Highs & Lows, Ebbs & Flows

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As much as one falls into daily routines, it would be hard to ever consider life as static. It moves forward, and there is little choice than to go along, whether with open arms, or kicking and screaming. Since I went back to work, I was having a hard time finding solid footing. It seemed I was being pulled in too many directions, and I think the stress and busyness of the holidays was not helping me in trying to get centred.

Now that the new year has come and gone, life is on the upswing. Work has been busy which has been surprisingly good, most of the time. I am one of those people who functions best under moderate pressure. If I am not busy, I tend to slack, and procrastinate because if I’m not busy, I’ll have time to get stuff done later! So busy equals productivity. Plus, I am in sales, and a New Year means a fresh slate and new targets, which I am pumped for. Since I came back so late in 2016, I had no hope of reaching any targets (mine are cumulative over the year) so it was more just about getting myself established again, and set up for the New Year to come, so admittedly, I was just coasting until the calendar flipped so I could go hard in 2017. I am pumped and ready to go, feeling good, finally feel like I have a better handle on balancing life and work (don’t get me wrong it’s not perfect and I do feel harried at times, but it’s better).

Just when I am feeling good and on top of things, J is feeling down. He had a rough day at work that really got to him and has been feeling down in the dumps. He is trying to find the motivation to go to the gym, but it’s not happening. He doesn’t sleep well, and that can effect everything (I know, ask me how well I slept during fertility treatments). I think he is feeling stuck with his job (again) and slightly overwhelmed sometimes. It’s like we can never be on the same page at the same time. When he is up, I am down, and vice versa. I suppose this isn’t so bad, if we were too synced, we would be both be down at the same time, and it’s hard enough when one of us is down, never mind both. We take turns picking up the slack for each other.

Last week I noticed a friend of mine seemed to having a rough go as well. She’s a tough cookie with a hectic life and she usually seems to manage with ease. She confided that she’s not sure her current job is what she needs right now, and I think she may be feeling a bit lost not to mention slightly overwhelmed. It’s hard to know what to do for someone in that sort of circumstance. Not just career dilemmas, or being overwhelmed, but ambiguous life difficulties in general. I sent her a card, wrote a nice message, let her know that I, among her other friends, am there for her. Sometimes I think that’s all that can be done. I can’t fix her problems for her, but I can stand beside her.

Obviously perspective can effect ones attitude to life challenges. Whilst going through infertility treatments, it wasn’t so easy to tell myself to just keep plugging along (though really, that is what happened because what else can you do?). I didn’t really allow anyone “in” when we were in the depth of IVF, and I don’t even know what I would have wanted from anyone, had I confided. Just be there, I suppose is all anyone can do. You can’t live someones life for them, or take away their pain. The highs are great, the lows are sometimes inevitable. Even if it’s just a minor low, or a bad day, life can’t be great all the time and that’s ok.

Everybody sails alone,

But we can travel side by side.

-KT Tunstall “Heal Over”

 

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An Unwelcome Christmas Guest

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Happy Holiday season everyone! I usually love Christmas time, but I have to say this year I just felt harried and stressed out most of the time. I think being back at work, trying to juggle Christmas, and parenting while working just had me falling behind with all. Last year I was on mat leave at Christmas, so as much as I was busy with, you know, a new baby (well 4 months by Christmas) I did have some extra time on my hands. Overall, Baby Girl seemed to really enjoy Christmas this year, gleefully ripping wrapping paper, playing with all of her new toys, and all of the extra attention that comes with family time.

The family time in itself was not free of drama. I only had three days off work, and this year we were having Christmas day with J’s family, who spend Christmas in the mountains, about a 4 hour drive for us. There happened to be some heavy snowfall the day before we were set to drive down so the roads were not great, and J white knuckled through it. Thankfully BG was a champ in the car (unlike the last time we made the same drive and she screamed for a good lot of it). She slept, snacked, chatted to herself and watched Daniel Tiger on the iPad. There were some miscommunications about how exactly Christmas day was going down as we were blending family (SIL’s parents and one of SIL’s siblings joined in (SIL is married to my husbands’ brother to make that clearer…)), there was upset and hurt feelings (none of which was discussed but was very apparent). All in all, I just stayed out of it and tried to enjoy myself but I don’t like sharing close quarters with so many people for multiple days, so it wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

We alternate years with eachothers families, so it was nice to have BG’s first Christmas with my family last year, but she was much more fun and interactive this year. Plus, there are lots of babies in my family this year, and I would have like to have seen everyone (plus, selfishly, I like the cooking in my family better…). Oh well, next year we will be here, and hopefully I won’t be so stressed out, as I will (hopefully) have a better handle on balancing work and life. Or at least know what to expect, and prepare myself by scaling back.

On our drive to our moutain destination, I discovered that an unwelcome guest was making an appearance for Christmas. We stopped for a break and some snacks, when I went to the bathroom to discover Aunt Flo had made her triumphant return. At first I brushed it off as I have had some random spotting over the past few months but in previous that’s all it has been, a very small amount of spotting, for one day and then gone. So at first I thought that’s what it was but after another visit to the bathroom later that day, I found that was not to be the case. It wasn’t full force, but more like a slow leak. I had no supplies with me, but luckily enough it was light enough I managed with wadded up toilet paper for the few days.

It still hasn’t picked up in flow much, but is consistently there. I have an IUD in, that I got around 8 weeks after BG was born, but I just finished breast feeding a little under two months ago (which was a whole other thing, and sad for me, but BG was ready). So, my hopes that the IUD was going to hold AF off indefinitely have been dashed. If it keeps up with this light flow, that is better than average but I feel like junk. Crampy and so sick to my stomach yesterday. I am hoping since this is the first time I’ve had my period in OVER 2 YEARS (so awesome!) that this one is just extra nasty.

With the return of AF, it immediately kicked my brain into TTC, fertility, future children, and a whole lot of emotions from my past experiences. Through years of trying to conceive, blood was usually bad (unless I was waiting for it to start an IVF cycle). I have such a negative stigma with my period (not that it’s such a nice thing in the first place). But it makes my mind jump to counting cycle days, who do I need to call, when do I need to start doing/taking XYZ. That’s where I was the last time I got my period. Heading into our FET, which nearly ended up cancelled due to cysts, which had to be drained, which were raising my estrogen. It was the 7th circle of hell. So it is hard to disassociate that.

Before now, I was just sort of burying my head in the sand about any future fertility type dealings I may have. Trying (not so successfully) to avoid thinking about whether or not we want to try for another baby. But now I feel like it’s being shoved in my face. Not that I have to make a decision just because AF has returned, but it gets me in that train of thought. We still don’t know what we want to do, but at the same time if we were going to have another we prefer some space between them anyways, so there still isn’t really that much pressure to decide right away. But until we decide, the thought is always there.

So here’s to hoping that she buggers off soon, and her follow up visits are mild. But there is no deny that my body is starting to go back to “normal”, which I suppose is good, but creates questions that I don’t have answers for.

I hope everyones’ Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday Season was good, and not too much stress or family drama!

#Microblog Mondays: Blink

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Time goes by in the blink of an eye. With infertility, time crawls in the moment but looking back time passes so quickly and you can’t believe how much has gone by.

Blink. An hour gone. Blink. A day gone. Blink, a week, a month, a year.

Blink. Two of my birthday passed by since we started trying to conceive. Three of J’s.

Blink. Multiple family gatherings, the birth of other people’s children, the death of loved ones.

Blink. 28 cycles, and 28 failures. 3 IUIs, one round of IVF, 0 transfers. 0 pregnancies.

Blink. 2 and a half years of my life gone in the blink of an eye. And what do I have to show for all my efforts besides a depleted bank account, and a weary soul?

The only thing keeping me moving forward is the hope that the next time I blink, when I open my eyes I’ll have another set looking back at me. The eyes of J and I, intertwined. And I’ll never want to close my eyes again.

Bend and Not Break

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The past few weeks have been very difficult, and that’s saying a lot given what we’ve been through this year (and the past two years). We’ve been trying to find a renter for our condo since we just bought a new one. The thought of carrying two mortgages is a terrifying prospect and it’s been making J and I miserable. We have been stressed out about the money, that maybe we made a bad decision in doing this, all manner of negative thoughts. We initially thought “oh, this’ll be easy, we live in a desirable area, vacancy rates are at an all time low, and our place is beautiful.” Well yes, all of those things are true but trying to rent this time of year is statistically the worst. Maybe we were just being impatient but we started to panic a little. We dropped the rent once…and then again. It’s been pure torture. But this past weekend we finally found someone, they seem like an awesome couple. Although we are getting a bit less rent than we hoped, they only wanted a 6 month lease and then month to month after that so it gives us the opportunity to re-rent our place in the peak time of summer, or fall when university goes back (we live a few blocks from our city’s uni). I was so ecstatic after we signed the lease and got cheques from her. One less thing to worry about just before we leave for Las Vegas.

Last week we were still interviewing prospective tenants, ordering flooring for our new place, trying to find a painter that could start ASAP plus J and I have both been rather busy with work. We have so much going on and with the stress of this rental, and our FET cycle not cooperating, some days I’ve felt as though I am at my wit’s end, and can’t take anymore. But I always wonder, what would that actually look like? Would I cry, scream, go catatonic? I could do any one of those things, momentarily, but then I would pull myself together and go about my regular business. It would be a release but not a total mental breakdown. Some days I just don’t want to get out of bed, but I do, because I have obligations. No matter how sad, frustrated, depressed I have been I don’t completely fall apart*.

It’s a bit scary to wonder what it would take to truly hit that breaking point, and what that would look like. I truly hope I never find out, but what I have found is the depth of my strength is deeper than I could have imagined.

I’ve had to draw on that strength as we found out yesterday that our cycle is officially cancelled. My lining had thinned very minimally since my ultrasound last week, my cyst had doubled in size to 25mm, and my estrogen levels were way too high. Ultimately I wasn’t responding properly to my suprefact, and not being down reg-ed sufficiently. I stopped all meds yesterday, and am to call the clinic upon the start of my next CD1. They will be monitoring me more closely, and possibly changing up my protocol to make sure the same doesn’t happen again. They will check me on CD3 to see that the cyst has resolved itself (if not, it will have to be surgically removed, and that’s a whole other ball of wax), make sure my lining is thinned and I also have to redo my SHG as it will be more than 6 months from my last one.

There is a plan moving forward, which is all good and well except for a few small items. Based on my tentative upcoming cycle dates I would be looking at a transfer right around Christmas (if everything goes smoothly). This is not a total disaster as the clinic has skeleton staff for just such circumstances. The bigger issue is we are supposed to be in the mountains with J’s family for Christmas (about 4 hrs drive from where we live). If we had to cancel, we would have to tell them why. Which would mean we would also have to tell my mom as we would then be attending Christmas with my family instead. I know this doesn’t seem like the be-all and end-all, but I don’t want to tell them, and if we were to tell them I would want it to be on my terms, not because we have to break plans. But obviously if it comes down to it, I will do what I have to.

The bigger problem comes if my cycles are long, as they have been recently. This could then potentially push our transfer into the beginning of January. We leave for Hawaii on Jan. 1 and don’t come back until Jan. 13, effectively ruining any transfer cycle that falls in that time. As was the case of our Vegas trip, I could try and shift the Hawaii trip around to fit the FET schedule, but again we will not give up even more to infertility, besides time I suppose. So there is a possibility that we may not be able to start the transfer process until after we are back, putting a tentative transfer in late February or early March. I didn’t think I would see my next birthday (in Feb.) before even having attempted a transfer. It would mark 1 year since our last failed IUI. We’re so close, yet so far at this point.

I’m disappointed and sad, but for some reason I don’t feel as devastated as I thought I would and I don’t really know why. It’s pretty awful, and upsetting but I just haven’t really reacted all that much. I guess I am taking the unexpected hits from infertility better now… I am sort of just waiting for the other shoe to drop and have a breakdown or something, like I did when I thought my IVF cycle was cancelled. I guess because I know it’s not a failure, it’s just a delay. A really shitty delay, but it’s not costing me any embryos. Knowing that I have them gives me some semblance of peace I think. Maybe I’m just more malleable now, less rigid and expecting things to go just as planned. I have to be able to bend and not break.

*I know this is not always the case for everyone, especially those who suffer with depression due to chemical imbalances, not situational depression which I experience.

What Will the Future Bring?

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Last week J broke down and told me he thinks he is depressed. I can’t say I was too surprised, he’s not been himself recently. Since we had that talk, he’s seemed to be doing a bit better. I think for him just saying it out loud to me and having my support and understanding has been a good step. I would be willing to admit that I would probably be categorized as depressed as well. I grew up with a first hand view of depression in my home, I know what it looks like and I have been especially vigilant in monitoring myself, for fear that the hereditary link will eventually take me into that dark place. At the moment, I can see what’s happening to myself, and most of the time I can manage, deal with the darkest times, and realize what I am feeling is situational.

I have sought counselling when I felt I didn’t have the right tools to help myself, and I have urged J to do the same. Not only has infertility affected both of us, but he is also dissatisfied at work. I have had this feeling too, but I think mine stems more from the underlying depression and general melancholy. I think his feelings may be exacerbated by our struggles, but he truly is unhappy in his work. It is a desperate seeming situation for him. But he recognizes it, and agrees that a therapist would be beneficial.

In that same vein, he is considering a new position with his company, it would be longer hours, and more stress to begin with but it is a huge opportunity for him, and really is the next step in his career. I fully believe that he can take on the role, but I fear the timing is not ideal. We had a discussion about it, and how we have so much on our plate already, this new position would probably make life more difficult for us for a while. Once again I find myself being pissed that IF is forcing us to think very carefully about an opportunity that would normally be a no-brainer. In the end I told him I fully support whatever decision he makes, but that it is just going to mean more effort at work, as well as on the home front, if he decides to pursue it.

If he were to take the position, and if I get pregnant on our first transfer, it would create a perfect little two-ish year plan, but I have no hope that the universe will let me have even that. My plans have already been derailed too many times.

I just finished a book called What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. It deals with a woman who loses ten years of her memory, so while she is actually 39 years old, in her mind she is living everything as her 29-year-old self. She is surprised at the direction her life has taken in the 10 years she can’t recall. I know the feeling, and I still have all of my memories. Another reason I loved this book is there is a strong side story of infertility, and it is spot on. I would highly recommend it, but be forewarned, it brought up a lot of tough emotions.

I also watched the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love this weekend and while it was a little cheesy it touched on a marriage falling apart because life got in the way. Right now, although we are in the midst of turmoil, I feel extremely close to J. But I have real fears that as time goes on, we may grow complacent and  take each other for granted, or become resentful of one another as so many couples do, out of the doldrums of life, and the petty annoyances that accumulate over the years. I am cognisent of the work that is required in a marriage and try to be ever vigilant to resolve problems and nurture our relationship, but I am afraid apathy may be like a slow creeping poison that we may not realize until it’s too late.

I don’t want to invite more stress and drama into our lives, but I hope being aware of what we are taking on and still making a concerted effort in our relationship and with our self-care will keep us on a good path.

On an actual IVF note, CD1 should be tomorrow. I’ve been feeling nasty and crampy yesterday and today. Once AF arrives I’ll call the clinic to start the process for the FET though nothing happens until CD21 when I start suprefact nasal spray. At this point I really need my period to show ASAP, because based on the tentative timeline it is going to put the transfer date exceedingly close to the day we leave for Las Vegas for a friends wedding. Just one more thing to stress about.

Melancholy, Friendship and the Avoidance Tactic

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Lately, I’ve been stuck in a fog of my own thoughts, unable to gather enough motivation to do more than the basic necessities. When I am feeling this way, having a sense of ennui (<— that is my favourite word as of late), I tend to avoid. I have emails to return, phone calls to make, errands to run, a house to keep, and I just don’t feel like it.

Besides these minor things, I have larger avoidance issues, like with work. I am generally very prompt in my work life; in showing up for work, getting back to people, other such follow-up. Lately, I have been screeching in the door mere minutes before I am to start work, I delay returning emails, and calling clients, for no discernible reason. My work is getting done, but at a slower pace than I am known for, and for no good reason.

Another pretty significant avoidance that I finally tackled came in the form of having a discussion with my best friend. She recently had her second child, and her first was born when I was in the early days of TTC. Her children are living reminders of our ongoing failure to produce offspring. And I won’t lie, that hurts. It hurts my self-confidence, but mostly it has hurt our friendship. I used to always discuss with her what was going on with our conception efforts, when we were still trying au natural, and after we were labelled “officially infertile” and sent off to Ye Olde Fertility clinic. Right around the time of our last IUI that stopped. She found out she was pregnant with her newest addition sometime between my first and second IUIs. It put us in an awkward position, but I tried to push past it. As her belly became more prominent, I withdrew from her.

After our final IUI, I told her it didn’t work, and that we had an appointment in April at the fertility clinic to discuss next steps. After that, not a word was uttered. It was like there was a silent agreement between us not to discuss it. She didn’t ask, and I didn’t offer. We saw each other very few times in her second trimester, and not at all in the third. I made the obligatory visit (that sounds terrible, considering she’s my dear friend) when the baby was born, and it was very awkward. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. I brought hubby along to try to defuse the situation but it probably only made it weirder, not to mention then both of us felt shitty after we left.

Even in times when my friend and I haven’t seen each other often, we generally keep in touch, with a text here and there, or through Facebook. Even that had started to wane. Finally a couple of weeks ago, she reached out, and we made tentative plans to get together. Those plans fell through because I procrastinated getting in touch with her until it was too late. I sent her a text a couple of days after, apologizing for missing our date, and earnestly offered to try for another day. We settled on a time and a place, and rescheduled our date. 

I should also mention, that her older son turned 2 earlier in August (actually the day after our missed meet up) and I didn’t remember the date. I knew his birthday was in early August, but by the time I looked up the date, it had already passed. I apologized and sent him belated birthday wishes, but I know she was hurt. Although, apparently I was not the only friend who didn’t remember (not a good excuse though).

We met up on a Sunday afternoon at my place and walked to a nearby restaurant that we used to frequent together, for margaritas and nachos. Our conversation was superficial and stunted, as I asked about life with two littles, and she asked about my life (with not a whole lot going on). We both knew we were side stepping the issue at hand, and I had every intention of discussing it, but she beat me to the point, and asked what was going on. She knew we had had our appointment in April, and she hadn’t heard anything from me about it. I let out a sigh, and an apology for not keeping her posted (not that I owe her that, but I knew she would be wondering).

I dove right in, and told her basically we were half way through IVF. I knew she had no concept of how IVF really worked, so I gave her the quickest run down of what transpired without bogging her down with too much information. I know she doesn’t understand the emotional toll of it all, and she seemed hopeful for me when I told her we had 5 embryos on ice. I told her more than once that it doesn’t always work on the first try, or at all, but I think she wanted to be the positive angel on my shoulder. Obviously if someone is telling you they are about to do something that may not work, you’re not going to agree and tell them it’s a shit idea. So, I can understand her somewhat misguided reassurances.

I told her I was sorry for being a bad friend, but that it was really difficult when she was pregnant, and that she has what I have been struggling for. She sort of just let that part slide, we didn’t really get into it. I know there’s nothing she can do about it, and it’s probably hard for her that I feel that way. Despite my avoiding her, it is harder and harder for her and I to find time to see each other, and when we do it’s just not the same. We live such different lives, and sometimes it’s hard to find common ground anymore. Why do I need to be part of the mommy club just to relate to my best friend?

But in the end, I know I need to make a better effort. Just because we’re in very different stages in our lives, doesn’t mean we have to cease being friends. As I was telling J how I feel like I don’t relate to her anymore, he told me I can’t expect to live a mirror of her life. I was gobsmacked by his wise words, he’s not really the type to bestow sage words of wisdom (love the guy, but just not his style usually). And then I felt shame, because of course he’s right. I have friends of all different types, and stages of life. They are my friends because I like them as people, not because they are a reflection of my life.

This past weekend I had a short burst of motivation, enough to clean the house thoroughly (partly motivation, partly due to the fact that we had company for dinner yesterday). Today I had a day off, with no pressing errands to deal with, but I didn’t want to spend the day inside laying on the couch. I made myself go out, got some sushi for lunch (because I can, little win for the infertile girl!), walked to my favourite tea shop and pick up some of the new seasonal teas, and got some banking done. When I came home I finally made some mint ice cream custard (to be churned tomorrow) that I have been procrastinating for weeks (and J has been reminding me of, he really wants some), then since I was on a roll, I made some chocolate protein balls, and some homemade peanut butter (all you do is put peanuts in a food processor and let them go, can you believe it’s that easy?).

I have to take advantage of my momentary burst of energy when they come. I am working on pushing through the fog, taking care of my life, surviving until I can start focusing on what I need to do for the transfer, but it’s hard. The littlest things get put of and put of, and everything just seems like too much effort. How do you survive periods of limbo without sleepwalking through life?

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.