Dr. W wanted me to get another beta test done last week, as a follow up to the D&C to make sure I didn't have any lingering pregnancy material left behind. My hcg came back as a 4, which is considered a negative beta so she is comfortable moving ahead.
Yesterday, I finally had my scheduled phone appointment with her to discuss the next steps toward our FET. My biggest concern was the two frozen embryos that we have and their chances of even surviving the thaw process. She was able to put my fears (mostly) to rest.
I learned that the new freeze process is called vitrification, or a flash freeze in layman's terms. Basically, the old way of freezing embryos was a slow freezing process. Dr. W compared it to putting them in a refrigerator freezer, where it takes awhile for them to actually become frozen. When it is done that way, it causes ice crystals to form inside the cells of the embryo, which can potentially cause problems if those crystals later break off during the thaw process.
This new process, vitrification, is done by sticking the embryos in liquid nitrogen which freezes them then and there. The survival rate for these embryos is more than 90%!!! I feel a tremendous amount of relief and comfort in knowing that most likely, we will have the chance to at least do the transfer. My fear was that we'd get all geared up for this, only to find out we had no embryos to transfer. We only have these two embryos left, one is considered a good blastocyst and one is very average. All our hopes for a future family are riding on this FET. This is it for us, so it is a huge relief to know that we at least don't have to worry about them surviving the thaw.
I also learned the reason why my clinic waits until the embryos achieve blastocyst before freezing, rather than freezing on the 2nd or 3rd day. After reading several of your blogs and hearing about how many clinics freeze the embryos early, I was concerned. I feel much better now that I understand this vitrification process. Research has shown that vitrified embryos have better post-thaw survival rates, higher pregnancy, and better live birth rates from FET cycles. Because of this, allowing the embryos to reach the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6), rather than freezing early, embryos that are chromosomally abnormal are weeded out.
Dr. W wants me to have a saline infusion sonogram done before we actually start the FET cycle. She wants to make sure that everything still looks okay, that no polyps have developed or anything else that might prevent the transfer from working. As soon as I start my period, I am supposed to contact their office and get the sonogram done. We aren't planning to do the transfer until May, but we don't want to wait and then find out we have a problem which could end up delaying us until the end of the summer.
I am so excited to know we have a plan! May sounds so far away, but in actuality, I could be starting bcp's at the end of March! I will be on bcp's for about 2 weeks, then start the Lupron injections, take estrace, then start the PIO injections about 5 days before the actual transfer. With all of that, it times out to be about the middle of May. Of course, it all depends on when AF decides to visit me now. I have NO idea when that will be since it's been so long since I've had one.
It's amazing what one phone call can do to perk me up and get me excited for AF's visit! I hope she's packed her suitcases and is on her way!