Sunday, March 16, 2014


They really prefer at the IVF clinic if you don’t take home pregnancy tests. They want you to wait until you do your blood test about ten days after implantation. Frankly, that is probably smart given the fact getting a negative result is emotionally pretty tough, and that way you have the doctor there to walk you through it. But, man, it is just so easy to cheat.

I had a bunch of tests, and decided to keep taking them as the ten days progressed because what’s the harm? The day of my blood test, I had to jump on a plane immediately after my doctor’s visit for a work trip, and then wouldn’t be able to deal with the answer (whatever it was) with Chris. I would be alone in a strange city. I started a couple of days after implantation, and got a no. It is too early to tell anyways, right? Two days in for goodness sake! Keep waiting. I did another a couple of days later, and got another no. Doubt started to creep in. Maybe it didn’t take. I started to feel discouraged, even though I knew it was still too early really. God, why did I do that to myself? Allow for the word “no” to be on the table? I decided to put those tests away and just wait. What a long week it was.

On Friday (my blood test at the doctor was scheduled for that coming Monday) I got up early, and something niggled at my brain to give it another try. To my shock, this one came up positive! Oh my goodness, the answer was yes! I am pregnant!! I just couldn’t stop smiling and giggling!

I feel like kind of a weenie because this being my last pregnancy, I thought that maybe I should do something clever to reveal to Chris that our baby girl was indeed coming. What can I say? I am just not good at keeping secrets like this from him. Rather than baking pink cupcakes, or getting a clever “Big Brother” t-shirt to put on Aaron, I just ran into our room where Chris was just waking up and blurted it out. I showed him the test and just like me, he couldn’t stop smiling and laughing either. There is so much hard work to be done with going through an IVF cycle, and to have it work is such a miracle. We wanted this so badly.

We got to go through the whole weekend knowing that I was pregnant and enjoy the news together. Aaron had a stomach bug that prevented us from going out to celebrate, but it didn’t matter. The “yes” was all we needed and wanted. And we smiled at the blessing we have of balancing multiple children. One home sick, and one to celebrate coming to us when we needed her (and, as always, our amazing one in spirit that is always there watching over us)!

I went Monday morning to do my blood test. Just like last time, the nurse looked at me sideways and asked: “did you cheat?” and I fessed up. She was excited. If you pass a home pregnancy test, those are pretty darned accurate. All the same, it was a relief to get the phone call a little later confirming that the blood results came out positive too. In fact, baby girl’s hormone levels were so off the charts healthy that if they had implanted two embryos, they would be concerned that both took. As it is, they think it is just one big healthy girl!

I got that phone call as I was going through security at the airport as I was beginning travel for my work trip. I was gone all week, and then when I got home had to go back to the IVF clinic for a follow-up test. They like to look to see if your hormones are continuing to elevate in a way that would indicate a healthy pregnancy. Again, baby girl’s hormones are off the charts amazing! Go get ‘em girl!!

Next up, I will have my last IVF appointment in a few weeks. They will do an ultrasound where I will hopefully see her heartbeat for the first time. They will give me my official due date. That is kind of a weird thing to figure out since so much of the process happens in a lab rather than in my body. I can’t use your run of the mill due date calculator to determine when she is coming. My best guess is that I will be due in mid-November sometime. That makes me (I think) maybe five weeks along? I am not sure.

We are just so excited, and are marveling at the fact that we are finally having a girl after our two awesome boys. I just can’t wait. I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that this is real…I am pregnant, and remembering what I need to do to take care of myself. What a blessing. Thanks God!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I am late in getting this one out because in the wake of the procedure it was clear to see that I needed to let go of perceived “have to’s” on my to-do list so that I could relax, relax, relax. We had put so much into this IVF process that it just flat out wasn’t worth the risk worrying about the small stuff, and lord knows with a full time job and three year old, there are so many things to do each day that some extreme prioritization was in order.

So, looking back, this time around getting to implantation was much easier.

Last time, I had about a week in between the day when they retrieved my eggs and created embryos to the day when they implanted Aaron into my body. My system was a mess from all the hormones, and I had a bad reaction to the drugs at the time of implantation and ended up spending a painful and scary day in the hospital rather than the hour or so I should have been there. It really sucked.

This time around, I have had several weeks to recover from the retrieval procedure, and my body was in much better shape going into the implantation. That made all the difference, and the day was pretty easy and uneventful, thank you God!

I got up early, and immediately went for a massage. The name of the game on implantation day is to do one thing: RELAX. Therefore, some of the experts in this field recommend going for a massage before the procedure. Not hard advice to follow, right? I went to my old prenatal yoga teacher whom I love, and spent a peaceful hour having all the tension rubbed out of me. I went home after, and quickly ran through the shower.

I had to go up to Denver for the procedure, and to avoid stress we left in plenty of time to get there. On the outskirts of Denver, we stopped for lunch, and then drove in the rest of the way. They took me right on back, and prepped me and Chris, getting us dressed in hospital garb. Chris even had to wear a face mask with his coveralls! I wore the standard lovely hospital gown. They gave me valium to keep me super relaxed, though the dose was so small, I really didn’t feel it. Fortunately as an afterthought, I grabbed my relaxation cards that Chris and I have used when I was in labor with each of the boys. Each of these cards have guided relaxation stuff on them, and because we practiced with them like crazy when I was pregnant before, it didn’t take me long to get into my zone and keep calm, which is hard to do. Being in the hospital just before an exciting procedure like this can keep you pretty amped up!

Soon enough, they took us back, and got me situated. The room was dark and quiet, and they had soothing classical music on. The embryologist came back to review with us that they would be implanting one embryo into my uterus, and confirmed again that it is a girl. Yay! And the coolest part was that we got to see her! My kiddos have hands down the best first baby pictures! Here she is at about 120 cells big:

I just couldn’t stop looking at her. The picture made it feel so much more real!

Then, it was time to get going. The hard/painful part is that you have to have a really full bladder when they do the procedure. Something about that makes it easier for them to see what they are doing through ultrasound. It sucks because the ultrasound tech is doing his part with a hand-held device on your lower belly, and jamming it pretty hard into your gut, right where your bladder is. And he wiggles it around to get better views for the doctor as she is implanting the embryo. The ultrasound tech keeps it up for the whole 20 minutes of the procedure too. I just wanted to pee so badly, and obviously couldn’t. It makes it hard to keep breathing and relaxing! I got through it, and was so excited to hear that the doctor succeeded in getting our girl placed in the perfect spot in my uterus.

After that, they left the room and let Chris and I hang out alone for about 20 minutes, to let baby girl get settled in her new home.

Once that step was complete, I could FINALLY go pee, which was amazing. Whew! Then, it was time to get dressed and go home. Just like that. Simple!

We took it easy going home, and as soon as I was back, I curled up in bed and relaxed. I had two days of bed rest thereafter where I caught up on a whole season of Downton Abbey I had been saving on the DVR.

Next step was to just take it easy until my pregnancy test in about 10 days. Absolutely no heavy lifting. No overdoing it. Just take it easy. I felt really nervous, and worried I would mess it up now that we had come this far, so I really did take a load off. Now to wait to see if it took! I am feeling hopeful.

This procedure was completed on February 27, 2014.