Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. – Robert Tew
WOW! Thank you for the outpouring of love, support, kind words, and prayers shared with us in the last couple of days. Keep it up because you sure are making me feel wonderfully overwhelmed with happiness and positivity! I truly believe that this journey will be filled with a tremendous amount of hope and encouragement thanks to each and every one of you!!!
We formally began the IVF path with our first official appointment this past Friday at 8am, for a Baseline Ultrasound and Blood work. This ultrasound is to be sure everything looks normal and to count my ovarian follicles, and the blood work is to measure two hormone levels – E2 (Estradiol) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) – so our doctor will have baseline to measure off of going forward. These levels will be helpful in determining the dosage amounts for the many medications and injections that lie ahead. Oh joy!
My mind was a mess during the quiet, traffic-y drive to our fertility clinic in La Jolla, Chris and I drove separately from home as we would then go off to our workdays. Although we were told the appointment would last just a matter of minutes, Chris was joining to be the rock and support that he has been and will surely continue to be throughout our lives, but especially during this time.
Because of the past being filled with negative news delivered too many times, frankly, I expected it again on this particular day. Chris understood my always present fears, yet he remained his usual positive self. Concerns – Would my follicle count being lower than what it was in February or would our doctor find a cyst that would require additional treatment? I wanted so badly to be positive, but I also wanted to be realistic and prepared for a potential let down. I was so extremely anxious, and believe I somewhat blacked out, as most of the appointment is quite a blur. I am well aware that this was just my first appointment of many, and I need to do my best to follow our motto up top. I am working on it…trust me!
We were the first appointment of the morning, and were called back immediately. I got myself situated, and in walks our doctor, chipper as can be. She greeted us with total excitement and said, “Yeahhh! I am so excited we’re getting started! I bet these last few months have felt like forever.” In some ways time has dragged, and in other ways it has flown by. The ultrasound began, she rattled off some numbers to the nurse, and no exaggeration, maybe 30 seconds later it was complete. “Seven on the right, five on the left,” is what I believed I heard?! I confirmed with Dr. F, and sure enough, there were 12 follicles! That is more than the 11 present in February. We knew this count can fluctuate, but did not anticipate it going up, even if just by one. We were pleasantly surprised!
Info: Each follicle contains 1 egg. Counting the number of small follicles is a way to estimate ovarian reserve, which declines naturally with aging. The number of visible follicles reflects the larger number of non- visible eggs. A normal count is about 5-10 antral follicles per ovary. (I will share more about my diagnosis in the future.)
As for the blood work, the results don’t necessarily mean much, as it is just a level to go off of from here on. Random side story – prior to my miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, I had blood drawn one time in my life, and it was just before moving to San Diego. I wanted to leave home with a clean bill of health. It was awful. I nearly fainted, became drenched in sweat, stumbled to the car where I had to blast the AC (February in STL) on me while attempting to drive. I got home, my mom made me lay down right away as my face and lips had no color. Well with the situations in the last 10 months, Friday’s draw was number 18! You would think I would be a pro by now, but nope, I still act like a rookie each and every time. It doesn’t hurt, and I will be fine. I know this. I just don’t deal well. Not looking, fiddling on my phone, talking, etc…NOTHING helps. I now ask to lie down, as a precautionary measure, thanks to a gal that messed up a couple months back. Well go figure, the same situation happened this past Friday. I am seriously lightheaded typing right now. Yes, I know I am dramatic, but this is real. Advice welcomed!
Next up – Wednesday 9am – Sonohysterogram and Trial transfer with Dr. F. I am told this little procedure is pretty quick and painless. I take ibuprofen before, and an antibiotic after. We hope and pray no abnormalities are discovered that would cause a diversion in our path.
All in all, our doctor’s positive being, paired with the ultrasound results, made Friday great! For the first time since this journey began, I was excited to call my parents reporting back with sincere optimism. Getting this first appointment under our belts feels huge. Our plan is in place. Our minds are set. Suddenly, I have this fight attitude in me. I am determined. We are determined. I will feel many different emotions – God bless Chris – through this journey, but this is the present. I am trying my best to stay in the present. Tomorrow may be entirely different.
Happy June! Have a great week friends! We thank you for the LOVE!