FET protocol

Here is my protocol for this cycle and probably my last. (I still don’t like that)

The meds:

  • Estrace 2mg twice a day vaginally 
  • Sildenafil 25mg four times a day vaginally
  • Tamoxifen 20mg daily orally – day 3 to 7 only 
  • Estradot patches 200mcg change patches every 3 days 
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin D & omega 3 daily
  • Vitamin E 800 IU daily

The other stuff:

  • Accupuncture twice a week
  • Drinking red raspberry leaf tea as much as I can. 
  • Cut back on caffeine 
  • Eat well
  • Exercise well 
  • Avoid stress (the hardest right now with work being crazy. But hey maybe if I write it down here it will come true right?)

Generally the same as the last cycle with the exception of doubling my estrace patches and adding tamoxifen. 

The goal lining is 0.65 this time (up from last times 0.6). My personal goal is to get to 0.7. 

Here’s hoping. Lining check on Aug 27. 


We had our WTF with Dr. Go.

What do you want first? The good news or the bad news? Feel free to choose:

Good News:

Our little frozen embaby is a 4AB!

That is stellar considering it started out as a 1BB. It really picked up steam on the last day and surprised even Dr. Go. That is great news for us as that is a pretty perfect embryo. So our chances are immensely improved on that front.

Also, we can pretty much start our next round whenever we like, except for the bad news…

Bad News:

There really isn’t anything that we can do to improve our chances for the next round. I asked about other tests, but the bottom line is that nothing is proven, and has little chance of actually boosting our chances.

  • Matris/ERA test to check receptivity of lining – this will tell us if I am one of the 10% of the population that has the issue of a different receptivity window than the usual 5 days. However, even when they have done this and implanted based on the ERA results, none of those patients have had a successful pregnancy yet.
  • Natural Killer Cells – this test is widely misunderstood. Apparently it will only test what is in your blood, which is different that the environment in the uterus. So it does not really tell us anything of value with respect to implantation.
  • Thyroid issues – My thyroid has been optimal for the past 2 years. Not likely to be an issue either.

My biggest issues is the thin lining and the fact that we just don’t know how my uterus will respond due to the radiation treatment. With respect to this past failed cycle, my lining was ok at 0.7. But optimal is 0.8 and above, so anytime they see lining below 0.8 already the chances of success are diminished. So that is likely what happened this last cycle. A decent embryo in a not so great uterus.

He did mention that he was discussing with a colleague about a new study had just come out of China that had some success with using Tamoxifen to boost lining. They are looking into it further at the clinic and they might consider adding that to my protocol to see if we can’t get my lining even thicker for the next round. He recommended letting my body go through a few ‘normal’ cycles before trying again.

He also mentioned considering a gestational carrier. I shut that down immediately. It is not a road I wish to go down, and do not feel comfortable doing at all. I honestly feel that the pain I will feel to watch another woman go through something that I should have gone through is going to be too much for me. If it is not meant to be for me then so be it. We are done. And DH feels the same way. We may open the door to adoption at that point. But for now this is it for us. Do or die.

To top it all off, our RE, Dr.Go is leaving this clinic to move to Calgary. Unfortunately I cannot follow him there. He is leaving me in the hands of another Dr. at the clinic (for ease of reference I will continue to call her Dr. Go). He has already discussed my case with her (she was the colleague he discussed Tamoxifen with) and she is familiar with our issues. I am scheduled to meet with her Aug 4 to plan our next cycle.

So the plan is to start up again in August after I have met with the new Dr. Go. I expect to have a CD1 around August 15, so potentially our FET cycle could start in mid August, so a potential transfer in early Sept.

I do have a positive feeling about the next one. If we can boost the lining to even come close to 0.8 then we may have a really solid chance of success with that excellent blast to transfer (see the good news above…).


Daily reminders

BFN’s suck. I know understatement of the year. I already knew it would suck.

But what sucks even more is that the damn daily reminders that hit me from time to time.

I have notoriously difficult veins so the phlebotomist left me with a fun bruise after my beta blood test that is a daily reminder that this cycle failed. Every time I look down I remember our little 1BB that didn’t make it. I miss you 1 BB.

My period came yesterday. It is a heavy one. At least heavy by my premature menopausal standards. I’ve never had to change a pad halfway through the day. Today I am kicking myself for not bringing extra to work. That’s a fun daily reminder of the BFN too. (At least I can take some comfort that this proves the lining really was nice and thick this time around…maybe next time it will be thicker, and maybe even stick?).

Then there is the WTF appointment scheduled for next week.

The daily reminders keep on coming.

Oh yes, and then there is the close family and friends asking how this cycle went. My mom is surprised it didn’t work. IVF is a crap shoot at the best of times, but of course if you are not in the thick of it, I can see how a person would think that it is a guaranteed baby after one round. I mean you have a doctor implanting a growing embryo into a receptive uterus. What could possible go wrong? right?

At the moment I am not sure whenwe are going to start cycle #2. Obviously I want to know what I can about what went wrong with this round so we can address any issues. But I also know that we may never know and the next round will be ask much a crap shoot as this one was. I think if all else is equal I would like to try again sooner to keep the good blood flow momentum going. 

I am also debating whether we will try again after this last embryo is transferred. I hope that we will never have to think about it. But if we do, right now my gut is telling me I want at least 1 more chance. But I also know that this is a crazy expensive thing to spend our money on so perhaps it is not the best for us. And of course DH needs to have a say in this too.

Also focusing on DH’s recovery is pretty stressful right now. He came home this weekend after a full week in the hospital. His skin is starting to grow back but some days it is like two steps forward one step back. Today he is back to the doctor to discuss some open wounds that don’t look like they are healing very fast. He is still on a puree food diet (mouth sores still healing). And his own self esteem has taken quite a beating. It is pretty stressful being so debilitated in such a short time. I am doing my best to help him out and just support him as he recovers. But it is hard to keep his spirits up. Especially now that I am back at work and he has to fend for himself at home. His parents are here for the week helping out but they are more stressed and worried about him that I am not sure that they are much help in keeping him positive.  But I do feel better knowing he has someone looking after him at home while I have to be at work. At least we know he will recover. Even if it feels like such a long road to recovery right now.

So not sure when IVF #2 will happen. Maybe August? I’d like to keep going. Not sure how much motivation or energy I will have if we keep waiting at this point. And I don’t want to wait for too long. Like a bandaid. I want this over with. No more daily reminders. Just the occasional painful ones. 




As expected. I’m upset. But also it is what I predicted would happen so I really shouldn’t be so upset. 

Made my WTF appointment for next week. Will likely already have my period by then. So likely won’t start the next round till end of July at the earliest. Depending on what the doc says. 

I think it might be worth doing some more tests to see if there is anything else we can do to boost our chances. Plus it gives DH time to fully recover. 

Hoping our luck turns for the next one. 


Also known as last day of being PUPO. 

Tomorrow is beta day. I decided not to add to my pee stick graveyard today. Mostly because I ran out, and have been spending all my time in the hospital with DH so I haven’t had time to go to the drug store. 

DH is doing ok. He is in a lot of pain as all his mucous membranes are basically desquamating (basically shedding off the top layer of skin). It’s like being burned from the inside out. He is in good spirits though. And his parents are arriving tonight so hopefully he will feel better having more family around. 

7DP5DT – and the DH update

It’s a sorry lookin’ pee stick graveyard:

Still very negative. 

Still sad.

I am less sure this has worked now. Until yesterday I believed my symptoms could be the start of pregnancy. And it was too early to really see results. I know there is still a chance. But I’m just not feeling it anymore. Literally and emotionally. 

Cramps are much less. Only when I insert the prometrium for about an hour or so. No heaviness or pain. Low back pain has subsided. It was bad the past few days. No spotting. No nausea. Heartburn has been bad the past few days. But that not new for me. I get it pretty regularly, this time it just seems much worse. That’s probably because I haven’t been taking my medication for it due to PUPO. I’ve got insomnia but that’s probably for an entirely different reason. So overall nothing much to report. 

Beta test is in 2 days and I’m not holding out too much hope other than if it’s positive then it would be a nice surprise. And honestly DH and I could use some good news right now. But if it isn’t. That’s fine too. It won’t bother me that much anymore. Probably too preoccupied worrying about DH to worry about myself.

DH should stabilize by the end of the week and be sent home. His recovery will likely take a few weeks more. Apparently it’s a 7week full recovery. But he should be past the worst of it in a week or so. 

He has SJS. Which is essentially a very severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic he was taking. It’s rare, but happens. It looks like it has not worsened since yesterday so hopefully he is on the way to recovery. There was a danger of it spreading more and his body going septic. Some infection has even reached his cornea and if it spread it could blind him. But he’s on treatment so it seems to have stopped spreading. 

 The treatment is corticosteroids and immunosuppressive treatment so his body stops attacking itself and can start healing. His skin will be peeling off, almost like a burn victim, and then he will heal. There should not be any permanent damage. 

It sucks. But he is a trooper. He’s in great spirits and the pain has subsided so that is an improvement.

His parents are going to arrive on Wednesday so it will be nice to have more hands to help. And I’m sure he will feel better with more family around. 

 My work has been very understanding. I told my president I would attend my meetings this week and then go home. He understands. So no stress there. My new assistant started yesterday so I went in for a half day yesterday to show her the ropes. I feel bad leaving her on her own without much support for the first week. But it is what it is. I’m trying to address any urgent concerns in the next day or two and then I can focus on DH and be available remotely if anything comes up. 

It’s going to be a crazy next few weeks. 

6DP5DT- distractions

First things first. Still negative: 

Next. Yesterday ended up being much more of an distraction that I bargained for. 

DH has been sick with a skin infection for over a week now. Last Friday he went to see the family doc who prescribed him some strong antibiotics and pain meds. Essentially it was a bad staph infection. 

After about 4 days the infection didn’t seem to get better and he went to see the doc again. They told him to keep at the antibiotics (14 day course) and it should resolve. 

On Friday. Still wasn’t better and now it had spread to his genitals. It was getting very painful. He went to the ER. They gave him a topical cream and told him to keep on going with the antibiotics (about half way into it by then). 

Then yesterday he woke up with hives on his hands and swollen lips and blood shot eyes. Like a serious allergic reaction. 

We got him some Benadryl but after a few hrs the hives were spreading and his throat started swelling. So we rushed him to the ER.

Turns out he had a reaction to the meds and has Steven johnsons symdrome. Basically he was poisoning his body with the antibiotics and finally his body started reacting. It’s very rare but can be very serious. So he is admitted in hospital and is awaiting a few specialists to come see him today. 

Oh. Did I mention this was all on his birthday? Poor guy can’t catch a break. He’s in good spirits but is in a lot of pain. We are happy he’s in hospital and getting the care he needs. I’m going into work this morn so I can wrap up some things and spend a couple of days with him. At least until he comes home.

I mean. That’s one way to distract yourself from the craziness of a 2ww.