IVF Round 2:Part 3
Confession: I've been avoiding writing this blog post like it's the plague (can we say plague or is it too soon? 🤣). My laptop has been staring at me for the last few weeks, beckoning me to open her up and write.
But I've been putting it off.
Why? Because the longer we are on this infertility journey, the harder it is to talk about. The emotions that come with what I'm about to share with you are very intense.
If it's so hard, why do I share it with the world?
Because it's a part of our story. Because it's the ugly truth that is infertility. Because couples you know live with this heartbreak every single day, and you may not even be aware of it.
Because God is using our story for good.
He is touching other people through us.
He is helping others feel less alone.
And as a God-fearing, Christian woman, who am I to say, 'No, I don't think so, Lord.'? Who am I to decide what is too hard to share and what isn't?
God promises in Romans 8:18 that the pain that we've been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming.
And that's what we hold onto.
The joy that is coming.
Let's get right to it, shall we?
We did our fresh transfer of two embryos on Sunday, September 4. After it was over, we both cried tears of joy, imagining how this very moment could change our lives forever.
After the transfer, I did all the things the world wide web told me to do. I don't know if any of these items are factual and actually help the embryo/s nestle in, but at this point I will do absolutely anything for a positive pregnancy test.
This list included:
Wear lucky socks during the transfer ✅
Eat McDonalds french fries on the way home from the transfer ✅ I'm not sure why this is a thing, but it definitely is a well-known superstition in the fertility world!
Eat pineapple core every day for five days after the transfer (gross, but ✅) Pineapples have an enzyme called bromelain which is known to reduce inflammation and act as a mild blood thinner, which some think helps with implantation. Bromelain is most concentrated in the core, which is why they say to eat the core.
Drink a crazy amount of water ✅
Don't drink caffeine ✅ I gave up coffee for the ENTIRE IVF cycle
Don't take any medication ✅ (I made this one up myself and stopped taking my sleeping pills and my as-needed anxiety meds)
Keep my feet warm ✅ Warm feet = warm uterus
The Longest Two Week Wait
We knew it was going to be a long two weeks. I didn't imagine time would move as slow as molasses in the winter time though.
We'd been through the two week wait numerous times before, but this time was different. This time was the closest we've EVER been. This time felt good.
I had to continue progesterone in oil shots each night. By now, Brian is a pro, but my hips HURT!! The bullseye marks wash off in the shower, so every couple days Brian has to drawn on new ones. He has been getting creative with his artistry –– each new circle includes a smiley face or some type of stick figure. 😜
Test Day is September 14.
It's circled on the calendar and etched into my brain. This is the day we will go to the clinic for a proper blood test to check my hCG (pregnancy hormone) levels. We just have to make it through the next two weeks.
I know what you're all wondering. Did we take an at-home pregnancy test before the two weeks were up? No, we did not. We didn't even have one in the house because I knew the temptation would be too strong!
And so it begins. Between Sunday, September 11 and Wednesday, September 14 we convinced ourselves at least 576 times that we were pregnant. During this time frame, I didn't sleep. Like, at all.
Did you know that there are roughly a million different shades of pink/red that comes out of a woman's body? And they all mean something different?
I started lightly spotting on Sunday. We were convinced it was implantation bleeding, which is one of the first signs of pregnancy. It can mean that the embryo has found its home in the uterine lining.
But then on Monday morning, the spotting turned a bit more heavy and a bit more red. So then we convinced ourselves that we were, in fact, not pregnant. And we grieved.
By Monday afternoon, it was back to light pink spotting and I was back to believing I was pregnant. By Monday night, it had turned brown and Tuesday morning, it was completely GONE.
There was not a doubt in my mind. I was sure I was pregnant!
I took this information to the next level. I mean, even I can admit it was a bit much. I was moving full-steam ahead:
Ordered all sorts of "I'm pregnant!" and "You're going to be a daddy/aunt/uncle/grandparent" stuff on Etsy and paid the extra cost for realllly fast shipping ✅
Fretted over if we were going to be in our new house by the time the babies come (yes, I'd also believed I might be having twins - after all, we did implant TWO embryos) ✅
Spent way way too much time (in the middle of the night, hello 2 a.m.) on Google researching implantation bleeding and convincing myself even MORE that I was definitely pregnant ✅
Planned how we were going to tell our friends and families and all of you that THIS was it! It was finally happening for us ✅
Then, Tuesday evening came, and the spotting came back. Actually, the bleeding came back. And we were devastated.
Ohhh, the Emotional Whiplash Isn't Over Yet, Friends!
Wednesday morning we went to our appointment as scheduled and told our nurse that we already knew the results of the hCG test because I'd started my period. They took my blood anyway and we came home and waited for the results to come through, fully anticipating a negative result.
But, it wasn't negative. It was 12.
Sooooo, I was pregnant? It was a low number, but it was in the expected range. The excitement and giddiness flooded back.
Then our nurse called to go over the results. In a very kind, empathetic way, she told us that the result is positive, but it's a low positive which means I am likely having an early miscarriage.
We couldn't know for sure, so we were to continue progesterone in oil shots and start estrogen pills. I would come back on Friday to do another hCG test.
Our hearts were shattered once again. But there was still hope.
I spend the next 36 hours on Google, desperate for answers. Desperate for anything that would tell me this was a good sign.
And I prayed. I prayed so so hard. I couldn't sleep, so I prayed. I prayed for my babies. I prayed for those little ones to stay and make their home in my belly. I begged and pleaded with God.
And you guys prayed for us. Our amazing prayer warriors. We put out a prayer request on social media and we felt the love. Thank you for praying for us, even though you didn't know the details.
Friday came, and we went in for another blood draw. The hCG had only dropped from 12 to 11, so I was still hanging onto a thread of hope. It wasn't looking good though.
We tested again the following Tuesday and the number had dwindled to a 2. I was officially not pregnant. I was officially experiencing another miscarriage.
I bled for a long time (I think around 16 days total). Every single time I went to the bathroom, I was reminded that our sweet babies were gone. Every time.
Our Loss Matters
Nothing could have prepared me for the possibility of my body deceiving me, yet again, especially with the help of scads of hormones, science, and doctor visits.
We lost. Again. And, our loss matters. A wanted baby (or babies) who are no longer here –– instead, cradled in God's arms, marveling at the beauty of heaven. ❤️