On the message board I post on, the follow up appointment after a failed cycle is referred to as a WTF appointment. If you don't know what WTF stands for, google it, I'm trying to keep this a family friendly blog. OK, who am I trying to kid, the language at my house is definitely rated R. With the hubs' love for four letter words, I'm just praying that the first four letter word our future child says is dada. :)
Any who, I digress. WTF stands for What The Fuck, which accurately describes our first attempt at IVF. Our cycle seemed to start off great. When I went in for my first monitoring u/s, I had 9 measurable follicles and the largest was around 20mm I believe. I also had 4 or 5 smaller follicles. I was told to continue my stims (injections to stimulate the growth of egg-containing follicles on my ovaries) and come back again in two days for more monitoring. At my second monitoring appointment I had 10 measurable follicles and was ready to trigger (for the fertile crowd, that means I would give myself a shot that would force the ovulation process to start). The doc (not Dr. B) thought I should get 7 or 8 eggs. This was a little lower than I had hoped for, but didn't sound too bad. So I triggered late that night and came in 35 hours later for my egg retrieval. This is where the wheels fell off the cycle. While I was coming out of anesthesia, Dr. B let me know that he got 6 eggs. I was upset, but Dr. B assured me that it was quality, not quantity, that mattered. So I convinced myself that we could work with 6 eggs. After the ER, the waiting begins. The clinic will call in the morning with our fertilization report. So we anxiously await our fert report, which brought more disappointing news. Out of 6 eggs, only 5 were mature and only 3 fertilized normally. WTF!?! Now we are down to 3 embryos. With all of our hope pinned on our three embryos (nicknamed the three stooges), we waited for our day 3 update. My clinic cultures embryos to blastocysts before transferring them, this is usually done on day 5 or sometimes day 6. While you wait for your embryos to grow, they give you an update on day 3. On day 3 your embryos should be 6-10 cells. The embryologist will also give them a grade (my clinic grades embryos on a scale of 1-3, where 1 is pretty much perfect embryos and 2 is good embryos and 3 is poor embryos). When I got the call on day 3, we had one 3 cell and two 4 cell embryos and all three were grade 3. None of our embryos made it to transfer on day 5. All that time, energy, and money and we didn't even get a chance at it working. If that's not a WTF moment, I don't know what is.
Today was our WTF meeting with Dr. B and honestly it went pretty much like I had expected. He said our cycle was a "terrible IVF cycle" and he told us again how shocked he was at the poor quality of our embryos. He also mentioned that we were the only couple that didn't make it to transfer. He reassured me that he thinks that IVF can work for us or he wouldn't be recommending it.
So after discussing our craptastic first cycle, it was time to come up with a new plan. Dr. B thinks my protocol (mix of drugs) was right, but wants to up my dose of stims to push my ovaries to produce more eggs. I also asked about both of us starting a supplement called CoQ10, which can help improve sperm function and some believe may improve egg quality, and Dr. B liked that idea. I asked about acupuncture and Dr. B said that was up to me. He said that there is no proof that it helps, but some women find it relaxing and that it helps with the stress of IVF. I'm on the fence on that one. He also backed me up on the hubs quitting smoking. Dr. B also ordered some blood work to test for immunological issues that could be preventing us from getting pregnant. This means that I have to be at the clinic at 7:45 tomorrow morning ready to give 7 vials of blood, which ought to be fun. I have terrible veins and getting one vial of blood can be a challenge. I also am redoing some of my CD 3 blood work since it's been a year since it was done by my OB/GYN (yup that's right, I started IF testing a year ago). Other than that he recommended taking September off and cycling in either October or November if we are ready. The hubs and I decided that we would cycle again in October. When I got home I called the clinic and put down our deposit to hold our spot in the October cycle. IVF #2 is officially set for October.