I admittedly did not think things through.
That’s on me. You see, I wanted to document this IVF/infertility journey, but I didn’t quite think through announcing potential good news as early as peeing on a stick (or in this case, a blood test). Which honestly wouldn’t have been a big deal, as you all know by now, I am pretty open and honest about my life. But it didn’t feel quite right. I’m not sure why, and I can’t really explain it, but I just needed to keep this little piece of me close to my heart for a bit. Maybe it was fear. Maybe it was self-preservation. Whatever it was, it led me to here.
I am pregnant!
There were many years when I thought I’d never be able to say those words! It’s been a long journey, one paved with tears and bullshit and worry. But one that (finally) worked out.
Where did we leave off? (Again, I’m sorry!!)
Our three little embryos, right? Well, after the PGS (genetic) testing of the embryos, we ended up with two. We lost one to genetic abnormalities, but we were relieved to have two babies. There was still a lot worry and stress, but also a cause for celebration. Pretty quickly after we received the results, I started on Progesterone shots and oral Estrogen in order to prepare my lining (lovely). Five days after that, we had our embryo transfer!
And wow, let me just tell you what an adventure that was! Jimmy and I arrived at our fertility clinic, signed in, and were taken back to the procedure area. Jimmy got to put on a very fetching jumpsuit over his clothes, and we both slipped into our sexy gorgeous hair nets. (You guys, having a baby this way is sexy galore!) The nurse then walked us back to the procedure room. Same one as my egg retrieval. Basically, a sterile closet. It’s very white. And kind of creepy. I hiked my legs up into the highest stirrups I’ve ever seen (again, sexy), and the TV screen to my left flickered to life. To the delightful noise of Taylor Swift (doc let me choose the playlist), Jimmy and I first laid eyes on our embryo. The Embryologist was in the room next door with a high-powered microscope hooked up to video feed. (I’ll be honest, it slightly resembled a speck of dust. Itty bitty baby.) She confirmed my name and date of birth and in an instant, no joke, SUCKED the embryo up into a pipette to then walk it into the procedure room.
Now, there’s a small part of you that wants to holler, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T DROP IT!!” But you’re a respected member of society, so you lay there instead with your ass two feet in the air and try to hum along to T-Swift’s earlier, happier music.
After that, little baby embryo was flushed into my primed uterus, and I got to hang out in the stirrups for 15 mins, “Just to make sure it stuck.” Okkkkkkk…. I then got dressed, Jimmy and I grabbed lunch on the way home, and I laid in bed for the remainder of the day (at the doctor’s request). Just like that (ha, not really), you’re considered “Pregnant until proven otherwise.”
The wait came next. Ugh, the wait. Luckily, since the doc implanted a five-day blastocyst I only had to wait 9 days for my test, not the full two weeks. That helped a bit, but every day was a rollercoaster. One day I thought it worked, one day I was convinced it didn’t. I succumbed to the forums. A terrible, terrible place to frequent. Boy, you can convince yourself you’re having a giraffe after an hour scrolling through infertility forums.
9 days passed, the blood test came, and the doc called a few hours later with the great news. Tears were shed, both by Jimmy and me, and then I spent the weekend in a strange, overwhelmed trance. I’m weird. I know. I was obviously thrilled, but it was a lot. I think after trying for so long, it didn’t quite feel real. But every test and ultrasound that came after, it’s gotten real in a hurry.
I continued the Progesterone shots and Estrogen pills until just a couple days ago. Honestly, this was probably one of the hardest parts of IVF. The pills were fine. I mean, not totally fine because you’re pumping estrogen into you, so the emotions were WOOOO WEEEE! (Sorry, Jimmy). But the shots in the butt, UGH. Progesterone is mixed in oil, so it’s thick. And you have to massage your butt after the injection, but even then, sometimes you have these huge, hard knots in your butt cheeks. They often hurt. I had one week where I could barely roll over in bed without crying out. I became one with a heating pad. I whimpered through massaging them. And when this week came along that I could say “bye bye“ to almost TWELVE WEEKS of butt shots, I said “Adios, bitches!”
That was a good day.
Pregnancy has been okay so far! I’m 11 weeks tomorrow, and I’m hoping the nausea subsides soon. I spent weeks 7, 8 and 9 throwing up, and that has somewhat dissipated unless I’m dumb and don’t eat breakfast the minute my feet hit the floor out of bed in the morning. I’m not a huge fan of chicken right now, avocado is the devil (so sad, I normally love avocado), and any cooked vegetable can take a hike. Carbs are the only thing I can really tolerate (go figure). I hope that gets better as well, or I’ll be the size of a refrigerator box by the time this is all over. I couldn’t be one of those nauseous people that can’t eat, could I? No, Heaven forbid Kelly be that lithe, gorgeous fairy. Nope. Instead she’s the “the only thing that helps my unending nausea is toast and saltines and pretzels and flour.” I’m tired all the time, like I was when I had mono in high school. I nap in the afternoons when I never used to be a napper. My breasteses are ginormous. I’m sure Jimmy approves, but I can barely touch them some days. And where the hell am I supposed to put them? I already need new bras, but I’m cheap so if you see me side-boobing it a lot, I’m actually wearing a bra, it just doesn’t fit.
We graduated from our fertility clinic today. It was bittersweet. They’ve been with us through every hard step, but moving on means a happy, healthy baby and the care of a regular OB/GYN. I asked my fertility doc if I could just stay with her and deliver there, but that was a no-go. Hey, you have to ask, right?
I want to thank everyone who texted, called, and reached out. The weeks between egg retrieval and the actual implantation were kind of a quiet, dark time that I needed to go through. I pulled away from people, and while that’s not the healthiest behavior, it was what I did in order to maintain my sanity. I apologize for disappearing. I’m trying to do better. But infertility and loss steal every bit of naivety you could enjoy when having a baby. You overanalyze everything. You’re nauseous for a different reason every morning of an Ultrasound. You constantly think of how much you went through to get to this moment, so please God, don’t take it from me.
It’s not easy but seeing that little baby dance on the screen today, it’s worth it.
One last thing. Since we did genetic testing, we were able to know the gender of our embryo from the day we received the results.
We’re going to have a little Christmas baby, friends! A sweet baby GIRL that we are already head over heels in love with.
Nora June Marks, we can’t wait to meet you!
Until next time,
**My pregger friends/mama’s: how did you combat your nausea? When did you start to feel better? Less tired? More energy?