Monday, July 2, 2012

IVF Process - May 23, 2012 - June 27, 2012

Well, so much has happened in a little over 2 weeks - ending in a POSITIVE pregnancy test.

May 8 - We went in for our egg retrieval. They were able to successfully retrieve 10 eggs. After the retrieval, I went home and we just relaxed (I slept) off and on for the rest of the day. I was able to go back to work the following day.

May 9 - We received a phone call letting us know that 7 of the 10 eggs were successfully fertilized. 1 of the eggs was too immature, so they didn't try to fertilize it, and 2 of them didn't take. They were really happy with that number. They also confirmed that I would be doing the transfer on May 13 - Mother's Day.

May 13 - We went in for the embryo transfer really early in the morning. We talked with the doctor early on and decided that we would place 2 embryos. This obviously means that I would have a greater chance of having twins, if both of them attached to my uterus, but it also increased the chances that I would get pregnant with at least 1 baby. The strongest embryos were numbers 3 and 7, so in they went. We also got a little ultrasound picture to take home with us.

May 14- I was on bed rest for the day. Bob spent a lot of time taking care of me and balanced his day with his busy Monday paperwork.

The next 9 days were never-ending. All we wanted was to know the results. We were on pins and needles. I was supposed to start following all the "rules" of being pregnant. Also, I had to start a new round of shots. These shots are a little less pleasant. Longer needle, and injected into the muscles of my booty. They cause knots and bruising, and stiff muscles. Also during this time, the nurse, Erin, called to check on me. (I'm sure it's part of what they do - but she is seriously amazing!) Unfortunately, she also told us that they were unable to freeze any of the extra embryos. They weren't strong enough to survive the freezing process, and even if they had survived that, they wouldn't have survived the thawing. This was devastating news, for two reasons - first, we were counting on them to be able to use if this round didn't work we wouldn't have to go through the whole process again. Second, we have always hoped to have a family with more than one child, and had agreed that we would give every frozen embryo a chance. Now if we want to continue to grow our family, we will have to start at the beginning.

May 23 - Bob and I both took the day off work. (We had tried our best to maintain our normal work and life routine all along, but definitely agreed that we wanted to spend this whole day together) We had to get up and out the door in enough time to be in Ann Arbor by 10:30 for a blood test. Most of my blood test and monitoring appointments had been local, but on Wednesdays, the local appointment times do not allow the blood to get to the lab soon enough to get the results on the same day. We could have tested locally, but didn't want to wait a whole extra day for the results. Testing in Michigan was stressful because most people have a hard time finding my veins. It took the nurse 3 tries over a 30 minute period with 2 different kinds of needles before she was able to successfully draw. The lab driver ended up waiting on me before he could go to the lab. We were told they would give us a call with the results sometime between 3 and 4, so we went home to wait.

My phone rang around 3:45. Bob and I had been lying in bed pretending to watch TV. We expected the call to come from the Michigan office, so I felt very at ease right away when I saw the local office number on the phone. The conversation went like this.

Nurse - "Hi, how are you?"
Me on speaker phone - "I'm not sure tell me."
Nurse - "Well, I think you're going to be pretty good. Your test was positive!!!!"
Me - a lot of things I don't remember including asking if she was serious and thanking her a million times

We set up my next appointment and hung up the phone. I was shaking, Bob was crying and we were both speechless. I can honestly say without hesitation it has been the best moment of my life so far. Words will never be able to describe how I felt.

So then we wanted to go tell our family. (I'm writing down this process and the reactions so I never can skip this paragraph if you're not interested...) We decided to go in geographic order. First stop was Amy’s. Turns out she and my sister had been texting each other all day to see if they had heard anything. Amy and Erin were both home, and her response was priceless. Jumping up and down, tears, hugs, shaking...followed by the most genuine text message after we left. The boys weren't home, but we didn't want them to know yet because it was so early. Meghan jumped up and down with us, but she didn't know why she was so excited. On our way to the next stop, we called my brother. He was at work. I reminded him about how when I told him we were getting engaged he confused me mentioning that there would be baby at the wedding (Caden!) he thought I meant we were pregnant then. But we weren't and now we're pregnant for real!!! He screamed and was so excited, all while at work. Next stop was the Kimball parents. By this time I was bursting at the seams to tell my mom and dad and I felt like Bob was driving way under the speed limit. Mom K was at the door when we pulled in the driveway - tons of excitement and hugs. As soon as we realized Dad K wasn't there we were out the door because I felt like we couldn't tell people fast enough. We went to his bus garage, but he wasn't there. He also didn't answer his phone. Laura was at work in Michigan so we called her. She answered the phone and said "Is it baby Wednesday?!?!?!!" We were on the way to surprise my very pregnant sister at work. I kept calling her assistant and she wasn't answering, but I wanted to see if Jen was there anyway. She wasn't. Next I called my dad’s assistant. He wasn't there either. DIDN'T ANYONE KNOW WE HAD A HUGE SURPRISE FOR THEM?!?!?! My sister and Bob's dad called back while we were driving to my parents’ house. We told Bob's dad it was a secret and he said "Well I'm alone in the garage so I can do what I want...I'M GONNA BE A GRANDPA AGAIN!!!" By this time I'm in my parents driveway and my sister is trying to help me figure out where my mom is. Turns out we missed her by 5 minutes and she's running to the store before going to childbirth class with my sister. I'm talking to my dad while standing in his driveway lying to him telling him we haven't heard yet but I will come over in a little bit and wait at his house for the call and he should head home soon. So now we go ambush my the grocery store parking lot. Priceless. Apparently, she and my dad had been on the phone analyzing every word and tone of my conversation with him trying to figure out what was going on. So then we go back to my parents and pretend to have a normal conversation with my dad.  Finally, after about 15 seconds of faking normal, Bob told him we knew but we wanted to tell him in person and I will never forget the look on my dads face.  That night we called the rest of our wedding party, who had been up to date on the whole IVF process, then went and got ice cream. 

Getting to tell people we’re having a baby was so much fun. 

As I mentioned before, a positive pregnancy test doesn’t mean we’re in the clear – not for a normal pregnancy and definitely not for an IVF pregnancy.  I had to go in every other day to have my hormone levels tested, and in order for it to be considered a good pregnancy, they had to approximately double every time.  I passed every time!!  Once they passed a certain point, I was in the clear for that.

We also had ultrasounds on a regular basis.  At our 6 week ultrasound, the doctor was able to see the heartbeat.  It was way too small for us to see, but he assured us it was there.  He also confirmed that it was just one baby.  The same happened at our 7 week ultrasound.  We didn’t have to go in at 8 weeks.  At 9 weeks, our baby was the size of a prune.  When he enlarged the image on the screen, were able to see the baby for the first time.  Not only could we see the baby, we could see its tiny heart beating.  It was seriously the most amazing thing I have ever seen. 

At the end of our 9 week appointment, our doctor said I needed to come back 1 more time, at 11 weeks, and then we would start seeing a regular OB.  Unfortunately, our doctor would be on vacation for the 11 week visit.  I would be seeing his partner, in Ann Arbor, who I had seen once before and thought was great, too. 

This led me to a very emotional goodbye with our local office.  He asked me to please come back when we had the baby and send pictures and he told us he couldn’t wait to help us grow our family more in a couple of years.  We thanked him a million times and hugged him.  I’m getting choked up thinking about it.  This man changed our life and was so caring while doing it.  I cannot say enough of his office and the work he does.  Saying bye to my nurse was just as hard.  I asked her if they could just by my OB the whole time because they are like my safety net.  Apparently, they don’t do that.  I’m sure I will have a great experience with our OB, but I will miss this office so much.  It was a horrible time for us, an emotional and scary journey, and they made it all okay.

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