March 10th, 2021: I had my baseline ultrasound and labs at the Woman’s Clinic here in town. It’s SO nice to have this option, which keeps me from driving to Tulsa for a 20 minute appointment like I was doing for egg retrievals. We will still go to St. Louis for the ERA/Receptive procedures I shared last time, but I’m so thankful we have this option for my monitoring appointments. Everything looked good at this appointment, which was on a Wednesday, so I was given my next set of instructions, which had me starting an estrogen pill that Saturday. I had heard estrogen has pretty terrible side effects, so I was ready to feel pretty crummy. I was on a dose that was 4 times higher than a woman going through menopause, so I figured with taking that much, I would be miserable.
This has been my spot for WAY too many times this past year.
March 11th, 2021: I had to have blood drawn again the day after my baseline appointment due to some inflammation seen on my ultrasound. All ended up being fine!
On day 5 of taking Estrogen, I still felt pretty normal, so I considered myself lucky. I. Was. Wrong. About day 6, which would’ve been March 18th, I started feeling the side effects – headache, extreme fatigue, stomach issues, mood swings. Not fun. I had a few long crying spurts, but I also had a lot of good days, so I was holding out that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. As each day went on, I think the symptoms got worse. So by the time I went in for my mid-cycle appointment to check my uterine lining, I was a hot mess. Right before my mid-cycle check, I had a super hard day and just couldn’t seem to stop crying, but praying that doesn’t happen again. I don’t like being negative on here, but sometimes that’s part of this process. I like to focus on the positive, but I also don’t want to lie or present this differently than it is. I want to share the good and the bad.
Not only was I having Estrogen symptoms, but I was also a huge ball of nerves about my lining. It seems like there are always set-backs in this journey, so I was worried and so anxious that my lining wouldn’t be where it needed to be when I went in for my appointment.
March 24th, 2021: I had my mid-cycle appointment to check my lining and have labs drawn this morning. I was so nervous. The second the ultrasound started, I saw that my lining was 7.3mm. I had heard most clinics want you around 8mm, but I knew I still had a week before my ERA, so I wasn’t really sure what our clinic wanted at that point. My ultrasound tech told me that was a good number, so that helped calm my nerves a little. I had my blood drawn, got in the car, and immediately messaged our clinic to tell them my lining number and see where I should be at this point. I got a message back saying they wanted me to be at an 8mm at this point, so I was a little behind. I was terrified they were going to cancel the ERA cycle. I didn’t want to have been on all this estrogen for nothing. I was told our doctor at the clinic was looking over my scans and would get back to me ASAP. More waiting…always fun.
Thankfully, they did not cancel my ERA. Well, at least it’s still on for now. They have upped my estrogen – I am now taking 6 times the amount a woman takes for menopause AND they added an estrogen patch. Holy side effects. I will have one more ultrasound on Monday to see if my lining is doing what they want. My lining has gotten above 10mm (I checked my old labs from when we were doing my egg retrievals), so I know it’s possible. I guess it’s just finding out what works. Another reason I am thankful we are doing this mock transfer before our real transfer. We learn so much. Soooo, that’s my update. The ERA is still on as of now, I am very hopped up on Estrogen, and I will have another monitoring ultrasound Monday morning. Praying my lining thickens between now and then! As always, staying cautiously optimistic.