posted in Pregnancy
After my IVF frozen embryo transfer, it would be nine looooong days before I learned my pregnancy test results. During that week, I went from the highest highs, fantasizing about being pregnant, to literally, lying on the shower floor, sobbing.
That’s where my husband found me one evening. He sat there, patiently, and watched his wife come undone. Again. It wasn’t the first time I’d sought solace here, letting the warm water create a helmet around my head, to block out all sound and sensation from the outside world. We’d recently lost a pregnancy, and now, I felt convinced it was going to happen all over, before it had begun.
I took this short video of myself a few days before finding out my pregnancy test results. When I look at it today, I see a tired, scared woman who is barely clinging to the hope she could maybe, possibly get good news.
My doctor warned me this would be the hardest part of my journey, but I wasn’t prepared for how true that was. Not only are you battling your own mind, swinging wildly from one extreme to another, but you’re analyzing every, little thing going on with your body. During that week, I spent far too much time Googling “IVF pregnancy symptoms.” But the truth is, I never felt pregnant, or not pregnant. Maybe my boobs hurt. Maybe they didn’t. I wasn’t sure. Anything I felt could also have been caused by the oral and injectable hormones I was still taking every night, in case I was pregnant.
Finally, after a week of hell, the big day arrived. I drove alone to the clinic for my final blood draw. I probably shouldn’t have been driving, because I could barely focus on the road. After my test, I remember watching the nurse walk away with that one vial of my blood, and just feeling helpless. There was nothing I could do; it was out of my hands now.
By the time I got home, a voicemail from the clinic was already waiting for me. Even though I was dying to know my pregnancy test results, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the message for hours. I also couldn’t bring myself to take a home pregnancy test, which my doctor said was fine, if we’d rather find out in a more personal way, instead of over the phone.
Instead, I cried, and prayed, then tried to distract myself with getting my kids ready for school. It wasn’t until they got on the bus, that I found the courage to dial into my voicemail. This was it; my moment of truth. Suddenly, a calm came over me. I was ready to find out.
I couldn’t believe what I heard next: “Congratulations! You are pregnant!”
I barely recall walking down our driveway, to where my husband had just sent one of our daughters off to school. Since I was crying, he couldn’t tell if I’d just heard good news, or bad news. All I could manage was to flash him a thumbs-up. He jumped up in the air and started cheering.
I tried to take in the moment; a happy moment, after all we’d been through. Still, I didn’t believe I was pregnant. After hearing nothing but crushing, awful news for months leading up to, and following our loss, it was almost as if my mind wasn’t ready to accept this information.
Yes, I was so, so happy that my IVF journey had been successful. But that joy was tinged with fear, guilt, and sadness. This would be the start of my experience with pregnancy after loss. As moms who came before me know, it couldn’t be more different than “normal” pregnancy.
Next week, I’ll share more about what happens after IVF, both physically and mentally. It wasn’t what I expected, to say the least. But I have to face it, with nowhere to hide.
How did you face your IVF pregnancy test results?
Read more about my IVF journey:
Photos: Melissa Willets and iStock