Testing Testing 1 2 3

Most the pre-work for IVF has all been completed. I had my CD3 blood drawls on February 23rd and all came back good and my TSH was the best it’s been thus far. My phlebotomist struggled to get blood out of one arm and had to switch to the other. WTF. I got dizzy in the process but she gave me some cold water and one of the office ladies chatted with me during the drawl and I survived. I still don’t love needles but it’s gotten so much easier over the last 6 months with the constant drawls.

The same week we also got Kap’s most recent SA results back. Luckily, we’ve already decided on proceeding with IVF with ICSI because based on the recent results, that is the recommended course of action. Total concentration of sperm and motile sperm have both decreased further. Morphology remains less than 1%. He’s frustrated and because infertility is still very much treated as a women’s health issue even when it’s MFI, (male factor infertility), doctors don’t always make a lot of behavior or supplement recommendations to men unless they quite literally have 0 sperm. He’s taking his CoQ10 and trying to eat healthier. That’s pretty basic but according to the internet it could be our biggest hope.

On the 1st, I had my endometrial biopsy and hysteroscopy. There was initially some confusion of which procedures I was getting so one nurse recommended I take a couple ibuprofens. The day before the tests, my main nurse called and let me know I had 3 prescriptions waiting on me at Walgreens. There was a tablet that needed halved then the half inserted vaginally before bed that night. It would dilate the cervix. The other 2 drugs were for pain and anti-nausea. When I showed them to Kaptain, he shared they are often given when people are in hospice to make end of life comfortable. Great.

I asked my mom to be my designated driver and she stayed the night before so we’d be ready to head to the RE super early in the morning. When I woke up I had pretty heavy bleeding. Definitely more than the spotting I was warned of. When I got to the clinic I had blood drawn and signed a bunch of waivers. Then my nurse had me take the pain and nausea pills. About 45 minutes later I was in the procedure room and feeling slightly impaired. After inserting the speculum my doctor gave me several shots to the cervix to numb it. Then the hysteroscopy began. It was uncomfortable in my uterus but not painful. My mom and I were able to watch along on a video screen and it was neat. We were able to see the openings to both Fallopian tubes and the inside of my uterus as a whole. After they finished with that, (which took about 20-30 minutes), he did a couple endometrial biopsies which were rather unpleasant but again not painful.

The biggest thing identified in the hysteroscopy is that I have an arcuate uterus. Basically instead of my uterus being a perfect triangle, it’s shaped more like a heart. He said I could get surgery on it which would be a far less intense version of the septum removal surgery for uteri that have that. Basically just removing the extra bit at the top. But he also shared that surgery for mildly arcuate uterus is not consistently done and there is some debate around it. For it to be an issue, an embryo would have to implant only in that small area and then there would have to be diminished blood supply. His belief is that fewer interventions are always preferable unless there is a clear and consistent cause and effect that needs to be addressed. Therefore he doesn’t recommend the surgery until it proves to be an issue.

Now I’m awaiting the results from the endometrial biopsy and my AMH level test which is what the blood drawl was for. AMH measures ovarian levels and predicts how my body will likely react to the fertility medications. This is one I’m majorly crossing my fingers for. High AMH means I have a bunch of eggs just hanging out and waiting for the opportunity to mature. Low AMH means the egg supply is dwindling. With the endometrial biopsy they are looking for any infections that may prevent pregnancy and also checking for cancer cells. For both these test results my nurse said it can take up to 2 weeks.

So much of this process is go, go, go then wait and wait and wait. Now we’re in a waiting period. Waiting on test results. Waiting to see if we have the green light to schedule our IVF cycle. Waiting to order the medications. Waiting to plan the next couple months of our lives. I am not a patient person so I find the waiting times particularly excruciating. Right now I’m trying to make it feel more like a fun and exciting journey I’m beginning opposed to focusing the billion negative aspects. I ordered little decorative milestone cards off Etsy I can use for my Instagram posts. I also found an adult coloring book on amazon titled IVF wtf?! which is just the right amount tacky and cute. I’ve started cooking my way through one of Mary Berry’s cookbooks. And of course I’m throwing myself into work. It’s the perfect distraction for dwelling on how long it’s taking to get results back. Until then we hangout and wait.

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