A Long Overdue Update: IVF # 3, Part 1

Hey, dudes. It’s been busy ’round these parts. Since my Dr. Braverman update, I went on vacation, work turned into Crazytown and I lost my friend to cancer. And, oh yeah, I did a stim cycle. Retrieval was almost two weeks ago at this point.

I’ve been meaning to update you guys on the cycle for ages, so here’s the breakdown.

What we did differently this time vs. last time

I was on a much lower dose of stims. You might recall that for my last IVF I was on the atomic bomb dosage of meds, so I was initially very worried about this decrease.

The doctor added Clomid to the Menopur and Follistim cocktail.

He also threw human growth hormone into the mix. (Yep, just like A-Rod.)

I did a double trigger. So instead of just HCG, I also injected myself with Lupron as well at trigger time.

I took my Dr. Braverman supplements throughout the cycle.

I worked with a fertility coach and she helped me change my entire headspace. Although I had a few relapses, I made it through the cycle with minimal anxiety. I’ll try to write more about the work we’re doing together soon. She’s awesome.

Instead of doing a fresh transfer, we froze everything on day 1. The embryos will later be thawed and grow to day 3 or 5 before being transferred.

How it turned out

I stimmed relatively fast — only 8.5 days

They retrieved 11 eggs. My first cycle they retrieved 10, and my second cycle they retrieved 8.

9 out of the 11 fertilized with traditional IVF! My first cycle 6 fertilized via traditional IVF, and my second cycle only 3 fertilized using ICSI (insert sad face here). So, HOT DAMN, 9 is pretty amazing for my bod. Dr. Braverman promised me that my embryos would be better quality now that my endometriosis is no longer hanging around, and I’m hoping the high fertilization rate means he’s right.

I believe

Since the embryos were frozen so early, we’ll have to wait until they thaw and grow to really know if they’re good quality. I believe in them, though. And I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to say this, but: I’m beginning to believe in my body again, too.


51 thoughts on “A Long Overdue Update: IVF # 3, Part 1

    1. Nope no genetic testing! We tried to do it last time and got burned because we only had three embryos and none made it to day 5. I want to make sure I have a transfer this time!

  1. I believe in your embies too! That’s an awesome cycle right there, what a relief to have a great turnout this time. The coaching sounds super intriguing too 🙂

    1. Thank you! It really is such a relief! The fertility coach is amazing. She’s pretty pricey and I put it all on my credit card and for weeks I was like whyyyyy am I getting myself in more debt here? But she turned out to be wonderful and, so far, worth every penny. She lives in Canada so we do all of our sessions via Skype. What’s going on with your cycle?

  2. I am so so so so happy for both us of that we got onto this track and that you have seen some very promising outcomes from the new path. It really is very exciting. I truly believe you will get your baby. xoxo

      1. A week or so I’m guessing. It’s so hard to know this cycle because of the miscarriage. The cycle after can be quite long I think. But going from when I *think* (and I say think as I was going from physical signs only) I ovulated I think AF is due in about a week or so.

  3. That sounds really promising! I’m so glad things are looking up after the endometriosis surgery. It’s interesting that Dr. Braverman recommended freezing everything on Day 1 — I wonder why that is? I think it makes total sense to do frozen transfers, though — at least around here, the frozen transfer implantation rates are slightly higher than the fresh, and as someone who tends to worry like crazy about placenta development the theory of doing frozen transfers makes sense as well.

    Nice to see you back and can’t wait to hear more! Congrats on the awesome cycle!

    1. Thanks, lady! Interestingly enough, it’s not Dr. Braverman who requested the day 1 freeze — it was our new RE. Dr. Braverman is basically hands off until the frozen cycle — that’s when his “magic” comes in. But the RE says day 1 or at blastocyst stage are these best days to freeze because the embryos aren’t doing much growing then. I don’t think he wanted to risk going to blast since none of guys made it that far last time. So day 1 it was! That’s great to hear that frozen transfers have higher success in your neck of the woods!

  4. While I don’t want to downplay my excitement about your fertilization rate, I think the fact that you are starting to believe in your body again might just be my favourite thing in this post! I believe in your embabies and in you too!!

    1. Thank you, MPB! I seriously can’t believe I actually wrote that I’m starting to believe in my body…I had to do a double take after I typed it haha. But it’s true. It’s a lot of hard to to believe, though. I just need to stay the course.

  5. Oh I love this post Tanya! You sound like a completely new, renewed you! I’m loving this Dr. Braverman too. At last! I’ll be thinking nothing but happy thoughts for your little frosty embies. What are the next steps?

    1. Thanks, girl! I do feel renewed, and damn it’s a nice feeling. So next is the frozen protocol. Until now, Braverman has been pretty hands off, letting my local RE do his thing. But today we started the Braverman protocol, and it’s quite intense! At some point in the next 2-3 weeks they will decide to thaw the embryos and let them grow. Then hopefully we’ll have two good ones to transfer. And then hopefully they’ll stick. And then your baby will have a new little friend. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! A little birdy told me you now work in my city. Email me if you ever want to meet up for an after-work bite or need a place to crash (theskyandbackblog@gmail.com). Xo.

  6. I am so glad you are starting to believe in your body again. That is a very hopeful thing. I know you must be reeling over your friend’s death. I am thinking of you as you work through all of these very physical and emotional issues. Feeling positive vibes for you!

  7. This is great news. It sounds like everything is looking up, I cannot wait to hear how these embryos grow. I’ve been wondering how you are going. So happy to see this post. Xx

  8. Great news after the surgery! I was wondering how you were doing. All sounds like a great cycle so far – keeping my fingers crossed for you! X

  9. This post shines with positivity. Great results for you so far with the IVF and you sound refreshed and in a good head space. So happy to read this and will be looking out for more updates. Good luck little frosties. xo

  10. Ahh that is fantastic that you’ve started working with Zahra! She is amazing! I worked with her earlier this year and thought she was wonderful! I have been thinking of you and am so happy to hear that you’ve had such amazing results with your 3rd IVF. You rocked it sister and I have no doubt your sweet precious babe is there! Sending you lots of love and light!! xoxo

    1. OMG thank you so much for this awesomely positive comment! And I love that you worked with Zahra, too! She is just so great — I’m glad there are people like her in the world.

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