I can’t believe transfer day has already come and gone! The last month flew by, but the days in between our retrieval and transfer couldn’t have possibly gone by any slower! There is absolutely no way to describe all of the emotions involved in this process, but I know that we have so many people praying us through it!! You have all become a part of our journey and you’re curious, so I am going to do the best I can to explain where we’ve been so far. We also have a few other IVF warriors and survivors following our journey, so I will share some details that might be of interest to them!
I have wanted to update all week but for some reason I haven’t had the words, and honestly, haven’t really felt like it. So, this may be a hodge podge of words!
Last week was long, and I didn’t feel well after our retrieval. I was not worried about our transfer at all. I knew we had several good embryos growing under the diligent watch of our embryologist. We were pleased and very excited! The enormity of what was coming up on Saturday didn’t hit me until my doctor called on Friday night. I have talked about him before, so you all know how much we love and trust him. He called to see how I was doing and how I felt going into our transfer. He was also letting me know that he was out of town and that another doctor would be doing our procedure. I was a little disappointed, but he went on to tell me that she actually takes care of his daughter. That’s how much he trusts her, so I felt totally okay with it! I have seen almost all of the fertility docs at UAB. They are all wonderful, but I had not met the one that would be doing our transfer! He and I also discussed how many embryos to transfer. He told us we had 5 that looked great! We have been pretty set on transferring two for a while now. He was totally okay with that decision because while we trust him, he also trusts us and wants us to be happy.
After our conversation, I was incredibly overwhelmed! It hit me hard that it was here. What we have been preparing ourselves for for a couple of months now! I did not expect the emotions that I felt. All of the ultrasounds, the shots, the lab work, the tests, the EVERYTHING, has led to this. We were ready right? It all seemed like a blur in that moment! Transfer day was finally here! Ready or not!
I have to share a God thing. Nicholas had scheduled his ACLS recertification class for Saturday morning at 10:00 in Birmingham. When my nurse called that Thursday to let us know that our transfer would be Saturday morning at 10:00, I was like of course that would happen. Nicholas was planning to call and see what he could do to reschedule. Well, Friday morning, the person responsible for the class called Nicholas and asked if he could come at 8:00 Saturday morning instead! God was taking care of us, as always! So he left early that morning to go to his class, and he met us at the hospital at 9:30. My parents picked me up and took me down to meet him! Again, not sure what we would do without them!
I woke up Saturday morning excited and wide awake! I was doing really good until it got a little closer to time for us to leave. I was told to drink 64 oz of fluid that morning because I needed a full bladder for the transfer. Have you ever tried drinking that much fluid in an hour!! I started getting a little anxious while I was getting my breakfast and plenty of fluids together! My parents arrived, I got in the car, and all of a sudden I got super nervous and very emotional! Luckily it was a brief moment. I then entered a very quiet and prayerful mood. All of your texts and fb messages/comments really helped to calm my soul that morning! We were almost downtown, when traffic stopped on the interstate! I did begin to panic a little on the inside. There was no way around it. Nicholas beat us to the hospital and informed them that we would be a little late. We ended up only being about 15 minutes late thank goodness! It was not a problem at all!
When I arrived, we went back and got prepped right away! I was so happy that Nicholas got to be with me for the transfer! Dr. McLean came in and went over our embryo results, which were very very pleasing! She was super honest and very patient with us! She went over the risks of implanting one verses two based on our protocol. This was a decision that weighed heavy on my mind for a long time! Here’s what we discussed…
Being pregnant is risky for anyone, whether you became pregnant naturally or through more extensive measures. I know this all to well being in the profession that I’m in. For those of you who don’t know, I am a NICU nurse. I take care of sick and well babies. I have been to a LOT of deliveries in my 9 1/2 years as a baby nurse. While the majority of them go smoothly, there are ALWAYS risks. You never know what could go wrong. With IVF, the risks are significantly greater. This includes higher risks for mom and baby, especially when multiples are involved. For me, this would mean higher risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension, prolonged recovery process, etc. For a baby, or more than likely babies (if more than one embryo is transferred), the risk of preterm birth is incredibly higher! I am a NICU nurse and none of this ever crossed my mind!
It was a blessing that Dr. McLean was there that morning! While she would have supported our decision to transfer two 100%, there was one statement she made that I will never forget. She told me, “If you were my sister, I would only implant one.” It may have been the heaviest emotional moment of my life. I started to cry because for what felt like the first time, I understood the magnitude of our decision. Our doctor also had tears in her eyes, and I realized how much she truly cared. She left us alone to talk. We decided without a single doubt to transfer one embryo. We had a peace that surpassed all of our understanding that morning!! We felt confident and so good about our decision. We left the risk of multiples up to the Man upstairs!!
While we’ve always thought twins would be fun (I know, we are crazy), our goal is one healthy baby!! We will gladly accept whatever God chooses to bless us with! I have to remind myself, it’s not up to us! Dr. McLean reminded us that we have a whole family ahead of us in our future! Here’s one interesting fact that she shared with us that might make you say…really? I have done a little research on it as well. Transferring one embryo verses two does not increase your chances of pregnancy! Crazy, right? But it’s true.
Now for my fellow IVF warriors. I am by NO means saying I disagree with anyone’s decision to transfer more than one embryo! Everyone’s protocol is different! Some of you are on your 2nd to 5th round! I applaud you and have an immense amount of respect for you! Based on our protocol, our ages, our health, and the quality of our embryos, and all the other factors taken into account, without a doubt one was the way to go for us! Some of your protocols may even suggest implanting 3, it all just depends on the particular couple!
So far, everything has fallen into place for us. Now we patiently wait. While I know a lot of you are almost as eager as we are, we ask that you be patient as well! Our faith never fails us! It’s true. While we do not know what the outcome will be, please pray for us as we wait.
I guess I should add that our transfer went great! It was quick and painless. I have actually felt better this week than I have in a month! Our team at UAB has been incredible. It’s a big place, and they have a lot of patients. We haven’t once felt like we are part of a herd, just a number. The teamwork is seamless. You come into contact with a LOT of people through this process, and everyone has been wonderful! We are so thankful for our experience so far!
Nicholas had been home for over a month. He has been by my side and held my hand every single step of the way. He has taken care of me like nobody else ever could. We have a relationship that I thank God for every single day because I know it’s rare. My heart got on an airplane yesterday headed for SF. It was the hardest time I’ve ever had letting him go. I feel like some of my strength is gone when he isn’t here. I do not know what I would do without my friends and family who step in when I need them most! Thankfully he will be back next Tuesday, so pray with me that the days in between fly by!
This whole IVF round now feels like a dream. There were lots of emotions. Lots of medications. Lots of hard questions and decisions. Lots of doctors appointments. Lots of lab work. Lots of unknown!! I am so thankful that my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!! God’s love isn’t conditional, and His grace is never temporary! My sister reminded me Saturday morning that we serve a good good Father!
“His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
I just have to share this song! It is my prayer that no one ever feels alone! I hope it blesses you as much as it has me!! If you are praying for us or supporting us in any way through this journey, I pray every single day that you will be blessed in return! I am so thankful that we are never alone!!