FET #3: Transfer Day

After waiting almost a year & a half since our last transfer, & 2 years from the first, yesterday was FINALLY the BIG day! 

Our transfer wasnt scheduled until 1 pm in the afternoon, which had both positives and negatives to it. More time to get things in order, on the other hand more time to let my mind wonder. 

We woke up around 8, took the dogs for a walk, & did my daily injection on PIO. Next, we went to the grocery store & got a couple last minute items that we hadnt got over the weekend. When we got back, I showered while he cooked us brunch. We ate eggs, chicken breast, tomatoes, & wheat muffins.

Then I showered, prayed with my mom over the phone, read devotional with hubby (which ironically for the first time ever discussed infertility) & popped in my Circle + Bloom transfer day CD. I have been listening to the sessions religiously this cycle and was super excited to put this one in!!! Praying, reading, & meditating where exactly what I needed to calm my nerves. 

At last, it was time to get ready to go! If you know me, you know I usually dont wear make-up unless Im heading out for a fancy dinner or something of the sorts. Well, I decided to do myself up yesterday. As I was putting on make-up, hubby was like, “are you putting on make-up?” Haha! I replied with, “yes, arent we getting ready to make a baby? Under normal circumstances, if we had just started trying, I would be getting prettied up for you!” We both chuckled. 

Thanks to all of the suppport we have in our life, I was decked out from head to toe in items we have been given for his cycle. I had on my pineapple headband (hubby), my pineapple earrings (bestie), baby charm bracelet (cousin), a Pandora ring (my mom), hope necklace (aunt), 4 leaf clover necklace (blogger), bad ass undies (me), and stork socks (me). I also had an angel in my pocket from one of my co-workers, along with a yellow bracelet. I felt very special & surrounded by love. 

Hubby & I decided to stop by the water before we went to the RE’s office. Its just a few minutes away, and its in a beautiful, more ritzy area. What a gorgeous day out! The sun was shining with a breeze, truly a spring day in Florida. We took some selfies, skipped rocks, and talked about the future. On our way to the car, I popped my valium. 

  
As soon as we got to the office, I could tell they might be running a little behind. They are very quick for regular appointments, but for retrievals, transfers, & the like they arent. Im not complaining; I dont want them to rush me when Im back there! Anyways, they finally took us back around 1:45.

The nurse took my blood & my vitals, then we headed back to transfer room. I got in my sheet skirt (so cute…not!) and put on my cap. Shortly after, the embryologist came in to show us our embies (now named Itty & Bitty), and tell us how they did thawing. Nervewracking part. She showed us a pic of 1 embie (our AB graded) & you could see it was clearly hatching already! She was really pleased with how it only took it an hour to do so once thawed, as compared to normally 3 hours. Here she is…

  
When I asked how the other one did, she was like “what other 1? Arent we only doing 1?” Hubs and I just stared at each other, and I cant remember who spoke up first. We informed her we are transferring 2. She acted like it wouldnt be a big deal, as she could see my stress level rising a bit. She left to go talk to my RE.

At this point, hubby got up and asked me if I wanted to pray together. I was so thankful for this. He prayed over us, as I listened, and it was just perfect. A few minutes later, my RE came back in, and apologized, saying there must have been a miscommunication between the nurse and her somewhere. She said they would de thaw it now, and hoped we wouldnt mind waiting another hour. 

When 3 pm finally rolled around, the embryologist came back in with embie number 2’s photo. He survived just fine too! Most of his hatching will take place inside of me since he wasnt out thawing as long. 

  
By now, my valium had long worn off & we were ready to get this show on the road! My RE, nurse, & medical assistant (I asked if she could stay, it was the first transfer she got to see!) all piled in the room about 3:30. They inserted the catheter, filled my bladder, & as we watched the screen, on the count of 3, we saw Itty & Bitty released back into their home!!! So cool to watch. 

During the transfer, my RE said my uterus has looked better than it ever has before. Thank you God! When it was complete, she gave us my discharge instructions, wished us well, & said she would see us soon. After that I still had to lay with my feet up for about 20 minutes, and by now it was 4 pm! The time delay was worth it though. 

We eventually got home at about 5 and had dinner. More chicken breast, salad with carrots, cucs, mushrooms, & tomatoes, followed by an avocado & banana smoothie with pineapple core & brazilian nuts for dessert. Hubs put in Pippi Longstocking for me & I watched that, smiling often! I havent seen it since I was a child & I bought it just for this occassion. 

We were both super tired by 8pm, so I listened to my Circle + Bloom CD one more time, & actually fell asleep in the process. Ill take that as a good thing! I did wake up a few times through the night to pee as usual, but the difference this time was that my mind started to race when usually its shut off during the wee hours. I felt a few cramps and of course, tried to analyze them. Soon, I fell back asleep. 

Today (2dp6dt), I have already meditated to my CD. Later, I plan to read my new book, color, watch the new series I bought, etc. Hubs is back to work, so its just me & the boys here. My mom might stop by too. 

Please keep us in your prayers while I am PUPO!! Thank you!

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Transfer Day “Stuff”

One benefit to being an IVF vet is that you know what to expect on transfer day and can prepare for it (for the most part).  

Since this is our 4th transfer (4th times a charm!), I feel more prepared than ever before. I am not really talking mentally, although I do feel good about that too. I am referring more to the fun (oh Lord, did I just say fun!?) side of all this I guess? If there is such a thing?! 

Anyways, here is what I have planned so far for FET #3, transfer day #4 (still a few weeks away)-

Transfer Day Shirt-Of course none other than a pineapple would be acceptable (followed by eating some pineapple core)! 

  

Transfer Day Pineapple Socks– ordered online & never worn before! Waiting for the big day to sport these.

  

Transfer Day Pink & Blue Baby Charm Bracelet-passed down to me by a family member, and fellow IVFer who had her miracle twin babies. She wore it during her journey, and now I am wearing it through ours.

  

Transfer Day Drink of Choice… Organic, Sparkling Pomegranate (carbonated water)- This old wives tale drink is delish and we have a pretty good stash ready to go post transfer. 
  

Transfer Day Snack of Choice…Brazilian Nuts! Another old wives tale for sticky feet. All stocked up!

  


Transfer Day Reading-recommended to me from a few ladies in my IG community. This book is so adorable & perfect for any couple trying to conceive! 

  

Transfer Day Therapy- Circle + Bloom meditation continues. Except now its transfer day/post transfer listening time!!!

  

Im sure a few other transfer day things will be planned as we get closer, but I just couldnt contain myself from being excited and thinking about it all today!! 

Prayers for a nice, thick lining at Mondays appointment. 


CD 1…3 Days Late

I have been awaiting my monthly friend that reminds me each month I am not pregnant.  Like clockwork, she comes every 28 days. But not this month. This month she decided to come 3 days later than usual.  I guess she decided to play mind tricks, allowing me to actually question if I could be pregnant.  

Yesterday, the stark white test confirmed it couldnt possibly be true, and then her appearance reaffirmed that today.  The disappointment was minimal; it was pretty expected at this point.  So, with that being said, I have emailed my nurse and set up my first Lupron injection for this week.  Finally. 

As the night comes to a close, I begin to think about how quickly these next 3 months on Lupron are going to fly by. I think about how our FET will likely be here before I even realize it. Some fear arises inside me, mixed with excitement, followed by thinking, ‘bring it, 2016 is going to be our year.’  

Phillipians 4:13 

A Renewed Sense of Hope

As of lately, I havent had much good to report in terms of our IF/IVF/RPL struggle. Today, for the first time in awhile, I feel like we have some better news to share. 

My formal, sit-down, post MRI appt. with my RE was today.  Although I had briefly discussed the results with her via email prior to our meeting, this was an in depth review.  

We started out reviewing the recent images together. I had already looked at these on the CD I was given at the hospital after the MRI, but none of it made any sense to me.  I couldnt even tell my intestines from my uterus and so on.  Seriously, it looked like an alien.  We pulled up before and after images from the last mass removed back in May.  We compared the images, and they looked very similar then and now, as far as the shape, location, etc. 

Some background before I go any further

Before my surgery back in May, my RE said she thought it was an Adenomyoma that we were going to try and remove. Of course, there is no sure fire way to know 100% what it is until it is sent out after removal. When we got the path back from the lab, after removal, it came back as a submucosal fibroid.  Hmmmm…

We (my RE included) were all very surprised by this report, as it didnt look like one at all.  But what were we going to do? Fight the labratory? Ask for the mass to be sent to me? I dont think so. They dont even speak to people there, trust me. The lab has no connection to the RE- it is an entirely separate entity.  If you even try calling a lab, good luck.  

That brings us to current time. We noticed during my last H/S in September that something was back in my uterus yet again. We ordered an MRI and the official read of the current mass- Adenomyoma. Might I add, in the same exact same location as the last mass.  Hmmmm…

So my friends that “fibroid” back in May was NOT really a fibroid-it was an Adenomyoma as we all originally suspected.  There is no way a fibroid was in the exact same spot as an Adenomyoma now is. Fat chance! 

That would mean the lab was wrong.  How is it possible that a lab could inaccurately diagnosis a specimen sent to them? Well, for one, they are human. Two, its my luck. But here is the real deal on how a misdiagnosis of an Adenomyoma vs.  Fibroid happens–my RE said that when they check for fibroids, they are looking for endometrial tissue and if they find it, they sometimes just classify it as a fibroid.  Both masses have endometrial tissue, but fibroids are much more common than Adenomyomas.  

I do believe this reasoning on their *uck up is true, because when we got a second opinion over the summer at another RE’s and I showed him the path report and the photos, his exact words were, “that is not a fibroid.” I argued with him, explaining that the lab said… and he interrupted me quickly with and I quote, “they are just testing for endometrial tissue.” 

Pretty amazing that labs can get away with this type of work if you ask me.  Nevertheless, I I feel confident this is a regrowth of an Adenomyoma versus a fibroid, and that we have in fact been dealing with an Adenomyoma all along.  So does my RE, the radiologists, and all of the RE’s at her practice.  

To be sure, today, we compared numerous images of fibroids versus adenomyomas; the outcome- my mass looks NOTHING like a fibroid. I do not want to ponder this matter any longer. We have had so many unanswered questions and curveballs throughout our journey.  This FINALLY feels like a solid diagnosis to us, and we plan to leave it at that.  

Now, with all that being said, it appears this adenomyoma has indeed grown back since the operation in May.  It stayed away for about 2 1/2 months in total after the operation.  Keep in mind, before the operation, my RE told me there was a chance this mass growing back may happen (if she couldnt get all of the cells from it out).  She made it clear to us then that she did NOT want to damage my uterus in anyway=not a lot of digging and scraping to get it out.  I do appreciate that.  

Do I wish she got it all? Yes. Do I want to have a bunch of scar tissue or damaged cavity from her getting it all? No. And I dont, thankfully, because then I would be super pissed it was back.  But I am not mad at all today, for 3 reasons-

  1. As mentioned, we now have a firm diagnosis of what the mass is. 
  2. My uterus looks great overall. Surprising right? Ill explain more below. 
  3. There is hope!

Looking Good

I dont know if anyone out there has had an MRI of the uterus, but let me tell you, it really gives you a clear view of it all…more than any HSG, H/S, or SIS can.  The only troublesome area is the small spot where this Adenomyoma is. The rest is normal size, shape, and so on. Thank God.  This is good news my friends!  

Here comes the hope

We can try to shrink this mass using Lupron for 3 months. We discussed success rates, side effects, etc.  and when it boils down to it, my husband and I think it is at least worth a try.  We are feeling very hopeful, and at the same time, cautiously optimistic about it.  

The Plan

We ordered the script for Lupron, and my nurse is going to try and get my insurance to cover it, meaning it probably will not be in for a few weeks.  This is not the typical Lupron you inject yourself with subcutaneously in the abdomen before an IVF cycle. I wish! I have been on that dose of Lupron plenty of times, its not bad at all.  For this though, I will go into their office once a month and get an intramuscular injection in-you guessed it-my ass.  Ugh.  I guess its like regular Lupron on steroids (super strong). 

I will be honest-the side effects described are not pretty. Hot flashes, night sweats, nausea, insomnia, etc.  I am trying to remain hopeful I do not get the worst of it.  I am focusing on my fresh IVF cycle, and how I never got sick like a lot of women do, and also my pregnancies were pretty much the same.  I am usually pretty good at fighting off side effects, so we will see.  If they become too much to bear, there are some options of things I can do, but I am not going there yet, one day at a time. Either way, I know it will all be worth it in the end if we can finally bring our baby home.  

Best Case Scenario

The Lupron shrinks it down & we transfer immediately after I stop it, knowing the Adenomyoma stayed gone for about 3 months, we could get through the first trimester without it coming back during that time (hopefully, nothing is guaranteed).  This would mean a spring transfer and maybe our baby in time for the holidays next year! 

Worst Case Scenario

This Lupron does not shrink it.  We would then be faced with a few options-

  1. Try to surgically remove it again & transfer right away after (again, this would be just a temporary fix, trying to get us through a first trimester without it, knowing it will likely be back soon).  We would also be risking damage to my uterus again going this route.  
  2. Gestational carrier – I will post about this separately, but we did discuss it in detail today and I got tons of info. on it.  

I failed to mention that I discussed getting a second opinion from another Dr. with my RE today.  One that specializes in uterine masses to be exact.  She showed me the areas the other REs at her practice specialize in and are board certified in- several of them being uterine issues like mine.  If they have already reviewed my files, and specialize in this area, why would we bother going anywhere else? What will they tell me these REs havent? I really dont want to become more confused and I am so tired.  Most importanty, we feel content today, like we are moving forward, and thats what matters most.  


Decision Time

We have been praying for peace about which RE to go with, as we wanted to make our decision by the end of this week. Enough dragging it out already, we are ready to be done with this step and move on.  As you very well know (and may be getting sick of hearing about), we have been unsure of whether or not we wanted to stay at our current clinic.  While there are many things we love about them…Things We Love there are also things we don’t… Always Room for Improvement

Earlier this week, we met with the new RE ( New RE FET consult ), and he reviewed his plan for a future FET, the results of our HSG, and did a lining check where he saw the “something.”  I failed to mention the FET protocol he prescribed in my prior post.  I think I was too worked up about the “something”  to go into much detail at the time.  Anyways, he was not for a natural, a.k.a. un-medicated cycle.  His reasoning was that he feels that they can do better than I can do on my own. Hmmmm, I don’t know about that.

Anyone who has been following along knows we ideally want to be as drug-free as possible due to our negative experiences on the meds, especially the estrogen.  When I told him that taking it can feed the growth of masses he argued that my body is producing it anyways.  But if you ask me, the estrogen I am producing naturally is not the same as the synthetic stuff he wants me to go on that I have been on before.  So basically, the protocol would be the same at his place as it had been for our previous FET’s.  Although the protocol would be the same, the price is still $1,000 more than our current RE.

Today, we met with our current RE (where our 3 frosties are housed) for an ultrasound, and FET consult.  Going into the visit, we felt like it was almost a last ditch effort.  We wanted to see what she would want to do differently moving forward, if anything at all.  Many of you are aware of my anxiety, and a major fear of mine is how I would feel being at the same place in the same rooms where I have lost our 5 babies.  Needless to say, I have been carrying around my homeopathic anxiety drops, and I was pretty sure I would need them going here.  Heck, I needed them earlier in the week as I sat in the waiting room for the new RE so why would it be any different today?

We were greeted pleasantly upon arrival.  We know the staff very well, and it’s been awhile since I have seen them all.  Before being called back, the nurse handed me a rough draft of a letter that my RE wrote for us.  This letter was required for the financial grant we want to apply for.  Our paperwork (all 21 pages) is ready to go, with the exception of this letter. I asked for the letter a few weeks ago through email, and even though we weren’t sure which clinic we would end up at, I wanted to get the ball rolling just in case.  I know this may sound a little child-like or game-like, but I didn’t want to ask again about getting this letter after my first request.  I wanted to see that they would do it without being hassled for it.  I wanted to be handed it today, and I was. The nurse asked me to look it over, and if it was to my liking, they would sign it and type it up on letterhead for me.  I thought it was great…here it is…

  
About an hour into the visit, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I had not felt any anxiety or any need for my drops. We started off with the ultrasound. I am currently in the Luteal phase after ovulation, when the progesterone my body naturally produces should have compacted my lining a little.  In other words, it wouldn’t normally look as thick as it had before or during my LH surge.  This made me nervous.  How much thinner would it be?  Well, the good news folks is that even compacted, it still measured an 8.5!  Talk about exciting.  Thank you, God!

The not so good news is that she did see the “something” in my uterus as well.  Although I don’t want this “thing” there by any means, it was additional reassurance that both her and the other RE are on the same page with what they see.  When two sets of eyes see the same “thing” at different times, you know it’s got to be “something.”  She also said she was not sure what it could be like he did.  Her recommendation was to do another Hysteroscopy to explore it.  I figured this much.  After loss 3, we agreed that before we ever did another transfer again we would do a Hysteroscopy before it anyways.

I got dressed and went into her office for the most important part–the plan for moving forward.  We started off the discussion with how I have been–my visits with my therapist and my family Dr.  She was very pleased to hear that I have been seeing Dr. G for therapy, as some of her other patients do too.   

Soon after, we jumped in to the protocol for a FET.  I thought I might be hearing things when she softly said, “I know in the past I have not been all for an un-medicated cycle, but I really feel like a natural cycle would be best for you now.”  Wow! What? I hadn’t even mentioned the thought of an all natural cycle to her in months upon months. My hubby and I both assumed she would hand us the same old calendar with the same old BC, Lupron, E2, and progesterone on it, but thankfully we were wrong; we didn’t even have to initiate the discussion of what we wanted.

Of course we asked her why she felt this way now.  She explained that based on how we have been tracking my lining it seems the best idea. My lining gets thinner on estrogen–the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do when on it during a cycle.  We have checked it for 3 consecutive months now, and it has been thick enough to be considered ideal.  When on estrogen, and we are talking aggressive amounts, it is thinner.  Plus, she agreed it can feed growth of masses and with our history it doesn’t seem like a good idea to chance it.  I cannot begin to tell you how elated we were to hear all of this. 

She went on to say that we are not the typical patients, and that what works for the majority isn’t working well for us.  In addition, she provided literature on new studies that are showing all natural FET’s are quite successful, especially for a patient who has already been pregnant off IVF each time they transferred (ME!).

We talked about transferring 1 embryo versus 2 and all agreed on 1 as the best bet at this point.  We conferred about who would do the monitoring ultrasounds should we choose to move forward, another important factor for us.  We would only be getting them done by the RE herself-no nurses. At the other RE’s clinic, the nurses would be doing them for us, not the RE. I should note that it’s not like we don’t trust the nurses at these clinics…we just feel that having the person who will be transferring that embryo looking at my uterus each time is better.  We did have a slight problem arise in the past that has influenced this way of thinking.  

Another topic of discussion was in what case a natural cycle could get cancelled. The great part about this awful thing (cancellation of a cycle) is that when it is natural, no meds have been wasted or much money spent at all.  Plus, the overall cost of an un-medicated cycle is much cheaper to begin with anyways (about half the cost of a medicated FET).

We sat down to look at calendars next.  We didn’t get the generic calendar handed to us that we have in the past.  Instead, we sat down with 3 blank calendars, August-October, in front of all of us. 

  
At the other RE’s we did not look at calendar’s, it was verbal, and I tried to input as much as I could into my cell phone as they told me dates.  Anyways, we compared doing a September transfer versus an October.  An October transfer was the only option at the other RE if we wanted him to do it, not any of his partners (the 6 partners rotate transfers and his week isn’t until October again).  We decided that September would be too soon for us, especially getting another H/S done beforehand.  This being said, regardless of clinic, October will be our month.  Yes, you heard me right, we will be transferring our future baby in October!

It could have only been God watching over us today.  As we sat and went through the dates and times for things, everything was falling into place.  I will barely miss any time off, and not by my doing; it just happened that way.  We do not have a “set date” for a transfer, something we hated having in the past and would still have at the new RE’s if we want him to do it. 

Since we are un-medicated, we cannot nail down an exact day until we get much much closer.  My body is in charge this time, not the meds.  We do have an idea of the 2 week time frame the transfer will be in, but that is all for now.

As we left today, we felt total peace and a sense of joy, just what we prayed for! Most importantly, we feel confident in our current RE’s hands as we move forward.  In no way do we regret getting a second opinion at all–in fact it has helped us to feel the confidence we feel today.  

As you can see, we have made our decision to stay where we are at.  We welcome all the positive vibes from our wonderful friends and family about our decision! We are so excited for what our future has in store– Jeremiah 29:11

Always Room for Improvement

Right off the bat, I should say that I know no person is perfect, and no IF clinic is perfect either. Perfection should never be the expectation. However, in any profession, if you aren’t reflecting and trying to improve or do better, that could be a problem. Experience only makes you wiser if you learn from it and apply it to future situations. I know this from being a teacher the past 5 years.

This being said, we have made a list of things we think could be improved upon at our current clinic, or any clinic for that matter.  Here is what we have so far:

  1. The most advanced uterine tests should be performed on all patients before IVF. This means a Hysteroscopy should be done on every patient prior to IVF.  You heard me right.  That is our opinion after the hell we have gone through. We are proof in the pudding that an SIS and HSG aren’t always enough.  If we had done this procedure from the start, there would be no questions in our minds or our RE’s if that fibroid had truly been around for all 3 losses or not.  
  2. PGD should be offered to all patients before they begin IVF.  Looking back, we were never informed of this option & I wish we had been. We cannot do PGD testing now with our remaining frozen embryos, as it can only be done in the days following the retrieval.  We never knew about this option until we miscarried and started searching the web. Suddenly, we started seeing all of these women who did PGD before transferring.  I mentioned it to my doctor at that point, and found out it was too late to genetically test our embryos.  Since we looked good on paper (under 35, appropriate weight, etc), perhaps it was assumed we would succeed & not need this expensive option added on. If we were to miscarry again, I do not know if I could go through another transfer. Instead we have discussed a surrogate. How much more confident we would feel knowing we were transferring a genetically normal embryo into a surrogate than not! While I get that PGD is not 100% accurate, it should be offered to the patients if it is a service the clinic provides.
  3. RE’s should discuss the worst case scenarios upfront with their patients before they begin IVF.  When we began IVF, we were so set on it actually “working” that we didn’t think of anything before that point or after that point. We didn’t discuss that only embryos making it to day 5 or 6 would be kept.  We never talked about the chances of chemical pregnancies, miscarriage, or RPL.  We had no idea we would go through the torture of beta testing and what would need to happen with all that if we ended up pregnant.
  4. The RN’s should not do all of the ultrasound monitoring during an IVF cycle.  This is probably common at most clinics simply due to the amount of patients undergoing treatment.  It was never an issue to us before we miscarried either as we do trust our RN.  However, our nurse ended up missing something early on in one of our cycles that our RE probably wouldn’t have if she had been the one doing the ultrasounds to begin with. Moving forward, we have told our RE we will not be monitored by anyone other than her and she has agreed this is best.  If our RE would like to have the nurse with her for another set of eyes, great! Bottom line…I want the person who will be transferring those embryos into my uterus monitoring it before hand. No exceptions.
  5. All viable embryos should be considered for transfer.  At our clinic, only embryos that make it to day 5 or 6 are transferred.  On the day of the retrieval you are handed a piece of paper that says “be here on day 6 at _____ am for embryo transfer.”  I know several women who have had successful day 3 or 4 transfers, so I do not think it is fair to limit to just a day 5 or 6 transfer. Thankfully, our 8 embryos made it to day 6, but what if they hadn’t?
  6. After retrieval, the embryologist should provide daily updates on how the embryos are doing.  I never once talked to the embryologist for an update. I received a voicemail the day after retrieval with a brief summary, but that was it. Those days after the retrieval are sooo stressful as it is, and remember we had to wait until day 6 not knowing anything. In my opinion, not knowing anything until you show up for the transfer is adding a lot of unnecessary stress to the situation.
  7. Get input from the patient about their IVF treatment plan.  Sit down and show patients all of the different “protocols” available for an IVF cycle. Short, mini-stim, antagonist, un-medicated, etc. Tell them the success rates with each. Explain what type of patients you have seen do well on each type of protocol.  Understand that this should not be a “one-size-fits-all” approach.  Ask them questions about their bodies, and act like they are educated. Through this process, I have learned that I know my body better than anyone. Just because Susie did well off all of the drugs you gave her, doesn’t mean I will. Show me what is available, whether it is your preferred method of treatment or not.
  8. Clinics should disclose what will happen if you do get a positive beta post IVF.  We never talked about the cost to continue a pregnancy if we achieved one.  We had no clue we would be spending thousands more on medications after the actual IVF cycle itself ended.  Medications are only paid for up until the beta test in case you get a negative.  If you get a positive, you will need meds for 6 more weeks, at least.  That adds up to thousands more.
  9. Designate clear roles within the practice.  Since it is so easy to communicate with everyone at the practice (listed as a perk yesterday!), you never know exactly who to talk to about things. For example, we have had prescriptions not called in, called in twice by different staff members, etc. It would be great if each person had a clearly designated role or each patient had a clearly designated go to person.
  10. Wellness services should be provided at clinics. Everyone goes into treatment hoping it will work the first time.  But, that is not always the case.  Actually, majority of the time it is not the case.  After all of the emotional and physical trauma, we wished that our clinic offered things like acupuncture, counseling, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, when asked, they provide recommendations, but we have ended up finding our own specialists in these areas.  It would be great if clinics started including these in their treatment packages.

Hind sight is always 20/20. But we hope this list is helpful to those searching for a clinic to call home!

Waiting Game

Getting the balloon out of my uterus on Tuesday may have been one of the most physically relieving moments I can ever remember.  The removal was painless, along with the quick ultrasound making sure all looked as it should after the evil balloon went bye-bye.  

Thankfully, I only have 3 days left of my antibiotic remaining, I no longer need any pain pills, I am back to work, and happy to report that the bleeding has almost completely subsided.  I really do feel like a new woman!

We can finally say that I have done both the diagnostic hysteroscopy and the operative hysteroscopy.  Another check off the list.  To recap, after our 3rd pregnancy loss, the diagnostic hysteroscopy discovered the uterine mass, and the operative hysteroscopy removed it. The plan is now to go back in and perform another diagnostic hysteroscopy after my next period (still on the pill!) later this month. The purpose of this will be to make sure the mass was truly removed and has stayed gone.

Even though we know the surgery itself went well, we are still awaiting the pathology results of the actual mass. Speaking of waiting, it seems like we will be doing a lot more of it now. Like we haven’t done enough already.  At my post-op my RE told me she wants my uterus to have “time to heal.”  I know what many of you are thinking…this is a good thing! She should want to take time for it to heal! I get it.  Most RE’s tend to push the next cycle on the patient like what are you waiting for? Let’s do this! I’ll take your money! Not the case.  The patting on my shoulder as she quietly spoke meant 1 thing…she doesn’t want to do another FET for a while.

I came right out and asked her,  “How long?” Not an easy answer.  After the upcoming diagnostic hysteroscopy later this month, if all goes as planned, I will go off the pill.  I will then go in for a lining check in June, and at least July.  Maybe August. This will give us an idea of how my uterus is healing after all of the trauma it has endured the past year or so.  After that, we can decide on the next plan of action.  I know I will need another diagnostic hysteroscopy around August (about 3 months post surgery) to make sure the mass stayed gone. If it hasn’t, I don’t know what we will do, because I don’t think I can (or should I say I wont) undergo another operation like I just did. 

You might be wondering why the mass would be likely to come back. My diagnosis of Adenomyosis can never fully be cured unless I got a hysterectomy. Having Adenomyosis means I can be prone to adenomyomas, or masses.  However, many patients with Adenomyosis do not have adenomyomas.  

If I am mass free, and my uterus is healing okay, I still really don’t want anything to do with another August transfer anyways. We did an August FET last year, and miscarried for the 2nd time.  I do not want to relive all of the same dates again with a new transfer.  It still hurts too much.

And September will be 9 months from our last transfer, when baby Isaiah, & his brother or sister would have arrived.  So, for that reason, I am not sure how I feel about a September transfer either.  Shane seems to think we could take either of those dates that hurt so much and turn them into positives. I am not there yet with my thinking.

Now that some of the dust is starting to settle, I guess the harsh reality is starting to sink in.  That reality is just how much time will have passed before we can even consider becoming pregnant again. And the truth is more sacred dates will continue to silently come & go.  

Hopefully, we pray, we will be able to bring home our baby sometime in mid 2016.  But of course even as much as we try to stay positive, doubt creeps in, & we cant help but wonder if it will ever really be our time.