The Two Week Wait
Ugh. For anyone trying to conceive they know this term. Or perhaps more widely used is the acronym “The 2WW”. With IVF the wait is a little shorter than a full two weeks generally speaking. When I lived in Canada though, beta was scheduled something ridiculous like 16 days past transfer. At the time even my logical brain couldn’t wrap around that… but also being part of so many forums where women in the states were having betas at 9 days past their transfers, it really just felt cruel. See 9 days past transfer of a 5 day embryo is the equivalent to a full 2 weeks from conception. So in a natural cycle a home pregnancy test (hpt) would be accurate, or you’d be getting a visit from good ole Aunt Flo. Neither of my cycles in Canada did I even make it to beta, as I experienced breakthrough bleeding that led to early testing and negative results, so we stopped meds before even reaching our official test date.
Our most recent fresh cycle of IVF in New York earlier this year, we also tested early (just simply because I’m not by nature a very patient person) and we got a negative result. I didn’t have any breakthrough bleeding and so diligently continued on my meds until my negative beta confirmed what we already knew.
So that brings us here to the 2ww of this frozen embryo transfer cycle and so far we’ve tested every single morning. That may seem odd, but we’re not doing it expecting it to tell us we’re pregnant. We’ve been doing it to ensure the HCG uterine wash we did a few hours before our transfer had no bearing on the testing result. I did the first day and it was stark white and I wondered if maybe it hadn’t been absorbed by my system, so I tested again the next day and still stark white. This morning I tested one last time just to reassure myself that I could believe a positive WHEN I get it. I say when, not if, because I’m choosing to believe this has worked.
And now I debate. Tomorrow will be 4 days past a 5 day embryo transfer, what we refer in short to 4dp5dt. By this date the embryo (or embryos) should be undergoing the implantation process. I always find this chart below helpful.
So basically as you can see, generally speaking by 5dp5dt (equivalent to 10 days past ovulation, or 10dpo) implantation is complete.By 6dp5dt HCG is entering the bloodstream and sometime thereafter will be detectable on a HPT. Now for every individual this is going to be different… it’s really just a guideline. For some women implantation happens sooner or faster, others later or slower. HCG maybe builds up slower or is metabolized differently. We can’t ever hold on too tightly to these timelines, but they do help me with visualizations.
Every day I have been writing in my affirmations book, and I try to keep in line with where my body and embryos are at in the process. For instance, today at 3dp5dt I might write/think:
"My receptive uterine lining lovingly accepts these embryos that are implanting into my womb."
I find it helpful in terms of staying positive and reassuring when I have a lack of symptoms. Because at this point, symptoms aren’t reliable. When you’re on all sorts of IVF medications your body is naturally a little out of whack. Progesterone alone comes with a host of fun “symptoms” (aka side effects) including constipation and breast tenderness. Two symptoms generally attributed to early pregnancy signs. Too early for that though really, and also similar to PMS.
The one noteworthy symptom I have had was on 1dp5dt when I had medium chocolate brown spotting. I don’t recall having that in the past, although it could also be attributed to the difficulty our doctor had while performing our uterine wash pre-transfer. He warned me I could experience some very light spotting, but it came over 24 hrs later which was odd. Brown signals that it is old blood though and so very possible, nay likely, that that it what it’s from.
We still haven’t determined if we will test early. As I said, by nature I’m not exactly a patient person and so I’m not sure I can hold out until the 27th for our beta. It’s a tricky decision and I’m sure I’ll flip flop on it many times so no use in really setting myself up to go back on my word. We’ll just see what happens.
We fly home to Texas tomorrow morning really early, so we’re packing up and getting ourselves organized tonight. We’re really excited to be in our own home in our own bed without the noises of New York to bring sleepless nights. It’s been a great trip and we had some great memories, but time to go home… and bring our “embabies” with us.