This post conveys MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE on my IVF Journey. We got VERY lucky our first round and I know that everyone doesn’t have it this easy. However, treating this as a personal journal entry and for others looking for hopeful stories, I am going to give my honest opinion about this process.
FROZEN EMBRYO TRANSFER / IMPLANTATION
Leading up to implantation aka the frozen embryo transfer, I started taking Estrace (estrogen) to prepare my body for potential pregnancy. Since you aren’t getting pregnant naturally, you have to take estrogen and progesterone to “trick” your body into getting ready for the embryo. It is hard to say if I felt anything from the estrogen, because the progesterone really took over (more on that later), but it is safe to say my hormones during the entire IVF cycle were all over the place so who knows what was really responsible for what!
A few days before scheduled implantation, I went in for an ultrasound to check my uterine lining and as always, more bloodwork. Once we got the A-OK from our doctor that everything looked good, we were all set for the transfer on November 8th.
Unlike Egg Retrieval, implantation is a super quick and easy procedure. But, a super quick and easy procedure that can change your life. I woke up on the morning of our frozen embryo transfer SO excited. I had a good feeling and I was ready to take the next step. John was able to be with me in the room, which made allll the difference. He even got to look under the microscope at our blastocyst before they implanted! (I was kinda jealous tbh).
Because of all of the covid precautions, we met our amazing doctor in person for the first time at transfer. Another doctor ended up doing my egg retrieval, because of scheduling, but I was absolutely thrilled to have ours do the transfer. It truly brought the vibes. After transfer, they tell you actually NOT to rest, but to keep the blood flowing, so we had ourselves a day. We went out to lunch, I got a new phone and John got a new apple watch, we got Baskin Robins and then finally got into bed to snug around 4. It was a good day.
THE TWO WEEK WAIT
This was by far the hardest part of the journey so far on me.
After implantation, you have a 9 day wait before you go in for a blood test to confirm pregnancy. They call it the two week wait, but luckily, it is only 9 days. There is no way that I could have lasted two weeks.
These days in between were hard on me both mentally and physically. I was taking Estrace & Progesterone injections and the Progesterone kicked my ass. LITERALLY, John had to give me the injections in my upper booty and from the second day of shots, which was even before implantation, I was sore. The P is an intramuscular injection and because I don’t have a lot of cushion back there, I really struggled with soreness day in and day out. I was laying on a heating pad whenever I was at home — this full back heating pad from Amazon was a GAME CHANGER — and there were many days I wasn’t able to get out of bed. (Fortunately/Unfortunately, if the pregnancy takes, you have to stay on Progesterone until week 10 and I was in a lot of pain during those weeks, but I just kept telling myself it was all going to be worth it.)
Mentally, those 9 days were so, so hard. We had come all this way over the past couple of months and I was just trying not to get my hopes up, while at the same time desperately hoping for a successful implantation. We had our one lil embryo that could, and I just prayed and prayed it would persevere.
Luckily, we had a lot of distractions during the waiting period, as John, his sister and cousin were running the Richmond marathon, which meant family time and lots of activities. But, I was still tired. and I had no idea that was just the beginning. (Thankfully!!)
I don’t really have too much else to say about this period, except for the fact that it was a true struggle! If you are embarking on this journey, be prepared for all the ups and downs. If you have already experienced it too, I know I am not alone in thinking this. But, again, as I have said a lot during this blog post series, we got so, so lucky that all of the very hard days ended up being worth it.
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