First Beta Numbers!

Just got the call today from my first beta! After a little worrying because they had told me they would call at 4:00 pm and it was 5:15 before I heard from them (and I called the Nurse Coordinator a few times to make sure they didn’t forget about me and there was no answer all three times!) After an hour of sweaty palms and my mind racing and wondering if I perhaps read those pregnancy tests all wrong, I was utterly relieved when they called to let me know that 12dp3dt our first beta number is  strong at 1035!! I go in tomorrow to fill my prescription, and then Tuesday is my next appointment. I’m unsure if I get another blood test in 2 days, (Most of what I have read, they do another beta to make sure numbers are doubling in the States, but being in Korea, things are done somewhat differently) but I was too happy to ask what exactly is going to happen next week, all I cared about was that the baby (or babies?!) are strong for today. God is too good! 

Image

The one with the positive pregnancy test!!!

So, I was going to wait till tomorrow when I had my beta numbers, just in case something happened, but then I knew that this group of women would be most understanding of all if something happens, so I wanted to share with you all that I received my first positive pregnancy test ever 2 days ago!!! I can hardly believe it! It really does feel like a dream. I can’t thank all of you enough for the encouragement and prayers! Here is the story:

Over the weekend was the Army Aviation Ball, and I was feeling good, minus some cramping and bloat (not the best when I picked a form fitting dress last minute because the dress I had ordered two months previously never came) We had a great time, but my mind was on the day when I would test. That night, the cramps were probably the most I could feel this far and I had made up my mind I would wait until 9dp3dt to test- I wasn’t going to wait till beta day because Alex leaves for the week and I wanted to be able to know the results in person before he left. 

The morning came and I was preparing myself for one line (the usual), telling myself its still pretty early, while hoping for maybe a glimpse of faint line at the very least. I was shaking when I ripped open the pregnancy test. I was so nervous that I just about peed everywhere but the right place on the test! So I guess I don’t do very well under pressure. No results showed up on that test. Test #2 I decided to be safe and grabbed a little tupperware. Alex and I were both hovered over the sink and the line immediately showed up before the control! Alex said “Amy!! Its a line! I see two lines!!” We hugged and kissed and couldn’t really believe our eyes! We were pregnant! It wasn’t a faint squinter either! It was as dark as the control line! We skyped our parents and siblings to let them know (since they all know we are doing IVF and were anxious to hear!) I took another test in the afternoon because Alex wanted to see two lines again (alright, so did I!) and again, we got a very dark couple of lines! I didn’t test yesterday and then I tested today again and those two pink lines showed up in full force! 

Image

 

I’m so happy, and feeling great! I can’t stop thanking God for this wonderful answer to prayers- He is so, so gracious and good! I also found out that our little embryos had some help with assisted hatching. I am just amazed and shocked and just so, so thankful that I can hardly think straight! Tomorrow is the beta blood test and I am so anxious to hear officially that we are, in deed pregnant and this is real! 

The Power of Positive Thinking?

Today for me marks 5 days past my 3 day transfer or 5dp3dt. Thanks to the internet, I look up each day the progress our little babies might be making! It goes something like this:

1dp3dt: Embryo is growing and developing turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula

2dp3dt: Embryo’s cells continue to divide and morula is now a blastocyst (If you did a 5 day transfer, this is the stage you did your transfer!)

3dp3dt: Blastocyst hatches out of shell

4dp3dt: Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining (I also read that this day the blastocyst has about 100 cells, although it wasn’t a scholarly journal so this could be inaccurate)

5dp3dt: Implantation begins as the blastocyst attaches deeper into the lining

6dp3dt: Implantation process continues

7dp3dt: Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become placenta and fetus have begun to develop

8dp3dt: Placenta cells begin to secrete HHCG in the blood

9dp3dt: fetal development continues and more HCG is produced as fetus  develops

10dp3dt: more fetal development continues and more HCG is produced as fetus  develops

11dp3dt: HCG levels are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

12dp3dt: This is the day I go to the clinic to get the blood test!

One of my rituals each day is to check the process of development the babies are hopefully making! Its kind of special to get to follow along in the process when most people are clueless that they’re even pregnant! My 2ww is almost halfway through- beta test is one week from today and so far I really have no symptoms at all, even though I’m conscientiously analyzing every twinge, cramp, bloat, and every other bodily function/fluctuation like a crazy lady!

Some “expert” advice I’ve read via ladies in forums while googling (hehe) is to relax, think positively, no sex, no googling symptoms, eating the core of pineapple to help aid in implantation, etc. My thoughts on this advice is that its similar to the advice of “relax” and it will just happen. I understand the benefit to my body and mind about thinking positively, but whether these babies implant or not doesn’t is not in my control, nor is it in the power of the Doctor. Its completely in God’s hands, so while I am hopeful that this procedure will result in a pregnancy, if it doesn’t, its not going to be because I did or didn’t eat the core of a pineapple. (Just in case you’re wondering, I did eat a pineapple because I will try anything that might be helpful for the babies, however the fate of this FET does not depend on it!) 

Before the transfer was my time of doubt. When the Doctor told us our embryos were poor quality, I was so disappointed, crushed to be honest. Then the transfer happened and I saw the little bubbly embryos on the screen. It was such a unique feeling that passed over me and has left its remnants in my heart and mind. I know our chances of this not working are just as high (and even higher) than it succeeding given our 2 day 3 medium and pretty good embryo, but its easier to hope now that I have the picture of them in my mind. The transfer was nothing like the retrieval. The retrieval was scary and painful, the transfer was calming and sweet and miraculous. I may have very different emotions if I have to go for a second (or third or fourth, fifth and sixth) FET, but after my first frozen embryo transfer, I was just thankful. For the gift of these two embryos we have been given for these couple of weeks(although I’m praying for more and more!!). The knowledge that they could be developing and growing and implanting is just amazing! I think the power of positive thinking may be onto something, or is it the power of hope?

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”- Romans 8:25

 

Attitude of Gratitude

Image

 

Our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is all set for this Friday- only 3 days away!! I went into the appointment preparing myself for the possibility of a cancellation for some reason or another, since so far it has been impossible to predict how things will go, but everything is on track and set! I am really a ball of emotions; I’m nervous, excited, anxious and it changes from moment to moment. I have really been trying to just be grateful for what I have right now, to be able to try and expand our family through IVF is something I never thought possible or that I would have to do- but I am so grateful for that we are here, a place we’ve never been before, 3 days away from transferring 2 of our embryo babies back to me(where they belong!). We had our first round of IVF back in December, and its now April, so it just feels unreal to be closer than we ever have been to pregnancy!

Up until this point, I have no idea if we have ever been able to have our egg and sperm meet and try and implant so I have been putting more effort than I ever have into trying to take my daily pre-natal vitamin, and I’ll also be eating extra healthy the next couple of weeks, not that our success is determined by any of these extra efforts, but I want to give our embryos the absolute best chances! If you have any tips for what you did to prepare your body and mind for your FET, or nutrition advice in general- I’m all ears! 

I’m also on estrogen pills and daily crinone progesterone suppositories and so far so good! I remember last year about this time I was on progesterone and it really effected me- I had all the symptoms of pregnancy without actually being pregnant so I’m hoping and praying my body will respond very well (even if it means being uncomfortable or sick or anything!) so that my body will be ready and willing to welcome our little babies! I keep reminding myself that God likes to use underdogs (which is what our little embryos are right now) and that if he can give Sarah a baby at 90, surely a lower grade quality embryo thriving for me at 26 is nothing to him! 

Holding onto Hope

I’ve come to hope for the best and expect the worst with our experiences with IVF this far, and today was no exception. I arrived to my appointment to find out that my Doctor no longer works at the Hospital. No explanation was given, and I was assigned a new, equally un-sympathetic Doctor. I didn’t even have a chance to sit down before she told me to take off my clothes for the vaginal ultrasound. Thankfully, My ovaries look good, and so does my lining. We have a tentative FET date set for the 25th. I breathed a sigh of relief and before she could rush me out of her office I decided I would ask about our day 3 embryos. I wanted to know a little more about why there weren’t any frozen on Day 5 and if she could give me any information about the quality. She told me that none of the 20 embryos were going to make it to Day 5 blasts. That only 3 were fairly good/ok quality and the rest were poor. She said we would most likely be able to have 6 transfers. Its hard to even type that we have 17 poor embryos. Its so hard for me to swallow. Alex is excited and still feels our chances are very good- I want to share in his optimism, but I can’t help but be disappointed, mostly in myself. Can I just say how grateful I am for my loving husband and his happy heart? If nothing else, I am the luckiest girl in the world to have his love and care. God knew I would need him.

I know I don’t have control over any of this, and God is ultimately the Creator of life, but I just wanted to hear that our chances were great! That we had beautiful blasts- because they are beautiful to me and Alex and I wanted the Doctor to say the same. When I think about our children, nothing but happiness comes to mind- It hurts my heart to hear of them as “poor” because they are already certainly rich in love! The Dr didn’t give me any other information, just confirmed my next appointment and I left the Hospital- I didn’t ask her if she thought our chances were good/ bad/ fair/ poor ( I already know they’re not excellent). It doesn’t matter what she thinks, if this is our time, our day 3 embryo will make it to a baby, and if not, we won’t give up. I’m holding onto the hope that God will make me a happy mother of children, one way or another. (Psalms 113:9)

As I was riding the train home, I read Proverbs 3 multiple times, and I felt it was all meant for me. There is a peace in knowing I don’t have control, but a loving, wise and caring God does, and He cares for me and our babies. 

Proverbs 3:

My son, do not forget my teaching,

 but keep my commands in your heart,

for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.[b]

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.

19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
    by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
    an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
    when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
    when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the violent
    or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverse
    but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
    but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools get only shame.