Fertility, pregnancy

Update – BFP highs, lows, and highs again

Well it’s been a while since I’ve made a post but quite a bit has happened. First off – I’m pregnant!!!

Transfer #2 was very similar to the first one. My doctor kept an upbeat tone and told funny stories as he was doing it. He confirmed that the embryos looked great, and told me to rest and be a couch potato for the next 3 days, and then take it easy for the next 2 weeks. I followed doctor’s orders and stayed in bed those 3 days post transfer, but after that it was business as usually. Being a stay at home mom to a nine month old meant that I had to completely disregard the no heavy lifting rule.

One week post transfer, after going in for blood work, I got the excited call from my fertility nurse that I was pregnant! That excitement lasted about an hour, and then the fear crept in. I had been here before, I had received a call like this one just a few short months ago, only to find out less then a week later that it was all over. So I held my breath until my next appointment 3 days later – my hcg had doubled! Then at my next appointment the numbers doubled again, and kept doubling at every appointment…. around this time I decided to join a few Facebook IVF groups, I also joined one for women with September 2018 due dates. I thought the community support would help. Instead, every few days I read a post from a woman leaving the group because she was no longer pregnant. Instead of celebrating my pregnancy with other IVF moms, the group fed every fear and nightmare I had until I finally turned off all notifications and vowed to step away until I made it firmly into the second trimester.

As the weeks progressed, instead of feeling more excited, I was plagued with a debilitating anxiety…I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was hard for me to even acknowledge that I was pregnant- I didn’t want to have to face the disappointment of a miscarriage again…

As far as symptoms: my emotional rollercoaster of anxiety and fear dominated. I also felt more tired than I’d ever felt in any other time in my life, and my face broke out. I’d made it through all of my teen years without a pimple, so to get acne on my forehead at 36 was such a bizarre experience.

I had practically no morning sickness and no food aversions. In the pregnancy world, this is something to be celebrated and to feel grateful for – but the lack of morning sickness only fed my paranoia. Being tired all the time, while caring for a 9 month old baby was challenging. I was constantly exhausted. Emotionally, I couldn’t get excited. I had so much fear. The silver lining through all of this is that I always had a lot of hope and faith in the process. My fertility nurse was a constant cheerleader, enthusiastic and excited about ever lab result and ultrasound. And my wife was 100% certain that everything would be fine. Once we got the initial pregnancy result, she considered our fertility journey to be over and she was so happy about the pregnancy – her confidence and certainty really helped.

Fortunately, by around week 13 the clouds began to clear, my energy started to return, and I slowly started exhaling… I graduated from my fertility clinic and signed up for a midwife at Texas Children’s Hospital. I was now out of the infertility world and into the maternity one. I had a great first appointment, and did genetic testing (baby’s healthy, and it’s a girl!).

So that brings me to the present – yesterday we had a photoshoot for Baby M’s upcoming 1st Birthday (just under 2 weeks away). We also snapped a few family photos and a pregnancy announcement – we plan on sharing the news with our extended friends and family on baby M’s birthday.

IVF is a truly unique experience. I feel honored to be a member of a sisterhood of women who have fought the infertility battle and come out on the other side.

My fertility posts end here, time to start embracing, celebrating, and sharing my pregnancy journey.


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