photography of road during winter season

We meet again.

I’ve been taking a hiatus from posting on social or writing here as I grappled to wrap my head around the news we got in December. I won’t be updating on the recall stuff for a while as we figure out our plan of action, but in the meantime I’ve been hard at work prepping to transfer one of our two frozen embryos.

A recap, we did a retrieval in Nov and ended up with 2 frozen embryos – 1x Day 6 4BB and 1x Day 7 3CB. We waited in December to get to a point where we could begin our FET#5 protocol. The culmination of a lot of things have come together this time around. We did a biopsy in October of 2023 to shed some additional light on things that could aid in successful implantation (half our issue, the other half being embryo quality). That test resulted in a really intensive protocol for this FET.

My cycle started the first week of December and I was then on a mission to pinpoint ovulation using OPKs. I normally ovulate a bit later, on cycle day 15-20 on average. The holiday break was likely going to throw a wrench in our plans, and we’d have to skip a cycle. But it turns out I ovulated late on December 27 and we managed to scrape by the closure. The first step in our FET preparation came with a endometrial scratch (almost the same as the dreaded biopsy we did in Oct – ouch is all I can say) which was to take place in the luteal phase of my cycle PRIOR to the transfer cycle. I went in on January 3 for this procedure. Then, waited for my period to arrive to signal the start of the transfer month cycle. I had a bit of bleeding leading into my actual period and I wasn’t sure if it would actually come as normal or not. But, after 3 days of spotting, I got my full flow. It was go time.

This protocol is not for the faint of heart. I have dubbed it the Kitchen Sink Protocol for good reason. I immediately started on Estradiol pills. I took 2mg, three times a day for the first 6 days, then I added two vaginal Estradiol pills for a total of 10mg a day. Normally my lining is very thing, even on this dose, and takes 25+ days to get where it needs to (a minimum of 7mm for most clinics). I planned a little getaway to visit a friend in a different city 1200km away thinking I’d be in the clear for at least a couple of weeks. I went in for an ultrasound the day before I left on cycle day 8, and it turns out I was nearly ready! I was shocked. They scheduled me to come back in the day after I returned from my trip, 6 days later. I was ready to roll.

Now came the fun part (sarcasm), My protocol from that day forward has been pretty intense (I am currently still in the thick of it). I started taking Prometrium suppositories the following day (6 suppositories a day – 2 in morning, afternoon and evening), and also introduced progesterone in oil injections (worst, 1.5″ intramuscular needles for those who have forgotten) which are currently every 3 days. I am down to 2 oral Estradiol pills a day, morning and night. That’s all standard issue every time.

In addition to this, I have added the following:
– 81mg Aspirin a day
– On days 4,6 & 8 I take a HCG injection (Ovidrel) in the morning in my belly
– I take a vaginal priobiotic suppository daily (VagiCare)
– I have to have intercourse on the day before and after transfer
– On the day of transfer I begin another injection called Fragmin (basically heparin) in the belly in the morning. I take this until either negative beta bloodwork, or until 12 weeks if our cycle is successful (in addition to the Prometrium, Estradiol and Progesterone in Oil).

Our transfer is also taking place on day 6 vs day 5, due to some results that came back from my ERA results suggesting I should have an extra day of progesterone.

I have also completely cut caffeine this cycle, cut back sugar and have been eating a cleaner diet. Add in Brazil nuts, beet juice and pomegranate juice.


So here we are. After 5 embryos lost, 2 miscarriages and 3 Egg Retrievals, to say I am jaded is an understatement. I still have hope, but its minimal. More so, I have a resilience that just keeps me moving forward. Once you have been on the track for a while it’s easier to stay on it than take a break (in my opinion). I’m not sure I’d have in it me to continue if we stopped now. In my head I already have the next steps planned out for when this fails. But if it doesn’t fail, I’ll be over the moon. Managing expectations at this stage of the game is crucial for me though.

I thought back this week when I was walking around a baby store for a friend – two years ago almost to the week we began this journey. Prior to that, my hopes were so high. We went window shopping for all the baby stuff we’d buy. I made a baby registry to keep track of it all. I had boughed a fancy electric bassinet online. Some sleepers (thank god I stopped there). Now, I won’t even let myself go there in my mind. If we have success again I am really afraid the process will steal all the joy from the experience, but of course I’ll be grateful every single day.

Our transfer is scheduled for Jan 31. Because of my HCG injections I won’t be able to test at home, and have to wait an excruciating 13 days for my results. I’ll have all my fingers and toes crossed that our rainbow will appear through the clouds.

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