It comes a time where you almost become insensitive and immune to all the emotions that IVF can bring on. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt anymore or that it’s not something you hold dear to your heart… it’s just that you get to a point where it’s like “meh… I can’t do anything about it. Just got to move forward”.
At least, that’s how I feel… I know it’s much harder for some to get to that point and others may even think that I’m numb, but I think it’s more about holding on to the feeling that “next time it may work”. I’d rather hold on to that.
I was at an event this weekend where a mother came up to tell me that her daughters follow my blog religiously and that it’s making them think about their options. That same morning, a friend at the gym opened up about her endometriosis and how she wants to consult to see how it may be affecting her fertility. An ex-colleague reached out last week to ask about freezing her eggs and an ex-roommate told me about her first appointment at the fertility clinic… all this in one week. It made me realize, at a time where I am at my lowest, that this blog has helped some of you open up about fertility, as much as it has helped me get through the struggles of my journey. This blog – and you – help me “just move forward”.
At my lowest? Oh you caught that… why I am at my lowest? Well, I’m starting to think that because I’ve become such an outspoken person on this topic, the fertility gods want me to experience ALL the possible up and downs/struggles of trying to get pregnant… you know, so that I can share them and talk about them! I feel like it’s the only logical way that I can justify my chemical pregnancy.
What’s a chemical pregnancy, you ask? Let me go back a few weeks….
END OF SEPTEMBER
Day one of my cycle. That means calling the doctor for a day 2 ultrasound. For the past few months, my lining hadn’t cooperated with the idea of implanting one of those seven Welsh embryos. However, that morning was the beginning of a new wind of change! I had just bought a house (“build it and they will come!” Haha), put my condo up for sale, met a guy (yes… I’ve been quiet on that front!) and now, the doctor was saying that my uterus looked good enough to try a natural IVF cycle (without hormones). I was worried, as my lining had never been better than a 5.7mm on its own, but Dr Mahutte told me about a newly published research that found that the margin of successful vs unsuccessful implantation between an 6mm and an 8mm lining is not that huge. A 6mm lining would be good enough to try. “Let’s do it”, I said!
EIGHT DAYS LATER
Two couples had come to see my condo and seemed quite interested in buying it. How crazy would it be that my condo would sell in less than 2 weeks!?! I had a second visit that night and I could not wait to share the news with the nurses at the Montreal Fertility Clinic (we’ve become family). Plus, my awesome donors were giving birth the next day to their second child, the one they chose to have before donating the rest of their embryos to me. I could feel it; the ultrasound results would not disappoint! And they didn’t! My lining was a nice 5.9mm. On it’s own! Wow! So it was a go to transfer my first adopted embryo.
I drank a crazy amount of POM and pineapple juice, 2 cups of raspberry leaf tea, took my vitamins and Brazil nuts, plus did acupuncture in order to be ready. Again, if it doesn’t hurt, why not! The guy I met has even nicknamed me pineapple girl!!
*** More about him?! Well, he’s tall and funny. We’d been chatting since July. He’s not 100% sure he wants kids but he’s willing to take this journey one day at a time with me. I find that admirable. He jokes a lot about the future, which shows me that he thinks about it. He’s supportive and wishes me luck before my doctor appointments. Right now, I can’t ask for anything more! ***
SEVEN DAYS LATER
Back at the Montreal Fertility Clinic for my first donated embryo transfer, I showed my nurses the picture of Zara; my donors’ beautiful baby daughter! This is what was going into my belly! A little Vinny (their 5 year old) or a little Zara! Both nurse Bonnie and Dr Mahutte joked that the 5-day blastocyst about to be transferred was a boy — “It looks like a Henry”, they said!
I could not believe that I was transferring an adopted embryo. How surreal. How amazing. How 3.0!
The procedure went well. I took three days off work to rest. I looked into the plans of my new house, received an offer on my condo, counter-offered and planned another open house. I chilled and cuddle with the pups. I received a second competing offer that I accepted. I rubbed my belly daily, without really thinking about the outcome. There was so much more to think about. Plus, I had no symptoms, so I didn’t want to overthink it.
NINE DAYS LATER
I peed on a stick and saw what I have been wanting to see for the last 15 months. Two pink lines. One was lighter, though. Was I pregnant?
How crazy would it be that I bought a house. Sold my condo. Started dating a guy. And now I am pregnant! All at the same time?!?
I went to the clinic for my blood test and if you want to see the reaction of my nurses, watch the video below. Everybody was so happy for me! I was trying to stay calm, as that second line was pale, but they all said: “no matter the outcome Kim, in THIS MOMENT, you are pregnant!”
Holy moly… I’M PREGNANT!
FOUR HOURS LATER
The phone rang and it was the result of my blood test. I am pregnant BUT (gotta love a but…) my hCG levels were quite low.
An hCG level below 5 mIU/mL means that you are not pregnant. If above 25 mIU/mL, you are definitely pregnant.
An hCG level between 6 and 24 mIU/mL is considered a grey area, and you’ll likely need to be retested to see if your levels rise to confirm a pregnancy
I was a 14.
Really?! Couldn’t it just be easy for once… making things worst, retesting usually happens 48 hours later, but since we were a Thursday, I would have to wait until Monday.
I, of course, jumped on Dr Google and started researching low hCG levels and successful pregnancies. There were some. However, 90% of what I found talked about it being a sign of a chemical pregnancy: a miscarriage in the first 5 weeks of conception. I was at week 4. The not knowing is brutal, so I was happy to find out that, while waiting for that blood test, you can take a home pregnancy test again and hope that the second line darkens. That would mean that your hCG levels are rising. So I did. Unfortunately, it was lighter on Friday… and completely gone by Saturday.
Sunday morning, I officially miscarried.
Lucky for me, I wasn’t alone this time. I got to cry in a little ball with a guy rubbing my back. I felt bad that he was thrown into this scenario, but he was comforting in that moment. In that silence. I’m not sure he’ll ever “get it” (having not been there from the start) and who knows where our relationship will lead… but I am certain that the higher ups made sure that I wasn’t alone to go through this blow… the toughest one yet. I am thankful for that.
Four weeks pregnant… now I get how different those tears are from the ones that come from a “not pregnant” cycle. How something the size of a poppy seed can completely change the way you cry! Tears of shock. Then tears of joy and then tears of deceit.
I do feel a little robbed from my first “YOU’RE PREGNANT” but being the Kim that I am, I see this as a positive. At least I know that I CAN get pregnant!
So let’s just focus on that lining again and my six remaining embryos.
I didn’t want to call him Henry anyway 😉
Wow, watching your video brought back soooooo many very difficult memories for me, I know exactly what you are feeling, went through a chemical pregnancy as well, miscarried at 5 weeks, it was the most devastating day of my life.
I do want to tell you not to give up, you are blessed to have more embryos to implant, wow, what a gift!
Oh by the way, try to insist to the doc to implant more than one next time 😉
Wishing you courage on your journey!!
Thank you Stefanie. I never thought something could make me so sad… I am sorry you went thru this too. It comforts me to know that some, like you, really get it. Heads up and hearts open! Time to try again 🙂
I want to thank you for being so candid in your blog. Although, I have not experienced what you are going through, a very good friend is. She finds it very difficult to talk about it, and your blog has helped me understand a lot more of what she has been going through. And I feel like it’s helped me be a better friend to her while she is struggling. So I thank you very much for that. Thinking nothing but good thoughts for you.
I hope your friend is doing ok!
My first IVF ended in chemical pregnancy as well, I feel you girl. Thanks for sharing anytime you wanna vent or chat I’m a click away xoxo
Thank you ❤️