Tuesday rolled around, and I went into the lab at the clinic to get my blood drawn and officially finish my cycle. It was the day after a holiday so it was extra busy, packed with a bunch of excited women from the cycle waiting to get their blood drawn and hopeful to get their positive results. The lab tech gave me a big smile and asked if I have had a blood pregnancy test before. “Yeah, I have.” I told her. And left it at that.
I got the call over lunch this time. My IVF nurse that I had called over the weekend and filled in on what was happening asked how I was feeling, and told me she wished she had better news for me…but of course, my test was negative. I told her I had concerns that there was something else wrong with me, because after two cycles with pretty good looking embryos, and at my age, it just didn’t seem right that after transferring four embryos not one would have created a healthy pregnancy. I know there is always a chance of miscarriage no matter your age, but my odds should have been better than 0/4. She agreed, and got me in two days later to talk to one of the other REs at the clinic (my main doctor was out of the office) to see what testing we could do before we planned for my frozen transfer of my little fighter embryo, #3.
The RE told me that for whatever reason, both cycles my embryos do well until day 3 and then not so well after that. We are dealing with severe male factor due to having MESA surgically removed sperm, and severe female factor due to my endometriosis, but that she felt confident that it can happen for us, it just might take a few more tries to get that perfect sperm and egg to match up….which is both good and bad news, since each try is a huge blow to our bank account. She said we weren’t at a point to start thinking about donor eggs yet, and that she wanted to do a sonohysterogram to make sure nothing had changed in my uterus since my hysteroscopy last December, before we tried for our frozen transfer.
A sonohysterogram is a very lovely and relaxing procedure where you lay back, get opened up with a speculum and a catheter run up through your cervix, and a bunch of sterile saline solution fills up your uterus and runs out onto an adult bed pad placed under you, so they can take a 3D image of your insides. The doctor apologized for the discomfort, and I joked that it was not the most uncomfortable that I had been that week. Unfortunately, I was telling the truth. Also unfortunately, I am to the point now that I am so used to being poked, prodded, and investigated “down there” that I can crack jokes while my uterus is being irrigated and photographed in front of a room of observing medical students.
After reviewing the images, the RE said she feels that what was diagnosed as a fibroid at the back of my uterus in December, may actually be a condition called adenomyosis. A sister to endometriosis…adenomyosis is where your endometrial lining cells invade your uterus muscle and start acting out in there…causing a hostile environment, excessive pain, and difficulty with implantation. It also doubles your chance of miscarriage. She didn’t seem to be concerned that it would stop us from getting pregnant, or suggest using a surrogate or anything, and said she would review my images with the rest of the doctors and they would let me know the next week if we are good to move forward with a frozen transfer. I also got about 5 vials of blood drawn, to do some additional testing and make sure there is not any other kind of condition present that I would need to take medicine for before the transfer.
I feel nervous about the possibility of more complications, but also proactive that we are digging deeper to see what else we can do to make my next procedure successful. This road is not going to be as short as I had hoped, but I do know it will end with my baby because I won’t give up. So while there is only so far I can travel in a day, or a week, eventually I will reach my destination, however long that may take. I won’t be wandering forever.