I went for another ultrasound today, in hopes that my lining was better and the fluid was gone. Monday's ultrasound still had fluid, although an arguably lesser amount, and the lining was thicker, which was encouraging. So instead of cancelling me for the fluid, they had me come in today.
I brought Bryce, because I was sure it would be bad news, cancellation, done, done, done.
But it wasn't, not exactly.
The fluid is still there, aggravating everyone involved to no end. Again, it looks like less, but it's THERE. Fluid present = no transfer. Also, my lining wasn't great. It was thicker, although hard to measure thanks to the fluid bubble, but I am missing that trilinear pattern, the three glorious stripes of a plush lining just right for implantation. This is not good. My ovaries, however, are practically bursting with follicles. My estrogen was up to 818 on Monday, and today we were betting it was somewhere in the thousand range.
They still won't cancel me though, even though this is not a lining conducive to pregnancy. I feel like it's a delay of the inevitable, that a three-stripe lining is not going to magically appear suddenly after all this time. Today is Day 13 of stimming, and if a good lining was going to be there, shouldn't it be there by now? The doctor's thought is that we keep going, I start the Ganarelix to keep me from ovulating, and I go back on Friday to see if the fluid's still there and the lining's still crappy and THEN we decide.
I feel like this has been a week of purgatory, of in-between-ness to the extreme. And it has been exhausting. Every day I go to Buffalo, I get back late morning, and I think, "I'll do some schoolwork." And the schoolwork just languishes in my bag as I vegetate on the couch, waiting for my call, reading my book, napping, and staring into space. I just can't function like this.
We have choices. We can pull the plug ourselves. We could end this at any point and say we're done.
We can transfer even though it's not ideal conditions. Once we trigger, the clock starts on the 2PNs. They have to thaw them, and they can look at my uterine lining after trigger to see if the trigger and the start of PIO has changed my lining, but once they're thawed they're thawed. We either have to transfer or refreeze if any make it to blast. And I just don't know how I feel about transferring embryos to a uterus that is subprime. We looked up the importance of the trilinear lining pattern, and it's significant. Without it, the chances of a pregnancy occurring SEPARATE OF OTHER FACTORS is around 7%. Not great. With it, it jumps to nearly 50%. (Incidentally, we googled something like "trilinear lining" and the second result was a post from this very blog, which was somewhat amusing but not at all helpful as if I had the answers I wouldn't be googling in the first place!) I feel like transferring to my uterus in its current state is equivalent to a compassionate discard, where you put embryos in when you know they won't likely survive, to avoid being the one who said "DISCARD THEM" to the lab. I don't want to go out like that.
We could just accept the cancellation and leave the 2PNs and our blasts in the freezer, to sit and wait for a few years while we go down a different path to parenthood and save them for a possible sibling. Then we have chances, my body can rest from the hell I've put it through, and maybe we can experience both the joy of adoption and the joy of pregnancy. Although maybe after the joy of adoption we won't want to look back and go through this again. Maybe it's just delaying the choice we don't want to make now. Who knows. (Do you? Do you know from experience? Please share with me...)
We came up with a somewhat crazy alternative, assuming that Friday is bad news for my lining. We take advantage of my copious follicles and robust response in one part of my reproductive tract, and we do a retrieval. We fertilize with our frozen sperm sample if they like that idea and we see if we get blasts. Then we freeze them, and we have more chances for a sibling later on, when I'm in my early forties, when my eggs are likely not as good as they are now. I never have to do that part again, I have banked embryos for later when I'm healed from this, and maybe we can create our family in a multitude of ways. AND, then this cycle isn't a total bust. There's a purpose for it. If it's just cancelled, it feels like the difference between trumpet fanfare and the fart of a balloon slowly letting out air. I don't want the balloon fart. I want to feel like this cycle DID something.
Because I just can't do another cycle. I can't. I am miserable. I continue to cry my way through my injections, I am useless for school this week and feel like a part-time teacher (I will have taught 2/5 days this week), and I just want to be done. I even almost forgot my shots Monday night--I was an hour and 45 minutes later than my usual time because I JUST FORGOT. That doesn't happen to me. I took it as another sign that I am just done.
I don't want to put off my family anymore. I don't want to wait six months, and do another cycle, and put adoption on hold AGAIN. I don't want to start up the adoption process and then do a FET right when we may be having homestudy sessions in our home. So we commit to building our family through adoption first, and maybe last, but we have embryos waiting for a sibling. I didn't want to have embryos hanging out there, but I think I can live with them hanging if they're there for a later purpose, and they're not holding me back from becoming a mom, from bringing a baby into our home and our hearts, from starting the family we've coveted for five freaking years.
And the retrieval? It may seem crazy. But the IVF nurse didn't seem to think so. And no doctor has called me to tell me I'm batshit crazy for thinking of this (really, Bryce thought of it first). Is it putting myself through another surgical procedure? Yup. But I'm willing to do that if it means being done, feeling a sense of closure and yet also hope for the future. My estrogen today was 1643, and I have at least two more days ahead of me. May as well make it work for me. I have to realize that the "haul" will likely be less, considering that I wasn't stimmed for retrieval and so it wasn't so aggressive. But it seems that I've developed quite a few follicles anyway. I'm a little worried that I did the complete opposite of Egg Boot Camp, but that I was in a cycle in November/December, so not drinking, and then off in late December/early January (drinking, coffeeing, etc.), but I've been good since being on the meds. And I didn't drink like a rockstar in the in-between times, so I think I'm okay. It's unnervingly spontaneous. I kind of like it and hope it works out okay for us.
So, it's like every day I'm given a temporary reprieve. I expect to be cancelled, but I'm not, just delayed. I am super uncomfortable, and I am very tired. But I just keep on going, like a glazed-eyed Energizer bunny. Because I can see that finish line. I may not get there how I wanted, but I can start a new race once it's done. And I am VERY much looking forward to that.