Nov 14, 2014

and I'm back...

It's been a few days over a year since I last posted and I am ready to start this up again. We started TTC again in March 2014. I weaned N around that time for fertility reasons, which was a difficult choice.

In early June we thawed our four frozen day 3 embryos. Our hope was to thaw them on day 3 and try to grow them to day 5 and then do SET if any of them made it blastocyst. We knew the embryos weren't great quality and we didn't want to transfer more than one because we were explicitly trying to avoid twins because of what happened with our first twin pregnancy. We figured growing to day 5 would be a good selection device.

I guess it was too good of a selection device, because after preparing a fluffy lining with a couple of weeks of estrogen, none of the embryos progressed to day 5 after thawing. It was disappointing to have nothing to transfer, but I guess it also wasn't shocking since we knew the embryos weren't great and I didn't regret that we chose to attempt a day 5 transfer.

After the transfer that never was, I had a meeting with my RE to decide where to go from there. I knew that I wanted to get pregnant soon and never having had a spontaneous pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to continue with treatment. I was uncertain whether I wanted to start with something less invasive and emotionally consuming like Clomid IUI or whether I wanted to dive right back into a fresh IVF cycle. I also didn't know what our health fund would cover based on our circumstances at the moment.

Our RE advised that he would support me in whatever treatment that I wanted to do and in whatever order or combination I wanted, but that he still thought IVF was our most efficient path to pregnancy. Fair enough. After talking it over with Y and some soul-searching, we decided to proceed with our fourth fresh IVF in July 2014.

We did the antagonist protocol and the stimulation went fine. We got 10 eggs, which is pretty standard for me. Unfortunately, only 5 fertilized with ICSI which is a pretty low fertilization rate for us. Our embryos were in an incubator with an embryoscope, a time lapse imaging system that takes video of the developing embryos. It is a pretty cool recent invention that is supposed to help in embryo selection and gives the embryologist and RE real-time info about the embryos without disturbing them in the incubator.

Our hope was still to do a day 5 SET but based on our lower fertilization rate and underwhelming embryo quality, my RE advised we do a day 3 transfer. We weren't so psyched about this, both because day 3 hadn't brought us success in the past and because suddenly it made the question of how many embryos to transfer much more confusing, since day 3 SET doesn't have such great results.

The day of the embryo transfer, the embryologist and our RE reviewed the video clips from the embryoscope. Our RE told us none of the embryos were more than 6-cell, all had significant fragmentation, and none of them met the freezing criteria. He and the embryologist recommended that we transfer three (!) We decided to settle for two, even though Y had significant reservations since we were (and are) still both traumatized from the pregnancy with Aminadav and Naava.

Needless to say, much to the shock of our RE and myself (and not to Y), we got pregnant with twins again. I am now 17w3d pregnant with a boy and a girl, and it's been a challenging and scary road so far. I had light bleeding from weeks 5-7 due to a subchorionic hematoma. At the NT scan I was diagnosed with partial placenta previa, and during week 13 I was hospitalized due to a major bleed. This was really scary since chronic bleeding is what we believed caused PPROM (premature rupture of membranes) with Aminadav and Naava -- basically due to blood wearing down the amniotic sac like sandpaper. I rested at home for a week and then returned to work.

I also had a worrisome cervical length ultrasound about a week ago. It shortened significantly based on that measurement but then when another technician measured it a few days later, all was good. I am not sure whether my cervix is dynamic or whether maybe the first measurement was incorrect or what, but I will ask my doctor what she thinks when I have my regular appointment next week.

This whole ride is very scary for us....every day I just feel thankful to wake up still pregnant. The only way through this is to make it to each new day as uneventfully as possible -- 10.5 weeks til our first big goal. Meanwhile, N fills our lives with so much joy (and activity!). We are so blessed to have her here with us.