Getting Back in the Saddle

About 2 months had come & gone from the time of our 1st miscarriage.  After much discussion, we decided to schedule our IVF follow-up visit.  It was July 2014, & soon I would be teaching a new group of kiddos come August.  Before the visit, my hubs & I had decided that an August transfer might be perfect for us, since I wouldn’t need to miss much work. Plus, we would have a May due date (right when school would almost be out). Oh, and of course this meant a baby just in time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day! Sounded pretty perfect as far as timing goes.

The follow-up visit is when you sit down & chat (free of charge; one of the few freebies in IVF) with the doctor about why the cycle might have failed, and the protocol if you choose to move forward with another cycle.  No poking or prodding for once!  I know, hard to believe.

We really knew nothing about a frozen cycle back then; remember IVF is a 1 worry at a time gig, & we were pretty confident the 1st cycle would be it for us.  Actually, all we did know at the the time was that we still had 7 precious embies (IVF slang for embryos) left in the freezer…thank God!

Everyone says a frozen embryo transfer cycle, commonly known as a “FET,” is sooo much easier than a fresh embryo transfer cycle. Hmmm, I don’t know about that.  IVFers say this because traditionally a FET cycle tends to requires less monitoring (blood & ultras) than a fresh cycle.  But, you have to remember that as with any medical treatment, what every person needs is completely different. This being said, the FET’s we went through were much more difficult for me than our fresh cycle; both physically and emotionally speaking.

There was still room for lots of “what if’s” to occur as they did with a fresh cycle. The what-ifs were just a little different for us this time. For example, what if the embryos don’t survive the thaw? What if I miscarry again? What if my body doesn’t react well to the new drugs? And of course, WHAT IF IT DOESN’T EVEN FREAKING WORK AT ALL? The list goes on and on.

At the follow-up visit, we asked the doctor what the chances of another miscarriage were since that was one of our fears.  She said very minimal, and threw some low percentage at us since we were “so young” and our embies were graded “so excellent.”  We asked what the chances of the embryos not surviving the thaw were-only a 5% chance they wouldn’t.  We believed all the percentages.

Note I am not being pessimistic, just realistic when I say this:  Do not put all of your faith in percentages!!!  Seriously, think about it. Where exactly are these percentages coming from?  World wide studies? National studies? State studies? Practice studies?  And, what age groups are participating in the study? Reasons for their infertility? Prior children? Lifestyle factors? Genetic histories? Pre-existing conditions? Come on! I am not a scientist, but I do know this much-there are way too many variables and not enough constants to put your eggs in this basket.

Anyways, back to our visit.  We knew we wanted to transfer 2 embryos this time around. Our thinking was if one didn’t take initially, or even if it took and then did not continue on, hopefully the other would. The doctor agreed.  We told her our thoughts about having an August transfer, and she printed a calendar to show us the transfer dates available. This time the calendar only dated from July 2014, to September 2014. Hey, a little shorter than before right?!

I got another SIS done to make sure my uterus was good to go, and it was. We had the infamous day 3 ultrasound done to make sure the birth control I had been on in June & July prevented any cysts from forming. Good to go here again.  We chalked up the cash, received all of our meds, and so it began…cycle #2.

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