Time to come clean with the results of our third round of IVF. Obviously, this post comes a little later than I had originally planned, but I think we can all understand with the craziness of the past few weeks and the uncertainty of the weeks to come. Plus lots of cute Emmie pics.
Last time I checked in, we were celebrating Emmie’s birthday party, playing with Daddy and family, and getting ready for weeks of shots.
IVF Round 3
As a quick refresher, this was my third round of IVF total. I did two rounds of IVF 3 years ago and went quite in depth with the process, so if you are interested, check out my posts tagged “infertility,” search “in vitro,” or look at my posts Jan 2017-April/May 2017 (when we did my FET).
The first round of IVF, we got 5 eggs, 3 of which fertilized, 1 fresh transfer after 3 days, negative hCG Beta (not pregnant). Round 2 started a few weeks later, and that time, we got 10 eggs with 7 mature, 5 fertilized, 1 fresh transfer after 5 days, and 1 embryo that matured enough on the last night for freezing on the last morning. Negative hCG Beta.
A month later, I started progesterone in oil shots, which I did for 3 weeks before a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) on May 7, 2017. I had a positive Beta hCG and another 6 weeks of Progesterone shots (9 weeks total). That little embryo was Emmie.
This brings us to round 3. We were going to start Round 3 last year (2019), but a major Crohn’s Disease flare in March put me back on Methotrexate injections (black box med with regards to pregnancy) until December and Prednisone for 5 months. We took me back off Methotrexate in December and scheduled this round of IVF to start the final week of February (to make sure I stayed stable off of the drug).
Overall, this round was pretty straightforward and without major complications (thank goodness). Alex was able to watch Emmie the first 3 times that I had to go in for my ultrasounds and bloodwork, and the second week, when I had to go in almost every day, she was great in the office and, I hope, a breath of levity and fresh air for the many that were there for the same reasons. I didn’t have many big time symptoms beyond feeling a bit like my ovaries were taking more room than they should, and a bit more of the munchies, some fatigue, and hormonalness at times, but nothing too bad.
As we are never ones to do anything the easy way, however, Emmie chewed through the tip of her Wubbanubb at the beginning of the week that I started going in daily. Consequently, we had to castrate Wubbs, which started a week of no naps BUT we did get to take Wubbs with us to the doctors, which I think helped mightily.
My mom came for the final weekend, as we didn’t know exactly which day my retrieval would be, and they decided to stimulate me the full time. Mom watched Emmie while Alex and I were at the doctors and then headed back out that evening (Monday the 9th, right as Coronavirus stuff was starting to blow up in the medical community).
Oh yeah. COVID-19. That thing. Alex came home the middle of the week before my retrieval in a right state about where this whole epidemic (at the time) was going. He got increasingly worried about how the virus could affect a pregnant woman and also the availability of resources issue that now everyone is starting to realize. Should I be trying to get pregnant or if we should just “bank” aka freeze the embryos for later? The risk, of course, is that you might not even get one to freeze, but that a transferred embryo might make it (the body being, theoretically, the best incubator). By Friday, as I reminded him that we could just freeze and not transfer, we decided to just do that.
My retrieval was easy peasy, and my doctor was the one to do my procedure (they rotate), so that was a nice change. I recovered quickly and got animal crackers (holler). Mom and I went to Target, Alex went to work, and we sat back and waited for the embryos to incubate while hoping we made the right decision.
The rest of the week was filled with the escalation of COVID-19 in Chicago (luckily, because Alex had seen what was coming, we had started preparing over the previous week) and waiting. We made decisions for what would happen for Emmie and I as the situation progressed, and I will discuss that another time.
Saturday, I got a call from the embyologist that we had one that was developed sufficiently to be frozen (it had reached blastocyst stage of cell division). There were 3 embryos that had stopped dividing (not viable), and there were 3 that they were still watching. Sunday morning I received the call that those 3 had also thrown in the towel and we only had the 1 “superstar” that we froze the day before.
So…. we got the one. But as I have heard, said, and thought again and again and by so many, it only takes one. Emmie was our one. And she might be our one and only. That will come down to whether this little fighter takes or if we are able to do another retrieval before we leave to go to Georgia, after COVID things (hopefully) calm down.
It as a bit hard on me at first, the decision to not do a fresh transfer and at least get some immediate satisfaction of knowing that we were trying to get pregnant. I focus so much on the present, and also I was pretty inundated with hormones as well as the delayed gratification of the year before, that I sat on the choice for a bit longer than I perhaps should have. My logical mind knew the answer, my heart needed a moment. But I have no doubt we made the right choice. Even if, in the end, we get this one more chance. I will always be grateful for having that chance.
Obviously, I am not my usual snarky, wise-cracking self in this post. The world just feels heavy right now. I will have a Coronavirus post at some point, but right now I will just say that I am taking care of myself with regards to my mental health (read: we upped my meds, and Emmie and I are getting out as much as we can).
And to leave everyone with a smile, here are a few Emmie-isms 😀
- When leaving the house for a walk with Alex and I, Emmie opened the door and said, “Come on, let’s go!”
- After finishing her cottage cheese at breakfast, she said, “Mama! Muffin time!!”
- I asked her how old she was, and she replied, “Two!” “How old is Mommy?” “Two and a half!” (Not sure where she learned that…)
- “Where do you think Ri Ri (Ridley) is right now?” “Sleeping on couch!”