Preparing for frozen embryo transfer

This is our first cycle of frozen embryo transfer (or FET for short), and it doesn’t feel as intense as the IVF cycles we’ve done previously. I’ve not been up to the clinic for a million scans, and I’m not taking ovary-stimulating injections to ripen my eggs. But it is a bit more involved than I’d anticipated.

I’ve been taking drugs since 18th February – a medium sized cardboard box arrived packed full of pills, needles, suppositories, and a sharps bin. I’m taking a daily Buserelin injection THAT I’VE BEEN ADMINISTERING TO MYSELF, and took 3 x per day progesterone pills for a week, followed by a period, then commenced 3 x a day estrogen pills. On top of my usual 2 x a day metformin pills that I’ve been taking daily for well over the two years we’ve been trying to make a baby.

Remembering to take them all in the chaos of daily life, made more complicated by not having had a kitchen or dining room since January and living out of a very crowded living room, has been a challenge.  But this Thursday I will go for a scan to check if my womb lining is growing to schedule. If so, I think they’ll give me a time next week for embryo transfer. If not, I think they’ll rescan me next week and do transfer the following week.

John goes to America on Sunday for a week. Which we knew might clash with things. But he likes the idea of potentially getting me knocked up from the other side of the world. And it’s a very quick and simple procedure, so I’m ok that he will not be there.

I’m being asked a lot how I feel about embryo transfer. Often this question is asked with an excited edge and a smile, like “How are you feeling about getting some chocolate?!” 😉 And I can understand this. We’ve been trying for a long time, and now we’re getting close to potentially getting pregnant. But I’m afraid I just don’t feel that way, and I can’t share the excitement.

Clomid didn’t work. Follicular stimulation didn’t work. IVF didn’t work. 4 months of weight loss and -2 stone later, Clomid didn’t work again. IVF sort of worked, egg collection and embryos were better than the first time, but that’s just where we are now. We’re here, surrounded by things that haven’t worked and a million disappointments, both large and small, along the way. Just because we have 4 frozen embryos – which is brilliant in itself – doesn’t mean they’ll work. We have a 30-40% chance of successfully getting pregnant with each FET. So there’s still more than 50% chance that this FET won’t work.

So how do I feel about it? Numb. Anxious. Stuck in the middle between wanting to hope but being too scared to try. Wedged in between my logical brain that understands statistics, and my emotional brain that understands the significance of what’s about to happen, and is already all over the place thanks to the hormone onslaught. I’m not really thinking about it too much. But it’s constantly there in the back of my mind, like a subconscious weight. I’m worried about my weight too, which is increasing a bit due to poor diet recently as well as water retention thanks to all the hormones I’m taking. And I’m not sure how much of the weight gain is because of the one and how much is because of the other. And how much effect it will have on the outcome.

And honestly, a part of me feels like it’s signed out. It’s an emotional part, that is too tired to care anymore. It’s not relishing the anguish of the two week wait, or the devastation a negative pregnancy test will bring, so it’s decided that it’s best to just not give a crap.

I feel like I’m failing to meet expectations of others around me. Like I’m being a grumpy negativehole. I’m not excited. But I’ve spoken to others who have been through the same, who have told me they felt withdrawn, anxious, sad, and even depressed in the run up to embryo transfer. So I know I’m not alone.

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