Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mock Cycle Verdict

I wasn't sure what CCRM would decide to do when they received the results on Friday. I assumed they would cancel, let me get my period and start over…

When my nurse called, and what was nice was she wasn't rushing to tell me the results and get off the phone, she talked with me for a bit. She complimented on how patient I've been for so long.

Dr. G wants me to still do the Integrin Biopsy this cycle. So on Wednesday, I'll begin progesterone and on April 4th, I'll have my OBGYN do the biopsy so that I can send that off to see if I will need Lupron Depot for two months. Once CCRM has those results, I will then schedule a regroup with Dr. G to discuss my "two" options:

1) Use a gestational carrier

2) Go forward with an FET knowing my chances of pregnancy are low

T and I had a long talk on Friday night about these options and the options we thought we'd have. We assumed there would be another mock cycle. This cycle, while an improvement on lining thickness (somewhat) was still not successful for multiple reasons. The lining throughout the cycle was homogeneous and cystic. I would never do a transfer with a lining like this, thinness aside.

I have 6 embryos. While maybe that's plenty for some people…it doesn't feel like it to me. There's no going back for more for me. So I have a deep feeling and need to make sure all scenarios are right in order to go to transfer. They are all I have. Maybe there is a low chance that they could implant. But how do I risk that, knowing if it doesn't work, I have even less to offer a gestational carrier…and what if it takes a transfer or two to get that right? We would be out. Done. I also know they would require that we use the best…first. So would we really be willing to risk the best on me?

Not with a lining that looked like this.

I want to share my embryo grade again with all of you. I know some of you know based on IVF cycles and transfers in the past, what these grades mean, more than I do. These were all frozen on day 5:

2/3 (I really don't understand this one)

This is what I have. All I have. I know the 4AA is the best…but what's the difference in that and the 3AA? And the real question is….how do I turn one of them into my baby? Will I care once he or she is in my arms, how they got there? Will the need to carry a pregnancy follow me forever? What would you do with these embryo grades with the odds that I have stacked against you?

I'll rewind for a second. I emailed Dr. G on Friday night about an option 3. Another protocol. I cannot possibly go into an FET on the protocol I was just on. Can we do another mock? Another protocol during the FET without testing it first? I know we have our regroup coming up and I will be able to ask all of these questions, but in the mean time, between now and then, I needed to know that another option is…or isn't on the table. It is. he is willing to do the low-dose stim protocol (Letrozole/Gonal-F). We would also most likely be moving to Delestrogen as well, if we were to use estrogen again. The patches…the Estrace…I'm saying good bye. (well, in about 2 weeks when this cycle is over, I'll officially say goodbye)

So our three options (really only two, because I'm taking out an FET on my current protocol). I still don't know if the next cycle would be a mock, or a real cycle. I think I need to wait and see what the biopsy shows and whether or not I'll need to go on the Lupron Depot.

However, should we decide to go into an FET, I will be going into it very skeptical and ready to cancel in a heart beat. I am too nervous about transferring with little to no shot of it working. Because the reality is…I just want a baby. And if I need someone else to carry it for me…I need all the embryos I can, to make that happen. So yes, moving straight to a GC…has come up. Because the option in the back of my head is…what if we move forward with the GC, could have a baby(ies) in a year, then with the other embryos I had left, would be more comfortable transferring them into my broken uterus?

Am I ready to give up my genetic connection to my child and the ability to carry them? I'm all over the place. What would you do?


  1. Ughhh, I hate that you even have to ask that last question or look at embryo grades at all. That IVF clinic in Chicago has the best explanation of grading that I've ever seen... I'm pretty sure you would have more 4s and 5s if they grew them to day 6... The number is just how close they are to hatching... 6 is hatching/hatched.

    I have no idea what I'd do, but I think trying another mock or moving forward with an FET, but being willing to cancel sounds like a good plan! I'm so ready for your happy ending!!!

    Love you!

  2. I don't have much to offer you. I think you are miraculously using quite a level head to decide your next step. I say go with your gut. Your gut is always right. It sounds like you would like to do another mock cycle to see what could be with a different protocol before moving on with the expensive option of a gestational carrier. I'm confident you will make the choice that sits best with your soul. I think about you and wish you nothing but the best possible outcome. Xoxo hugs sweetie.

  3. I know it's so hard to be faced with these decisions. I wasn't going to offer my opinion on what I'd do because I know that these are such personal decisions and what's right for one family wouldn't be right for another family. But since you asked, I'll say what my thoughts were 7 months ago, which is that I just wanted a baby. For me, I didn't care if it was a boy or girl, black, asian, latino, white... whatever. I just wanted to be a Mom. I knew in the depth of my heart that when I was getting up at 2am to feed the little bugger, I wouldn't care about how he/she came into my family, just that I was this child's Mom. That's why we pursued adoption and a donor at the same time. I felt like whichever path led me to my baby was great.

    Listen to your heart, talk it out with hubby. You will know what path is the right path to take.

  4. I hate that you have to make all of these decisions! I don't know what I would do.... But I know I would follow my heart which is exactly what you've been doing up to this point. Trust your heart, my sweet friend.
    I also get confused with embryo grading. I had two 5AA's with CCRM and the plan was to transfer both. On transfer day though, one of the 5AA's didn't thaw (the embryologist was shocked as was I- I mean it's CCRM we're talking about!). Anyway, they took another that was not graded as high and you know how that worked out. So my only point here is that even the most perfect embryos aren't always the ones. And the less perfect but still good ones sometimes are :)
    Thinking of you!!

  5. I think you are doing all the right things in considering all avenues, yet taking it one step at a time. You don't need to hear what we'd do really, because you said it yourself... "Am I ready to give up my genetic connection to my child and the ability to carry them?" I feel like if you're asking that question you aren't quite ready to move onto GC without at least trying another mock protocol and/or FET.

    Depending on your integrin results and need for the Lupron, if the mock goes well and you get a spectacular lining and feel really good about, seems they could turn the mock into the real deal FET at that point and transfer an embryo or two. And vice versa, if you go for an FET cycle with a different protocol with the intention of actually transferring, you always have the final say to whether those embryos get transferred or if you call the whole thing off. The ball is in YOUR court. You don't ever have to do anything you or T don't feel comfortable with. Listen to your heart, your gut, the still small voice in your head and follow it.

  6. I wish I could come and give you a hug. I'm so sorry the mock cycle didn't work out as you hoped, and I think you're right in not following this protocol for a FET. Your plan of trying another protocol but with realistic expectations of perhaps having to cancel sounds good to me.
    Much love.

  7. You already heard my feelings on this. But I just wanted to remind you how amazingly strong and resilient you are. Your baby (however it gets here) is going to be so incredibly lucky to have you and T for parents. WIshing you peace as you face this difficult decision.

  8. I recently found your blog and my heart is with you. You are an incredibly strong and brave woman and will have your baby! It is such a difficult and personal decision, I have two beautiful babies from donor eggs and carried by a GC from CCRM and it was not an easy decision or my first or second or third option :) but ultimately it was the only decision left and gave me my two incredible babies and these two littles ones are MY babies, my miracles, I am their mom and the one who will raise them, be up at night with them and love them unconditionally. I also know I worked my butt :) off to bring them into this world and they wouldn't be here if it wasn't for me and my love for them. It did take me a lot of soul searching and time to process the decision but I found peace after much loss and knew in my gut it was the right decision for me to use a GC (and my body was exhausted from all the meds and feeling awful!) and I know you will come to the decision that is right for you. You are a mom already and love these beautiful embryos that will be beautiful babies! We did not have the best quality embryos to transfer (think they were rated as BC's ) but transferred two and have two amazing kids! All I know is from my experiences and always asked myself if I am ok with the what ifs or would I always wonder. Ultimately I was tired of putting my body through it with no baby. You have great options (although the GC is expensive) and my thought is to go with your gut and heart :) and it looks like you do have options with your embryos, and if you decide on a GC first you could always try after with no stress or hopefully this protocol is the one that works! Your babies are just waiting for you!
    I would love to talk anytime as it is not an easy decision and if you would like any info about using a GC, agencies etc., I spent hours researching agencies -unfortunately my friends/family would never pass CCRM's tests which is great for knowing you will take home a baby or babies :).

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. Congrats on your babies. How amazing. I'm certainly getting closer and closer to this decision, at least being ready to go this route. We have two friends that have offered. Can you tell me more about what you know regarding CCRM's tests for a GC? Feel free to email me.

  9. Hi Suzanne, I am not a regular poster but I wanted to let you know that I just transferred one CCS normal into my GC at CCRM. If you do decide to go down this route I am more than happy to talk to you about it. We've had multiple losses and failed IVF's. After the last loss in October- Schoolcraft said use a GC. My issues are immune and clotting and even with Dr. Kwak's aggressive immune treatment we could not keep a pregnancy. I came to terms with it very quickly because I just want a baby here, healthy. We too may try again later but I just need one baby before we can rethink doing an FET with me again. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and I hope that you can find some comfort with the right decision that will allow you to move forward.

  10. I'm so sorry. I think your thought process is on track, and you see the big picture. Once your baby is here it won't matter how. I just hate it all for you. infertility stinks.

  11. AAs are the best, the numbers don't matter much. Then ABs and BAs. You have a bunch of good ones. I have 2 kids from a 4AA & 3AA from CCRM. 6s are generally though by CCRM to be a little less likely to succeed since they are fragile due to being so close to hatching. I think they only grow to day 6 the ones that aren't blasts yet on day 5. Why go one more day when it's already a blast? 2/3s have resulted in success as well. they are between stages 2 & 3 are aren't developed enough to see the integrity of the cells. FYI we did CCS and all of our day 6s were abnormal. But there have been babies from day 6 and even 7 normals. Keep in mind day 5 and day 6 is not the same as embryo graded 5 or 6--two different things.

    good luck, I know GCs are expensive but people have had good luck with them if you need to go that route. And please don't take this the wrong way but I was extremely sick with my 2nd and I said to myself more than once I wish I had used a GC. So experiencing pregnancy isn't all that always.

  12. No one should ever have to make these type of decisions. Unfortunately I am right there with you! Whatever you choose, I hope it gets you your baby as soon as possible. Thinking of you!

  13. Man, I wish I had some words of advice for you here. What a difficult decision to make! My thoughts are with you and your family as you make the right one for you, because ultimately, that's all that matters!

  14. I kind of think what you said towards the end is what you should lean towards... use the GC which would hopefully at least bring you a baby and then in the future you can try again yourself... either way, the decisions are super hard, and i'm sure you'll come to the one that works for you. Praying for you!!

  15. I wish I had advice or something good to offer you. I am so sorry with how this mock went, but I do think it's encouraging that your lining thickened. I hope once the beta interim results come back you can talk to the dr about another mock or for real with a new thickening protocol. You're in my thoughts and prayers!!

  16. Suzanne, sweetie. Your logic and calmness through all of this is absolutely amazing. I mean, you're right about everything. I agree with you on every angle ... It's difficult to offer advice, but I know you're on the right track. xoxo ...

  17. This was such a disappointing cycle and you are handling it with such grace. Truly. Grappling with these choices is so complex.

    It sucks to have to deal with the loss of your genetics, and now contemplate if you should using your uterus. I want to tell the universe to just cut you a freaking break already!

    Things that stuck out to me about what you wrote and/or come to mind for me about this decision:
    - That you are saying you have limited tries left. If you used a GC, you could always try again later with your own uterus if you were successful.
    - Having 2 people offer to be your GC is awesome. Do you think they would be suitable from a healthy uterus and personal relationship standpoint?
    - How much emotional/financial/spiritual/physical reserves do you have left to pursue both of your options? I personally never paid as much attention to my emotional needs, but in hindsight I should have, because it can be as much as a deal breaker as the others.
    - What the doctor recommends is from your consult. I'd place the most weight into what he says. It's so hard to do, but you have one of the best doctors in the field.

    I'm sending you a huge hug as you navigate through all of this. I know whatever choice you make will be well thought out and the right one for both you and your hubby. I know better times are ahead for you my friend, they just have to be.

  18. I'm so sorry you are having to grapple with so much. Since you've asked, I will say that if I were in your position, I would move straight to GC. I often pose the question to myself: "What is the path of least resistance to family?" And whatever the answer is, I go with that. But that's me. That's one of the main reasons I tried IVF with my OE only once, and why I moved onto DE without much trepidation. If you have offers, and if finances aren't going to be a problem, I say: Go for it! Find that path to your beautiful family and take it. You will adjust to the situation as your happy ending comes closer and closer.

    As for embryo grades---I used to really scrutinize that stuff, but after having walked the IF blog halls and forums for three years now, I no longer do. I've heard of success from basically almost every number/grade combo imaginable, and from Day 5, Day 6, and Day 7 embryos.

    Thinking of you and sending you strength! xo ~theunexpectedtrip

  19. I would add that from reading your post, I detect that you've swayed toward a decision. It seems to be that you're dealing with more than just a thin lining and it would be so hard to go through your embryos while trying to determine the best formula for your FET prep. Wishing you all the strength as you navigate this path.

  20. I bet your poor head is spinning! My RE told me that AA has no fragmentation and the number tells you where they are in regards to hatching.6 has hatched, 5 has started hatching and so on.. I will be praying for you guys. I can't imagine the stress. Your heart will tell you what to do.

  21. As always, a late comment, but I have been thinking of you lots. What difficult news to contend with. AGAIN. I'm so sorry that the mock cycle wasn't all that you (and your team) wanted.
    I am struck by how resilient you are, dear woman. This is as hard as it gets, and yet you are holding strong, and weighing your options carefully. You'll tell me you don't have a choice, but you do. You could crumble, but instead, you are creatively, honestly looking at your options. That's why I believe wholeheartedly that you will become a mother. I have absolutely NO DOUBTS about that. Now it's just figuring out the HOW.
    Take excellent care of your beautiful self. This is hard. You are being so strong and courageous.

  22. What tough questions, Suz! I know this post is from a few days ago, so maybe you've already come to a decision, or maybe you're still feeling overwhelmed by it all. Either way, I thought it was interesting what you said about using a GC this time and then transferring some of the embryos to your uterus after that. Using a GC doesn't mean that your uterus never gets a shot. It just means that it has to wait. I wouldn't have thought of that, but I can see how it would be encouraging. I am hoping that whatever you decide, you and your husband feel good about it and are on the same page. And like Augusta said, be sure to take good care of yourself through all of this. You certainly need and deserve it.

  23. It is such a tough decision! Somewhat like you, I had two failed mock cycles through CCRM, but now I'm within one month of transfer to our amazing GC!! A group of us pursuing GC pregnancies through CCRM have a secret group on facebook where we talk everything gestational carrier and CCRM! I've learned so much!! Please let me know if you'd like to be added. Jessica -,

  24. Wow...we are almost on the same journey :( I too have chronically thin lining. I had DOR but somehow was able to produce some decent embryos but this LINING :( Nowhere to put them. I'm definitely thinking of you during this time. You are not in this alone and appreciate you sharing your of luck and I just know you'll have your baby soon...xoxo


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