This week has been a complete roller coaster of emotions. Thanks to all of you who reached out with advice or to check and see how the consult with Dr. Schoolcraft went. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. I think I had prepared myself for the worse based on everyone's input. I'm not sure if I caught him on a good day or if I just pumped him up to be SO harsh in my mind that he couldn't live up to it :) Either way I'm happy to report back that he was very helpful and patient with us. As many of you had warned me he wouldn't talk protocol with me at all. But he did say based on my file he felt "optimistic" that he could help us. Obviously that opinion will be influenced by my ODW (one day workup) and the results of the tests CCRM would run. He did say that for us he'd like to also run the Beta-3 Integrin test as well as Karyotype (Chromosome Analysis) for both D and myself. For me the main thing (and most disturbing) that I got out of the conversation was his explanation of their genetic testing. At CCRM they do CCS testing on your embryos on day 5. Then they are frozen and your transfer is a FET. At my local clinic when we did genetic testing with our last cycle they took the biopsies on Day 3 and we had the results on Day 5 for a fresh transfer. It was nice not to have to wait another month for transfer but the information that Dr. Schoolcraft shared with me on the Day 3 testing was very concerning. He basically said when you choose a cell to biopsy on Day 3 the embryos are only composed of between 6-8 cells. And there's no way to distinguish between the cells that are going to be the baby and the cells that will develop into the placenta. If they end up taking one of the cells that is destined to be the baby then they are FATALLY damaging the embryo. Yeah, you read that right. What this means for us is our grade 1 "perfect" embryo that we transferred last cycle very well could have been damaged due to the testing. And the two remaining that we have frozen could be the same story. Wow.
Now while obviously I was VERY upset by this, the small silver lining (if I'm forced to find one) is I was certain there must be something seriously wrong with me in my uterus for our genetically normal grade 1 embryo not to result in a pregnancy. But basically Dr. S was saying that he thinks it was the damage from the biopsy. Which also explains why two of our "normal" embryos never developed to the blastocyst stage and arrested. At CCRM they do their genetic testing on day 5 when the embryo consists of around 60 cells and the outer ones are clearly visible as the "placenta" cells. He backed this logic up with a series of studies that were done by an independent company. Ouch.
We wrapped up the conversation by him recommending that we move forward with transferring our two remaining embryos and to call to schedule my ODW if that cycle is unsuccessful. Which brings me to meeting #2 of this week. My post-op follow up with Dr. H from my hysteroscopy at my local clinic.
I thought a lot about what to say (or not to say) to Dr. H. regarding what I had learned from CCRM. I ultimately decided not to bring up the genetic testing with him. 1. What's done is done. 2. I'm sure he has his own studies and logic about why they would do testing on day 3, and honestly no matter what he told me I wasn't going to buy it. I recognize that there's still a good chance that they biopsied a "placenta" cell in our 2 frozen embies and if that was the case then they would be "normal" embryos that could result in a pregnancy and God willing our take home baby. However if this cycle is unsuccessful we've already decided to move forward with CCRM as soon as possible.
So when I met with Dr. H he showed me the pictures from my hysteroscopy of the two small fibroids he found and removed. This part I was prepared for because he had told me about them right after the procedure. The part I wasn't prepared for was him to tell me that there was "inflammation" in my uterus. Based on that he wants to throw me into menopause for a month using a Lupron Depo injection. So all those thoughts from the night before about how it might not be my uterus went out the window. On top of that obviously a month of menopause would push our transfer from Dec. to Jan. Sigh. I realize in the big scheme of things one month is nothing. But it's still hard to swallow.
I've talked to a couple other girls who have gone down this path with the Lupron Depo and both were successful in their next transfers. I'd be interested to hear from the rest of you if you have any thoughts or input.
So roller coaster of emotions. I'm just trying to remind myself to take it one day at a time.