donor eggs · IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy after ivf

Anatomy Scan – 18.5 weeks

We got to see our little man today, and it was amazing. Everything looked great. He had a all of his fingers and toes, legs and arms, and all of his organs looked to be doing well. He was measuring at around 19 weeks at 10oz. I just think he is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Usually ultrasound pictures look so strange to me, but something about seeing his little mouth and nose, and his arms and legs all curled up, I just want to cuddle up with him already. He was super still and shy in there. He had his hands pulled up in front of his face, and he was opening and closing his mouth like he was trying to figure out how to suck his thumb. His legs were crossed at the ankles, which you can kind of see in the picture above. I am just so in love with this shy little cuddle bug.

I started feeling real kicks this past weekend, and Anadine and Ryan have been able to feel them, too, which is really exciting. I loved that I could see him moving on the ultrasound screen and feel him at the same time – verification! I do have an anterior placenta, so she said I may not be feeling anything real strong right now, but she did say that his legs are real low near my bladder – he’s sitting straight up in my belly right now, so I could be feeling his legs kicking me down low because my placenta is up higher. Again, verification because that’s exactly where I’ve been feeling him. He wasn’t moving a lot this morning, but when he did move I could feel it.

So I guess that’s it for now. I apologize for all of the gushing, but I guess I’m on a high after seeing him and finding out everything is okay. I had terrible dreams last night that something was wrong, so I’m just elated to find out that he’s just chilling all happily in there. I am definitely in love!


IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy after ivf

Celebrations Filled with Doubts

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while. If you have experienced success after infertility, I think you’ll be able to understand what I am going to try to convey here. When I was pregnant the first time, it took be a very long time to be excited about it. I had experienced so much heartbreak and loss, that I couldn’t let myself feel joy in fear that it wasn’t going to last. I was convinced that something was going to go wrong. Some may say that I was being pessimistic, but I think it was more of a defense mechanism. I had gotten my hopes up so much through the infertility process. Before we found out I didn’t have Fallopian tubes, I spent months getting my hopes up, each time to be greeted with a period in the end. Then three rounds of IVF, each one getting my hopes up that it would be the one, only to get cancelled or result in a failed pregnancy test. So when it finally did work, I didn’t let myself get too excited because I was afraid that something would happen. That it still wouldn’t be my happily ever after. Of course, I enjoyed every minute that I could, but I always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t let my hopes get to high — just in case.

This time, I feel the same way, except now there is this layer of guilt added to it. This is going to sound ridiculous, so forgive me. Compared to getting pregnant the first time, getting pregnant this time was a breeze. Yeah, see, that’s the ridiculous part. It wasn’t a breeze. I had to use donor eggs. We had to pick out a freakin’ donor for crying out loud! We lost our first choice, and had to choose another one. And the money! Oh the money we spent! But I got pregnant the first transfer we did, and because of that I feel like it was really easy. We’ve made it through the first trimester and I’m still pregnant – so easy. I hear about and read about these girls who, even with donor eggs, go through rounds and rounds to get pregnant or stay pregnant. I just feel so blessed. But kind of like my first pregnancy, I feel like I can’t get excited. At least not that blissful, nothing will go wrong kind of excited. I feel like we’ve gotten too lucky, and my time must be coming. But then I realize all of those things that we did go through to get here. And all the steps we took to assure, as much as possible, that we have a healthy baby growing in there. It’s not like I had sex, and whoops there’s a baby! It was not easy. And this is not a life where you can compare yourself to others. Everyone has a different diagnosis. Everyone responds differently to the drugs and pregnancy itself. So what I have to do is believe that my body can take care of this. And remember that I’ve done it before and didn’t have issues carrying a baby, so why should I expect it to be different this time? I have to be as happy as possible, and take what I’ve been given.

So for some updates, because I know it’s been forever since I have posted anything.

We had the gender scan and “found out” that we are having a boy. Of course we already knew that, but it was nice to get the confirmation. And Anadine did not know, so it was fun to see her find out. She went to the appointment with us, and was super cute as she watched the baby wiggling on the screen. She’s pretty excited it’s a boy. She kept saying “I want a sister, but I think it’s a brother” so I guess she was preparing herself for any outcome.

I am currently 17.5 weeks. My belly is growing each day, and I’m starting to feel more and more flutters. I still haven’t felt any definite kicks yet, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty anxious to start feeling them. It’s still at the point when I think I feel something and think “maybe that was the baby?” I’m really anxious for Ryan and Anadine to be able to feel the movement. I know Anadine will get such a kick out of it (pun intended).

The nausea is much better, and I haven’t gotten sick in about 2 weeks. I have had terrible heartburn though, and when I do feel sick it’s because of that. Lots of acid reflux, which is disgusting and not fun!

We go in for our anatomy scan next week. I know I say this before every appointment, but I’ll feel so much more sure about things after this scan. I’m just ready to be confident that all of his parts and pieces are in there where they are supposed to be. Plus, seeing him moving on the screen always puts my mind at ease.

After Christmas is over, we’ll start the transition of moving Anadine out of her current room and preparing it for a nursery. She is starting to come around to this idea.  I think once she sees that all of her stuff will be in her new room, she’ll feel more at ease about it.

So I guess that’s it for now. I’ll try to update again after our appointment next week.

IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy

Telling People – FYI: lots of pregnancy talk

I am 13 weeks pregnant! It feels so good to be at the end of the first trimester: emotionally and physically. While I am still feeling nauseous at times, and I haven’t gotten all of my energy back, I am starting to feel things getting better. I think part of my exhaustion is non-pregnancy related, and more of a time change thing. I never have an easy time adjusting to the time changing, and so I’m choosing to believe that that’s the cause of my tiredness.

So we started telling people on Halloween (I was about 11.5 weeks at that point). We told our daughter the night before Halloween by giving her a present. It was a big gift bag, and as she went through it she found things like a package of pacifiers and baby clothes. She thought it was so funny – she was just giggling the whole time. And then in the very bottom of the bag, she found a pair of scrubs (her size) that say “big sister” on them. She read the words, and gave me this look like “huh?” and when I told her I had a baby in my tummy, she was so excited. Now it’s all she talks about.  She is just the sweetest thing about it. Yesterday she said that she was going to ask Santa to bring some things for the baby. I’d say she’s pretty excited!

I told my class on Halloween and they were also super excited. The lesson that I planned worked perfectly. A lot of the kids thought that I was just kidding at first, and then were shocked when I told them it was true. Thanks to them and Anadine, I haven’t had to tell the news to anyone – they have all taken care of it for me. I love it!

I’m starting to get a little bit of a bump, but still just look like I’ve just gained a lot of weight. People who know I’m pregnant comment on how I’m starting to show, but I know complete strangers, or people who don’t know I’m pregnant, are just looking at me like “poor thing – so fat!” ha! Yesterday, I started feeling the little bubbly flutters, which is crazy! It’s pretty much constant when I am sitting still. So constant, in fact, that I’m not completely confident that it is the baby. But I can’t figure out what else it could be, so I’m just choosing to believe it is the baby.

We go next week for our gender scan. Anadine will go with us, and she cannot wait! Even though we know what we’re having from the PGS testing, we aren’t telling anyone what it is until we get the official scan.

So, does this pregnancy feel different than my first? Yes – in so many ways. But none of those ways has anything to do with this being a donor egg baby. It honestly hasn’t crossed my mind. I already love this baby so much, and even feel more bonded than I did with my first pregnancy. I think with my first, I couldn’t believe it was real. I had been through so much heartache, that I couldn’t let myself relax. Plus, there was that worry about actually birthing the baby and being a mom. Now I know what to expect with all of that, and I’m just enjoying every minute of what is likely to be my last pregnancy. (Although, those words are easier to say now that I’m feeling better!) I’m still a nervous wreck a lot of the time, and panic with thoughts of something being wrong, but deep down I know it is all okay and meant to be. I am so in love!


early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy

Appointment Update

We went in for our bi-weekly ultrasound today and everything still looks great! The baby is measuring 11 weeks 2 days and had a heart rate of 162. I know it’s just an estimate, but every time we go, he is measuring a couple of days ahead of where I expect. I expected him to be at 10 weeks 6 days, which I realize isn’t too far off from 11 weeks 2 days, but I have to tell you that hearing the “11 weeks” sounded pretty amazing. I was super excited for this ultrasound because I knew he would finally start looking like a baby – and I was NOT disappointed!

11 weeks

We won’t go back until 16 weeks. As glad as I am to be “normal” and “graduate” from the infertility world, it’s also so scary to know I won’t have another check in for another 4-5 weeks. But I also hope that I’ll start feeling some flutters between now and then, and perhaps we can start detecting a heartbeat on our at home doppler. The 16 week appointment will be our official gender scan, even though we already know the gender from the PGS testing. But hey, it’s an excuse to peak in on him again, and it won’t hurt do double check on that gender either!

We plan on telling Anadine next week, on Halloween, and I’m going to tell my class the day after that. I have a really cute lesson planned where we will talk about making inferences when they read, and then we will play a game that I set up where they try to infer what is being told to them from clues that I pop up one at a time on the PowerPoint. I have clues like “Mrs. P has been really tired lately” and “Mrs. P soon won’t fit in her clothes” to finally things like “Mrs. P will miss school for most of May” and “Mrs. P has a living organism inside her.” It should be fun because I bet most of them still will think it’s just a lesson. I can’t wait to see their faces. But of course I really can’t wait to see Anadine’s reaction. We aren’t telling anyone it’s a boy yet – not until that official gender scan – so we still get to go through the phases where she can guess what it is, etc. No gender reveal party here though. I kind of think they’re ridiculous, and because it’s extra silly since we really already know! HA


IVF with donor eggs

A Must Read Article

I just read this, and now I have tears in my eyes. To all women who are still struggling with IVF, DE IVF, or any kind of “artificial reproduction,” this is a must read. To all moms who are struggling with telling your children that they were conceived differently, this is a must read.

IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy

2nd Ultrasound

Hey y’all! I am so sorry I have not updated in a while. I have done it several times in my head, but unfortunately that did not translate to actually doing it. Work has been crazy (it’s parent/teacher conference season which means every break in my day is taken up) and when I get home, I literally crash! Yesterday I took a 2 hour nap when I go home. I totally took advantage of the husband coming home early, so he took 5 year old duties while I slept. It was amazing!

We had an ultrasound last Thursday and everything looked great! Baby was measuring at 8 weeks 5 days and was even moving around a little bit. He looked mostly like a little blob, but you could see some little arm buds forming, so maybe more like a gummy bear-blob. We heard the heartbeat, which sounded great, and of course it brought tears to my eyes. We’ll go back next Thursday for another ultrasound. I can’t wait for that one because he should be really looking like a baby by then!

My all day nausea has been getting better, but I have been getting pretty sick in the evenings. I’m convinced it’s the estrogen tablet I take that makes me feel bad. I’ve gotten to wear I just dread taking it. I think at this point I would rather give myself two pio shots a day then have to swallow a pill. I only have about 2 and a half weeks left of taking these meds though, so I’ll keep trudging along!

I emailed Jenna, the donor coordinator, and asked about when we would get our donor’s contact information. She said that she leaves it up to the intended parents to let her know that a cycle worked, but now that she knows it did work, she would send out an email to me and the donor to “introduce us.” I still haven’t received that email and she told me this last Thursday. HMMMM.

So that’s the update for now. I’ll be better about updating after next week’s ultrasound.

IVF with donor eggs

1st Ultrasound

I have been so nervous leading up to this day. I’ve just felt so different than I remember feeling when I was last pregnant. I have to keep in mind that I am 6 years older than I was. Being pregnant at 36 (tomorrow) is much different than being pregnant at 29/30. I’m just feeling so many twinges and pulls. And I’ve been nauseous, but not sick. I’ve also felt a bit like I have the flu: chills, aches, exhaustion, all of which I know are related to pregnancy, but it just seems more intense than it did last time. I also think that I’m just so set up for receiving bad news, and this IVF cycle has been relatively easy. But I have a lot to say about that topic so I’ll save it for another blog post later.

Finally today came and I went in for my ultrasound. Everything looked great! According to dates, I am 6 weeks 4 days. The baby is measuring 6 weeks 5 days. His heart rate was 132, and was so strong! Obviously there isn’t much to see this early, but I did see our little bean in there and the yolk sack, and everything was right where it should be.

Ryan is on a work trip to Las Vegas, so I had him on speaker so he could hear the heart beat. My mom was in there with me (she came into town to watch anadine because I’m going on a women’s retreat this weekend).

So I have to mention, the mom of one of my students was the one doing the ultrasound–awkward!! She was totally professional and said she wasn’t breathing a word about anything, but it was still a little weird that she was the one holding the wand! Ha!

I go back in two weeks to have another ultrasound and get all of my OB lab work done. I truly feel so much more at peace about things. I’m starting to feel like this is really happening!

early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

5 Weeks and Not Much Going On

This is when I freak out because I’m not feeling anything different, I’m not getting blood work updates, and I have to wait another 9 days before my ultrasound to make sure there is in fact a living baby with a heartbeat in my stomach. I’ve started feeling a little bit of nausea, but haven’t been sick yet. I also had a little bit of brown spotting on Saturday morning, which completely freaked me out even know I know that brown spotting is nothing to worry about and is completely normal in pregnancy. Brown blood means old blood…this is my mantra lately. I haven’t had any more spotting per say, but there has been a brownish tinge on the toilet paper when I wipe. Again, I’m trying not to freak out, but that’s easier said than done. I haven’t seen any since Monday morning, and I did take another pregnancy test yesterday morning and the line was still super dark and came up immediately. So I am feeling more at peace, but so ready for next week!

My ultrasound is scheduled for September 28. I am counting down the days because I know once I see and hear that heartbeat I will feel so much better about things. Making the appointment for the ultrasound was quite the headache! I called my OB’s office and asked to speak to his nurse. I knew I would need to talk directly to her because otherwise they wouldn’t schedule me for an ultrasound this early and I needed to explain to her that I had an order for it from the fertility clinic. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, I just finished and IVF cycle at a clinic in San Diego and I am pregnant! The clinic has sent an order for me to have an ultrasound.

Nurse: (interrupts) Have you had blood work done to verify that you’re pregnant? We usually  just have you do blood work and don’t do ultrasounds this early because you’re probably not going to see anything. You MAY see a sac or a fetal pole, but probably not.

Me: Yes, I had a HCG blood test done on Monday and another done on Wednesday. My numbers looked great and doubled. The order is for September 27 -two weeks from now

Nurse: Okay. When was the date of your last period?

Me: Well, I could tell you that but it wouldn’t do much good. Since I did an IVF cycle, my period was a while ago and they have finagled my cycle to work with the transfer date. But I can tell you the transfer date…

Nurse: Okay when was that?

Me: It was September 1, and it was a 5 day embryo. I think I am about 4 weeks 3 days.

Nurse: Well, no, that puts you at 3 weeks 4 days.

Me: I think you may be using my transfer date as the ovulation date, which isn’t correct because ovulation would have been 5 days before transfer, if we were treating this as a normal….oh never mind. Okay, can I get an appointment for the ultrasound?

Nurse: We don’t have anything available for the 27th. I can get you in on the 28th.

Me: Fine. That’s just fine.

Nurse: Do you want to see the doctor, too?

Me: Yes! (so that I can talk to someone who is actually intelligent enough to understand what I have been through)

Ugh! I swear every time I talk to her I want to pull my hair out! I know there are wonderful nurses out there…AMAZING nurses! But the two that I have dealt with (in San Diego and with my OB’s office) just about drive me insane. It’s a good thing I like my OB, but you better believe I plan on telling him the issues I have had with his staff. I get that not everyone understands an IVF cycle, but if you work in an OBGYN office, you really should have some basic understanding of it. Right? Maybe I’m just being too sensitive right now.


early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

Updates and What’s to Come

UPDATE: We got the progesterone level and it was 79.9. This seems rather high to me, but everything I’ve read online says that high progesterone levels are not anything to be concerned about.

Also, I received the orders from Hilary to schedule my first ultrasound on September 27! The sad part about this is Ryan will be on a work trip that whole week so he will have to miss it. We will figure out a way to facetime or something so he can listen in. Of course the pessimist in me is worried that we’re going to get bad news and he won’t be here, but I’m trying to push that thought out of my head. There is no reason to believe that this little nugget isn’t happy as can be in there right now, so I have to keep that in mind.

I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my refills on estrodiol and progesterone, and had quite the experience. First of all, the pharmacist asked me if I was pregnant, to which I happily nodded my head but tried to do so in a way that my daughter in the backseat couldn’t see me (we obviously haven’t told her yet). Then she said, “well you shouldn’t be taking this high of a dosage of estrogen while you’re pregnant,” (ugh, shut up lady!) to which I had to respond and explain that I did an IVF cycle and it’s been ordered that I take it by the doctors at the fertility clinic who know I am pregnant. Anyway, she wouldn’t give it to me until I double checked with my nurse. So I emailed Hilary, who told me that since my body isn’t producing estrogen on its own, it is perfectly safe and necessary for me to be taking the estrodiol tablets. So now I have to go back and pick up that prescription this afternoon.

But there’s more! She said that the progesterone in oil is back ordered until October 14, and I looked at her like “you have got to be kidding me” but asked if any other Walgreens would have it to which she replied that no, it’s back ordered.  Gee, thanks lady. Luckily I called the CVS in town and they had some in stock. So then I had to get Hilary to call in my progesterone to the CVS. Hilary seriously got around 15 emails from me yesterday.

Oh yeah, I also don’t have to go back for any more blood work? Is this normal after IVF? As I mentioned before, when I was pregnant with Anadine I had to get my progesterone and estrodiol levels checked weekly. But Hilary says that I won’t need any more checks. So my question is, when will the know to start weening me off? If anyone has any insight to this, please let me know in the comments.

So now it’s the countdown to the ultrasound. Two weeks seems so far away, but I have plenty to do to keep me busy between now and then.


early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

Repeat Blood Work

I love that my husband works in a place where he can get the nurses to break into my account and get the results of my blood work so that I don’t have to wait to hear from San Diego. Especially since the lab apparently never faxed my results to SDFC on Monday and I had to send Hilary an email with them. So to update on Monday, we did get my progesterone level, which was 65.5, which I’m assuming is good. I think I remember that CCRM wanted it above 40 at some point in my last pregnancy, and Hilary just said everything looked good, so I’ll go with it.

So I went back in early this morning to check both levels again. The rule of thumb is that it’s supposed to double every 48-72 hours. It was exactly 48 hours since I last had it checked and my HCG is 584.9, which is more than doubled from the 283.2 that it was on Monday. Hooray!

They haven’t recorded my progesterone levels yet, and SDFC hasn’t even opened yet, so now I’ll just wait to hear from them to see what our next steps are. At this point with CCRM they wanted me to schedule an appointment for a 6 week ultrasound to check for the heartbeat. That’s the part I’m most anxious for. Once I hear that heartbeat I’ll breathe a sigh of relief that this is really  happening. I’ll still be nervous, of course, but it will definitely feel more real.

I’ve been especially nervous the last few days because whatever “symptoms” I had before have kind of subsided. Or maybe I’ve just gotten more used to them. Or maybe my body is just used to the progesterone and estrogen I’m taking. I still feel little twinges every once in a while, but it’s not a constant dull ache like it was before. I’m not feeling nauseous like I was with my first pregnancy, although I can’t really remember when that actually started – maybe 5 weeks? While I’m glad to not be nauseous, it was always pretty reassuring when I was throwing up that I actually was pregnant. This is just the tough part I guess – when I don’t feel or look pregnant, so I sometimes forget that I am.

On another note, I can’t seem to figure out how to create a new page in the blog that will act as a blog, so for now I’m going to keep updating normally. I’ll try to be sensitive to those who may be still in the trenches, but count this as a trigger warning that I will be talking about pregnancy and babies in the future. I appreciate the comment on my last post that said reading about pregnancy and mothering of donor egg babies actually helped me with my decision to use donor eggs, so hopefully that rings true with others.

Speaking of which, ever since transfer I have honestly forgotten (for the most part) that this baby was made with donor eggs. It was like as soon as I saw that little embryo on the screen going into my uterus, I felt this instant connection…more so even than I did with Anadine. And then when I saw the positive pregnancy test, I was so elated to have this chance to bring another life into the world, to experience pregnancy again, and to give Anadine a sibling, that the realization that this embryo was made with a donor egg didn’t cross my mind. There are no regrets! I love this little baby with all my heart and all my soul, and he’s only a blob of cells right now. I couldn’t be happier or more at peace with my decision.