Friday, May 8, 2015

What's Next After Round 3 - Follow Up Dr's Appt

 As I processed everything over the past week and a half, I realized something. I am still at complete peace. It was truly nice to not know what was next because we had a week and a half of our lives where we were not sure what was next. Now 2 years ago that would have killed me, but last week? It was a reprieve to not think about baby stuff. I just lived. And it was lovely. 

For that week. :) And now after out appointment with Dr. Murrain, it was awesome to get back on track and know what is next.
Round 3 vs 2 Review
The first thing that Dr Murrain does in the meeting after a failed IVF cycle is to review what we did that round. So because Round 2 was successful, we compared Round 3 to Round 2.

Round 2 we implanted 1 blastocyst (day 5) and 2 morula (day 4)
Round 3 we implanted 2 morula (day 4)

Round 2 we had 24 follicles with 17 mature eggs and 7 fertilized normally the first day
Round 3 we had 22 follicles with 13 mature eggs and 5 fertilized normal the first day

The preferred number of follicles are 8-20 and the mature eggs are between 12-15, so I was great with both rounds in both areas!
Both transfers went smoothly and my endomentrial lining was great for both rounds.
So in looking at the numbers, we weren't all that far off in the 2 rounds.

After all the review, I had a million questions. Here are the answers boiled down.
  • There is no more likelihood that I will have another subchorionic hemorrhage (bleeding in the uterus) with any subsequent pregnancy.
  • Although I am putting 1-1.5 years worth of hormones in my body in a month time frame, there are no lasting effects that have been found yet with the hormones I used.
  • A few friends mentioned the MTHFR genetic testing, so I asked and we are going to work on getting that done. It is basically a clotting issue and there is a whole panel of testing that I will have done, just to cover all my bases.
  • Because there were some concerns with ovarian hyper stimulation we talked through that. I was only ever a mild case and so there is no real concern there.
Round 4 - Us
It is still a viable option for us to do another round. I asked if there was anything that he would change if we were to do another round. He mentioned that he would consider doing a day 3 transfer no matter what and just transfer 1-2 more at that time. The reason being that sometimes the embryos just don't like the media in the petri dish and they would have done better in the uterus. 

The second thing I asked about was the length of time I was on birth control the 1st and 3rd rounds because it was about a month and a half each time. He said that 16-40 days is normal and that if the numbers were vastly different that he would consider that, but they were not all that different. I talked to the nurse the next day and the first thing out of her mouth was that she would only put me on birth control for the normal 21 day if we did this again. Thank goodness that she was able to see past the numbers that I did WAY better with everything the 2nd round when I was only on it for a little more then 3 weeks. So that is the second thing that would be different if we did another round.

Embryo Adoption
Lots of you have never heard of embryo adoption. I know that I have mentioned it to you before, but that was many moons ago. This option is essentially where there are other families who have done IVF and have frozen embryos, but for what ever their reason, they feel their families are complete. So instead of using their frozen embryos for scientific research or just allowing them to be thawed and disposed of, they opt to put them up for adoption for people who cannot use their own embryos. 

There is actually a local organization about an hour north of us where a woman named Maria Lancaster, who was actually the first woman ever to use another couples frozen embryo and get pregnant, started a agency that matches up people for embryo adoption.

Just The 2 Of Us
This is always an option. I actually had a moment before Round 3 where I truly worked through what would happen if Thomas and I never were able to expand our family. Let me tell you, I still see a beautiful life ahead if that is what God has for us. By no means has my desire for kids gone away, but I can tell you that my ability to be content exactly where I am, knowing that He is going to take care of me and be my everything no matter what, that is priceless.

But I also don't feel like our quest to expand our family is over. So don't you worry your pretty little head. We are still going forward. I just now have a complete peace and an ability to live my life, not matter how long this takes or how it will end up looking. 

Peace is a powerful thing you guys. Powerful.

What's next?
The question you have all been waiting to be answered, that some of you may have scrolled to the bottom and skipped all the other stuff up top to read. :) Don't worry, I just know some of you and I don't judge. 

We have decided to go for Round 4. Which is absolutely crazy. If you would have told me last January all that were were going to go through and that we were going to do 4 or more rounds, I would have laughed and said I can't do that. But that is why God doesn't tell us His plans and why He only gives us as much as we can handle at any point in time.

So yes. Round 4. Guys I also never understood why people could do so many rounds. Honestly? There is just hope. Hope that THIS will be the round. Hope that THIS is going to be the one that we get to bring some tiny toes home at the end of. There is just HOPE. And it is powerful. Just like peace.

However, I am also going to seriously start looking into embryo adoption. From what I have heard and read, it can take any where from 2-4 months, or as long as 1-2 years to get matched. So, I want to have at least reached out to this organization and maybe have gone to an informational meeting to get the ball rolling and keep our options open. 

So Round 4 and the opening of the doors to embryo adoption. There you have it. What's next.

My Favorites
Here is the thing. This is our story. And I love every second of it. I wouldn't change a darn thing from having to go through infertility in the first place, to doing 3 going on 4 rounds of IVF, to miscarrying our little identical twins. God has carried us through this with incredible grace and peace. And honestly? I am going to be an incredibly different mom to my future tiny toes because of it. Heck, I have been a different person because of it. Wouldn't change it for anything.

I have seen God shine like crazy through this. I have seen the people closest to me go through the pain with me. I have seen people change and question and walk away different because God has used our story in others lives. And I have been able to talk with so many other women who have walked this same walk of infertility with me. All of our stories are quite different, but it always boils down to wanting to grow our families. And I wouldn't take that away either. Not for any of the hardness.

And I wouldn't change the relationship with all my ladies at the Gyft clinic. I love that our story could not have happened with out these ladies. They have cried for me and laughed with me and cheered me on every step of the way. I treasure every single one of them.

Just darn thankful you guys.