I’m not going to lie, the 2ww sucks and the symptoms are the worst. I’ve been through 7 IVF two week waits and two IUI two week waits and I couldn’t loathe a time period more.
Sure, the first few days are fun. They’re exciting and we feel so good! Everything went well per our doctor, and then comes day 3. No more bed rest, no more being extra careful. Now we live life, with a grain of salt, and continue with our days trying to not think about what our bodies are doing.
My experiences have been different every single time. With my first two transfers, I didn’t feel much. My boobs got a little sore and a little larger and the bloat was a real bitch. But overall I didn’t feel any different.
Then came my third transfer. This one worked. This was in December 2018. It was different. My boobs were VERY sore on about day 6 post transfer. I got a couple very strong twinges in my left and right ovaries (or in that general area). These pulls lasted for a few seconds then went away. I remember asking my nurse what this was and she said “it could be your uterus expanding” I remember my first one. I was taking a walk and it made me stop in my tracks it was so intense. I was also tired a lot. I had a lot of vivid dreams, like those dreams that you try to make yourself wake up from and you can’t. Towards the end of my 2ww I got a really bad headache. It wasn’t strong but it was everlasting. It just felt like there was a lot of pressure in my head. I had mild cramping but nothing I can truly remember other than the pulls, and that was it!
I miscarried and honestly I still felt pregnant weeks after the miscarriage. Why? Because of all the drugs that sustain our pregnancy. Because of the added hormones and because I had been on progesterone injections for almost 8 weeks of that pregnancy.
So, we tried again. We transferred in May 2019 and sure enough all the symptoms. I even had that crazy headache and it hit me hard, on day three! I googled all the symptoms like most normal humans do right?
“Implantation headache” Yes! I thought for sure this worked.
This time I had some pulls again, the intense random cramps and my boobs were sore of course. The headache was there and I thought I felt a little tired. Well BFN. Fucking hormones and drugs! Basically, I had all of the same symptoms I did when i got the BFP and yet this time I wasn’t pregnant. Such a mind fuck.
I thought I had learned my lesson. And then came transfer number 5 in August. Guess what, all of those symptoms came back AND I had to pee all the time. So, this time for sure I was pregnant right? NOPE! Big slap in the face when we learned it didn’t work.
See a pattern here? I do, at least I thought I did, and yet transfer number 6 came in January 2020 with all of the symptoms. This time I had even more! And some were new to me! My gums started to hurt a lot. My cramps were very strong and my boobs were huge and felt very sore. I was tired, I laid around a lot and I tried to feel everything. And I did! I thought for sure, even nick was sure that time. And yep, you guessed it, BFN.
So, going into our seventh transfer I was mortified of this. Of feeling things and thinking that they were signs. I was so afraid to let myself enjoy any little twinge or new sensation because I felt like I had been let down. I felt like I didn’t know my body anymore and let me tell you, that’s such a shitty feeling! How can I not know when I’m pregnant? How can I always think I am and then I’m not?
That’s the thing with IVF. The drugs make you feel pregnant. Progesterone can cause cramping, constipation, sore gums, tender breasts, nausea, exhaustion, change in sleep patterns, skin changes and can cause you to want to pee a lot. Estrogen can cause cramping, change in appetite, exhaustion, weight gain (not can, DOES!), change in moods, hot flashes, nausea, changes in bowel movements, food aversions and cravings. Basically, all my symptoms had been caused by the surge of both estrogen and progesterone hormones. If you think about it, the number of hormones given to someone going through IVF are much higher than those conceiving naturally which is why your body is tricked into acting like its pregnant. SUPER FUN! You would think by now we could come up with some drugs that don’t do this to someone.
So anyway, here we are, transfer number 7. Yes, we got our BFP. I’m still in shock as I write this. And to be honest my symptoms were very different this time. I wanted to share a little time line. But remember most of these can also be caused by the drugs. I personally have reacted differently every time so who knows. But I do know that I would find comfort in reading people’s symptoms when they got a BFP because at the end of the day, we just want to feel safe and keep hope alive. So here is my recap of transfer #7
- Mild cramping, tired, had to go #2 about 15 times that day.
- Mild cramping, #2 all morning, strong pull/cramp in my left ovary area at night and then another pull in the middle of the night.
- Mild cramping now in my lower back and lower abdomen area. Heavy feeling uterus, boobs were VERY sore already. Tired that day. Some twinges during the day in my lower abdomen.
- Lower back cramps. Cramps in my lower abdomen. My nose started to feel stuffy. Had some mucus in my throat. My pee smelled funny. A couple strong pulls in my lower right side.
- Very strong mid, lower back pain. I had never experienced this before, felt like I pulled a muscle only my back didn’t hurt to the touch. This went on ALL day. Took a nap and had a very vivid dream. Then had some pulls in my lower abdomen and a couple very strong ones again. That night I got really hot. Like no covers and take my PJ’s off kind of night (I’m always very cold so this was strange).
- Woke up very stuffy and felt like I was getting a fever. Very achy all over and tired. Another vivid dream during my nap. My back pain was pretty much gone, just mild lower back cramps. Some lower abdomen mild cramping. VERY strong lower abdomen pain for about 5 minutes at bed time.
- Stuffy nose continued but no other sign of getting sick. Not much was coming out when I blew my nose. Started to feel pressure around my head and sinus. Back pain was gone. Lower abdomen cramps. Vivid dreams (day and night). Afternoon got a huge pack cramp again that lasted about 20 minutes. Then off and on lower abdomen light cramping. I also started to feel indigestion an hour after eating.
- Stuffy nose. Couldn’t eat anything sour! Any fruit that was mildly sour I couldn’t even take a bite out of. Everything salty tasted SO salty to me. (hadn’t changed any eating patterns btw, same foods as I was always eating). My teeth felt very sore. Like I had a bunch of cavities. Had some mild cramping and was very hungry this day. And more indigestion and heart burn.
- Stuffy nose continued. Cramping for a while after a walk (mild). Boobs looked very veiny and actually my whole body did. Headache was in full effect. Heart burn and lots of “frogs in my throat” Couldn’t quench my thirst either. Peeing ALL DAY LONG. Very emotional, crying and then laughing all day.
- Same symptoms as day 9. Peeing all the time, exhausted. Nauseous feeling until I ate and then heartburn sensation. Still can’t do sour fruit. Vivid dreams, cramping on both sides off and on and lower back pain if I’ve been standing too long. Feeling very anxious.
- BETA day. All the same symptoms as the past couple days. Headache still there, feeling light headed. Peeing a lot and hungry. GOT OUR BFP! So relieved. Still tired and very very thankful.
I’m not sure if this helps anyone. I did experience very different symptoms this time. BUT every time I googled them, aside from the indigestion and the stuffy nose, most of the symptoms could have been the medication. I do think my lower back cramps from day 5 was the embryo implanting. Remember that until day 4-6 the embryo has not implanted so even if you feel things on day 1 and 2 it can’t be much of anything other than the drugs. The stuffy nose thing happened to me with my twins. My entire pregnancy I had a stuffy nose feeling, this is called Rhinitis. This can be caused by higher level of estrogen which can cause the lining of the nasal passages to swell, producing more mucus. But You also have more blood circulating during pregnancy, which can make the tiny blood vessels inside your nose swell and lead to nasal congestion. So again, this can be caused by hormones but because this was the only symptom I remembered from my twins’ pregnancy, I knew that was a good different for me.
So, what can we take from all this? Basically not much. Unfortunately, like I mentioned before, these hormones we are being pumped with are evil. They are so strong and come in such high dosages that they just mess with our bodies so much. Make sure you don’t compare too much, don’t google much (I know easier said than done) and remember that everyone is different. IN fact, it can different every single time even in the same person (me for example). So just because you don’t feel something doesn’t mean it didn’t work!