As my previous post mentioned, we were given the green light to start IVF six months after completion of radiation. In December 2017, Eamonn had a procedure to extract his sperm so half of our babies were frozen and ready to go. We wasted no time getting the other half.
At some point I will share more information as to why we are doing IVF and its link to CF, but that’s for another day. For now, I want to share our experience to-date starting in December 2017, without much detail but just to catch you up.
In December I started birth control. Yes, that’s right. I had never been on birth control before, but to start the process of making a baby I was on it for three weeks (it has to do with regulating my hormones and getting me on a schedule). The first cycle started with the egg retrieval and all that came with that. Long story short, they got 16 good lookin’ eggs from me, and I didn’t feel a thing (during the procedure)! Of those 16 eggs, 11 were fertilized with a sperm and all 11 made it to day 3. That’s a lot so we were quite thrilled.
Pause here for science–some patients are transferred (the day they put the embryo in your uterus, not implantation) on day 3, and some on day 5. It is the amount of days that the embryo has grown in the petri-dish and the doctor decides based on the full picture scenario what is best. Our embryos are day 3 transfers. Again, another time I can explain the why as far as I understand, but I don’t really think much about it.
Okay, back to us. Our first embryo was transferred on Saturday, January 13th. About two weeks later, on January 29th, we got a positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately, without getting into much detail right now, we had a miscarriage very early on. Needless to say, it was devastating.
To keep the story somewhat shorter, since that first IVF fresh cycle (the embryos were not frozen), we have had two more failed frozen cycles, with negative pregnancy tests. With each cycle, the routine of it has become more and more “comfortable” and familiar, but the emotions have never waned.
You know how almost every interaction starts with, “hey, how are you?”? Well for the past month, especially, I have dreaded that question. I hate lying, but I’m certainly not going to respond with, “well, since you asked, I can’t get pregnant and I’m heartbroken.” Instead, my best response is, “I’m okay,” because, I am okay.
The past 8 months have been hard. No, wood is hard. A penis gets hard. The past 8 months have been challenging, emotional, excruciating, and painful. But they have also been full of love. Eamonn and I have gotten even closer as a couple, and we are determined to build our family, including Rolo of course (for now he is loving being king of the castle). We are fully aware that when we do have a baby, it will be our little blessing and miracle, and we cannot wait.
Well, there it is in a very quick nutshell. I have so much more to share about the experience of IVF, the emotional side and the sciency side. What I want to say now though, is this– without our families, immediate and extended, and friends, we would be lost. I feel like I don’t say it enough and yet I sound like a broken record, we cannot possibly be surrounded by better people. We have not shared openly about this with too many people, but for those whom we have, thank you from the core of our beings.
I especially want to thank my “mentor,” you know who you are. I am extremely lucky to have someone very close in my life who has gone through her own IVF journey, who can relate to what I’m going through. She has been over-the-top present for both me and Eamonn, including meeting me at the hospital with me at 7am the day of my egg retrieval so that Eamonn could take Rolo to the vet because he was throwing up blood (it was quite the saga). I wouldn’t know what to do without her so thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you’re out there and going through a similar story, and want or need someone to talk to, I’m here. We all have to be here for each other.