Frozen Cycle – FET #1

I can’t believe my first EVER embryo transfer is tomorrow.

Time flies when you’re trying to get pregnant, doesn’t it? Actually, not really at all. But coordinating this cycle with the start of the school year has certainly made time seem to pass quicker than usual.

Everyone has told me that a frozen cycle is easier on your body and easier on your schedule. I am definitely finding this to be true. I am so glad that we decided to try our first IVF cycle over the summer, and ended up with 9 embryos in the freezer. Because I don’t know how I would have handled the time commitment and physical  side-effects of stimming and retreival while I was teaching. I know many people do it, and I am in awe of them.

So, for those who might be curious about how an FET goes down, here’s the timeline for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

8/22 – Period starts after fresh IVF cycle

8/24- 9/3: Birth Control Pill

9/6 – Ultrasound & Bloodwork / Start Estrace (1X a day )

9/10 – Ultrasound & Bloodwork / Increase Estrace ( 2X a day )

9/14 – Ultrasound & Bloodwork /  lining is at 11mm – Our transfer is scheduled! / Increase Estrace (3X a day)

9/17 – Start Doxycycline & Medrol / Estrace Decreased (2X a day) / We begin the dreaded PIO Shot (more on that later…)

9/21 – Ultrasound & Bloodwork – Things look good for transer! Continue same meds/ One & Only Night of  Metronidazole Gel (thank god, cause that stuff is messy)

9/22 – TRANSFER DAY! They will thaw our embryos & call us that morning to tell us when to come in later in the day. I have to insert a progesterone suppository at some point that morning…cause I guess I’m not already getting enough progesterone? Sometimes I feel like the whole IVF process is just an experiment to see how many different ways one person can take a medication (orally, vaginally, injection….fun times).

Some Other Random Thoughts on the Process… 

In some ways, this is the easiest cycle of ALL the fertility treatments I’ve done, including IUI’s.

Although the number of monitoring appointments are about the same as in an IUI cycle, the FET has seemed less stressful because everything is much more predictable. Unlike an IUI or a Fresh IVF cycle, the doctors apparently have a good amount of flexibility with timing, since they are controlling every aspect of the cycle, and ovulation is not an issue. There are also a lot of factors we just don’t have to worry about – no stimming (my ovaries have taken a much needed break!), no awkward semen sample collection, AND I don’t have to worry about scheduling back-to-back IUI’s during the work week. At least for the transfer, I am just taking one day entirely off.

But in other ways, this cycle has been harder than I’ve expected it to be.

For one, the RE’s office has been CRAZY from the start of September. They are open for monitoring from 6:00-7:30.  I’ve been going there for over 7 months now, and have never had a long wait for morning monitoring as long as I get to the office by 6:15.  Well….the first time I got there at 6:15 this month, the waiting room was full, and I waited over an hour and was almost late for work. The second time, I got there at 6:05….slightly better, but still a 50 minute wait. This morning, I decided to get there before they even officially open – 5:55 AM (they open at 6:00). Lo and behold, even at 5:55 AM, there are 11 people in the waiting room in front of me, and more in the office. Geez! I can only guess that people might have taken time off during the summer and everyone is starting back up with treatment again?

This cycle has also been tough emotionally for me, especially as embryo transfer approached. After my Fresh Cycle, I was so eager to get started with the FET.  Some days I feel a sense of calm and patience and faith that I will get pregnant, one day.  Others, I get so frustrated and feel like I will go crazy if I have to wait another damn day to get pregnant. This is the first cycle that I have started to believe I WILL get pregnant – I feel so hopeful sometimes. And it scares me. I actually allowed myself to buy the first ever baby item for our hypothetical future child. For the first time in a year and a half, I looked for ways to announce a pregnancy to my parents, my grandparents, and of course, to Alex. Compared to my usual defensive pessimism, this is a BIG change.  But I just feel like I need to believe this baby will BE in order for this cycle to be successful. The baby item I ordered was a onesie to give to Alex if I find out I’m pregnant.

It says, “and so my story begins” over a type-writer motif. I would love to wrap it up with a copy of a children’s book that has special meaning for Alex. My two top choices are…

    

The Little Fur Family was one of my childhood favorites. The Tomten and The Fox is a book that Alex  loved as a child, according to his mom. Both stories are incredibly quirky with descriptions of animals and the natural world that are somewhat atypical for a children’s book.

So, thinking of all that makes me incredibly happy and hopeful. Unwrapping the onesie the other day as trippy.  Just holding this tiny baby outfit that I bought made me think about what it would be like to hold a baby in that outfit – my baby.  And for the first time in a long time I really, really believed that I would be able to snuggle my own baby, sooner rather than later. And the desire to finally have that moment, to hold my baby in my arms, is just so overwhelming.  And it’s terrifying. Every day I bounce back and forth between this effervescent hope that this WILL work and the paralyzing fear that it won’t.

But for now, I’m choosing to believe it will work. I am going to try to only think of positive outcomes. Because I am going to give this cycle all I’ve got, and I’m going to have faith – something that is very hard for an anxious person like me. So, this is the last time I’m going to think about the “What if it doesn’t…”  Alex and I have always picked up the pieces before and moved on. We WILL do it again if we have to. But, today, I’m going to believe this embryo is going to stick.