We've gotten the go ahead from Dr. S to move forward with this cycle. Our nurse sent us a copy of a sample schedule and it is possible we could get to transfer as early as March 2nd. Of course, I have absolutely no idea what my body will do this cycle. The first step is to go in a week from today for an ultrasound so they can check for a dominant follicle. Assuming there is one, the size will give us some idea of how close I am to ovulating. I'm hoping that they'll be able to tell something about my lining at that point as well, but it may be too early.
If they see a dominant follicle, we will begin watching for LH surge. I can either do this with home OPK's (ovulation predictor kits) or I can go in for daily blood draws. I used OPK's in the past along with my CBEFM and they always SEEMED to work, but how do I know for sure? We were never successful with timed intercourse or with IUI's, so I just don't know for sure. This makes me lean towards daily blood draws. Except that driving to my clinic every day is somewhat inconvenient during the week because it is in almost the opposite direction of my work and will either require me to get up quite a bit earlier in the morning or show up to work late. Factor in the fact that it's winter and a couple inches of snow could make this even more inconvenient. I'm just not sure at this point which option will cause less stress. What would you do?
My comment the other day about a shot-free cycle was not completely true because they do like to do a trigger shot for natural cycles. Once we detect a surge, we will do an HCG trigger shot to ensure ovulation (even if I'm ovulating on my own). I think this is meant to ensure that my body will start producing progesterone on its own. The day after trigger I would go in for a blood draw to check progesterone level and the day after that begin progesterone and estrogen support. The schedule shows a standard "natural" FET protocol of using 2 Viv.elle patches in addition to 3 progesterone suppositories a day. I'm a little confused because Dr. S didn't mention anything about estrogen support.
Assuming we detect LH surge on February 26th (which is a complete guess at this point), my schedule would look like this:
February 26th: Trigger shot
February 27th: Blood draw (progesterone level)
February 28th: Begin progesterone and estrogen support
February 29th: Begin Tetra.cycline & Med.rol; Blood draw (estrogen and progesterone level)
March 2nd: Transfer; Blood draw (estrogen and progesterone level)
March 2nd & 3rd: Bed rest
Of course the above schedule will move depending on when I surge.
The nurse said she still needed to talk to Dr. S about timing for when they would thaw the embryos. And Dr. S is recommending we thaw ALL 14 of them to grow the to blasts. They said they have no reason to believe a lot of them won't survive to the blast stage, but I don't know. The only one we've had a chance to try that with didn't make it, so I don't have a lot of confidence.
Overall, I'm a little excited because we are already moving into another cycle already. But I'm a bit apprehensive about all the variables that could go wrong. I'm trying to keep my expectations low for this cycle and expect my cycle to be all screwy, my lining to be anorexic, to miss ovulation, etc. I guess I am going into this expecting to get cancelled and if we do make it to transfer, it will be icing on the cake. I'm not sure anymore what the right attitude is to have towards cycling. I'm tired of being disappointed. So I'm going to tell my old friend Hope to go hide in the closet for awhile and not show her face. I know she's there, but I don't want to look at her.
How do you balance hope with managing your expectations?
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