As there is not much to update on my progress today (more bloating, bigger boobs), I thought I would instead reflect upon the steps that I took during the two week wait (2ww) after my embryo transfer. I also wanted to touch on fresh versus frozen (FET) embryo transfer as I’ve seen some comments about these here and there.
My first embryo transfer was done last September and it was a fresh transfer. I went ahead with this against my doctor’s advice, who said usually he gets better results with frozen transfers. I thought having to wait out one more cycle before I could do my first transfer was just too long to wait and so I nagged him and, voila, fresh cycle transfer.
He had warned me that because my hormone levels were quite high from the stimulation that sometimes it is better to wait for a FET. I did not listen. I wish I had. Long story short, the fresh transfer was not successful and I feel like I wasted one of my highest ranking embryos (they rate them in a way that I can only imagine must be like they do diamonds).
Then I had my first FET in early November, it was successful and then at nearly 9 weeks (the week before Christmas) they found there was no heartbeat. So then I had a D&C and drank a lot of wine over the next few weeks. Then I had to wait out a few cycles so that my lining was all comfy and nice for a baby to live in, and here we are.
My latest FET was done on Tuesday 5 April, so I guess that is day 0. In the lead up to the transfer day I did ease back on exercise, stopping gym workouts the week previously and just doing some yoga and easy runs in the days before. I also did a couple of sessions of acupuncture for the first time in my life. I can’t say that I was a natural with the acupuncture but I wanted to make sure that all bases were covered this time. And I’d had a really stressful March with a huge international work trip I’d been organising so I needed to chill out massively to get myself all ready to accept the embryo.
On transfer day I had one acupuncture session in the morning at 11am before the transfer at 1.30pm, and another straight afterwards. The transfer itself was fairly straightforward, I stayed laying down for about 20 minutes, and then I drove myself off to the acupuncture place which was about 10 minutes drive away.
After that, it was straight home to the sofa for the afternoon. I had taken the day off work and the remainder of the week too so I didn’t do much but play on my laptop and watch some TV.
The plan was meant to be that my husband would take care of the dinners and tidying for the first couple of days after transfer, but hey that didn’t work out exactly as planned. Instead on the evening of the transfer we had a big row, there were tears and I cooked dinner, eating it about 10.30pm. I believe this is what the books tell you not to do!
But I did eat some pineapple (core included) and some brazil nuts (I ate 5 brazil nuts a day throughout) – both of these seem to be urban myths but I wasn’t taking any chances. I also only drank and continue to drink bottled water, as someone else told me that you never know what’s in the public drinking water, including hormones. I only drank room temperature water, and the occasional rooibos herbal tea. No caffeine at all. This was brutal on me as I love a good cup of (proper) tea. You would think I miss the wine more, but actually it’s the tea I miss.
Wednesday (day 1 after transfer) I did practically nothing. I lay on the sofa, did some washing, pretended to be doing fertility-enhancing yoga stretches, and pottered around the house. I also made dinner that night (hubby’s promises seemed to have evaporated into thin air). I had some discomfort in my belly since the transfer day but I wouldn’t necessarily call it cramping.
Thursday (day 2) I was going bananas at home, so I took myself off to the Mall for a couple of hours. Here I had a decaf coffee at a coffee shop that I know removes the caffeine using the Swiss water process which does not add nasty chemicals to the coffee like other decaf processes do. I also bought a pair of shoes. That definitely helped!
By Thursday I started to notice that I had low level cramps that were unspecific in their location – they seemed to be in my front and my back simultaneous. They were irritating, not severe. On Thursday I did a bunch of light housework and I checked my work email because the not checking it was more stressful that checking it.
Friday (day 3) it was much of the same. I did a tiny bit of work from home but mainly just pottered around the house and took myself for a gentle walk in the park for an hour or so. I did have cramps still and thought that a walk would help to loosen the back pain.
Saturday (day 4) I was done with staying home. I had full scale cramps, I felt weird, a bit dizzy and tired. Just not quite right. We went for lunch at a small town about 45 minutes drive away. I was starving! I was also really uncomfortable sitting at the table. In the afternoon I was super tired and had a nap on the sofa. By then the cramps had intensified and later that night I wasn’t able to sleep for hours because the cramping was so annoying. If I had had this pain with my period I would have taken painkillers (obviously I didn’t, but rather I just complained a lot!) . I believe this was the day that my embryo was implanting.
Sunday (day 5) I felt mainly fine other than feeling a bit fuzzy in the morning like I had a mild hangover. I had no cramps. No real specific symptoms. I can’t even remember what we did that day, which was how truly unremarkable it was.
Monday (day 6) I went back to work. I was starting to wonder at this point if something was up as on this day I grew a massive cystic acne spot. Actually I still have the remains of the bastard as it won’t go away. Cystic acne for me is a sign of hormonal imbalances and it was one of the biggest positive indicators for me. I also started to get really thirsty from this day and I noticed the skin on my hands went really, really dry for no good reason.
Tuesday (day 7) I went to have my eyebrows waxed after work and had the most huge reaction ever to it. It hurt like hell (very unusual) and so I searched online to find your skin is more sensitive when pregnant. I was pretty sure at this point that the result was positive. My big spot on my face was also joined by 2 more spots on this day (smaller, but still mean). I think it was around this point I noticed my boobs were microscopically bigger.
Wednesday (day 8) I was convinced by this stage I was pregnant and told hubby that if I wasn’t I was going to look really stupid for all the imaginary symptoms I’d been having. We went for a walk around the park together in the evening and bought a pregnancy test on the way home. That was the day we got a very faint line on the test and I was the most happy I have been this year!
Thursday (day 9) was blood test day! I was really chilled about this as I knew it was positive, but was hoping for a strong HCG number. By this day my boobs were slightly larger, but not sore. The test was 80 and I wasn’t happy with it, but at least it proved I had not imagined my symptoms.
So would I do anything differently if I have to go through this again? Not really, although I’d probably skip the fighting with the husband and have lower expectations that he would actually cook dinner.
- Take some time off work around the transfer if you can
- Luxuriate on the sofa for as long as you can stand it, but do move around a bit too to keep your circulation going
- Eat well, regularly and freshly
- Eat the pineapple and brazil nuts if you want to. It doesn’t hurt.
- Drink LOADS of water
- Check how they make your coffee decaf or stick to naturally caffeine free drinks
- Don’t get too caught up in worrying if you have fight with your other half (or whoever). Mine was quite stressful and it didn’t seem to have any impact on anything