It has officially taken me a month to get around to writing this part of our journey… Not that I haven’t thought about it each one of those days. I just didn’t feel I had the energy to do it.
The next few months were the lowest of the low for us, and I wasn’t doing very well. Surrounded by friends and family that loved and supported us, I was stuck in my own head filled with negative thoughts. The constant disappointments were compounding on top of one another and, regardless of the anti-depressants I was taking, I slipped into another depression. So… here it goes.
…. 2WW (#3)
Today was the day. While this Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) had gone relatively well compared to the other rounds we have done, it still wasn’t ‘easy’ as I had hoped. I was excited to get into the clinic and have the transfer. Patience is definitely not one of my strong suits.
On August 15th, Dan and I went in for our transfer. The transfer itself was actually quite simple and easy. We arrived at the clinic and they took us back to the procedure area. I changed into the hospital gown and with an extremely full bladder I lied on the bed. The ultrasound tech came in to see if my bladder was full enough… I felt like I was about to pee all over the table and she said I was good. (Thank God! Because there was no way I could wait much longer). I lied in the chair with my legs in the brackets and prayed not to pee on anyone.
The RE popped in and went over the rig-a-ma-roll re: names and the embryo labels etc. Yes, thank you for putting our own babies back inside of me. Now that would be bad. :S
Once ready, the ultrasound tech puts the ultrasound on my belly to guide the catheter that they use to insert the embryos. With my bladder full, my uterus is pushed down and elongated so they can see exactly what they are doing. After several measurements, they tell us to watch the monitor and they insert the two embryos. We can see two white spots ejected from the catheter! I’m officially pregnant! If pregnancy is having a living baby inside of you, then I’m pregnant!!
They take a couple of shots on the ultrasound and print them out for us.
After relaxing on the bed for a minute, I jump up to go to the washroom because by now I can barely even think I have to go so bad! We take a couple minutes to look at the pictures they gave us and talking about the ‘buddy’ effect they described to us. One of our embryos wasn’t doing well and most of the cells had arrested, but we hoped that it would assist the other embryo which was very strong implant and attach!
Off I went home to rest in bed for the rest of the day. We were officially in our new house so I cuddled with our dogs in the bed and Dan went back to work.
After two days of resting, I was back on vacation again. The one thing that looking back I would have changed from the IVF round was that I was quite active and stressed with work and fertility during the 2WW. I wanted to try and rid myself of stress so I decided to head back up to the cottage. I drove back up north and my Mom was up there with two of her long-time friends.
I continued the crazy schedule of 3 vaginal suppositories and 8 estrogen tablets vaginally each day of the 14 days wait. My body hated the estrogen and I was having every pregnancy symptom there was- my boobs hurt, I was nauseous, etc etc. Honestly, it’s the evilest thing ever.
I would spend hours laying on the dock in the summer re-reading the same page of my book 30 times as I tried to decipher what each twitch, gas pain, and symptom meant. I was in a pretty good mood until about 6 days post transfer.
I couldn’t wait any longer- I had to pee on a stick! In the forums for IVF people talk about what day post transfer they got a BFP (big fat positive) on an at home test. The earliest that people said they saw it was when the age of the embryo plus days post transfer equaled 10. The embryos were 4 days old and I waited 6 days… the rationale seemed solid in my mind. Dan tried to convince me not to do it, he said to just be hopeful and wait. I couldn’t do it.
As soon as I saw the negative result of the test, my life seemed to crash before my eyes. I knew it then, I wasn’t pregnant. It was really early to even be testing…. if I was normal, it would still be 4 days before my expected period, but in my head, I knew the magic second line would not appear on my tests.
I essentially cried for the next 4 days at the cottage. If I wasn’t crying, I was curled up in a ball in bed sleeping. My Mom tried to continue to encourage me to think positively and talked about the reliability of the tests and the timing. Dan tried to calm me down over the phone for more hours than I want to imagine… but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t pregnant and I knew it.
What was wrong with me? They are literally putting little babies in my f*ing uterus and my body still wouldn’t work. My entire world was so focused around getting pregnant. We had spent basically all of our savings at this point, and months of pure emotional and physical hell, and we had absolutely nothing to show for it.
What makes someone a woman? Because the whole reproductive system that was so eloquently explained to me in grade 5 wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. I started to look back at our decisions leading up to this… Having a family was just as important to Dan as it was to me, and now he was stuck with me. Me, the one with the useless body. Letting me down was one thing, but letting Dan down was a whole different level of misery.
It was now 10 days post transfer and I couldn’t wait a minute later. 10 days plus the 4 day embryos equaled 14 days. This 2ww just got shortened by my creative math. I drove home in the evening from the cottage and tried to prepare myself for the blood testing the next morning. The night before going in, I felt this slight sense of hope. Maybe I was being ‘Nancy Negative’ as my Dad would say… maybe I was all worked up over nothing. The docs said we had great chances, so why didn’t I believe that? I was so optimistic going into this round, so what had happened in these last few days? It was official- I was going to be pregnant tomorrow and we are going to look back on my last couple (not-so-pretty) days and laugh in the future.
The next morning we drove in for an early appointment. I was sitting waiting for my blood work to be done in the glass room and my primary RE happened to walk by and ask how I was. I hadn’t even had the test yet and I just burst out crying in the waiting room. I’m not talking a little tear here and there… I mean a full out sob fest and I couldn’t catch my breath to even answer what was wrong. Dan spoke up and said I was convinced I wasn’t pregnant and hadn’t been doing very well.
We stood me up, walked me to the room to get my blood drawn and then asked to see us in his office. We wanted me to let him know what was going on. I really had nothing to tell him that was new. My body hated me. This whole process of IUI/IVF had gone nothing but bad, nothing was working, we had virtually no money left, and the thought of having nothing at the end of this was so devastating I couldn’t even put it into words. He chatted with us for a minute then said that we didn’t have the results yet, so try and stay calm. However, he felt like it the result was negative, we definitely needed a fertility break to try and regain my sanity. He also said before starting anything again, he wanted us (read: me) to see the psychiatrist at the clinic.
I, still sobbing, agreed and Dan walked me to the car. Dan asked when the next appointment was for the psych doc and he had a cancellation the next day. We took it.
We drove home. Dan rubbing my leg as he drove, and me sobbing in the passenger seat.
Later on that day, around noon time, we got the call from the clinic. I answered the phone before one ring even finished. It was our IVF RN that we had developed a relationship with. Her last words to me as I walked out of the clinic that morning was that the last woman who came into beta day upset like me turned out to be pregnant. So try to stay optimistic.
With her first words, I knew. All she said to me was that I was right… it was negative. She was sorry. After that… I’m sure we exchanged a few words, but I don’t remember any. I just hung up and curled myself into a ball in bed and cried… and cried. I asked Dan to text our families and a couple close friends who knew we would find out today. Having to talk to anyone and say out loud that we weren’t pregnant meant it was real. I wasn’t there yet.
After a couple of hours of Dan holding me while I sobbed, I was suddenly feeling quite calm. It was like the not knowing part of the last 2 weeks was worse than just knowing that it hadn’t worked. I felt like I had some closure now and we could start figuring out the next steps. I couldn’t explain it- I was devastated it hadn’t worked, but I felt like there was a renewed sense of hope that we still had 2 frozen embryos left and there was still a chance!
I spent the rest of day watching movies with Dan on the couch and relaxing… and not knowing what the psych appointment that was booked for the next day would bring.