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Sep 28, 2016

Second and Final

With the news of our negative beta, I shed a couple of tears, but to be honest, I felt like I already knew it was negative. We had a 50/50 chance, and unfortunately, it was not in our favor this time.

It was still tough to hear that voicemail.
We prepared ourselves as best we could.
After getting so many negative tests throughout the week, my heart just wasn't filled with much hope.
Maybe I already knew, in a way....to shield my heart as best I could.

I had already put the wheels in motion for our back-up plan, the day before my blood results.

And I'm about to get real honest....about our PGD results, about everything.
At first I felt an overwhelming need to protect our results, because I know that not everyone may have agreed with our route, or our choices, especially since some of those people are closer to us than others.

Here we are trying to nurture a potential life, and we kept getting bombarded with questions about the "other embryos"....and what our plans were for them.
Like it really mattered at that point or at any point in the future.

After going through the ringer for an ENTIRE YEAR with IVF, and battling this disease called Infertility for an additional THREE. YEARS. PRIOR we have hardened my edges and grown accustomed to shitty news, shitty results, and absolutely positively know when to keep things to ourselves.

But I do know one thing.
I am never doing this again.
Not that I'm not a strong fucking warrior in the face of uncertainty, but life must move forward at some point and I have dedicated a literal year to being a science project.

I couldn't ever imagine going through another year like this one.
Being prodded and poked on a daily basis.
Shoving hundreds, upon hundreds of needles into my body.
Injecting a lot of meds, that do a lot of fucked up things to my hormones, to my sanity, to my health.
To have professionals tell me I have old eggs.
That I'M broken.
That we may never collect enough embryos for testing.

Yes, we got over each and every hurdle.
Barely.

See, after we collected a "whopping" five embryos that developed into Day-5 blastocysts, we had them tested for our genetic match (MCAD) along with general chromosomal abnormalities.

And you wanna know what we were left with?

Two.

I went through Hell and back to harvest as many eggs as my body would give me.
After all three retrievals, I yielded 29 total eggs, of which 15 of them fertilized normally, and five grew to be blastocysts.
Of those five, only two embryos were genetically normal.

So the answer to what we will be doing with our "extra" embryos?

Nothing. Because we don't have any.

See, when we got the results of our final two, I was ELATED to even have the option to move forward.
But my next thought was, because we already decided, in stone, that we would be a one-child family, we were at a cross-roads.

What if the first one took and we had this extra embryo?

You see, Mark and I already signed on the dotted line to discard any extras.
And I must reiterate....that what I just wrote is OUR decision.

We did not want to donate and potentially see a product of both of us in the world.
We did not want to donate to science.
So the only other option was to discard.

I DARE anyone to come at me with their opinions on this. 
It's our choice and our life and yada yada ya. So peace out nay-sayers.

Anyways, even though we chose to discard, we both felt guilty, in a way.
Guilty that we might not be able to give a perfectly normal embryo a chance should the first one take.

The two embryos that made it were vastly different.

We had one Grade 5BB Blastocyst make it from our third retrieval.
This one grew slowly, and didn't make it to a "5" until Day 7. Two days late.
But it made it, and looked good.

The other one was the hatching Grade 6BB Blastocysts from our second retrieval.
You remember, the only one that made it?
This one grew according to a normal timeline, making to a hatching blast on Day 6.

I had asked if the embryologist could give us a recommendation, even though I already knew they would tell us to go with the 6BB.
And they did.

But we went against our better judgement, and the embryologists suggestion, and decided to give the 5BB a chance first.
This one was our guilt trip. The one we felt needed a chance, but may never get it.

Well....we all know what happened.
It was negative.
The whole transfer, and time before, and time after....seemed wrong for some reason.
My gut told me this one wouldn't work from the start.

I had questions about the transfer process, but kept quiet.
I never felt anything at any point that indicated I was pregnant, even the day of beta, when you would normally test positive, I still felt nothing.

But....being able to close the guilt chapter gave us both huge relief.
We now focus on the front-runner.
Our last shot.

We know the process, we are now transfer veterans.
I have questioned a few things from our first transfer, and pushed to have an endo scratch completed with this one.
Normally our doctor doesn't do the scratch until two failed attempts.
Well, we don't have that many.
So I got the ok and we will move forward.

I have higher hopes with this one.
The one that will make me a mom.

I am also finding peace knowing that no matter what our results with the second and final attempt, we will closing this chapter of specialists and IVF by the New Year.

If it works, I will have my final appointment with the specialist, and take my final shot, all within 2016.

And if it doesn't, we can't say we didn't give it the old college try.
We are at peace knowing we have done EVERYTHING in our power to make us parents.

So thank you.
Thank you for your kind words as we keep shuffling through this process.
I lean on that comfort more than you know.

But we aren't quite finished yet.
The best is yet to come. :)


Sep 26, 2016

Expired

Last Wednesday, I was 5dp5dt.

(To non-TTC folks, this stands for five days past five-day transfer. Our embryo grew in a petri-dish for five days, so the day of transfer is based on how many days growth, get it? Good.)

And although I SWORE to myself I wouldn't Google symptoms or take a pregnancy test...I did.

Shocking.

See, waaayyyy back in the day when we were going through our Clomid cycles, and we're talking like late 2014 people, I purchased an expensive-ass Clear Blue ovulation tracker through Amazon and it came with a few digital pregnancy tests.

That ovulation tracker, by the way, was like $200 or something ridiculous.

And I used it for exactly one cycle.

Awesome.

Trouble conceiving will make you do weird things like drop a couple hundred on a piece of shit digital tracking device.....ONLY BECAUSE IT'S DIGITAL.

Anyways, of those digital pregnancy tests, I only used two, leaving me with one fancy digital pregnancy test that I just knew one day would read PREGNANT in bold letters.

What I didn't realize was it had an expiration date.


So on a whim, last Wednesday, I pull the test out of the drawer it was in, and wiped off the dust.
Yep...there was dust on it.

And lo and behold, there was a sticker on it that read: EXPIRATION 3/2016.

As in MARCH 2016.

Now, any normal person would look at this, like old cheese, and toss it right into the trash.

But not psycho IVFers like me.

Oh no...even though I KNEW the results would like not be in my favor (it's too soon!) and that the fucking thing was expired, potentially giving me false information in either direction....I still peed on it. And not even with First Morning Urine (FMU) which is the GOLDEN TICKET of pee for pregnancy tests.

Because anyone who has ever gone through the ringer in any fashion with having troubles conceiving knows....you just can't THROW OUT a pregnancy test.

Even if it's six months past it's expiration date, apparently.

So I started my shower that morning and watched as the little dots blinked away from one side to the other. Once they reached the other side, my results would be ready.

NOT. PREGNANT.

I immediately threw it out and hopped in the shower.

That was so dumb, I kept telling myself. And so starts my inner monologue.
But what if it's true?
Or what if it's too soon and I'm just messing with myself?
Should I go buy more tests?
No, I should wait. Because I said I wouldn't do this to myself.
But I want to know!
This can't fail. It just can't. Or can it?
What if it does fail?

What if, what if, what if....all damn morning.

And I was so embarrassed that I so quickly broke down and took a test, I didn't want to tell Mark.
But the idea of keeping such a ridiculous secret was making me even more nervous.

So I called him.

I did something epically stupid this morning.

And I'm sure he's thinking I crashed the car or something ACTUALLY important for such an early phone call.

I proceed to tell him what I did and all my thoughts about how I know it's stupid but what if, what if, WHAT IF.

And he talks me off my ledge, luckily.

It IS too soon. Stop testing. Stop worrying.
There is a reason I don't go to the doctor's for a blood test right away.
A blood test should actually be able to detect a pregnancy BEFORE a home pregnancy test, so why would I pee on anything before the bloodwork.

Obviously.

So anyways, as I know so many other women are likely in the same position at one point or another.

Don't. Pee. On Anything. Until. Beta.
(not that you're going to listen to me, I already see you eyeing those 3-packs on Amazon)

And here's an article I found all about expired pregnancy tests, if you're so inclined to read.

Thanks for reading about Mrs. McCrazy today. XO