I had my IVF follow-up appointment today. Like most of my "what now?" appointments, this one was by turns reassuring and terrifying. I always walk out comforted that there was nothing I could have done to avert the most recent issue, but worried about any number of indicators that will signal the end of our journey to have another child.
Signpost: IVF failure was just "one of those things." My progesterone levels were fine (high, actually), and though the fact that I had a cough on transfer day was not helpful, I probably didn't cough the embryos out. Depending on how my hip looks as we start our frozen cycle, they may skip PIO shots in favor of suppositories, because the doc didn't like my reaction to the shots. But anyway, we're tentatively on for an early-to-mid may frozen transfer. I'll start Lupron in around two weeks.
Roadblock: If none of our three frozen embryos survives the thaw, game over. That would indicate that I have poor embryo quality and there's no point in continuing.
Signpost: If the frozen transfer fails (and we completely expect it to, because if we couldn't get knocked up with beautiful, fresh embryos in a process that has at least a 50% success rate, what are the chances that we'll succeed with leftovers and a procedure with a 25-30% success rate?), then we're probably clear to do one more fresh cycle.
Roadblock: If that cycle fails, game over. There's no point, according to my RE, of spending more money in what is probably a futile effort. To be honest, I don't really agree with this. I know that there are many women out there who've taken 3, 4 or even more cycles to get pregnant. Now, I don't know how far I'm willing to go, but I think it's further than two cycles.
Signpost: There's really nothing I can do to increase my chances of IVF success. But if I reaallly wanted to cover all of the bases, I could lose weight. This is actually a good point, and one I'd wondered about. I've been pregnant three times (miraculously, according to this doctor), and each time I got pregnant, I was at the same weight. Since the ectopic, I've gained about 30 pounds. Aside from time, I have nothing to lose by delaying a new fresh cycle until I manage to lose those 30 pounds (which would still put me comfortably in the God, she's HUGE camp, but would be at least some improvement over my current state of larditude). It's worth the chance, I think.
Roadblock: Do you have any idea how long it would take me to lose 30 pounds? Let's just say I'll probably be ordering the salad plate in M's college dining hall on Parent's Weekend in an effort to get off those last 28 pounds. Remember, I'm the chick who GAINED five pounds following Weight Watchers religiously. Before I got pregnant with M, I'd been actively trying to lose weight for 6 years. At the time that I got pregnant with M, I weighed 60 pounds more than I had when I first set out to lose 20 pounds. Clearly, I am not good at this. The only weight loss plans that have ever worked for me were (1) Phen-Pro (the non-heart-exploding combination), or (2) Jenny Craig. Clearly, in my current hoping-to-be-pregnant state, drugs are not an option. Maybe I should call Jenny today.
So anyway, today I'm a little discouraged. Even if I miraculously manage to lose weight like a normal person (1-2 pounds a week), we're still looking at next year before we have any realistic hope of getting pregnant again. At which point, M will be close to four by the time any baby is born. Add in my considerable history of failed weight loss, and we're looking at a much longer road.