Another day with beautiful lining

Friday I had my lining check for my ERA cycle. I had to play with the schedule a bit and stay on Estradiol for a way shorter time period than they would have liked, due to a business trip I have next week. After only being on Estradiol for a week, my lining was a whopping 12.4 mm.

That is even thicker than last month’s FET cycle.

My RE just kept saying how “beautiful” it was, with the triple pattern, and how “wonderful” it is to be such a good responder to medication. And yeah, I mean, I suppose its certainly better than the alternative. But what good has it done me so far?

Beautiful lining means one less thing to play around with, but it doesn’t stop implantation from failing. Beautiful lining gets smiles at monitor appointments, but it hasn’t stopped my infertility in all these months/years.

It’s not that I’m not grateful for having thick lining, when many others struggle to build it up. It’s just that beautiful lining is not the goal. Beautiful lining is just one more reason for my infertility being “unexplained” as the excruciating hunt for answers continues.

In any case, we are on track for Thursday’s biopsy. A chunk will get taken out of said lining, in hopes that it brings me some answers or a direction to move in.

Even if I come back “receptive,” I will consider it time well spent- because every new slice of information, every new piece of the unexplained puzzle that we are in possession of- it helps us eliminate routes and ultimately, I hope, will bring us closer to our baby.


Good Times, Bad Times

I have good days and bad days. After the previous week, which had been hellish, things got a little better. And then I got tremendous food poisoning. It was awful, but at the time, I was really in survival mode and had no ability to worry about my embryos and lack of success.

When that passed, I felt better but still a few times last week I was overcome with sadness again. I tried to get better right now by taking a bit of a break from work to watch some TV. What really didnt really help that yesterday, my coworker started all this bizarre and unnecessary drama with me, because she had some sort of misplaced sense that I was “stealing” the spotlight of her project, and it was really just an exhausting and awful situation. I don’t handle confrontation well, and after a few back and forths with her via email and phone, I finally had to call our boss to get him involved. He 100% backed me, but regardless of her being in the wrong, I HATE to have bad energy with ANYONE. Ugh. I am hoping things will get better. This is so not me.

I had my baseline on Thursday. For, what we decided what will be our ERA biopsy cycle. The baseline was all good, all clear, but it’s frustrating to know this cycle will only result in cramping/pain from cutting out a chunk of me, rather than a possible pregnancy. And still, if I am pre-receptive, I’ll do it all over again.

But this is the conservative thing to do to preserve my embryos. And they deserve it.

I met a new girl who also had her PGS embryo fail– I went to dinner with her and my IVF twin last Thurs. It’s a relief to know another person, even if what brings you together is shared pain. She is also going forward with the ERA this cycle AND she told me our lab will be shut down Dec 15-Jan 20!!! So if it takes us 2 biopsy cycles, we have no ability to transfer after that for another month! ARHHHHHH it is all so aggravating sometimes.

Well, more good news: I went in to see an immunologist who ran a huge panel of anti-thyroid, ANA, celiac, a bazillion other things and I came back completely clear. No immune issues on the tests! No anti-thyroid antibodies either! Even though I have hypothyroidism. I was shocked.

I am still going to see my demonologist on Wednesday next week to get started on prednisone, for my lichen planus issues. But it’s a relieve to know my levels of immune issues are normal.

I was also able to get a drink with a friend I am only now starting to get close with. She let me know, between drinks and my stories, that she had a miscarriage a month ago. It was still so raw for her, and she had barely told anyone. I hurt for her, but some sort of shame came down after telling me, and I know that sadly, I can relate to loss and grief and inability to feel normal around people with typical reproductive stories. So it had joined us together, and I know when we speak to each other, we won’t just be heard, but understood.

Thank you all so much for your feedback regarding the ERA. We feel confident that taking the next few cycles to do this will lead to more knowledge and peace of mind, no matter how hard it feels right now. For that I am grateful.



#MicroblogMondays: Fork in the Road


So we have a big decision ahead of us. To go through with another FET right now, or to take a break to do Endometrial Receptivity Array (ERA) testing. Basically some 25% of women with implantation failure are actually transferring on the wrong day for their bodies.

In order to find out if this is me, we’d have to basically go through a cycle as if we are transferring again- and then instead of getting an embryo in my body, I’d get a biopsy out of my uterine lining. It takes like 2 weeks to get the results back (they are analyzed at the molecular level). If your lining comes back as “pre-receptive” you then have to do it all over again and biopsy on day 6. And if still pre-receptive, I guess you go to day 7.

My RE has said he has seen 0 come back beyond day 7.

The problem is that we have to wait- at least a month but maybe 2 or 3. Three months is so so long.

Mr Upside surprised me by saying he wants to go straight to the ERA instead of transferring another. Part of it is that he doesn’t want to lose another unnecessarily and part of it is he doesn’t want to watch me go through it all again. I am just now trying to find my way out of this grief.

Has anyone done this test? Of course this is my own choice, but…what would you do if you were me?

The FET Diaries: Trying to Move On

First of all thank you so much for all your kind comments not the last post. I didnt have the emotional energy to respond to most of them, but they are felt in my heart and appreciated.

I’m 2 days past negative beta, but I have “known” I wasn’t pregnant for about 5. I thought after my beta things could get better, but yesterday was pretty rough. I had an appt with my IF therapist and cried the entire hour. I was on really shaky emotional ground, but then I had my WTF appt with my RE, and I think it went well.

I basically prepared a massive spreadsheet with all the possible things I wanted to look into and get his opinion on. He totally handled everything well and appreciated I had done my research. Basically he told me “I am disappointed, but I am not discouraged. I understand you are discouraged, but we at the clinic are not.” And that implantation rates for a PGS embryo are still only like at most 60%.

He has agreed to starting prednisone (I need my immunologist or dermatologist to write me that prescription for my skin problems I am having a big flare of right now) and even says that for women with DOR in the IVF process he often uses it as protocol. He is quite opposed to using blood thinners, as the risks outweigh any evidence of benefit, although he wants me to continue baby aspirin. He basically said clotting is more of a miscarriage problem and less an implantation one, and that science does not show evidence that would support the use of a serious blood thinner and that I need to continue baby aspirin.

I talked to him a bit about PIO v crinone and he said pregnancy rates are the same (no statistically difference- I have confirmed this through looking up studies from NIH) but that he is absolutely happy to have me switch to PIO if it would make me feel better and said “it is the gold standard.” The problem with that is I would need Mr Upside around every day for my shots and he travels for work quite a bit.

He left a final decision up to me: to go straight to another FET cycle or to use this next cycle to do an ERA test. So basically everything would be the same except instead of transfer, they would biopsy my uterine lining. Apparently there are a decent # of women (like 20%?) whose linings are not receptive on the typical day 5 and that protocol would be adjusted. My RE seems to think we should try again before ERA (it is expensive, not cover by insurance, time consuming, and painful) because it really could be a numbers game. But he will support whichever I choose.

It seems like ERA is becoming more and more prominent in treating failed FETs (and fresh?). I am going to take the next 4 days to discuss with my husband and figure out what to do. If the second FET fails, he will strongly recommend ERA, which I agree with. I will probably go ahead with FET in November, partially because trying to coordinate a transfer with all the holiday travel in Dec would be a lot more difficult than a biopsy where I would not have to worry as much. It could take 1 or 2 months to deal with the ERA test, which is frustrating but if it leads to more answers, then great.

I am just trying to recover this weekend. We have friends in town. Mr Upside brought me coffee (yes coffee!!!!) in bed and last night bought me a lot of drinks. After tomorrow we will sit and discuss what our thoughts are on next cycle.

xx to you all. Trying to move on.

They Don’t Make Songs For This

Beta came in: BFN, as expected. Big fat zero.

Shocking. I know.

I knew for a few days and cried it out a lot and I don’t really feel like crying anymore. But it’s weird- even though I have been testing since day 5, and I’ve been certain since day 7, it still hurts to hear it from the nurse.

I want to eat bad food and listen to breakup music. Because they don’t make songs for this kind of pain.

My (new) nurse was sweet and already booked me a consult for TOMORROW so I have something to put in front of me. Some destination as I try to put one foot in front of the other.

My IVF twin- she’s my age, we went though IVF and FET within 1 day of each other- she got her BFP. After all this time. I am happy for her- I mean that more than if she hadn’t had infertility- but why isn’t it me? She didnt even PGS test and I did and she got a sticky one and mine died inside the death start that is apparently my uterus. Like who else is just tired of losing and watching other people leave you in the dust?

I don’t know why it failed and maybe I never will. But I’ve compiled a list of possible tests/plans to ask my RE about.

I hope in 6 months this will be in the rearview mirror. But who ever knows.

The FET Diaries: 5dp5dt and Falling Apart

So I tested this morning.

OK before you tell me it’s too early- technically I know. But I also know that this would translate to 10dpo and FRER picks up about 80% of those positives by that point.

I also know that my friend (I met her fairly recently; she’s my IVF twin. Retrievals and FETs a day apart!) got a faint line at 5dp5dt. She is 1 day ahead of me.

So what did I get? Absolutely stark white. The whitest test you’ve ever seen. I was surprised even the control line could survive something so blaringly white!

Yeah. So I am really sad now. And confused. And wondering why my body is broken. IVF went quite well for me- the egg retrieval and fertilization part. And now? Now I am starting to think its my body itself. It’s not that I cannot produce healthy eggs, it is that my body can’t receive them. There is a reason I have never had a positive even once. I have never had implantation in a year and a half.

They took our best PGS normal embryo and it didnt take.

Look. I know that I could be wrong and I could end up with a positive beta. But you have to at least come at me realistically and say that it’s less than likely at this point. I would love to be wrong, but what I wouldn’t love is false hope. I feel like that’s all my life was 6, 10, 14 months ago- hope upon hope that eventually came crashing down. I don’t need that anymore.

What I need to know is how to go forward. What should change in my protocol?  I dont know, maybe nothing will. My RE doesn’t believe in immunity issues, even though I have 2  autoimmune disorders. I don’t really know what else to do, what else to say. I guess I want to move on as soon as possible and maybe start thinking about gestational carriers.

I know that sounds extreme from 1 failed FET but- I want to feel proactive and I  just don’t have faith in my own body right now.

The FET Diaries: 4dp5dt

Should I be feeling something?

I am pretty in tune with my body and pretty sensitive. Almost any medication I take will impact me in some way but yet- I feel nothing right now.

I am waking up early every day because I’m so anxious and my brain only likes to shut itself off for short periods of time. I always wake up and wonder if I can feel anything-cramping, pain, whatever. I know it’s too early for nausea. But I still wonder. And nothing.

The rational part of me knows it’s too early for most symptoms, and that plenty of people get BFPs with no sign. But the emotional/infertile part of me feels like I SHOULD recognize something different in my body. Since I have never been pregnant before I would imagine I would notice SOMETHING going on in my body.

And yet, nada. Not since day 1 & 2 when I had cramps.

I don’t think I will make it without testing at home honestly, as much as I’d like to have the will power. In the next few days I see that cracking.

I don’t know what I will do if this PGS normal little one doesn’t take. I really don’t know.

The FET Diaries: 1dp5dt

Well, hey everyone! Here I am, on the there side of my transfer.

Transfer was yesterday at 11:30 AM. It went off without a hitch! AND GUESS WHAT: MR UPSIDE MADE IT!!! He figured out how to drive up for his meetings this morning instead of yesterday morning. I know he was super stressed but boy am I glad he was able to be there.

Honestly everything was fine and not a big deal except for the EXTREMELY full bladder that only got worse once the speculum was introduced. I actually asked to let some pee out and my RE did let me and my bladder was still full so it was fine.

It was incredible to watch the little one go inside. Two big screen TVs that showed zoomed-in versions of the little one and also the insertion into my uterus. So wild! I came home and rested the rest of the day, watching TV and such. My RE said not to be on bed rest bc its good to get blood flowing to the uterus, so to do very minor things like just watching TV, etc. And not to lift up anything heavier than 10 lbs which is sad bc I can’t pick up my sweet cat! Haha.

The one bad thing is that husband and I got in a fight last night. I wanted to stay as calm as humanly possible but I felt it slipping away from me and then I just started crying and got worked up and had to go to bed. It was so dumb- I honestly think I was just really overwhelmed from the whole process that I couldn’t calm down- nothing even happened, I just felt like he wasn’t being as “calming” as I thought he should. Ugh. I feel bad about getting myself worked up but I am much better today.


I am having very very minor cramping on twinges on my left side, which I am sure means nothing, but- I haven’t been on any different drugs since transfer– I have been taking the same amt of progesterone as the week before- and I can’t help my brain from wondering what this is. Anyway. Distracting myself with work and bad tv and cats! (That I won’t pick up).

Let’s do this thing!