In early November I went through a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). This was round 8 of IVF, round 14 of ART.
They transferred two blastocysts that we harvested in September — 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. I’ve been on three 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, some fertility doctors believe FETs might 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 achieve Day-5 blastocysts, something we’ve never had during our 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” whispered 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.
That’s weird, we thought.
They must have given us the wrong embryos from 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. We’ll take whatever embryos they’d like to give us. We don’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 not just any ol’ beta score — it was a convincing hCG score for 11dp5dt (11 days post 5-day transfer) — 488! Three days later, I retested and it was 1680. My beta is doubling every 40 hours, and I’m right on target. On round 1 of IVF /round 7 of ART, my positive beta test was a mere 60. While a 60 is technically pregnant, it’s more in the realm of a “slow progression pregnant.” 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 risk of a miscarriage is still there, but the odds are better than they were that prior round.
I am overjoyed. Ecstatic. Jumping up and down 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 now; I don’t want to. I don’t know how to say it. I’ll write later about why I’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 been on.
So I am being cautiously optimistic. But that unbridled glee that you, dear reader, are probably expecting of me, that will come after the heartbeat scan on December 11th, and after I glide joyfully into my second trimester in January. And then, after I’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 it’s business as usual, with him making me laugh.