Hello friends, and welcome back for another IVF update! If you caught my last living room post, I shared a short update on some of the results of our endomeTRIO testing. We had received the results back from the ERA showing I needed 183 hours of progesterone, which actually only equated to one additional day of progesterone in oil injections before we would be good to transfer. My baseline bloodwork and ultrasound were scheduled for December 1st, pending the arrival of my period. Well, my cycle started right on time and we were all set and ready to go! Went for baseline and everything looked perfect so we were all set to proceed with a December transfer. FINALLY got the results back from the Emma and Alice tests and those both came back normal. All was going swimmingly.
That is until the week of December 13th. I went in for my monitoring appointment and the ultrasound showed that, while my uterine lining was the three layers my doctor was looking for, it was only measuring at 6.5mm thick (she wanted to see it at least 8mm). No problem. She had me begin taking Estrace (estrogen) vaginally to directly help increase my lining thickness and wanted me to go back two days later on Wednesday. So on Wednesday, I have my monitoring appointment and am (im)patiently waiting for my results. My doctor called me during my lunch break at work and I excitedly answered the phone expecting her to tell me we were going to do our trigger shot that evening. (A trigger shot induces ovulation so that you know exactly when you should start progesterone in oil injections.) I was very wrong. In fact, it was almost the opposite of that. My doctor informed me that my lead follicle (the largest egg in my ovaries that helps them determine when my body is nearing its time to ovulate) had disappeared and my luteinizing hormone (LH) had increased dramatically, leading her to believe I might have already ovulated, thus missing our window of opportunity to begin the progesterone in oil on time, and that the best course of action might be to cancel this cycle and wait until January. I was absolutely devastated. The only saving grace was that my progesterone levels were still at zero. My doctor explained to me that, had I actually ovulated, my progesterone should be higher than that. Needless to say, my body stumped her. The other option we had, apart from waiting until January, was to go in again for bloodwork the next morning and see where my levels were at. If my LH was still high and my progesterone was still low, we could potentially proceed with our December transfer. I was game for that idea. It was a very long and emotional 24 hours until I got her next phone call. “Your LH is still rising and your progesterone is still at zero. So, we have two options. We can hold off and wait to transfer in January, or we can start you on progesterone right away and do an embryo transfer on December 22nd.” Uhhhh definitely option number 2!! As soon as I got off the phone with her, my doctor instructed me to begin progesterone suppositories and then begin the progesterone in oil injections that evening. She nixed having me do a trigger shot since she didn’t think it would really do anything with that lead follicle no longer being there. What a crazy whirlwind of emotions!
This past Wednesday, December 22nd, my husband and I jumped in the car and headed to Chicago for our frozen embryo transfer. I have honestly never felt so good about a transfer before, despite all the crazy things that happened along the way to get to transfer day. Our almost perfectly graded embryo thawed beautifully. (The embryology labs grade each embryo to know which will have the highest chance of implantation. For more detailed information on embryo grading, click here to be routed to my clinic’s website where they have a podcast that goes over all the details.) The transfer itself went perfect with no issues. So now we wait! We won’t find out until after the new year if our transfer was successful or not, but we are so thankful to have been able to transfer before Christmas and are praying for our Christmas miracle.
I hope you all enjoy your holidays, whatever they might be. I hope you get to enjoy time with family despite the recent surge in COVID. Stay safe, and from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!