Vanessa-Her Story Through IVF

Vanessa is an amazing lady, who opened up on her first experience with IVF and shared her journey on our Facebook page. She is a married mommy with secondary infertility. She loves helping others, spending time with family, and cannot wait to grow her family, hopefully through IVF.



Vanessa welcomed us all on her journey through IVF for the very first time earlier in 2019. She shared all of her experiences on our Facebook page. Her story as a travel IVF patient (from Michigan to New York) is copied below, from newest post to oldest post. All of these are copied from our Facebook page.

June 4

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF Journey

5 years ago my ob-gyn referred me to a reproductive specialist. Even though I knew my left fallopian tube was 100% blocked with scar tissue and that PCOS interferes with regular ovulation and my hormone levels, I didn’t take the advice and continued to try to conceive on my own. I searched the Internet, joined Facebook support groups and read tons of books. I tried different vitamins and herbs along with other over the counter aids and tested for ovulation every month.

About two and a half years ago, I finally caved and called for a consultation. The doctor reviewed my medical tests and past labs and told me that I should just go straight to IVF. I got quotes on the procedure and medications and got excited at the idea and then out of no where I got cold feet and took a step back and decided IVF wasn’t for me.

For the next two years, I randomly regretted that decision and wondered what if i would have done it, how would life look?

I couldn’t bare the regret any longer and still longed for the chance to grow my family. I started thinking about IVF again last October. In January I contacted CNY and said I was ready. I completed some testing and ordered my medications.

Two weeks ago today, I was laying in bed hoping that the embryos that were transferred earlier that morning would stick and grow. That was two more embryos than I thought we would have just days before when I was told my eggs were at 0 fertilization.

Yesterday, I received a phone call that those embryos did not stick. My HCG level came back at less than 10. I was not pregnant. I am sad, incredibly sad. I am not sure that I can even put into words exactly how I am feeling but what I do know, is that I do not regret trying. I am glad I tried and that in two years I will not be wondering what if I would have tried IVF.

~Vanessa


June 2

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF Journey

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow I will find out if the tiredness, cramping and other symptoms I have been experiencing for the last two weeks are a result of pregnancy or just side effects of the medication.

Tomorrow I will I receive a phone call and in just a few short words, a dream will come true or end. A simple 6am blood test seems so much scary then the last 5 years of negative home tests that I faced month after month.

I can’t believe its here. I have tried to maintain positivity for the last 13 days. I have repeated to myself to stay hopeful and I have talked to my belly encouraging the little ones to snuggle in and grow but tonight it has hit me, this may be the last night I rub my belly and say good night to the possibilities within.

I am not sure when I will be ready to share the results with all of you but I know I will have tons of support, thoughts, and prayers from many of you as I continue on this journey and I thank you.

~Vanessa


May 21

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

We had a transfer!! There was about 20 minutes of a nervous wait this morning when we arrived at CNY. No-one had given me any news so I sat in the room waiting to be told the drive was nothing but a girls night out. The nurse came in to draw blood and I just spat it out, “so if you are doing this it means there is going to be a transfer, right?” She asked why I thought there wouldn’t be and I explained the situation. She said she would be back and left the room.

This was it. In just a couple minutes I would have an answer. I sat there pantless under a blanket. The most nervous I had been in this whole process.

The nurse returned with a smile and announced “We have embryos!”

2 of them had continued to progress but were still slow growing so at the doctors suggestion, both of them were transferred. The third one that was being watched had stopped all signs of growth.

We are on our way back to Michigan now and hopefully the little ones are getting comfy for the next 9 months.

~Vanessa

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May 21

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

Just made it to the hotel in New York! Its 2:30am and my transfer is scheduled for 8:30am!!! We are not quite in the clear yet though so keep sending your positive vibes. I finally received a phone call just before 11am Monday, the 3 eggs they had been watching were starting to show some signs of fertilization. If they continued to progress, transfer would be Tuesday (today) at 8:30. They wouldn’t be checked again until just before transfer so it was a big possibility that I would drive all the way to New York for nothing but it was a risk I was willing to take.

Our original plan was for me to take a train to New York for Transfer as my husband would not be able to take off work. I am extremely scared of heights and can’t drive over the bridges to get there.

At the point of the phone call with the fertilization update, I would not be able to make it there on time unless I drove. I looked at flights but none of them would work with my work and life schedule for that day.

After receiving the 0 fertilized call on Sunday, I came to terms with this cycle being a failure and didn’t line things up or get things done to go to transfer, so this good news was met with an overwhelming feeling of “how can I pull this off?”. To add to it, I stayed up until 3am binge watching netflix and eating my feelings so I was exhausted. I would just drive until I was tired, sleep, then drive some more. When it came to the bridges I would have to breathe and remind myself what waits on the other side.

I texted the news to my husband at work and then called my friend Melissa to share the news and talk out my fears and anxieties. She immediately said you can’t do this alone, let me figure things out and I will go with you.

A couple short hours of tying up loose ends and then Melissa and I were on the road. The last time we had taken a road trip together was 4 years ago when we went to Chicago to check out a fertility clinic there. So here we are finally checked into our hotel in New York, alarms set but wide awake.

In just a few hours I will find out if the fertilization progressed and the transfer will happen or if we will just get back on the road and head home from our overnight trip.

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May 19

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

Today has been a little rough. We received our update call at 9:30 this morning. 6 of the 12 eggs were mature however none of the eggs had fertilized. The nurse said to stay hopeful that they were still watching 3 of them and would call again tomorrow.

I decided to head to Flower Day at Eastern Market to take my mind off of things and get out of the house…. and it rained on that idea pretty much just after driving all the way to Detroit.

I am hoping the sun will shine tomorrow and we will get good news. If one of the 3 fertilize then transfer will be Tuesday morning.
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May 18

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

Everything went well this morning! They were able to retrieve 12 eggs! We will get a call tomorrow to let us know how many were mature and how many fertilized. Until then I will be impatiently resting. The cramping is a little bit more then I expected which made the bumps on the 6 hour car ride home a little uncomfortable (when I wasn’t sleeping off the anesthesia). Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts today. ~Vanessa

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May 15

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

I had another monitoring appointment this morning. It was pretty routine and starting to just feel like a normal part of my schedule. I didn’t really have much expectations as the nurse on Monday told me I was still early in my cycle. I figured I would get the most information after Friday’s monitoring appointment.

The nurse drawing my blood saw me and immediately got out the the heat pack and a butterfly for blood draw. We joked a little bit me being the problem child” blood draw. As she warmed my arm, we heard another nurse giving instructions to a Momma pregnant with twins to head the hospital for delivery. She looked at me, grinned and confidently said in a few months that will be you we are sending to the hospital in labor. I chuckled and replied, I don’t think I am prepared for twins. Inside, my heart warmed, it was an amazing feeling to think, in a few months, that really could be me.

I went in for my ultrasound and the tech commented on my bruising from injections and gave me a little bit of advice on where to do my next injections. I laid down, and counted the clicks. I thought to myself… 3 to measure the uterus, 1 to measure lining, a few more to measure ovaries… ok follicle, follicle, follicle, my mind briefly wandered and when it came back I had lost count but I thought I definitely heard enough clicks to still have 5 follicles.

I got dressed, said my goodbyes and told everyone “see you Friday!” On the way home I was impatient, I pulled over to check my email for results, nothing. Patient portal, nothing. For some reason, I thought to just log into my account with CNY. There is was a scheduled appointment on Saturday for egg retrieval. What?! I felt instantly nauseous. No Way! Saturday? Holy Cow! This is happening!

The official phone call came a couple hours later. It was real. Egg Retrieval is scheduled for Saturday!!!

-Vanessa

 


May 14

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

Yesterday (Monday) was my second monitoring appointment. I am monitoring here in Michigan and will be traveling to New York for egg retrieval and transfer due to IVF costs being substantially lower at CNY fertility in New York than at clinics here in Michigan.

The office that completes my monitoring is about a 90 minute drive with traffic, making 3 hours of monitoring days spent in the car. (I really should get an audiobook or give a podcast a try… any suggestions?).

I get bloodwork and an ultrasound done at each monitoring appt. and then the results are sent to CNY. After reviewing the results, CNY then calls with instructions in regards to medication changes and next steps. Last Wednesday I was surprised that I hadn’t even made it home yet when CNY called me. So when it came to be about 2:30 yesterday and I hadn’t heard anything yet, I started getting anxious.

My appointment started late that morning at about 10 am. CNY says testing should be done before 9:30. I wasn’t worried too much because The results were sent so fast last time. The blood draw went better only one poke this time compared to several attempts to get blood the week prior. The ultrasound went about the same… click, click, click and more clicks with Me wondering if they were good or bad clicks, maybe the fibroids grew and will interfere? Maybe I have more follicles? And then it came…. the ultrasound tech tilted her head to the side and with an odd tone questioned if I had started meds yet? I answered yes and then laid their silent while my mind was racing, My hope was slightly deflated and I thought to myself, why would she ask that, I must not have any follicles…crap.

Relief soon came, as on my way home, I received an email notification and it was my ultrasound results. I had 5 follicles!! That was one more than last week!!!
My measurements were now 17.1, 15.2, 12.0, 11.1, and 11.6mm. Pretty much double the size as they were last week. I was excited at the news but at the same time I immediately went into the “what does this mean” mode. I remembered reading that follicles can grow about 1 to 2mm a day and that you would trigger for egg retrieval at about 18 to 20 mm. I started thinking that this was going to happen soon and panicked. I had everything planned out for next Monday and Tuesday and now if it was this Friday and Saturday, I had nothing figured out,no childcare for my older children, no dog sitter, no work coverage, nothing. I reminded myself to relax and just wait for the CNY call before getting to frantic.

The call finally came a little after 4pm. The nurse said they never received my ultrasound results but based on bloodwork, I was very early in my cycle. I was to continue meds as I had been and monitor again Wednesday morning. Confused, I told her my follicle measurements but it didn’t change anything. I didn’t quite understand how all this works and I was going to have to trust her. My LH level dropped from 2.9 to 1 and I worried about this but was informed it could be from a medication (cetrotide) that I started Monday to prevent ovulation. This is all so new and a bit overwhelming. I feel like a fish thrown into shark infested waters and I just have to trust the bigger fish and follow them to safety. I am used to swimming alone so this is hard.

Wish me luck for tomorrow morning’s cycle day 10 monitoring!!

What were you must confused about during your journey to parenthood?
~Vanessa


May 11

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

I have made it through 3 nights of injections. My confidence growing a little more each night but for some reason the ouch factor has grown too. I am wondering if I hit scar tissue last night (I have had a few surgeries that have left behind quite bit of scar tissue). I could feel the resistance against the needle but I had already pierced the skin so I just kept pushing and it HURT! For the first time when I pulled the needle out there was blood dripping. I grabbed gauze and held pressure to the spot. The bleeding quickly stopped but man did that hurt. I fell asleep on my stomach and woke up in a little bit of pain mid way through the night. Fell back to sleep and woke up again at 11am!!! For some reason I panicked thinking it was Monday and I slept through my monitoring appointment. Even though its only Saturday, the day was still half way over, how did I just sleep for 13 hours!!

I don’t know if it is possible or “just in my head” but something is feeling full. Kind of like when your bladder feels full but it’s not that. Maybe my ovaries? Fingers crossed for more follicles at Monday’s scan!

~ Vanessa


May 9

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

A double round for everyone!

I did it! 2 shots done and a million more to go. Okay, maybe not that many but if you look in my bedroom closet at the shelves filled with meds, needles, and alcohol swabs, you would think so too.

Before I even made it to work after my appointment yesterday morning, i had already received my results call.
4 measurable fibroids and some other really small ones, but the doctor assured me that they would not interfere…Ok good!4 follicles, 3 on the right and 1 on the left… Is this good, is it bad? Should there be more? I still have time to grow more, right?… Calm down Vanessa, relax, it will be ok. Just breathe and finish listening.

Blood work and everything else looks great. Go ahead and start meds tonight… Wait, what?! You mean those scary needles that I have been staring at since February, I have to actually use them?! Tonight!? Oh no, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t stick myself with a needle. It will be ok, I will just close my eyes, relax and breathe while hubby does it. Yup, Hubby is going to have to do it.

“What do you mean you called into work?” … Its ok I can do this… with the help of good friends, Melissa and Paul!

After a few phone calls to the doctor and pharmacy to try and get a medicine that was never called in and a quick stop to pick it up, I was on my way to help with a big box of needles because I had no idea which ones I needed. I had previously chuckled a little at the women in facebook groups that shared pictures of their shoe organizers all neat and tidy with their meds organized. At this moment, I wish I was one of them. I wish I would have sorted and labeled and watched more instructional videos but I didn’t and it would be ok.

We sat and joked for a minute. Looked at the time and it was already almost 9:30. We had to get going. These shots had to be done. We opened the boxes and I pleaded to watch some videos again even though Melissa is very experienced in mixing and injecting these shots. In True Tender Journey fashion we all grabbed our shots and went for it. For a brief moment I thought I was gonna pass out but I didn’t, I did it. Grow follicles grow!

~ Vanessa

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May 8

Tender Journey Blogger: Vanessa, IVF JOURNEY

Good Morning! I am super excited (and very nervous) to have all of you join me on this IVF roller coaster. I am on cycle day 3 and I have already had several emotional ups and downs. Excitement, Fear, and Anxiety have been playing musical chairs in my head.

This morning was my baseline monitoring and since this is my first ivf cycle, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I ended up being 10 minutes late to my appointment due to traffic so my excitement quickly jumped to anxiety. After taking care of some paperwork, I was taken back for my bloodwork. The lady was very kind and helped to settle my nerves, my excitement came back and I sat in the chair with my arm out waiting for it to happen. This blood draw was about to be a huge step in the process.

As she came closer with the needle, I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I couldn’t believe it. I was no longer just talking about doing IVF, this is real. What if in a month from now I am finally pregnant?! What if I’m not?! ….
“Release your hand.” I was snapped out of my thoughts. My fingers were numb from clenching my fist so tight and the nurse couldn’t find my vein. She stuck a bandaid on my left arm and went to work on the right. A few moments later she was holding 4 vials of blood and another nurse was showing me the way to the ultrasound room…I laid on the table listening to the clicks of the key board. Thinking, “are they good clicks? Are they bad clicks? That’s a lot of clicking! That must be bad? Maybe its good? Maybe I should just stop thinking! But how?”

Now…. the first of many times of waiting for the next few weeks….
Go to work, try not think about it and wait for that phone call of results and next steps…

~Vanessa


May 7

Please join us in welcoming Vanessa who will be sharing her IVF experience with you over the next few weeks. Vanessa was kind enough to say “yes” when I asked her to openly share along with everyone while she and her husband go through the process of IVF for the very first time. Vanessa begins her monitoring tomorrow, which means blood work, ultrasound, and hopefully beginning injectables! She will be posting here often to share with you and answer questions. Please feel free to comment on her posts. As always, remember to keep things kind.

Give Vanessa a big hello and offer up some tips/advice for the month ahead.🙋‍♀️👋