Wednesday, September 11, 2013

FET #1, or Clearly We Have Lost Our Minds

I have gone back and forth a hundred times about whether to blog about round two of our baby-making efforts. On one hand this whole experience has a much more laid-back feeling that the events surrounding the girls' conception, and a part of me likes it being a private, nonchalant experience. But at the same time I do from time to time look back on our experience with IVF, from the technical (what dose of Lupron was I on again?) to the emotional (four years ago is such a foggy memory) and I like the idea of being able to look back on potential-baby-number-three's beginnings as well. I would make a comment about how I hope others reading this benefit and it's all for the greater good or something, but that's not really my motivation. I know I'm not reaching a huge audience here, and I'm totally ok with that.

We did not take the decision to attempt to have a third child lightly. We agonized over it for literally years. Is this the best thing for us? And most importantly, for our girls? Things now are so easy (for lack of a better word) with the girls. They sleep all night. They are potty trained. They go to school. They feed themselves, entertain themselves, and are able to explain what they are thinking and feeling. So the temptation to maintain the status quo is there for sure. But... there's always been a but. Obviously, we have paid to keep these other two embryos frozen for a reason. I have always liked the idea of a big family. Of the thought of a household filled with lots of little voices singing "happy birthday to you" and lots of stockings lined up in a row on Christmas eve. And the thought of the girls leaving the nest at the same time, the thought of dropping them off at college and coming home... yes, I know it's 14 years in the future, but I also know how fast these first four years have gone... that thought KILLS me. I think about it way more than I should. Plus I think the girls would make amazing big sisters, and that any little soul who stumbled into our midst would be super lucky. Not that we are perfect, just that we have lots of love to spare. Would I be ok with life as a family of 4? Yeah, I'd be ok. But I would always spend the rest of my life with that little "what if" buzzing around in my head. I'm ready to try. 

So off we go. If you will remember, when we left off we had two children and two cryopreserved embryos. About 2 months ago I went for an appointment at CRM to talk to our doctor about the FET (frozen embryo transfer, for those playing along at home) and get an idea of what to expect. Of course the protocol is much less demanding than it was for a fresh cycle of IVF. Yesterday was my hysteroscopy- done under general anesthesia- and my uterus got an "all clear" from Dr. Loy and company. As soon as the biopsies that they took come back (next week) I will get my final consult and start the drugs! Probably about a month of shots. I don't mind the subcutaneous ones at all, but the PIO (progesterone in oil) are an intramuscular and I am not sure how I'm going to manage that this time. When I was doing my fresh cycle, the school nurse where I was teaching was AMAZINGLY generous and did my PIO shots for me. Hoping I can either figure out how to do them myself or luck into someone equally as awesome to poke me in the butt with a giant needle for a couple of weeks. Then the transfer, probably in October, and voila! Either pregnant or not.

I do want to say that in the interim here, we have NOT made any attempt to get pregnant spontaneously. I have to admit, I feel a little obligation to those wee totsicles. Not to mention that those are perky 31 year old eggs, as opposed to my crusty decrepit 36 year old eggs. So if we get no results from the FETs, that will be the end of our baby making. Which leads me to another question that everyone, including the lady working at the post office today, asks me. "So when are you popping out another set?" Ahem. This will be a SINGLE embryo transfer. Not that we don't adore our twins. We totally do. But I would be lying if I told you that the first year was all sunshine and roses. Combine that with the higher risk of complications from a multiple pregnancy, and we will be doing one at a time. The only snag is this: when they froze our embryos, they froze them TOGETHER, in a single straw. So they will have to be defrosted together. If only one survives the defrost, then it's a no brainer. If they both survive, however, we will transfer one and re freeze the other. Yes, unlike chicken, you can defrost and refreeze a blastocyst, however it can cause fragmentation and there is no guarantee that it will survive a second thawing. 

So there it is in a nutshell. For now life is about enjoying my girls, enjoying having a little time to pay attention to my house when the girls are at school, and trying to keep my dog from chewing his own legs off. Which is a story for another day. 

Thanks for reading. :)

1 comment:

genevieve said...

Is it weird that I think of those little frozen embryos as absolutely adorable? Just sitting there all cold in their little straw, huddled next to each other, waiting for a warm womb to help them along into their new stage of life?

Whether a Text or a Pet, I'm really happy you're trying this out. I want to see every stage of the process--this time around!
(Well...not SEE it. See the experience. You know.)