Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fertility Journey | IVF Transfer

I have been writing about our fertility journey for quite some time now. I wrote what was happening when it was happening, but decided against posting it at that exact time. So over the last few months I have been working to publish everything we went through. If you need to catch up on anything here are all the posts I have written so far this year.
The Beginning 
First Visit with Fertility Doc
Round of Clomid
IUI with Femara
Announcement
IVF Planning
IVF Egg Retrieval
Pregnancy Bumpdates

DISCLAIMER: This post is all about my experience with this piece of the IVF cycle. In an effort to be real and completely honest, I have included some very personal details about the journey. This included physical side effects from the medicine I was taking and also references to the female anatomy. You have been warned.

I wrote the information in this post on the days I was experiencing it, so it reads like a journal from the days surrounding our embryo transfer.

Written May 24 to August 2. 

Transfer Cycle
Day 1-21: During these days, I had to take a birth control pill. We were on our Europe trip for most of these days and remembering to take it was tricky, but I did not forget a single day. I am grateful that this was all I had to do while in Europe and it was nice to have a major distraction during the lull in our fertility treatments.
Medicine:
Birth Control (Day 1-26) 
Pre-natal  

Day 22-34: After getting home from Europe, I had to schedule a delivery for all of my medication for this round of treatments. I ended up receiving a lot more medication than I was expecting and the shots that will come later in the month terrify me. The needles are so big! This was the first day of injections again. I have to take a small dose of Lupron daily to prevent me from ovulating. So I am taking 10 units of Lupron every morning around 8:30. These shots are not so bad, a little painful and some redness but it goes away after about an hour. I have to take this dosage of the medication until my first ultrasound, which is in about 14 days. Then my dosage will be lower, but I will still have a shot every morning.
Medicine:
Lupron 10u at 8:30 am 
Birth Control (Stopped on Day 26) 
Pre-natal 
Day 28: I forgot to take my shot this morning. I had thought about taking it in the morning, but it was too early and then I forgot by the time I should have taken it. Around 4 in the afternoon, I realized I had forgotten my shot and I panicked. Since I work at a preschool, I can't have my phone on me and I can't just leave my kids so I had to call up to the front desk and ask for someone to come into my room to replace me so I could leave for a bit. It took 20 minutes for them to find someone and when I finally left my room I went to go call my doctor. When I called them, I was transferred to the nurse's voicemail because she was with a patient and I was promised they would call me back soon since they closed in about 30 minutes. But since I could not take my phone with me to my room again, I had to explain to the front receptionist (who thankfully is super sweet and I really like her) that I am doing fertility treatments and I forgot to take my medication and the nurse was going to call me back and when she did call me back I needed to be able to listen to the voicemail immediately just in case I had to call the doctors office back before they close. The doctors office called me back about 20 minutes later, someone came to replace me again, I went to listen to the voicemail from the nurse that told me to take my shot as soon as possible and then continue like normal the following day. Well, I still had another hour and a half at work and then I was supposed to tutor for another hour after work so I would not have been able to take the shot for another 3ish hours. So I called Richard and explained it to him and he thankfully agreed to run home quick, grab my medicine and then meet me in the work parking lot. When he arrived he called the front desk, they paged for me, I talked on the phone to him quick, called the front desk again, they sent me someone to replace me, I went outside to Richard's car, drew up the shot and then he gave it to me. Then I just went back to work to finish out my day. It was crazy to have to coordinate that much stuff in such a short amount of time all because I stupidly forgot my shot. I don't think I will ever forget it again.
Medicine:
Lupron 10u at 6 pm 
Pre-natal 

Day 32: I had started spotting a little yesterday and I did not really think too much of it. But then today, the bleeding got heavier, almost like a period, but nothing like what I would normally see for my periods. The more I thought about it the more it made sense that I would be getting a period around this time. I had been off birth control for almost a week and with my Lupron shots that prevent ovulation, maybe that just delayed my period a bit. My period was pretty light, but I was not expecting to get one at all so I thought it was weird that my doctor never mentioned it. But again it makes sense because I have a baseline ultrasound in a few days and usually I have those three days after my period starts.
Medicine:
Lupron 10u at 8:30 am 
Pre-natal 

{Since I got my period, I am going to restart the Day Number going forward.}

Day 3: Today was the day for my baseline ultrasound. These appointments are usually pretty straight forward. I go in, they draw some blood, I use the bathroom and then the doctor comes into my room and does the ultrasound. Everything looked good and as long as my blood work came back normal I was clear to start the estrogen pills the next day. The purpose of the estrogen pills is to thicken the lining of my uterus to prepare for pregnancy. I received a phone call that afternoon letting me know that everything from my blood draw indicated that we were good to go. We drove that evening to Louisiana for Richard to propose his dissertation the next day. It was weird to have to remember all of my medication for the trip.
Medicine:
Lupron 10u at 8:30 am 
Pre-natal 

Day 4: We spent the previous night in Louisiana, and I woke up this morning and called into work claiming that my medication made me sick and I was not able to make it to work when in reality I was at Richard's dissertation proposal. This was my first day taking the estrogen pills and I was required to start on a smaller dose of 1 mg, half a pill, for a few days to ease my body into taking estrogen. I had to take half a pill twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I also was able to drop my Lupron dose from 10u to 5u for the rest of the cycle. We had a pretty busy day and by the end of it I was pretty wiped. I also ended up with a headache and felt extremely nauseous while driving back to Texas. We stopped for food and for some reason the only thing that sounded good to me was a sausage, egg and cheese bagel from McDonalds. Well, they don't serve those at dinner so I settled for a mcmuffin. When I bit into the egg part, there was a whole egg yolk that looked green and it just made me more nauseous and I could not finish the sandwich. When we got back to the house I felt like I was about to throw up but I was able to move past it and instead I had really bad diarrhea. But when that passed I felt so much better and I was able to actually go to sleep. I found it ironic that I had called in sick to work only to actually feel sick later in the day. Karma.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 1 mg(half a pill) twice a day by mouth 
Pre-natal 

Day 6: Today I had to give myself my first shot. I have been fortunate to have Richard around for all my shots thus far, but he had to leave really early today and I volunteered to do it myself instead of too early to prepare for the upcoming weekend where Richard would be gone for a bachelor party. It was not so bad and I could probably have done them myself all along, but I like it better when I don't have to self-inflict pain.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 1 mg(half a pill) twice a day by mouth 
Pre-natal 

Day 9: My estrogen dosage was increased today and instead of only taking half a pill twice a day, I now take a whole pill twice a day. No problem. The estrogen has continued to make my stomach uneasy, but luckily not as bad as before.
Medicine: 
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day by mouth 
Pre-natal 

Day 12: I had a sonogram this morning to check how the lining of my uterus is coming along. I have been on estrogen pills for 8 days now so the doctor wants to make sure that everything is looking good. I was surprised to not need to have blood drawn today because normally ultrasound and blood draws are done together. The doctor then performed an ultrasound and found that the lining of my uterus was not as thick as she would like it to be at this point. She did not tell me exactly how thick it was, just that it was not thick enough. She decided to add in an estrogen patch that I would have to change out every other day starting that evening. She wanted to see how I would react to the patch and asked me to come back in a week. If the patch was enough then we would move forward with the transfer. If not, she would add in more estrogen. So they scheduled an appointment for a week out to check the lining again and sent a prescription into the pharmacy. The estrogen patch was just a small sticker basically that I had to stick to my stomach and leave alone until it needed to be changed two days later. The patch is pretty sticky and I did not need to worry about it falling off in the shower. The only thing I had to pay attention to was the fact that I did not want the patch to accidentally get stuck to my pants.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day by mouth 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 
Day 13: My estrogen dosage changed again and now I am taking one pill three times a day, morning, lunch and evening. I have been trying to time my pills with meals so that I feel the least amount of nausea. So I have three separate reminders going off throughout the day so that I do not forget a pill. The increase in estrogen really affected me on this day and by the end of the day I was feeling super nauseous, had a very bad headache, was tired and was starting to catch a cold. I remember just feeling like absolute garbage. This was the night that my cousin who was flying from Boston to Denver (where we were meeting up with her for the anniversary trip) had a layover in Dallas where her flight got cancelled. We picked her up from the airport, after forcing myself to eat dinner and then took her to our house for the night. I still had to pack for my own trip to Denver all while I was feeling so awful. Not a very fun night.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 14: My cousin and I both had an early flight to Denver scheduled for today, though hers was even earlier. We dropped her off at the DFW airport at 5 in the morning and then we drove to Dallas Love field airport for my flight. We had plenty of time once we got to Love field and I knew I needed a shot that morning. Even though it was really early, I decided to have Richard give me the shot so I would not have to think about it. By the time we got to the airport and parked in the parking garage, I was feeling so so sick. I drew up that shot that Richard then gave me and re-packed everything. We then started to drive again to drop me off and I made Richard stop suddenly so that I could throw up outside of the car. It was awful. My stomach was upset and empty so I was basically dry heaving out the side of the car in the airport parking ramp. When I finally felt better, I had Richard drop me off at the airport. I was confident that it would not happen again, but I knew I needed to get some food in my system to help get over the nausea. When I got through security, I went to Dunkin Doughnuts where I bought a giant thing of water and a doughnut. I forced myself to eat the doughnut and drink as much water as I could to keep my stomach calm and so I could take my morning estrogen pill. I was able to rest for a bit before the plane took off and I was also lucky that the seat next to me on the plane was empty. I was able to put my feet on the seat next to me and fall asleep in the air. Those who know me know that I do not sleep well anywhere but in a bed, so the fact that I was able to pass out on the airplane goes to show how extremely awful I felt. Once I landed in Denver, my sister's friend was able to pick me up at the airport and bring me back to her house to wait for my family. After being at her house for about 20 minutes, I asked if I could lay down in one of the beds to take a nap before my family arrived. At first I was not sure I would even fall asleep, but I knew resting in some form was what I needed. Well, I ended up sleeping for an additional three hours before I had to force myself out of bed to meet my family and because I wanted to be able to sleep that night. The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly although I was on and off nauseous and it would come at inconvenient times, like when I was in the middle of eating food. But again I had to force myself to eat because I usually felt better when my stomach was full. This was a rough day, but I did feel much better the rest of the trip to Denver that I hardly thought about it. I think it was just that my body had to get used to the extra estrogen that I was consuming. Damn estrogen.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 6:00 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 19: After my trip to Denver and getting in late the night before, I had an early morning doctor's appointment where they were planning to check my uterine lining. The doctor checked my lining and again found that the lining was still a little thin. At this point, my embryo transfer was supposed to be less than a week away so my doctor had to decide what to do. She said we could go ahead with a 7mm, but that she prefers an 8mm thickness. I told her that I was willing to wait and try more medication so that we could give my uterus time to be perfect. I mean I may as well so that it helps my chance of getting pregnant. So she decided to add another 2 mg pill of estrogen, but this time I had to take it vaginally. So that meant that twice a day I had to take one of the little blue pills and stick it in my vagina. Oh and also, that meant that I had to wear a pantyliner everyday because the medicine would leak out and create a blue streak on my underwear if I did not. This fertility stuff is so glamorous. We then spoke with a nurse who taught us how to do the lovely intramuscular progesterone shots, aka the butt shots. These shots terrify me since they go into the muscle and the needles are so long! The nurse then wrote on my butt with a sharpie to mark four squares (two for each cheek) of where Richard was allowed to give me a shot. Again so glamorous. I have to leave these marks on my booty for the next 12 weeks because that is how long I have to get shots in the booty if I get pregnant. Don't think about it Alecia. It will all be worth it. Since my doctor added the extra estrogen pills, she has pushed out my transfer date three days to see if the estrogen will thicken up my lining. We will also have to make a trip back to the doctor for a lining check in three days (on a Saturday morning, my favorite) and then a decision will be made about the transfer date. If everything goes well at the appointment and my lining is where it should be, then the embryo transfer will be scheduled for 6 days later and the butt shots will begin the next morning. Oh boy.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 22: Today was a rough rough day. Richard and I had to wake up early on a Saturday and head to the doctor’s office. The doctor’s appointment was to see if my lining had improved since our last visit, a last ditch attempt to thicken it up. Well it did not take long for my doctor to see that it was not much of an improvement. I was at a little more than 7mm and she said that ideal was 8mm. She then said that she would have to look at my chart to decide what to do next. Basically it came down to two options, either scrap the whole process and start the six week process over with more estrogen from the beginning or transfer an embryo when we had planned and hope for the best. She said that she has had people get pregnant with a 7mm lining in the past so it is not impossible, but 8 or higher is ideal. Not the news I wanted to hear. I was really disappointed when I found that out. I had been looking forward to this cycle for so long knowing it was a real shot at pregnancy and now we have this added and it decreases my chances of getting pregnant. Once my doctor looked at my chart and saw how long I had been taking estrogen she basically left it up to us. We decided to go through with the embryo transfer and just see what happens. If it does not work then we will start the process over anyway so at least this means that the last 8 weeks have not been a waste. My doctor said that since I have quite a few embryos that we could try this out and see what happens. If I only had a few embryos she would not recommend it. Also, the fact that my lining is more than a 7 and not less means she feels more comfortable with that decision as well. I spent the rest of the day doing my best to see the positive in the situation and keep in mind that it could still work. I came to the conclusion that basically I should think of it as a bonus. If it works then great, but if it doesn't work then we move forward like we would have done had we not done the transfer. After spending the day getting stuff done on our computers, we were both burnt out from getting stuff done. We decided to go to see a movie together as a date night. When we were done with the movie we stopped at Sonic for shakes and Target to get a heating pad in preparation for the butt shots the next day. I pretty much wanted to go to bed when we got back from our date. I started to get ready for bed and all of a sudden my stomach was super upset. Like I could barely walk because I felt like I might throw up. So I laid down in bed to try to see if it would pass. I went back and forth to the bathroom a few times feeling like I might need to go #2, but nothing came. Finally, I just tried to go to sleep because my body was exhausted. I was almost asleep when I suddenly had diarrhea and quickly ran to the bathroom. And then I started throwing up all of the food I had for dinner and the shake we got for dessert. I completely emptied my stomach and that was when I could stop myself from continuing to throw up. It even came through my nose at one point which was extremely disgusting. I then tried to use siri to text Richard "help" but siri kept hearing "hello" so I had to walk to my phone to text Richard to come help me. He came in from the front porch immediately and helped me pull myself back together and get settled into sleep again. It was rough and I don't think I have ever felt that horrible.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 23: After a rough night, we had to wake up early to give me a shot of progesterone in the butt. We are supposed to give the shot at consistent times throughout the week and 8am is what works best for our work schedules. Waking up that early on a weekend was hard, especially after the night we had. These progesterone shots have terrified me since I found out we have to do them. The inch and a half needle that needs to go into my butt muscle is just terrifying. Richard kept telling me that it probably would not be as bad as I thought they would be and he was right. Richard learned how to give the shot previously in the week, but we quickly reviewed it before he gave it to me. I first put the vial of progesterone in hot water so that the oil in the vial would thin out a bit. Then I had to draw up the oil and let me tell you this stuff is thick! It was hard just to get it in the syringe. I then laid down on our bed and then Richard took the needle and stuck it in within the box that was previously drawn on my botty by my nurse. The needle going in was not too bad, but I could feel the oil going into my muscle and it was uncomfortable. It takes a long time, like 2-3 minutes, to inject everything into my muscle. Much longer than the other quick shots we have done so far. And tomorrow we have to inject twice as much. Richard at one point could tell he hurt me because he accidentally moved the needle, but I had not really felt anything up to this point. He said he had been pushing to oil into my muscle before that and I had no idea. It was kinda nice not being able to see what he was doing. When we were done with the injection, I went and sat on a heating pad on the couch. The doctors recommend doing that because it helps spread out the medicine through your leg. I am not going to lie the first few hours after the shot my butt stung. I could feel where the needle was injected and I could see red streaks spiderwebbing down my butt and leg. It was really weird looking and it was itchy and uncomfortable. I tried to stay sitting and would periodically put the heating pad back on my butt to see if it would help. I was worried it was going to look like that all day, but after a few hours it went away and all I felt was a little soreness in my muscle. By the end of the day I had a small bruise at the injection site and it is still a little sore. I am just hoping that the bruise fades quickly because we have to continue these shots for some time. I also had to add my z-pack antibiotic today so that it can clear my system of any infections it is trying to fight. And I had to add an 81mg of asprin so that it keeps my blood a little thiner in hopes that my uterus has more blood flowing through it. And I had my last shot of Lupron today so that’s a plus.
Medicine:
Lupron 5u at 8:30 am 
Z-pack day one (double dose) 
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 50mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 
Day 24: Today was the first time I had to get a shot in the butt on a day when I had to go to work. It was not too bad. My routine has been this. Alarm goes off at 7:45. I get up at about 7:50 and put a small amount of water in a coffee cup and put it in the microwave for about a minute. While that heats up I collect my syringe, alcohol wipes, second needle, gauze and progesterone vial. When the water is done warming up I bring everything into the room and set the vial of progesterone in oil in the warm water. This helps to heat up the liquid and make it a little thiner so it goes in easier. I leave the vial in the water for 3-5 minutes and while I wait I brush my teeth. Then I force Richard to get up so we can give the shot. After that I take the very large thick needle, fill the syringe with 2ml of air, use an alcohol wipe on the top of the vial, inject the air into the progesterone vial, then draw up 2 ml of the progesterone. Then I get out the air bubbles and switch to a thinner needle, but one that is still 1 and a half inches long. Then I hand it over to Richard. I lay down on my side while he injects the progesterone. I have to lie very still while he does it which thankfully is not too bad since it doesn't hurt for the meds to go in. Richard is supposed to clean the area with an alcohol pad, stretch the skin, inject the needle, pull back on the needle to see if he pulls an air bubble or blood, if he pulls an air bubble (which is most of the time) he continues with the injection. Then it takes a few minutes for the entire syringe to empty because the medication is so thick. When he is done with that he massages the area for a bit and then I go lay on the couch on a heat pad. The heat pad is supposed to keep the medicine thin so that it can spread easier. I lay down for about 10-15 minutes before I continue on with getting ready for the day. The shot itself did not hurt too bad until I got in the car to go to work. Then it hurt so so bad. I don't know if its just the timing or the fact that I am sitting in the car that makes it so bad. But I tried my best not to sit down too much because that hurts worse. But then the medication makes me extra sleepy so it’s hard to stay standing too long. Ugh.
Medicine:
Z-pack day two 
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 25: Second day waking up before work to get a shot. We did everything like above except Richard forgot to check if he hit blood. It bled a little bit when he was done so we think he might have hit a blood vessel. It hurt pretty bad almost immediately and got worse as the day went on. I remember it hurting so much that I felt like it was going to be so hard continuing to do these for the next 12 weeks. I was really crabby the rest of this day and may have been a little mean to Richard. When I got home, I checked on my injection site and I had a huge and nasty bruise that had formed. No wonder it hurt so bad.
 Medicine:
Z-pack day three 
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 26: Richard gave me the progesterone shot this morning and it did not hurt at all! I kept waiting for it to hurt and the pain never came! It was such a relief compared to the day before. He picked a spot that was more on my hip than on my butt so maybe that was why. Who knows but after today I can do the rest of these shots no problem.
Medicine:
Z-pack day four 
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 27: The shot today did not hurt as bad as it has in the past, but was more painful than the day before. But it was pretty manageable and I kept massaging my butt throughout the day to make it better. By this point, this was my fourth shot so I had sore areas all across my booty. It makes it really hard to sit down or find a comfortable way to lie down at night. I have figured out that earlier in my work day if I sit less and move around more my soreness is not as bad. The more I sit the more it hurts. I was so tired on this day even though I have been getting plenty of sleep. I have been getting at least 8 hours of sleep if not more, but I still get sleepy. The progesterone supposedly mimics pregnant symptoms which must be why I feel so tired. But, luckily my nausea has completely vanished. I was feeling really weird about the transfer leading up to it. I was not very excited because of the fact that it was not an ideal situation. Richard kept reminding me that my doctor would not have agreed to a transfer if she did not think it was possible. That night, we went out for dinner together at my favorite restaurant. Richard's idea even though he is getting sick of Mexican food.
Medicine:
Z-pack day five 
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 28: Transfer Day! This morning started out a little rough. We had to be at the fertility clinic by 11:30 in the morning for a transfer at noon. That means we had to leave our house around 11 to get there on time. After getting the progesterone shot and my morning medication, I tried to refill a prescription that they would not refill for me. Richard was working from home in the morning and he was being cranky about all he had to do that morning. Our renters informed us that there was a leak in a major pipe in our rental house in Minnesota so he was dealing with that on top of everything else. I was not feeling very excited or anything that morning so I decided to get my spirits up by watching an episode of my favorite show, Friends. I watched The One with the Embryos where Phoebe has an embryo transfer in order to be a surrogate for her brother. It is a great episode and it was especially funny to me to see how flawed and inaccurate the science portrayed was. But either way it worked to help me be a little more excited. By the time it was over, I had to start getting ready for the transfer. I was instructed to empty my bladder an hour before the procedure (11 am) and start drinking 32 oz of water. I had my water all measured out and ready to go. I was trying to get Richard out the door so that we would be on time and he had something come up at work that he had to get done before we could leave. I was frustrated and annoyed but was trying to stay stress free so I waited outside for him to finish up. Finally, around 11:10, we were pulling out of the driveway on our way to the doctor. I had to continue to force myself to drink water so that I would have a full bladder for the transfer. They want you to have a full bladder so that it tilts your uterus so the doctor has a better angle into the uterus. It helps keep the uterus in a good position. By the time I was halfway through drinking the water, my stomach was full and I was having a hard time continuing to drink water. But I kept forcing it because I knew it was needed. Once we were in the office, we were brought back to the same room as we were in for the retrieval. The nurse came in and went over consent forms with us and instructions for after the transfer. We also talked to the embryologist to confirm that we were only transferring one embryo. My doctor recommended that we transfer only one embryo because we are so young and because of my size she wanted us to have one healthy baby at a time. We then had to wait around for our doctor who ended up running about 20 minutes late. This was especially hard since by this point I really needed to pee. Richard got into his scrubs as well since he was coming with me into the procedure room. Finally, we were able to head into the procedure room. Thankfully this time they shut the lights off to be able to see the ultrasound monitors. With all the lights on it is kinda creepy and sterile feeling. The whole process was a little weird. First, the nurse used an ultrasound wand on the top of my stomach so that they could see my uterus on the screen. She had to put a lot of pressure on my bladder to do so which made me even more uncomfortable since my bladder was so full. Then the embryologist came in and made me verify my name, what procedure we were doing and how many embryos they were transferring. The doctor then had to insert a catheter through the cervix into the uterus. Then an embryo was inserted through the catheter. We could see all of the movement on the screen which was super cool. We could see the moment when the embryo actually made it into my uterus. So fun! Thankfully, the procedure did not actually hurt and I was expecting it to since all the other procedures have thus far. After what felt like forever since the nurse had to push down on my bladder, I was wheeled out of the room and was able to go to the bathroom. Then the nurse came in and we had a meditation meeting which was basically just a deep breathing exercise. The nurse basically told me to keep positive thoughts because continuing to have negative thoughts and guarding myself against the procedure not working was not going to be helpful. We had to continue to lie down for some time after the procedure before we were released to go home. We stopped for burritos for lunch and then headed home for me to be on couch rest. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies on the couch. I think I even took a nap at one point. We went to dinner at our favorite pizza place even though we were told not to leave the house. I just made sure not to move around too much. Then we had to stop at the pharmacy and argue with the pharmacy tech over the fact that I needed my prescription that they were trying to deny me. They were trying to argue that I was going through my estrogen patches faster than what was "normal" but I was following the prescription instructions. Basically I was trying to renew a prescription earlier than they thought I should. Then it was back to the house to continue my Harry Potter movie marathon. All through the day I kept telling myself that I had a fertilized embryo swimming in my uterus. It was such a weird feeling knowing that and it was fun to be able to remind myself of that.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 
Day 29: After the transfer, I was told to lay low and relax as much as I could. Doctor's orders to be lazy? I'll take it. I continued my Harry Potter movie marathon for the rest of the weekend and did not do a whole lot of anything. It was a good weekend to need to relax because Richard had to do some major work on his dissertation before his defense the following week. So he continued to get that finished up while I watched movies. Win, win.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal  

Day 31: This week was going to be a rough week and I knew it before going into it. My co-teacher at the preschool was out of town this whole week and most of the next so I would have a replacement teacher. I knew it was going to be rough so I prepared to just take it as easy as I could and not stress out too much. Whenever I felt myself getting overwhelmed I had to remind myself to take a deep breath and in the end it did not matter that we were a few minutes late to our next activity. Everything would work out. I came home almost every day this week just so stinking tired from chasing all the kids around all day. I went to bed early to continue to keep up with the mess. Surprisingly, the week went by fast and I was grateful for the weekend.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 33: Today I noticed three huge red welts just above my injection "box" on my booty that itched super bad. Like I was going out of my mind with how bad it itched. After a few hours it went away so I thought nothing of it. Later that night, it flared up again and was so so itchy I could not stand it. This continued over the next few days where it would get super itchy and then it would go away. At one point, Richard even made me a paste out of baking soda to calm the itching. I was really hoping I was not going to have to deal with this for the rest of the injection time. The butt shots have been going pretty well, I have just gotten used to the constant pin prick pain in my booty. After some time, the area of my booty that we were supposed to give injections went completely numb. Like I could not feel anything which felt super weird. But, it made for less painful shots so I guess it works.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 37: This was ten days after our transfer and had we not already made plans, we would have had our beta test to find out if we were pregnant. Instead, Richard and I headed to Louisiana the day before so that Richard could defend his dissertation. We spent the night at a friend’s house and woke up in the morning super early so that he could get to school early. He gave me a shot for the first time somewhere not in our own bedroom which was weird. It messed with our routine, but whatever. We also had to give me the shot super early because of how early we had to wake up and we knew there was not going to be another time to give the shot. Richard defended his dissertation, then we went to lunch with friends, took forever to take a cute picture together, stopped at a hotel to check on graduation prices and then finally headed home. Since we left later in the afternoon than we intended, we ended up hitting rush hour traffic in Dallas so it took us an extra hour to get home. By the time we were home I was so sick of riding in the car and my booty was sore and itchy and I was just done. 9 hours in the car in less than 48 hours was plenty for me. Early bedtime since we were up so early.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 39: Beta test day. The day we had been waiting for. I went to the doctor’s office early so that I could get to work early. It was super weird going in knowing that I would know if the test was positive or negative by the end of the day. Two different nurses asked me if I had already tested at home. Richard and I chose not to test at home because he had his dissertation defense the day prior and he did not want to be distracted prior to the defense. Plus, I determined that even if I did take a test, I would not believe the results either way. Once they were done with my blood draw, I asked to speak with someone about the rash I had on my booty. I was put in a room until the nurse who taught us how to do the progesterone shots came in. I showed her my rash and told her about the numbness I had been feeling in certain parts of my booty. She said that the numbness was normal and not to worry about it. As for the rash, I could put an anti-itch cream on it when it got bad and we could switch my medicine if need be. I had already been told that injections were the best way to get progesterone so I did not want to switch medications. I can suck it up if I need to. I then headed to work and had to keep my mind off the results until later. I was expecting the results to be left in a voicemail sometime in the afternoon since that is when I typically got the results from blood draw. We had decided to listen to the voicemail together when I got home from work. I was surprised to see a voicemail on my phone when I took my lunch break. It was 1:40 and I called Richard to tell him I had a voicemail waiting and that there was no way I could go back to work without listening to it and there was no way I was listening to it alone. Richard then informed me that he had a really important meeting scheduled for 2pm so he could not leave work to meet me anywhere. So my options were meet him at work or wait another 4 hours to find out. Also, did I mention that Richard was working from a different building than usual so he was even further away? I was so mad and frustrated. I decided to just do it and drive all the way over to Richard's work, taking the expensive toll way to save me a few minutes time. I got to his work at 1:55 and he met me out front where I then parked my car and we listened to the voicemail. The nurse starts out by introducing herself saying that she is from the office and she has the results from my test. She was very calm and collected so there was no giveaway in her voice. She then continued on to say congratulations, YOU ARE PREGNANT!!!! She said a few other things that I totally missed and had to re-listen to later. As soon as I heard her say it I started ugly crying. I could not believe the words I was hearing. I kept thinking she was wrong, there was no way that I could actually be pregnant. Richard just kept saying, oh my gosh my wife is pregnant. That moment was just so sweet and I am glad that we were able to listen to the voicemail together and that I drove all the way over to his work. On the way back to work, I stopped at Sonic for a drink and still could not digest what I had heard. I had to go the rest of the afternoon without telling a soul and just got to keep it to myself for a bit. Richard on the other hand told like 4 people before he left work. He had already told people we were doing IVF and that we were getting our results back today so there was no point in keeping the secret. Infertility takes away the secrecy because so many people know where you are in the process. Oh well. After I got home from work, we went down our line of people that we wanted to tell immediately, mostly family. It was bittersweet being able to tell everyone. We video chatted most of them to tell them, but I wish I could have been there in person to see their reactions. Still though, it was amazing. We then went to our favorite Mexican restaurant again to celebrate. I started coming to the realization that I now get to start reading my pregnancy books and looking at pregnancy apps and buying baby stuff.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal 

Day 39+: I had to continue taking my medication in the exact same dosage until we made it to 12 weeks pregnant. After the beta test, I was about 4 weeks pregnant so we had 8 weeks to go. Remembering to take the estrogen at three separate times throughout the day, plus the shot and patch was very hard as time went on. I had so many reminders in my phone and even then I sometimes would forget for a few hours. The butt shots also sucked and never got much better, but they became a routine that we just got used to. A week after our initial beta test, we had to do a repeat beta test to see that the hormones were increasing and that everything was going well. My initial HCG (pregnancy hormone) was 928 and a week later it was 9,341! So that was a good indication that everything was going well. I wrote about my first trimester here if you have not read that yet. Basically, we had to see the fertility doctor two more times for ultrasounds to make sure everything was good before we were released to our OBGYN. Once we hit 12 weeks, we were able to stop all medication and then move forward like a normal pregnancy. The last day of shots and meds was seriously the best. Going through IVF was so worth it for us since it ended in a successful pregnancy, but it was an extremely emotional and physically exhausting process. I don't think I understood how much went into this process until I was doing it myself. We are so lucky that we got pregnant, especially on the first try and with all the setbacks throughout the month.
Medicine:
Asprin 81 mg 
Progesterone in Oil 100mg/ml 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) three times a day by mouth 
Estrogen 2 mg (one pill) twice a day vaginally 
Estrogen patch-changed every other day 
Pre-natal

Shot Count:
Belly Pokes: 34
Arm Pokes: 3
Butt Pokes: 71
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