Head Case

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I had been freaking out since Thursday when I was supposed to take my orgalutran in the afternoon because my LH had started surging already and they wanted me to suppress it ASAP. Well I was at work, didn’t get the message until later, and didn’t have the orgalutran with me anyways. I took it as soon as I got home, hoping that was enough to prevent me from ovulating early. I had literally been worrying myself sick, my stomach had been churning and upset for the better part of two days (although part of that could be from the meds).

I called the nurses line Thursday evening to leave a message regarding the fact that I was not able to take my meds when they called and told me to do it sooner, hoping that it would be ok. The nurse called me back Friday morning and basically gave me shit for not being more on top of my phone when they called. It was sitting on my desk the entire time, but I didn’t notice the missed calls or the voicemail until the phone lines had closed…at 3:30 pm. I told her as much, and she said well I need to make sure I get their calls as things can change once they get my bloodwork, and it is very important. No shit, I’m not purposely trying to mess things up, life happens, even when IVF is my first priority. I also did not have my meds with me, I was at work, and they were at home, so I don’t know what could have been done even if I had gotten their message. Everything they gave me indicated I was to take the orgalutran in the evening with the menopur and after the fact I was told that it is extremely rare that they see an LH surge before the orgalutran is started, so they didn’t see it coming either. I would have appreciated not being treated like a child, and rather a patient who is complying to the best of my ability, and paying a lot of g-d damn money for this B.S. (I’m starting to get bitter about this whole IVF process, can you tell?…)

So in any case, I had been stressing, googling, and hand wringing waiting for my follow up appointment. I was feeling pretty intense pressure in the right side of my lower abdomen Friday, so I was pretty sure big righty (my 18mm follicle, as of Thursday) was still there, and hadn’t ruptured. This gave me some comfort, but not enough to slake my worries. It seems after each appointment so far there has been some catastrophe that has threatened to derail this cycle, and I’m getting really tired of it. I didn’t expect quite this much stress between appointments, I thought it would be at it’s worst leading up to retrieval and then waiting for the fertilization report. Apparently things can’t be that easy.

Saturday morning I had to go back for another monitoring appointment, and J came with me this time, to see the ultrasound, and for moral support as I was somewhat expecting bad news. Normally my blood work, and my ultrasound are both done at the clinic, but it seems on Saturdays they do not have a phlebotomist on staff. Therefore I had to go to the main hospital building for my blood draw, before my ultrasound. The blood collection lab in the hospital does not open until 9am, but I was advised that people will get there early, so they can get in first. Duly noted, and lesson learned from the ultrasound numbers game, I decided I should show up at 8am. This was a good call as there were already a few people waiting, and some that had submitted their requisition and gone to wait elsewhere (as I found out when there were more people ahead of me than I had even anticipated). I am normally supposed to start work at 9am, but I told them I had a doctors appointment, and no one asked any questions this time.

After my blood work was completed, we had to wind our way back through the hospital to the seperate wing where the clinic is located. Once at the clinic, we checked in (no numbers or waiting for them to open this time). There was one couple who arrived before us for blood work, that was now sitting in the lobby of the clinic. There were a few other couples, presumably for IUI’s or their related monitoring. As we waited, the lobby began to fill with the other couples that had been at the lab and had now made there way over to the clinic. I was extremely glad we got to the hospital as early as we did. Overall we waited maybe 20 minutes before going back for the ultra sound.

While we were waiting for the doctor in the ultra sound room I was telling J what we would see on the ultrasound, and he was getting confused in the terminology, follicle, egg, embryo; he’s still trying to wrap his head around it all. I get it, it’s not his body or his process and it is hard for him to follow, or understand. Yet another case and point as to why I don’t tell people what I am doing. I was telling him that I can feel the follicles in my abdomen, like the pressue of leaning against the counter while doing the dishes…with a full bladder. I managed to give myself a massive bruise, and lump on my right side Friday night as I managed to nick a blood vessel whilst injecting my ganirelix. I am beginning to hate that stuff, the needle is dull so I have to jam it in, then it leaves a red welt (or in this case an ugly painful bruise). J was feeling pretty sorry for me as I have been feeling pretty disgusting. He said he wishes I didn’t have to go through it all, or that they could at least give me oral tablets or something. Sweet notions, but just not the way it works.

It wasn’t my normal doctor that did my ultrasound, which made me a bit leery, as I had never met this doctor before, but she was fantastic. I told her I was worried because of my LH surge, and not taking my meds right away to prevent ovulation. She said it should be fine, as spontaneous ovulation during IVF was exceedingly rare. I asked her what level my LH was the day the clinic called in a panic to have my start my ganirelix, and she told me I was only at 11 IU/L when they did my bloodwork Thursday morning (around 30 IU/L would be peak). I was thankful that she gave me a number, as that helped ease my mind somewhat, although I wasn’t able to take the ganirelix until 12 hours after that level was recorded so who knows what it was by that time.

She inserted the dildo came, and checked my lining (7.6 mm triple strip, woot woot!) and then moved to the right to start measuring. And there they were, my follicles still all hanging about. Now, I suppose this doesn’t absolutely ensure that I hadn’t ovulated…? I think it is possible that a/some follicles could have ruptured, releasing an egg, but because I am still on a FSH it could be artificially keeping the remaining follicles intact and growing. When the doctor gave me my requisition for Monday’s blood work she selected to check my progesterone as well because if that has risen, then it means I did ovulate. Although, since there are follicles still it may not mean a cancelled cycle, per se. But back to my follicles, that fat follie on my right side has grown from 18mm on Thursday to 25mm as of Saturday morning! Holy hell, no wonder I am so uncomfortable on that side, that is literally the size of a small grape. And that’s not the only one hanging around over there. There’s another bigger one at 19mm, two at 15mm, a 14mm, 13mm and 12mm. On the left side things are a little quieter. There is one leading the pack at 17mm, a 13mm, 12mm, 10mm,  two 9mm and one 8mm. It was so nice of the doctor to write them down for me, she was very informative which was really great.

I told her everything with this cycle has been a bit of a schmozzle. She told me it’s usually the cycles that appear to go perfectly that don’t always end in success. She seemed to think I don’t have anything to worry about, lots of follicles, everything is coming along as it should. I am past believing that everything will go smoothly from this point, but it did give me some relief. I am still a bit nervous to hear my progesterone level on Monday, but I have a bit more faith that all will be well. I thought I had my head wrapped around this process but it is such a steep learning curve, one that I hope I don’t have to repeat.

Looking at how this cycle started I’m not entirely surprised at where it has ended up. My estrogen was high because of the birth control, I started stimming late because of the high estrogen. I’m assuming big righty started developing naturally since I didn’t start stims until CD6 instead of CD3. My first monitoring ultra sound and blood work wasn’t until CD10, so of course I was close to an LH surge with an already large follicle and no ovulation supression meds yet. Looking back I can see it, and it makes sense but I can never predict what’s around the next corner and I hate it. All of this has turned me into even more of a head case than I already am.

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21 thoughts on “Head Case

  1. one thing that i’ve learned over the last couple years – there is really no such thing as a “perfect” cycle. we take whatever we can get to make a baby, and it sounds like everything’s lined up for you this cycle! think good thoughts, as hard as it is 🙂

    • Too true, if everything went perfect I should be suspicious. I am just focusing on each next appt and trying to manage life, which is getting sort of hard. I am so uncomfortable!

      • I remember when I did IVF! I ended up getting OHSS and they said my ovaries were the size of small grapefruits! It hurt to move :/

      • Yeah I’ve heard that so I’ve already been putting back the Gatorade. I don’t really like water anyways so fine by me. Anything else you did to relieve the discomfort? I don’t know how I’m going to manage the next 6 days.

      • i stayed on a strict liquid diet filled with lots of sodium. Basically, I lived off chicken noodle soup. Each time I tried to eat solid foods, it would get stuck somewhere between my throat and lungs. PAINFUL!

      • Yeah I don’t have much of an appetite and when I eat it just get full and nauseous very quickly. I’m trying to eat protein though as I’ve read that can be helpful too.

      • I realised as I’ve been chatting with you that I hadn’t had anything to drink in a bit. Cracked a new bottle of Gatorade and 10 minutes in I already feel a bit better. I was bad at keeping myself hydrated before I started this process so my idea of enough liquids and my body’s are still a bit off. I need to remember that ha ha. Thank you for your wisdom IVF vet 🙂

  2. I know your situation is frustrating but please know that your experiences are helping me greatly prepare for our IVF. I’ve learned so much from this post about hormone levels.

    • Thank you! It’s one of the reasons I continue to blog, because I learned so much from those who went before me (and I need somewhere to vent). Best to you for your cycle!

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