Let me begin by apologizing for any confusion my last blog post caused. And Then There Were Three was referring to our third healthy, frozen embryo. After I shared the news with a dear friend, she wrote back, And then there were three! That stuck with me and without much thinking became the blog title. My bad, as apparently some thought we were pregnant. Most following our journey would know we are still months away from the pregnancy stage of the game, but I appreciate the excitement!
Tuesday morning was the all-important baseline ultrasound and blood work to determine if I could begin stimulation meds for our second cycle. I drove THREE minutes to our new clinic, so fabulous. Chris arrived shortly after. We were called back. I changed. We were ready! When Dr. F came in the room, we all shared excitement about the 3rd embryo coming back as normal. Then it was time for business. I pressed record on my phone and held my breath waiting to hear how things looked.
I was nervous, but not the freak out kind of nervous feeling I had during the first cycle. I think there is a sense of calmness since we have just gone through this whole process and know what to expect, or at least we think we do! Knowing we have the three healthy, frozen embryos is encouraging as well.
I started bleeding just before the appointment, which would be expected considering I stopped the birth control on Saturday. My body was thinking it was time for a period.
As always, Dr. F started with the right ovary. Chris and I both noticed a big black blob on the screen, and quickly recognized, this is NOT what we normally see. It looked like a HUGE, dominant follicle. Chris asked if it was weird or wrong, and Dr. F was looking closely, and then assured us it was fluid, OUTSIDE of the ovary. Minor freak out. She said it can happen and was not concerned about it. I asked what would cause this, and she said a cyst could have ruptured, but there were no cysts currently. This would line up with the pain I was feeling on my lower right side.
She carried on – The right looked about the same as the last ultrasound a few weeks ago with 5 follicles. The left also looked the same with about 5. She said…there are no cysts, no funny business, no follicle jumping out ahead. Everything was small and similar in size…which as we know is REALLY important!
After I inquired more about the fluid, she went back to the right ovary and said she actually was seeing 6 follicles.
11 total is a great place to start! Last time at this particular baseline appointment, we saw Dr. Garzo, as Dr. F was out of town. Only 6 follicles were seen on US at that time. Dr. F said she has younger eyes 😉 To begin with 11 makes me cautiously hopeful for this cycle! There could potentially be some follicles in hiding as well. I hope my body can do the same, if not better, this cycle!
After the US, she said, “So one thing I wanted to talk to you about…”
Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph…
She completes the sentence, Do we want to add a little more medication? We don’t have to because what we did last time worked well. I don’t want to get greedy, but do we add a bit of Follistim this cycle?”
Chris and I agreed, if there is no negative to adding it, then let’s go for it. She shared the only negative is cost. We have put cost out the window from day one in this process.
The philosophy at our old clinic, RPMG, is minimal/low stimulation for women with low egg supply. Typically someone in my shoes would not respond well to medication. Rather than overstimulating, the idea is to do minimal stimulation, and take advantage of the few follicles that might be present. Although my egg supply is lower for someone my age, I have a good amount of follicles despite the circumstances, and we know they will respond. So why not push the ovaries just a bit more. Greedy possibly, but worth it. The more the merrier for the most part 🙂
I didn’t end up receiving a call from Dr. F Tuesday evening, and no news meant good news for progesterone and estrogen levels. She told us the blood test is a double check to see if there is a rise in estrogen and to be sure hormones are where they should be. Based on what she was seeing on US, she didn’t believe blood work would come back any different. So we were set proceed.
CYCLE #2 OFFICIALLY BEGAN WEDNESDAY!
I was weirdly excited and super ready to begin meds! The pure fear with cycle 1 is not present, at least not yet. I think it was fear of the unknown. How would I respond? How would the meds make me feel? Would I be in pain? What should I expect? I don’t have those questions this time. My stress level feels tremendously lower, and my heart and mind feel more at peace.
My mornings start with 2 Dexamethasone (steroid) pills, and our evenings bring Menopur and Follistim injections. The Menopur burns for a moment, but both are pretty painless. Chris mixes everything and does all of my injections. I have yet to do one! I feel so lucky to have such an amazingly supportive husband in this journey.
I will continue this regimen, and come Monday, a morning injection will get added. Then a few days later, another evening injection. Next week will likely consist of daily appointments to closely monitor the follicle growth. Retrieval is tentatively set between November 8th and 11th. For a few reasons, I am REALLY hoping for Sunday the 8th, but it is not the end of the world if my body takes a couple more days this time.
I SO enjoy and appreciate all of the nurses and staff at SDFC. Everyone has been so pleasant, and it has been as smooth a transition as possible. Dr. F is able to spend time more time with us too. She always makes us feel so special and important. If she only knew how much I gushed about her, she would be overly embarrassed! Maybe one day I will share jaunts&journeys with her 🙂
Currently as I am typing, the little pain on the lower right is back and really annoying. GO AWAY! It makes me think and wonder all sorts of craziness.
On a somber and sentimental note…April 1, 2015 was the approximate due date with my miscarriage in August 2014. As many of you know our second pregnancy in March of this year turned into a horrendous ectopic pregnancy. The above factors have put us where we are today. The reason I am sharing is November 1, 2015 was our due date. This is also the birthday of someone VERY close and extremely special to my family and me. Our Uncle Bob left us too soon…on April 19 (my birthday) this year. Oddly ironic and quite coincidental our due date was on his birthday, and he passed on my birthday. We all miss this man more than words, but have no doubt he is having one heck of a time where he is! I think of him always, and hear his laugh nonstop. Our love to the Fournie family…
This portion of our roller coaster ride has started back up. We hope my follicles are responding to the medications and growing together. As Dr. Garzo said, synchrony is the most important factor. Thank you to all those who have reached out, continued praying, and shared kind words and thoughtful messages. We appreciate you more than you know! Have a wonderful Halloween, Daylight Savings Weekend! 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