I AM OFFICIALLY PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise) after an FET!
I can’t even begin to explain the emotions I am feeling after our transfer. Knowing that there is an embryo in my womb looking for his/her place to call home for the next 9 months is just so exciting. I never want to forget the magic of FET day so I want to take a moment to document the event and what is to come.
About Our Embryos
We transferred ONE of our two embryos on Wednesday, January 29. The embryo that we transferred is a “4AB day 5” embryo, so this means it was frozen on day 5 after fertilization. This is a very popular timeline for freezing embryos. Our remaining frozen embryo is a “4AB day 6” embryo, which the clinic says they see the same success rates between days 5 and 6. The ‘AB’ has to do with grading the quality of the embryos, so basically, from the outside, they look great! It doesn’t tell us anything about the genetics on the inside, just that the outside looks good for success. We also do not know the sex of either embryo.
Before the FET
Before we scheduled our transfer, my uterine lining was an 8.19 and trilaminar, meaning it was ripe and ready to receive the embryo! This means all of the things I did to thicken and nourish the lining worked. I’ve been through estrogen patches before and didn’t have lining growth like this, but have always had success with my remedies so I know for a fact they made a huge difference!
In the months leading up to the transfer, I received acupuncture treatments 1x/week. This lined up well with our actual FET date because I ended up getting one five days before the transfer. Then the week of the transfer, I got two treatments: the day before and two days after. That’s a lot of acupuncture, I know, but if it helps us get pregnant and stay pregnant, why not do it?
Our FET Transfer Day
For our transfer day, I made us some matching family shirts! Because, you know, we’re that family that matches at Disney World so why not match for one of the most important days of our lives?!
That morning, I woke up feeling complete peace. I didn’t have any fear, I wasn’t worried it wouldn’t work, I literally was just like “okay, I’m ready!” THAT is because of all of you who prayed for us. I’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks that I want to cast out all fear, that it’s not welcome here. And because of your prayers, I felt so much peace that morning from the Lord!
I will admit that I didn’t sleep well the night before because it’s a hotel, and I never sleep well the first night. It had nothing to do with feeling anxiety or worry. I was awake every hour trying to get comfortable with my sore, lumpy backside and with pillows that weren’t mine (huge mistake not bringing our own). This is just my new normal. These shots are rough on me.
I made sure to text our donor all day so she had updates and was involved in the whole process with us. It was so special having her be a part of it, even if from afar.
We ate breakfast at the hotel for free, which is always a nice perk. The breakfast wasn’t amazing, but it fit our needs for the moment. I’ve been having a lot of blood sugar issues in the mornings after the PIO shot so I made sure to double up on the orange juice that morning so I wouldn’t feel bad. Before we knew it, it was time to go to the clinic for my 10:00 progesterone draw.
I didn’t have to wait long after the blood work for them to call us back to get gowned up for the transfer. Zoey wasn’t allowed to be in the transfer room, but they did allow her to come back to where I changed into the gown, so that was special. Our incredible nurse walked us through the transfer and all of the post-transfer rules (taking it easy for 72 hours, minimal stairs, no lifting). She generously answered my questions and believe me, I had a lot listed in my phone for her. Then, she offered to pray over us. I was so surprised and so incredibly thankful that she offered! Her prayer was perfect and I made sure to give her a big hug after because she really touched my heart.
The embryologist came and talked to us and was beaming! She said the embryo looked beautiful, that as soon as it thawed it started expanding! She showed us where she put the little hole to assist with hatching and kept saying “it’s such a beautiful embryo”. It gave us even more peace!
Before we knew it, it was time to go back for the transfer! Getting on (and back off) the table was immensely difficult, but they were so sweet with me. The doctor freaked out over our shirts and said “YES! I believe, too!” He explained what he was about to do and each step before he did it. As soon as they started the ultrasound, he said “would you look at that?!” I assume he meant my uterus, but he didn’t say, ha! Either way, he was thrilled with whatever he saw. The transfer started with some fluid being put up into the uterus for the embryo to be attracted to (the white line in the middle of the ultrasound), and then the actual transfer happened (the white spot on the left). I didn’t feel a thing!
In terms of my PIO shots and the swelling and after-pains I’ve been having, the doctor prescribed a smaller needle because we’re probably going too deep with my stature. I do have a smaller stature (and I’m a short girl) so he determined that I could go down a level on the needles. Praise the Lord, I am hoping this helps!
As a side note: I found out that my progesterone level that day was 54 and it needed to be over 15, so the PIO is working!
Our Post-FET Timeline
This is what typically happens after a frozen embryo transfer and explains when we can expect to be told we’re fully pregnant:
- Day 1: TRANSFER DAY! The blastocyst (the stage of development the embryo is in on day 5) begins to hatch out of its shell. We agreed to “assisted hatching” so when the embryo was transferred, this process had already begun!
- Days 2-3: The blastocyst begins to attach itself to the uterus, beginning implantation. I received acupuncture on day 3.
- Day 4: Implantation continues.
- Day 5: Implantation is complete. Cells that eventually become the BABY and placenta have begun to develop!
- Day 6: HCG starts to enter the bloodstream. Some people see a positive urine pregnancy test starting now! I am getting acupuncture on this day.
- Days 7-8: Fetal development continues and HCG continues to rise. I am getting acupuncture on day 8.
- Day 9: Levels of HCG are now high enough to detect pregnancy via a blood test!
- Our scheduled Beta HCG day with the clinic is on day 10 (9dp5dt).
Will We Test At Home?
Glenn and I talked about it, and while he says it’s up to me, I honestly want to fully bask in being PUPO during the 9-day wait. I don’t want to be disappointed if I test too early and end up with a false negative. It will crush me. And while it’s absolutely amazing to see two pink lines or the words “Pregnant” on a digital test, I don’t want to ruin this special time. The wait is already brutal, but I’d rather remain naive. So as of right now, we will not test at home until after our blood test is positive. We don’t even have any tests in the house so I won’t be tempted. If we go radio silent around blood test time, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad has happened… it may be good news, too. It just means we’re waiting on specific results and telling family + close friends before we share publicly. In fact, we may even wait until we’ve had two blood tests showing a proper HCG rise to announce anything. We haven’t fully decided. We’ll take it one day at a time once the wait is over.
So, Now What?
Now we wait patiently and stay very busy. Our 9dp5dt blood test is on February 7, the day before my husband’s birthday. And if it’s positive, we’ll have another blood test the following Monday to make sure it’s rising appropriately. I’ll continue to share semi-regular updates on Instagram and Facebook in the meantime so follow along there! And THANK YOU for all the support you’ve shown us thus far! We wouldn’t be PUPO if it wasn’t for those who supported us!