Time-Travelling Progress

Super-Secret Post
Concerning cycle 44 (Mid-May, 2015)

In mid-May we had our debrief after the roller coaster of the last 6 months of IVF and its protracted fall-out.

As chance would have it we spoke with the fellow first, who we haven’t seen for a consult since our initial meet and greet. I have a weird rapport with him and I’m constantly trying to be funny (I guess because he’s so young and approachable).

I finally tried the strategy of saying “Instead of me asking you about all these things as I understand them, please give me your sales pitch.” He looked a little hurt and said “I’m not really selling anything.” Well I’m not letting him off that easily; I fired back: “The bills suggest otherwise.”

He asked me to remind him how long we’d been trying. That’s the weird part – it had been 3.5 years but we’d only managed three interventions in the 2.5 years since we sought help.

Completely without hearing from me, he suggested we not dive right back into another IVF cycle. He said he’s never seen two out of three embryo transfers cancelled like ours were (due to complications precluding a fresh transfer during the IVF cycle, and then because the second embryo didn’t survive). So now the doctors, whom I was just telling my therapist I’m ok with them not concerning themselves with my emotions, were telling me they understand that I might want to take a break after such terrible results.

Since it was already biking season, I also did not want to jump right into IVF again for freedom reasons. I wanted my summer! So I asked what they thought about unmedicated IUIs, the only other intervention we had done, squeezed in before we moved from Vancouver two summers before. I like them because they are cheap, easy, only require one appointment for the insemination itself, and don’t involve me stimulating my ovaries, so I don’t have to slow down and I don’t have to worry about dropping more than one egg.

While they don’t usually do these and can’t even offer me stats, they understood my bias towards them since we had the CP from one. I think a lot of their agreement is about keeping me a happy customer, but from my perspective, I get to take a break without taking a break. And when the matter-of-fact, unemotional doctors (not uncompassionate, just being paid for something else) start to worry about my emotional well-being based on reading the cold facts of my last history, it’s time for a break.

To improve our input and not repeat exactly what had failed — we only previously had mitigated success (egg met sperm, embryo implanted, but did not “stick”) — we also convinced them to allow us to add progesterone support after ovulation. While less controversial than support lasting into the pregnancy after a positive blood test, it’s still not exactly a proven fix for periods that come too soon after ovulation, which might hurt the chances of embryos sticking. But it’s not terribly expensive nor invasive so we filed it under “can’t hurt, might help.”

The time-travelling bit refers to the fact that they were letting me jump in in the middle of that cycle. I was predicting ovulation about 3-4 days from that appointment, so it’s like we got the last two weeks back instead of having to wait for the next cycle. Mr. EAP is very proud of that (the fellow said “no”, so Mr. EAP just asked the RE instead).

We decided to buy the three-pack of IUIs. It works out as 3 for the price of 2 and the thinking goes that if we get pregnant on the first go, we won’t care about the extra money spent. 3 IUIs, for May, June, and July, then August off, and start IVF for the fall just when I stop wanting to ride my bike.

A plan! That started immediately! Finally, a really great-feeling follow-up.

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