FET#3 : Beta Results

My HCG level today was 10, so I’m having another chemical pregnancy. I’m 3 for 3 now.

I took a half day from work, so I could be at home to cry when I got the results. I can’t even cry, because this is what I thought would happen. This is what always happens.


FET# 3: 10p5dt : Stephen Hawking

I have my beta today. I did not do an HPT yesterday or today. My beta blood draw is in an hour. I started getting bad menstrual cramps last night and this morning, as this is when my period would be due if I wasn’t on progesterone. I can’t remember if I had this bad of cramping during either of my other transfers or my natural pregnancy, so I was googling up a storm in bed this morning. I decided to check in on the news instead, and that was when I found out.

Stephen Hawking died today at age 76.

I immediately started crying, because it reminded me of my own impending death. It reminded me why I am doing IVF. It reminded me that one day I will also get ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and I doubt that I will be so lucky to live to be 76. My mom died at age 60. Her sister died at age 61. I have an aunt with the gene who has made it to 69 with no symptoms. I’ve read that in familiar cases, it generally comes a little earlier for the next generation. Stephen Hawking died, and I am reminded that there is no cure for ALS. Even if you are a brilliant, rich, white man, it will still take you.

Today I am reminded of death. Can I please be reminded of life?



FET#3: 8dp5dt

Let me rehash the last 5 days:

4dp5dt (Thur): I woke up feeling a bit lighter (emotionally) than the night before. I started to think that things are different this time. I had a polyp removed and my uterus was in great shape. I also chose an embryo from a different retrieval (#1) than I did with the other two FETs (taken from retrieval #2). And my embryo was almost fully hatched when they put it in – the picture was beautiful! My last two embryos didn’t really looked hatched even though the clinic did assisted hatching. I also had some light cramping and thought things were looking up.

5dp5dt (Fri): More light cramping. All day I kept saying, “I am not going to test until tomorrow morning. It’s too early. Nope – no testing today! It’s not FMU!” But I couldn’t help myself. I stopped drinking liquids after 1, and then when I got home at 5, I thought well I’ve done the 4-hour hold and I have internet cheapies so why not? So I tested. And nothing. About 10 minutes after the test, I had what could truly be called a “squinter.” It was there, but was it really there?

6dp5dt (Sat): I had insomnia and couldn’t fall asleep until 2am. I woke up at 6am and did another HPT. Again, still negative until around 10 minutes when it was incredibly faint, but actually visible, unlike yesterday’s squinter. I started googling “evap lines” and after finding an article that convinced me that colored evap lines aren’t a real thing, I started to get a little hopeful. (side note: I used internet cheapie HPTs a lot when I tried to get pregnant naturally and when I wasn’t pregnant there wasn’t even a trace of a line hours later – I pulled many out of the trash can to check.) After it dried, I compared it to the day before, and it was definitely more visible than the day before. I also woke up with a terrible red, bumpy rash on the outside of my lady bits, presumably from the progesterone suppositories I’ve been using. I don’t know why this happened this time, but never before. I guess it’s important to keep it VERY clean & dry down there – I don’t think that biking the day before helped. I learned that a frozen Amy’s burrito makes an amazing ice pack for this sort of thing.

7dp5dt (Sun): I took 2 benadryl before bed to help with the rash and insomnia. I slept for a whopping 7 hours (my norm is 8.5-9). I got up and did another HPT. This time it still took 10 minutes to show up and was very very faint, but not quite as faint as the day before. I was getting a little excited. I spent basically all day googling pictures of Wondfo progression lines, and I decided that it was fine that my lines were so light – Wondfos are notoriously light. So long as it was darker the next day, everything was fine.

8dp5dt (Mon): Just call me the Queen of Chemicals. My line was almost identical to the day before, if not lighter. And the line *still* took 10 minutes. I am hopeless again. I googled “chemical pregnancy Wondfo” and, yes, the pictures of the tests look just like mine. I cried a little, because WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING?! I had been hiding my POAS addiction from my husband, but I told him this morning that I’ll likely have a chemical pregnancy again. Everywhere on message boards, people say that if you get a light Wondfo, you should run out and buy a FRER to test on. But you know what – I’ve refused to buy a FRER since my last FET. When I was trying naturally, I only used internet cheapies. And I got a pretty obvious positive test on an internet cheapie at 14dpo when I got pregnant naturally. Also, I had positive FRERs when I did both of my last FETs – they turned out to be chemical anyways, so why waste the money?

As of now, I’m not taking any more tests. It’s just going to upset me more. My beta is on Wednesday. I’m going to assume that it’s over. I’ve already decided I’m taking a half day so I can be home to cry when I get the results in the afternoon.



FET#3: 3dp5dt

I’m really not on the blogging bandwagon anymore. I think it’s because I feel completely hopeless about an FET ever working for me. It was fun to blog when I thought something would actually happen, but I just feel so resigned already. I had a polyp removed during my February 1 hysteroscopy, but other than that my natural transfer protocol is basically the same as it’s ever been. But great hormones + a “good enough” lining (8.5mm) + a PGS-tested embryo ≠ pregnancy. I’m obsessed with googling symptoms and then reading about other people’s symptoms and then feeling bad that I don’t have any symptoms. I haven’t had much twinging or cramping at all. I just feel sluggish and nauseas from the progesterone suppositories. I hate that as crummy as I feel now, I’m going to feel even more defeated when this doesn’t work. The one thing that I don’t have to worry about anymore is the cost, since I have amazing IVF coverage now. Before this cycle started I had some hope, since I got pregnant naturally last year, but what if I can *only* get pregnant naturally, and IVF never works?


A Year in Review or Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

It’s been so hard to sit down and write this post.

After the two failed transfers in Jan/Feb, I decided that I couldn’t keep doing the same thing. I wanted some control over my life. I wanted to know if I could get pregnant naturally. So after 7 years of using some form of birth control, C and I decided to try sex without it, and….I didn’t get pregnant. We tried in March, April, May – and nothing. I had a polyp removed from my uterus in May. We tried in June – and nothing.

We had a two-week trip planned in September, and I decided that I definitely did not want to get pregnant before the trip. So for July and August I *sort of* tried not to have sex around ovulation. But I had tried so hard for 4 months, that I figured it was hopeless. Meanwhile, C got a job at a new company that has stellar IVF benefits (no infertility required). I was ready to go on my fun trip to Europe and then dive back into IVF in October.

C and I were going on a shorter trip with his mom the last week of August. A few days before the trip I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I woke up really early the morning of our trip and did a pregnancy test just to be sure. And two lines showed up. I freaked out. I said “Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck,” then I started crying. I was not excited. I was scared of what I had done and what was to come.

A couple of weeks later we had our trip to New York/Denmark/Greece (weeks 6-8 of my pregnancy). I was nauseas all day, every day of the trip. I was tired. It was very difficult, and I did not get a prescription for anti-nausea medicine until I came back home. I kept my excitement at bay, because I knew that I was going to do genetic testing, and that there was a 50% chance of the baby being affected.

I thought that I would be able to do CVS testing at 10 weeks. I could not do it until 12 weeks. C was out of town for work, and my friend came with me to the CVS test. It was painful, but not terrible and it was over quick (although we spent hours waiting). Prior to the test I had to get the nuchal translucency ultrasound, which took about an hour. I didn’t want to see the screen at all. The woman doing the ultrasound didn’t understand why I didn’t want to see the baby, and she kept pointing out all its perfect body parts. I didn’t want to see what the baby looked like, but I accidentally did see it. I accidentally saw its perfect, tiny nose.

I thought that it would take 2 weeks to get results, but it took 4 weeks because they had to culture the sample. The lab also lost my blood sample, so I had to rush to have my blood drawn again. Then I was told that the CVS and blood samples would have to be sent to another lab. There were a lot of mishaps, so I thought there was another mishap when I listened to the message from my genetic counselor. It turned out they had been able to get the results. The result was that the baby was affected. I was 16 weeks pregnant when I got this news.

I got the call on my lunch break at work and no one was around me. I froze. I texted C. He told me to come straight home. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. He handled all the calls to the abortion clinic. I didn’t want to get an abortion. I didn’t even want to get the results of the genetic testing. I was hoping that they would lose the results and I could just say “fuck it” and keep the baby. But they didn’t lose the results. And C really wanted me to get an abortion, because that was always part of the plan.

The abortion was scheduled for two days – the first to have dilators inserted into my cervix. After that, I was in the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt. Once the oxycodone kicked in, I was more relaxed. They also gave me some sort of drugs in an IV the next day, when I had the actual “evacuation.” Afterwards, I felt at peace. C & I went out to lunch and I ate a big meal. C & I took the whole week of Thanksgiving off and stayed home, which was really nice. The day after the procedure, I wasn’t in pain so I didn’t take any oxycodone. That was the worst day emotionally, and it tapered off after that. I was actually really happy for the next couple of weeks – something to do with my hormones maybe. But also, it was nice to feel like myself again.

I met with my IVF doctor in early December. She told me that I couldn’t do another transfer until my third cycle. I got my first period 33 days after the procedure, which is pretty good. I was told it could take up to 8 weeks! My doctor wants me to do a saline sonogram during my next cycle, then do a transfer the cycle after that. I’ll have to decide whether to do a medicated or natural transfer cycle, but more on that later.

So that was my year. I wasn’t pregnant. Then I was. And now I’m not again.



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FET #2 : Beta #2 : 12dp5dt

My beta result today was 13, so it’s definitely another chemical pregnancy. Honestly, I’m a little relieved, because I’ve done enough googling to know that a beta of 22 10dp5dt is likely to end in miscarriage somewhere along the line, despite the fact that everyone knows a friend of a friend who had a beta of 5 and delivered a perfectly healthy baby 9 months later. It’s easier to have it end now than later.

On the flip side, it’s going to take some time for me to grieve the loss of my last embryo of my preferred gender. My reasons/feelings for this gender preference are deeply ingrained and I feel like the illusion that I would have the option to choose through IVF has only given me a lot more time to dwell on and solidify these feelings.  My doctor, C (my husband) and my best friend all thought I should put the embryo of my preferred gender in, and I don’t blame them. My instinct was to put in the embryo of my not-preferred gender to avoid this heartbreak. But I felt like the choice was too hard to make, and my therapist suggested I ask C to help me choose. He felt that if I wanted gender A, I should put in gender A and hope for the best. Well I did and it didn’t work out and it’s going to be a lot for me to process.

I’ve decided I’m going to take a break for a couple of cycles — and plan for a transfer in May. I have a lot of reasons for this :

  1. I need to process the gender stuff and really step back until I can truly appreciate and desire a child of any gender.
  2. Financially, we need a break. We are still paying off a loan from last year, and we can’t afford to do a $5,000 transfer every month.
  3. We’re going to a wedding in Arizona at the end of March, which would occur during my 2-week wait if I did a transfer in March.
  4. I will be crazy busy at work for much of March/April, because I’m covering for 2 different people who are going out of town for 2 weeks each.
  5. If I did a transfer in April and it was successful, the estimated due date of the baby would be around the end of December and I really, really, really don’t want my baby to have a birthday so close to the holidays.
  6. Even though I’m doing natural transfers with only an HCG trigger, I want to give my body a few cycles off from all this baby-making stuff.
  7. I want to meet with my doctor and figure out what we can change in the protocol next time, and give myself space for testing and whatnot.

Ugh, a wait….but it feels right I guess.



FET #2: Beta : 10dp5dt

Well, another one bites the dust. I went into my blood-draw feeling VERY optimistic, because I had 4 days of FRER line progression and a digital positive HPT test from Saturday. But my beta was only 22.  This news really caught me off guard. It didn’t even come from my regular nurse, because it’s a holiday. The fill-in nurse told me that she’s seen some people with betas this low go onto viable pregnancies, but I really don’t think that’s happening. I’m pretty sure I’m on the downswing.

It feels so strange that I went straight into IVF for genetic testing of a disease that has nothing to do with fertility….and now I am questioning my fertility. I don’t get it. I passed all the tests. And yet, my body takes perfectly good embryos and destroys them.

Also, just a little icing on the cake, this embryo was the last of the embryos that are of my preferred gender.  It really doesn’t feel like this will ever work, so I don’t know if that really even matters. But it feels like a double loss.



Hip….Hip….Hooray! (for now)