Journey to Motherhood | Part III: The Final Embryo


Part III: The final embryo

If you are new here, you can read my previous blog posts to catch up on Part I and Part II of my journey to motherhood.

And now you’re probably thinking…what about that last embryo? Once Cora turned 2, we started thinking about #2. We had been trying naturally without luck again…I kept thinking maybe I would be that person that just got pregnant right away after having to do IVF the first time around. Yea, right…Since I wasn’t getting any younger, we decided we would proceed with transferring our last embryo and hope that we wouldn’t need to make a decision on if we would go through the whole retrieval process again if it didn’t work. Talk about pressure…and this final embryo was a day 7 and our lowest grade embryo. Most blastocysts are formed by day 5 or day 6. However some embryos develop at a slower rate and practices tend to discard them but will sometimes keep them for patients who only have a few blastocysts. I remember asking the doctor and the embryologist right before my transfer what our expected success rate given the lower grade embryo, my age, history, etc. The answer…26%. Gulp…I basically thought we didn’t have a chance. I tried not to get my hopes up and tried not to think of the decision we’d have to make on our next step if it didn’t work.

I remember it was a beautiful spring day in April and I was at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with Cora at a music class when the doctor called. She had good news…my HCG levels were high…I was pregnant! I was dumbfounded. I didn’t have any symptoms and my doctor was shocked that I hadn’t done a home test before. I could not believe it. 3 days later, more bloodwork came back with increased HCG numbers. Eek, it worked!!! Of course, again, I didn’t feel at ease until after the 20 week anatomy scan, and really never completely at ease. But, by golly, our last embryo was the little guy who could! We decided to find out this time if we were having a boy or girl; this was mainly because I wanted to know if I should get rid of my baby girl stuff since we were also moving to Kansas City! I was so excited to find out it was a boy (no smokebombs or fireworks gender reveals here…just me looking at the doctor notes on my online record before even receiving the official “notice”).

IFV journey IFV journey IFV journey

I am grateful that I had another pretty uneventful pregnancy, outside of the fact that we moved across the country at 30 weeks pregnant–I don’t recommend this! It was a pretty stressful few months leading up to the move, with our original contract falling through on our house in Atlanta after we put an offer in (sight unseen and without an agent) on our dream home in KC. And a small fainting episode while we were on vacation in Michigan. But everything worked out…we sold our house in Atlanta and we beat out the other offers and got the KC home. And little man was growing like crazy. Some things are just meant to be…

IFV journey

IFV journey

IFV journey

IFV journeyAlissa Bird Portraits

Again, moving late in pregnancy is not ideal, but we did it and I am so glad to be back in KC. I miss Atlanta, especially all of the people, like crazy, but this is home and I am so grateful to be around family and longtime friends again. I found a new doctor and we were set to have another scheduled c-section on 12/15 at 39 weeks since little guy was measuring not so little, like his sister. Things didn’t go perfectly to plan, but our family is now complete. You can read all about how Connor made his early debut here.

IFV journey

IFV journeyAlissa Bird Portraits

I write all of this to say that if you are struggling, you are not alone. Pregnancy truly is a miracle. Seriously…for everything that needs to happen to actually happen, it is truly amazing that babies are born every day. It might seem so easy for some people, but this is purely luck. The best thing for me in going through all of this, was my support team and finding others who were going through or had gone through similar struggles. 1 in 4 women suffers infertility; 1 in 4!!! That’s no small number. Infertility often goes unspoken, but the more we speak out, the more we can normalize the conversation. If you are struggling with infertility, I see you. You are a warrior. You will get through it. You will be stronger because of it. And when you look back, it will all be a blur. And whatever route you choose to get there, it will all be worth it. I am here, cheering you on. And I am always here to lend an ear. You’ve got this!


©Katherine Jianas Photography

Katherine Jianas is a Kansas City newborn, family, motherhood, child, and personal branding photographer specializing in timeless, natural light photography. KC areas served include: Prairie Village, Mission Hills, Fairway, Overland Park, Leawood, Roeland Park, Westwood, Sunset Hills, Mission, Brookside, Waldo, Country Club Plaza, Westport & more. To check out recent work, please visit my family, newborn and children photo galleries. If you are interested in a custom portrait session with Katherine Jianas Photography and would like more information, please click here to contact me or email me directly at

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