happy note, my heart still aches for those who shared this journey with me that haven’t gotten their positive pregnancy yet. I get so emotional thinking about it because I know how hard it is.
To anyone who knows someone going through IVF, offer your support… ask how their doing… learn more about their situation so can support them and help them through. See if they need anything. Ask if they need to talk. It’ll go a long way.
To anyone reading this going through their own fertility journey, I am happy to help support you in any way so feel free to message me. There is hope.
To everyone who’s followed along, thank you for the positive thoughts and support over the past several months. I am grateful for your kindness and friendship.