Here We Go…For The Last Time…
Alright we are now in the one week countdown til our final embryo transfer. Whoa…
It’s a strange thing having been through the ups and downs of estrogen and PIO every other month since fall, but having not had an actual embryo transfer since October. It’s kind of like we’ve been training for the Olympics, knowing this is the last time we’re qualifying, and we’re now ready to enter the stadium, hoping at the end of the race that the Levens national anthem will finally be played from start to finish.
(nice metaphor, eh?)
Today was our final lining check and we came in to find one of the two nurses who’ve been with us since the beginning over 2 years ago is…on maternity leave. Why is this weird? Because we didn’t even know she was fucking pregnant! The girl is tiny and you’d think she’d have been wearing Olivia Pope style ponchos to cover it up but no, she just doesn’t show much they said. Or she gave birth to a tennis ball.
Anyhow, so my lining is a smidge over 7.0 a week before transfer, and while I’d like it to be thicker (last round it was 8.5), looking at my chart I was only at 7.5 when I got my BFP last year, and considering lining grows by about 1mm every 2 days, if all goes well we should be in a good spot next Friday when the games kick off.
Last of the Good Ones
Those of you who’ve been reading since last year may remember that minutes after DEIVF Round 5, our fertility doctor said that he’d used the “B” embryos even though we had two “A” embryos left in the freezer. My head spun in an Exorcist style way, to put it mildly, to find out we’d gone through a cycle and used two embryos that weren’t the best of the remaining bunch, as you can imagine. Of course I was laying down with my feet in the stirrups still, so I mentally took note in my Valium/Vicodin haze then had my husband breathe hellfire in the call to the doctor when the BFN came in.
However, hindsight being 20/20, with my ERA results coming out pre-receptive in January, knowing that we now still actually have two good embryos is fucking GREAT! So when we went in we said, okay doc, we want your word you are going to use the two “A” embryos you’ve got left in there, and he promised that would happen. He also mentioned that they are not only “A” but “AA” which made me feel pretty great. While embryo grading is known to be highly subjective and differs between not only clinics but individual embryologists (after all, it’s visual), I still want the raddest blastocysts in the bank to be deposited in this womb o’ mine, ya know?
For those who started reading my blog more recently, my fertility doctor never actually offered PGS/PGD testing when we did our fresh cycle back in 2015. I was new to DEIVF so I never even had HEARD of genetic testing of embryos, so I didn’t know to ask. After the first cycle failed, and I was knee deep into fertility forums and blogs and the like and had read about that, the embryos were already frozen and my RE said they don’t freeze/thaw/test/refreeze so we were essentially sitting there with a dozen blastocysts of unknown genetic quality. I was pissed then, but again, after all we’ve been through and the ERA results, I’ve forgiven and moved on, because now I’m just grateful to have two top graded embryos that will be transferred next week.
So I’m happy, and pretty relaxed, all things considered. Going to this clinic has strange similarities to going to a bar like Cheers. Here, everyone knows our name, as it’s a small clinic and there aren’t layers of bureaucracy like the big clinics. There are no forced psychological evaluations, no irrelevant blood tests (classic example: the Second Opinion Clinic we went to last year tried to force my husband to get tested for Hep B – even though a) we provided proof of his Hep B vaccination and b) we would be using existing frozen embryos so why the fuck would he be tested for ANYTHING), no special person just to talk to you about finances, no PA pretending to have the knowledge of an RE, no nurse doing ultrasounds who doesn’t even do the transfer, and no non-RE calling you with the results. Our RE may not be perfect, but he’s involved at Every Single Step in the process, from the initial consult to the ultrasounds to the transfer to calling us with the results. The only things he doesn’t do are the blood draws and running credit card. I don’t have to deal with overly formal, snobby receptionists who don’t have a fucking iota of empathy for what you’re going through (like the Second Opinion Clinic), I don’t have someone attempting to weight me to calculate my BMI to assess whether I’m worthy of IVF (even though BMI has been proven time and again to be a completely bogus, antiquated measurement) and then potentially discriminate, and I don’t have someone telling me that based on my AMH and FSH, I’ll never get pregnant with my own eggs, then recommend seconds later I do 3 rounds of IUI with Femara, then not return my calls to schedule the ultrasound to see if the meds even worked (yes that was my first round of fertility treatment), and write in all caps “OBESE” at the top of my chart, even though weight has been shown to be a factor in less than 10% of infertility cases (and she never said anything to me about it – just wrote it on my chart notes and gave it to me). My fertility doctor may have his quirks and may have more limited offerings, but he’s straight up about his opinions (like I am with him), always has a smile for me, is warm and genuine, and unlike many REs, actually started his practice because he and his wife battled it for many, many years. Oh yeah, and when I asked about the ERA and if he’d do it, even though he said he didn’t put much stock in it, he agreed to do it because it was important to me.
And I can occasionally get him to laugh when his often serious professional demeanor seems to keep him from being able to grin. That shit makes my day. And this was a guy who asked if we wanted to pray with him after our first transfer and I asked giddily if we could trade it for a firm handshake 🙂
Oh! And I don’t think I mentioned earlier, we got my thyroid results in last week and I’m at a perfect 2.0. Now it has gone up from the slightly hyperthyroidic results of last month, but my awesome new thyroid specialist has me adding an extra pill every 3rd day during transfer week as a precaution in case I get another estrogen spike that causes my TSH to want to rise. Noice. I love a doctor with a plan that makes some fucking sense, y’all.
So for the very very very first time, I’m going into fertility treatment with an ideal TSH. Hot damn.
The Water is FINE!
Aqua yoga is my new BFF, y’all. After realizing the evening class at our community pool is at injection time, we found a weekday late morning class that also matches my husband’s day off, and gave it a try. Oh my GAWD did it feel good just stepping into the water, y’all. No pressure on my back, no weight on any of my joints? What a gorgeous feeling. I could have cried, it’s been so many months without that feeling.
The class itself was basically doing simple yoga poses (obviously, standing ones) in the water, so it had a bit of a tai chi feel to it. I felt great…for about 25 minutes. After that my back said “the jig is up, Aimee, you’re trying to exercise, aren’t ya?” and started to stiffen, but it was sooooo nice to have that small amount of time to actually move my body, relaxed and such. Originally I thought encouragement to “get in the water” meant “swim laps” or “do water aerobics” and when I asked my chiro, he clarified and said no, just get in the water and do what feels comfortable. My husband is my hero coming to these with me, not just sitting and watching, and not taking my offer to go swim laps while I attempted this. He said “no honey, I’m here to support you, every step of the way.” What a fucking awesome human being he is…
And speaking of awesome?
As I wrote that last section about shots being at 8:00? I didn’t realize until I wrote that that it was 8:40pm and I’d missed my delestrogen shot meetup with my hubby at his work by 40 minutes. First time EVER in six cycles I’ve forgotten about my shot. My phone was in the other room and I couldn’t hear the alarm, and here I am babbling on my blog about IVF! Jay-zus.
Fortunately it’s the PIO that’s more vital to be right on the button, but it got my ass in gear, dang. Now, back to the cuppa tea I had brewing and some good old fertility meditations and visualizations.
Love to my IVF sistas !