So, it’s definitely time for an update from us….and no, we still are NOT pregnant, however a lot has happened and changed since our last post in October.
When we left you guys, we were trying our luck with at home inseminations with a known donor to save on costs. Our very first attempt in October resulted in a few very faint pregnancy tests that never got darker, and AF visiting a day or two late. This coupled with later than usual ovulation in November (CD18 vs a consistent CD13) was confirmation to us that we suffered a chemical pregnancy. We tried again with the known donor in November, but were unsuccessful that cycle. Due to the holidays and travel (we went to go see our baby nephew in London!) we decided to enjoy a break for the month of December.
Enter January 2019. Some time back, we learned about a fertility clinic called CNY Fertility that offers low-cost IVF at $3,900 per cycle. Because of the low cost, they have a pretty significant waitlist to get a consultation, averaging about 6-7 months out. They recently opened a clinic in the “Atlanta” area, that can handle consults and monitoring, but egg retrievals and transfers have to be done in either Albany, NY or Syracuse, NY. They see a TON of patients from all over the country.
So sometime at the end of 2018, we decided to just call and get put on the calendar, expecting to not schedule until the summer, with the plan of cancelling in the case we got pregnant. Amazingly, because we were able to go for an in-office consult instead of a phone consult, we were able to schedule for just a few weeks later, in the middle of January. We were still planning on trying a few more months with our known donor before starting anything with IVF, however, two days before our consult, he unexpectedly had to move out of the state. So, we hopped onto the IVF train full-steam ahead.
Our consult lasted all of 30 minutes, and the doctor basically just went over all of our previous records that were transferred from our old clinic. She asked when we wanted to start, we said ASAP, and she said to call when I got my period. I started on a few new supplements, but it was surprisingly easy compared to the litany of tests that we previously did to start IUIs at our old clinic. I was expecting to have to re-do some of these, since it had been over year, but they didn’t need us to do any of that.
So our IVF cycle started at the beginning of February. After tons of shots and almost daily appointments, I produced over 60 follicles! By the end of stimming, I was slightly uncomfortable, but it wasn’t unbearable and I did not have any side effects that would sway me from doing it again. Our egg retrieval was scheduled for February 16th in Albany, NY, and they were able to retrieve 36 eggs from the 60 follicles, with 24 of them fertilizing! The nurses at retrieval told me I should be an egg donor!
Unfortunately, I was determined to be at high risk for OHS, so a fresh transfer was taken off the table for me. Thankfully, I did not develop this, even though my E2 was over 7,000 on they day of trigger. I had a smooth recovery, and felt well enough that I could’ve gone to work the next day, if required.
With so many fertilized embryos, the embryology department suggested pushing them all to blastocyst stage (Day 5, 6, or 7), which we agreed to do, expecting to lose about 50-60%. So after a long week of waiting, we got our final fertilization report….(insert drumroll)……
We have 20 freaking embryos on ice! After all of the ups and downs that this TTC journey has sent us on, we never expected to have such a great response to the medication, or end up with this many embryos, but we are happy that we did. Transfers cost $250 for the first year after retrieval with CNY, so with monitoring ($700) the cost of each transfer is now costing us less than we were paying with each IUI.
So what’s the next step? Getting PREGNANT!!! We decided to go ahead with a FET cycle as soon as I could, and after some back and forth about my ovaries (they were still super swollen from stims), we were given the green light to start our FET cycle in March. Thankfully, the FET cycle has nowhere near as many monitoring appointments, as it is similar to IUI monitoring with a baseline and midcycle ultrasound. We had our midcycle last Wednesday, and are scheduled to transfer THIS WEEK, on March 21st. So, we will be flying out on Wednesday for NY and transferring 1 perfect embryo on Thursday. We made the joint decision to only transfer one this cycle, and if it is not successful, we will move to transfer two on our next attempt. We are feeling pretty good and hoping to get some good news by my birthday on March 29th!
We have also decided that we will likely donate a good portion of our embryos once we establish a successful pregnancy. Our goal is to have at least two kids, however, in our perfect world, we each would be biological mothers to one of them. Thankfully, we are in the financial position for Em to go through an egg retrieval herself when that day comes. That being said, we will hold on to some of the 20, just in case. Due to all of the hurdles both LGBTQ identified families and families of color (lack of donor gametes of color) have to navigate when going through this process, we are considering donating to these groups exclusively. We don’t know how that looks yet, but will keep you all in the loop!
We will try to do a better job keeping you all posted, but with all of this TTC stuff, work, and school, our blog unfortunately gets neglected. We post quite frequently on our Instagram: @aquestinqueerparenting, so slide over and give us a follow for more frequent updates.
Lyn (& Em)