[Download Trisha’s entire blog series in PDF form here]
The following blog is the fourth part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood. The words are all her own. To read about her fertility journey that led her to the decision to use donor eggs, click here. If you want to learn more about how she evaluated using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, click here. To learn how she decided on her donor, click here.
The Decision Journey Part IV My Donor Egg Transfer and Eventual BFP
Egg bank selected – CHECK! Decision made whether to use fresh or frozen donor eggs – CHECK! Perfect donor selected – CHECK! Okay, so what happens next? Well, now that the “tough” parts are behind you (I mean pre-pregnancy tough parts because third trimester breathing while walking puts the “T” in tough), it is time to get ready for one of the BIGGEST moments you have been waiting for… transfer of your soon-to-be bundle(s) of joy. I am so excited for you just typing about it! Mainly because, fingers crossed, the Big Fat Positive (BFP) is just weeks away, but also because for this next phase, you do not have to worry about all the medication and shots like some of us did during our IVF journey, when we attempted to grow our families using our own eggs.
Now, before I get you overly excited, there are still a few medications included in your frozen-transfer protocol. You will need the estrogen and progesterone (hopefully not the serum injections) and also valium to put your body at ease on the day of the transfer. Oh, because of this, you need someone to accompany you to the clinic on your special transfer day. No driving yourself while under the influence of the valium. And, do not even think about not taking it because you need it to ensure your body is completely relaxed during the transfer procedure. To help me relax as much as possible and get my blood flowing to the right place – meaning my uterus, I actually had an acupuncturist meet me at my clinic to poke me with needles before and after my transfer. My doctor recommended it so check with your doctor to see what s/he thinks. Just for reassurance – the acupuncture needles do not hurt.
As you wait the days/weeks for the stars to align (AKA your mid-cycle days to approach… because remember, your transfer will be around the same time your body would have naturally ovulated), you will be a busy little bee as you prepare for the transfer. Now, everyone’s protocol is different, but you should expect to start the estrogen – lots of it – and also visit the doctor for one or more uterine lining checks. For those who do not know or cannot remember, during this process, the doctor is checking whether the estrogen has done its job by thickening your uterine lining… think thick! If your lining is good to go, then your little eggs are then prepared for thawing and “mating” with the sperm.
Depending on what your doctor decides, the day of thawing starts your countdown to either a Day-3 or Day-5 transfer. I was a Day-5 transfer. While you wait, hopefully your doctor informs you how many eggs fertilized (one day after the mating process), and then provides another report to let you know how many embryos are making their way through the healthy maturation process (2-3 days after the mating process). Once your day (either Day-3 or Day-5) approaches, get ready for a quick and painless transfer. If you have a Day-3 transfer, you should have one or more embryos to transfer, and if you have a Day-5 transfer, you should have one or more blastocysts to transfer.
My sweet baby was transferred on Day-5. At this stage, he was expected to be a blastocyst but was only a Day-4 late stage morula. We actually thought the cycle would not be successful since development was a little behind, but we were absolutely, positively wrong! Turns out, the best place for your little one to develop is right in the mommy’s tummy. Our Day-4 Morula continued to mature and is now a happy baby boy!!
After your successful transfer (fingers crossed), the 10-14 day wait until the day you take your blood draw pregnancy test – I am not going to lie – will seem like an eternity. You will feel like you have every pregnancy sign in the world and you will secretly wish you had one of those “I’m done” turkey poppers on your belly button to show whether you are successfully pregnant. Instead of obsessing (I know – that is all you will do), try to relax by doing prenatal yoga, listening to music like Mozart (highly recommended for the baby), and talking to your bundle of joy. I used to read children’s books to my baby, while listening to Mozart baby music. Talking about relaxing!
Getting the BFP
Finally the day arrives for your pregnancy test. Now, when I said the 10-14 day wait between the day of your transfer and the day you get to take your pregnancy test would feel like an eternity, I should have warned you that the few hours you wait to get your pregnancy results back, would feel like an eternity times 100. Let me tell you… the pregnancy test day was the longest day of my life.
I took my test early in the morning and my results did not get back to me until around 3:00pm that same day. I was at work and could not concentrate on anything besides the unknown pregnancy test results. I excused myself from the office and went on a walk for what seemed like three hours of pacing back and forth on the same short street. Towards the end of my walk, however, I could not help but notice the CVS on the corner about 1/8 of a mile away. So, although I received final confirmation about my results at 3:00pm from my doctor’s office, I have to be honest and say I already knew at lunchtime that I was officially pregnant. Why you ask? Because I broke the rule and purchased a digital early pregnancy test before receiving the doctor’s call. Thank you, CVS!
Needless to say, I had the happiest moment of my life (at that time) when I saw the PREGNANT indicator flash on the tiny pregnancy test screen. While completely over the moon excited, I still needed to hear it from the doctor. Once he informed me we were positively pregnant, the surreal news had my husband and me overjoyed and nervous at the same time. My concern then transitioned to – will it stick? Will we get through the critical first trimester period? What can I do to make sure everything is okay each day? Yes, all of these questions race through your head once you know the pregnancy is real. But who can blame you, right? You have finally arrived at one of the greatest moments you have been waiting for, and now, as a soon-to-be-mommy, your motherly instincts kick in and you begin to worry and hope for the best. But do not worry (haha!)… you are totally normal. CONGRATULATIONS!!
I like to talk a lot – not only vocally but with my fingers. Send me your thoughts and questions to [email protected]. I promise to respond as promptly as possible. Below is a list of planned blog topics, but if you have additional topics to suggest, as they relate to trying to conceive through donor options, please let me know.
The decision journey Part I: The beginning of my fertility journey and the decision to use donor eggs
The decision journey Part II: Deliberating fresh v. frozen eggs
The decision journey Part III: Finding the right donor
Part IV: How the process worked once I found my donor, and the cradle-to-grave (or “big fat positive” [BFP]) process – Current Blog
Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process
Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)