Expecting after Fertility Treatments — The Bump
November 2019 Moms

Expecting after Fertility Treatments

It seems like there are quite a few of us who are here thanks to IVF/IUI/medicated cycles. I know that I'm feeling a lot of conflicting things after this nutso process. I thought it would be nice to connect with fellow ART veterans!

Some questions to get the old juices flowing...

1. What protocol finally worked?

2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success?

3. When is your first ultrasound?

4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo?

Re: Expecting after Fertility Treatments

  • 1. What protocol finally worked? Lots of stuff didn't work first: two IUIs in 2017. First retrieval in 2017 resulted in one embryo, failed. Then second retrieval in 2018 resulted in 5 embryos. Fresh transfer of two embryos, failed. FET in in the fall of 2018, failed. 

    This cycle I did an endo scratch in the cycle prior. Then I did vaginal estradiol, vaginal viagra, estrogen patches, and handfuls of supplements. Transferred our last two embryos, a 3BB and a 5BB. Beta today (!!), 11dp5dt... 207!

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success? We didn't tell anybody this time around, because we've told our folks before and I was tired of being asked about it. I have a close friend who has also been through IVF in the last few years, so she was the only person I told. I'm bursting to tell people that it worked!

    3. When is your first ultrasound? Our clinic does an 8-week ultrasound. My appointment is April 10!! (That's SO SOON!)

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo? We started our just calling them "the Embies" but since one of my apps said it was the size of a poppyseed, I've been calling it "Poppy!"

    My biggest beef about IVF is that it's robbed us of our ability to be optimistic. I feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm not sure when I'll feel like it's actually happening and not going to be taken away. Know what I'm saying?
  • gumby22cgumby22c member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments 5 Answers
    edited March 15
    1. What protocol finally worked? FET (we did multiple rounds of IVF 4 years ago, one of which gave us our son and 2 frozen embryos. We used one of those frosties for this baby!)

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success? I'm a bit of an ART/IF veteran (5+ years to finally get our son, 2+ years this time), so I'm super open with our friends and family about our journey. Both our immediate families, my boss and a small circle of friends already know about this pregnancy because of that.

    3. When is your first ultrasound? Next Friday with my RE! I'll be 6 weeks exactly.

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo? No
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  • 1. I’m one of the fortunate few where IVF worked on the first go. My problem wasn’t getting pregnant, it was staying pregnant, and the doctors couldn’t find any medical reason for my issues. So due to my age (38) we decided to do IVF with PGS. I am borderline PCOS so we figured we’d have a lot of embryos to test. I did my retrieval in November and ended up with 13 day 5/6 blasts to test (from 23 eggs), but only five were normal. Did my first FET on Feb 21 and here I am, will be 6 weeks tomorrow.

    2. Pretty much everyone knows (immediate family, coworkers, friends). I’ve been very open about my struggles so didn’t feel the need to hide it. Everyone has been very supportive and they’re definitely rooting for me!

    3. First ultrasound is on Monday, March 25th. I’ll be 7w2d. Definitely going crazy waiting, I’ve never had a positive experience with an early ultrasound so until that goes well I’m not willing to call this a success.

    4. Before my transfer I named all my normal embryos after characters from Monsters Inc (it’s one of my favorite movies). The one we transfer was Mike (for Mike Wazowski). Hubby thought that was pretty fitting give his shape. Lol. Now I’m calling baby Squishy. :)
  • motherofgautsmotherofgauts member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited March 16
    1. What protocol finally worked?

    We started fertility treatments in September 2018. Did two IUIs Sept/October on letrozole and both failed.i couldn't get to my clinic for cycle monitoring after that, and just stayed on letrozole until January 2019, "trying naturally" with no luck. This last cycle, we started doing Gonal-F injections, and DH started taking Fertilpro Men supplements.. Third IUI and our very first BFP 

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success?

    When we were trying a few friends of mine knew we were trying for a while, but only my boss and and a few gfs knew I was doing treatments. I lost my BFF during this journey when she get pregnant and told me to get over it, and that I was a bad friend for not being there for her. Safe to say I stopped sharing my journey at that point. 
    Now, only one of my girlfriends know and that's it! So hard to keep it a secret but I'm too scared to tell anyone until we're more "safe" in the pregnancy 

    3. When is your first ultrasound?

    I'm considered 6 weeks today and already had three!! It's already been such a stressful pregnancy.. Lol they brought me in a little over a week ago because my hcg was slowing down so they did a scan to rule out ectopic. Then I went in on Monday to see if there had been growth, which there was but I was measuring at 5&2 when I should have been 5&6. Told me that it was pretty likely I would MC. Went back in yesterday, four days later, completely prepared to plan our MC or D&C when they tell us that it's now measuring at  5&6.. So still 4 days behind based on my LMP, but there has been 4 days worth of growth in 4 days. Go back in a week to see if we're able to see a heartbeat now. Completely shocked, happy for good news, but terrified it's going to get ripped away again

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo?

    Baby Butt. 
    I've always nicknamed my husband "Butter" or "Butt" and it's kind of become a household inside joke and a name for everyone. "is someone being a Grumpy Butt today?" call our cat Lola, Lola Butt.. So it just kinda made sense this is our baby butt
  • Hi ladies! Nice to meet you all!!

    @gumby22c I love that you got pregnant from the same batch of embroys that gave you your son! I would have loved to have gotten pregnant and had some leftover on ice. We used our last two embryos in this transfer, so if we want more kids down the line, it’ll be back for another retrieval! A 6-week ultrasound is so exciting!! Good luck!!!

    @hchill0209 does that mean you have 4 PGS normals left? That’s amazing! I’m so happy it worked first try for you! I feel the same way about my ultrasound, like it’s not going to be real until I see it for myself! (Also, I’m dyyyying at your embryo nicknames.)

    @motherofgauts I had to laugh at your quotes around “trying naturally.” Even after seven years of infertility, two months ago we were acting as though we had a shot of getting pregnant on our own, like a couple of suckers. 

    Three ultrasounds already! Sorry to hear about the stressful slow growth. I wonder if you just had implantation later than expected? It’s reassuring to know you’re still growing at a normal rate. But I totally get what you’re saying about expecting it to be ripped away. I don’t think my husband and I will ever feel like it’s actually happening until we have a real baby in our arms. 
  • @megmac2010 yes we clearly got a winner batch of embryos from that cycle! I dont make a ton of eggs so I never had anything to freeze from previous IVF cycles. We've got 1 more still frozen for the future.

    I completely agree about infertility robbing you of hope. Even now its a constant battle between feeling excited and wanting to plan for this baby, but also being terrified the other shoe could drop and something could still take this dream away.
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  • motherofgautsmotherofgauts member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited March 16
    @gumby22c I think that's what seperates us from people who get pregnant with ease.. For the most part I think we are just so much more aware of what could happen, and how likely it is that things can go wrong. 
    Infertility kinda robs us of being able to have that excitement in those early weeks. 
    I know after my little scare, we were so happy to hear the good news, but just can't get excited or our hopes up until like what @megmac2010 said, till we're holding that baby in our arms
  • @motherofgauts yes I agree. I felt that way with my son, I couldnt breathe a sigh of relief until he was born. I'm sure this pregnancy will be similar.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers for your u/s this coming week!

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  • @motherofgauts Yes! It's almost like you can't believe that it will actually all work out, because it usually doesn't. I told my mom last night, but every piece of good news was balanced with a reminder that it's early, a lot could still happen, not to get excited just yet. I know everyone feels that uncertainty, but I definitely think those who haven't gone through infertility aren't as sensitive to potential bad news as we've become.

    Also, I totally meant to say this earlier, but your former BFF sounds like the worst. Sorry that happened to you. 

    But, uncertainty be damned, I'm going out to buy something this afternoon! I don't know what, yet, but I want to start planning for this baby!
  • 1. What protocol finally worked?
    This has been almost 3 years of tears and struggling... We tried naturally for about 6 months and then I was diagnosed with PCOS. Tried 3 rounds of clomid and didn't even ovulate. Then they found uterine polyps and a thick lining so I had a D&C and polypectomy (there goes the first year). Year two consisted of three rounds of IUI with letrozole where I ovulated each time but none worked even though my husband's numbers were off the chart great. Then they brought up IVF and I was devastated. We did decide to go through it. This past year consisted of a failed egg retrieval after which I was horribly I'll from hyperstimulation (I had fluid in my abdomen, lungs, and above my heart). We did another retrieval and got 20 eggs, 10 of which fertilized and 6 progressed normally. We did a single FET a month later because I got hyperstimulation again. That failed. We did a biopsy for inflammation and it came back normal. We did a second FET and that failed. We decided to fork over the money for an ERA (the only thing that my insurance didn't cover other than egg freezing) and found out I need more progesterone exposure than the average woman...and they found inflammation that time so we had to postpone the third transfer for 6 months while they kept doing repeat biopsies and intense rounds of antibiotics, during which time my doctor called me a "headscratcher" (and my husband and I each lost a parent in the last three months so that was tragic while dealing with all of this). We did out third FET with 2 embryos (we still have 2 left) on 2/25/19 and we got out BFP. Finally. Still on minivell patches, POI, metformin, estradiol, Vitamin D3, and began a thyroid med.

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success?
    We shared very little. We didn't want people asking constantly or knowing about every single visit. We told only a couple of friends whom we are with all the time so we couldn't hide my injections. We only told my mom after she was the only one available to bring me in for an emergent visit with my hyperstimulation.

    3. When is your first ultrasound?
    I had my first one at 5 weeks and 1 day on 3/14! I had one per week scheduled for the next 4 weeks too.

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo?
    Not yet. I've affectionately called it "the blob" because that's all it looks like this far. Our dogs each have like a dozen nicknames, so I'm sure we will come up with some for the embryo!
  • @megmac2010 do it! I fully support allowing yourself to enjoy this and buy something for the baby!

    I let myself pull out my maternity clothes last weekend, even though it seems like it's way too early. I even have been wearing the mat jeans and shorts because my regular ones are just uncomfortable. Even this makes me feel I'm jumping the gun and might jinx myself/this pregnancy, since I haven't even had an u/s yet.
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  • @megmac2010 I agree; I also feel like IVF has robbed me of my ability to be optimistic. I used to be so much more optimistic and hopeful and excited. Now I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop because absolutely nothing in the last 3 years has gone well for us. I actually went into my last transfer crying because I knew it wasn't going to work (though it did). This process has robbed me of my hope and joy. I hope I can get some of it back as this pregnancy progresses  Though I think part of me will always be holding my breath.
  • hchill0209hchill0209 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited March 16
    @megmac2010 yes, I still have four normals on ice, plus two mosaics (one low level and one high level that probably won’t work). My ultimate dream goal for my cycle was four normals, to give us a decent chance at two children. So far so good, but like you I probably won’t believe it until I have a baby in my arms!

    I also hate that this experience has taken all the fun and excitement out of the journey to parenthood. I’m so jealous of all my friends who have gotten pregnant easily and had uncomplicated pregnancies. I just keep telling myself that I’m going to appreciate my baby so much more because of how hard I had to try to have him/her.

    Glad to see others in the same position as me and having the same fears/anxieties. It definitely helps make me feel less crazy!
  • motherofgautsmotherofgauts member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited March 16
    @megmac2010 you go out and get yourself some baby stuff !!

    @gumby22c I just went out and bought some bigger sports bras! Not yet at the mat clothes stage, but my Boobs are already squishing in my bras, so I'm considering it more of a need than jumping the gun and getting ahead of myself
  • @motherofgauts I also bought 2 new bras. My boobs are killing me!
  • @motherofgauts better to size up than feel squished! That's absolutely a need! I remember finally getting new bras towards the end of first tri last time, because my current bras were making me feel like I was short of breath when I wore them. I'm not there yet, but I pulled those bigger bras out for when I start feeling I need a bigger size. I imagine its not too far off.
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  • 1. What protocol finally worked? 3rd fresh cycle was changed to gonal-f, ganarelix, and menopour (previously was using lupron/gonal-f for first two cycles for baby#2)

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success? two old coworkers, a couple new co workers, husband, sister knows general info

    3. When is your first ultrasound? not scheduled yet

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo? not yet
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  • @alwayseloquent that is a really long process! We’re glad you’re here. What’s the purpose of using metformin? I’ve heard of women using it in IVF, but I’ve not had to. Your insurance coverage sounds amazing though! One bright side to an otherwise brutal journey. 

    @gumby22c I wear yoga pants every day, but I’m finding I have to roll the waist down because the seam feels terrible in my bloated belly. I fully support breaking out the maternity pants if you have them!!

    @hchill0209 you are just as crazy as the rest of us! (But I’m not sure how reassuring that is!)
  • @megmac2010 The metformin is for the PCOS to prevent me from becoming insulin resistant (I am not, but many women with PCOS are). It basically helps regulate hormones and blood sugar. Doctors assume I am diabetic when I tell them I am on it because it's a common diabetes med, but its second most common use is for PCOS. I am so grateful for my insurance. My boss pays 100% of it too. I went in and thanked him when I began my fertility journey because I knew we couldn't afford to do it otherwise.
  • @rmarble23 happy to hear a protocol change did the trick for you! Congrats!

    @alwayseloquent gotcha. PCOS sucks all around, doesn’t it?
  • kyapplbkyapplb member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    1. What protocol finally worked? FET of our last two embryos. We have been trying for 7 years (MFI- sperm antibodies). I’m 31, hubby 42. 2 failed IUIs. We did an egg retrival March 2018 with a freah transfer, which failed. Froze two and put them in at the end of February. I tried to be healthy beforehand, worked out/ ate healthy, which was easier not doing the stims like the retrieval, which was HORRIBLE and made me look pregnant without even getting a baby out of it. I did a yoga workout before leaving the house for the transfer, kept it easy the rest of the day and the next day, but tried to walk. 

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success?
    I’m pretty open, shared a lot during my retrieval last year. I am full time at a new job though, and some of the people I work with here also work at my other job (I work in a hospital so we all bounce around, lol). Anyways my old friends know and kept asking and I share, didn’t really tell the people at my new job (which is in a huge hospital, so it’s all pretty anonymous, 200+ people in our department vs 30 in the other). Kept my mother in law and dad informed.  

    3. When is your first ultrasound?
    Wednesday at 9!

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo?
    not really, we sort of just call it “the potential offspring, or child.” Or I call it the embryo.

    I agree IVF/infertility sucks the fun out of the process. We talk about the “potential” kid and “if” it sticks around till birth.

    On a side note on another board/forum there is a birth month club and the posts that are like “oh I went off birth control last month, and so i am joining this birth board because I plan to get pregnant with a November baby!” just make me want to roll my eyes and I internally am like “GTFO, you aren’t even preggo yet, get off the birth club board, I’ve waited 7 years to even read a birth club month board.” I know that sounds mean and isn’t my normal nature, but come on, you don’t even have a positive test yet lol! Sorry if that sounds snarky, but if anyone is going to get how I feel on that it is probably other infertility moms! 

    When do you guys plan to announce? We are oscillating between after ultrasound and after we find out gender. My husband and I are pretty open, so more likely after ultrasound but makes me nervous.
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  • 1. What protocol finally worked? After years of casually trying, then not so casually trying as my 40th birthday approached, we finally sought help from a fertility clinic and learned that my tubes are completely blocked + I had a polyp that had to be removed. The polyp removal surgery went well and 2 months after that, we did a fresh 5dt of 2 embryos. My tubes may not work but my numbers (and his) were really good so we were cautiously optimistic but completely shocked to find it worked the first time. The odds are against us and I'm just really bracing for the worst - my DH tells me I'm being pessimistic. I'm not sure when/if I will ever feel comfortable enough to feel excited.

    I made a lot of personal changes prior, just so I felt like I was doing everything I could (diet, activity, supplements, etc). I also did acupuncture regularly and am convinced it played a role. And then after transfer, I did every old wives tale I found online. 

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success? My colleagues/boss know because I was in and out of the office so much + my surgery + my raging hormones. They are all guys but we are very close and they are immensely supportive. A couple very close friends also knew. Once we saw the heartbeat we told our immediate family but are waiting until 12/13 weeks to announce.

    3. When is your first ultrasound? Last week when I was 6 weeks exactly. I have an appt tomorrow with a potential OB/midwife group and am nervous about another one.

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo? Not yet
  • @icedcoffee1106 I swear by acupuncture in addition to fertility treatments as well. Ive done 10 rounds of IUI/IVF/FET over the years. My only 2 successful rounds that yielded pregnancies were the 2 I did acupuncture through my treatment cycle.
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  • @kyapplb I’m dying of laughter at your post because we’re the same person. My favourite GTFO moment in recent memory is a friend who, after 4 months of trying, was complaining about not being pregnant yet. She was decorating a nursery and telling me how hard it is not getting pregnant right away, not knowing we were in the middle of failed transfer after failed transfer. I was rolling my eyes so hard they almost fell out. 
  • 1. What protocol finally worked? After a MC in early 2018, we started ART in November. This is my first IVF cycle and so happy it's been positive so far. Due to my age (38) and male infertility issues, we skipped IUI and went straight to IVF. Got 14 eggs, 5 made it to blast and 2 were normal after PGS. Transferred 1 and froze 1. Now 6w4d along. 

    2. How much did you share with people? Who is in the loop on your cycle/success? Most of our family and close friends know we're going through IVF. After the loneliness of miscarraige, I wanted to be open about our infertility struggles. More people need to know about this struggle that so many couples face. I also have a close friend who went through 6 years of IVF struggle- now had 2 beautiful little IVF baby boys. She's been great to speak to about the experience. 

    That being said, following transfer we've only told our parents about the results. We've told everyone else that hopefully  we'll have good news to share in a few months. Knowing that so much could go wrong, we'd rather hold off. Though I have a feeling my best friends know given that I wasn't drinking at brunch this weekend and got up 3 times to pee! Lol

    3. When is your first ultrasound?
    Had our first US at 5w3d and saw the GS and YS. Next US scheduled for tomorrow morning where we're hoping to hear a heartbeat FX. 

    4. Do you have a nickname for your embryo?
    Called it an embaby before our first beta. Now calling it a sweet pea based on the app size estimate. 

    Feel you on the fear of hoping. It's so scary knowing full on what could go wrong. When we told our parents we had to stipulate that this was a small step and we still had so many to go. My mom is the kind that will get so excited she'll start planning and buying stuff. We just can't go there yet. I actually think DH is having an even harder time being hopeful than I am. He was there by my side when I had my MC naturally and saw the extreme pain I was in. It terrified him. We had a conversation last week and I told him that I promised myself I would allow us to enjoy each positive moment of this preganancy , even if something went wrong. Because what if everything goes right, and we didn't enjoy it? I think once we get past 10wk (when MC occurred last time), it will be easier. 

    Wishing everyone a happy healthy 9 months!
  • Does anyone else feel more nervous on "appointment days" - days you have an ultrasound or other tests? I feel like we've all tried so hard for so long and each had our own struggles that we are more cautious than most - at least I know I am! I have another ultrasound tomorrow (at 6 weeks and 1 day) and I just had one on Monday and one last Thursday. Everything looked great and they already saw a heartbeat at 5 weeks and 5 days, but part of me dreads going in. I get to live in my little bubble of blissful ignorance until each appointment day; when those days finally come, I am terrified they're going to give me bad news. Maybe because I've been conditioned to get bad news from doctors over the last 3 years? Am I the only one? <3
  • @alwayseloquent I completely get that! I have my first appt and u/s Friday and I'm so nervous. I just really want to see a heartbeat, because that would totally ease my nerves right now. The waiting game between finding out a treatment cycle worked and the first u/s are pure mental/emotional torture for me. 
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  • motherofgautsmotherofgauts member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited March 21
    @alwayseloquent @gumby22c
    I am soo scared everytime I have to go into our clinic. Always so afraid of bad news. 
    We had unexpected good news a week ago that the embryo was progressing, but weren't able to see a heartbeat. But it was a small victory for us, and we were so happy we get to be pregnant for at least another week. We were happy for the weekend, but since Monday I've been dreading my next scan tomorrow. I go back in, hopefully to see more growth and a heartbeat, but I am just terrified!! 
    I keep trying to tell myself "not everyone miscarries, I don't have to miscarry, I can have a baby, etc.." 
    It's just so hard to believe that we could finally have a baby after so many cycles trying.. Ugh! First trimester for infertiles is way more stressful and terryifing.. 

  • Hey everyone, just letting you know we got word today that we lost it.. 
    There had been zero growth since last Friday and I've taken misoprostol to begin the process  
    Best of luck to all of you  
  • I'm so sorry @motherofgauts. Sending you lots of love. 
  • Oh @motherofgauts I'm so sorry to hear this. Take care of yourself.
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  • @motherofgauts I am so so sorry. 
  • @motherofgauts oh goodness...I am so very, deeply sorry.
  • gumby22cgumby22c member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments 5 Answers
    edited March 23
    Vent ahead...

    Ive been a runner for years. I gave up running going into my FET, but my plan has always been to try easing back in for low mileage once I got an u/s and knew everything was ok. I've been walking the distances I normally run all through FET so I'm still in some sort of shape near my pre-preg level and just want to get myself to a walk/run combo. Nothing crazy.

    I had my first u/s yesterday at 6w and we saw a heartbeat. I was so excited to try running yesterday (I only did .5 a mile and had walk breaks in there and I took it super easy), but after getting home I suddenly was so worried with all the "what ifs" of hurting the baby by running. It's so stupid, because I'm sure the baby is fine and plenty of women run during pregnancy. But I hate that infertility still is ruining parts of life and keeping me from fully enjoying this pregnancy to the fullest like I wish I could.  
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  • @gumby22c omg yes! Logically, we know that all women worry and obsess over little things. But I think people with IF take it to the extreme. I’m just assuming that something bad is going to happen... totally prepared for the worst, all the time, because the worst always happens to us. 
  • @megmac2010 yes, I hate that you understand what I'm talking about but it also makes me feel less crazy! 
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  • @gumby22c it’s the worst club to be a member of, but I got you.

    And you’ve lit a fire under my butt to get running again. I also stopped before my FET and am planning to get back out there when it warms up a bit!
  • @megmac2010 I've almost scared myself out of running again before my next u/s on Thursday. But I may try another easy one before if I can get over my semi-irrational fears.
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  • @gumby22c I was in 10k shape before my FET. My plan is to drop back to a run/walk running program. I registered for a half marathon in May, assuming the FET wouldn’t work... but I don’t think I’ll be training to run that distance. Hoping I can keep it up enough to run/walk a 10k. 
  • @megmac2010 I was in half marathon shape before my FET. I ran 1 in Nov and 1 in Dec prior to stopping. I also signed up for 1 (same reasons like you!) at the end of April. I did keep up my distance through my FET by training to walk the half instead of run it if I'm pregnant. I still plan to do it and walk it as long as my pregnancy stays uncomplicated, but I'd love to be able to run maybe 1/4-1/2 of it if I got myself there in the next month. 
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