Thanks for your patience as I got through last week’s crazy schedule. Here’s what happened when we went to visit Dr. Freckles, our RE.
First off, I was actually pretty excited to see her, but my excitement waned a little when it became obvious that she didn’t remember me a lick. LOL. I only met her the once, during egg retrieval, 2 years ago… So it’s not surprising that she didn’t remember me. But she was burned into my brain so indelibly that there was a minute where I paused and had to remind myself that it’s normal, she sees a lot of patients, and ok for her not to remember me the same way before getting into the meat of our appointment. Once I checked my ego a little everything was ok, haha.
I went in with lots of questions and feel like she was able to answer all of them, which lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. So she answered my questions and gave me steps to follow as we get ready for the FET in late spring/early summer. I’ll go through the questions I asked first and then I’ll lay out our FET stuff.
1)What did we learn about our fertility challenges through doing IVF/ Why no spontaneous pregnancies if we make great embryos? Many people say that IVF is the best test you can do as an infertile couple because it allows the doctors to check and manage every step of the cycle… So, I was hoping that there might be more insight now that they have all that information. Dr. Freckles thinks maybe because of my DOR the shell on my eggs has begun to thicken. There’s not been much of a drop in quality yet, thus the gorgeous embies, but perhaps enough of a change to the shell to make them harder to penetrate. We opted for ICSI so she can’t be certain about the shell thickness but she thought it was likely. This was interesting and made sense to me, especially given my wonky late ovulations and short LP prior to doing IVF. She also said she couldn’t really comment on my suspicions for Endo unless we do a lap, which I expected, though it was a possibility.
2) Will we have to redo all testing before the FET? Nope, we DON’T have to redo all testing for the FET! HALLELUJIAH! I cannot tell you how excited this makes me. I only have to do a sonohysterogram. Which I hear is like a less invasive HSG. Cool. They are a little behind on this test as it can only happen certain times during your cycles so it might take 2 months to get into it but as we aren’t on a time crunch I am ok with that. Only one test?! Perfect, I’m not stressed at all.
3) What is the BMI cut off for cycling and what about weaning the Sprout? I am heavier now than I was pre-pregnancy and have a BMI of 27, in the overweight category, which had me really worried because I read somewhere that they like a normal BMI for IVF. I’ve been stressing and stressing this fact but it turns out I didn’t need to be. Apparently, it’s not as much of a concern for FET and the clinics cut off is a BMI of 40. So we’re golden there. As for weaning, I have almost completed operation wean Bean Sprout, but if I don’t, my clinic isn’t too concerned. I only have to have him weaned by the time I start the meds as they can cross over… Not months beforehand as I had heard. Allowing me to leisurely get into better shape and finish weaning without a second thought about my upcoming cycle. Phew!
4) My cycles are super short now… is that a problem? Like usually around 25 days…Nope. No one cares what my cycle looks like as the embryos are already created and ready to go. That’s a relief! Hopefully one of the 3 frozen embryos works out but I guess as long as it’s IVF (frozen or fresh) then the cycle is controlled by the clinic and my regular length is not relevant. Bummer for wanting to try naturally but not such an issue when trying medically.
See? It was all good news as far as questions were concerned! What a relief! We then dove into what the FET would entail and how to prepare for it. Again, I was left feeling super relieved at how simple things seemed! Our FET procedure will be a medicated transfer. Here’s what that will look like:
I start calling in my periods now. That keeps me in the system so that I can get my sonohysterogram and then proceed with the FET once hubby’s exam is behind us and we don’t risk losing our spot. That’s around 3 months of calling in. Once I am ready to start the process the nurse will advise me to start Suprefact 7 days before my period, it’s a nasal spray taken 5x a day that will down regulate my ovaries so I stop producing my own estrogen and won’t ovulate the month of the FET. As a side note, I hope the FET takes because my body seems to take forever to remember to start making its own hormones again (it took a year after being on the pill and 10 months after being pregnant to get my cycle back… I would hate to wait that long if it didn’t work to try again). So, Suprefact 5x a day then, after my period, also start taking estrogen to grown my lining. Cue the every other day lining scans until it reaches <7mm and then they thaw the embryo.
Interestingly, Dr. Freckles thinks the embryologist will likely choose the Day 5: 4AA morula embryo over the day 5: 5BA hatching blastocyst or the day 6: 5BB hatching blastocyst. I was surprised and said so, she assured me that the embryologist might make a different call but she suspects the double A grading (leading letter being the inner mass cells ie: baby) will sway them to the 4AA. Even though it’s not a blastocyst, even though it’s not hatching, Even though it was a day behind in development… I feel like I will have a lot to discuss with the embryologist when it comes time, but I trust them. We are only transfering one embryo so they’ll thaw one at a time and only do a second if the first doesn’t survive the thaw.
Our clinic has pretty good survival rates for thawed embryos- 80% survive the thaw. Hopefully, one of our frozen three thaws beautifully and we get to place it into the uterus. It’s scary to consider that they could just die and then nothing… but I’m going to trty to put that thought out of my head unless that actually happens. So after the transfer, we then get to do the long wait again. I can’t call it a two week wait as my clinic makes you wait 16 days after a frozen transfer to do your Beta HCG blood test. 16 days after a day 5 transfer makes you freaking 21 DPO. UUUUUUGH. I know they do this to avoid chemical pregnancies registering positive and getting people excited over a non-viable pregnancy… but it’s still torturous.
I guess the success rates of a thawed cycle are lower than fresh… with a good day 5 blasto only hitting around a 45% success rate. That seems disastrously low to me since our fresh cycle they gave us around a 75% chance of success with a day 5 AB hatching blasto… but I guess that’s the shot we’ve been given. And we are gonna take it! Positive vibes my way, please.
Come on summer, momma wants a baby!