Au Natural

So a week or so after the D&C/hysterscopy, I had my follow-up appointment. In said appointment I learned that my uterus looks… great. No polyps. No scar tissue. Nothing. Apparently I’m just that lucky that embryos won’t take even when I’m primed and ready to go. With this revelation my doctor shared that he’d like to try a natural cycle with two more embryos from that same batch. 
At this point I’m over interventions but I committed to Kaptain that I will do whatever we can til the last day of December. We’ve hit our out of pocket max for the year so why not?? How ironic then that we’re paying full price for this cycle as my AMH and estradiol day 3 numbers have expired. Aetna requires that they’re within the last 6 months to cover treatments and we’re 6 months and a few days. I refused to miss a cycle just to get these for coverage so fuck Aetna, we’ll just pay for it ourselves. Hopefully it will be closer to $3,000 than $4,000 but we will just have to wait and see. That should be a fun bill. 🙄
Okay, so prior to now, I knew little to nothing about natural cycles. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. You have to have pretty regular predictable periods to be a candidate. This is because everything is based on the body’s natural ovulation cycle. Your clinic has to be willing to do them. Yes, that seems like a no brainer but lots of clinics won’t because all the monitoring is a pain in the ass to fit in their schedules. Speaking of monitoring, holy hell. The first day of my period, I called the clinic to let them know I had full flow. On day 7, I went in for an ultrasound. Based on the measurements of my follicles, I also had bloodwork to test the level of estradiol. On days 11 and 12, I had bloodwork for the estradiol again. On days 13 and 14, I didn’t have to go but then on day 15 my estradiol had risen enough to show the LH surge predicting ovulation should be soon. Yesterday was day 16 and my blood drawl was for both estradiol and LH (luteinizing hormone). Today it will be the same. Once the bloodwork shows I’ve surged, my understanding is we will do ultrasounds to verify that then I will begin my usual progesterone in oil shots along with Estrace (estrogen) vaginal inserts twice daily. I’ve never done those. It’s always been shots for me so that should be an adventure. 5 or so days later, we’ll do our transfer. 
I have absolutely zero faith in any of this working.  We have done so much and nothing. While I go through the motions, I’m trying to recapture my life and my happiness. I’m doing C25K to get ready for my upcoming Dia de los Muertos 5K. And, honestly, because I miss feeling good about myself. When we first started  trying to conceive, I ran several miles daily. I weighed 170 lbs and was a size 5/6. Prior to starting C25K this time, I was completely sedentary, 230 lbs and a size 13/14. Along with my body not cooperating with conception, I also felt bad about the fact I’m not as healthy, fit or strong nor do I feel confident about how my body looks. It’s been a rough 3 years but I want to feel good again so I get up 3 days a week and I do my C25K. Everyday I stay within my calorie allotment. In the 3 weeks since my surgery I’ve lost 17 lbs. I’m finally starting to feel like me again; not just a vessel for a pregnancy that will, in all likelihood, never happen. I am sad that I probably won’t be able to run my upcoming 5K because of the timing of the transfer but it is what it is. At least I’ll likely only miss a week of C25K before I get my negative result and can go back to my routine. 
After this one, I don’t know if my doctor will be willing to waste any more donor embryos on us. If I were in his position, I probably wouldn’t. It simply doesn’t make sense to use them on us when they turn into healthy live births for others but for us there isn’t so much as a hint of conception. That means after this cycle, I don’t know what we will do for the last two months that I told Kap I’d be willing to try. Do we do IUIs? Medicated timed intercourse? Basically, do we go back to where this all began to say we tried til the very end? I don’t know. I feel like I’ve come to terms with it all but there will always be a sadness associated with the fact that this most basic primal inclination was denied to us when so many undeserving, horrible people are able to conceive and have healthy children with no intention of ever taking care of or being kind to them. As so many things in life aren’t, it simply isn’t fair. 
Wow. Got kinda negative there for a minute, huh? Here’s the thing. If this doesn’t work, if none of the interventions work, we will be okay. My plan had always been to adopt older children from foster care. The reason we didn’t immediately go that route is that conceiving naturally seemed so much easier and faster. Remember that from my first post ever? 🤦🏻‍♀️ Once we started down this path, it was simpler just to stay on it and finish the process properly. That’s the reason for the hard cutoff in terms of time and interventions. For example, no more retrieval cycles. No gestational carrier. No more interventions after December 31st. We can still have a family but those cutoffs will be what allows us to go on to the next path with mental clarity and acceptance. Until then, I go to monitoring appointments, I prioritize my health and happiness and make it through another day. 

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