We were busily babydancing away, and I got all pumped when a second line appeared on my Wondo OPK. Then, next day line disappears. Then it reappears, then disappears, and reappears and....well you get it. No smiley face making an appearance on the digital OPK either, even though the Wondfo looked pretty dark one of the days (I always test with both brands to confirm for this very reason). WTH? I had never seen this type of activity EVER before and I knew something was off kilter.
So, on CD21 I requested to take a P4 (progesterone test) to see if there was any chance I had ovulated days after a fairly dark test line. P4 came back at 0.2, so no way I had ovulated. I then requested an ultrasound the following day, because I had already been testing with OPK's for 10 days, twice a day, and was about to pull my hair out from seeing the wonky results and no signs of a real ovulation impending. I needed to know where the heck I was at in this crazy cycle.
At the ultrasound appointment Dr. Vaughn says, "Well looks like you aren't going to ovulate this month." Lining was only 4.5 mm and I had one 9 mm follie. So yeah, no where near an ovulation on CD22. Well this hasn't happened in a loooong time, but I'm guessing my body is all whacked out from being poked, prodded and pumped full of meds the month prior. Hubby made a good point too, that my body just gave up 17 eggs during IVF and it's probably being stingy this month.
Obviously, there is no trying on our own this month anymore. You've gotta have an egg to make a baby! Dr. V gives me two options...
A) Wait for anovulatory bleeding (spotting) to occur God knows when, which would be considered the start of a new cycle. Could be 2 weeks or 100 days or longer...no predicting how long an anovulatory cycle can drag on.
B) Take something to reset my body's clock (progesterone pills or BCP's) which will induce a period and give us control over when I start a new cycle.
Being the control freak that I am, of course I picked option B. I was actually anovulatory for almost 3 YEARS at one point (see timeline on the right >>>), which I think scarred me for life. I'm not about to sit around and wait for days or months on end for a new cycle to start all. over. again. We are just ready to get the show on the road with our FET if I'm not going to release an egg naturally this month.
I filled the script and began taking Provera (progesterone pills) that day. Today is day 3 taking the pills. l'll take Provera for 10 days (which will artificially give me the hormones typically released post-ovulation). Then, when I stop those, a new cycle will start within 2 or 3 days and this will be the start of our FET cycle. This is how the FET will play out basically...
Once a new cycle starts, I'll begin taking Estrace (estrogen pills) on CD2 and take those for 10 days. This will help ensure that my endometrial lining gets nice and healthy for an implanted embryo to attach to. It will also prevent my body from ovulating naturally. Obviously, I don't need my body to ovulate because we're implanting an already fertilized embryo.
I will also begin supplementing with Crinone (progesterone suppositories) during this time, but not sure when that starts. This will also help with my lining.
Additionally, I'll begin taking daily Lovenox injections right around transfer time. This was not part of my protocol with our first IVF attempt. Because I have blood clotting factors present, using this blood thinner will hopefully increase blood flow to the uterus and assist with successful implantation. My RE says that as long as I begin them prior to implantation, the medicine will do it's job before an embryo ever tries to implant. Although, just for the record, he's NOT convinced that Lovenox increases success rates for those with clotting factors whatsoever. After much discussion, we have agreed to disagree on this theory. However, he said it can't hurt anything, and I was given clearance to go for it with the Lovenox.
|I tried them out this cycle. Hands down these are the|
WORST shots I have EVER done IN MY LIFE!
Then, a beauty contest will be held and one lucky embryo will be chosen for transfer. Take a sneak peak at the contenders for Miss/Mr. June FET...
|Day 5 blastocysts: Both roughly BC quality (150-200+ cells)|
|Day 6 blastocysts: 2 Grade BB + 1 Grade CB (all 150-200+ cells)|
For one thing, I've already been vocal about the fact that I don't want to waste all of our embryos if the addition of Lovenox will not help and/or our next one or two FET's don't produce a pregnancy. It seems MUCH harder emotionally to have a negative pregnancy result if you've implanted two embryos vs. one. Logistically, we're trying to conserve them while also trying to see if it's really a "bad embryo" problem or if there is something more underlying our issues.
For two, we would rather not have twins. The goal this whole time has been one baby. Sure twins are so cute! However, there are real risks to the babies, mostly surrounding premature birth. We haven't come this far only to have a difficult pregnancy we could have avoided by being prudent and just transferring one embryo at a time. Nor do we want to have a child with issues stemming from premature birth...less likely with a singleton.
We did decide to transfer two embryos at the time of our fresh IVF cycle, but at that time we had no idea if we'd even have extra embryos survive long enough to freeze. In our minds, we wanted the best shot possible and thought we should maximize our only chance at using fresh embryos. Now that we know we actually have 5 frozen embryos, we feel like we have more flexibility in choosing the # to transfer and know how many will be left. This changes our approach slightly.
Many RE's will actually suggest transferring two vs. one because it does increase the pregnancy rate slightly. Of course RE's want their pregnancy rates high right? They are required to publish them through the CDC. Well, as Dr. Vaughn pointed out, using two embryos does also increase the risk of multiples and the risks that accompany them. He is actually a proponent of always electing to transfer one embryo when possible. I like that about him. He's genuinely more concerned about the risks to the future babies rather than his SART data. He agreed that we didn't come all this way, only to have a risky pregnancy or childbirth.
He also pointed out that it's a financial thing for most people, who don't want to keep throwing $2200+ at each FET. All of the little charges do add up...
|Does not include Crinone ($196) or Lovenox ($150)|
Then, after the transfer we shall wait. We are getting pretty good at this part by now. Well not really, but you know what I mean. We have practice.
|No matter how many times I read this quote, it makes me tear up. Sniff sniff|
Now that I've told you guys all about it, I'm getting excited! Wish us luck and pray for us please!