We had our very first appointment with our new Reproductive Endocrinologist to start embryo adoption! The point of this appointment was to get established as a new patient and to identify a process for finding out if I can carry the two embryos we are adopting. While we know nothing is ever a sure thing (the embryos could not survive the thaw or the transfer), this appointment gave us so much hope.
What I particularly loved about this appointment was how supportive this doctor was. He didn’t try to convince us to do IVF with our own eggs and sperm, he didn’t push an agenda that benefits him and his clinic, he listened to us, encouraged us, and it was very clear that he supports us 100%. He personally knows the individual who has chosen us for this embryo adoption and thinks the world of her (all the staff there does!) so it was blatantly obvious that we were in the right place for this whole process.
He wants us to succeed… but not only succeed, he wants it to work the first time. He knows we’re paying out of pocket on this, and while he was hopeful that insurance may cover some of the hormone treatments I’ll need, he knows that we do not have any insurance support for the transfer itself. Knowing this, he was able to give us some very encouraging information when it comes to how many embryos we transfer… 1 vs 2. We’re praying about this and will share more when the time is right.
With all of this being said, first thing’s first: can I carry? Here is how we’ll find out and the process:
- They took blood work to run a very extensive panel. He said that the normal panel is much smaller than what he is running for me upfront because we don’t want anything to be hiding that we didn’t know about. So if we transfer and it fails, we don’t want something popping up later that we should have checked for and didn’t because “it’s standard to not check for that unless you have transfer failure.” NO. We’re not messing around anymore, so we appreciate how thorough he is being upfront with the blood work!
- Once all the results come in (I was told some of the items they’re looking for take 2-2.5 weeks), we’ll move forward with scheduling a saline ultrasound. Because I’ve already had 2 HSGs in my fertility journey, he saw no reason to put me through that again when he can do a saline ultrasound instead to look for polyps and abnormalities. If there are any, we’ll set a timeline to correct those. If not, we’ll move forward!
- My thyroid is an issue… he ran my thyroid panel again just to make sure I’m heading in the right direction because he said it can cause miscarriage if it’s off, and there is a very specific range he wants it to be in that’s different than the “standard range” most primary care doctors go by. This might hold things up if my level doesn’t get down to his preference in a timely manner.
- To have complete control over my body for transfer, I’ll need to be on birth control the month before the transfer (funny, right? Like I need help in that department), and that cycle we’ll do an endometrial scratch. This is where they literally scratch the uterine lining to cause little sores that have to heal, thus making the uterus more receptive to embryos.
- The cycle after the birth control/scratch cycle will be the transfer cycle! This is when we’ll move forward with estrogen patches, baby aspirin (only if my blood work comes back negative for clotting disorders, and then we’ll have to add something more substantial), progesterone in oil injections, and he even mentioned acupuncture! He’s a big supporter of acupuncture, which I loved to hear because so am I, so I’ll be doing that before and after transfer. If successful, I’ll continue it through my first trimester.
So, somewhere in all of this, we have some legal paperwork to work out, some FDA requirements to fulfill, and will need to attend a counseling session at the clinic. I’m not sure the exact timeline on these but we’re trying to get them ironed out. It sounded like this clinic is no stranger to this process. I’m just letting them tell me what to do and when to do it.
In terms of timeline, it sounds like if everything goes well, we could be transferring in December or January. Before this appointment, I figured January would be more likely, but now it’s sounding like December is a possibility. However, as we all know by now, nothing is certain. Anything could come up in my bloodwork or on my ultrasound that sets us back. So instead of being set on a transfer month, I’m going to take it one step at a time. Each step needs care… each step needs prayer… each step needs attention. So I’m going to focus my mental energy on each step instead of a transfer date.
I’m excited! Like, really excited. This doctor was so encouraging and helpful. We felt so comfortable with him and his knowledge. You can’t put a price tag on that! Too often I read of others who have bad relationships with their care providers and often feel they have to settle because they want “a doctor, not a friend” and I get that, but no one should have to tolerate bad bedside manner or rudeness in exchange for “the best doctor”. You can have both. WE have both!
As soon as I get the lab results, I’ll be sure to share! I’m an open book and as much as I can help anyone else going through this process, I will!