Lets start at the beginning..
2012 – I was 30 years old and diagnosed with PCOs, my periods were becoming irregular and the only treatment was to go on birth control. But that felt counterproductive to me, as I was ready to start a family. I wanted a baby, so I changed doctors and found a new OBGYN.
A few months later, I was pregnant, naturally without help or clomid. But the doctor told me that this pregnancy would not be viable. The miscarriage happened. I was devastated.
2014 - I was referred to the Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) department. A procedure called Intrauterine insemination (IUI) was recommended to me. I was on a lot of medication and the side effects were tough on me but I wanted a baby, so I was willing to do whatever the doctor told me to do. I remember at my second IUI treatment, I counted 16 follicles all larger than 16mm, I remember thinking, 16 follicles = 16 eggs his sperm can’t miss. I’ll be pregnant after this.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work and I tried again. I did a total of 3 cycles of IUI before we gave up. The doctor said that after 3 cycles of IUI, if I didn’t get pregnant it probably wouldn’t work for us. We would need to look into IVF.
End of 2016 – I had been feeling sick all December, I just didn’t feel right. I don’t know what compelled me to do a home pregnancy test, but I had a spare one so I tested myself. It was positive!
2017 – A new year had started. We did the ultrasound, and there it was; a gestation sack -measured up to 6 weeks! I was so happy! Week 7, we did another ultrasound but I didn’t see a baby. By week 9-10, I think I knew something was very wrong. Still no baby in the ultrasound and no heartbeat. The gestation sack stopped growing. It was around this point that my hormone levels dropped. I was losing this pregnancy. My body was in the process of miscarrying as we spoke and went over what my options were. I decided on doing a D&C. I wanted it out of me. I scheduled that procedure for the next day and cried. Even as I write this it still hurts. I’m still mourning that loss.
2018 – We have amazing insurance this year and I’m ready for IVF. I came to one of Life IVF’s free seminars in March and we did the tour. I listened to the testimonies. We didn’t have time to wait afterwards and speak with the doctors but I had a good feeling about this place.
I scheduled an appointment to meet with one of the doctors the following week. It just happens that Dr. Yelian was who I got. We had our first consultation. I didn’t really know what to ask. My husband and I were very quiet. He did most of the talking and before our meeting we had to fill out a really long survey so Dr. Yelian had an idea of our background and our story before we ended up here. He talked about his methods. Doing a 5 day transfer after freezing and recommended that we do a mini IVF cycle. He was confident and I trusted his decision.
June 2018 – I was ready to start the process so step one is the egg retrieval process. The medication I was taking was less than what I was on when I did IUI. But that also resulted in less follicles opening. I was going in every couple of days for follicle counts. I was thinking it didn’t seem like enough. But the nurses assured me everything was normal. Dr. Yelian said it’s about the quality and not the quantity. You only need 1 good egg to create a baby. I just had to trust the process, the doctors, and the nurses.
On egg retrieval day, I didn’t opt for any pain management. That was my decision. But soon after the procedure I regretted it. It was very painful. I could feel every pinch and poke but at the same time I could see what was happening on the ultrasound. I could see the needle going into my follicle sucking up the egg and the egg being passed over to the embryologist. Just like that, my eggs were harvested. We got a total of 6 eggs. Only 3 of them made it to fertilization, and then only 2 of them survived as 5-day embryos. Shortly after they were sent into the freezer.
Now we wait. My body needs time to rest before the transfer. I wanted to do a fresh transfer but Dr. Yelian recommended a frozen transfer. So I went with his recommendation. Of our 2 embryos one was 4AA grade and the second was 4BB. We chose not to PGS testing so we don’t know if genetically they are ok. We took the gamble, but morally if we did the PGS test and one came back abnormal I don’t know if I would discard it. I just don’t know
July 4 – My period started, it was game time. I’m ready for this. It’s the second part of the process, it’s the transfer cycle. I call the office and schedule my appointment. I follow all the instructions to the ‘T’ as I get ready for the transfer day. I remember the nurse asking me if I knew which embryo I wanted to transfer, 4AA or 4BB. I left the decision up to Dr.Yelian, because I trust him.
July 23 – Transfer Day. Dr. Yelian chose the 4AA embryo and that was the only one we transferred. The process was quick and painless. No more uncomfortable than going in for a pap smear. You can see the process on the ultrasound. It’s a little flash of light kind of like a shooting star, the process was about 10 seconds and it’s in. Now we wait again. Dr. Yelian told me that I would know in about ten days, I would come back and do my first beta HCG test and find out then. He told me not to test at home because I might get a false positive or negative which could cause undue stress or more. He said the key was to relax and take it easy. Everything that I could do to help this embryo has been done. It’s floating around in my uterus and it’s safe. I don’t have to worry about it falling out. I was worried that if I stood up or went to the bathroom right after it would fall out. I also didn’t get a lot of time off work after the transfer. I had transfer day off and the following day off but I had to go back to my stressful job standing all day.
I cheated of course. I couldn’t wait the 10 days. I had read online that some people can find out 4-5 days after they transfer. So naturally I had to find out if this was true. I started testing 3 days after the transfer and it was negative. I knew it was too early to test but I did it anyways. I tested again the next day and the day after. 5 days after the transfer and there it was! A second pink line. It was faint but it was there! POSITIVE! I tested again that night and the second pink line was still there. I tested every day and that pink line got darker each time. I knew this had worked. I must be pregnant. 10 days had past and it was time to get my beta HCG test. This will make it official. Did the FET work? Am I pregnant? We had my blood drawn and then we waited for the nurse to call us in to tell us the results. That day just happened to be busy too at the clinic. We waited for over 45mins to see the nurse. She called us in and we sat down. She told me my HCG level was at 230. I didn’t know what that meant. And then she explained that anything 5 and over was considered pregnant. So me being at 230 meant that I was very pregnant. My husband told the nurse how I cheated at home doing the pregnancy tests early and we all had a good laugh.
Fast forward to week 6 and this was when it got scary for me. I haven’t been into the clinic for 12 days so all I know is that I’m definitely pregnant and I have to take my medications. I need to trust my body to do what it needs to do. I was out of town for that weekend. My husband and I flew to San Francisco to attend a cousin’s wedding. But when we landed I had started bleeding. I was scared and I was out of town. I called Life IVF and spoke with the nurse. She told me to stay on pelvic bedrest, keep calm, and gave me further instructions. My next OB appointment was on Monday. So I didn’t end up going to the wedding but at this appointment was when I saw it.
My pregnancy was proceeding further. I have a gestation sack and visible yolk sack. Everything was normal. Then that same week it started again. I was bleeding more and this time with cramping and more blood. My heart sank and I was so worried. I called Life IVF immediately and was asked to come in and the nurse would check me over. Another ultrasound and there it was; my baby was forming. A small bean shape blob was visible attached to the yolk sack. To my surprise it even had a heartbeat. This was the first time I had heard a heartbeat in my pregnancies. I continued my weekly OB appointments with Life IVF until I reached 10 weeks.
10 Weeks – This is where I am today. It’s also my graduation from Life IVF. My baby is no longer looking like bean. It’s starting to look like a baby. I can see arms and legs. I don’t feel it moving around yet but I can definitely see it moving around in the ultrasound. I still can’t believe this. I’m finally going to have my baby!
My journey with Life IVF has been amazing. I am so grateful to the incredible team here who helped me make this happen. The staff is wonderful, and it really does feel like a second family. I just want to thank Dr. Yelian and his team for everything they have done. For giving me this chance and for helping me create this life. This was something I didn’t think I could do. I’m just so thankful, I don’t know if I can ever thank them enough. And for 2019… I can’t wait to come back for baby number 2.