August 10, 2017
12 weeks, 5 days.
Wow, it’s hard to believe my infertility medications are DONE. They. Are. Done!! No more nightly injections. No more twice-daily suppositories. No more oral medications (except my prenatal vitamins, folate, and DHA). YAHOO! My last injection was last Saturday (today is Thursday), and then, on Monday, I had my blood drawn to make sure my levels were appropriate 36-40 hours after my last dose(s) of progesterone. And they were!
This truly is such a huge milestone in the pregnancy, as my body is taking care of itself!
Being infertile, one of the hardest things you have to accept is the fact that you cannot control everything. In so many aspects of our lives, we have control—what we eat, how much we exercise, and for many women, when they decide they want to get pregnant. Those fortunate women figure out when they ovulate, and voila! Generally, within a few months or so, they are pregnant. Their bodies do what they are supposed to, and they take care of themselves from the very start.
For me, not so much. I can’t conceive on my own. I am unable to get pregnant without IVF/Frozen embryo transfer, medications, and a specific treatment plan.
But I thank God every day that it’s even an option, that it’s something that is feasible for our family, that our fertility treatments have been (mostly) successful. So, now, to know that my body is taking care of itself, that my body is doing what it should, I feel so much more at peace. My stress level this week has decreased significantly. My whole nighttime routine has shortened (see ya later, needles in the booty!).
Buh-bye weekly acupuncture
My last (for awhile, anyway) acupuncture treatment was last week, too. They recommend weekly appointments through week 12, and then just as needed. As I mentioned before, acupuncture has been known to help support the pregnancy, prevent miscarriage, increase blood flow, and so much more. So, while I actually love the appointments and find them relaxing, it’s really nice not to have to drive to Seattle this week for my weekly appointment. I often would have to leave 1.5 hours early for a 30ish mile commute due to traffic. Absolutely worth it, but nice to be done. Another box checked off the list!
Getting genetic testing
Today we had an ultrasound at Maternal Fetal Medicine and an appointment with a genetic counselor. Our sweet little baby was moving his/her arms and legs, sucking his/her thumb, and all of the findings on the ultrasound were normal! Blessedly NORMAL!!
We opted to do a little more extensive genetic testing (called Cell-Free DNA testing) that is less likely to have a false positive, and that captures nearly all abnormalities for a few specific genetic conditions.
I have to say, it would not change my pregnancy in the slightest if we have any genetic abnormalities, but I am totally a planner and would want to know if there is a chance!
Although Dan was tested for the Cystic Fibrosis gene before we had Brooklyn (and was negative), apparently that test was older and only captures approximately 80% of carriers. So, he will do another test that will be a bit more accurate. I am actually a carrier of the Cystic Fibrosis gene, so we decided that, for us, we would want to know as much information as possible.
It’s really happening!
After today’s appointment, I truly feel like this is happening. My belly is growing. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to hide this for much longer. Last weekend we did some family pictures that will include a few reveal pictures. I’m hoping to share my news next week. I wanted to wait for today’s ultrasound, and we also plan to tell Dan’s sister and her husband, as well as Dan’s brother and his wife, when we see them this weekend. They both live out of state, so, we are very excited to be able to tell them in person before we share our news with our friends and social circles.
I called my grandparents yesterday to tell them they will soon have another great-grandchild. This will be their eighth great-grandchild. Hard to believe, right? And how lucky am I to still have two grandparents alive to share this news with? We will call Dan’s Grandma on Sunday.
We feel SO blessed that our kids have three great-grandparents alive and four grandparents—truly blessed.
Today at the ultrasound I had tears streaming down my face.
We prayed so long for this child. We hoped. I shed many tears when I had the early bleeding. I shed tears out of frustration that my body isn’t capable of becoming pregnant on my own.
No matter that we have two kids, each infertility treatment, and cycle is its own beast. It brings back all the emotions and thoughts that I first had before I ever started treatments.
Why can’t I do this on my own?
Will I ever be a mother?
Will we ever have children?
How unfair is this to Dan?!?
Will it work?
What if it doesn’t? Then what?
Will we be able to afford the treatments?
Will I be able to handle this if it doesn’t work?
Honestly, I still have guilt. I have guilt that I have family, friends, and people I’ve met as a result of my infertility journey who have yet to become achieve their dreams of pregnancy and birth. Or those who for whatever reason cannot continue to grow their family the way they wanted to. Or those who have lost babies or children. It truly seems so unfair.
And all I can do is pray. Pray for peace in their hearts. Pray for those babies that are no longer with us. Pray that those struggling with infertility can hold onto HOPE during a dark storm.
It’s an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. It’s dark and lonely. We kept it very private when we went through each treatment, as I didn’t want to others have to have to endure the ups and downs that come with this. I also didn’t want to have to tell people if it failed. I wanted to be able to do it on my own terms.
And then, the physical aspect.
Your body is on hormones, and that in itself can be tough. It’s hormone overload—something my body is not used to. And while the injections were honestly not that bad, it was time-consuming. It did hurt at times. I constantly had circles on my butt to remember the exact spot to inject the medication. I often had to place band-aids on my booty after my nightly injections, as it often would draw a small amount of blood. It was stressful trying to keep track of all the various medications, particularly when I traveled. I was SO fearful that I’d forget one of them, or not have enough needles/syringes.
But here we are...
And so far, our baby is healthy. I’m healthy. I feel great. I am so incredibly fortunate that I don’t experience much nausea at all. I am tired at times, but I think that’s more due to the fact that we have a 2.5-year-old daughter and a busy 1-year-old son.
I’m able to continue my exercise regimen, eat healthy, travel. I truly cannot complain and am so thankful to be recording the fact that I’m very close to being at the end of my first trimester, and that, so far, all is well with our sweet baby.
I have my next OB appointment next week, and we should know the results of our genetic tests in 1-2 weeks. This actually will include the gender, too. Pretty crazy, right?
At 20 weeks I’ll have a complete ultrasound where they will make sure the baby is growing well. And then at 22 weeks, because of our fertility treatments, we will do a fetal echocardiogram (basically an ultrasound of the baby’s heart), as there is actually an increased risk for heart defects in babies who were conceived by IVF treatment.
I appreciate how much extra attention they take to ensure our sweet baby is growing well. All we can continue to do is hope and pray that the baby continues to grow strong and healthy.
If you've struggled with infertility in the past, are going through it right now, or know you will in the future, I've created a group—a safe space—on Facebook. A place where you gain support, ask questions, share concerns, or just vent!