Yesterday I wrote about the good times at my house over the weekend and breaking the many rules of IVF. In that post I told how I threw the rulebook out the window in the cycle that gave us Spork. I have been thinking maybe its a good idea for this cycle to follow the same approach I did with her in the hopes that somewhere along the way I may stumble upon the secret sauce for making this business in March pay off.
Spork was one of eight embryos from our first cycle of IVF. We transferred two embryos after the retrieval and had a chemical pregnancy. The next time we transferred three and it was negative. So we decided to keep Spork and her two friends on ice for awhile and do another fresh cycle. We did this because we knew then what we clearly still know now, we want two children. We decided we should preserve the younger embryos for later and keep working on baby number one with my rapidly aging old eggs. I was turning 35 and everyone who has ever looked at the data published by fertility clinics knows that really bad things happen after 35. We needed to bank those 34 year old snow babies.
So we did another fresh cycle and it was a bust. I was heartbroken. We decided to go back to the original embryos and deal with the possibility of a second baby later. (Hello later!)
With that final cycle before Spork I followed all the rules like a Tibetan Monk. I didn’t drink a single drop of alcohol for over three months. I went to acupuncture twice a week. I meditated. I ate organic. I took herbs that were supposed to help. I gained 6 pounds in an effort to get my weight in the fertility “sweet spot.” (I ran a marathon a few months before and was a wee bit on the skinny side). All that work and deprivation and I had the least productive cycle ever. I was giving up. We started talking to adoption agencies and building a book for a birth mother. I was so worn out that I didn’t even want to do the transfer, but they were our embryos. We were paying $400 a year to keep them frozen and we had to see it through. What else were we going to do with our frosty friends?
I was sure it wasn’t going to work and I was so angry about trying so hard and having nothing to show for it that I just let it all hang out and had a super chill cycle. No rules. I drank like a fish the weekend before the cycle started. For my bed rest after the transfer, I laid out in the sun and got a sunburn while watching stand-up comedy on my iPad. This was a no-no because laughing makes your belly move and sunburn raises your body temp, both frowned upon after transfer. I took a few baths. I flew to South Carolina for a 10 day work trip alone carrying 70 pounds of bags.
And I got pregnant.
I am well on my way back to repeating that successful cycle. I have already doused myself in alcohol this past weekend. I also did the two day juice blitz Monday and Tuesday to cleanse just like I did with Spork. I haven’t figured out yet how I am going to lay out in the sun and watch comedy in March in Northern Michigan. I don’t need to go to South Carolina for work but perhaps I will go anyway. I might be able to get burned there. We will see.
Probably not though…
But I am super stoked that just like last time in the middle of this cycle I will go into a new age bracket for fertility reporting purposes. I will be moving into the over 38 year old bracket where really, really, bad things happen to your fertility. And of course the embryo I will be transferring will be just a youngster, a healthy 37 year old.
The doctor gives this genetically tested, chromosomaly normal embryo a 35% chance.
We are getting ready to defy the odds together again.