IVF w/PGS – possible first cycle in January

posted 1 month ago in TTC
Post # 3
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Hi there, commenting partially to follow, but will give any “wisdom” I have as I’m currently in the middle of an IVF/freeze-all/CCS cycle.

I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you with the MC’s, so sorry you’re going through that.  I completely get the cold feet though, I have PCOS and ovulate very rarely and Dh and I had been “trying” for ~3 years knowing we’d likely need help if we wanted to get serious.  We finally got him an SA when I turned 36 and all of his numbers were crappy.  We went from maybe contemplating Clomid to IVF-or-bust overnight and it definitely took some getting used to.  My RE and his team are awesome with info and fielding ridiculous questions and concerns though, it definitely helped me the more educated I got. (Speaking of, they recommended the Fertility IQ website, I’ve found a lot of good, practical information on it).

I started BCP on day 3 of my last cycle and ended up on the BCP for about 5 weeks before starting stims.  It could have been as fast as three weeks but we wanted to make it through Thanksgiving first, then we just picked a day that worked best for us for a baseline ultrasound.  Day 1 of stims was super intimidating, but there are videos online, your pharmacy and RE should both offer instructions, and I asked about a zillion questions that helped me understand it’s actually way harder to screw up than you’d think (like, tiny air bubbles won’t kill you).  The injections were more of a nuisance than anything after the first couple.  I did deal with a fair amount of side effects (kind of felt like I had a mild hangover the whole time), and my ovaries felt huge and uncomfortable almost right away, I was practically waddling by trigger time.  It sucked, but was nothing intolerable, and everyone reacts differently.  I was most scared about screwing up the trigger shot, but it all went fine, and my RE’s office did a confirmation blood test the next morning (24 hours before retrieval) to check that the HCG ‘took’ which I really appreciated for peace of mind.

I just had my retrieval 4 days ago, and am now in what Dh crassly calls the “body count” phase waiting for updates on how the embryos are doing.  We should have a final number in the next couple of days, when they’ll biopsy and send cells to the lab for testing.  It will be a long Christmas waiting for results, but with our ages, Dh’s sperm quality, etc. it was a no-brainer in our minds to do testing.  Honestly, the recovery has also been pretty uncomfortable for me (again, managable, just icky), I really feel like giving my body the break while we wait for the testing vs. doing a fresh transfer is a better plan anyway.  

Can’t give any advice past this point unfortunately, I’m supposed to start BCP again after I get my post-retrieval period, then will eventually start progesterone prep for a transfer (they estimated mid-late January if all goes well).  

Other than the cost and side effects though, it feels totally worth it at this point to know we’re being as proactive as we can rather than going in the same circle without help.  And, having the same age thoughts as you, I almost feel that if we get pregnant spontaneously at this point, it would be pretty unlikely that we could have another if we wanted to.  Maybe this way we’ll get lucky and have additional embryos to keep on ice.

Post # 5
Member
2128 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

The best advice I can give you is prepare to be in it for the long haul. Both because the process itself is so much longer than you expect once you account for priming periods, the injections and retrieval, and then you start all over again to prep for an FET. In the round I finally got pregnant, I started priming in March for an April retrieval. My successful transfer (FET) was early June so 4 months start to finish.   Also, because realistically and statistically, there is a chance you’ll need more than one transfer. I don’t mean to be pessimistic but I remember being so confident that it would work the first time that I convinced my husband to pay for one round entirely out of pocket before our insurance with IVF benefits kicked in because I just could not wait. I wish someone had warned me it is by no means a sure thing. You seem to get that already which I good. I’m finally pregnant (31 weeks) with our first baby after 4 rounds of IVF and 1 FET 2 years later.  Those insurance benefits? Yeah we maxed those out long ago 😭 certainly I hope this is not the case for you but it’s not uncommon to take 2 or 3 cycles or transfers to work. Best of luck!

Post # 6
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

zstbee84 :  Best advice I can give that helped me….is try to do things that keep you calm! I dont know if that actually helps with conceiving but it sure will make life easier on you! I did a fresh transfer back in 2017 and it ended in miscarrage.  I had a suspected ectopic before that with an iui. So when I did a fet on 2018 that resulted in my now almost 14 month daughter I was a lot like you.  Pretty devastated after 2 losses. Also I didnt do pgs. So I was so scared!! But I started doing acupuncture the month before when and during the fet . My acupuncturist suggested I find things to help me relax even before the fet so that way I could practice making myself relax if that makes sense.  I started doing meditation . I liked circle and bloom. They have meditation specifically  for ivf and fet. I even used them for pregnancy. It really helped me relax through the process. In fact we plan to do a fet later in 2020 with our last embryo and I will defiantly be using the medication and the acupuncture. Anyways I know that is not for everyone and you may find something else that can help you relax. But just giving you an idea that worked for me.

Second piece of advice as far as the injections go..watch the videos ahead of time on how to do the injections. Have your husband watch them too that way when it’s time for the injections you guys will feel more prepared. Go easy on yourself the first couple of nights with injections. It is a bit overwhelming at first but it gets a lot easier! My husband helped me with injections for stimming but for my fet I did all injections myself. 

Third piece of advice…be good to yourself.  It is a stressful process. Try to do things you enjoy. Like go out to your favorite restaurant or go see a good movie. Still try and live your life during the process.  It is hard…because ivf can kinda take over your life. So still make time for you!

 

Over all I didnt find ivf too bad. In truth the wait to find out if it worked was the hardest part for me both times!  Anyways I wish you the very best of luck!! Hoping to see your bfp in 2020!!

Post # 7
Member
3775 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

zstbee84 :  I have no advice as I’m going through my first round in January too, but just wanted to thank you for starting this thread because there is lots of helpful advice. Also, if you’d like an IVF buddy, I’d be glad to keep in touch! I’ve found it incredibly helpful to connect with other ladies who are doing this on a similar timeline. 

I’m on a bit of a longer protocol but I’m on my third week of birth control and I start lupron injections in a week. My last day of birth control is 1/3, I have a baseline scan and blood work on 1/6, and start stims (Gonal F & Low Dose HCG) on 1/10. My tentative egg retrieval date is 1/20 and we are hoping to do a fresh 5 day transfer and save any remaining embryos for future siblings. I am overwhelmed but feeling excited too. This is our first real chance at conceiving. 

Post # 8
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

zstbee84 :  During our initial RE appointment, I asked about a zillion questions on side effects, hormones, and rules during IVF, which they answered very patiently.  I’m an avid runner and was concerned about the exercising limitations (which SUCK and definitely have not helped me feel better, though my dog is loving it because she gets to go on miles-long walks now to help me cope).  I doubt they would have gotten that deep in explanations if I hadn’t probed though.  Someone else on these boards gave me the advice to never leave an RE appointment with unanswered questions, which I’ve kept in my head the whole time.  Because of my PCOS, my RE did warn that I would likely have a strong response to the stims, which was great for egg production, but also would lead to more discomfort and potential overstimulation than the average person.  They actually adjusted my med dosage down one day toward the end, I think partially to prevent overstimulation and partially to stop the biggest follicles from getting too big while the others caught up.

candy08 :  Congrats on your little girl, and hopefully you have luck in 2020 with your remaining embryo.  I’ve been thinking of doing a couple of pre-transfer accupuncture appointments, I might actually start looking into that today to distract myself from waiting for my blast counts 🙂 

littleanchor :  Congrats on your pregnancy!  Hoping the home stretch goes smoothly for you.  Such good advice, I feel like my Dh is now convinced that if we get any normal embryos, any FET will definitely work on the first try.  I’m trying to keep a level head about it, and keep reminding him of the odds, our doctors are doing a pretty good job of it too but I know they walk a fine like of wanting to keep things sounding optimistic.  If you don’t mind my asking, out of your unsucessful rounds, how many failed transfers did you have?  And/or, was there a specific issue that they pinpointed and solved for during your sucessful cycle, or was it more luck of the draw?

Post # 9
Member
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I also had 2 MMC. Didn’t jump into ivf right away, but was unable to get pregnant again for 2 years. We tried iui, fresh ivf and finally our last FET took and I’m 6 weeks. 
Overall, I didn’t find IVF itself hard at all physically. I barely had any side effects and the shots were easy. Recovery from the egg retrieval wasn’t bad (I didn’t have OHSS or anything though). The hardest part by far is waiting for results. After your retrieval you will likely get daily updates on your embryos and I found this to be hell. It’s something I wasn’t prepared for at all and I wish I had known how mentally draining it would be. I didn’t do PGS, but I’m sure the wait on those results is similar. Also, the 2ww after a FET was extremely difficult. Make sure you have things planned to keep you busy and don’t put life on hold assuming you will be pregnant right away as it can take multiple tries. Good luck!

Post # 10
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

scootersandwich :  Thank you! That is great you took the advice of not leaving your RE office with any unanswered questions! As far as acupuncture….there are studies suggesting doing acupuncture right before the transfer and right after can help! There isnt any conclusive proof…..but I guess if you are looking into it, it may be something to check out! Also doing it weeks before can help with linning thickening. For a fet. Who knows if any of it actually helps but it did 100% keep me calmer! I was a mess for my fet that actually worked. Like I wasnt even excited going into it like I was with my fresh.  I had been through so much already I was drained!  Anyways I wish you the best of luck with ivf. These boards are so great while going through it!

Im sure all you ladies will transfer long before I do in 2020 so I wish all of you the best of luck! 

 

Post # 11
Member
9290 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i highly suggest joing the resolve message boards for support.  resolve is the national infertility association.  so much support on there and i loved that you couldn’t mention pregnancy or babies on the finding resolution side without it being 10000% relevant. 

when i started treatment with my son in 2014, i joined the boards.  i was in an month group for IVF, then those us that were successful that round were in a month pregnancy group. similar to how it’s done here for POAS boards and pregnancy boards.  i’m still friends with those ladies and we’ve even all met in person.

my first child was a fresh transfer and my second child was FET.

good luck! 

Post # 12
Member
2128 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

scootersandwich :  thank you! We did 4 retrievals with 4 failed transfers.  we transferred 6 embryos and none took 👎🏻 Our identified issues were diminished ovarian reserve ( so we had a lesser number of embryos to start with and never had any that we were able to freeze). They also identified a dna sperm fragmentation issue with my husband after our third round. He had surgery to correct before our fourth round. The 4th round w fresh transfer of 2 embryos failed but we were able to freeze 3 embryos. Our first FET finally worked and now we have 2 more frozen in order to attempt to have a second child later if we choose. I definitely feel FET made a big difference for us but we also did not PGS test so there is no guarantee. It’s definitely good to set your expectations but I’d trust your doctors too! We switched drs after our third round and it made a big difference to us to have a doctor that really believed in our cause so to speak. Optimism isn’t a bad thing as long as you are being realistic, too!

Post # 13
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

littleanchor :  Super interesting, glad the FET finally worked for you!  And, that’s a great point to keep the Dr. in mind as well.  I’m really happy with our RE so far, but, they definitely have strong opinions about the “right” way to do things.  So far it’s all been working, but I could see needing to at least get a second opinion if we need to go multiple rounds.

Post # 14
Member
4540 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

zstbee84 :  We are about to start our second IVF cycle (expecting AF this week) and we’ve decided to do PGS testing on the 3 remaining embyros from my last cycle and any new ones we get this time around. I didn’t have a fresh transfer due to hormone levels. My first FET resulted in pregnancy, but I miscarried at just over 6 weeks.

My biggest piece of advice is to be kind to yourself and your partner. It can be hard because it’s all happening to your body and while your partner can be sympathetic, it’s hard for them to know what it is like. For my husband, he found it frustrating to watch me go through it without being able to really help. (He did give my injections though – I just couldn’t bring myself to do them.)

We did a really aggessive cycle of stims (low AMH), so I ended up with 28 mature follicles. What surprised me is how much I ached prior to (and a little while after) retrieval… just felt very full and stretched. 

We do like our RE and assigned nurse, but I agree with the PP that if you don’t, feel free to switch. I cannot imagine going through all this with a doctor I didn’t like or who didn’t take our thoughts/wishes into consideration. He’s the expert, but it’s my body and our potential baby. 

I’m drawing a blank on GOOD advice, but if you have specific questions, I can try to answer. 

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