Frozen Embryo Transfer #2: The Details

Our second frozen embryo transfer went off without a hitch last week. I tolerated the medicines a lot better this time around, probably because my body was used to them from doing back-to-back cycles. I have been feeling a little down and having a hard time staying optimistic. I had a lot of confidence going into the first transfer and was caught off guard when the cycle didn’t work. This time feels a little bit more like going through the motions and trying not to let my heart get too attached.

We didn’t change the protocol from our first frozen transfer, and once again, the embryo thawed well and my lining was great at 9.44 five days before. Our RE gave us the choice if we wanted to transfer one or two embryos, but let us know that his recommendation was still to do a single embryo transfer. We decided to try just one again. For those keeping track, we’ll have two frozens left after this cycle.

I know many couples decide to transfer more than one embryo and I totally understand why. When you finally get so close to your dream of having children, you want to give yourself the best chance. It is also tempting for financial reasons. We thought it through but it just wasn’t the right choice for us. My clinic reports almost identical pregnancy rates from single and multiple transfers, so I couldn’t use that as justification. I’m very concerned about the risks of carrying twins, especially since I had my daughter early at 36 weeks. My RE said my early labor could have been totally random, but could also be a sign that my body doesn’t carry pregnancies to term. I’m also concerned about the risk of twins on my sanity. LOL! If this round doesn’t work, we’ll have to decide if we try both remaining embryos next time, or continue trying one by one. We have fingers and toes crossed that this time works and we’ll have two left to try for a third child down the road.

Today is 3dp6dt and I’ve been tracking my symptoms, which I’ll share either way in a follow up post. I’m a crazy POASer, so I’ll be starting that tomorrow, since 4dp6dt was when I got my first very faint positive with my daughter. Hanging in there (barely) is how I would describe the current scenario over here.



10 DPO Update

I haven’t been updating during my TWW because I’ve been trying to keep busy and not think too much about it. Easier said than done! I did test out my trigger shot with Wondfo strips, and it *seemed* to be out of my system on 7dpo. On 8dpo I had a very faint positive, but I tempered my excitement because I knew it could still be traces of my trigger. Since then, I’ve had negatives on 9dpo and this morning at 10dpo. My temperature has been all over the place as well.

I’m trying not to get upset, but this round was high stakes because it is our last IUI before we move on to IVF. It was also our first time using only injectables. Some days it feels like I’m just going through the motions and I’m not surprised by another negative cycle, but other days it cuts very deep and makes me extremely anxious and sad.

Beta Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning is my beta blood work appointment. I’ve been testing and all BFNs, so I’m expecting bad news. My temperature has dropped and I’ve had some cramps today.

In addition to my blood work, hubby is having a semen analysis tomorrow. Since our RE has recommended that we move forward with IVF if this next IUI cycle doesn’t work, he wants to build the case with our insurance now. We’re very lucky that our insurance covers four rounds of IVF. To be able to use this benefit, they need to agree that we’ve exhausted all other (less expensive) methods. If we submit two abnormal semen analyses, they should approve us to move forward with IVF. My husband had one in 2013 that showed 2% morphology. So at this point I guess we’re hoping for an abnormal result so we’re cleared to move forward if need be. Oh, the joys of infertility!

Keeping Busy in the Two Week Wait, Part Deux

Last IUI cycle, I had grand plans of keeping busy in the TWW. I did a pretty good job of distracting myself, and when my period started, I didn’t feel like my world was crashing. This time around, I’ve let myself slip a bit and have found myself in that dark place once again. Time to revisit all the things I should be doing instead of obsessing!

Working Out/Reading
I’ve been struggling to keep up with working out lately. I stopped running in May and I miss it a lot. My nurse advised that I take it easy with my workouts and said that running in the summer heat would not be great during our treatments. Instead, I started working out on our elliptical. I was doing ok for a while, but then got bored with it. If I’m being totally truthful, I’ve just been slacking and using our treatments as an excuse. I MUST get back into the swing of things, for my physical and mental health! I’ve been slacking on my reading, too. I finished The Fault in Our Stars over the Fourth of July. It was a good, quick read, but grab your tissues! My brother-in-law is an author and I’m currently reading the beta version of his second novel. You can check out his first novel, Earthman Jack vs. The Ghose Plant here. It’s an entertaining read – sort of like Harry Potter meets Star Wars. If you’re into young adult Sci-Fi, definitely check it out!

Earthman Jack and The Ghost Planet

Earthman Jack and The Ghost Planet

I made some progress on my framing projects. I updated the travel photos in the frames in our guest bedroom, and also hung the wall gallery in our upstairs hallway. I ordered some prints for those frames, and now I just have to pick the ones I like best and put them in the frames. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Frame gallery sans photos

Frame gallery sans photos

Frames in our guest bedroom

Frames in our guest bedroom

This year was supposed to be the year I honed my green thumb. This has been a pretty major fail, as our garden in the backyard is a mess. My pappy was an amazing gardener and I have really happy memories of summers picking sweet corn and raspberries, and getting to choose my own pumpkin in the fall. Maybe gardening is a good retirement hobby? 🙂 BUT, I did manage to grow this beauty! I experimented with Dahlia bulbs in the spring and they are finally blooming. Our Crape Myrtle tree is also in blooming and looking beautiful.

Beautiful dahlia in my garden

Beautiful Dahlia in my garden

Crape Myrtle in full bloom

Crape Myrtle in full bloom

More QT with my Furry Friends
How can you be sad when you have these two cuties to hang out with? My parents dog is visiting again while they are on vacation. So fun to have two pups in the house!

Little T and Big T

Little T and Big T

Travel Planning
One big win in my book – I’ve finishing planning our trip to Scotland and Ireland! I’m really looking forward to getting away and spending time with family without the burden of fertility treatments. We’re spending time in Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and the Isle of Skye, before traveling to Dublin to see Penn State play their season opener at Croke Park. My dad, husband, and I are all alums and it will be great to experience this game together! I’m not pregnant by then, there will be many whiskys and beers to sample!

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland (click for photo credit)

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland (click for photo credit)

IUI #4, Details

I’m almost through my TWW and realized I never blogged about the details of IUI #4. Lucky us, it fell on the Fourth of July and we had to travel 1.5 hours to the only office that was open. This cycle we switched up my medication to Femara, 2.5mg, cycle days 3-7. Clomid was helping me produce extra follicles, but it was also thinning my lining, so my RE thought we should switch to Femara. I didn’t have any side effects, which was great! With Clomid, I had occasional night sweats and heat flashes.

At my cycle day 11 ultrasound, there were four measurable follicles: right, 18.9mm and 10.8mm, left, 11.7mm and 11mm. My lining was still thinner than they want to see at 6.8, but they saw a nice “triple stripe” and started me on Estrace, just like the other cycles. My E2 was 210, the lowest it has been on any of my IUI cycles. They wanted to give my follicles another day to grow, so I triggered on day 12 and had my IUI on day 14. Postwash count was 9.8 million with 73% motility.

Because I have zero self-control, I’ve already been testing. I tested out my trigger at 8dpiui and since then I’ve had BFNs. I know it is still early, but it is getting harder to hold out hope, especially after our recent conversation with our RE about taking the next step to IVF. If this isn’t the cycle, we’ll do one more IUI cycle and then take a break before starting IVF in the fall.

Keeping Busy in the Two Week Wait

We had our second official IUI on June 7 (third round of meds, but our first cycle was canceled). I went a little crazy toward the end of the two week wait last cycle, and this time I’ve been trying SO HARD to keep myself busy and sane! I’m now at 10dpiui and starting to feel down. I tested out my trigger shot yesterday, and today there was no denying it was a BFN. I wish I could stop testing, but I really don’t think I can. I’ve never been into surprises and like to have all possible information at my fingertips. I would much rather be prepared than wait for the dreaded call from my nurse to know if this cycle worked. Anyone else feel this way?

Here’s what I’ve been doing to try to keep myself busy the past 1.5 weeks:

Elliptical and Reading
I’ve been working out on our elliptical every other day. I miss running, but my nurse suggested taking it easy with exercise during treatment cycles. I have been getting a lot of reading done this way! Any summer reading suggestions?

New Bathroom
We’re in the beginning stages of remodeling our en suite master bath. I’ve been slacking on the planning, so hubby and I headed to the tile store to get some ideas and get the ball rolling.

I’ve been “working on” a photo gallery in our upstairs hallway for a very long time. I finally found some really interesting frames at Target (on sale!) and now I need to figure out all the photos. Will post pictures of the final product!

Travel Planning
We’re planning a trip to Scotland and Ireland for August with my parents and I need to get moving on the itinerary. I’m my family’s unofficial travel agent, which I secretly love, so I’m excited to get my travel guides in the mail and get to work.

Furry House Guest
This little cutie has been staying with us this week while my parents are on vacation. Don’t you just love old dogs? We’re getting a feel for what it would be like to have two dogs!

Toby the lab

Toby the lab



The Stages of the Two Week Wait

1-5 DPO – This is TOTALLY the cycle! I can feel it! I’m relaxed and feeling optimistic.

6-8DPO – I’m feeling cramps and pinches. This MUST be implantation! Tests are still turning up positive, which means HCG from the trigger is still in me.

8DPO – HCG is out of my system! Yippee! Tomorrow is the day for a real test.

9DPO – Take a test. Do I see a line? Look at the test in natural light, in a photo that I took of it, in a tweaked photo that I took of it. Ask hubby. Ask random people online. I am crazy. Finally decide that indeed, there is NO line. BFN. Devastation. Tears. I know it is too early, but I can’t help the irrational sadness.

10DPO – BFN. Again. Starting to lose hope and crawl into my deep, dark place.

11DPO – My temperature is dropping and my boobs hurt. Another BFN. Feeling the same that I do every month at this time, which means I need to accept that this wasn’t the cycle. Give myself the big girl talk about force myself to let it go. Throw away my collection of this month’s dip strips.

I’m now at 12DPO and making plans for our next IUI cycle. Hubby is traveling for work starting this weekend, so we’ve decided to go the frozen sperm route this time around. Not feeling great about it, but also didn’t want to miss another cycle of trying due to travel schedules. I realize there is still a glimmer of hope at this point, but I’m also realistic. Curious to know if others become similarly crazy each month. I’m a ball of emotions from 6-11DPO, but then the second I feel/know I’m out, I’m ready to turn the page and  move along with the next cycle.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I’m now more than a week past my IUI (8dpo) and the waiting gets harder every day! My mom and I had a great girls weekend in Charleston and that helped me relax and take my mind off things, but now I’m back to the daily waiting and wondering. I’ve been testing out my trigger shot and this morning was the first test that showed up negative. Crazy that hcg hangs around in your system for that long! I haven’t experienced any symptoms above and beyond minor cramping and fatigue that I’ve learned not to give any merit to. I did start with a bad sinus cold earlier this week that I’m still battling.

We found out this week that my hubby has to travel internationally again for work during our next treatment cycle, meaning if this one doesn’t work, we’ll need to consider freezing a sample and going that route. Anyone have experience with using frozen sperm for IUI? I think we would rather do that than put things on hold.