Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Story of Adam -- Part 1: Preconception & IVF

Since LL turned "the big ONE" on Friday, I thought I would write some posts in regards to how Adam "came to be" -- from preconception through his first 10 months (when I started the blog) in the next few weeks. Warning: These posts might be on the lengthy side and will be filled with some nitty gritty details. Since I have not really kept up with a baby book, I'm afraid that I'll start to forget the minute details if I don't write them down now. And, hey, this is Adam's blog and you wouldn't be reading if you weren't 100% interested, right?!? :)

So let's begin...

Steven and I met (blind date) on November 14, 1999 in Washington, D.C. We were instantly attracted to each other and began dating exclusively in January 2000. Two years later we got engaged during my family's annual holiday cruise. We got married about 16 months later on June 1, 2003... exactly 2 weeks after I received my Master's Degree in Counseling. My mom thought it was so cute that I was getting two degrees at once... my marriage degree and my master's degree. The wedding was wonderful... all of our family was there. Our nephew, Jake, was the 2.5 year old adorable ringbearer and our siblings were in the wedding party, along with friends (Christy was my "unoffical" matron of honor) and Steven's cousin, Howard. My dad was SO HAPPY and gave a beautiful toast. I remember him telling me how proud he was of me right before "our walk" down the aisle. Steve and I took an Alaskan cruise for our Honeymoon (we LOVE cruising... can you tell?!?) and it was absolutely incredible.

We decided to wait to start a family and just enjoy each other, sleep late, TRAVEL (our European cruise was the best!) for a year. During our second year of marriage, we started "trying to conceive" but did not spend too much thought on it; thinking it would happen when it happens (we were so naive). Well, after two years of marriage (and one year of sorta "trying"), my biological clock really started to TICK (ironically enough, it was right after I turned 30). We decided it was time to seek "professional help" and we went to a fertility clinic. Long story short (I'll spare all the details for once), the Doctor recommended that we do IVF with ICSI. Otherwise there was only a 5% chance in the next 15 years (!) that I would get pregnant. It was shocking (and a little bit devastating) news, to say the least. We actually got the news as were boarding a Crystal Cruise Ship in CA for our Thanksgiving cruise with my family. What a way to start a vacation, huh?!? Steven was wonderful... said we would do whatever it would take to have children. My parents and his parents agreed and were so supportive, as well.

I was all set to begin IVF in January when it was discovered that I had a massive fibroid that had to be immediately removed. Another shock. I had laproscopic (sp???) surgery to have it removed. The Dr. thought she got 90% of the fibroid out but an ultrasound 6 weeks later showed she only got 50% out. By this time it was May 2006 and the Dr. said enough of the fibroid was removed that a pregnancy would be possible. However, since I still had a "good-sized" fibroid, we were ineligible for "shared risk" (where you pay about $20 grand -- aagh! -- but can do IVF 5 times and get the majority of "your money back" if the IVF was unsuccessful). We decided to go for it anyway.

I ordered my IVF drugs, got the instructions, and was good to go. Like most people, needles make me a little squirmish. Needless to say, I freaked out a little right before Steven injected the first drug, lupron, which stops ovulation (if memory serves correct). I told him "forget it, I changed my mind" and pretty much ran around my living room. Eventually I calmed down and the lupron was injected. It really didn't hurt... a little sore afterwards but no big deal. I think we started on June 15, 2006... graduation day at the high school that I work at. The plan was to do the lupron injections every day for two weeks and then start the follistem, which helps your body ovulate a ton of eggs (instead of the usual one). I was so excited when I went in for my u/s and the sonographer could see the follicles growing. The IVF went as smoothly as possible (I was SO LUCKY; I've heard horror stories). I did become somewhat anxious (must have been all the hormones) and became pretty obsessed with the process, once I saw the follicles. My egg retrieval was on July 12. They were able to retrieve 7 eggs. 3 days later, on June 15, they transferred 2 embryos back into my uterus. One of the embryos didn't make it but the other six received the "highest ranking" possible (go embryos!). The transfer itself was super easy. What wasn't easy was hearing the news that I only had about a 40% chance of getting pregnant (expected) but I also had a 50% chance of miscarriage (twice as high as normal) because of my fibroid. WHAT?!? This was NOT mentioned to me before. All in all, the Dr. gave us a 20% chance of having an "actual baby" in late March/early April. Of course this news upset me but I was feeling surprisingly optimistic that it would work out.

After the embryo transfer, and for the next 24 hours, I was instructed to lay still on my back. I did not move off my bed (or sleep, for that matter -- it's impossible for me to sleep on my back) for the next 24 hours. I then took it easy for a few days (summer break had started) and waited waited waited for the pregnancy test that was scheduled in 13 days to see if I was pregnant. Some moments I felt like I definitely was and other moments I felt like I definitely was not. I religiously read about the early symptoms of pregnancy on the internet and tried to analyze every little symptom listed. I did start to feel a little nauseus, though, around day 9 post-transfer. I was planning to wait until the blood test at the IVF center on July 28th to see if I was pregnant. However, on day 10 post-transfer (a Tuesday) I woke up at 6 AM and impulsively to the 24 hour drugstore. To buy a pregnancy test. I couldn't wait any longer...

More to come during "The Story of Adam -- Part 2" in a day or two. I will continue to write current posts on LL, too.

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