Looking Up and Looking Forward

One of the bittersweet aspects to the transparency of my blog, is that I share all of the news, whether it is a celebration or sadness. It is the reality of the fertility world. Whether you are taking Clomid, undergoing IUI, IVF, or Surrogacy, there are many ups and downs. But to be on the other side and have that empathetic understanding for someone else is truly a gift. Because nobody will understand their situation quite like you do.

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Yesterday was the beta blood test to check the level of HCG. This is the most accurate way to test if the embryo has resulted in a pregnancy. I went in for the blood draw just before 9 am. We received our phone calls (Amy & Al first, then me) from the nurse at TFC around 2:15 pm. Unfortunately the transfer was not a success and I was to stop all hormones immediately, once again.

I had been expecting bad news, probably because it is easier to expect the worst but hope for the best, so I was able to make it through the phone call just fine. But even when you are mentally prepared to receive bad news, you don’t know what your emotional response will be. I wept.

Over the past several months I have grown to love Amy and Al like family. I have prayed so hard over them and that the Lord would allow me to help them achieve parenthood. We’ve all been praying hard! One of the things we don’t know though is God’s timeline. So, we continue to have faith (looking up) and perseverance (looking forward).

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We are continuing to work as a team and a close-knit support system for each other  while moving forward to the next check list so that we can try again. There isn’t an official timeline yet, but it will most likely be about two months until we are able to try a transfer again.

In the meantime, I am focusing on health and fitness for the next month or so to fight off a few of the hormone induced pounds. And just to tend to my body. You can’t grow a beautiful garden if the soil isn’t happy, healthy, and fertile.

Transfer Day

Monday morning came along and I was in a peaceful state of awareness. Partially prepared for a phone call but also praying for smooth passage to Texas Fertility Surgery Center.

Promptly at 9:30 am I took a dose of Doxycycline with a full glass of water after a hearty breakfast without dairy (eggs with sautéed veggies, breakfast sausage, and half a slice of whole grain toast).

Then we were on our way to drop off our younger daughter at a friend’s house before heading south to the Surgery Center. I dressed in comfortable clothes and a pretty special shirt customized by The Freckled Clover.

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Foster Womb with green baby footprints

 

We arrived to the Texas Fertility Surgery Center a little early and were brought straight back so I could tackle a new stack of paperwork.

Next, we received a visit from the Embryologist to discuss the embryo that we were about to transfer into my uterus. We were expecting a 5 day Blastocyst but the best quality embryo from the cohort was the lovely little one below. It was showing signs of heading toward an Early Blastocyst but was still technically a Morula. The arched cell in the upper left is what will develop into a placenta. Isn’t that amazing?! The Embryologist was confident in the embryo quality saying it was just a little behind schedule, so we moved ahead with the transfer.

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5 day embryo in Morula phase

 

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Early Embryo Development

 

 

Both my husband and I received a set of gowns and covers for surgery. We may have had a little too much fun snapping a few pictures and squishing my fuzzy purple slippers (with grippers on the bottom) on the floor while waiting. The nurse popped back in briefly to administer a Valium pill with water. This was a first for me so I wasn’t sure how it would effect me. I thought I would be nice and relaxed, which I was right before and during the transfer. But then it put me to sleep within a short while of getting back in the truck to go home… and through the better part of the afternoon too! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all, the sleep was glorious.

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Ready to Go!

 

The actual transfer was very smooth. Brandon (my husband) was able to take video of the ultrasound screen and the microscope monitor for Amy and Al. I  was put on a warm bed with warm heavy covers on top, it was so cozy! Dr. Vaughn explained each step of the way very clearly. We got to see the microscope zoom in on a spec until we were once again looking at the detailed embryo. The embryologist collected the embryo in a catheter, which looked HUGE on the monitor, then brought the catheter over to Dr. Vaughn. He then proceeded to conduct an Ultrasound-Guided Embryo Transfer. We followed the tiny white dot on the screen move to the center of my uterine lining. And that’s it. I was gently helped back off the table, allowed to *finally* go empty my bladder, and be on our way.

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See the white dot in the bottom center?

 

I am on light duty until next Wednesday when I go in for the first HCG blood test. It may sound strange, but relaxing doesn’t come easy for me. My hands are meant to be busy! So I try to compromise with myself by working on projects on my computer and other low key things in the meantime. We are all praying for a positive update next week! There won’t be any home pregnancy tests so everyone will have to hold tight until Wednesday.

Round 2!

The past two months have been filled with a lot of waiting and praying.

Here we are again, preparing for a transfer.

After the first transfer was canceled I began taking Provera to encourage my cycle to start. Once that kicked off with a vengeance, I took 27 active days of birth control. When the next cycle started, I began Estrogen again on day 2 and increased the dosage on day 7.

This week is when things really picked up momentum!

Monday morning I went in for an ultrasound to check my lining. It was sitting fluffy at 13.3 so we were given the go ahead to officially prep for transfer. Woo! It was also the first time my husband was able to come with me because my parents were in town and watching our daughters.


Tuesday I had a quick blood draw to check my Progesterone (P4) level. Once again, another excellent test result came back and we were given another green flag for the next two big steps.


Wednesday was the egg (OOCYTE) thaw. All 7 survived the thaw so now we wait for more updates on the fertilization process over the next few days. I also set my injection station back up for my daily evening dose of Progesterone in Oil Intramuscular Injections.
(Here are a few previous posts about that topic Injections and Transfer, Injections, Embryos)


If we continue to receive good updates, the transfer is set for March 20th. That also happens to be the first day of Spring, wouldn’t that be an excellent day for a new beginning?