My due date is
Today I am
I have gained
I haven't been keeping this pregnancy a secret. I know you're supposed to wait until it's 'safe' to tell and all, but I'm too excited. I want the whole world to share in my happiness (or congratulate me, at least). So, I've been telling everyone I know, and I've found that a typical response is "Well, how did that happen???". I give the expected reply, "The usual way, I suppose" with a raised eyebrow and knowing leer, but it isn't true. We didn't get pregnant the usual way at all.
This pregnancy was achieved thanks to a high-tech procedure called in vitro fertilization (usually abbreviated IVF). You've heard of it before, if only by the derogatory term of 'test tube baby'. My child was conceived in a laboratory, under a microscope.
IVF was really our last chance. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for several years with only one (miscarried) pregnancy to show for it. There is nothing wrong with either of us that the doctors can find, but we simply had not been able to conceive either on our own or with the help of fertility drugs. Our infertility specialist told us that we were at the point where IVF was the only thing left to try. We were desperate. Despite the considerable cost, we decided to do it.
Believe me, I wish we'd been able to get pregnant 'the usual way', because what followed was a regimen of daily hormone injections, ultrasounds, and blood draws. Every morning my husband gave me a shot, then I went to the clinic so they could take some blood and give me a ultrasound. Every evening my husband gave me yet another shot. This process took about 2 weeks, as my ovaries were stimulated with massive doses of fertility drugs to produce as many eggs as possible.
Finally, my eggs were proclaimed mature. My doctor retrieved the eggs by aspirating them out of my ovaries (and yes, I was anesthesized for this; I don't remember a thing). The 16 eggs we got were mixed with my husband's sperm and the dish containing them was placed in an incubator overnight. The embryologist checked the dish the following morning, and sure enough, 12 of my eggs were fertilized. Conception had occurred!
Three days after the egg retrieval, we went back to the clinic for the crucial final step: embryo transfer. Amazingly, all 12 embryos had made it to this point. Two embryos were transferred to my uterus and the remaining ten were frozen for future use. The IVF process had been completed. We were sent home to wait until our scheduled blood draw for a pregnancy test.
One of our 3-day old embryos.
To be continued tomorrow...