After my 8 week scan I was officially released from my RE’s office. I wasn’t ready for it. It was an emotional appointment. My nurse came and greeted me after my ultrasound and walked me to ‘The Tree of Hope’ where I was able to stamp two sets of footprints, one for each of my babies. Tears started to well up in my eyes. I didn’t want to leave this place that had taken such good care of me for the last 6 months. She hugged me, and I cried. She told me to come back with a big ol’ belly to visit and to not be shy with pictures once they have arrived. The hardest part about leaving my RE is that I will go from weekly ultrasounds to practically none at my OB. I think they do 2 over the course of a pregnancy. Maybe because I’m high risk from IVF and because of the twins I’ll get more? It would be nice to see them more often. I was instructed to stop taking my progesterone because the babies placentas were now big enough to sustain them on their own. My thoughts were, ‘Um…are you sure? Just three days ago I took my last progesterone late and had spotting right away.’ I was terrified. I was to stop back in two days for blood work to make sure my levels were good. Sure enough, no spotting and my levels didn’t dip at all. It’s pretty incredible that once the twins hit the 8 week mark, they didn’t need my outside help anymore. They’re so independent, ha! My first OB appointment is Monday but I believe I’m just meeting with one of the nurses to get started with basic information and some sort of future plan. We’ll see how this goes.
We feel extremely grateful that we get to have these two babies be a part of our lives. It’s exactly what we wished for. Dreams really do come true. However, I can say that I feel an overwhelming (at times) sense of guilt. There is a very large Instagram group of women who are trying to conceive. We follow each other, send encouraging messages, mourn together and celebrate together. It isn’t lost on me that many of these women have faced more struggles and loss than I have. For that, I feel guilty. Some have been through multiple IUI’s, multiple IVF’s and FET’s and still have not been able to get pregnant or bring home a healthy baby. Obviously I’m not completely out of the woods yet, and probably won’t ever feel out of the woods until I have my two babies in my arms, but I’ve made it farther than some in our very first fertility cycle. I truly believe my success is a mix of things. My wonderful RE did all kinds of tests before just putting me on Clomid, which would normally be step 1 for some. After determining that I would need IVF, she did more testing to make sure my uterus was in shape enough to accept a pregnancy. When she discovered polyps she removed them and said it’s likely that a miscarriage would’ve happened if we hadn’t removed them. In addition, the month leading up to my cycle I drastically changed my diet. I stopped eating sour patch kids (which was a food group in itself for me), I began eating avocado to increase the amount of good fat in my diet. I ate that crap every.single.day. I cut out caffeine other than the small amount naturally found in chocolate. I also prayed more than I ever have in my life, people prayed for us, people sent their positivity and encouragement. Our RE’s office is nationally recognized. They are doing multiple studies at a time to further research and development for ARTs. Their success rates are some of the highest in the country (68-70%). All of these things helped us, but there are women who aren’t as lucky and I hate that.
Before we continue any further through this journey, it’s important for us to acknowledge all of the love and support we have felt. To our family, our friends, colleagues, acquaintances and complete strangers: we cannot thank you enough. There has been an outpouring of encouragement and love. We don’t consider ourselves to be extremely religious people but I can tell you that I have never prayed more for anything in my life. To know that all of you have sent your positive words, thoughts and prayers our way makes us feel so blessed already. Whether we are nearing the end of our IVF journey, or this is just the beginning, I wanted you all to know just how thankful we are. You have made a difference in our lives and our hearts.
Our one year anniversary is coming up in a little more than a month and this first year of marriage has been an adventure. It’s not exactly what we expected. Luckily we love each other so darn much that all of this has only made us closer. We are hopeful that the two embryos we transferred last week have decided to stick with us. We love them so much. We feel like we know them and like our lives will be forever changed because of them.
Again, thank you for all of your support. I’m a ball of nerves tonight and am hoping for the best. I’ll be saying a few more prayers, because it can’t hurt, right?
photo by Lauren Fair
When I was in high school, I dated someone from a super religious family. They went to a church that ex-communicated someone for getting remarried after a divorce. A divorce that the ex-wife had requested. They asked those who attended the church to turn the other cheek if they saw this man in public. The ex-wife asked for forgiveness from the church, though she wasn’t looking to take her husband back and was forgiven. Anyway, I think that’s when I started to really question who gave these people the authority to turn someone away from a church and whether some organized religions have gotten too big for their britches. I believe in God, but I do not go to church. Today, I searched “IVF” and after a few pages I came across a question someone had posted to the National Catholic Register stating that their neighbors (who are not catholic) were going through IVF and had already frozen some embryos and this person wanted to know if they could pray that the implantation would work. The response that was given, pissed me off. So I’m venting, here. Basically it was said that IVF is a sin because it’s creating life outside the womb (though I can’t say I remember the bible saying conception had to happen within the fallopian tubes/uterus) and then the couple selects 1 embryo and kills the rest, basically selective abortion. This upset me for a few reasons. Often, more than 1 embryo is selected and yes it’s based upon which looks/tested the strongest because many of the ones that test or look poorly would result in miscarriages anyway (much like in natural conception). After choosing which embryo(s) will be transferred, couples are given the option to freeze any additional embryos or donate any remaining embryos to other couples who cannot get pregnant or to research to improve the processes for the future. The article told this person to pray that their neighbors would repent for their sins and to pray for the innocent child resulting from such sinful behavior. It also suggested they breach the subject with the neighbor to make sure they know the moral implications of their actions. My question is, who are they to judge? It seems as if they’re not even educated on how the procedure works and I’m pretty sure they’re told not to judge lest ye be judged, am I right? They basically told this person, ‘No, do not pray for success for this couple who is struggling with something we know nothing of.’
I am not being punished for being ‘ungodly’. I am not supposed to be childless. I should not go to hell for not being sorry that I’m undergoing IVF. There was some sort of disease process throughout my body that caused my tubes to be blocked. The God I thought these christians believed in was one who does all the judging himself and gave everyone free will. If God created everything and everyone then he also created the Reproductive Endocrinologists and the science that makes IVF possible, right?
I believe that many people have prayed for what we’re going through. I’ve prayed, friends and family have prayed. I believe that it is already working. It’s a small miracle that my progesterone levels dropped after they were rising so steadily. I believe that there is more than just me, Kyle and our RE working together to create our children.