Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Consult...

AKA-this shit just got real. 

Let's talk about the differences between a frozen embryo transfer (FET) and invitro fertilization (IVF).  Invitro fertilization is the process of taking drugs to stimulation the production of several eggs.  Then, through a surgery, those eggs are retrieved (the retrieval) and then fertilized in a petri dish.  Sometimes people opt to fertilize through a process known as intra-cytoplasmic sperm ingection (ICSI) which is where the sperm is injected into the egg.  Others, opt for natural fertilization just by placing the egg and the sperm in a petri dish and letting nature take it's course. Anywho, that's how embryos are created-and then the transfer takes place, which is when the embryo is placed back into it's natural habitat-the uterus. 

In my case, I have only done one IVF cycle, back in December of 2008. Some details are fuzzy, but I do remember my husband's surprise birthday party being during the two week wait, where I ended up getting pregnant with Moshe.  Since then, I've undergone four FETs.  Because the embryos are already created, it's a much easier, less involved process. All you have to physically accomplish is a good looking uterine lining.  For me, that hasn't been much of a problem; we did have some concern this last transfer, but it all worked out and things looked great at transfer time.  

Now, we're looking to stimulate egg production, retrieve as many as we can, and harvest some embryos!  This is where things can get complicated-it's up to Dr. B to create a protocol for me that he believes will lead to the best egg production.  I kid you not when I say, he closed his eyes, tapped his fingers, "I am thinking of a protocol for it!" 

I am waiting for a final protocol, with a calendar with all the dates included, and then I will share a timeline with you.  For now, I had my baseline on Tuesday of this week, levels look good-still very suppressed from the last rounds of medication, but I am on birth control until December 30th.  

Things to do
1. Schedule an endometrial biopsy 
2. Dr.H has to have a semen analysis 
3.  Dr. H has to have blood work     
4.  Medication has to be ordered
5.  Dr.H has to start taking his antioxidants 
6. Discuss results of my thyroid panel with Dr. B 

One of the biggest positives about going to a small, "mom and pop" doctor, is the individual care you receive.  He did my ultrasound, which revealed a wonky period due to my estrogen still being high from the injections, as well as some present follicles on my ovaries due to my PCOS.  We discussed that I'll be THIRTY in a few months, and "you're different now."  I prefer to think of myself as fine wine...

DIY Birthday card, wine glass, sown red buttons, "like a fine wine you only get better with age"

We also discussed a touchy subject-my weight.  I'll get into that on another post-but since April I've gained 20lbs, and it's best for the hormones to work when I'm at my ideal weight. While he's not forcing me to hold off on the cycle until I lose all the weight, he does want me to focus on losing what I can in the meantime.  I'm finding it much easier said than done since I seem to be a raging hormonal bitch these days who wants to eat anything in sight.  Just today he called me and we ended up discussing my thyroid.    My thyroid stimulating hormone came in on the higher end of normal-meaning I'm not officially, but I'm close to having hypothyroidism, so I start my low dose synthroid tomorrow morning.  He also said it will help my weight loss-here's to hoping, because I'm not so sure my thighs will ever divorce at this rate!  You can read more about hypothyroidism HEREHERE and HERE 

We also discussed PGD/PGS-and I confirmed that we will not be testing the embryos this cycle. The main reason is that it costs about $5,000 and while I believe in committing to the procedure because why not since you're already going through so much-I can't emotionally walk away from a cycle, and because of that, I have to say no to testing the embryos since we can't afford it right now.  On the other hand, being that I'm 29, it's not recommended for my age anyway, so even though I'm almost 30, I still have something working in my favor.  He also confirmed for me today that my AMH came back around 4, where they like to see about 2. He said to anticipate 12 eggs at retrieval. We then discussed how many to transfer and while he thinks 1 and I think 2-I said we'll just wait and see what we end up by transfer day. In 2008, I had six top quality embryos-I don't want to be unrealistically optimistic and think I'll have the same response this time. So, I'm being cautiously optimistic and I'm just hoping for two top quality embryos to transfer.
That's it.

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