This month has been a bit of a whirlwind for my husband and me. I finished stimming for my third (and hopefully final) round of IVF followed by egg retrieval & transfer of two Day 3 embryos just the other day. This was honestly something I didn’t think was going to happen after our previous two failed attempts without success this year. We were both feeling so defeated and like all hope was lost. We started our IVF journey a year ago and I had thought we would be celebrating our first Christmas with baby, not embarking on yet another round of treatment.
Do we just throw in the towel and call it quits?
How much heartache and loss can two hearts take and still survive? Can we mentally, physically & financially do this again? How long can we go on before this affects our relationship? Four years is a long time. These were just some of the thoughts and questions we had after our last failed cycle this past summer.
But every time I thought about it or closed my eyes something inside kept telling me to go on and give it one more shot. I had to know we tried it all and gave it everything we had with no regrets. Lucky number three as we like to say. We’ve all heard the saying “third time’s the charm,” right? My gut was saying to take a chance— but with a fresh set of eyes.
New eyes, new clinic, new doctor, new protocol.
That’s what I wanted. Clearly, what we had been doing wasn’t working and I feel I gave my clinic a fair shot sticking through two failed cycles plus a previously cancelled cycle as I was not responding well to the medications. I had met with my doctor and his plan of action was to do the same protocol again and I just knew that was not the right call or the right decision.
So I researched clinics and through word of mouth and recommendations from some friends of mine who are physicians, I printed out the referral form, took it to my family doctor and started the process. I was terrified at the thought of starting fresh with someone new who did not know us and our history…but I chose to go with my gut.
We chose to start fresh.
And oh how WE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE! Words cannot express the difference we have had in our experience between the two clinics. Now I’m not putting our previous clinic down but for us, our new clinic has just made such a positive impact. Whether this cycle ends in a positive pregnancy or another failed cycle, I truly believe they did everything they could. My doctor was wonderful— kind, empathetic, intelligent and to the point.
During our consultation visit, she asked, after reviewing our chart, why genetic testing had never been done and we did not know either. This test was ordered right away on both of us and we waited the long nine weeks to make sure this was not the end of our journey. Thankfully the tests came back normal and we were able to proceed on with her plan for IVF— lucky number three!
At the clinic all the doctors were empathetic and informative. The nurses were compassionate and answered all of our questions. We left almost every visit with forms and information that our previous clinic had never provided us with.
We both felt very informed which was important to me.
The day of my egg retrieval I had three nurses caring for me. Each nurse introduced herself and their role in my care: preoperative nurse, scrub nurse and medication nurse. Then for the very first time ever, the embryologist came into the room and introduced herself to me and explained her role in my care followed by the doctor-on-call that was doing my procedure. I instantly felt relaxed and knew I was in good hands.
On embryo transfer day it was the exact same. Two embryologists came out and went over how my embryos were growing, how many cells they had and showed me how they picked the “best two” for transfer and explained why. Being a nurse myself, having information makes me feel at ease. I was denied this at my previous clinic or only told “what I needed to know.”
It’s MY healthcare and I WANT to know all the details.
The results also show for themselves as my previous cycles resulted in never more than three embryos by Day 3 and none ever making it to be frozen whereas, on Day 3, I had seven embryos with five looking very strong. I won’t know until tomorrow how many made (if any) made it to blastocyst stage to be frozen but for the first time ever, I am feeling really confident and hopeful to have one or two embies to be frozen.
So, my message to all of you struggling like I was after a first failed cycle, second, or even fourth, fifth, or sixth cycle: Go with your gut. Lead with your hearts. It won’t lead you wrong and you may even be so glad that you did. I know we are! No matter how this plays out I am happy we took the chance.
By Fairen Balogh, ababyforthebaloghs.wordpress.com