Welcome Home Embryo #3

After several attempts at Transfer #3, we finally welcomed this little embryo into its new home!

Embryo Number 3.JPG

But first, let’s rewind to last week. In my last post – the one where I called my uterus a choice word – I vented about the disappointing 7mm lining I had after three weeks of Estrace. So, the folks in Memphis decided that I should come to the clinic for an ultrasound so they could get a good look at the lining. Even if it wasn’t thick enough (ideally, you want an 8 or higher), it may still have a those “pretty” triple layers they’re looking for.

I anxiously arrived at the clinic at 7:30 and settled myself into the now-all-too-familiar ultrasound exam table. And there it was! A beautiful, healthy triple layer lining! But then wouldn’t you know it – the dang thing didn’t thicken a bit. Not one bit! Still a 7.

I got dressed and headed back to the waiting room.  My mom had made the trip with me since Brennen was in Boston for work.  When I walked through the door, she immediately perked up and stared at me, waiting for any clue as to how the ultrasound went.  It may sound mean, but I found a bit of playful satisfaction in making her wait until we were in the hallway before I gave any indication of how it went.  “Didn’t grow at all,” I said. Then she added a much needed four letter word to the situation!

We hung around Memphis for a bit just in case we needed to go back to the clinic.  I had accepted that the transfer would be A) postponed once again or B) canceled altogether.  In fact, I had resolved that I wouldn’t stand for another postponement.  I was tired of being strung along, and I wanted a break.  I settled into the mindset of receiving bad news later that afternoon and tried to take my mind off the disappointment with some retail therapy. Memphis is good for that.

Then, at 1:30, as we’re finally heading home, my phone rings. It’s Nurse Memphis.  I braced myself for bad news, especially when she started talking about my trim lining.  Then the words,”But since it has that beautiful triple layer and looks healthy, we’d like to proceed with your transfer on August 22nd.” My mouth dropped and all I could say was “Awesome.” I passed the phone to my mom in the passenger seat and she scribbled down all the directions for medications – progesterone, Lupron, estrace, prednisone, doxycycline, and pre-natals. Shocked! That’s the best way to describe my mood at that point. Oh, and freaking relieved!

I called Brennen just before his plane took off.  Shocked and relieved pretty much sums up his reaction too.  I had never been so excited about starting IM hip injections in my whole life! Bring on the progesterone, baby!

Fast forward to yesterday, the day we left for Memphis.  We, along with several neighbors, woke up to find that our cars had been broken into.  What the heck, right? Luckily, I’m the idiot who left my car unlocked, so there were no broken windows. They passed over a camera flash in my console, tennis rackets in the trunk, and some Ray Ban sunglasses; the only thing missing was a checkbook.  We opened the bank up at 9am to close our account and all that jazz.

Then, after work, we met at home to load the car and hit the road.  We walk into an 82-degree house. Yep, the AC went out!  Stress level max! Luckily, we were able to get a tech to come out after hours to repair it, and my father-in-law was gracious enough to sit in our sauna of a house waiting on the technician so we could get on the road.

FINALLY we make it to Memphis, and the hotel upgrades us to a suite – a much needed stroke of good luck!  We binged on a little more Friday Night Lights and tried to get some sleep, anxiously awaiting the transfer the next morning.

We arrived at the clinic at 9am for my progesterone test – the results came back just where they needed to be. A win! As we were waiting to be called back for the transfer, I checked my phone. It was blowing up with well-wishes and words of encouragement, and I had to keep myself from breaking down right there in the surgery center.  I can never ever thank you all enough for those thoughts and prayers.  They are always felt, but they were especially felt today.

Then, it was “T” time!  I had been chugging water all morning because they want you to have a full bladder for the transfer.  Apparently, when the bladder is full, it’s easier to guide the catheter through the uterus, and sonongrams read through fluid.  We learn something new about this every day!  So there I am with a bursting bladder just moments before they retrieve us from the pre-op room, and what does Brennen do? He pees…with the door open…in the bathroom right behind my chair. (His mother will be horrified!)

IVF Husband

Just as I was wrapping up my “You asshole” eyeroll, Doctor Memphis came in with the picture we had been dying to see – our little embryo.  Much to our surprise, it had improved after the thaw from a 4AB to a 4AA.  We were over the moon!  He/she is a beauty!  The doctor left, and before the nurse could come back to retrieve us, I looked at Brennen and said, “I want this so bad, but I’m scared to want it this much.” “I know babe.”

The transfer went as smoothly as it could have gone, despite the full bladder.  I did cramp a little more than in the past when the catheter went in, but luckily I had Brennen’s hand to squeeze until it was numb! He says his injury is keeping him from doing this post-transfer blog.

After thirty minutes, I peed! Yippee! And we were on our way.  The rest of the afternoon was spent sleeping off my valium. Now, here I am, restless and waiting on Brennen to come back to the hotel with take-out! This prednisone keeps me hungry!

Over the next few days, I’ll be on modified bedrest.  We’ll head back home tomorrow, where my mother-in-law will have me some buttermilk chicken waiting.  Then, my mom is coming up to stay with me Thursday while Brennen goes back to work, and I can’t wait for some gluten-free chicken spaghetti from her!  With this embryo in tow, I am no doubt being spoiled!

After bedrest, I’ll return to work and my usual routine but continuing to take it easy.  My doctor told me no exercise or running.  He obviously doesn’t know me that well because I don’t do either of those things.  The 10-day wait will no doubt seem like a lifetime.  I keep telling myself I’m not going to test early. I told myself that last time too. And the time before.  I tested both times.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers over those 10 days.  Pray for peace, patience, and that this little embryo sticks like glue!

Embryo #3

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6th Anniversary

Earlier in the week, Breanne asked me if I was going to write an anniversary post for the blog like I did last year. Without thinking, I blurted out “Is this gonna be an annual thing?”  I could feel her eyes burning a hole through me.  “Well I hope not…”  Of course we don’t want to still be blogging about infertility in a year! As Forrest Gump once said, “I’m not a smart man.”

not a smart man

As dumb as my comment was, it did get us talking about our 6 years of marriage.  We have been trying to conceive a child now for half of our marriage.  Half!  And we’ve been going through fertility treatments for a third of it.  Infertility is no longer something we just have to deal with or get through – it’s now a part of who we are, both individually and as a couple.  I never thought I would have given my wife over 100 shots during our first few years of marriage!  And she never thought her husband would know as much or more about the female reproductive system as she does.  Taken out of the context of infertility, that would be pretty damn creepy.

Looking back, this is not where we expected to be at our 6th anniversary and in our 30’s.  But in spite of all the pain and sadness that infertility has caused us, it’s made our marriage stronger.  After our first couple years of marriage, we thought the next step in the maturity of our relationship would be the connection we formed over being parents.  But in reality, it happened unexpectedly when we couldn’t become parents.  We’ve seen each other at our most vulnerable, we’ve talked each other out of giving up, and we’ve comforted each other after leaving yet another disappointing doctor’s appointment. We have learned to rely on each other to get through these difficult times.  And when the unexpected happens, as if often does these days, we’re each other’s constant.

So this weekend, to celebrate our anniversary, we decided to try and hit refresh and enjoy what we have in each other.  We deserved a day or two to set aside the dreams of what we want our family to be, to enjoy the family we already are – the one we became 6 years ago today.  At dinner last night, I brought up something about the transfer and Breezer burned another hole in me with that look. “Nope, we’re not talking about that,” she said.  So I shut up, because we’ve already established the fact that I say stupid things, and after dinner we came home and continued our weekend binge of Friday Night Lights.  It got us fired up for football season, but more importantly helped us clear our minds.  So as we approach this week with a doctor’s appointment to find out if we can transfer this month, I’ll just leave you with the wisdom of Coach Eric Taylor (who I’m pretty sure Bre has a crush on…because she told me), “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!”  And a little advice just for me for next year’s anniversary – “Stay away from dumb, gentlemen.”

Coach-Taylor-eric-taylor-30564566-400-267

My Uterus Can Be a Real B****

Well…today was my lining check. I had been so nervous about this date with “Wanda,” especially after last month’s cancellation.  As the ultrasound tech began doing her thing, I took a deep breath and stared at the monitor so hard, as if I could somehow make the image of a thick uterine lining magically appear with my mind.  Then, there it was.  I saw the three layers and said, “Hey Brennen, it’s a pretty a lining!” The tech laughed and joked that she could probably turn the tools over to us at this point. We’re vets. Then, she dragged the pointer across the screen to get the measurements.  “How thick is it?” I nervously asked.  “About 7.” UGH!

We left our appointment so freakin’ frustrated.  As I was driving back to work, I called Brennen (even though I had just seen him 2 minutes ago), and for the first time in this whole process I said, “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” I wanted to give up. At that moment, I felt like this would never work.  The anger continued to swell up inside me and came out in phrases like, “This isn’t going to happen,” and “Forget it! I’m done.”  In the past when we met a hurdle, we were able to push through it with positivity, but this afternoon I was like, screw positivity.  I didn’t want to be positive. I didn’t feel like pushing through.  I just wanted to throw my hands up.  What the heck, uterus? I had to quickly get off the phone with Brennen before I broke down in tears.  I honestly don’t remember if he ever even said anything on the other end of the line. He just let me have my moment of justified frustration.

bitchy uterus

The day dragged on.  My frustration eventually subsided…somewhat, and I was on pins and needles waiting to hear from Memphis.  I knew the lining measurement wasn’t where it needed to be, so I was ready to hear the word “postponed” and move on.  Memphis finally called at 3:09.  I didn’t want to hear the nurse say it so I went ahead and offered up a “So that lining wasn’t so great, huh?” She agreed. And guess what…transfer postponed.

I’ll continue to take Estrace three times a day for another week, along with Lupron, which should keep me from ovulating. SHOULD! Then, next Wednesday, I’ll be in Memphis for blood work and another lining check.  Unfortunately Brennen can’t make it to this appointment because he has a business trip to Boston.  But my mom has offered to go with me (thanks, Mom!), which means we’ll probably be making a stop at Ikea and the Pottery Barn Outlet before heading back to Mississippi.

So now we’re looking at a transfer on August 21st, a week from our original date.  But hey, a postponement is better than a cancellation, right? Okay, so maybe I’ve accepted some positivity since my morning rant…but that doesn’t mean I’m not still pissed at my uterus!