Monday, July 28, 2014

9 tips for surviving the 2 week wait

Whether you have tried to get pregnant without treatment or with drugs, IUI or IVF, the part of the cycle that involves waiting to hear the "news" may be is exhausting. Each day you may be monitoring your body for signs of early pregnancy or for signs that you feel may mean your period will soon begin. It is like being on a roller coaster of hope and fear.

Consider the following 9 survival tips:
  • Keep quiet. Limit the number of people you tell about your cycle and let them know how you will share the outcome of the cycle. Some couples tell their family and friends, "No news is bad news," to eliminate the need to call them with bad news. Unless, of course, you're a blogger. Too late. The whole world will be watching and waiting.
  • Treat yo-self. Spend time doing the things you enjoy the most: cooking a wonderful meal, watching your favorite movie, cuddling with your pet or reading a good book.
  • Exercise. Take daily walks. While walking, meditate or pray. But get your body moving. 
  • Talk it out. Set time aside to talk with your partner about your feelings. Or talk with a friend who has experienced infertility and understands how you might be feeling. 
  • Set expectations. Tell your partner what you will need if the news is not positive. Do you want to be distracted and go out to eat or to a movie, or do you want to be left alone? Do you want to talk about the next steps in treatment or options, or wait a few days? Give your partner specifics on this- he can't read your mind.
  • Protect yourself. For example, don't plan on going to a dinner party given by a pregnant friend the day you expect to get your pregnancy test results.
  • Breath. Take slow, deep breaths when you are feeling anxious. This basic technique can assist you physiologically, as well as being mentally calming.
  • Reframe your thoughts. This is very helpful when you are experiencing negative thoughts or if your thoughts are driving you crazy by alternating between thinking you are or aren't pregnant. For example, the thought "The test will be negative and I'll never be pregnant," may end up as "I am open to the possibility of being pregnant and I'm doing everything I can to make that happen."
  • Journal. If writing is your thing, write letters to your future child. Or write about how you feel and ask the universe for what you want. Sometimes just the act of writing eases anxiety. 
Some of these tips were inspired by a RESOLVE article but have been modified based on my own experience. 

How do you survive the two week wait?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

how many embryos should you transfer?

this is a very personal question. it is one that couples going through IVF have to ask themselves. the right answer is different for each couple. some people look at the ASRM guidelines to make their decision while others consider multiple factors when making their decision including: age, diagnosis, doctor's recommendation, desired family size and past success with IVF transfers.

i've been asked this question many times by both infertiles and well-meaning acquaintances who have not had to make this difficult choice but have their opinions about how many embryos someone in our position should transfer.

after my transfer, i had two sweet friends on instagram ask why we made the decision to transfer only one embryo. it is a great question. so i decided to delve into this topic a bit deeper in this blog post. so this post is for you @leeleekoontz and @andressahorne and anyone else who's pondered this very question.

"how many embryos should we transfer"? 

here are the questions that we asked ourselves…in our particular situation.

1. what is our ultimate goal? 
for us, it is to give birth to a healthy child. and that answer might not be the same for everyone. notice, i didn't say that our goal is to get pregnant or to achieve IVF success.

2. if we transfer more than one embryo, what are the benefits?
we'd have a higher chance of success achieving a pregnancy on that particular transfer cycle.

3. what are the risks associated with transferring more than one embryo?
the biggest risk is getting pregnant with multiples. while i know many people who have had twins with relatively no issues, i also know people who've had devastating experiences carrying multiple pregnancies. case in point, a fellow blogger Holly…she suffered the heartbreaking loss of her twins and my friend D lost one twin and her other baby had serious health challenges.

below is a list of common complications associated with multiples:
preterm labor/delivery
low birth weight
intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
gestational diabetes
placental abruption
fetal demise/loss

4. what is the worse case scenario with transferring two embryos? 
getting pregnant with both embryos and having one of those embryos split. triplet pregnancy. see risks above if we attempt to carry all three babies to term. and we'd also be at a huge risk for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome because two of the babies would share the same sack and the other would not.

or we'd be faced with the option to terminate one of the pregnancies to reduce the risks to mother and the remaining babies. this is a heartbreaking decision to have to make after going through infertility. but sadly, it is one that is frequently made, quietly and in private, by couples who chose to transfer multiple embryos.

5. do you believe that each normal embryo has a chance of successfully implanting whether transferred individually or with other embryos?
for us, the answer is yes. so the only benefit we could find to transferring two at a time is saving money on future transfers down the road. if the choice is fail, try again, fail try again and it will cost more money in transfers. or try transferring multiple embryos at once and risk all of the things mentioned above… it is a no brainer for us….

one embryo.

how did y'all make this decision for yourselves?

Monday, July 21, 2014

i'm officially PUPO!!!!

i've always hated that expression but i see why it exists.
PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). it exists because as an infertile, you gotta take what you can get. and by golly, if you have a live embryo transferred into your uterus. you ARE pregnant….until proven otherwise. not "in limbo until proven pregnant". that would suck.

SDFC doesn't recommend bed rest after a transfer. they basically said to go about my daily activities on the day of the transfer and days following. doctor just doesn't want me lifting more than 20 lbs.

so what did i do post-transfer to celebrate my first day of being PUPO?

1. dine at my favorite restaurant. 
i had some delicious watermelon lemonade, scrumptious salads and chia seed pudding. 
healthy, yummy fuel for my baby.

2. go shopping for baby sunshine. 
my mom and i found a baby boutique in hillcrest called style child. we allowed ourselves two little gifts to commemorate transfer day. a onesie that was too perfect to pass up and cute book about california. oh ya…and that is me pushing out my bloated hormonal stomach pretending like i have a baby bump. 

3. brainstorm baby names. 
one of the added benefits of doing PGS at SDFC is that they disclose the sex of your embryos if you want to know. i'm not going to share the gender of this embryo just yet (i'll save that for another post). but since we know, my mom and i laid around looking at baby name websites. we jotted down some faves for consideration by A.

i've never felt this much hope before. it surges through my heart and soul. the feeling i have now is love. i already love this embryo. it feels like i'm already carrying my baby and it is a part of me.

i believe in this baby.
i can't even curb my enthusiasm and faith. 
baby sunshine, please be here to stay. 

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