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!
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