Tuesday, March 10, 2020

FETx3 Failed Cycle

Wow, it has been a long time since I've posted in this space!  Blogging has definitely been put on the backburner over the last couple years since becoming a mother.  It's amazing how much where your time goes to changes when there's a child involved.  I still want to dedicate this space to infertility and motherhood so I'm here with an update, one that I'm not too happy to be sharing.


After our ERA late last summer the original plan was to transfer in the fall, but we decided to wait it out and do our next transfer after the holidays.  Once February came around and things slowed down we began our cycle.  We opted for a "natural" cycle this time which means that you allow your body to grow your lining rather than taking estrogen to help it.  It's a lot less meds but more monitoring.  It was something we had never tried before so we figured we'd give it a shot since I've never had an issue with my lining in the past.


CD1 came on Thursday Feb 13th so on Monday Feb 17th I was in for my baseline.  My lining was at 6mm and I had a follicle already and they wondered if I still maybe had a few days of my cycle left, I told them it was unlikely as my periods were normally about 4 days.  They had me come back on Wednesday and they told me that my lining was continuing to thicken & the follicle was continuing to grow.  I also had some fluid in my uterus which they wanted to keep their eye on so they had me return on Friday Feb 21st where they determined I would probably end up triggering (triggering ovulation during a natural cycle to help the lining further) that night.  The fluid had moved and the follicle had grown.  My lining by that point was over 8mm and things progressed about a week sooner than I had anticipated.


We ended up triggering and 6 days later on Friday Feb 28th we had our first embryo transfer with our new clinic in Chicago.  It was overall kind of frustrating because they told me to be there at 11:45 for a 12:30 transfer and to come with a full bladder so I did.  They weren't able to get us in for our transfer until 2:30, they had allowed me to empty my bladder just a bit right before but it was an agonizing couple of hours.  To make matters somewhat more chaotic, we were heading out of town for the weekend to Wisconsin Dells and were trying to beat the traffic out of the city on a Friday afternoon. 


Overall the transfer went smooth.  The embryologist came in to tell us the embryo looked good and was re-expanding as expected after being frozen (they dehydrate them when they freeze them) and all looked good so we were happy to hear that.  There were some technical difficulties during the transfer, the normal catheter they use kept going into what they referred to as a "false passage" because of my retroverted uterus so they had to use a special kind that is more flexible to get the placement where they wanted it.  They also wanted to show us the embryo on camera to verify it was ours but the camera was not working.  The doctors and team seemed to be pleased with how smooth everything went and I think we both had high hopes that this transfer would work despite some of the chaos in the beginning and the delays that we had on the day of transfer.


We spent the weekend in the Dells.  I did as much resting as I possibly could but it's hard when you have  a 3 year old.  Joe was pretty much in charge of caring for her while I did my best to relax but also help out when I could.  The weekend was fun but went quickly, by day 3 I knew I should be feeling some cramping, that's what I had always felt in the past with the cycles that I did end up pregnant, but this time I felt nothing the entire 10 days after my transfer.   I knew early on that it probably didn't take, I just felt it in my gut and knowing what my past symptoms were & having experienced none of them this round I knew it was likely the embryo didn't implant.


On Monday I went in early for my beta but never heard by the time I left work so I went home where I knew I had 1 pregnancy test stashed away.  I took it and immediately it was negative, there was no sign of pregnancy at all on the test.  The doctors office finally called me around 5pm to confirm what I had already known.  My doctor told me that she would continue to look for missing pieces but I'm not really sure there are any.  I'm just chalking it up to an abnormal embryo at this point.


It's not the news I had hoped to share, but I am glad that it was just a clear negative and not another chemical or miscarriage.  I was very fearful of having to experience that agony again and I'll be honest, there's some relief that that wasn't the case.  Pregnancy loss is a big part of what held me back for so long on continuing to move forward with any transfers.  I think recovery from this most recent one will be a lot easier. 


I know everyone wants to know right away what the plan is.  If it were up to me and my pocketbook was endless we'd just do another round right away but unfortunately that isn't the case.  We just spent $4500 on basically nothing so we will have to come up with that amount again before we can consider another transfer.  There are definitely some projects around our house that we want to get done this spring too, our back patio being one of them so it may take us awhile, it's all pretty much up in the air.  I'd hope to do another one in a couple months but there's really no way to know at this point.


We still have two embryos left.  Once we use these last two it will be the end of our journey.  I'm trying to remain hopeful that there's still a take home baby between one of these two that we have left.  I know these two are the worst quality of the 6 we had, but when I say "worst" I mean they are still relatively good quality, my previous clinic graded them at 3.5AA, our new clinic said they'd be a lot more conservative on their grading so they're probably considered 3AA by our new clinic or maybe less than that, however they are still pretty good quality embryos as far as we can tell without further testing. 


Emotionally I feel a lot better about the outcome of this cycle than expected.  It still really freaking sucks, it doesn't hurt any less than previous failed transfers, but I am happy that it wasn't a beta hell, chemical/miscarriage, stuck in limbo, type scenario—I just don't know if I have it in me to go through that again.  It's funny I became that na├»ve girl again just like I was in the beginning of IVF when I thought the first round would work, I thought the same thing about a sibling cycle.  I thought it would be SO EASY, and yet here we are, 3 transfers in, a chemical pregnancy, a miscarriage and D&C, and now a failed transfer and still no second baby; beginning to linger dangerously close to being done with infertility treatments all together and the real possibility of never being able to experience pregnancy again, never giving Georgia the sibling we always hoped we would.  It's truly unfair and I will question every single day why this has to be so hard for the people who want it so badly. 


I will try to be better about updating here with any future transfers, if not for anyone who is still reading this, for myself to remember how things played out as the years go by.  I appreciate everyone who still comes here to read this, we have so many still cheering us on and supporting us so many years later.  This blog will be 8 years old come May and some of you have been here since the beginning and we can't thank you enough for all that support!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Well, we decided yet again to delay our next embryo transfer that was scheduled to happen basically now.  If you guys recall I had a slight delay because of my body breaking through the suppression hormones where the Lupron that I was on that shut down my hormones wasn't able to stop by body from producing a follicle which in turn caused my lining to thicken when we actually wanted it to thin down to about 5mm.  After it thinned down I would start estrogen pills daily to build the lining back up, but unfortunately that follicle was found to be our culprit. 

Basically what I decided to do was to stop the Lupron, wait for a period to start & then start over again.  I was in the midst of this on the verge of my period when Georgia and I hit a very large buck in my car on Friday October 18th & my car ended up being totaled.  Luckily we were both OK, but it was at 6am, in the pitch black out in the country out by our house.  Both my air bag and the side curtain airbags deployed which was extremely scary.  Georgia is still recanting the story over and over each day so it clearly somewhat traumatized her.  The next day I was extremely sore and of course my period started.  It was in that moment that Joe and I had a hard talk about the necessity of the transfer at this point in time.  Although it took everything in me to get myself to the point of being ready to finally transfer after almost a year, we both felt in our hearts and guts that it was best to just wait.  We weren't stopping mid-cycle or anything like that so the timing was perfect but we did have to make a decision pretty quickly but we both felt it was for the best.  

I texted my doctor that weekend and explained and she was extremely understanding of our feelings which was so helpful.  We feel like we should get through the holidays and then transfer early next year, I'm hopeful for January.  Part of me wishes that we had still moved forward but my gut told me it was best.  Not only was this cycle not going smooth, but Georgia had been battling a UTI for two weeks + a fever, she had been at the doctor twice, there was a lot of stress around our drywall business, and then I hit the deer.  Things just seemed to be piling up and we were both so unbelievably stressed.  I didn't want to go into the transfer being as stressed as I was.  

At this point the storm has seemed to calm; Georgia is feeling better and for now is healthy, I got a new car, and the stress of running our own business isn't as bad at the moment.  Sometimes when I think about it I think to myself, such is life--there will never be a perfect time with no stress and nothing going on, I realize that, but there will be a better time, a time when things are a little more settled & I think right after the holidays, first of the year will be exponentially better for us.  We are so excited for Christmas this year & all of the festivities that we will get to enjoy with Georgia.  It will be soo magical.  She's been talking about Santa and presents, and cutting down a tree for a month now so when the season begins (which isn't allowed in our house til after Thanksgiving) I know she's going to be soo excited and fun!

These decisions are never easy, but from years of being infertile, we've made harder ones for sure.  I'm not sure why it has taken us so long to do this transfer--life, being a parent, healing, work, starting our own business, etc. I'm sure are some of the big reasons why but also fear of it not working again too.  As always we have gotten so much support for every decision we have made on this journey from our family, friends, and family and we appreciate it so much!

Monday, November 04, 2019

Daily Dental Routine with Smile Brilliant

If you guys recall a few months back I did a collaboration with Smile Brilliant using their teeth whitening system.  I couldn't believe how white my teeth got and how professional their whitening kit was.  I'm excited to continue working with Smile Brilliant, this time with their cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrush.

I'll be completely honest here—dental care is not my strong point.  I've never been a big fan of having to brush my teeth, it just feels more like a chore to me.  I hate the dentist so you'd think I'd do a better job of it to try and avoid anything more than just a cleaning but that isn't the case.  I've had issues since I was a kid, I'm prone to cavities, and have several fillings.  I also had braces and spacers at a very young age, and overall just haven't done a great job of caring for my teeth.  This brush is super helpful if you have a lot of plaque buildup which is also something I struggle with because of how terrible I am when it comes to brushing my teeth.  

I hadn't used an electric toothbrush in at least a decade and because I have a lot of room for improvement in this area of my personal care, I figured I'd give this one a shot.  You guys, the last time I used an electric toothbrush it had one mode, on or off; with the cariPRO there are FIVE brush modes—Clean, White, Massage, Gum Care, and Sensitive.  It also has a 30 day battery life, an auto-interval timer, and a wireless charging doc.  I can't believe how much cleaner I am able to get my teeth after using this toothbrush.  I'm notorious for not getting my back teeth very well but with this brush I am able to thanks to the 40,000 vibrations/minute cleaning action.  The Massage and Gum Care modes are two that I have been using daily.

My preferred setting for now is the sensitive.  It does take a little bit of time to get used to the feeling of an electric toothbrush vs. a manual so the although the regular "clean" mode is really effective, I had to start off with the "sensitive" mode for a few days.  I am totally sold on the cleaning power of the cariPRO brush vs. a manual brush.  Also being a wine and coffee drinker, using this system helps to keep my teeth white. 

I'm so excited to offer my readers a 20% discount with code 20babyridleybump at checkout on all the cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrush packages.  This would make a great Christmas gift for a spouse or even a gift to yourself or better yet, the couples package  which would be $150 with my discount!  Joe was pretty jealous when I received mine in the mail so maybe he'll get one as a Christmas gift this year!

Not only do I have the discount, I am also GIVING AWAY a cariPRO electronic toothbrush with an additional brush head & charger to one lucky reader valued at $119!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

electric toothbrush

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