In early November I went through a Frozen Embryo TransferÂ (FET). This was round 8 of IVF, round 14 of ART.
They transferred two blastocysts that we harvested in September â€“ both with delayed growth and average scores. I was given a different post-transfer regime, topping up with two injections of Pregnyl (hCG), first eight hours after transfer, and another five days later. Iâ€™ve been on threeÂ doses of progesterone a day.
FETs are different than fresh rounds of IVF, as the body is in a more natural, untraumatized state. The body’s ovaries have not been assaulted with an aspirating needle 3 days prior, and therefore, someÂ fertility doctors believe FETs mightÂ have as good as if not better outcomes for patients. This was our first FET – as they tend to occur only for women lucky enough to achieveÂ Day-5 blastocysts, something we’ve never had during ourÂ first 7 rounds. Everything felt different on this round. My pre-transfer medication was scant – only a few shots and a few scans. “We’re kicking this thing au-naturale” whisperedÂ Dr. Jens. I was skeptical at my Danish clinic’s sudden attempt to put me on a Whole-Foods-style-round of IVF. But we’ve tried everything else, so why not?
The morning of my beta-blood test on November 20th, I took a home pregnancy test. It was positive.
Thatâ€™s weird, we thought.
They must have given us the wrong embryos fromÂ the lab. My embryos are bad and wonky and have a less than 5% chance of producing a viable human being.
Oh well, no biggie. Weâ€™ll take whatever embryos they’d like to give us. We donâ€™t care whose baby we get, we just want uh baby.
The blood test later that day confirmed it was a positive pregnancy. And it was notÂ just any olâ€™ beta score â€“ it was a convincingÂ hCG score for 11dp5dt (11 days post 5-day transfer) â€“ 488! Three days later, I retested and it was 1680. My beta is doubling every 40 hours, and Iâ€™m right on target. On round 1 of IVF â€“ round 7 of ART â€“ my positive beta test was a mere 60. While a 60 is technically pregnant, itâ€™s more in the realm of â€œslow-progression-pregnant.â€ We had no idea that the <65 number was an omen of a less-than-ideal pregnancy, as I miscarried at 7.5 weeks.
The riskÂ of a miscarriage isÂ still there,Â but the odds are betterÂ than they were that prior round.
I am overjoyed. Ecstatic. Jumping up and downâ€¦in my head. I am also: scared $hitless. Skittish. And worried.
But I am trying to enjoy this. I am a little bit P. I will not say the word right nowâ€¦ I donâ€™t want to. I donâ€™t know how to say it. Iâ€™ll write later about why Iâ€™m so stumped and breathless and unable to admit something to myself, lest it all fall apart. But I recognize that I need to enjoy this.
We broke the streak. That long losing streak we had beenÂ on.
So I am being cautiously optimistic. But that unbridled glee that you, dear reader, are probably expecting of me â€“ thatÂ will come after the heartbeat scan on December 11th, and after I glide joyfully into my second trimester in January. And then, after Iâ€™m holding that little person in my arms. And then, after that person graduates high school.
For now, I am 5 weeks and 2 days a-little-bit P. And Martin asked if we were going to do a home birth. So itâ€™s business as usual, with him making me laugh.