Well we have come to the final installment of our Baby Cakes journey. Once again, I want to thank you all for your support when sharing this very personal story.
During the last post, I shared what happened when we retrieved my eggs, made them embryos and how we had five remaining embryos by the end of it all. It was officially time to plan for our IVF transfer.
The hubby and I had a trip planned to Paris while I prepped. I started taking estrogen and progesterone to prepare. My levels were once again tested regularly to ensure they were rising to the correct levels to properly prepare for the transfer to work. Everything seemed to be going super well until I was in Salt Lake City speaking at Everything Food and my doctor’s office called in a prescription that I had to begin immediately that wasn’t at any pharmacy in the entire state of Utah. I literally called every single Walgreens and grocery store pharmacy until I lucked up on one CVS at a Target that was 5 miles away that had the goods! It was a miracle. My girls Lindsay and Julianne went with me like the angels they are to get my meds. This almost halted my transfer date but it all worked out thank God.
As soon as I returned home to Chicago, it was time to get going. My levels were checked one last time, and I was given the go ahead for the IVF transfer. I started my transfer day early with acupuncture to get my blood circulation really going. It helps a ton with embryo implantation. Next we headed straight to the hospital. I needed to arrive early in the morning with a full bladder. That was seriously the hardest part of the entire transfer. Holding that much liquid while the embryo was implanted was a trip but it was so so worth it.
Frederick and my cuz/lil sis Ros scrubbed up and went in during the procedure, which I was fully awake for. It was so magical to see them take my Baby Cakes and place her inside me. I basically witnessed her conception. Right after the transfer, I headed back to acupuncture for another session. This one was more relaxing. I seriously fell asleep right on the table listening to my meditations. It restored me and put me in the right frame of mind.
Then I just had to wait. I had to wait 11 days to find out if my baby implanted. I know many don’t wait that long and start testing with home pregnancy tests right away but I just trusted God and knew that I could wait until my appointment. I also didn’t really adhere too much to the rules like bed rest and relaxing. I was seriously on the go the very next day going grocery shopping and running errands. I had serious cramping the entire week, which I knew was a great sign. Some type of implantation was definitely taking place. When I went back to the doctor to have my blood tested, I knew without a doubt that I was pregnant. I 100% knew. I saw signs everywhere of my baby’s name (we selected a month prior), and it confirmed it for me. I waited patiently for the call that afternoon and heard the fantastic news. I was so excited that I went out to buy a pregnancy test so I could test it and have the physical proof for when the hubby returned home. It was so amazing!
Following the fantastic news, I went to a total of three ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy and progression of the pregnancy. As soon as the heartbeat was seen, I was released and graduated from the practice. Off to my regular OB I went. Now I realize that this story has an incredible ending. I know that the stats for 36 year old women getting pregnant on their first IVF cycle aren’t that high but I just believed from the very very beginning that this was our baby and this was going to work for us. I just “knew”.
I also realized how blessed we were to even pay for IVF. Let me just say that IVF is not a cheap process. I thank God everyday that we were able to have some insurance coverage and pay the balance since a single cycle can run upwards of $20k! And that isn’t even including medications.
Some of the practices that I think truly helped with a successful first IVF cycle were the following:
- I went to acupuncture once a week for three months. It was absolutely incredible. Mei Ling, my acupuncturist, will forever be one of my angels. Going there was so calming for my soul and so centering.
- I went paleo and totally cleaned up my diet, and I had Frederick do it too. It wasn’t so so hard for me but terribly difficult for the hubby. Ya see, Frederick LOVES pizza and all things bad so it was a bit shocking to change his entire diet but we did it and we did it together. In fact, a lot of our diet changes have stayed permanently.
- I stayed very centered believing God for HIS promise for a child for my family and stayed within a positive vibration and the law of attraction. I believe that energy is so important. I only wanted to hear positive things and stay in a positive state.
During this journey I learned so much about what I wanted and what I was capable of. I pushed myself to the brink keeping up work and several trips during the first trimester (probably not the best idea since I was absolutely exhausted and sick sometimes) but my baby and I made it through. I learned how much I wanted my baby. IVF teaches you sacrifice for someone else right from the very beginning. I also learned how important it is to rely on others to help you make this dream come true. Get your family involved and let them know every step of the way how you are feeling and if you need anything.
And lastly, I want to encourage women who have had similar stories or any shame regarding getting pregnant to shed that guilt and shame right now! You have nothing to feel ashamed about. The struggle of getting pregnant can be so debilitating sometimes. You can be asked over and over by family members and complete strangers why you don’t have kids yet. I think it is the worst thing you can ask a woman. Maybe she doesn’t want kids! Maybe she has tried for years to conceive! I think we need to be more compassionate. It is this shame that causes so many families with infertility struggles to shy away from sharing. I really hope that by sharing my story, it helps you to share yours! Thank you all again so much for the love and support. It has meant so much to me and my family.