One year ago today, at 6 am, Matt and I were driving from Oxford to Bloomfield Hills, MI to undergo our first IVF transfer. This was a day that we had been waiting for, for what seemed like 20 years. We had done all the research, endured several days of injections, talked to all the doctors and were ready to become parents. We had 8 perfect embryos waiting for us, 2 of which were going to be transferred that morning.
The procedure itself only takes minutes, and it was a very emotional one. Two of our embryos were placed back inside my uterus, where they belong, with the hopes that one, or both, snuggle in for the next 9 months. We were in and out within just over an hour, and headed home to relax and hoped for the best. There was no more that I could possibly do at this point, besides wait. The next 2 weeks were the longest and most stressful two weeks of my life.
I started taking home pregnancy tests like 4 days after our transfer (which in the IVF world is a big no no, but lets be honest, I have NO self control) They were all coming up negative, and I was letting it get to me. Between the overdose of hormones, and the stress, I was crying pretty much every day, all day. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with the community of women on social media who were all going through the same or similar treatments. I was in a Facebook group, but didn’t really share much at that point, and we weren’t ‘public’ with our struggles with friends or extended family yet. Let me tell you, it was LONELY. Even with my husband right by my side, I felt like nobody understood what I was going through.
Fast forward to our official blood test at the Dr’s and I got the call that I had known was coming…we weren’t pregnant. This round wasn’t successful. Heartbroken.
The next several months were a blur, filled with Dr’s appointments, more procedures, more surgeries and more tests. We decided to meet with another Dr. because I wanted a second opinion on our approach, and we immediately decided to work with him, because I felt cared for, and truly appreciated his plan, even though it was going to be awhile before we could transfer again.
After working with the new doctor and his staff for what felt like years, we got the call that I was ready for transfer, and we had an official date. We didn’t tell our families, because we wanted to be able to surprise them if this round worked. By this time, we had opened up about our journey, to the world of social media, and I had connected with SO many amazing people who were and still are some of my strongest supporters.
On June 11th, 2018, we headed to Rochester and prepped for our second transfer. We transferred 2 more of our perfect embryos, this time they were already hatching (coming out of the outer shell, which is a GREAT thing). Although the process was identical to the first time, we just felt different. I chose to remain nothing but positive and relaxed, constantly telling myself that it was going to work, that I was going to be a mom, and that these embryos were going to stick around.
3 days later, ‘No Self Control Shannon’ emerged and started testing, because I’m insane. First test was negative, but I only let it get me down for a few minutes because I knew it was super early. 5 am on day 4, woke up and took a test then fell back asleep. When I woke up, I inspected it (as all of us gals who are TTC know is a MUST) and I was convinced I saw the faintest of faint lines. I took another one, and immediately there it was! Another pink line. WHAT?! The several days following were filled with test taking, comparing, sharing pics with my group and begging the nurses to test my blood early. (I won that argument). On June 18th, we got the call that we were officially pregnant, with good, strong numbers! This didn’t stop me from testing….I just couldn’t believe it.
Now….lets jump ahead a few weeks. We had told our families, told our close friends and announced it on social media. It was starting to feel real.
So…lets talk about the real topic of this post. Looking back to way before our first transfer…all the way back to that first drs appointment where they told us we had a 1% chance of conceiving naturally. I had one goal in mind and it was to get pregnant, as soon as possible. That’s all I kept asking the doctors…how soon will we know if this worked?
I wish I wouldn’t have started this process in that mindset, because let me tell you…every single roadblock, obstacle, negative test, bad phone call, curveball…whatever you want to call them…they shattered me. I would get angry at the doctors when they told me I needed to take a month to let my body heal after a procedure, I would cry for days when another thing came up and we had to get more tests done. I spent SO much time angry and depressed. I just wanted to be pregnant. I was counting out the days and months, and it seemed like we were NEVER going to get to this point.
Now…here I sit, in our living room, nearing the end of a ROUGH first trimester, staring at these two beautiful carseats. (I had to buy them because I got a great deal!) Although they are empty right now, it’s still surreal knowing OUR babies will be in them soon enough.
We’ve had ultrasounds, where we got to see them moving around, and we’ve seen their heartbeats. In just 2 short weeks, we will find out their genders, and before I know it, this living room will be filled with baby stuff, and two little humans. Two humans, that my husband and I have waited SO long for, and worked SO hard to create.
If the doctor would have told me in the early stages of this process, that we wouldn’t be parents until early 2019, I would have died. We were originally told 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS, from start to finish, and we would most likely be parents, with a STRONG chance of twins. If you are struggling right now, TAKE THIS ADVICE –> do NOT listen to the timeline that anybody gives you! In the world of infertility, there is no such thing as a solid plan, or a calendar that stays on track…you WILL hit speed bumps, and regardless of what they are, if you are set on a timeline, you will be devastated, and it will throw off the vibe. You want to stay as positive as you possibly can in this process, and I PROMISE you, the stress of worrying when things are going to happen, will NOT help that.
You will become a parent one day, no matter how that happens, or how long it takes to get there. Trust me, I’ve been where you are, and I know exactly how you are feeling right now. Take this novel of a blog post as a sign of hope…we started with a 1% chance, and we are now watching two babies grow inside me and preparing for the biggest moment of our lives. You’ll get here. No matter what.