It’s a date.

Pros and Cons

So we have a date for our second (frozen) embryo transfer. We have been so torn about this cycle over the past few weeks: we debated waiting until the new year – after all of the hectiness of the holidays was over – and weighed so many different pros and cons of proceeding now versus in January – a few of which are below (I’m chart obsessed if I didn’t tell you that before. Tables=my life).

Procon

I know that some of the pros and cons are silly – but I wanted to map out everything that has been floating through our heads recently so I could figure out what made the most sense. Of course: the first and most important detail is whether or not this try would be less successful by moving ahead now, versus waiting for a full second period to pass. After a conversation with our doctor, however,  who said that he thinks that my “natural” period, plus my second period that was the result of two weeks of birth control is enough to proceed, and he feels confident that all of my stats – coupled with my recent successful hysteroscopy – make me a good candidate for a frozen November transfer.

The Hysteroscopy

The hysteroscopy was on Monday – it was my first, even though most women have one before their first transfer. My clinic does theirs at a surgical center (which has limited availability and schedules months in advance, so if you recall from a few posts back: my doctor elected to forgo the hysterscopy the last time since I had a successful HSG, and then he did some sort of saline test with my mock transfer in his office and said I was safe to move forward at the time). He said this time they wanted me to have the hysterscopy because of our loss: to ensure that there was no scar tissue, or other problems resulting from the miscarriage that would prevent this next try from being successful. The test – which lasted about 3 minutes – was honestly no big deal overall. That is a LOT coming from me after my HSG ordeal. They prepared me mentally for a lot of cramping and discomfort, and I had a white knuckle grip on the exam table when the doctor inserted the speculum and then the tiny catheter camera that was subsequently pushed through my cervix to examine the inside of my uterus. They gave me the option of watching the procedure on a television screen, but I wanted to deep breathe and prepare myself for the ensuing pain when I saw the first flash of shiny, pink, inner body camera footage – but about 20 seconds and a few medical descriptions of what was on the screen later – it was over. No severe cramping.

I do think the fact that I took three advil this time – exactly 45 minutes before the procedure – helped a lot. Plus I have had so many internal exams – including my transfer – since the HSG test, that perhaps my body is becoming used to that “pain”. Either way: I was super grateful.

About 5 hours after the procedure, I developed some pretty intense stomach pain. My abdomen felt sore and tender to the touch – kind of the way your stomach feels after you’ve been dry heaving or maybe doing sit ups for a few hours. That pain lasted through the next day, and finally dissipated about a day and a half after the exam: still unsure if the two were related, but even with that pain the procedure wasn’t terrible. The good news is: both the doctor who did my procedure as well as our regular doctor both said that everything looked fantastic, and that I have the green light for a late November transfer if we want it (which I labeled as December above – same thing).

So…here we are. I had my baseline visit at the doctor’s yesterday and my ultrasound and bloodwork looked great (forgot to document the stats, this time). I told them I’d call them today with a definitive answer on whether or not we’d want to take advantage of this cycle for a transfer, and after a lot of deliberation, we decided to go ahead. We transfer in exactly two weeks! I started estrogen and baby asprin last night, and I will incorporate the PIO shots again next Sunday.

How many embryos?

We have decided to transfer one embryo at this time. If this try is unsuccessful, we will seriously consider two next time. We’ve actually read quite a few stories about couple’s highest quality embryo being a dud, and people having success as they worked their way down the line, so we are hopeful that what we experienced last time is a fluke, and that we’ll have success with the next try. Fingers crossed. Prayers up. Good vibes out to the world. “This could be good, this could be good…

So this is it…

We are equally thrilled, terrified, and I also have this weird feeling that I can’t entirely articulate. I feel like we haven’t waited long enough since that heartbreaking failure, or like maybe for some reason we don’t quite deserve this. Maybe its a protective mechanism so I don’t get my hopes up too much. I honestly don’t know and can’t shake it. I just keep telling myself that this is what it is and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but the truth is: if it doesn’t work, we are officially $3k in the hole, as our next transfer won’t be covered by the initial plan we purchased, and we will be getting closer to that “WTF do we do” point as we will have gone through 2 embryos without success. But….WE HAVEN’T EVEN TRIED AGAIN, YET. I’m getting ahead of myself. We aren’t there yet. This could be great. We just need to breathe.

In the meantime, we are now fully immersed in my absolute favorite time of year. I have already started the Christmas music, the air finally has a crispness to it, I have a TON of time off coming up (thanks to a really busy year and inability to use much of my vacay time), and I am getting ready to decorate. I am trying to maintain a sense of peace among all of this craziness and soak up this time of year that I love SO SO much.

Hope everyone else is in a good place as well. ❤

10 thoughts on “It’s a date.

  1. One really wonderful result of going through this is getting to know all of the amazing women who are also going through this or have in the past. Women who go through IVF, infertility in general, or who have suffered losses are among the strongest I have ever met and I wish this wasn’t our story at times, but I am grateful for “meeting” you all as a result of it. Good luck on your running journey!

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    1. Thank you. Hope is such a scary thing when it comes to fertility treatments. You want to let it in, but by doing so you are potentially setting yourself up to be crushed even harder if it doesn’t go the way you pray it will. And no – not an NJ clinic but we aren’t too far from NJ. Are you a Northeastener, as well? ☺

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  2. I finally caught up on your blog! I am so sorry for not catching up before this – I am so sorry to hear how your first transfer ended. I know that it must have been really hard on your heart. It sounds like you and your wife took time to heal and take care of yourselves to prepare you for the next cycle. I hate how sometimes they fail without a rhyme or reason – that’s the hardest part. It sounds like your uterus and your body is welcome to grow a little one though! The choice to choose how many embryos can be a hard one, for sure. We went with two because, after so many failed IUIs, our hearts were just really wanting the ‘best’ chance. Logically, we know studies say that if the embryos aren’t similar grades they could cause your chances to go lower. We also didn’t test our embryos, so we didn’t expect any to stick. I think it really helped that our doctor was vague on grading and certain things in the procedure – it helped me relax and not hyperfocus. We were surprised they both stuck. I’m hoping that your next transfer you have a super sticky embryo! I know it is right on the holiday but hopefully, you can get a ton of rest and get all the warm, fuzzy feelings from spending time with your family. Wishing you and your wife all the best!!

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    1. Oh no worries at all!! I was sporadic at posting initially after the miscarriage. The idea of transferring two embryos is one we really struggled with. Although we elected to proceed with just one this time, we will likely push to transfer two if it is evident as a result of this transfer that our lack of success is somehow tied to our embryo quality. There is so much conflicting information out there, but at the end of the day, we want a baby (spending as little as possible to get there, so we can invest the rest of our money into giving them a comfortable an amazing life). Our doctor has been vague about a lot as well, and I thought it was odd, but based on your comment I am wondering if it is more normal than I realize. My best friend is on OB nurse practitioner, though, so whenever my doctor is vague I seek out the answers from her (and her husband who is also incidentally a doctor in the field of women’s health)….sometimes a good thing, but I probably over analyze things way more than I should as a result. Thank you so much for the kind words – they help so much (and I LOVE the comment about getting the warm fuzzy feelings throughout this process since it is right around the holidays. I am hoping for the same.) I read all of your posts and am so happy to hear that the babies are developing well, but sorry to hear about all of your pain and the struggle with the move. Keep taking good care of yourself: “you can’t pour from an empty cup” was a quote I recently read and thought to be very true. Can’t care for two growing babies without taking good care of you, too. ❤ We love all of our updates, though – they continue to give us hope that a happy ending is within reach…

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