Our IVF Journey
Welcome back! Thank you for all the love and messages of support shown with our launch last week. It's been a whirlwind and we are happy to be sharing our story with the world. Just thinking about writing this blog is incredibly surreal! How is it possible we now have two boys to call our own?? In retrospect, the process for us was relatively smooth, yet long, but having our boys made everything completely worthwhile and has given us a new outlook on life. Before beginning this journey we researched extensively for some time and decided pursuing IVF and surrogacy was something we could handle (it's not for the faint of heart) and would be the best route for us to take to create our family. Follow our journey from IVF through pregnancy confirmation.
The egg retrieval process started with the selection of a suitable egg donor. We hired an agency, Family Formers, to help us with this process. We really wanted someone similar in background to us, so a hot-Cuban-salsa-dancing-croqueta-eating-colada-drinker was what we were looking for (lol). Sadly, that didn't work out for us! It turns out we all carry genetic disorders of some kind and choosing someone very similar to you just means you may carry the same genetic disorders, which was what happened with us. Our trek took us elsewhere and we ended up with a lovely French American egg donor, with a proven donor record, great AMH levels and very high egg-follicle counts. At the end of the day, if you want to be successful, you need to find someone who's numbers are just as good, or better, than their perceived beauty. Our donor was actually quite beautiful as well so we were very lucky! On retrieval day, we took all the eggs, split them in half, and we each took a batch and fertilized them (y'all know what happens here; the awkward room- yeah that!). The fertilization process takes 5-6 days (Day 5 is called Blastocyst phase) and that's when we receive our final embryo count. Our IVF clinic was nice enough to give us daily updates on how many eggs were fertilized and how they were looking each day. Once the embryos were created, they were sent into cryopreservation until day of transfer.
Transfer day was nerve-racking to say the least! We had previously agreed to a double embryo transfer with our surrogate. This MUST be discussed in advance and written in your surrogacy contract and agreed to by ALL parties! The IVF clinic also has to be on board with transferring two embryos, so perform your research and ask all the questions in advance. There is always a risk of a split with a single embryo transfer so that risk is increased with a double embryo transfer (You don't want your surrogate carrying triplets or quadruplets as the pregnancy is risky and may lead to a selective reduction!). We chose to accept the risk of a double embryo transfer to make sure we increased the odds of at least one embryo taking. This process is also extremely expensive (financials blog to come) so if both embryos were to stick, our family would essentially be complete. So on transfer day, we met our lovely surrogate, who joined in with her fiancé, and a double embryo transfer was performed.
Selecting which embryo to transfer should be left to the pros! The IVF clinics embryologist graded all our embryos and selected the best from each and those were the CHOSEN ONES! The transfer was an incredibly smooth and fast process. They pretty much made our surrogate guzzle a gallon of water to make her bladder push down on her uterus and via ultrasound they are able to guide the probe with the embryos and boom, they're implanted directly into her uterus. A small flash indicates success!
And then, we wait...
Before our ultrasound (or sonogram as Daniel says, lol) on day 10, our surrogate decided to take multiple pregnancy tests beginning on day 4 post-transfer. She called us on day 4 and sent us a photo of the positive pregnancy test and our lives were forever changed! We were actually in the middle of a friends-giving celebration and stormed out to take the call and had to pretend we knew nothing for the rest of the night. That was so hard!
On day 10 we made the drive to our IVF clinic for our pregnancy confirmation ultrasound and when we saw the two sacs in the uterus we were in complete shock! You always hope for it to work out as you had dreamed, but never truly expect it to actually happen.
Once we left the ultrasound room, we both broke down, hugged and sobbed for minutes. Our dreams were now our reality and we could not be happier. Also, there were NO SPLITS, so only two babies were in there! Thank you, Baby Jesus!
As a thank you for everything, we made personalized cookies for the clinic, our agency Family Formers, and our surrogate Tiffany and her family.
Hope you guys enjoy the video below discussing our IVF process. Let us know if you have any questions or comments for us here or leave them in the YouTube video comments as well!