FET Monitoring: Part 1

My outlook for this FET cycle is completely different than our fresh IVF.

Today, I had an ultrasound appointment at 9:30 am and needed to get my Estradiol levels checked before then. Instead of getting in line at the blood lab at 6:30 am, I decided it is counter-productive to go so early. You almost end up waiting longer and lose out on valuable sleep time. There’s really no point to rushing in. From my experience, as long as I get my blood work done by the mid-morning pick up, they always receive the results by end of day.

I got to the blood lab at 7:30 am this morning and waited just under an hour until my number was called. They front-desk recognized me immediately. I’m well known at this location after my need for recurring blood draws during our ectopic pregnancy. Each tech knows whether or not they can success with my difficult veins. You know because as if having fertility issues isn’t enough, I also have horrible veins! 

Today, a tech decided to try me even though she often passes. Well today, SHE GOT ME ON THE FIRST POKE! We both were so excited! This was my first ever positive experience when getting my blood drawn. The tech commented about how this was the fastest they had ever done me. I told her she completely made my day!

I arrived 15 minutes before my scheduled ultrasound. As I waited, the room slowly filled up with more and more pregnant couples. Instead of focusing on “what they have and I don’t”, I decided to enjoy the music and look at the art on the walls. A few deep breaths brought me back to a mindful state and I was called in for my scan right on time (I swear that NEVER happens!). 

It’s a well known fact that most techs at the ultrasound lab are complete morons when it comes to fertility treatments. Today, I actually got a tech who knew about IVF. She was curious about my FET protocol, so I explained it to her as she did her inspection with the dildo wand. It’s also standard that the tech DOES NOT relay information to you, but she was kind enough to tell me that my largest follicle was in the 10mm range. She said my lining looked great and was well on it’s way to being ready.

I’m relieved at how well this morning went and hoping it’s a sign for good things to come. 🙂

I always ovulate later on a natural cycle. My clinic has tentatively scheduled my transfer for January 27, but I’m guessing it definitely be a few days later.

Right now, I’m just waiting for them to email me confirming today’s results and my next steps….

Happy Monday!

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Preparing for egg retrieval

All systems are a go: my egg retrieval is scheduled for this Sunday August 31 at 8:30 am. 

Today, Dr. H measured 23 follicles total between the range of 12.9-19.5 mm with the majority being in the 16-18mm range. Ouchie. My poor ovaries. 

Yesterday’s count was 31 follicles! I’m thinking he just didn’t count the smaller ones today or maybe a few dropped off. 

Dr. H gave me a small glimmer of hope that we may transfer, but it would depend on my embryo quality and if I’m showing an signs of OHSS.  I asked the nurse after he left the room what she thought and she said it’s highly unlikely. He wouldn’t want to risk it especially with us being from out of town. Sorry, I should clarify: the freeze-all cycle came from Dr. G, but Dr H runs the show at our clinic. Dr. H has not given me a definite yet as to whether or not if will be a freeze-all cycle. At this point, we understand that it’s highly likely to be a freeze-all. Wow how many times did I say freeze-all in that paragraph? Hope that made sense folks. 

We are still taking things one step at a time. We know that we won’t know for sure until mid-next week. 

In the past three days, my estrogen has gone from 5980 to 7670 to 9775. I wouldn’t say this has been much of a sleep-in vacation. We’ve been at the clinic for 7:30 am for two days in a row and will be again tomorrow for another blood draw. 

Tonight, I am triggering at 9:30 pm with 2 mg of Suprefact. The Suprefact is given instead of HCG to help prevent OHSS. I’m also starting Dostinex tonight which is also supposed to help prevent OHSS (Dani – is this what you had?). Tomorrow morning, I start the antibiotic Doxycycline twice a day.

In Canada, we aren’t completely out for our retrieval, just consciously sedated. Did any of you ladies bring an iPod or something in with you to listen to? My clinic said I could, but I had never really considered it. Thought it might make sense to listen to a meditation, but then again, I might want to listen to what’s going on. Insatiably curious, clearly. 🙂 

I’ve got Gatorade on the go and plenty for afterwards. 

Countdown is on… 

Any other tips to prepare for retrieval? 

Another curve ball on the journey to baby

As we all know too well, this fertility journey can be unpredictable. 

We had our 1st monitoring appointment at the clinic today. Turns out, I’m responding VERY well to the drugs. I expected the opposite since my AMH count showed I was low fertility and therefore considered as diminished ovarian reserve. I wish I had said more as I had a hunch I would stimulate better than they expected. 

My follicle count is 29 – 18 on the left, 11 on the right. 

The downside is my estrogen is WAY TOO HIGH and rapidly increasing. 

On CD1, I started out with an estradiol count of 183. 

On CD6 (Monday), my estradiol was 3703. 

On CD8 (today), my estradiol is 5980. 

This puts me at high risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). The clinic has advised that we do a freeze all cycle and return in 2 months for a FET. 

Sad face

This is my “I’m disappointed” face

Although this is disappointing, I know that my health and safety is not worth the risk of transferring (even with a CD8 lining of 9.6 mm). 

I’m still praying for a miracle (meaning rapidly declining estrogen levels). Since that’s highly unlikely, we are just hoping for a successful retrieval with a few high grade, beautiful embryos on ice awaiting our return. 

I’m going back tomorrow morning for another blood test and ultrasound. My RE thinks the retrieval will be Sunday. 

Right now, my biggest side effects are bloat, swollen ovaries and slow walking due to swollen ovaries. I’m still getting tired easily if I do too much. My husband is pretty adamant that I take care of myself (meaning I’m not getting many opportunities to go shopping. haha) I’m actually feeling really emotionally stable. This taking things one step at a time is really helping. 

As much as we received some unexpected news today, I am still grateful that we have a good chance at quite a few eggs. 

I’m also grateful for: 

  • Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes – a must-have after today’s news. MMMMMmmmmmm good
  • The dog park beside the ocean at the end of our street which my husband drives me to
  • Maxi dresses to hide the bloat
Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

For those of you who have been through similar scenarios:

  • What do you recommend to prepare for retrieval?
  • Is there anything I can do now to decrease my chances of OHSS?
  • What other advice do you have about OHSS?