Years of heartache, hope and persistence got the intended parents to this point. For me, it was months of emails, paperwork, appointments, awkward conversations, Skype calls, flights, meetings and medications.
And science, can’t forget about that. Lots of science.
It all comes down to one question.
Did it work?
They call it the “two week wait” in the fertility world, but it’s actually ten days. I intended to hold out until the blood test which was scheduled at my local clinic for ten days after the transfer. And I did a pretty good job of staying busy and distracted in the days immediately following the transfer…
But, naturally, by day seven I had caved and bought a home test.
I took the test and quickly shared the results with the intended parents (IP’s) except that it wasn’t quick at all because of the time difference. (I find myself googling “what time is it in China?” quite often these days…)
It was up to me whether or not I wanted to test at home but if I chose to do so, the IP’s wanted to be informed of the results. Our agency had already made them aware of the possibility that it could be negative if taken too early and also that things could change between the time of the home test and the scheduled beta blood test.
However, none of those precautions were necessary.
On the 10th day, I went in for the blood draw and a few hours later, what we had already learned from the home test was confirmed…
I’m pregnant. HCG levels through the roof!
The IP’s did finally respond to my initial email about 12 hours later and they were over the moon excited about the news. They know it’s early, but celebrating is in order nonetheless.
This morning, which is now the 12th day, I went in for yet another blood test. They want to see that my HCG levels are increasing at a rate that would indicate a viable pregnancy. Good news again, they have more than doubled since the first test!
These past several months as I’ve pursued this result, I’ve been talking with God and just asking for Him to let me know if I’m doing the right thing. All along the way, I feel that He’s made the path clear for me to move forward. There’s been no resistance, even when I expected there to be.
Case in point #1:
I was terrified to tell my parents. I’m not sure why – they’re not terrifying people. I suppose the simplest reason is that they’re pretty traditional and what I’m doing is not.
I even slipped away to the San Diego Fertility Center for my medical clearance appointment back in May without telling them because I didn’t even want to bring up the conversation unless it was for sure happening.
You don’t realize how much you communicate with your mother until you’re trying to go on a two-day trip across the country without her knowledge. I mean, the woman has rerouted her drive home from work, or anywhere for that matter, to pass by our house. She definitely knew something was up but would never have guessed what it was.
When I finally did tell them, their reaction was unexpectedly positive. My mom gave me a hug and told me she was proud of me. I made her tell my dad and he’s been incredibly supportive too – in fact, last week when my husband wasn’t home, he came over to give me my progesterone injection. If that’s not a good dad, I don’t know what is.
I took their effortless support as a hugely positive sign as it would have been really hard for me to go through this process without their blessing.
Case in Point #2:
The transfer was originally going to be sometime in late May or early June but it got delayed due to an issue on the side of the intended parents which I had no control over.
I didn’t want to spend the summer waiting around to find out when the next step would take place. This process can be a lot of “hurry up and wait” and I wasn’t going to let that get me down.
Instead, like any good toddler parent, I chose the strategy of “redirection” and put my focus on fitness. The first two years of parenthood had wreaked havoc on that area of my life and I was ready to change that. A summer of working hard in the weight room resulted in a 20-pound weight loss leading up to transfer day.
I’m so grateful that I had this space in time to focus on me and now I can enter into this pregnancy as a healthier and stronger version of myself.
Case in Point #3:
From a medical perspective, things have gone so smoothly. It’s common for transfers to get cancelled and put off until another cycle for various reasons, usually having to do with the uterine lining not being thick enough or other related issues with the “environment”. But that didn’t happen for us.
I also knew it was possible that the initial transfer wouldn’t take, and that would have been perfectly normal. Amazingly, we had success on the first try!
That’s not to say I wouldn’t have continued even if there were cancelled or failed transfers, I would have. I’m simply grateful for the ease of the process thus far and for how my body has responded to the fertility treatments.
So yes, today I am feeling a strong sense of confirmation that this is what I was meant to do with my life at this time.
I’m thrilled for the parents-to-be and hopeful for a smooth pregnancy!
There will be three ultrasounds over the next several weeks after which I will be released into the care of my regular OB once I’m 12 weeks along. It’s definitely interesting to go from my first pregnancy where I took a home test, called the clinic and was told: “see you in 8 weeks!” (Wait, what?!) to this IVF pregnancy where there is so much early monitoring.
I will continue on the hormone therapy of estrogen pills twice a day and daily progesterone injections through the 12-week mark. While the daily shots are literally a pain in the you know what, they have become pretty routine at this point.
I have a long ways to go but it will be worth it!