Written Friday 10/9 evening [You may sense a bit of a negative Nancy in me. Sorry in advance. Hopefully you will be able to somewhat understand.]
I will pick up where I last left off…My spa does was nothing short of absolutely incredible. Getting up and out of the house early on a weekend is SO much easier than weekdays. The spa and grounds of Omni La Costa are absolutely gorgeous. I had a massage, then facial, followed by pool time, and lunch with a glass of champagne! I felt like I was out of town, not just 5 minutes from our house.
Relaxation to the max right?! Well, minus the 15 girls there for Marcella’s Sprinkle (Not sure who would spend an entire Saturday and at least few hundred dollars each for a Sprinkle?! Ladies, correct me if I am in the wrong.) On top of that, add in the suuuuper loud, loves to hear herself talk newly pregnant girl right next to me. All of us hovered around a tiny pool at the spa. Even though Chris and I have been on this journey for many months, it doesn’t get easier with time.
A severe migraine kicked in while I was at the spa. I came home and thought more relaxing would get rid of it. WRONG. I was horizontal, either in bed or on the couch, for the better part of 30 hours, Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening. Brutal. It was the worst I’ve had since the one a week before our wedding when I was in bed for 36 hours straight. Thank you hormones.
As expected, my period came Monday 10/5, exactly two weeks after retrieval. So, I set our appointment with Dr. F for Wednesday 10/7 (Cycle Day 3) 11:15a at the new clinic. It was, of course, so great to see her! The new clinic does things a little differently, we adjusted well. The nurses and staff were lovely. Dr. F will continue to practice the exact same even though this practice doesn’t do everything the way we are used to, such a relief.
Ultrasound showed some healing still taking place from retrieval. There were NO cysts and 11 follicles. Last time at this Baseline appointment, there were 13 follicles. This number is ever changing, as we know. We got the OK to begin birth control (oh joy) and testosterone gel that day! Cycle #2 has officially begun!
The birth control will help quiet the ovaries and follicles, so they all start from the same, tiny size and grow together in sync when we begin the stimulation medication. Needless to say the headache and nausea have kicked in full force. Last cycle, the symptoms lasted four or five days before I felt mostly normal.
I will be on birth control pills and the gel for a little over 2.5 weeks, followed by stim meds for 12 ish days, and a tentative retrieval the week of November 9th. One month from today will be here before I know it! If our plan goes accordingly, which it normally doesn’t, (fingers crossed) we will be able to attend two weddings in November AND spend Thanksgiving in STL!
On to the genetic testing report — We were anticipating a call from RPMG with the update of our tested embryos on Thursday at the earliest. Well at 8:56p on Wednesday night, I see their office calling my cell. Heart drops, panic sets in. I answer and put it on speaker. It was Wei, the embryologist, and Dr. Garzo. The fact he was on the call had me nervous. We have since learned it is common protocol for the doctor to call with the embryologist. Wei’s tone of voice sounded SO super peppy and positive. Based on this, Chris and I were both convinced she was going to deliver us the best news possible.
She started, “We have the PGS results for your embryos…pause…out of the SEVEN….pause…TWO…pause…came back NORMAL.
They went on to explain: (I think this is accurate?)
- The 2 normal ones were graded Fair on the Good, Fair, Poor scale. Genetically Good and Fair embryos have the same pregnancy rate.
- 2 were Complex Abnormal (missing chromosomes)
- 1 had Trisomy (3 copies, instead of 2) of chromosome 3
- 1 had Trisomy (3 copies, instead of 2) of chromosome 14
- 1 has to be re-tested as they were not able to get information on it. This means they will thaw the embryo, re-biopsy it, re-freeze it. Poor thing. They are so sensitive and fragile, I am afraid this embryo may not be viable, just based on all it has been through. We will know the results in 10ish days. I am not holding my breath.
- I have since found out the abnormal embryos were 3 boys and 1 girl. Wow, this really pains me as I write. I specially asked to NOT know the gender of the two normal embryos.
Typically for someone 32 years old – 70% come back normal, 30% abnormal. Our results are the exact opposite. I think we had extra high hopes considering we were ahead of the averages and statistics with retrieval, fertilization, and freezing. No denying it, we were shocked and severely disappointed. Dr. F and Dr. Garzo were surprised and felt our disappointment as well.
I am thankful for the two normal embryos we have. I am also beyond thankful we were encouraged to do the testing and able to afford it, many opt out due to cost. I am thankful we have already started our second cycle. I am MOST thankful we avoided four potential miscarriages and terrible heartache.
Many of you may be thinking…
“Be thankful for the two you have.”
“It only takes one.”
“It’s in God’s hands. He has a plan. All will be ok.”
Bottom line, this was crushing news for us. In reality, simply because these embryos are genetically normal, it does not mean the pregnancy will be successful. Between the two cycles, our goal is to have enough healthy embryos to complete our family. I am seriously hoping this cycle will be as successful as the first, but with many more normal embryos. There is nothing additional Chris and I can do to help improve our results. We are doing everything recommended. Dr. F has said each cycle is different, and it is unclear whether low AMH is related to poorer egg/embryo quality.
My clock is ticking, and it’s ticking fast, so the sooner we can build our family, the better. Chris and I have discussed doing a third cycle if needed. Although it would mean a delay in transfer and pregnancy, a LOT more money, shots, appointments, you name it, I would be all about it. Dr. F said to take it one step at a time, but I want to have it in my head and heart…if it is needed, we will do it. She remains confident we will be successful in building our family, and thinks a third cycle would be unlikely.
As you can imagine and/or are witnessing while following our journey, there are SO many hard parts to this process. It would take days to share it all, some day I will. One super tough thing is delivering the frequent, not so great news, especially to my parents. I want to make them grandparents more than anything, it kills me. Although I am a grown woman, I know they hurt when I hurt. I don’t think that will ever change. My pain, anger, disappointment, everything becomes theirs. I feel I almost try to stay strong for them in the hopes of protecting them. Same can be said with Chris. I rarely let my emotions get the best of me in front of him. It typically happens in private. He does his best to comfort me, but often times I act tough and ok, when on the inside I am not. I am not sure why.
On a lighter note, my beloved Cardinals began their race to the World Series tonight. I was stuck at work until nearly the 7th inning, but had Mike Shannon and John Rooney’s broadcast to keep me somewhat calm. I made it home just in time to see the dominating 8th inning. For those of you who know me, you know how insane I am about the Cards. This is seriously the BEST distraction I could possibly have for all we are going through.
All in all, this wasn’t the update I was hoping to share. Thanks for reading my despite my disappointment and frustration. Hope you enjoyed the randomness that lies within. Have a lovely weekend, and most importantly GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. – Robert Tew