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Here we go again – IVF Round 2

So I mentioned last week that our first IVF cycle failed. We were so hopeful, and had two good embryos make it to freeze, but the PGS testing came back a week later and we learned that both embryos had abnormal chromosomes. We were pretty heartbroken. This past Tuesday we met with our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist – fertility doctor). He gave us a little more hope. And answered a lot of questions.

Our doctor believes that the chromosome abnormalities have to do with my DOR (Diminished Ovarian Reserve). We can’t know for sure, and there’s really not many ways to test for that, but that’s the assumption that we’re making. After our 3rd loss, he did some extensive blood work on both of us to see if there were underlying issues, and the only thing that came back was that I have an MTHFR mutation, which is fairly common with infertility. But neither of us have issues that should cause the embryos to have abnormal chromosomes. Also, the chromosome abnormalities have been different each time. The 2nd loss was a triploidy (the embryo had 3 sets of all chromosomes, instead of 2) and the 3rd loss was a Trisomy 11 (it had an extra 11th chromosome). The two embryos had totally different issues… one had 47 total chromosomes (with the 4th chromosome being a duplicate, so it was Trisomy 4) and one had 45 total chromosomes (missing an extra 13th chromosome). Has our doctor done transfers in these situations? Yes. Has he ever had it work? No.

Basically it becomes a numbers game with DOR patients. Because of my low ovarian reserve, we have to try harder to get some good embryos. IVF sucks. And infertility sucks. But here we are. We’re not quite ready to give up yet. So we plan to start round 2 of IVF towards the end of October. Our doctor will have us on a more aggressive protocol this time, so hopefully we can get more eggs and have better quality embryos. The clinic that we’re with is also giving us some discounts so that we can make this happen again soon. It still won’t be easy, but we’ll make it.

When we started this process, the thought crossed my mind that maybe we’d be able to get pregnant on our own in between egg retrieval and transfer, and then those frozen embryos could just be a back-up plan. We asked the doctor if we should even try on our own at this point. Unfortunately, he believes now that a natural pregnancy would much more likely end in miscarriage than not. Of course, miracles do happen. But we don’t feel like we want to chance it at this point. We are up against some scary deadlines, and we have a lot of “what-ifs” hanging over our heads between the infertility and Reid being on the liver transplant list. So for now, we’ll move forward with what we can and hope for the best. I am preparing myself mentally that we may have to go through 2-3 more egg retrievals before we have enough healthy embryos. I really hope I’m wrong, and the next one gives us good results.

It sucks to be in this situation. But I’m reminded of something my mom has told me throughout this process (yes, I listened, even though I didn’t want to at the time)… “It is what it is, but it will be what you make it.” We’ll make this another opportunity to push forward in the face of defeat. Our miracles are delayed, but not denied.

Thanks to everyone who has supported one of our fundraisers. Every penny we raised helped us with the first round of IVF. We couldn’t have done it without you all! 

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