FET

All posts tagged FET

10dp5dt

Published March 7, 2015 by Jennie

Today marks day 10 since my first transfer. This is the day my RE normally draws a beta but I get to wait until Monday since they are not open on the weekend. Right now I am not feeling very optimistic. As of now, I have had absolutely zero symptoms. Some people say they have had no symptoms minus a few things but I have really had none. I figured that even if I am not pregnant, I would get symptoms from the progesterone. That makes me wonder if my body is even absorbing the progesterone.

I asked my RE what we would do if it did not work. He said I should go right into another FET with the same protocol. On paper, this looks like perfect transfer. I had a grade A genetically tested blastocyst and excellent lining. I am also 32 and have zero identified health issues (relating to or not relating to infertility). I want to look into seeing a reproductive immunologist but my RE does not seem to think that is necessary. Has anyone done this? I feel that since everything else looks so great that this really may be my issue. On the other hand, from what I can see, it also looks like people seek out a reproductive immunologist after multiple miscarriages. I have never been pregnant. While I would never wish for a miscarriage, sometimes I wish I could see what pregnancy feels like, even if it did not last.

I know I may be getting ahead of myself but I like to have a plan set up if I get bad news on Monday.

Embryo 3

Published February 27, 2015 by Jennie

Blastocyst (2)

On Wednesday we had our very first (and hopefully only) single blastocyst transfer. Our RE first showed us our PGS results for each embryo which was kind of cool. We had 2 normal ones from retrieval #1 and 5 normal ones from retrieval #2.  Most of our abnormal ones had some type of trisomy which is three copies of a chromosome instead of two. Each embryo is numbered and we got #3 which is a boy from retrieval #1. This may sound strange but I wanted to know which retrieval he was from so I could know exactly when we made him.

The picture of him was taken after he defrosted and started hatching. It is SO hard to not get attached already. They also let us take home his tube that he was frozen in. I know this is thinking ahead but if he does work out, it would be cool to show him where he came from when he gets older :).

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He is a grade A although my RE said that there is little difference between a grade A and B embryo (a C, however, is problematic).

I asked my RE if I needed to limit my activity after the transfer. He said no. He actually said I could go shovel snow after the transfer if I wanted to. I have done some research and science seems to back this claim up (here is a link to a recent study). If anyone is interested, 2 other studies also find that under normal conditions, bed rest is not necessary. Kucuk (2013) actually suggests it may be harmful:

Li, B., Zhou, H., & Li, W. (April 01, 2011). Bed rest after embryo transfer. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 155, 2, 125-128.
Kucuk, M. (April 01, 2013). Bed rest after embryo transfer: is it harmful?. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 167, 2, 123-126.

I completely understand that there are different situations and it is important for people to follow their RE’s directions. Even so, I feel better knowing that scientific research backs up my RE’s protocol. My RE is very science based. He is ok with me doing other things that are supposed to help (like eating pineapple and Brazil nuts) but he says that if it is going to implant, it will implant and there is not much I can do to influence what happens. I think that is the hardest part. It makes me feel helpless.

The transfer itself took about 10 minutes. It was not painful but was uncomfortable. I had to completely fill my bladder first and they pushed down (not too hard) on my stomach to get a good image and check placement. Did other people have to do this first? Afterwards, I rested about 5 minutes and then walked out which felt a little strange. We had lunch and chilled out for the rest of the day. Even though I am cleared for normal activity (minus sex) I am going to take it easy which basically means I am going to avoid the gym for awhile.

That evening, they cancelled my class for the next day because we were supposed to get 4-8 inches of snow. We ended up only getting about half an inch but since they already cancelled class, I didn’t have to teach! I am sure that my students were devastated that they did not get to take Microeconomic Theory at 8AM 🙂 I actually slept in until about 11AM which I rarely do. I think that now that the procedure is complete, I can relax a bit which is nice.

Since I transferred a 5 day blastocyst, implantation would have happened 12 to 24 hours after transfer. I really wanted to see some implantation bleeding but that did not happen. Al I had was mild cramping which lasted about a day.

This coming week is spring break. I am going to Asheville to hang out for a few days. I am so glad I am going to have a distraction because I think I would go crazy sitting at home by myself all day.

My RE waits 10 days after a day 5 blastocyst transfer for the Beta test. Unfortunately that falls on a Saturday so I get to wait 2 more days (yay!). At least that gives me a few extra days to think I am pregnant as long as AF does not show up. Here’s to hoping the time passes quickly! – Jennie

 

 

 

It Is Finally FET Eve!

Published February 24, 2015 by Jennie

Capture
Pineapple….check!
Brazil nuts….check!
Non-caffeinated raspberry red leaf tea….check!
Pantry stocked with warm foods….check!
Hard boiled eggs cooked (gotta get that protein)….check!
No deli meat, alcohol, soft cheeses, raw veggies, etc….check!
Acupuncture (before day of and after transfer) ….check!
Massage (scheduled for day of transfer)….check!
Yoga…check!
Funny movies rented….check!
Fuzzy socks and warm clothes….check!
Sanity….???

I do believe I may be ready for our very first transfer! It is scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow) at 11AM. The weather has been bad today but hopefully things will clear up by then. I keep vacillating between being super excited and convinced it is not going to work. If anything, I can NOT seem to concentrate on anything. I have so much work to do and all I can do is just keep staring at it. I feel like women going through this should get a pass for a few days.

I hope more than anything that in 9 months or so we can (finally) meet our sweet baby boy. We already love him and have been waiting far too long.

Please, please, please, let this work. – Jennie

Waiting, Waiting, and More Waiting

Published February 12, 2015 by Jennie

Someone-is-waiting-for-you-on-that

So I am still waiting to do my first FET which will be our first transfer of any kind. If feels like this waiting thing is taking FOREVER. We did our two retrievals in September and November and I am ready to go. Unfortunately, PGS testing and a few other things have made us have to push things back a bit. My transfer was supposed to be on the 19th but now it looks like it will be on the 26th (give or take a day or two). Here is why.

For the last week I have continued Lupron and have also been on Estrogen patches. I now have four on and each one is changed every 5 days. I did have one fall off but that was after a particularly intense workout. These patches do not like sweat which is a little frustrating. It is also really difficult to remove the reside after taking off a patch. I do not know if anyone has found anything that works (If so, please do share!).

I also feel a lot more emotional than normal. I am not sure if it is the patches, the upcoming FET, or a combination of both. My brain also feels a little foggy. I currently teach microeconomics to college students. A few times I have forgotten what I am trying to say in the middle of my sentence. I wonder if  my students think I am going crazy.

I had my first appointment since I started the patches today. My RE told me that my endometrium has a trilaminar or triple line pattern. I had never heard that term before. Apparently, if you are going to have an endometrium lining, this is the pattern that you want! It is linked to higher rates of implantation and pregnancy when compared to a homogenous luteal pattern. On a side note, I am still amazed at all the new stuff I have learned while going through IVF. I never would have thought to be concerned about the pattern of my endometrium.

My lining is developing as well but apparently we do need to let that continue a little longer than predicted. My RE assured me that this is not bad. Apparently mine just grows a little slower than normal. I had a similar issue when doing our retrievals. It took about four days longer than predicted for my follicles to mature.

I can’t help but wonder if this might be a cause of my unexplained infertility. Maybe it just takes my body longer than normal to get through these stages. In an unassisted cycle, I may just run out of time. It seems that things always do what they are supposed to do even though it takes extra time.

My RE is almost positive that I will be ready to transfer in two weeks. At that point I will ideally have an endometrial thickness of 10–113 mm and will have kept my fabulous trilaminar pattern. I wish I could hit the fast forward button and get through this transfer already. I am going crazy playing the waiting game! – Jennie

It Feels Real Now

Published January 29, 2015 by Jennie

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A week and a half ago I had our first appointment for our first transfer. If you are new to my blog, we did two retrievals in a row and are now starting transfers. Since then, I have have continued birth control pills until two days ago and have taken daily Lupron injections. I still do not like Lupron but it is not the worst drug out there. It would be nice if these hot flashes would stop though!

Today I had another appointment and everything looks good to start the next phase. For the next two weeks, I will be on estrogen patches. Apparently I put one on tomorrow and every few days I add another on until I have four on and I go back to my RE. I am not sure what to expect being on these patches. Can anyone share their experiences with me so I know what to expect? I am worried they may fall off. I would also think it may make me a little hormonal. I am so glad I have a patient and understanding husband to back me up 🙂

After two weeks, they will put me on progesterone for six days and monitor my lining. This is my first transfer ever but I am worried my lining will not get think enough. Has anyone had issues with this? If everything looks good, we will complete the transfer on Thursday, February 19th. We have decided to transfer one boy. It feels so surreal to actual have a date on the calendar. I am getting so excited!

While our transfer is coming up, I feel like I am going to go crazy waiting for the days to pass. I am so ready to have it done. I have been ready for a long time. – Jennie

How do you like your eggs?

Published June 13, 2014 by Jennie

DonorEggs

 

The IVF countdown has begun!  While I am still nervous and scared, I am super excited!  I know we are lucky to even have this opportunity.  It is also fun to daydream about the possibility of it working.  Before we get down to business (this all starts in August) we still have some decisions to make.

We are seriously considering NOT doing a fresh cycle.  From my research, this does not seem to be the norm.  Here is why were are considering this option.

Success Rates and Health Impacts

While research is conflicted, some sources suggest that frozen is just as successful (or possibly more successful) as fresh (more info is also available herehere, and here).  Another source states that:

Experts from Aberdeen University reviewed 11 previous studies, which followed to birth, more than 37,000 pregnancies resulting from the transfer of either fresh or frozen thawed embryos.  When frozen embryos were used, there was a 30% lower risk of bleeding during pregnancy, 30 to 40 percent less chance of the baby being born underweight, 20% lower chance of premature delivery and 20% less likelihood of dying in the neonatal period. 

These sources also indicate that frozen cycles decrease the risk of developing OHSS. I have no reason to think I am at a higher than average risk for OHSS.  Even so, I would like to decrease my chances of having this be an issue.  I have heard one to many horror stories.

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS)

If you are unfamiliar with CCS (I was until I started looking into IVF), here is a brief overview of the process (information found here)

Aneuploidy is the term used to describe any embryo with either too many or too few chromosomes.   Most people are not aware that aneuploidy is the cause of greater than 60% of miscarriages, as well as the most likely reason that  patients do not get pregnant from an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. The purpose of CCS is to analyze, select and transfer only embryos that do not have abnormalities in their number of chromosomes. Screening embryos in advance can help achieve higher implantation rates and fewer pregnancy losses, particularly for women 35 or older, couples with multiple-failed IVF cycles or implantation failure, and couples with repeated miscarriages. 

Other research also suggests that CCS can improve the chance of success with IVF.  Some places offer CCS but most clinics (including mine) have to send the eggs to a testing center which means they have to be frozen.  This process is not cheap.  It is not covered by insurance and runs about $4,500.  The good news is  that the cost is the same no matter how many eggs are tested.  We are lucky that our insurance covered 90% of IVF and will also cover 90% of the costs to freeze and store my eggs.  We are seriously considering this option.  Part of me thinks that if we are going to take a shot at IVF, we minus well do everything we can.

Stress

I feel that delaying transfer may help me handle IVF.  It would give me more time to recover from the retrieval process.  I know that with infertility, time is our enemy.  I am 31 now which is not young but I think I can afford to wait a month to transfer.

This post is not an endorsement or recommendation for an IVF delayed transfer.  I have done my research and I am leaning towards this option.  I really hope I can get some feedback from other bloggers who have decided to either do a fresh or delayed transfer.  If you chose one or the other, what were your reasons?  Has anyone had any experiences (both good and bad) with CCS?  Any thoughts on these options are greatly appreciated!  All the research in the world can not replace the value of feedback from people who have actually been in this situation. xoxoxo- Jennie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s your turn science!

Published April 13, 2014 by Jennie

science

For four years I have tried to get pregnant.  For four years I have failed.  While no one knows why (there have been LOTS and LOTS of tests, procedures, medications, etc..) we can not do it on our own.  Last week I started my last cycle before our IUI.  Our game plan consists of the following plays: 1 IUI, IVF (with insurance, we could get through 2 fresh transfers but of course we hope we will have the option of FET if needed), surrogacy (I have already starting doing a lot of research on this), adoption (preferably but at this point I bet we will be broke), and lastly acceptance that we will never be parents.

I can not help but wonder how far we will get down this list.  I am trying to focus on all the positives.  First of all, my infertility is unexplained.  This is partially good.  I know that several things that can cause infertility (such as PCOS, endometriosis, blocked tubes, ovulation disorders, thyroid problems, poor egg quality, low sperm count, poor sperm motility, etc) are not issues for us.  On the other hand, it is difficult to treat an invisible problem.

idk

 

Additionally, I am 31 which is not super young but I would say at this point, age is not a huge factor for me.  We have good insurance so treatment will be a financial commitment but will not bankrupt us (at least until we go over or max limit for treatments).

Another thing that we have going for us is that I have unusually high tolerance to pain.  Needles do not bother me at all.  When I got my last tattoo, I read most of the time and almost nodded off.  Somehow my brain knows how to block off or at least greatly diminish feelings of physical (and mental) pain.  I have been through a lot in the past in addition to infertility so I think this may be my survival tactic for getting through things.  My friends sometimes call me a robot which can be good or bad, but in this case, it is good.  For those of you who get queasy around needles (which is completely normal), please enjoy the picture below (many of you may have already seen this but it always makes me smile).

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I also will not be working during the last half of May and all of June (minus working on my dissertation).  I am teaching a class in July but I can easily get someone to fill in for me if I have to miss a day or two.

Even though medical science has failed to identify why I can not get pregnant, I have a tremendous amount of faith in my upcoming fertility treatments.  I have researched it ad nauseam and I know that this is our best shot.  It has to work for someone so why not me?  Although I know that disappointment may await us, I am so thankful that we have access to these types of treatments.  All of this will soon be out of our hands.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for myself and everyone fighting the exhausting battle against infertility.  I promised myself I will not give up even if things do not go our way and really start to suck – Jennie

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