Thursday, February 23, 2017

IVF Round 1: Embryo Transfer

Hi everyone! With my last blog post, I briefly told you all about the egg retrieval, and what was to come next: embryo transfer. This month's cycle has been pretty pleasant overall. Towards the end of my last cycle, I had a phone appointment with my doctor to touch base on how he thought the egg retrieval went, and what our action plan should be going forward. Overall, my doctor thought the egg retrieval went well, and we decided we'd move forward with transferring the embryos this month. I did a several rounds of blood work, ultrasounds, medication, etc. to prepare for the transfer. All of the medicines I took this month have been taken at some point before, either last month during the egg retrieval, or during our IUIs. So thankfully, nothing was a surprise this time, and we knew what to expect with each and every medication.

The embryo transfer was much easier than the 6 IUI procedures we had in 2015. I thought that the IUIs were painful. The embryo transfer wasn't painful, just a little uncomfortable. While the doctor and embryologist are transferring the embryos, the nurse does an ultrasound so they can see exactly where in my uterus the embryos are going. I needed to have a full bladder so they could get a good view during the ultrasound, so this made things uncomfortable, but otherwise, the procedure was quick and painless.

I had an acupuncture session both before and after the transfer. This is my first experience with acupuncture, but I thought it was interesting, and relaxing. The goal of acupuncture the day of the retrieval to help increase blood flow to the uterus. This is supposed to give a stronger chance of the embryos implanting. Whether it did or not, I don't know, but I really enjoyed the relaxation, so I'd say it was a good choice.

By the time we got home the afternoon of the transfer, I didn't feel too well. I was tired, and had some light cramping. A few days before the transfer I began progesterone, which is a hormone medication that is supposed to help the lining of the uterus stay thick and prepare for pregnancy. I've used this medicine before in various forms, and it has always made me very sleepy. Usually I've taken it at night to hopefully sleep through most of the emotional side effects, and I've noticed I sleep very deeply when I take it. After the transfer, the nurse suggested I take it in the morning rather than at night, so I took it right when I got home from the transfer, and I felt pretty tired the rest of the evening. This is a medicine I will continue if I get pregnant, probably until I am 10-12 weeks along.

Once the embryos are transferred, we wait 9 days and then I can have blood work done to see if I am pregnant. We are currently in our waiting period, and are both nervous and excited to get our results, but are also trying to stay busy so we aren't thinking about it constantly. When people ask how we are feeling, I say cautiously excited... Truthfully, we are so super excited to know that we could spend most of 2017 planning for a family, but at the same time, we know how disappointing it can be to be so hopeful and get negative results, so we are cautiously excited.

Once we have our pregnancy test results, we will take some time and tell our family and close friends, and then I will write a blog post a few weeks later to let you all know! Lee and I have been praying for implantation of our embryos and a healthy pregnancy. We are also praying that God give us peace with the results, no matter what they are. We are praying that He help us to stay distracted during our wait and that he take away our fear, stress, and worry. At this point, we are really close to the end of our wait, so if you are praying for us, we would love for you to pray that we have peace with the results, and for a healthy baby and pregnancy if the results are positive. I am really hoping that soon I can write that one blog post we've all been waiting for!!