My blood results came back on Friday afternoon. We got news of another unsuccessful embryo transfer. I was somewhat shocked by the result because I started to feel symptoms similar to when I had the transfer with Teagan. I felt like I was pregnant. My intuition told me I had a “baby seed” (that’s what we call the embryos) in my uterus. I talked to my belly and rubbed it at night trying to create a welcoming home, because this time around, my instinct told me there was something there. Something I didn’t feel during the last failed cycle.
And my instincts weren’t wrong. The embryo DID implant.
I did have levels of HCG (the pregnancy hormone) in my blood, but the levels were too low to have a progressing normal pregnancy.
Most likely the embryo wasn’t “perfect” enough and did not continue to grow. Very common with an embryo transfer and natural conception, but crushing nonetheless.
From the clinic: “The probability of successful implantation depends primarily on embryo quality. Most human embryos, whether conceived spontaneously or with fertility treatment, are less than “biologically perfect” and do not have the potential to grow and implant normally.”
Looking back, I think I know when my body recognized this and decided to stop progressing the pregnancy. I was feeling symptoms for five days, then on Thursday they started to lessen. I hoped it was my body getting adjusted to the changes.
This failed cycle hit us a lot harder than the last. I was in disbelief for the first few minutes of the news. It felt more like a loss. It’s heartbreaking, disappointing and deflating all at once.
But at the same time, I once again feel overwhelmed with gratitude for what we do have in our life and the ability to keep trying.
I always say, you can feel two very different emotions at the same time.
Right now that’s heartbreak and gratitude.
Our family and friends are so supportive. And I receive so much love from many of you here in this little account. And we have so much joy (and privilege) in our life.
While our journey has not been simple or quick (or cheap 🙃), at least we are able to do it. So many people don’t have this option. Women with fertility challenges born in prior generations to the creation of IVF didn’t have the ability to get this treatment.
As more months of this journey go by, my amazement of Teagan’s miraculous transfer grows.
We only got one embryo out of the IVF process 4 years ago. So we had one shot at it, and it worked on the first cycle. It still blows my mind! I shared more about that embryo transfer and the source of my infertility in a previous post.
One of Teagan’s first ultrasounds. See the two sacs? The doctor said there could have been an identical twin at the very beginning. Can’t wait to see another pregnancy ultrasound someday.
Every morning of that pregnancy I would wake up feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. I was SO happy to be pregnant.
When Teagan was born, I fell in love immediately.
I also quickly realized she was not going to be one of those “easy” babies you hear about. She had very little chill, and was acutely aware of her surroundings from day 1. Her doctor called her “emotionally advanced” when she was 5 months old (lol).
Her emotional intelligence is obviously wonderful, but can also make things challenging. She has extreme reactions to things that don’t make sense to her or scare her, which requires a lot of nurturing on our end. These reactions started appearing as little as a couple weeks old.
Because I was lucky enough to stay at home with her, I was able to cater to her needs, which meant LOTS of closeness, patience and attention.
She woke every 1-2 hrs at night for 2+ years.
She napped on me for two years as well. And she pretty much lived in the ring sling carrier the first year. Let’s be honest, she still prefers to be held most times. (If you’re curious what I did during all those naps, I kept very busy and shared a list). Those thousands of hours of cuddling in bed are times I will cherish forever.
All this baby backstory to say, one of the many gifts that come with a struggle like infertility, is that I was able to be super present during these first few years (having the privilege to stay at home was also a big factor). Since I got pregnant with Tea, I think there’s always been a little voice in the back of my head saying: “Another baby is not promised. Soak every minute up.” And I truly have.
While the first year was hard (and these 3 year old emotions are no picnic either), and I have my desperately burnt out moments, I want nothing more than the chance to nurture another little human… a chance to create that bond and be so very present and connected to life.
I wouldn’t change the co-sleeping nights or contact naps for anything in the world. And I’m prepared to do it all over again if I’m lucky enough to get another zero chill child.
But first, a break.
I’m taking a much needed break for my mind and body. I’m still trying to catch up on sleep from my nighttime duties. Then you add 6 months of IVF hormones and stress. Oh let’s not forget the effects of the pandemic and being at home with a toddler for over a year. Did I mention we’re also doing a full house renovation too?
So yes, we’re taking a break from IVF for the next couple months and then we’ll see how I feel about the third embryo transfer. I’m also trying to sit back and let the universe guide me a bit, release control and believe that it will happen when it’s ready. One of the most challenging tasks for us humans, right?
(Side note: for those that don’t know, due to a surgery as a baby and a consequential surgery in my early 20s, I don’t have fallopian tubes anymore, so unfortunately trying the “old fashioned” way for a few months won’t work for us. ☺️)
While my heart aches for another baby, just like when we were trying to get pregnant the first time, there is a difference.
I am lucky enough to already be experiencing motherhood. This is where gratitude comes in again during my healing process. I remember begging the universe, “Please allow me to have at least one baby. I really want to be a mother and nurture a child”.
So, I can’t talk about this current space in my journey without acknowledging that we are privileged to already have one child. And that we already got everything we asked for. I get called “Mommy” and “Mama” everyday. Honestly, sometimes I’m still in disbelief that I get that honor. There are so many people still fighting for their chance to become a parent. Or those that ran out of options and had to let those deep, biologically instinctual desires go. And my heart is with them, always.
Thanks for listening and being here.
I love that we can grow and connect from sharing experiences, challenges and gratitude, which is one reason I’m telling my story. The other reason is to pay it forward. I get so much strength and hope from other women sharing their journey (infertility or otherwise).
When you see how courageous someone else can be, it reminds you that you can have the power to be that courageous as well.