Another Failed IVF Cycle
These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. We transferred two embryos, we got a low but positive beta test that kept us on our toes for a few days. But after a couple of tests my HCG levels reached a normal level we scheduled our first ultrasound. During this ultrasound we were measuring a week behind - which isn’t uncommon. They give it about one week to measure ahead or behind before they become concerned.
So with no concerns, photo evidence that a little baby Wilson was growing, we decided to tell the world. And this was honestly the sweetest part, telling our families and friends who have cheered us on through this whole journey. It was a little victory.
They do one more ultrasound before sending you to an OB so we went in, anxious to see how much has grown, and there was nothing. Nothing inside the gestational sac, and no growth anywhere. Inside they should be seeing a yolk sac (or placenta), a heartbeat and/or a fetal pole. Maybe even a tiny fetus at this point.
What had happened was the embryo stopped developing, and whatever we saw at the first ultrasound had absorbed and gone away. There is no way to know this was going to happen - well there is and it’s called PGS testing. It’s where they test each embryo for any chromosomal abnormalities so that you don’t transfer any that won’t take or that will take and result in miscarriage. It’s also very expensive and we were advised that since we are young and healthy that we didn’t need it.
Some sort of abnormality caused the little fetus to stop developing, like natural selection. My body was able to determine that this baby was not healthy enough to make it here with us. Although I wish I had a say in this decision.
I felt and feel so angry. I felt betrayed and I could list all of the things I’ve felt but it would never end.
We were given 3 options on how to finish the pregnancy.
Option 1: Let Mother Nature take its course. This could take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to allow everything to pass.
Option 2: Take a prescription that induces bleeding, to help everything pass. This could take a few days and the pills have side-effects that basically make you not feel well.
Option 3: D&C (Dilation and curettage). Head into the OR, be put to sleep, and have everything taken care of right away.
I opted for option 3 - I couldn’t wait around for Mother Nature. Thanks to a healthy gestational sac (and nothing else) I continued to experience pregnancy symptoms. Exhaustion, nausea, food aversions, and it was like a sick joke. When I experienced them before it was for a good cause, I was happy to feel nauseas. But by this point I was too angry to let it hold me any longer.
A D&C refers to the dilation of the cervix and surgical removal of part of the lining of the uterus and/or contents of the uterus by scraping and scooping. Its not quite as simple and nice as I explained above.
Going into the D&C I wasn't as emotional as I thought I'd be. It was manageable really. It wasn't until they wheeled me away from Alec and I got into the OR that I broke down. So many tears, which is difficult when you have IV's wrapped around you, and an oxygen mask strapped to your face. My sweet doctor had to explain to the rest of the team how hard we've worked for this pregnancy and how it has come to this awful end. Luckily, I was soon enough put under anesthesia.
Upon waking up I was immediately emotional again. Which is common with anesthesia but I don't think that was the culprit this time. I felt sad all week carrying around what should be my baby and all its belongings, and now I was even more sad that it was all gone. Extremely bittersweet and confusing.
I did have some minor cramping after waking up, which they give me something for. Then I was wheeled back to another room so I could see Alec. Where I continued to cry for the remaining time we were there.
One thing they don't tell you until you're ready to get up is, a lot of the blood is sitting in your uterus, so when you stand up its going to gush out. I thought I had this covered but I definitely did not and I wish they would have given me some sort of supplies, I mean I would have put on a diaper if they offered!
I am quite fortunate when it comes to recovery, because my body doesn't have any bad reactions to anesthesia. And since my procedure wasn't until 3:30pm I was absolutely starving. So we got some food and headed home to rest.
So what's next?
Well we were supposed to go to Iceland in March, however last week (before any of this) we decided to cancel. I was too nervous to travel during early pregnancy, and I didn't want to risk hurting or losing it. How ironic.
When we started this cycle I told Alec, I can't do this again. Not anytime soon at least. Which I have told myself before the start of every cycle and each time after I am ready to jump back in as soon as possible. Its a vicious cycle. We have a very specific idea of how many kids we want and age gaps, and waiting another year to start will put a serious kink in these plans. It also doesn't help that we've been trying to put this plan in motion for 2.5 years now.
We have been advised that I can start again as early as 6 weeks from now. Though I highly doubt we'll be ready by then. Basically, we don't know what we're going to do. Right now we are just going to take time to heal and plan and hope for another miracle.