Wednesday the 23rd we had our appointment to check my blood levels and my uterine lining in the hopes of starting progesterone (PIO and Crinone) in the next few days for a transfer the week of October 5th. Well…just like everything else in this entire process, nothing goes according to plan. Expect the Unexpected.
I have never had an issue with my uterine lining. At all my baselines my lining was at least 5mm and over the course of the monitoring appointments during the fresh IVFs it became tri-laminar and around 12mm. We had no reason to doubt that this appointment would be anything but positive. And man, oh, man was I anticipating this appointment because it meant we could move on to the next step and get our snowbabies back where they belong. I barely slept the night before because I was so excited to learn when the next steps would happen and get a date for transfer. The past three weeks have felt so long and I have been having nothing but side effects from this estrogen. From everything I read, some of the estrogen side effects will subside once progesterone is started so I was actually getting excited to start PIO injections…something I never thought I would feel and also I am sure I will regret saying once we start them.
Anyways, we arrived at the doctor’s office bright and early as always and there was only one other person in the waiting room. I could tell she was excited and she started talking to us and asked how long we had been coming to the office. We told her we had been there since April and had gone through two IVF and this was our first FET. She said she had been coming since August and that she got a positive beta on her first IUI and was so excited. She went on and on about how she was called with the positive test and what the nurse said and yada yada. Me being emotionally unstable on all this estrogen, simply just looked at her and smiled. I didn’t trust anything that was going to come out of my mouth. I felt cynical. If you all don’t remember my current feelings about pregnant people see here. Luckily, the lab tech called us back for blood work right then. I am getting better at the blood work. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out this time and it wasn’t too bad. Maybe IVF will really break me of my fear of needles. One can only hope.
After bloodwork we went back to the waiting room and Excited Newly Pregnant Lady was still there. She seem to now be engaged in doing something on her phone and didn’t want to rub her glee in anymore. Within a few minutes the ultrasound tech came to get us. It wasn’t the one that we liked and we don’t necessarily have a lot of confidence in her. We got to her ultrasound room and I assumed the position. I told her that from everything I know that my lining should be at least 8mm and that we shouldn’t have any problems since my lining is always nice and thick. She started the scan and of course my uterus didn’t want to play nice. It was being difficult to scan so she went to scan my ovaries first. The bruises on my left ovary were completely gone (yay) and everything looked good. My right ovary was nestled next to my uterus as usual and that one look good too. I think she counted 22 follicles on my left and 25 follicles on my right. Then she went to scan my lining. She took several measurements of my lining ranging from 2.5mm to 3.75mm. Cue disappointment. I said “Are you sure? Because my lining has always been at least 5mm” and she decided that since my uterus was difficult to scan that she would try and find a physician to come and look. When they were all busy she went to look for another ultrasound tech. Of course no one was available but she did track down a doctor who told her to take additional images on several different settings. She came back and did as she was instructed but she didn’t measure the lining again. By this time I was in tears thinking that there was something wrong with me and that our FET would be cancelled. Luckily I work at home on Wednesdays so I was able to come home and work and not have to worry about hiding my tears.
I waited all day for the nurse to call. I looked on Dr. Google (bad idea) to see what it means to take this much estrogen and have such a thin lining. I tried to find other that had had this situation and had success. I didn’t find anything. I drove myself crazy for hours. Normally the nurse calls around 1 or 2. Well, 3 o’clock came and I hadn’t heard a peep. I decided to call the nurse. I left her a voicemail and lied saying I was going into a meeting at 3:30 and was hoping to speak with her before then. I guess she was sitting by her phone and screening her calls because she called me back 2 minutes later. She said she was waiting to talk to Dr. Bohler but she knew what he was going to say. She said my blood estrogen level was good at 1004 which means my body is absorbing the estrogen it just isn’t getting to my uterus where it needs to be. She told me to add 2 estrogen pills in the morning and 2 at night. Meaning that my dose increased from 6mg of estrogen daily to 10mg…bring on the crazy! She booked me in for an appointment on October 6th to recheck everything and talked to Dr. Christensen, the embryologist, to see if it was okay to transfer the week after since they normally transfer the first full week of the month. Everything was okayed to move our transfer date back a week. I made sure to ask if there was anything medically wrong with me that might make my lining not responsive to the estrogen. She assured me that I am not alone and there are many women that this happens to and I just need a little bit more time. Sigh. The nurse then called back about an hour later and said she spoke with Dr. Bohler and I was to take all 5 pills twice a day…vaginally. Her exact words were to “cram them in there”…no joke…
Needless to say, the appointment did not go as planned. Yet another curveball thrown into our path. I have said it before and I will say it again: I need to learn that this is the way this world is. I cannot plan for things because everything changes on a dime. I need to learn to roll with the punches. And while I am getting better at relinquishing control and just letting things happen as they will, I am not fully there yet and may never be. I am trying to let go and let God. I trust in Him and His plan for us and our family. I remind myself of the Serenity prayer which I have tattooed on my wrists to remind me everyday to trust in Him.