Sure enough, my doctor wasn’t in yesterday. That’s what you get for having to go in on the Sunday of a long weekend.
I got lucky though. The doctor who was looking after my doctor’s patients is really nice. She’s the one who did the transfer for our IVF cycle back in August 2010- the one that produced E. And all told, I was in and out of the clinic in 90 minutes, which is really good going for a Sunday of a long weekend. I was expecting to be in there for much longer.
Once she learned that this was our first cycle back after having had E. she strongly suggested I come in for a sonohysterosalpingogram to make sure there is nothing unusual going on in my uterus- no polyps, scar tissue, etc. She said I could start the FET protocol, and then come in, and if we found anything that would need intervention, I could just stop all my medications and we’d start again once my uterus was given a clean bill of health.
This all made sense, so I’m going back in to the clinic tomorrow. My doctor should be in, so he’ll be the one to do the SSG.
Then we looked at our blastocysts. Our clinic grades them on a scale of 1-3 (1 being the best), and then from A-C (A being the best) for two other factors (I didn’t write down what these were).
We have two. One is graded 1AB, and the other is 1BB.
“You have beautiful blastocysts,” the doctor told me. “I strongly, strongly recommend thawing and transferring them one at a time, unless you are really ok with twins.”
I said we wanted to transfer them one at a time. I actually got quite emotional at this point. I think it was just overwhelming being back in there, and staring at my giant chart, and remembering everything that had happened to get us to this point. I told her we wanted two chances because we didn’t know if we could stand to start all over again. I told her there were so many things that could go wrong, that we wanted two chances to make sure we had the right environment in my uterus for the embryos.
I cried. I wasn’t really expecting that, and it was actually quite annoying, but the clinic just brings out big emotions. And yesterday’s visit did feel like it was a big deal, like we were taking the risk of reopening old wounds.
She made some good points. “You had a long journey to get to that last IVF cycle,” she told me. “But that cycle worked, and you have two beautiful blasts, and you’re so young!”
In terms of reproduction, I’m convinced that only in a fertility clinic is a woman who is thirty-four years old described as young.
Anyway, she wrote up the FET page in my chart, and sent me off to see the nurse. Again, I got lucky. The nurse was my all-time favourite- the old head nurse, who retired two years ago (as she told me today) to look after her twin grandchildren (conceived at my clinic). She still comes in to help out on weekends, which is why I got to see her. I was so glad to be able to give her a hug.
She set me up with all of my medications. Basically, we’re just doing exactly what we did last time, since it worked.
So I am, once again, a walking pharmacy.
Here’s the protocol:
Estrace: 2 tablets, 3x/day
Prednisone: 1 tablet, 1x/day
Baby Aspirin: 1 tablet, 1x/day
Metformin: 1 tablet, 3x/day (I had the exact same conversation with both the doctor and the nurse: “Are you taking Metformin already?” “No.” “What dose did Dr. L. have you on?” “Three pills a day.” “DO NOT start with three pills a day- start with one.” Ah yes. I already knew that one.)
My TSH came back as normal, so I’m keeping the same dose (I take one extra half pill every second day when I’m on birth control pills, stims, or FET protocols, and that seems to work well).
After the SSG, I go back in on the 11th for a lining check. At that stage I’ll start Medrol, and probably the PIO shots too (although we might push those back by a day to make for an easier transfer day). Plus Fragmin will get added to the mix too. Transfer could be anywhere from the 16th to the 19th. I think the 17th makes the most sense, but Q. and I will have to sort that out a bit closer to the time.
The nurse and I discussed my reaction to the PIO shots (when I broke out in full body hives right around the six and a half week mark). “Make sure you get the castor oil ones,” she told me. “If you’ve already had one reaction, you’ll react even faster the second time around.” Apparently they try the ethyl oleate ones first because the castor oil is thicker, and therefore more painful and difficult to inject.
I don’t care. I’ll inject it with a huge smile every day if it means I don’t have to deal with those hives again.
Then all that was left for me to do was pay them a large sum of money (although much less money than if it were a fresh IVF, so I’m not complaining), collect my meds, and head home.
I will admit I went home via a bakery where I bought a truly decadent and not remotely good for me orange scone. Hey, I was about to start Metformin. I needed to eat that processed flour and sugar treat before it would make me sick.
So far I feel fine, other than the fact I’ve got crazy hot flashes again. I remember writing about this once before– that I would overheat as soon as I ate something. It started up again as soon as I took the first round of pills at supper last night. It is a really annoying side effect, especially in late August.
Looks like we’re really doing this.