I’ve been pretty quiet throughout this IVF process because I felt so unprepared. I had big plans that involved IVF shirts, IVF socks, IVF bracelets (merchandising! merchandising!) and then suddenly we were doing it and there wasn’t much going on beyond a myriad of emotions. The shots were bearable (Menopur burns – use an ice pack beforehand, Ganirelix left me sore) and the retrieval went smoothly (beyond my swollen abdomen and shuffling-walk I developed). I was even pretty textbook in my stim cycle – ten days of injections, estrogen levels around 1900 day of trigger, 10 out of 15 follicles expected to be mature. Everything looked good. I began to dream about shopping for baby clothes and I pinned announcements and I hoped – which means it was the perfect time for everything to go to shit.
The day before my egg retrieval my RE called to “discuss a few things with me” (another bad sign), and I waited to hear how they discovered I already ovulated or how they can’t find my uterus on my ultrasounds anymore. Instead, she brought up my progesterone levels to not say that I ovulated, but to say that they were “kinda high”. 2.19 level high. If you take this search to Dr. Google, as I most certainly did, you’ll soon learn that a lot of practices believe you have lower success rates if your progesterone is high before trigger day – and high for some means above 2, over 1.5, or even anything higher than 1. I raked my mind and can guarantee that this progesterone cutoff was not mentioned during our IVF bootcamp when we discussed everything that could possibly go wrong. So, my uterus was getting ahead of herself and would then be in a different stage of my cycle than a 3 or 5 day embryo would be. Hell of a time to decide to be an overachiever.
My uterus made up for it though, by making sure that she then underachieved on my lining. A measly 6mm (triple lined) after being flooded with estrogen (and yes, the estrogen boobs are back – silver lining), and the belief that “this is the best I’ll get”. So we’re just going to go ahead and ignore the fact that on most of my baseline scans my lining was still above 7mm, which means I clearly get there eventually. It’s just a matter of when. Most clinics refuse to follow through with a transfer unless it’s over 7mm, or sometimes 8mm – even 9! But I’ve been hearing for months now how “studies show that lining might not even matter that much”, to which I say “seriously?” You’re also supposed to have the thickest lining you’ll ever have during a stim cycle, which I guess you can say 6 is an improvement from the 3 and the 5 I had during my last IUIs. I was told that regardless of the toxic uterus and anorexic lining, we should move forward with a fresh transfer, and that if we decided to do a FET instead, it would mean months of canceled cycles as they attempted to genetically engineer my lining to thicken up on command. It sounded a lot like being told “this probably isn’t going to work, but we’re gonna do it anyway!”Read More »