Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Fresh Embryo Transfer 1 - 13dp5dt

Welcome back! 

I left off two weeks ago, which was the day before our transfer of one embryo five days after our egg retrieval. We transferred the embryo on December 15, and everything went as expected. This time, we got our fries from Whataburger instead of McDonald's. After a good, salty breakfast, I went back to sleep and rested most of the day.

From our fourth retrieval (fourth??!), we had two eggs that were mature and fertilized, but only one was suitable for transfer. The embryologist watched the second one through day 6 but determined that it was not a candidate for freezing and testing. Although I wondered what happened to the second embryo when we went for our transfer, I didn't ask any questions and just figured it stopped growing. When my RE called the day after the transfer to let me know that the second embryo was not going to be frozen, I wasn't even sad because I had already counted it out.

With the holiday and my travel plans, my RE had me come in last Wednesday at 7dp5dt--that's seven days after the transfer of a five-day-old embryo--for bloodwork. My RE called while I was at lunch, which made me nervous because he's the one who calls when the news is bad. Sometimes, however, he calls when the news is good, too. In this case, it was the latter: my beta came back at 38. My RE seemed excited to share this news and confirmed that a beta of 38 on day 7 is better than a beta of 25 on day 10. He scheduled me to come back for another blood test when I returned from my holiday travels, so I went back this morning.

I did not take any pregnancy tests with us on our trip. After the experience with the chemical pregnancy in November, I did not want to be aware if my HCG levels started to drop. Even if the news was good, I didn't want to hyper-focus on whether or not the lines on home pregnancy tests were getting darker. I held out on taking a home test until this morning after I got back from the doctor, and the test was still positive, but I had no idea what the levels would be and had no basis for comparison.

Generally, at this point in a pregnancy, HCG should be doubling every 48 to 72 hours. Being the math nerd that I am, I had already calculated that with six days of growth, the result today should be between 152 (if doubling every 72 hours) and 304 (if doubling every 48 hours). Around 12:30, I started checking my patient portal for updates. Finally around 1:30, my results were posted: 151.35. While I waited for someone to call, I hopped right over to Betabase, a website I discovered while prowling forums about beta doubling rates, and calculated what this meant for me. The result? I'm doubling every 72.34 hours. 

While this was just outside of the 48- to 72-hour range if we're looking at four significant figures, it does round down to 72, which is normal. This was the kind of information I was simultaneously glad to have but not thrilled to know without guidance from my RE. Fortunately, I didn't have to sit with my imagination (or furiously Google things) for too long.

My nurse called at 2:22 pm. Since it was my nurse, I knew things couldn't be too bad. I thought the low numbers might send up a red flag or merit an adjustment to my medications, but she told me to keep doing what we have been doing and come back Thursday for another blood test. My nurse did admit that 151 is low, but the increase is a good sign.

I have heard pregnancy and childbirth described as liminal spaces, but I feel like I'm stuck once more in some weird transition between "pregnant" and "not pregnant." After the first beta following our FET, I ordered a book of affirmations called Conversations with my Belly by Tina Azucena. The book arrived after I already knew the fate of our embryo, but I pulled it out tonight to read through a few. Admittedly, I feel a little silly reading them aloud to myself (or sometimes to Scooter), but at this point, I'd stand on my head in my underwear in public if I thought it would help. The book has many excellent affirmations, but here are a few I like for this moment. I also appreciate that many of them are applicable to parts of life besides pregnancy.

For body:
  • I trust my body.
  • I am capable of carrying, nurturing, and sustaining the life inside me.
  • I am confident in my ability to nourish and grow my baby.
For mind:
  • In this moment, my mind is free to feel grateful.
  • I choose positive thoughts.
  • In times of uncertainty, I call myself back to balance.
For fear:
  • I let go of the need for control. I accept things as they are.
  • I give myself permission to trust my body.
  • I am confident that my body will work efficiently during this pregnancy.
For spirituality:
  • I have faith in myself and my ability to have a healthy pregnancy.
  • I choose to have faith in God and all the love that He brings to me and my baby.
  • I am grateful for the generous blessings I have received and am receiving.
As my friend Bob would say about running and racing, you've got to get your mind right. Rather than fretting and worrying for the next day and a half, I will focus on relaxing and being strong mentally. "Relaxing" might translate into "taking excessive naps," but that's okay. 

Something that made today great: A walk and [decaf] coffee treat with Ellen!

Time I woke up: 6:45 am

No comments:

Post a Comment