23 September, 2011

the acronym entry

for those of you who get pregnant by "just looking at him", FET stands for frozen embryo transfer. you might also not know that TTC means trying to conceive...you likely don't know that because you never had to spend much time on any message boards about infertility.

so here it is. a recap for those of you who have only read my post-mason blog entries.

josh and i TTC for about seven months after we started to TTC again after losing cooper. with cooper we TTC for three months. it was easy. average. no worries.

but the next time around things had changed. and after seven long months of timing it perfectly and checking cervical fluid and the softness of my cervix (yes, you can and should check out your cervix every now and then)and using ovulation predictor sticks and charting my temperature and all the other ridiculous things one has to do when TTC, i was feeling like something just was not right.

turns out it wasn't right. and after a couple of months of testing and after trying two months of IUI (basically what you all know of as artificial insemination -- or trying to become pregnant with a turkey baster) we decided to take our shot with IVF (in vitro fertilization).

i did everything to facilitate a successful transfer. visualization. meditation. yoga. fertility massage. acupuncture. eating for fertility. taking herbs. drinking nasty chinese herbal teas. it's been so long i don't even remember what else. but whatever could be done, i did.

and it worked. mason is an ART (artificial reproductive therapy) baby. he was the only embryo of five that we decided to transfer that day back in january of 2009. the doc said it was of such high quality that if we put two in, i would likely have twins. at the time that scared the shit out of me because i was terrified that my water would break again. after all, we were warned by the doctors that i had a 30% chance of being a pPROM queen in any subsequent pregnancies. (that's preterm premature rupture of the membranes and that is a cute little term we PROM queens use on the message boards).

so anyway, we transferred that one tiny embryo on its fifth day of existence (this is called a blastocyst and itss the most ideal situation for a successful transfer) and he became our mason.

so here we are. ready for more. this time it's easy. less meds. less doctor's appointments. i am still doing all of the things i did in order to prepare, which is harder this time around because i have a two year old to play with all day long, but i am fitting it all in. and i am not stressed about it. or worried. i am confident that it will work again.

i was told by the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to wean mason before i could start the FET cycle. but i did some research and i talked to people and it turns out that none of the meds will get to him and that since all they need is timing of my cycle, which they manipulate with drugs, there is no reason to wean. so we are still nursing through this and no one has any idea except for us and now all of you. i couldn't see weaning him. i didn't want him to have to suffer because of my need for another baby. the worst thing that could happen was that one of the meds could have caused my milk to dry up, but that hasn't happened. i was okay with that risk because pregnancy could to that, too.

we had three embryos survive until the day after mason's transfer. they are all frozen in liquid nitrogen waiting to be placed gently into my womb someday. i have five babies right now. one is my precious tiny cooper. one is my vibrant and growing mason. and those three little frozen pops. that's how i see it.

it's amazing to watch as this tiny little embryo travels in a bubble into your womb. and then to have it grow in your belly and then to hold it on the outside. and then to watch it grow up. it's just amazing.

of course it would have been nice to have this all done naturally, but i am really fascinated by the way i was able to watch mason grow from the very beginning. and i am so thankful that this technology exists. and that my insurance pays for it. because otherwise, i would likely still be a mom of just one little angel baby. i do not regret not having conceived mason naturally. nor do i regret trying to give these other little babies a chance at life.

so people keep asking me if we tried again naturally this time. or wishing for me that i didn't have to go through all of this. but honestly, we didn't try that hard. i want to give these babies a shot. and if someday, we have no more embryos, then we will try again the natural way. but for now. i have to try to give these little ones life in the same way that i was able to give mason life. they are his siblings.

and according to a 40 week pregnancy calendar, today i am about week pregnant. how's that for optimism?

we are scheduled for FET (frozen embryo transfer) on october 4. that or those embryo(s) are six days old already. they have the same conception date as mason, which i have always thought was so interesting. so since they are six days old, i count back six days from october 4, which for me is transfer day and for you fertile myrtles is the day of implantation, and that gives me the conception date and two weeks before that is week one, the start of the menstrual cycle for those of you who do this naturally. if this is confusing, count yourself lucky. if not, my heart goes out to you sister.

so here i am, a week pregnant. the question is, am i pregnant with one or two babies? the embies are frozen in two vials. one embryo is all alone in one vial and the other two are together. we are thawing the sole embryo first. but there is a 2/3% survival rate for thawed embryos, which means likely two of our three babies will survive the thaw in the end. (i am not convinced that this will be true for us. neither is josh. we both think they will all survive. just gut feelings for both of us.)so anyway. if this one guy doesn't survive, then we are left to decide -- do we transfer one or two. if we transfer one, then we have to refreeze the other and then risk going through all the meds and prep work next time and showing up for another FET and having them tell us that we have no embryo to transfer. but if we put two in, i run the risk of having twins, which would be challenging but wonderful. but the problem is that i am planning a home birth. and in new jersey, you have to search far and wide to find a midwife who will agree to attend a twin home birth -- let alone a twin VBAC home birth (vaginal birth after cesarean).

so i have two midwives lined up as my just in case plan. i cannot and will not ever mention their names online because they will be taking a huge risk in attending my possible vbac twin home birth. they have agreed to attend my twin hbac (home birth after cesarean). and i am super psyched about that. and not afraid.

so there it is. in a nutshell. keep us in your thoughts and send out the positive vibes. and we will especially need those positive vibes on october 4. i contemplated not blogging about this and about keeping the date to myself. and about keeping the transfer quiet except for my closest friends. but this is me. this is how i live my life -- out loud. the more people who know about it just means more positive energy. and in the event that it is unsuccessful or if something sad were to happen along the way, i will have more people to turn to for support. that's how i survived losing my cooper. i asked for help. i accepted help. and i let people know how badly it hurt. so this is how it will be again. when i become pregnant, you will all know. and you will all know how happy i am. and if i don't you will all know. and you will all know how sad i am. that's just the way it is. that's just the way i am.

so if you enjoy reading my blog, you are along for the ride. welcome. and thank you.

1 comment:

  1. ahhh....I am super excited for you and can't wait!