I believe friend Cori said it best: “Couldn’t they wait until AFTER they were born to be disappointing little shitheads?” (paraphrased) (maybe)
No, apparently not. My little future hockey team petered out at the pre-blastocyst stage, so I was left with nothing. Tough to swallow, basically throwing away another $25K with nothing to show for it. At least I got told the bad news by Alison, British Embryologist, because hearing crap news in a British accent is so much more soothing.
Alison: I’m so sorry love, but all of your embryos have gone a bit pear-shaped.
Okay, so that might not be exactly how she said it, but with that accent that’s what I heard.
Anyway, after being depressed about this for a brief time, I shake myself off as usual and start signing up for a shitload of crazy-ass bike rides, because that’s what one does when one’s life is going all to hell, amirite? I also book my WTF appointment with Dr. B., which is what we call the follow-up in IVFLand.
Of course, when I go in, my first question for Dr. B. is kind of the obvious one: what the fuck happened? I had FOUR out of five embies still chugging along on day 5, and then there was nothing. What kind of slacker bullshit is this?
Dr. B. had this theory, based on her years of education and training and experience, that my embies got pushed along to a later stage, probably because of the NOW WITH DOPING regimen that I was on, but that they were probably abnormal to begin with which is why they didn’t make it to the blast stage.
I had my own theory, based on nothing more than the thoughts from my own head, that the supplements I had been on for just a month at that point were enough to get my embies to grow more, but not enough to get them to blast, since they say that it takes 3 months to form eggs. So in my world, with my next cycle Il’ll have been on the supps for 3 months, so I should have excellent results.
Clearly I’m going to go with my theory; the science is sound.
I then move on to rapid-fire of questions at Dr. B., based on ideas As Found on the Internet, all prefaced by wonderful phrases such as “I’ve read” and “studies show” and “I’ve heard people do this.”
Me: What do you think of embryonic co-culture?
Dr. B.: No.
Me: How about in-vitro maturation?
Dr. B.: No.
Me: More doping?
Dr. B.: No.
Me: Test for DHEA level?
Dr. B.: No.*
I’m not getting much to work with here.
Me: Perhaps a double trigger to help with maturation?
Dr. B.: Well yes, that is something we ca…..
Victory! We decide to add a double trigger AND to do an estrogen priming protocol (EPP) which can be successful in helping all the follies grow at the same time rather than being all over the damn place. We did have an odd moment as I was asking about the lab at CCRM and if they’re actually any better or what all the hype is about the place, and Dr. B. said that basically they’ve been around for a long time and are certainly a top lab, but so is ORM, which I knew. Then the weird moment, which I think came out of some strange place in Dr. B.’s head heretofore untapped.
Dr. B.: Well, not that I’m trying to encourage this, but if you DID want to talk to CCRM for a consult, I wouldn’t tell you not to….
The air gets sucked out of the room, and we all fall silent, me, Dr., B., and note-taking scribe, who also looks stunned. In a moment though, Dr. B. shakes her head a little bit as if to clear it, and we go on talking about my next cycle as if that odd comment had never been uttered.
I leave feeling insanely optimistic, and to say that my hopes are sky high would not be an understatement.
What could possibly go wrong in this scenario, right?
* We actually do discuss all of these at length, i.e. why they wouldn’t necessarily help, and yes, Dr. B's points makes sense to me. Dammit.