Thursday, January 31, 2013

Who's Happy?

The title of this post poses a question.... the answer:  EVERYONE!!! 

One week ago, we transferred a single 8-cell embryo from the petrie dish to my uterus. Then we all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Today, the best has definitely happened! I got this answer when I asked another question: "Am I pregnant?"

I got to share the exciting news with the dads-to-be in the afternoon and they were overjoyed! I am so excited for them to finally get to be parents. They shared the news with some relatives, who were also very excited... And I shared the news with just a few close friends. And now the world.... well, the couple of people who follow this blog, anyway.

So even though it's been a long road already, it really is "the beginning" now... next up is the HcG blood test this weekend. Time to follow a new motto!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A New Waiting Game

Here I am, 3 days post 3 day transfer (3dp3dt), which is approximately the equivalent of being 6 days post-ovulation, which is the date that a woman not undergoing IVF would typically release an egg for fertilization. For those who are in the (sometimes) dreaded two-week wait, days post-ovulation is the typical measurement for trying to figure out if what they are experiencing could be pregnancy-symptom related or whether a home pregnancy test (HPT) might test positive.

The two-week wait (TWW) gets it's name from the two week period of time from ovulation until the next cycle begins. For many women, it can take all 14 days to pass before a HPT will turn positive. I happen to know that in my case, I've tested earlier and had results as early as nine days past ovulation. But that was with my own baby and definitely not through IVF, so it's a whole new game this time around!

I found this nice little chart which outlines a "typical" timeline for a 3 day IVF transfer.

As you can see, three days post-transfer, I can expect that the embryo-turned-blastocyst is now beginning to hatch. Implantation has not yet occurred. Sometimes this chart can be off by as much as a day or two... but realistically, that still makes it virtually impossible to be experiencing some pregnancy symptoms yet. So every time my mind starts wandering, I can refer to this to remind myself that it's too early... don't test yet! I know better.... but believe me, there are many, many women who just for the sake of needing to do something, will go ahead and test anyway. Not me! Not today, anyhow... my resolve is quickly weakening though. 

My goal is to make it until Thursday of next week. That will be 8dp3dt, the equivalent of 11 DPO. Technically it could still be too early and a false negative could ensue. But this girl is only thinking happy thoughts, so no worrying about that just yet!

So in the meantime, I will be tracking every little twitch or twinge I have for analyzing. I will be sure to keep you posted....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Transfer Day

Today was the best day yet of this whole journey! Yesterday, we received notification that our embryo transfer was most likely going to take place on Day 3, as opposed to Day 5. I'm not privy to all the details about why they chose to do the transfer earlier rather than later, but when we got there, we found out that the embryo being transferred was about as close to perfect as it gets. It had eight, symmetrical, nicely-formed cells and was looking big and beautiful on the printed picture they provided.

The transfer was easy-peasy and took all of maybe 5 minutes. Then I had to lie there on the table for about 10 minutes before getting up and getting dressed. After the transfer, we had a very nice lunch with the Intended Fathers and their interpreter and our contact at the surrogacy agency.

The only sad note in this bright day is that we won't get to see everyone again until they come to meet their baby.

The rest of the day for me was to be "couch-potato" activity. I did meet a friend for dinner and we had a lovely time sitting and not moving, but sharing lots of laughs. It definitely qualified as "relaxation" therapy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Calling All Eggs...

IT. HAS. HAPPENED!  My intended fathers are back in the States and the egg retrieval has taken place. 10 months after signing up to be a surrogate with my agency, we are "this close" to growing a baby!

The donor was kind enough to provide 24 eggs! Some of them are being set aside for a possible sibling project in a little while, but the rest will hopefully fertilize as planned and we'll have 12 (or so) excellent embryos to pick from for a transfer this week.

In other news, I'm no longer doing Lupron injections. This does mean that I am doing Progesterone in Oil (PIO) injections.

I had it all planned out. I had the nurse at the clinic mark my behind where the injections are to go. Then I had my husband (who isn't quite terrified, but isn't exactly comfortable with needles) watch a video of another surrogate doing her own PIO injections so he had a visual reference. Then, he put our son to bed and I chickened out and did the injection myself. If it's not obvious, let me just say, I have a difficult time relenquishing control.

Overall, it wasn't as bad as I feared. It was a huge needle (to my eye) but I barely felt it go in. Hooray! The hardest part was pulling the plunger out a little to check for blood - to make sure I didn't hit a vein. Then changing the grip again to actually inject the medication. Otherwise, easy as pie. This certainly doesn't mean that my behind will be spared from the ache that is typical for an intramuscular injection. But a bruised feeling surely can't be too bad, right? Not compared to the worry over an inch-and-a-half long needle coming at me!

So I'm glad the anxiety about that is gone. Now to look forward again to the next few days and see how everything goes in the lab. Very excited about hopefully having more good news to share again later in the week!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Creeping Closer

In the last week of December, I got to stop taking the Birth Control Pill and go see the IVF clinic for a baseline ultrasound and blood work. They said everything was great, so I started adding estrogen patches to my regimen. (at least I get to see what hormone replacement therapy is like for women who've gone through a hysterectomy or who are menopausal - is that a good thing? LOL)

So far, so good. More bloodwork scheduled in just a few days! Twelve more days until the Intended Parents arrive back in the States!

I'm getting very excited about the date of the transfer creeping ever closer. I'll be completely honest and admit that I'm getting a little more nervous too. The reality of possibilities such as a cancelled cycle or an unsuccessful cycle are becoming a little more intimidating, but I realize that remaining positive is the best thing to do. It works well in other aspects of my life. I really do believe that the power of positive thinking can bring good things your way, so I will focus only on how well things will go and look forward to getting a positive test result early in February!