(Imagine “bebe” is said like Miora Rose on Schitt’s Creek)
Last we left off, Krystal and I had made the decision to use Krystal’s embryo from the remaining 9 from our previous cycle of Reciprocal IVF. This was the process we did with Amelia which combined Krystal’s egg with donor sperm. Because we still had 9 embryos frozen, Krystal did not need to undergo another egg retrieval.
In March we began the process of a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle. Looking back now, our first cycle (Amelia) was a blurr, so this time I was determined to keep track of the journey.
One cost that some do not know about is the shipment of embryos. We stored ours at Fairfax Cryobank and had to have them shipped to the clinic. It cost $375 for shipping. The calendar is basically just my protocol for the transfer (i.e. injections, estrogen, ultrasounds, bloodwork, etc.)
The goal of monitoring ultrasounds when transferring an embryo is to have a thick uterine lining so that it is very sticky for the embryo to implant and stay implanted. Progesterone also helps this lining get thicker.
Leading up to transfer day, I was a Mess!! I had gone off my anxiety medication in preparation to get pregnant because it was a category D (not safe for pregnancy). It was the year anniversary of Mama Sampson’s passing. Put simply, I was struggling and couldn’t seem to get it together.
My Beta #1 level (106) was drastically lower then my level with Amelia which was around 300. We were in fact pregnant but unsure if the embryo implanted successfully. The Beta measures the hCG so the hope is that the numbers double to show successful implantation. My second Beta doubled to 319, still not a strong number. Dr. Balthazar decided to do one more Beta before scheduling a 6 week ultrasound. The hCG had skyrocketed to 1576 and we scheduled our first ultrasound.
At this point we assumed we were 6 weeks pregnant and both our type A personalities were determined to know the gender, so we did a Sneak Peek test and sent it off to see what the sex of the baby(?) was.
At the ultrasound, I was measuring 5 weeks, 6 days pregnant thus it was too early to hear the heartbeat. Dr. Balthazar said that based on this reading and the Beta numbers it was likely that the embryo had implanted late. There was nothing to see, so we scheduled another ultrasound for the following week.
I am not quite sure when, but during this time Krystal surprised me with the sex of our little embryo. We were both so nervous and didn’t want to get our hopes up, but this gave us a little glimmer of hope for the next few days. Because we did not get the embryos tested for genetic abnormalities or for sex, we did not know this information before transfer. This is about an additional $5,000 out of pocket cost. Which for us it’s all out of pocket because insurance doesn’t cover Fertility Treatments.
The week leading up to the ultrasound, it consumed my thoughts. I found myself researching to find any information on the chance of success or miscarriage. I just wanted a concrete answer and of course none were readily available. During this time it became clear how little research there is in Fertility treatments specific to Same-Sex Couples without fertility issues. Its always a question of finding the statistics but then not falling into the bracket or worse left questioning if the statistic applies to you.
The next ultrasound I measured 6 weeks, the embryo had stopped developing and had no heartbeat. We were given the option of a DNC or at home medication and choose the latter. I don’t remember much about that day, just holding back tears. When I was finally in a safe place to cry I couldn’t. From this appointment I went to Austin for a tournament and had to continue injections and medication so my body wouldn’t miscarry before that weekend, when I was home.
To be continued…