FET#4: The Medicated Protocol

Well, I’m finally doing it. After 3 failed natural transfer protocols, I’m going to try a medicated protocol. And the calendar of meds – O.M.G. It’s crazy!! The meds just go on for weeks and weeks and weeks! I know this is what almost everyone else does, but it just seems like so much effort and sacrifice compared to a natural cycle. But I can’t see how a natural transfer will ever work for me. I responded REALLY well to the egg retrieval protocols, so I’m hoping that this new protocol will give me an amazingly thick lining.

Here’s my protocol:

Birth Control: March 19-April 6

Lupron: April 3-April 28 (maybe a little longer)

Estrogen patches: April 11-….

Progesterone in oil: April 30-….

Estimated transfer: May 4

Coincidentally, May 4 was the due date for my naturally conceived baby. So I imagine I will be getting a little emotional about that.

I have a goal to learn how to give myself the Lupron shots to myself, in case my husband has to go out of town for work. (Also, I think it will be a self-esteem booster to learn a new skill.) I told him that he absolutely can’t go out of town when I’m doing the PIO shots, because there’s no way I’m learning to give myself an intramuscular injection into my own back. If any of you are giving yourselves the PIO shots, then holy cow, I’m so, so impressed!

Also, this will be my first time ordering a bunch of meds with fertility meds coverage through my insurance, so I’m pretty excited to see what is covered.

 

 

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?