It’s official. ‘Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise’ (or, affectionately known by the IF community as that
annoying adorable little acronym ‘PUPO’).
So, I didn’t go in Sunday for a Day 3 transfer. I had a minor freak-out Sunday morning because they hadn’t called to tell me if I needed to come in. We live an hour away, and we were at that point where, if we were going to get there on time, we needed to leave right then. And, my husband’s work schedule that day was pending this appointment.
I tried calling every number I could find, but everything was closed because it was Sunday. I finally broke down and called the emergency number, like a typical, neurotic IVF patient, and the answering service finally tracked someone down. Nope, I wasn’t going in. They decided to do a Day 5 Blastocyst transfer.
Well, Day 5 was yesterday, and we are over another hurdle. (Sigh of relief.)
My transfer was at 11:15 a.m., and it turned out my doctor wasn’t going to do the procedure. He left me a message that morning informing me (and reassuring me) that I was in the best hands. Instead, I had an older gentleman doctor with a German accent. I was good with that; Germans are very precise.
So, before the procedure, we sat down to talk, and he told me that we had 2 gorgeous embryos to transfer.
“So, the embryos are good???” I said.
“No. Not good,” he said in his German accent. “Gorgeous.”
He then pulled out the first pics of our ‘babies’ and explained why they were such great embryos. They started to ‘hatch’ (yeah, not sure what that means. He kinda lost me), but apparently, that is a great thing. J. and I were a little concerned, though, because the original plan was to transfer 3. The German doctor was good and immediately got our doctor on the phone, who was in full agreement with transferring just two.
Why the change? Well, he explained, the original plan was designed for how they would typically proceed with a 40-year-old IVF patient. However, I responded so well, with so many eggs and good embryos, that really, as far as IVF was concerned, I was more like a 30-year-old. (Awesome!!! I’ll take 30 any way I can!!) So, it was definitely wiser to just transfer 2; transferring 3 could end up with a lot of complications.
So, two is was.
The feel of this procedure was similar to the retrieval, except that I was awake for this one. I’m looking at the big operating-room spotlight above my head in a dark room, seeing the nurse come out of the lab with a dish to confirm that these were my embryos, hearing the doctor with the German accent give directions to the other nurse as she pressed the sonogram machine on my full bladder. It all seemed like science-fiction. How did they ever figure all of this out?
It wasn’t extremely long (10-15 minutes?) and it wasn’t extremely painful (some pressure and tugging here and there), but soon enough, the nurse showed me my two embryos all snug in my uterus.
A little surreal. ‘Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.’
So now that those little embryos are tucked away in there, all that’ s left to do is to take it easy and wait.
I haven’t been too neurotic about googling stats and odds of success and things like that. What I have been googling is ‘Activity after IVF,’ ‘What to Eat for IVF,’ ‘Bed-rest and IVF’ – things along those lines.
Mostly, the consensus is common sense – return to normal activities, nothing overtly strenuous, everything in moderation (But I did read that pineapples, avocados and Brazil nuts all help with implantation and pregnancy. Can’t hurt, right?).
It’s just waiting, which is actually an odd comfort to me. It’s been doctor’s appointments, injections, meds, creams, running to clinics for weeks on end, and now? Just waiting. For once, waiting is a welcome relief.
So, the waiting has actually, finally, given me a little time to emotionally and spiritually process, now that the physical part (that I can control) is over.
Before the transfer, my fears were swinging back and forth between extremes: “What if this doesn’t work?” and “What if I end up with triplets????” Now that triplets is (likely) off the table, I’m settling in more peacefully.
Everything I wrote in my other post, I stand by: God is in control, He has a plan, He has perfect timing for our family. I believe that; they aren’t just cliches to me.
But something else God has been speaking to me over the past few weeks: About faith. Not just faith to believe that God is going to come through, to do what He’s promised, to show up with miracle, but more about the flip side of faith – faith to keep believing when God doesn’t come through – or at least not the way you wanted Him to . Faith that still believes God, even after things aren’t what you expect.
Faith isn’t just believing God for good things; it’s believing God NO MATTER WHAT.
Here’s what I’m learning about faith- and myself. Usually, when things go south, my faith is shaken. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me, and I’m completely disoriented. It should be the opposite. My faith shouldn’t weaken but get stronger. The trial is supposed to make me stronger, not weaker. It should make me even more determined to believe God for the good outcome He’s promised, even if I have to wait for it.
There are so many examples in the Bible of people who went through this: a hope or a promise from God, things looking hopeless, faith getting stronger.
I’m thinking about Abraham, who considered his body as good as dead, but he wasn’t put off by it. He strengthened in his faith, not weakened, knowing God would be true to His promise.
I’m thinking about Mary and Martha, after Lazarus died. Jesus could have gotten there on time to heal him, but He didn’t. They had to wait, but God had something even more amazing in time. They still believed.
I’m thinking about the children of Israel, waiting to be delivered from Egypt, waiting to go to the Promised Land. Their faith wasn’t strengthened – they didn’t believe, and it cost them dearly.
Here’s what I’m seeing – the waiting, the believing, the delays, the trials aren’t meant to deflate us. They are actually meant to strengthen us. “Those who wait on (hope in) the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). There’s a connection there; that’s God’s purpose – stronger faith for us, more glory for Him, and a great outcome at the end of it all. That is bottom-line truth.
So, how is this connected to IVF? Well, don’t misunderstand. I’m not fatalistic and convinced this won’t work and that I’ll have to wait even more. Right now, everything has gone beautifully, things look great, and I’m hopeful. Really hopeful.
However, a failed cycle is a possibility. I realize that. But I want my mind-set to be that if there is another set-back, I am going to let it prop me up and strengthen my faith, not weaken it.
So much of this infertility journey has been the crash after the let-down: failed treatments, failed pregnancy tests, bad news. While it is true that my faith kept me from feeling completely destroyed, I think there is room for it to be stronger.
That being said, I’m trying to ‘land’ as far as my ‘mind-set’ during the wait. I’m not the type to let myself get overly optimistic – nor do I want to ‘prepare myself for the worst.’ I’m praying every day over and for my babies, J. is praying over them, I’m waiting with lots of hope that this might be it.
God is knitting them together cell by cell in my womb. Not science or nature. God. Whether that continues to full-term or whether He takes them home early, I don’t know. But I am going to love and pray for those babies until I know otherwise. And, I know He is lovingly superintending and watching over every minute detail of each of those embryos, and I trust that He will do what is right and best and most loving for all of us.
We are leaving for vacation Thursday night, and as much as I can, I just want to be present. In the moment. Not in anxiety and not in over-the-moon excitement or feigned certainty. Just in the present.
And for the present, we are blessed that this went so well – beyond our or the doctor’s expectations. We are blessed to even have this chance for IVF.
We are blessed that, for this moment, I am pregnant.
Until proven otherwise.
(P.S: If any readers know me in ‘real-life,’ would you please keep this news quiet and between us? I haven’t gone ‘public’ with it and don’t plan to until we know for sure that we are in a fairly safe spot in our pregnancy. Thank you!)