I've been meaning to blog for several days now, but never got the drive to actually write down what's been going on. But after talking with my very dear friend today (bless her heart, she cried on the phone all upset about our BFN), I decided to let everyone know what's going on. It may take me a couple of posts to catch ya'll up, but here goes...
The day after the BFN, we received a call from the embryologist. He seemed shocked that we weren't pregnant. He went over the embryo quality with Jerry (I wasn't in the talking mood, as I was afraid that I would start crying again) over the phone. He said that the two embryos that were transferred were two of the higest qualities that they grade. One embryo was grade 5AA, and the other was grade 4AA. The number in front is the grade of the embryo's shell. The 5AA embryo was half-way hatched, meaning that the embryo had already begun to come out of the shell. The 4AA embryo hasn't come out of the shell yet. Assisted hatching was done to poke a hole through the shell so a biopsy (for genetic testing) could be done. The embryologist even told us that he put embryo glue (made of hyaluronan) to promote embryo implantation. The embryo naturally secretes hyaluronan, but he said that with IVF patients studies have shown that adding embryo glue increases the chance of implantation.
The doctor called a couple of days after the BFN. He sounded really sad for us. He apologized that he didn't get us pregnant, and he said that he couldn't really offer us an explanation as to why the BFN. He said that he and his staff looked over my chart and everything seemed "perfect" - my endometrium, my hormones, even the embryos were excellent... everything was optimal. He told me that the success rate is lower when using Lupron as the trigger instead of the hCG. He knew that I developed severe OHSS with my 1st IVF in Pensacola, and he didn't want to have the possiblility of that happening again. So he suggested doing another IVF, using the same protocol (Antagon cycle with the Lupron trigger). And then do PGS (pre-implantation genetic screening) and freeze all the normals. Then let my body have a normal cycle and do a medicated FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycle. The FET requires taking BCP (birth control pills), Lupron shots, Estrace pills, Vivelle patches, Prometrium vaginal suppositories, and Medrol pills. Believe it or not, going through a FET is much easier on the body than doing a whole IVF cycle. Anyway... the doctor said that the FET might be better for us, as it involves less hormones. He also said that the success rates of PGS'ed vitrified embryos is about 75%.
The doctor said that we could start this September, with my September period. So right now, we're deciding on whether or not we want to pursue another IVF cycle or go ahead with the FET of the two frozen embryos we already have. We have mixed emotions. On one hand, even though it was devastating about the BFN, I still have a glimmer of hope that CCRM can get us pregnant. (I have no regrets whatsoever about going to CCRM. I just wished that I had gone to them first, instead of going to our local fertility clinic.) On the other hand, I don't know if I can take another BFN. Unless you've been through it, it's hard to describe all the emotions that come with cycling alone much less getting the BFN news.
Done, and Yet, Not Done
4 months ago