We initially thought we wanted to go for baby number two when Jacob turned one. After celebrating his first birthday we decided we did want to get pregnant that year (2014) but not right away. God knew what he was doing when he put that on our hearts, it saved us from more disappointment of having to wait and put the procedure off, which what was a lot of what we had to do the first time around. Thankfully he also urged us to get the ball rolling several months before we wanted to implant our embryo so all the testing and procedures I had to do beforehand did not turn into a waiting game. But let me back up a bit and tell the whole story, starting with the cause of all this…Endometriosis.
Endometriosis goes into remission during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. So I never really gave it much thought after getting pregnant and especially now with Jacob to keep my hands (and mind) full! When Jacob was 5 months old, I started menstruating again (which is what “feeds” the endometriosis). Shortly after Jacob turned one and I had stopped nursing him, it was time for my annual exam with my OB/GYN. We talked about my concerns that my period was very random and sometimes nonexistent and usually very painful. She asked about our plans to have more children and I told her that we did want to get pregnant again, but not until later in the year. So she ordered a pelvic ultrasound to check and see what was going on. The results came back that my endometriosis was back at it again and I had some cysts. It wasn’t anything to be really concerned about, meaning they were not huge and they didn’t really pose any kind of immediate threat, but she wanted to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn’t get worse. So she told me I needed to get these ultrasounds every 6 weeks and she put me on birth control to try and suppress it. 6 weeks later I had another ultrasound and a couple weeks after that (in April) we had an appointment with my specialist just to check in with her and let her know what our plans were as far as wanting to get pregnant again. She had all my ultrasound results and said that it shouldn’t affect moving forward with an embryo transfer since the cysts were pretty much just around my ovaries, my uterus is not affected and that is all they really need at this point to implant an embryo. In the 5 years I’ve been with my specialist, she always loves to tell me/remind me how beautiful my uterus is every time I have an ultrasound, and that every woman wants my uterus. And I always reply with, well they can’t have my uterus but would love to trade my ovaries! She recommended I stay on a continuous birth control so I don’t have a period at all since that is primarily what “feeds” the endometriosis and said come back when you are ready to move forward. I had another ultrasound after that at the 6 week mark, and the cysts were still there but still “manageable” and nothing needed to be done.
We had a wedding to go to in July in the wine country and I wanted to wait until after that trip before getting pregnant so I could enjoy the lovely wines in the area. In mid June we made an appointment with our specialist again to do the necessary tests (ultrasound, water test) and blood work to get a general baseline on where things were at so we could get started right away after our trip. Everything came back normal, except my doctor did not like the way my ovaries were looking during the ultrasound and was concerned about my endometeriosis. She called my OB to discuss her findings with her and they both decided that I needed to have an MRI done. They both reassured me that they just wanted to get a better look than what the ultrasounds that I had been having every 6 weeks provided. Truthfully, it kind of freaked me out. Not just the idea of what made my doctors so concerned and what they may find during the MRI, but I have a touch of claustrophobia and the idea of having to lay still in a very small tube for 30 minutes was not sitting well with me. But as I have learned in this journey over the last several years that with a little determination and God at your side then these things are usually not as bad as you think they will be. So I made my MRI appointment in early July. The technicians and doctors were very friendly and made me feel very comfortable. They explained everything that was going to happen and when it came time to go into the tube, I just closed my eyes and started praying. The MRI machine makes very loud thunking noises and I kept thinking about when we are upstairs in our house and Jacob starts running and stomping around you can hear and feel him making similar thunking noises, that was my happy place, pretending I was at home with Jacob running around. The 30 minutes went by quickly and I was joking with the technician that it was so nice and relaxing to be able to lay still for 30 minutes instead of cleaning up after or chasing Jacob around, too bad I couldn’t bring a glass of wine and a good book in there with me!
The results of the MRI showed that all my cysts were a result of endometriosis and no evidence of cancer. Thank you Lord! So my OB cleared me to go back to my specialist, which we did to do more paperwork and to meet with one of the IVF nurses to review my medication protocol. Then we left for Sonoma County for a wine tasting/wedding attending/zip lining adventure! Shortly after we got back my specialist put me on an estrogen pill and I started going in every week for ultrasounds to check the lining of my uterus. When it was nice and thick then they were ready to transfer the embryo, which was scheduled for August 14th. We decided we only wanted one transferred this time as well. My mom came to stay with Jake while we had the transfer and stayed for a while to help out so I could take it easy. The transfer was a breeze and it all seemed so easy since we had already done all the hard work last time. Just like before, after checking in for the procedure they gave me a valium to relax and my doctor and nurses came in to confirm everything and they gave us a picture of our embryo. It was another great quality embryo.
Just an interesting fact…If you compare the picture of Jacob’s embryo with this one, this one doesn’t seem to be as full or round as Jacob’s did. Apparently, they expand and contract, at the moment they were taking this picture it was contracting so it is not as round. After they transferred it in, Justin drove me home and I took a 2 hour nap! It literally has been years since I’ve been able to do that! 10 days later I went back in for my pregnancy test in the morning and then took Jacob to the park on my way home. As Jake was playing they called me to congratulate me that my test was positive! They wanted me to come in 2 days later for a repeat test to make sure my numbers were going up. I did and they were! Baby number 2 is in the making!
And as much as I would like to say the hard work ended there…it was just beginning…while we didn’t have to do much leading up to the transfer in terms of the IVF process, there was lots to do afterwards. During our “class” with our IVF nurse before we started this we learned that I would have to have an intramuscular (in the butt) shot every day for 10 weeks starting the week before the transfer! So we ended up with another mini pharmacy in our bathroom and I was so glad when those 10 weeks were over. However, I have to say my husband is pretty handy with a needle these days!
This time around was not AS emotional/difficult as the first round, mostly because we knew more from what we previously experienced and were much more prepared, and as much as we wanted to have another baby, we knew if it was not God’s will we were still incredibly blessed with the little guy we do have. We are thrilled that God has blessed us with another baby and that our family continues to grow.