IVF Phase II: Frozen Embryo Transfer

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

While my pregnancy from my frozen embryo transfer, unfortunately ended in a miscarriage, it was still technically a successful transfer which gives me so much hope that we will get our rainbow baby with the next one! :)

I shared my story for Phase I of the IVF process, so here is my story for Phase II: The Frozen Embryo Transfer!

Because I have PCOS and had a little Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome from my egg retrieval, my doctor decided that freezing all of my embryos would be the best bet to give my body some time to heal. My egg retrieval was on January 10th, I got my period about a week later, and then started birth control so that I would be ready for the embryo transfer cycle to begin. Normally, birth control is only prescribed for about 10 days, but I had to be on it for 3 weeks because of the way it worked out with my doctor's scheduling. It was a long 3 weeks waiting to start hormone shots to prepare for the cycle, but I had faith that it would all work out! Finally, on February 9th I was able to take my last BC pill, and on February 14th (yep happy Valentine's Day to me!) I had my first intramuscular shot of estrogen.

I was so terrified of the intramuscular shots, but to be honest they weren't bad at all! (At least in the beginning.) My trick was to lean against the dining room table, slightly lift my leg on the side I was getting the shot in, and to have Brian just go for it. I tensed up whenever he counted or warned me, so it was just better for it to be unexpected. Sometimes the meds burned a little, so rubbing it and sitting on a heating pad really helped. I started with the estrogen shot every 3 days as well as a daily estrogen suppository (so much yuck!). Two weeks later, I started nightly progesterone shots and suppositories along with the estrogen every 3 days. It definitely started to hurt a lot more with the nightly shots. I got big knots on each hip and a lot of red splotches and bruising. There were nights when I thought I couldn't take one more shot, but I knew I would do anything to make a comfy home for the little babe that was on the way. 

During this time, I had regular ultrasounds to check the thickness of my uterine lining. Once it is at a prime thickness for implantation, the doctor can give the "go ahead" to do the transfer. In order to help it along, I drank red raspberry leaf tea and pomegranate juice daily as well as ate almonds daily. It must have helped, because my doctor was very happy with the way my lining looked, and we proceeded with our transfer on March 6th! The best "day after my birthday" present ever! :)

We had about an hour and a half drive to the clinic where the transfer was happening, so we started our day bright at early at 3:30am! I was so nervous, but so excited and ready to have my little chosen embryo inside me again.

We got to the clinic and they showed Brian and I to our room. I kept telling Brian how crazy it was to me that we were going to leave the clinic within an hour pregnant until proven otherwise, or PUPO in the IVF world. :)

 I proudly wore my "Think Positive" socks, and took a deep breath when I heard footsteps coming toward the door. 

The nurse did an abdominal ultrasound on me to make sure that my bladder was full enough to push my uterus forward so that it could be seen well on the screen. As my luck would have it, my bladder was too full so I had to go to the bathroom to "let a little out". I don't think I can even explain the torture, but I managed, and when I came back we were ready to proceed. 

My doctor came in with one of the most beautiful pictures I had ever seen. Our beautiful little embryo's first picture! It had matured from a 4AA to a 6AA just during the time it was thawing out. (Embryos are graded and a 6AA is a perfect embryo.)

The room was dark and our doctor had calming music on to relax me as he did the procedure. Within about 2 minutes he was done, and he pointed to a little white dot on the screen and said "Congratulations guys, you're pregnant." Brian and I both started crying happy tears. We had waited so long for this moment. 

 I had to stay laying down for 10 minutes to let the embryo settle in and start doing it's thing. Brian and I talked about how excited we were and that we both had good vibes that this was really going to work for us!

We got to the car and took the picture I had been waiting so very long to take...we were officially PUPO!!!

I spent the next 3 days on full bed rest, and then switched up to modified bed rest for the following week. It was definitely hard to not be able to pick up and take care of Baylee the way I normally do, but my family was an amazing support system! I started feeling some pregnancy symptoms about a week in, and at 9 days past my transfer I couldn't take it anymore. I just knew if I tested it would be positive! At 4:00am I snuck out of bed to test, and sure enough "pregnant" appeared on the digital screen almost immediately. Brian woke up to this little sight on the dining room table that morning:

We sobbed and held each other in the kitchen. Finally a positive. It was something we thought we might never see again. Two days later I had my first official blood test and my HCG level came back sky high! I had my second test a week later, and my level increased beautifully. This pregnancy was perfection so far. A week after that, I had my first ultrasound and we saw our little nugget's heartbeat for the first and last time, as he or she passed away days later. Losing this tiny angel was so hard, but I know we can do it again. The IVF process is no cake walk, but I just know that our rainbow is going to happen from one of the 14 embryos we have left. 

 RIP Angel Baby, we miss you every day.

If you have any questions about IVF or FETs please feel free to contact me! 

Good luck and baby dust to any of you who are going through this process as well! 

Until next time! XoXoXo



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  2. Thank you for this post Ashlee! I had my first egg retrieval today (11 eggs!) with a frozen transfer likely in May. I’m optimistic today but as you know that varies day to day. Thanks again for the honest post. — Abby

    1. Congratulations! Sending lots of luck and baby dust your way! My second embryo transfer worked and I am sitting here holding my 5 week old IVF miracle as I type this! :)

    2. Im so glad to hear your second was successful!! I'm about to have my first FET and im soo hopeful but still so aware of the meager success rate.

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