Inevitably there bumps in the road on this journey, and today we encountered another one. Not our first, and surely not our last. As I expressed in my post late last night, I was out of control nervous for today’s appointment. Turns out, my mind and body were not playing tricks on me, as I hoped. The ultrasound began, and I knew by the puzzled look on Dr. F’s face that we were about to get news we didn’t want.
Based on what she was seeing, I was indeed getting ready to ovulate. Damn it. She saw an 18mm follicle (the one ovulating) and eight other tiny ones. (Umm, what the hell happened to the 12 we saw last month?) My body didn’t respond appropriately to the Estrace, which was to prevent ovulation from happening. We had a ton of questions. As we sat there, myself still not fully clothed, I was crushed, angry, frustrated. Complete kick to the gut. Why is this happening? How is this possible? I am doing every single thing recommended in this process and still. Ugghhhhh!
I am not shocked. I haven’t cried. I was prepared. I knew it was coming. I know my body. And today, I hate the fact that I continue to be one of those statistics. X happens in only X% of people. Well over the last year, I apparently LOVE being in that tiny little percentage.
Dr. F presented two options:
1. We could do an injection between 7p-8p tonight forcing me to ovulate quicker (36 hours) than my body would naturally on its own. I would then go back on Monday for another ultrasound to check on things. If at this point Dr. F felt it would be a good idea to move forward, we will start injections and stimulation medication that day. We would have our teaching appointment and blood work as well, since we did not do it today based on the outcome. We would have 8 follicles to work with. This option would push us back about 5 days, not terrible at all. Minimal (comparatively speaking) additional costs, some scheduling issues, etc. In the grand scheme of things, this is ok. It really would be ok. I need to keep telling myself that.
2. Let my body naturally ovulate. Call the office on day 1 of my period. Come in on day 3 for a baseline ultrasound. Call when I ovulate. Begin a potentially new protocol, and go from there. This would push us back at least a month and a half. Nope, don’t like this option, at all.
Overall this is definitely “not the end of the world” as our doctor put it, but also not ideal. We chose to go with our doctor’s recommendation of option 1. Our hearts and minds are ready to go, so we need to keep this IVF train moving. Come Monday at 9am Dr. F will make an honest decision if we should go forward with this cycle or wait. If she determines it best for us to wait, we will be forced on the option #2 path. My heart will be crushed. Again, not the end of the world, but I am so tired of this waiting game. With each month that passes, it feels as if we are still an eternity away from meeting baby Roth. Additionally with each month, time is going and going. Time is not my friend in this case. There is potential for my follicle count to be lower, egg quantity to continue dropping, etc.
To explain a bit of the egg / embryo process in detail – If we go forward Monday, I will have 8 follicles to stimulate with medication, hoping as many respond as possible. At egg retrieval, they will remove mature eggs. Those will then be fertilized that day to create embryos. The embryos will grow for 5 days to blastocyst. At that point they will be tested and then frozen. Being our desire for multiple children, combined with my low ovarian reserve, we are doing the back-to-back IVF cycles before an embryo transfer.
To be blunt, not all follicles will grow. Not all eggs will be mature. Not all eggs will fertilize. Not all embryos will make it to freeze. Not all embryos will be of good quality. So in this case, more is sometimes better. With more follicles, there are more eggs, likely more mature eggs, which lead to more potential embryos, and so on. Confused yet? I was. But, with the knowledge I now have, I feel as if I should have earned a doctorate.
In our appointment, Chris shared his concern about his insane, crazy, worrying, stressing, anxiety-loving wife. He shared with Dr. F that I replayed a million times the words “good” versus “great” that she used in our baseline appointment. He asked her if there was anything that could be done to calm myself. Acupuncture, support groups, and psychologists are the obvious. But today she looked me in the eye and said, “I am confident you are going to be pregnant. I am going to say it again, I am confident you are going to be pregnant.” I so, so needed that from her. She said those words in our initial consultation, but to hear them again felt really good.
With that said, we are hoping the best news possible on Monday. Thank you a million times over for the love and prayers. Xo
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