Embracing the Chaos of IVF Part 5: Our W.T.F. Moment and Amazing News!
posted by: Dana Stone
A few weeks after the failed IVF attempt, it was time to prepare for round two. After we got Nancy home from rehab, we agreed we needed a family vacation before we tried again. We hadn’t been to Florida in a few years so we decided it was time to head south and visit family and friends. The vacation also included a full day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, a day at Sea World and a trip to the beach. We were able to put our infertility struggles behind us and relish in the present moment, which is what we needed to do for ourselves and Maya. It’s a good thing we did or we would have missed out on some great memories, like watching Maya give Peter Pan directions to her house.
After a week of fun, it was time to head home to Denver. We would be home in time for Memorial Day and I was looking forward to the long weekend. As the plane took off, I started to feel a little queasy. I didn’t think much of it because I hadn’t flown in a while and thought I was just out of practice. After we got home, I still couldn’t shake the feeling and began to think I had caught a stomach bug. After all, we just spent a week using public restrooms, touching theme park handlebars and exposing ourselves to airplane germs. A stomach bug makes sense, right?
On Memorial Day, I still felt nauseous and a crazy thought came to me. Maybe I was pregnant. Of course, my next thought was, there’s no way I could be pregnant. Despite my skepticism, I went ahead and took a pregnancy test. I didn’t do my usual routine of staring over the test during the three to five minutes it takes for the result to show up. I didn’t even tell Barry I was taking a test like I normally do. No need for all of that, this was just a precaution.
I went back into the bathroom to check the test and found out why people say that Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor. It was positive. Instantly, I went into Type-A mode and took another test because it couldn’t be right. I didn’t plan for this timing and wasn’t in the midst of a methodical IVF process so I couldn’t be pregnant now. For the second test, I put my glasses on and stared at the test to, you know, control the outcome. The result again was positive. I began to shake all over and couldn’t stop staring at those sticks. Barry came up the stairs a few minutes later and I showed him the tests. He stared at them, scratched his head in silence and stared at them again. We then looked at each other as if to say, “What the F*#&! How did that happen?” We knew how it happened, but how could it happen when I hadn’t had a cycle yet?
I called Conceptions Tuesday morning and made an appointment for the next day. I now had a day to wait and see if this pregnancy was viable and by the afternoon, my excitement turned into paralyzing fear. I was so afraid that we would receive bad news that I began to think of ways to get out of the appointment. I didn’t want to see the nurses’ faces as I walked through the halls and hung my head in shame like before. I didn’t want to see an ultrasound that showed no embryo in my uterus and have to hear the tech say, “I’m so sorry.” I couldn’t handle all of that again.
Wednesday morning finally arrived, and I learned that my worst fears would not come true after all. The embryo was exactly where it needed to be and my HCG levels were fantastic. After two long, stressful years, we finally had a viable pregnancy. We still had a long way to go, but this is was a giant first step. Over the next several weeks, we learned the heartbeat was normal, the Down syndrome test was negative and my continued upchuck reflexes were a very good sign, medically-speaking. I was finally breathing a little easier around 14 weeks and we quietly began to tell family and friends. We finally told Maya as well, who’s very excited to be a big sister.
Our next big step is to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. Some days I’m still in disbelief that I’m actually pregnant and expecting a new addition to our family in early January 2013. Other days, I’m terrified that something will go wrong. Whatever the day, I keep reminding myself of that important lesson I learned earlier in the year – to have faith that things are going the way they should. If I don’t, I will miss out on this amazing experience. Like our Florida trip, these are memories I don’t want to miss out on.
Dana Stone is a public relations and social media consultant specializing in healthcare communications. She lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband, 5-year-old daughter, mother-in-law and two golden retrievers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.