Monday, January 2, 2017

infertility and baby #2

When Brandon and I made the decision to expand our family, we weighed our options carefully. We could try on our own (you know, relax, buy something expensive, get drunk, play a little Barry Manilow and prop my feet up after the deed was done... what? That's not how people get pregnant the old fashion way... weird, that's some of the solid advice we were given on how to get pregnant when we were struggling the first time around) or we could use one of our frozen embryos from our 2013 IVF cycle. The choice seemed pretty simple to me, sorry Barry. I mean, we could take advantage of 26 year old Tori's eggs (with a 65% pregnancy rate and 55% delivery rate) or we could take a chance with 30 year old Tori's eggs (with a <2% pregnancy rate). Hmmm.

We had planned to do a transfer next spring, after a possible Disney trip for spring break - you know, one last major hurrah as a family of three, but after almost losing my husband, we decided that maybe waiting was foolish.  There will never be a right time for another baby and we are not promised tomorrow. We decided that maybe this was a wake up call to stop putting life on hold for a "better time".  We scheduled a follow-up visit with Dr. Levy to talk about moving forward with a frozen embryo transfer, but given that I work for the practice and am quite familiar with the process, this was just a formality. The nice thing about a frozen embryo transfer, at SGF anyways, was the ability to literally pick the day of my transfer and, by default, essentially pick our due date :) 

Since our nurse, Jordan, has since moved to another position within the practice, we opted to work with my friend and co-worker, Jessica. Jessica took the day we wanted for our transfer and worked backwards to create our protocol. The nice thing about a frozen embryo transfer is you have far less appointments than IVF. The down side about a frozen embryo transfer is you still have about the same number of injections AND their intramuscular. Thank goodness I work with so many nurses who can help out with this :)

We had our first appointment on Friday, October 21st. This was our baseline appointment. I showed up before monitoring even opens, a perk of working at the clinic, and was able to get the appointment done before 7AM. Since B couldn't be with me, I sent him a super spectacular selfie. We got the ok to start medications. This meant injections every three days. Woof. Lucky for me, my teammates are some of the best nurses around :)


In case you wanted to know what I look like at 6:51AM
The next appointment was on Thursday, November 3rd. This was another ultrasound and blood work appointment, this time to check my lining. I responded really well to the medication and my lining was perfection. [For those who are curious and/or familiar with the infertility world, my lining was 9.7mm] Of course, this required another too early in the morning selfie sent to Brandon :)



We got the ok to continue medications and start the progesterone. So we kept taking shots every three days but added in a daily injection. Double woof. 

Our final appointment before our two week wait was on Tuesday, November 8th - the embryo transfer. B was already off work for election day so I took the day off work. We dropped Natalie at daycare and went off to do our civic duty of voting. After a quick trip to the polls (literally less than 10 minutes), we head home for some breakfast and a nap before heading to the office for our appointment. The transfer process was a breeze and Dr. O said everything looked perfect. Always nice to hear!

And then came my favorite part of the appointment, getting to see candidate #1 for Baby Wilkinson #2 :)



Our first blood pregnancy test was scheduled for Monday, November 21st; however, if you know me, you know that I was not blessed with patience :) I peed on a stick at work on the 14th and it came back positive with the faintest of pink lines. The next morning, I peed on one of those "PREGNANT" or "YOU SUCK" sticks and it came back pregnant



Once I got the confirmation, my clinical team and I had a little celebration in our office. I was dying to call, text, smoke signal Brandon.  I could not wait to tell him but I had come up with a really fun way that included Natalie (more on this in another post) and I had to hold out strong. It was the longest. day. ever.

I did finally have a blood test on Friday, November 18th (three days early) and my result came back at 340. I was shocked. Natalie's first HCG level was also three days early and came back at 153 (which I was super impressed with then). 

So while our family building process hasn't exactly been conventional, how blessed and excited and anxious we feel is absolutely as normal and standard as it comes.