What to do? What to do?

We are sitting on the edge of a major decision and I am not sure which direction to go in.

When we originally started this IVF six months ago, we said we would do two IVF harvests/cycles and then let our efforts be good enough.

After the hiccup with the trigger shot during this last cycle, we don’t feel confident that it was our best effort for a baby and although we had one embryo and a transfer, felt like there may be something that was a miss within that cycle.

I don’t think I can honestly say today that if we ended our IVF journey, I would not wonder what one clean, healthy cycle would produce.

The fact that our first two cycles gave us 10 fertilized eggs and this last one gave only 4 makes us feel like there was something that went wrong with the extra day before egg harvest.

So, do we do 1 more?

Am I up for the emotional rollercoaster this whole process brings?

Once we are done with IVF, we are done. There is not another time we will pick this back up.

I don’t think I’m ready to close the door on this.

Yet, another two to three months of emotion and physical surrendering does seem daunting.

I’m ok with more medications and sticking myself nightly for the upcoming weeks.

Not that I’m looking forward to the hormones, night sweats, bloated discomfort.

But, I’m willing, if it will bring peace of mind in the long run of our lives.

The alternative option is to stop now and put the $7K+ that would be used for medication toward adoption.

I know that will be a long, emotional process as well.

Is it time to close this chapter of our lives, give away all my maternity clothes and infant gear and refocus our energy on the adoption world?

Adoption does excite me.
I have always thought I would adopt at least one child and would love siblings.

I just don’t think I’m ready to let go of the idea and hope for one more pregnancy, one more stint of sleepless nights, one more snuggle with a little infant in my arms.

We will have a consult with Dr. Brahma where we hope for clarity in our decision.


The consult went well and we will most likely engage in one more round, which takes almost four months.

Fortunately, we will be able to do most of our monitoring appointments here in Denver and fly out to Atlanta for the final days leading up the Egg Harvest #3.

We feel confident that this will be our final effort with IVF and anything within the fertility world.

From here, if things do not result in a successful pregnancy and full-term birth, we will let go of this path and turn our focus to adoption and that journey.

The gift of Shady Grove’s Shared Risk is that if we don’t have a successful experience all the way through pregnancy to delivery, we will be able to get back the base funds that were put down for IVF. (This does not include medication.)

A little relief within this whole process and so another level of surrender awaits.


We have decided to keep this final IVF harvest & cycle between ourselves and journey intimately with God.

We appreciate your prayers and understanding and hope the next time we post about our fertility journey is to announce a little addition to our family.


The blood draw that I have been waiting for is finally here. Today I will go to LabCorp with the instructions to test my hCG levels to confirm pregnancy, or not.

I am not feeling too optimistic about it.

I was anxious leading up to the transfer, anxious after the transfer, and have not felt that sense of ‘being’ inside of me as I recall with our first.

One blood draw, in and out.

And then I wait.

I can’t change the outcome of the blood draw.

There is nothing I could have done differently during this process to have guaranteed a pregnancy.

I just have to trust that whatever is, will be.

I pray for acceptance of the outcome.

At 11:45am, I receive the email from LabCorp stating my results have been posted.

I log in.

Close my eyes, focus my mind on God and remember whatever is, will be.

There it is, starring at me.


Pregnancy levels begin at 3.

Not pregnant.

I am so sad.

I am incredibly confused.

I don’t understand.

Why is it that a perfectly sound looking embryo in the labs with genetically correct chromosomes cannot result in a pregnancy?

I try not to blame Dr. B for ‘jinxing’ us with the data a few months back of the success rate of IVF being 65%. I still wish she wouldn’t have told me that.

I remember that fear was seared into my mind as soon as I heard it.

I don’t need more ammo against my negative thinking.

I cry and I am also not surprised. I sort of knew I just don’t want it to be true.

What does this mean? Will we do another round of IVF or are we going to stop?

I get a call from Dr. Bhrama.

She is so kind, so gentle and so compassionate.

We talk for 30 minutes.

She begins with her condolences and meets me where I am, letting me process some of the things I don’t understand.

She agrees- she was absolutely surprised as well since based on what she saw, everything looked great.

The lining was perfect, almost identical to when we transferred with our daughter.

When I was ready, she shared how many of the unknowns still exist in the IVF process.

There is so much that they cannot guarantee once they transfer the embryo and so much they still have to leave up to nature and what I believe to be God’s work.

For the embryo to implant, it first needs to find a spot, nestle in, connect with blood source and even then, the chromosomes that all look/appear normal might not actually be all as it needs to be.

She tried to explain that part and I got a bit lost.

Bottom line though is there is so much that is still not scientifically known to make implantation a guarantee.

Tonight, I will stop the medication and wait for my body to flush out all the build-up of the home I have been creating.

The envelope with our embryo’s gender will remain in the kitchen drawer until I’m ready to face and again mourn the loss of what could have been. I just can’t do it now; it makes the loss so much harder.

The next step is to have a formal consult with Dr. B in the upcoming days. She is going to talk with her team in the lab to get all the details as well as consult with the other doctors to come up with a game plan for if we decide to do another IVF harvest round.

Am I ready to go through all of this again?

I can’t think about this today.

For today, I can be grateful we have our daughter and that she came so easily compared to what we have been through these past six months.

For today, I can watch her running and talking and playing and be so full of joy and love to be a mom and watch her delight in this world.

For today, I can be sad and cry. Giving space for the loss of hope, loss of life we saw in that embryo and know that there is always a reason, even if we don’t understand it yet.

How Many Lines?

It’s been one week since the transfer and I have so much anxiety and worry that I feel overly uncomfortable.

First, I don’t like that I’m this caught up with negative emotions. Of course, I want this baby to stick and to be pregnant a second time and yet I don’t feel this level of anxious worry is healthy.

My fear is that I am so worried because I know deep down that I’m not pregnant.

With our daughter, I remember having more peace and trust in ‘knowing’ there was a life inside of me.

We took a home pregnancy test one week after the transfer of our daughter and it was positive, confirming the peace and joy I felt.

This time around, I went into the transfer with fear it wouldn’t work.

Did I create my own self-fulfilling prophesy?

I take the early detector home pregnancy test.

One line.


We aren’t pregnant.

Or, there isn’t enough hCG in my system to detect a pregnancy yet.

I keep looking at the stick, straining to see a faint second line. Hoping that it is struggling to appear.


My blood test for my doctor is in three days.

I have to believe there is a reason why the doctor wants to do it 11-12 days after the transfer and not 8 days.

I get my hopes up that this is just a false negative and in fact I am pregnant.

I want so much for that to be our story.

The reality is, I might not be pregnant.

All these months of medications, testing’s, blood work, pokes, prods, retrievals, waiting, praying… with no successful end result.

I have to shake these thoughts out of my head.

I don’t know the blood test results. Until we do, I can pray for a miracle that this life is in fact growing inside of me.

This is so hard. My heart wants to know how to feel.

It’s too scared to feel hope and it’s too resistant to feel sad. 

Pushing down the doubt and self-protective shield I put up through my negative thoughts- I have to turn to God for help.

The Longest Wait

Is it in there?

I can’t tell and I am worried that it fell out or that my body pushed it out.

That little life that is so precious and perfect, are you inside of me?

I pray that it has become nice and comfy inside, nestled in to its new home and continuing to grow and multiply and divide so beautifully.

I won’t be sure and the two-week wait is real.

With IVF, I will be able to do a blood test 10-12 days after the transfer.

No one is counting though 😉

I can’t believe how long a day feels when we are waiting for such life-changing news.

Even then, the blood test is only one part of it.

We will then have a 2nd blood test to see if the numbers are going up (which means my body is sustaining the pregnancy).

From there we will have another two week wait until we can go in for the 6-week ultrasound which is earlier than non-IVF pregnancies, but helpful with such a sensitive process.

After that, if all is still looking good, then I will return for the 8-week ultrasound and that is where we can hear the heartbeat and begin treatment from our normal Midwife or OBGYN.

So, the journey is still long, considering we have been on this for 6-7 months already.

I thought I would be more prepared for this waiting period. Believing that I would have more faith and I would not be so consumed with thoughts of the unknown.

But I’m not above any of the human tendencies to think, over-think, obsess, wonder, worry.

Instead, I am changing my thinking around.

If my fear is the disappointment that comes with a negative pregnancy test, or the pain of a miscarriage then I can either worry about it happening… or I can believe that I have a living being inside of me and relish every moment I get to have with this little one.

I am talking to Bebe (we haven’t come up with a nickname for it yet), and praying over my womb as though it’s in there- being knit together inside of me.

I want to believe in the good and miracle of life that God gives.

I want to believe in the ability to surpass data and numbers and ratios and statistics and shine like the human God has created each of us to be.

I am never more in awe of the fragility and precious nature of life than I am when I am in these moments of complete faith.

There is nothing I can eat, drink, move, not move, or do to make this little one come to be in this world.

This is the time when I praise God for the gift of life that only He can give and also believe that He has great plans for me and our family, including the outcome.

So, yes, I wait. I would be lying if I said I am not excited to hear the news seven days from now… but I can’t just sleep for the next seven days either. I get to live in this place of knowing that I saw a little embryo go into my body and know that it’s in there.

It’s my choice how I want to walk through these next seven days, and for this moment, I am choosing to believe that I am carrying life- our 2nd child.

I found this to be interesting information for what is happening inside of me. I guess I have a few more days to wait before taking a home pregnancy test. Currently, we are finishing Day 4. No wonder if have felt weird achy feelings today in my lower abdomen.

Here’s what happens to the Day 5 embryos (blastocysts) after their transfer is complete.

  • Day 1 – After the embryos are transferred, the cells keep dividing. The blastocyst begins to emerge from its shell and this process is called hatching.
  • Day 2 – The second day is crucial because this is the time when the embryo begins to attach itself to the uterine lining. The blastocyst continues to grow.
  • Day 3 – On this day, the blastocyst invades into the uterine lining and implantation begins. The woman may have light bleeding and spotting on this day
  • Day 4 – On the fourth day, the blastocyst continues to dig deeper into the uterus Light bleeding and spotting may continue on this day as the embryo invades the endometrial blood vessels to nourish itself through the maternal blood supply. However, the absence of any bleeding, cramping, and spotting does not mean that implantation has not occurred so don’t let your mind play games with you.
  • Day 5 – On the fifth day, implantation is considered complete. The embryo is developing vigorously.
  • Day 6 – The growing embryo triggers the release of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) into the bloodstream. This is a hormone that is produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, the specialized cells which will form the placenta later on.
  • Day 7 – The fetal development is in full swing and the embryo continues to develop quickly. As the placenta begins to take shape, it continues to release more hCG into the bloodstream
  • Day 8 – More hCG is released into the blood, as fetal development continues and the placenta begins to function.
  • Day 9 – By this time, the levels of the hormone hCG, are high enough in the bloodstream to be detected. You may take a home pregnancy test today. If the test is negative, it could still be a false negative. Wait for another two days and take the test again. The blood test for beta HCG is much more reliable and is usually done about 10 -12 days after blastocyst transfer.

Picking up Bebe

I’ve looked forward to this day for many, many months. Not just because I get to sit alone on the airplane for 2 uninterrupted hours of me time but because I get to go pick up our little embrybaby and bring it home.

My stomach and chest are full of anxiety and excitement.

I want to much for this little nugget to nestle in and stick that I can feel my fear battle my faith and my desires battle the surrender.

I can’t wait to get parked and checked in and sitting comfortably on the airplane.

One step at a time as the next 20 hours will be an exercise in faith and constant surrender. Preparing me for the upcoming 2-week wait until I go in for my pregnancy test via blood draw.

I find my seat on the Southwest flight bound for Atlanta. Sitting down next to the most precious 10-month-old and her mama. Certainly, not intentionally fore I wanted peace and rest this time around and was greeted with such love for this little peanut as she snuggled up nestle to her mama and slept.

Oh, Lord how much I desire this again from a second little babe.

I read all the magazines that have been piling up on my desk and watch some tv and movie bits as I relax and pray for calm to come over my body.

I still feel the nausea from the progesterone oil and I pray for that to subside.

As small part of me fears that my body will reject the blastocyst out of protection against a foreign substance since it’s already not sitting very well with just these extra hormones.

I can’t afford to thing such negative, unfounded thoughts.

The progesterone is there to help my body receive this little nugget.

I land and take the MARTA to Medical Center. I check in to Hyatt House, the hotel just blocks from the clinic.

I have to give myself the progesterone shot, which is not only a tricky angle to contort myself to but then the administration of such a thick oil is a weird feeling.

Then the night to myself to rest and prepare for tomorrow.

Transfer day

I get to bring Bebe home today!

I have the morning to rest and relax, journal and do some light workouts before I head to the clinic.

My stomach is in knots.

I am excited and so grateful that I get to be here doing this.

I am also nervous and fighting off all the future tripping fears and what ifs that are flowing through my mind.

  • What if it doesn’t thaw well, will we still be able to transfer it?
  • What if my body rejects the little nugget?
  • What if it falls out after I leave the clinic?
  • What if it doesn’t implant and my body just flushed it out?
  • What if it does implant but then doesn’t grow and then we miscarry?

I don’t want any of these scenarios to come true and have visions of my taking a home pregnancy test and it being positive and me feeling the flood of overwhelming excitement.

But I don’t stay there long because I don’t want to get too hopeful.

I am scared of feeling pain, disappointment, sadness.

I don’t want to feel it.

And this is the risk I am taking by opening myself up to the potential greatest joy in having a baby.

Shady Grove clinic

I’m sitting in the waiting area, patiently breathing in and out.

My hope is if I keep my eyes closed and breath calmly it will slow down my heart beat and bring me to a new place of peace.

It’s 12:27pm and I have been here for 27 minutes. The transfer is scheduled for 12:30 and I am just praying that our little blastocyst thawed out perfectly and they are just getting everything in the lab ready to invite me back.

The HGTV cooking show plays in the background and I wish I could ask to have them change the channel to something more interesting to distract my thinking.

Instead, I write and pause to pray. My bladder is supposed to be full, but I’m too nervous to feel the bloat. I hope I drank enough water!

God- are you here with me? I feel you are silent but that might be because my head chatter is so loud. 

Every person that comes from the direction of the IVF Suite causes me to hope that my name will be called. 

Not yet, I have to wait.

The practice of patience.

I don’t want to stop writing because what will my mind run off to then?

Deep breath- calm my heart.

God, your will be done.

If you want this blastocyst to implant and become an embryo that will grow into a healthy baby- I give my body to you.

Lord protect us from heartache, from pain.

The more I sit here the more I fear the blastocyst did not thaw well and they are scheming how to tell me the news. 

God, I would rather have disappointed today that disappointment in a negative pregnancy test or disappointment in a miscarriage.

Sigh, so very glad I asked. Turns out they are behind in the OR schedule from earlier this morning and will be with me any moment. 

More waiting. 

More patience. 

More prayer.

The Transfer

The transfer nurse called my name at 12:55pm.

I was in the middle of watching my daughter on the baby room monitor that is linked to my phone. She was putting on a hot pink headband, so proud, and walking over to her floor length mirror and smiling at how pretty it looked on her.

It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. This little miracle that I see on the screen was once frozen in the IVF clinic just like this 2nd blastocyst.

God, you are so good.  Thank you for reminding me what a gift and miracle these babies are and the opportunity to go through this incredible process and to be at this point.

IVF Suite

I walk back to the IVF Suite and walk through the all too familiar door, down the hallway passed the prepping rooms where I was only months’ prior for the egg retrieval’s, to the back door that is drawing me in with the dim lighting.

Our last name is on the whiteboard, it’s our time.

My nurse introduces me to the embryologist who thawed our blastocyst, he has a piece of paper with a picture of the blastocyst and verifies that the thawing went perfectly and this little one is under the warmer ready to be transferred into its perfect home.

I sign for it and proceed to follow my nurse’s instructions of undressing from the waist down and laying back on the table.

My bladder is nice and full after 32+ ounces of water in the last 90 minutes.

The nurse applies the gel onto the ultrasound nob and places it on my belly.

Dr. B enters the room with her positive energy and sweet, caring voice.

It’s reassuring to see her.

She places the speculum (deep breath) and inserts the catheter into my uterine cavity. It’s very flexible, like a soft noodle and I can barely feel a thing,

She then calls for the blastocyst to be brought in, and inserts the smaller catheter into the larger and I see it appear on the screen.

Before I know it, I see this little force of motion on the screen and this little tiny cloudy white circle, the blastocyst is now inside of me!

It’s so tiny that they take one more look under the microscope at the catheter to make sure the blastocyst didn’t stick to the wall of the tube.

All clear- it is in fact, inside of me.

It will take up to 48 hours to implant and this is when it changes from a blastocyst to an embryo.

From there is will take another week for my hCg levels to be high enough to be detected in a pregnancy test.

So, we will wait 10 days to do a blood test to know if this little one nestled in successfully. I will continue with the estrogen pills 3x a day and progesterone oil shots until then.

A sigh of relieve as this is finally complete and all human exposure to this little one is now over for the time being.

From here, it’s all nature.

Science can’t make this little one implant, that is only God and His plan for this little life.  

Returning Home

I rest on the airplane knowing that the little one is safely inside of me. I was assured that I cannot ought, sneeze, etc. this little one out and at this point, I just need to allow by body to remain as calm as possible.

Walking and stretching will be my thing these next 10 days. This I can do.

God, thank you for all that you are and all that you have yet to reveal to me in this journey.

This part of the fertility journey might be over (we pray), I’m just now at the point where most people’s fertility journals begin.

I am so grateful to be here too.