Let me start out by saying that the 2-week wait to see if my lining was thick enough for transfer was worse than the 10-day wait for a pregnancy test. In fact, it’s second only to the wait for the call that tells us how many embryos made it to blastocyst stage for freezing. I wouldn’t have said that a year ago when my uterine lining wasn’t an issue. Through 3 IUI’s and 2 transfers, I had always measured around 9mm. But recently, my reproductive system has had a new hurdle to get through – my lining.
After my baseline appointment on September 20th, I made a list of everything I could possibly do to thicken my lining and planned it out over the next 14 days. Aside from the Estrace pills my doctor had prescribed, I was going to take a natural approach as well. Every day I drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice and red raspberry leaf tea. On top of my pre-natal vitamin, I added DHA, which gave me an extra boost of Vitamin E for blood flow. I threw in some L-Argenine in the last week before the scan. I made a point to get up and move and stretch at work since my job is pretty sedentary. I gave myself fertility massages almost every night and used an essential oil mixture as my massage oil. I also meditated before bed using a program specifically designed for frozen embryo transfer preparations. It would say things like, “Picture your uterus as having open arms, stretched out to welcome new life” or something like that. I rolled my eyes about it at first, but it absolutely helped me relax. Brennen even meditated with me but was sure to watch enough football to prevent growing a uterus. The night before the checkup, he said, “Well if it’s not thick enough, it sure isn’t from a lack of trying.” After two weeks of all things uterine, I gave him an “Amen.”
Fast forward to Thursday morning as I nervously braced myself for the ultrasound. My uterus popped up on the TV screen, and the nurse practitioner said those dreaded words, “It’s not quite thick enough.” She then proceeded to click around for a measurement….5.33. WTF?! That’s the thinnest it has ever been. In frustration I said, “What the heck? It was thicker than that when I was on birth control.” And it was! At my baseline ultrasound 2 weeks ago (before Aunt Flo) it was measuring over 6.
We use a local fertility clinic for outside monitoring, so we usually don’t ask questions during our visits. They just measure and send info to our clinic. But in desperation, Brennen let out a huge sigh and asked, “I mean, what in the world is going on?” The nurse practioner, unfamiliar with our case, didn’t really have any specific answers for us but said they see this sometimes – an uncooperative uterus – and that my body may need another way to take in estrogen. Obviously this little blue Estrace pill is not doing the trick. She printed a picture of my uterus for me. (Note to self: buy darts).
So what does this mean? Transfer cancelled. We knew going into that appointment that it would be cancelled with any measurement less than 8. We had accepted that. And I think that if it would have been 7 or 7.5, we would have told ourselves, “Good try. We’re getting there.” But man, at 5.33, you can’t find anything to be positive about. Brennen held it together as we left the clinic; he was on the verge of tears. Me, you couldn’t see disappointment on my face, but my body felt weak and sluggish, as if I could feel the sadness all the way to my bones. I took the rest of the day off work.
Nurse Memphis called that afternoon to talk to me about the next steps. Next week, Brennen and I will head to Memphis so I can have a biopsy done on my endometrium. All I get is a Valium, so that should be fun, right? While we’re there, we’ll make a game plan for 2018, but as for 2017, we’re done. Last year, I found out I was pregnant on Thanksgiving Day and miscarried on Christmas. We’ve done the infertility-over-the-holidays thing and don’t want to do it again. This holiday season, we’ll regroup and give IVF a backseat. For three years, we’ve tried to get pregnant, and for three months, I just don’t want to try. We’re not giving up, we’re just coming up for air.
Prayers for our trip to Memphis!