Sunday, November 28, 2021

IVF Cycle 4 - The Beginning

 It's almost been a month since I had the bloodwork appointment where I was a little pregnant. In most ways, the month has flown by--on top of my regular work and school routine, other things such as travel for conferences, the LSU/Arkansas football game, travel for fun, and Thanksgiving have kept me busy. What I haven't been doing is going to any of the races I signed up for in November. I've also decided I am done drinking alcohol for a while, which hasn't been a huge change in my day-to-day routine but has been surprising for some people in social situations. However, as many of my friends will attest, I love a good mocktail as much as I love a cocktail.

Despite staying busy, I haven't been quite able to shake the grief that's followed the chemical pregnancy from our first frozen embryo transfer. I know these things take time, and I also know that I'll never be exactly the same after experiencing this loss (and the [in]fertility journey more broadly). It seems like I get a little closer to normal every day, but some days are definitely tougher than others. As evidence that I can still smile and have fun, here are a few photos from The Office Experience that Brooke and I went to in Chicago. (If you're a fan of The Office and are going to be in Chicago between now and January 17, go check out the experience! We loved it.)

Brooke and me in Michael's office

Enjoying the Finer Things Club--I'm smiling under the mask

I was supposed to go back to the doctor on November 19 to prepare for our fourth IVF cycle, but when I looked forward in my calendar, I realized I was going to be out of town for the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting during the late stims/possible retrieval portion of the cycle. I want to attend the annual meeting for a number of reasons, including hopefully promoting my dissertation study, but I also didn't want to lose a month. Fortunately, when I realized this was going to be an issue, I called my nurse and got approval from my doctor to stay on the Nuvaring for an extra week. With everything pushed back a week, I went back for an ultrasound and bloodwork on November 26. Everything looked as expected, so we start Lupron injections tomorrow at 5 am. Full stims will start on Wednesday.  

I'm approaching this next cycle with a mix of emotions. Our doctor told us when we first started seeing him that we might not hit the right cycle (I forget his exact words) on the first try. The second cycle was the best by far (two euploid embryos as opposed to zero), and I'm hoping we will see similar (or better!) results from this time around. I remain grateful that this is something we are able to attempt multiple times, but I also can't help but wonder why Richard and I--or anyone else for that matter--would have to endure such a long and difficult road to (hopefully, but still not guaranteed) biological parenthood. I probably won't understand on this side of Heaven. We will continue doing everything we can and then hoping for the best. Please remember us as we embark on our fourth round of ovarian stimulation and (hopefully) egg retrieval. 

Something that made today great: Video chatting with Ashley, Emma, and [briefly] Brittany
Time I woke up: 11:45 am