IVF #2

As soon as I finished my first IVF cycle, I was dreading starting over and doing it all again. I wish I could have taken a few months off but Peter had just accepted his new job, meaning an insurance change, and I needed to get one last IVF cycle in with our current insurance. You have to wait two cycles after a failed IVF in order to try again. Remember how I started my period FOUR DAYS after my first transfer? Turns out that was actually a huge blessing. If I hadn’t started so soon I wouldn’t have had time to get my next IVF cycle in with my old insurance. I finished this IVF cycle two days before my insurance ran out. Lucky, lucky me!

A frozen IVF cycle is much easier than a fresh cycle. The fresh cycle includes ovarian stimulation, an egg retrieval, and an embryo transfer. A frozen cycle is just a process of preparing your uterus for embryos (with medication) and then transferring them to your uterus. Easy!

  1. Feb 9-March 28: Bromocriptine. This is my brain tumor medicine, I always take it (unless I’m pregnant or nursing).
  2. Feb 9-March 18 : Acupuncture. I did acupuncture twice a week which ended up being about 10 times. Each appointment was two hours, so this was a pretty big time commitment. Studies show that fertility patients that are doing acupuncture are more likely to end up pregnant. This could be because:
    1. Acupuncture works
    2. The placebo effect
    3. It is relaxing and relaxation is very important for fertility treatments
    4. By the time you are finally willing to throw acupuncture into the mix (it’s expensive and time consuming) you’ve been doing fertility for a really, really long time and eventually fertility treatments work (in most cases).
  3. Feb 10-Feb 19: Provera. This is a drug (a pill) that forces your body to have a period. Since my cycles are irregular, the doctor always have to induce.
  4. Feb 18: Endometrial Biopsy. This is a procedure that sort of “roughs up” your endometrium lining. It can increase the chances of embryos implanting. They stick a thin catheter into your uterus and scratch it up a bit. It’s quick, but when an foreign object is placed in your uterus your uterus contracts. My doctor told me it would feel like I was in labor, but it would be over quickly. I was dreading it! Turns out it was uncomfortable, but not nearly as bad as labor. This article describes the procedure.
  5. Feb 25: Ultrasound. This was just to check out my uterus and make sure it looked ready to start medication. I had one small cyst, but nothing major and I was ready to start meds.
  6. Feb 26-March 12: Oral Estradiol. Two small pills a day.
  7. Feb 26-May 18: Estradiol patch. I wore a sticky patch on my backside. I changed the patch every three days.
  8. March 12: Ultrasound. This was to check and make sure my lining looked thick enough for my little frozen embryos to implant. It needed to be at least 7 mm, mine was 12 mm. Yay! The doctor and nurse were both raving about how beautiful it looked. We set my transfer date for the 18th.
  9. March 13-May 18: Prometrium. This is a progesterone pill that I took vaginally in the morning and orally in the evening.
  10. March 13-May 18: Crinone. This is another form of progesterone. It’s a vaginal gel. This stuff was super annoying.
  11. March 13-April 16: Baby aspirin. No idea why.
  12. March 13-March 19: Medrol. This was a pill I took twice a day. It tasted like poison and made sick to my stomach.
  13. March 13-19: Doxycycline. Another twice a day pill. No idea why.
  14. March 17: Mom arrived!
  15. March 18: Transfer day! While my mom took care of Henry I slept in, got a massage, went out to lunch alone, got a diet coke, got my eyebrows done, and wandered around Target. The goal was to be as zen as possible. It worked. I was very relaxed and calm going into the procedure. My transfer was at 3pm. We dropped Henry off at my friend’s house and my mom and I went to the clinic. The doctor transferred two embryos into my uterus. They were 4BC and 5BB, which is pretty good. I stayed on my back on the table for about 30 minutes. On our way home we stopped at CFA for cookies and frozen lemonade. I spent the rest of the day in bed. I did nothing but watch tv. Nothing!
  16. March 23: Positive home pregnancy test! This was 4.5 days after my transfer. While this was exciting, it wasn’t a sure thing yet. IVF patients have false positives or chemical pregnancies pretty frequently, so we didn’t get our hopes up yet. I took another test later that afternoon (different brand), and it was negative.
  17. March 24: Positive home pregnancy test! You didn’t think I would only take one test, did you?
  18. March 25: Positive home pregnancy test! At this point I was thinking that after three (ok, ok, FIVE) positive home pregnancy tests it really could be true.
  19. March 28: Positive blood test! HCG level was 329.
  20. March 30: Positive blood test! HCG level was 946. Once you have a positive test they bring you back two days later to make sure your levels have increased at the appropriate level. My levels indicated a viable pregnancy!
  21. April 8: Ultrasound. This ultrasound is to verify that the fetus is in my uterus and not ectopic and to see how many babies you’re having. They saw one little baby right where he needed to be. Also, we were super lucky to be able to see a tiny little flicker of a heartbeat! It is early for that, so it was an unexpected surprise.
  22. April 12: Threw up for the first time! There was never a person more grateful to be puking!
  23. April 15: Ultrasound. This was to verify a healthy heartbeat, and my baby’s was 120 BPM. Yay! At this point I graduated from the fertility doctor to a regular OB.
  24. April 30: First OB appointment.
  25. May 4: Ultrasound. Heartbeat was 169 BPM (that’s good!) and Baby was waving his arms all around. So adorable to see something the size of a grape waving it’s arms.
  26. May 18: DONE! I finished all my meds (prometrium, crinone, estradiol) and become a normal pregnant person!

My due date is December 3 and we couldn’t be happier.

ivf2

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9 Responses to IVF #2

  1. Paige says:

    I’m still just so dang thrilled for y’all!!
    I laughed at the seemingly random Doxycycline prescription. I’ve taken it for acne for ages, and another friend took it to prevent malaria or something similar when he traveled to a tropical island. So maybe they just didn’t want you to have to deal with extra acne and malaria during the process. 🙂

  2. meghan says:

    You don’t know me…but I have been following you for quite some time. Congratulations! Always such a joy to read.

  3. Emily P. says:

    You are amazing! So happy for you guys!

  4. Oh my goodness! What an ordeal! I can’t imagine how tedious and frustrating it must have been. I’m so so glad you get to look forward to a little baby girl at the end of all of it. Is Henry still stuck on one name? He’ll be the best big brother!

  5. anna says:

    I am so, so happy for you. Also, both of my girls have December birthdays and I LOOOOVE it. I probably already said that on IG. Anyway, congrats.

  6. Lindsay says:

    Woohoooo!!!!! Congratulations!!! So so so happy for you!

  7. Pingback: 35 Weeks Pregnant | the sommerkorns

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