This afternoon, we went back to the fertility clinic to debrief our most recent cycle.
Part of that involves discussing the plan going forward. Or at least what the options are.
For some reason, I don’t really know what the best plan forward is. Its probably got something to do with the fact that we have had ‘debriefs’ and positive ‘you-stimulate-really-well-you-are-young-you’ve-been-pregnant-and-carried-to-term‘ chats before, and we are still in the same position, but with Leo in a grave, and a miscarriage of Little Robin. So I guess no option fills me with positivity and excitement. And no, giving up is not one of those options. Not yet, anyway.
So, I feel like I need to ‘Rachel vs Julie’ this one, and try and weigh up one anxiety inducing process against the other.
The first option would be to rinse and repeat.
Medicated Frozen Embryo Replacement
With our last remaining embryo from Leo’s cycle.
In theory, there is nothing wrong with this option. Its pretty mild, and not that labour intensive, in comparison. But, my brain has decided to not trust the Progesterone medication. Mainly because my brain likes to find things to not trust in these situations, and Progesterone is in the firing line.
I don’t trust it, because I attribute it now to our miscarriage. Or more specifically, using applicators for progesterone pessaries. This cycle was the first time we used these drugs, and for want of not giving too much information to the accidental reader, using them whilst mildly spotting had me convinced I was causing my body to miscarry. Obviously, this is bollocks. It would have miscarried regardless. Equally, the progesterone slowed down the inevitable happening, leading to two weeks of anxiety and second guessing, and just general exhaustion. There is an alternative (which we used in IVF) but its not the recommended drug for IVF anymore…
Anxiety and fear tends to be irrational by definition. I know it made no difference, but that doesn’t stop the anxiety – so is it best to avoid a situation that causes undue anxiety when anxiety is the least wanted ingredient to a treatment cycle?
This brings us to our second option.
Unmedicated Frozen Embryo Replacement.
Clue is in the title, my body has a natural cycle, I have scans, monitor my ovulation using the wonderful ovulation predictor kits circa IUI in 2013, have more scans, and a replacement at the given point.
No medication does mean this one is cheaper. Just. But we do have about £200 of medication unused from our last cycle, seems silly to waste it?!
This option was available to us at the last cycle, yet my untrusting brain decided against it. You see, I’m a control freak (hadn’t you noticed?) and having the medication gives you the impression that you are in control, and your body will do what it is told to do. This is particularly important when your body has failed unbelievably at what it is meant to do. Twice.
Yet, I also don’t trust those darn Ovulation Predictor Kits. I’ll take a brief trip down memory lane to explain why… on our third IUI (which is insemination) the tests gave us inconclusive results, so the clinic scanned us to see what my ovaries were up to. And despite a positive reading, I was not ovulating. I didn’t ovulate for another three days. Given that this was the first cycle the clinic scanned us on, out of three, it made me believe that perhaps I didn’t ovulate when the tests told us I was the previous two times… and thus, you have a brain deciding to not trust ovulation kits.
However, the clinic (which is now different) would scan pre-ovulation, and then again when the Kit say positive to make sure that I have ovulated before replacing the embryo. So, I guess we void that concern?
(For the non-biologists, they would then transfer the embryo seven days after ovulation as this is when the body would expect an embryo to appear and implant. My body would then be at a point in my cycle where the necessary hormones, such as progesterone, should be naturally produced).
Seeming as I’m over-anxious about what the hell is the best way forward, and unbelievably pessimistic about outcomes (understandably) I feel its best to prepare also for the next cycle after a frozen cycle. I’m sure someone people are thinking, Why worry over that, just focus on each cycle at a time! But, I’ll throw ‘been there, done that, had the tears and failed pregnancy tests, stillbirth and miscarriage’ into the ring and say, when the shit happens, you need to know there is hope for another option and what that option is. And that option is…
I really, really don’t want to get here. Having experienced the better version, i.e. Frozen, IVF just doesn’t sound appealing. I’ve done it twice, but I’ll do it again and again and again.
If we get there, the options are wide open again, and the process will inevitably be more complicated…
- We start from scratch, we have the ability to change sperm donor. The law has also changed, and we would have the ability to use any sperm bank and not just the clinic’s or European. Which gives us plenty more options (not that we have ever been too fussed, but how much longer will my brain trust the swimmers we currently have?!)
- I’d need another round of blood tests, which is fine, who doesn’t like blood tests? Twice my blood tests have expired. Twice. They are two yearly.
- We also have to find some money. We don’t really have money for a Frozen cycle, so IVF is an unknown. Many people seem to think that we get NHS funding, but we don’t.
- To recap, to obtain NHS funding for one cycle of IVF, we have to have had six failed IUI cycles, and we only did three before moving to IVF. Our two IVF and one FER don’t count, however, we will appeal on the grounds of our circumstances, because it doesn’t hurt to at least ask. We have had six rounds of treatment after all. Just not the lesser invasive treatment they want…
So.. I don’t know? We don’t have to make any decisions, and we have no time frame to make them in just yet. As one door closes, another opens. Just wish what was behind them looked a little more joyous.
I don’t like having options.
And also, whilst on the way home, The Wife spotted someone she recognised. Took a while to place her. Then realised she was the lady who fitted Leo’s car seat in Mothercare.
Seriously, sometimes going out makes agoraphobia a really good option.