So, a few things happened while I wasn’t blogging.
I had another saline sonohysterogram, because Dr. Werthers thought he had seen a possible fibroid during the ultrasound at my initial consultation. Results: a free and clear uterus; no fibroids in sight.
The IVF coordinator called and said I could go ahead and start the month of suppression – a surprise to me, as I thought we would have to wait for more testing and further review of all my records. But I had no objections to beginning the whole IVF process sooner, so I started a prescription of BCP and we scrambled to get the rest of the blood work and testing done for me and Aaron. I also received the notorious big box of IVF medications, and I began the Lupron shots about two weeks ago.
I got more information about egg freezing (or oocyte cryopreservation, if you want to be technical). The out-of-pocket cost, while not insubstantial, seems worth it considering that it provides another option if the IVF doesn’t work. Since we limit the number of eggs fertilized so as to avoid freezing embryos, oocyte cryopreservation means that the rest of the eggs I produce during an IVF cycle don’t go to waste; we can save them for future fertilization, rather than having to go through the whole IVF process from scratch.
The clinic has recommended fertilizing 7 eggs; they say that should result, statistically, in 1-2 embryos to transfer but may leave some embryos to freeze, which is not acceptable to us. They also probably won’t allow us to transfer more than 3 embryos. Ideally, we would like to stick with the guidelines of transferring 1-2 embryos, but we also want to know we will be able to give all of our embryos a chance to grow, if we happen to have an abnormally high percentage of viable embryos. We’re leaning towards fertilizing 5 or 6 eggs. Fertilizing 4 in the past obviously resulted in nothing. Fertilizing 7 seems high, if we don’t want to transfer a risky number of embryos. Fertilizing 5 or 6 should give us enough to aim for a blastocyst transfer of 1, 2, or 3. We’re praying and will decide soon; we just need to let the embryologist know by retrieval day.
That all brings us up to today, when I went in for day 3 labs and a baseline scan. Everything looks good, so I decrease my Lupron and start Follistim tonight (10 units and 225 units respectively, for those who like those details). The doctor did decide to add Heparin to my protocol; it’s a medication that increases blood flow and addresses any antibody issues, and it’s common to use when a patient has a few failed IVF cycles. I had to get some extra bloodwork done for that, and then I had to track it down at a local pharmacy. I’ll be on 5000 units twice a day. I go back to the clinic on Monday to see how everything’s progressing.
IVF #3 is underway!