OK, this is my long-awaited story of becoming pregnant. I'm going to give a little background info of the happenings a week before we got the great news. For even more background info, you can read our full IVF story in chronological blog posts here, and read more about our struggle with infertility (backwards chronological) here.
It was at this time last year that we reached our $12,000 goal, and with MUCH anticipation began all the hormonal injections in preparation for IVF. For over a month, we planned our lives around our injection calendar, having to be injected 2-3 times daily at exact times, and driving across the state several times a week for ultrasounds and tests. We did everything by the book. If this didn't work, it wasn't going to be because we cut corners. Not a single person on earth knew that we had reached our financial goal and were starting IVF. Although we would never have that special surprising moment announcing a pregnancy, I still desperately wanted an element of surprise. I wanted it to be a moment. Another reason we didn't tell anyone was because of the extreme emotional and anxious state of our hearts. We knew family and friends would be supportive and loving, but if the IVF didn't work… I would need to morn by myself. Possibly for a really long time. A grief that I knew might make my heart stop beating. All our eggs were in one basket (and that was NOT meant to be a pun). There was no other way.
My egg retrieval was on a Friday. I was under general anesthesia, and they inserted a catheter with a needle that penetrated into my ovaries and sucked the contents out of each egg sack, from each of my ovaries. Fourteen eggs were retrieved in all. And after mingling with my beloved's ‘seeds', we had eight embryos growing strong after the weekend.. Monday morning we were scheduled for the Embryo Transfer. They handed us a picture of the two strong embryos they had chosen (the same picture we have at the top of our blog). For me, looking at my embryos was a comparable emotion to hearing your baby cry for the first time after 48 hours of intense labor. I said “hi babies, I'm your momma” to the picture. It's true. And Nick said, “the one on the left has your eyes”.
The embryo transfer went smoothly. I thanked the doc for knocking me up, and he said ‘the pleasure was all his.' We went home… and waited. The idea that I could potentially be pregnant is a feeling I can't explain. So much pain and anticipation for a moment like this. I loved those little embryos, with a mother's love. I wanted to know them, deeply and profoundly.
We were instructed to simply wait, for ten days, until our scheduled blood test to determine pregnancy. They highly recommended we NOT take a pregnancy test before then, because my levels would be so low that, although I may in fact be pregnant, it probably wouldn't detect it. And they didn't want me to be disheartened. I was grateful that they were thinking about the condition of my heart. But there was NO WAY I was waiting ten days. I've taken hundreds of pregnancy tests in the last two years, and I needed that moment of peeing on a stick… and seeing it for myself.
So our Embryo Transfer was on Monday, Thanksgiving was on Thursday, and we were heading to my parents on Saturday to celebrate Thanksgiving with my fam. All seven of us siblings were going to be there. And I woke up that morning thinking… wow, today would be the perfect day to announce a pregnancy. Plus, I just didn't know if I could act cool and not let on that there were two embryos in my uterus that could potentially become two babies!!!!!!!!!!!!
So although it was only five days since our Transfer and we were supposed to wait ten days for the blood test, I got out of bed that Saturday morning, walked in the bathroom and peed on a stick. I knew full well it would probably be negative, for two reasons: 1) my pregnancy tests are always negative 2) they told me not to take a pregnancy test because it would almost definitely be negative until ten days has passed. But I had a pregnancy test lying around. Why not? WHY NOT I ask. I had prepared myself for the negative test, and knew that it wouldn't necessarily mean I wasn't pregnant. And I was not going to let it ruin my weekend.
The pregnancy test I used was ClearBlue from a two-pack I had bought a few months back when I wrote this post. It's the type of test that digitally tells you either “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. So I'm sitting on the toilet looking at that blank gray screen, just staring. Waiting. Staring. Hoping. Waiting. And then a word popped up on the screen. Just one word. Not two. One word…
What? WHAT? I stared blankly in disbelief for a fraction of a second. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. I don't think I wiped, or pulled my pants up. I ran into the bedroom screaming and jumped on top of Nick, waving the pregnancy test in his face. I was crying and yelling hysterically. Nick probably thought there was an intruder in our house. He was groggy and confused and half awake. But once he figured it out, we rejoiced together. It was a crazy morning. We kept saying to each other… “We're having a baby!!” I talked to my belly. “hello babies, thanks for grabbing on tight. Are there two of you or just one of you?” In the shower that morning, I had an idea of how we could announce our pregnancy to my family. After taking pictures of the two of us, we went to Walgreens.com and uploaded the photo of us and the photo of our embryos, and created a holiday card using both pictures. And below, it said “Happy Holidays, from ALL of us!”
Walgreens had them printed in one hour, and we picked them up a few blocks from my parents house. I quickly shoved each holiday card in it's envelope as we were pulling up to their house. We walked in the front door, trying to act cool. I nonchalantly set up my camera on the TV stand and set it to record, and began passing out our “Christmas cards” to each of my family members. The video says it all. You can just watch the first 2 minutes. This is one my most treasured moments of my entire life. I'm so glad that I thought to record it so I can relive it whenever I want… and so I could share it with you.
And that's the story of conceiving, discovering pregnancy, and announcing to my fam! We can't believe all that's happened in the last year. We still are in awe that these girls belong to us… that we finally got our miracle(s).