Embryo Hatching IVF Blog Experiences Journey

One of my favourite songs hit different today. It popped into my head as I was drafting an instagram post updating friends with the news (which I’ll share below). The lyrics go like this…

“You left your home
Where you were born
And you followed your fury
You followed your storm
In the backyards swinging
In the backstreets killing time
Anything can be realized
But I´m never satisfied

Hope is made of steel
But heart is made of dust
Won´t you tell me that your real
My Hope is made of steel”
– Northcote

Today, my hope is made of steel and my heart is made of dust.

Hope is a funny thing. Someone I respect dearly told me it’s a funny thing. When we hope, we live in a future that hasn’t happened. We aren’t grounded in the moment, we aren’t full present in our experience now. But hope is also really important. Without it we wouldn’t strive for anything. I think hope, when done right, is a great motivator. Hope can also crush you when your heart is let down.

My biggest fears in this journey have been loss. It’s one thing to hope for something that hasn’t yet happened, but to grieve for something that almost happened or partially happened is really difficult to navigate. I’ve been trying so hard to live in the moment, day by day, and take all of the ups and downs that go with that. I felt a bit jaded with our Jan 31 transfer given our history. 5 previous embryos that didn’t pan out as we had hoped. But every time you give it another shot, hope manages to creep in even if you fight it.

The first pang of hope happened when I went in for my transfer and I saw our microscopic 4BB day 6 embryo on the screen in front of me. I was alone in the procedure room with the doctor and nurse, and the doctor told me “it looks like your embryo is hatching!”. I looked at the screen and instead of one circular blob, the embryo had started it’s way out of it’s shell. This is a crucial step before it’s ready to implant. I suspected then and there that this embryo might be different.

I did the transfer and felt no pain, no pressure. I saw the flash of light on the ultrasound screen once it was inserted into my uterus, and that was it. It was in there and everything else was up to chance.

I headed home like nothing had happened, since we had been through this a number of times before.

Embryo Hatching IVF Blog Experiences Journey

The day after my transfer I took my last HCG shot, and it was that day I began testing out my shots. The hormone is the same as the pregnancy hormone so my goal was to test until it was negative.

Most transfer cycles I feel all kinds of rogue symptoms due to the meds and probably due to my hyper awareness, despite having them not work. At 3 days after this transfer I had some really brief sensations of dizziness and nausea (maybe 5 mins worth). I also got stomach sick, which is not uncommon for me given I suffer from IBS. After that I didn’t feel anything really. tired, heartburn, but that’s about it! I was pretty sure nothing was happening.

On day 7, something else happened. My test was darker. It was supposed to be lighter. I chalked it up to urine dilution and continued as normal.

On day 8, it was even darker. Day 8 was Thursday and my bloodwork wasn’t until day 12 (Monday). I called my clinic because I knew I was going to lose my mind, to see if I could do an early beta test. They didn’t really want me to do it but issued a requisition so I could go to my own lab for bloodwork. There would still be HCG in my system from the shots. I am very type A and made a spreadsheet of what my possible levels could be based on the half life of the medication (29 hours +/- 6 hours for anyone wondering), and I calculated that my HCG would be be between 4-46 but most likely around 17-25 given the averages I found.

I went for my bloodwork on 9dp5dt and the result was 75. Usually on day 9, they hope for around 50, day 10/11 they hope for around 100. I was right in the middle, but still on the low side. I calculated my actual HCG was estimated around 50-63 given the chart. This means I AM PREGNANT! Cautiously so.

This morning my tests confirmed it. My tests were the darkest yet. I felt SO much relief seeing that. Anything can happen from here. We have lost one pregnancy at 5 weeks (today is 4w2d), as well as a pregnancy between 7-8 weeks. So although I am thrilled, I am cautious. I want to protect my heart, but I also want to feel all the joy in this moment in case it’s the last time I get to experience it (due to success, or due to failure). I want to try and enjoy it day by day, hour by hour. I’ll always envy those people who find out they are pregnant weeks into it, and don’t have to question all of this. Or those who have a successful live birth on their first pregnancy. Loss is something that robs you of the joy in your experiences.

Line Progression HCG Booster Shot Pregnancy Test

So for today, I am pregnant. I’ll be repeating this to myself daily for as long as I am able.

We are now awaiting our beta result on Monday (bloodwork is just 16 hours from now, but I probably won’t get the results until late afternoon or Tuesday. This blood test is everything. It will tell us whether the pregnancy is viable or not, at this stage. It’s the only real way to confirm it until later on after 6-7 weeks. We’re hoping for a beta HCG of approximately 150+ on Monday to signal that it’s healthy – however our clinic may have a different benchmark. I should have a maximum of around 10 of the shots left in my system so it will be negligible and not alter the result much. Nervous but hopeful. But scared.

I’ll update you all as this journey processes for better or worse. Thanks for being along for the ride.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *