Turning nothing into an update-worthy event

May 29, 2008 at 10:48 am (Uncategorized)

So on Friday I had a 13ish mm follicle. And on Tuesday I had a 15ish mm follicle. And on Tuesday, the nurse said, “Trigger on Thursday.”

And I just felt nervous about this. Because in four days, the follicle had only grown about 2 mm, but it would have to grow 3 mm in the next two days in order for the trigger timing to be right.

So I called the nurse yesterday (actually a different nurse than the ultrasound nurse who told me to trigger on Thursday, because that nurse wasn’t in yesterday), and this nurse said she felt very confident that Thursday was the right day (once they hit 14 or 15 mm they grow faster), but if I wanted to be confident, and they understand that I do, I should just come in for another ultrasound Thursday before triggering. I wanted her to say, “No, you have absolutely no reason to worry, Thursday is the right day, don’t bother coming in.” I did not want her to even suggest that I should or could come in for an ultrasound. And the fact is, she was right to suggest it, of course, because a patient should do whatever she feels she needs to in order to feel comfortable (within the realm of reasonableness, of course).

So I went in for an ultrasound this morning before triggering. My husband encouraged me to do it–“It’s completely worth the money,” he said. And I just really needed to see that 18 mm follicle. I just desperately needed to drop another $165.

And see, the thing is, as I explained to the nurse, they’ve done this a million times so they feel comfortable with how it works. But for me, it really is like magic. Setting aside the completely insane voodoo that is fertilization, implantation, etc., I’m still contending with the idea that one day the follicle is 15 mm, and I’m just supposed to TRUST that in two days it will be 18 mm and that when I take the trigger I will ovulate? Sometimes I cannot believe that our bodies don’t, like, break into some kind of crazy cold sweat when we ovulate, or a debilitating case of hives, SOMETHING, just so we know we’re ovulating. I *suppose* it’s a good thing we don’t, but it really does seem inconceivable to me that I’m just supposed to believe that it all works how it’s supposed to. So I figured that if I paid for this ultrasound now, I’d feel better throughout the 2ww AND during all my future cycles (and oh, I am banking on hundreds!!) and be able to trust that it actually works how they say it works.

So yeah, I told all this to the ultrasound nurse, and she was very understanding.

And I saw an 18 or 19 mm follicle. And I felt much better. And I triggered at the doctor’s office.

But I am extremely, extremely superstitious about this and I don’t want to analyze it like last time. I don’t even want people to know my test date. So I don’t know exactly how much interesting stuff I’ll be posting here for the next two weeks. That remains to be seen.

I hesitate to say this, actually because of my superstition, but it is really hard for me to believe this could actually work. Except that I TOTALLY believe it could and picture it all the time. But in other ways, getting pregnant really does seem like voodoo that will never actually work on me. Part of it is, as I was explaining to a friend yesterday, that I believe these kinds of things, the things you really want, only happen when you’re not totally focused on them. But because of this whole process, I will NEVER not be totally focused on it. Therefore, it is impossible for me to imagine going through all this, thinking about it constantly, and then having it actually work. I mean, it’s kind of like if you were sort of a shy, quiet, seemingly nobody kid in high school, and you were in love with the most popular boy in school, and you thought about him all the time, and then by some miracle, like in a million movies we’ve all seen, you find out that he actually likes you too. I mean, it’s not impossible, but it’s just not the sort of thing that happens that often in real life. Know what I mean?

So yeah. I am hopeful, I can’t help but be hopeful, but I wish I weren’t. Also, I wish I could just will this to happen.

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This morning.

May 27, 2008 at 3:19 pm (Uncategorized)

A 15 mm follicle. We will trigger on Thursday morning, do the whole routine, and test on Friday the 13th. But of course.

I wonder if it will work.

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Better.

May 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm (Uncategorized)

I dragged my husband with me to my ultrasound this morning, and apparently he is my lucky charm. One follicle (in my right ovary, surprisingly) was at about 12 mm or so, and the follicles generally had a darker (“brighter,” as the nurse put it), more solid look to them today. She said she wanted me to keep going with the stims and come back in on Tuesday. So, if I don’t get my period first, we might be able to salvage this cycle after all.

So I was really happy this morning. Honestly, even if I start to shed my lining, I still feel better knowing that we were eventually able to get one to start growing this time. It makes me feel more optimistic about cycles to come.

It’s amazing how the small victories can feel so big. There are still so many hurdles, it’s laughable. But I’ll enjoy this for now.

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Quick update.

May 21, 2008 at 11:13 am (Uncategorized)

I spoke to the doctor yesterday afternoon. Not much interesting to say–she basically said my ovaries are unpredictable and that we know we can get me to ovulate, we just don’t know when it will work and when it won’t, so it is truly a matter of patience. She initially said I could stop stims, go on some progesterone, get a period and start fresh. But then I asked her if she was certain this cycle had to be a bust, and she said no, and I could go a few more days if I wanted to see what happens by Friday. I just don’t feel like I’m ready to give up this cycle yet, so I shelled out another $300 yesterday for more meds to see if there’s any hope of salvaging the $1500 or so I’ve already spent on this cycle. (Not that I’m thinking about the money, of course). She said if I start to bleed, or if we don’t see anything happening by Friday, I should stop and we’ll start fresh after I have a period.

It is definitely disconcerting that I just haven’t responded at all this cycle. I am, of course, terrified that I will never respond again. It’s weird that it worked once and not this time. The doctor told me we’re like surfers waiting for a wave to come in–sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, and you’re not really sure when you can expect it. I do love it when doctors use childish metaphors to explain things to me. Actually, okay, there is something sort of comforting about it. Maybe she uses it because the ocean is calming.

So, a few more days of injecting powdered gold into my stomach, and then another disappointing trip to the ultrasound machine, and THEN I’ll sit around and hope I even get a stupid period (I am not known for them).

It’s not a good sign that I’m already intensely sick of this.

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May 20, 2008 at 9:02 am (Uncategorized)

Another ultrasound this morning. Nothing. The nurse is going to talk to the doctor and see if she thinks that we should just cancel the cycle, seeing as it’s been going on a long time with basically no response, and my lining might start to break down soon. I guess I’ll talk to the doctor today, and hopefully she’ll find something encouraging to say. Hopefully she won’t want to cancel the cycle.

I assume it goes without saying that I am pretty upset.

Please guys, no talk of getting second opinions or “why does your RE do it this way?” It’s not really going to make me feel better today. I trust her and I’d like to continue to trust her, and it makes me feel lonely when people start questioning her methods.

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What’s the least attention-grabbing post title possible?

May 19, 2008 at 10:34 am (Uncategorized)

I almost feel embarrassed writing this, but I went back on Saturday and still little activity. One follicle in my left ovary still appears to be the dominant one, but it’s also still only around 10 mm. I’m staying on the same dose (1 vial of Menopur and 1/2 vial of Bravelle per day), and going back in tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I find this all sort of surprising and strange, but I want to emphasize that though the slow thing is frustrating, I really do trust my doctor and nurse, especially since they’ve both explained why they want to take it so slow. It makes sense to me, it’s just not as much fun as when things move more quickly. The nurse even said to me, “The thing is, I could make you ovulate in 14 days, it’s just that there would be way too many eggs, and we don’t want that.” So, fine. I’ll just keep at it as they’ve said. Also, they have a ton of experience and have earned many accolades for this, so I feel good about them.

I have a question for you all. Do you ever bring your husband in to your follicle check ultrasound appointments? Mine has never seen it, and he said he would be willing to come in with me tomorrow for my extremely early-morning ultrasound (but I think he’s doing it to show me support, not because he’s dying to see it). I haven’t even asked the nurse if she would allow him to watch, but I assume it’s my choice. I thought it would be neat to have him see the whole thing and to show him what I have to go and do twice a week for this thing that we are trying to achieve. And also to have him understand how difficult it is (for me, at least) to interpret the fuzzy blobs on the screen, so when he tries to ask me a billion questions about the follicles, he’ll understand it’s hard to know the answer.

Any thoughts? Have you done this? Have you wanted to do this but not been allowed?

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I’m here I’m here I’m here.

May 14, 2008 at 10:13 am (Uncategorized)

Sorry, I know I owed an update yesterday but it was not a day that lent itself to posting, for various boring reasons. So here goes:

NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing. Can you fucking believe it?! I know!! Me either!

Perhaps more details are in order. Still “multiple small” follicles in both ovaries (the nurse didn’t even bother looking for the slightly larger one in my left ovary). She upped my dosage slightly by adding 1/2 a vial of Bravelle each day. I don’t think she gave me Bravelle over Menopur for any particular reason other than that was what she had lying around (so at least I made a breakthrough this cycle in getting freebies). The only difference between Bravelle and Menopur is that Menopur is FSH and LH and Bravelle is just FSH. I guess she figures that’s all I need right now. I go back in on Saturday to see what’s up.

Highly discouraged and completely confused, I spoke to the doctor later in the day. She said even though this seems weird, it’s not that weird. Each cycle is different. She emphasized how much she does NOT want to risk multiples with me (confirming that it is much more difficult for a 5-foot-tall person to carry twins than it is for a 6-foot-tall person), and she even said she might have wanted to keep me on just the 1/2 vial of Menopur even longer (note that I’ve already been on a full vial for awhile) because “there is a very fine line between what won’t quite be enough and what will produce too many follicles”, but she’s okay with upping me a little more at this point this time, per the nurse’s instructions. She was entirely unconcerned about the slow progress this time. I see her as being pretty satisfied about things as long as we don’t have too many large follicles. Hmph. That must be nice for her.

I asked her whether she thought it might make sense to do an IUI, if only to increase our chances a little. She explained that she did not think it would make that much of a difference because I probably had plenty of mucus (sorry for the TMI) due to all the hormones (incidentally, I think this is probably true but I’m not sure how she would know since she hasn’t seen me in months, and I only just happened to mention seeing egg-white cervical mucus to the nurse around ovulation in the last cycle) and that my husband’s semen analysis looks just fine. She also said that she feels that this is just going to be a test of endurance for me, so she feels it’s important to have this process impose on my life as little as possible. Therefore, she doesn’t want to ask me to come in for all sorts of extra little things that she doesn’t think are truly necessary. She says if it doesn’t work after several tries, maybe we’ll do an HSG and perhaps another semen analysis (his last one was about a year and a half ago). When I asked her how many tries it usually takes, she said, “Well, considering that we ask normal couples who are ovulating regularly to try for a YEAR before getting treatment from us, we expect that it can take awhile.”

Argh. Especially when my cycles are like two months long apiece.

Then she said, “How much are you weighing these days?” I said, “About 103 or 104 pounds.” (Remember, I am 5′ tall.) She said, “You probably don’t want to, and your clothes may not fit anymore, but it might speed this process along if you gained another five pounds.” Okay, please let me complain a little bit, and don’t hate me. Ugh. I have already gained like 7 pounds. On a little person, it makes a difference. I just bought a bunch of new clothes and everything is already fitting me tight. She talks about not wanting to impose on my life–I can’t think of anything that would impose more. It makes that much of a difference in how I feel about myself. I like to feel cute, and gaining 12 pounds just, for me, kind of precludes that. I should probably take this as an opportunity to get over my vanity, but I can’t help it–I like the way people treat me when I look (and feel) the way I do when I’m a little thinner. Or even the weight I’m at now. This is acceptable to me–not great, but doable. It just sucks to have to make this change that feels drastic. I know it’s totally worth it, but I also feel like it would be unpleasant to have to gain weight and then not get pregnant. But then, you’ve heard me say that before.

Okay, sorry for that extremely self-indulgent rant. I realize that by comparison to a lot of people I am very trim. But we all have a way we like to be and we all like to feel in control. So you know, this just affects that.

So anyway, by the time I’m triggering many of your 2wws will be over, probably. So there’s lots more excitement happening on other blogs these days. I will, as always, keep you posted.

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Fuck it.

May 9, 2008 at 11:13 am (Uncategorized)

You know what? I’m not done yet. I need to rant right now.

There are a number of reasons it’s so goddamn frustrating when this happens, when things aren’t moving along quickly enough. The least of those reasons is the fear that I won’t eventually be able to ovulate. Sure, it’s possible, but it seems unlikely given that we were able to do it once before. I don’t want to be cavalier about it, and I certainly don’t take it for granted, but it just seems like a pointless thing to worry about.

So instead, I’ve come up with some really awesome things to fret over.

First of all, I fucking hate how fucking fat I feel. Yes, I have gained weight in this process, and yes, it annoys the fuck out of me. It probably doesn’t look like that much weight to anyone else, but it feels like a shitload to me. Clothes don’t fit me the same, and I feel jiggly and not cute. It’s irritating. Especially because, as I’m sure every person reading this knows, if I were pregnant it might actually feel worth it. But the longer this process drags on without me being pregnant, the longer I have to feel uselessly fat. (Oh by the way, I think the reason I’ve gained weight is because I’m not supposed to exercise too strenuously–also I’ve just let myself go because this is a lot to deal with.) Same goes for the feeling of having other people looking at me and thinking I’ve gained weight. If I were pregnant, there would be an explanation. I mean, not that I’d tell every person who looked at me that I was pregnant, but you know, psychologically it would feel better. And it’s frustrating because I have certain events coming up that I’d really like to look my best for. Let’s just say one of them kind of revolves around me. So yeah, I want to look cute. I wish I didn’t care, but I do. It’s just annoying. Blech.

The other annoyance is, of course, the cost. My doctor’s office has not been so generous with the samples this round. And by not so generous, I mean I haven’t gotten a damn thing. Oh wait, that’s not true. I got eight crappy estrogen patches (not boxes, single patches). I shouldn’t complain, though–I’ve never had to buy those before and they’re probably like $175 per patch. And I know I shouldn’t complain about the office not giving me free stuff. It was extremely generous of them to give me the stuff in the first place, and they certainly don’t have to. But man, it just feels like the bloom is off the rose, you know? Like, they’re no longer looking at me as the sweet, rosy-faced young thing bouncing in with a fluffy uterine lining and a never-say-never disposition. Now I’m just another sad, pale, faceless infertile, yawning as I shuffle in at the crack of dawn to have someone shove a cold plastic probe inside me just so they can tell me that my tired ovaries still look like spotted dick.

See, that’s how they get you. They give you the stuff for free until you get hooked, and then they start charging you a pretty penny for it. Man, I’m going to be jealous when I see their next favorite. Or should I say unsuspecting victim?

Also, can I just say that right now it really doesn’t feel like this time is going to be the time? Not for any particular reason, just, why should it? I mean, why should it work this time? Oh, I’ll still get my hopes up during that two week wait, you can bet on it. But I still feel right now like, please. Give me a break. With a 20% chance each time, I’m not really sure how anyone gets pregnant.

I’m tired and I don’t want to be here (at work). I want to go home and sleep and eat and not exercise and watch America’s Next Top Model. It is an unbelievably cloudy, grey day, very uncharacteristic for around here, and I’m bummed that my friends have to come in on such a yucky weekend.

And to top it all off, I’m getting droopy eyelids. This completely disgusts me.

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At this rate, I’m going to get about 6 tries per year.

May 9, 2008 at 10:18 am (Uncategorized)

I had a day like this last cycle too. I had an ultrasound that was discouraging, and I cried on my way out of the office. And everything ended up okay (except I didn’t get pregnant).

Today my lining still looked good and thick, maybe even thicker than before, which the nurse seemed to think was a good thing. I appeared to have one follicle in my left ovary that was bigger than all the others, measuring about 11.2 mm. Aaannnd…that’s it.

I was a little bummed. My husband was not. While I wept on the phone to him (it’s not that it’s that bad, it’s just that sometimes you have to cry, you know?) he said this is exactly like it was last time, and he truly appreciates the fact that our office is going the slow route, because he agrees that twins would not be ideal. So this made me feel better. He also said not to worry about the money, which is all a girl ever really wants to hear, right? Ha.

So, I stay on one vial per day. I spent another $300 at the pharmacy this morning, yippee. And I get to drink with my friends this weekend after all.

Another ultrasound on Tuesday.

Thanks for the comments you guys. I meant everything I said.

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Wow.

May 8, 2008 at 8:23 pm (Uncategorized)

I never win stuff. So you can imagine how exciting it was when just now, without even knowing there was a contest (okay, it’s not really a contest, but let a girl dream), I found out that Mel has named this one of the blogs that Make Her Day! Holy crap. This made me feel so great.

(The truth is, Mel and Mel’s blog are both so important to me that when I saw what her post was about, I slowly scrolled down in trepidation, so nervous that my blog’s name wouldn’t be on there, and already coming up with rationalizations for not seeing it. And even more truthfully, I actually wouldn’t have been surprised not to be on there, since Mel is totally Ms. Popularity–she has tons of blog friends that I’m always jealous–in a good way!!–when I see all of the comments she gets. Anyway, it all felt a little bit like looking at the cast list for the high school play, thinking there might be a chance that, even though you’re just a sophomore, you could get a part with a couple of lines. And yes, I did drama, and yes, I was really cool for doing it.)

Mel, thanks so much. As you know, I feel really touched. And as you also know, this is my first tag ever, so, you know, it’s kind of a big deal. I can’t believe I could possibly mean as much to you as you do to me, but I’ll let myself believe it–at least for the rest of the day–and totally enjoy it.

And now I get to list my Make My Day blogs! Mel’s is at the top of my list, but here are the other blogs I really cannot go a day without:

An IVF Story
Playing the Waiting Game
Sully at Musings of a Barren-ess
Patti at Just One More
Angie at Infertility Revisited
Sara at Gas Passer aka UUer

Thanks so much, you guys, for keeping me posted on what’s going on with you and putting your thoughts out into the world about this ridiculous bullshit we all have to put up with. And for making me feel like I’m not alone, which is, as you know, an incredible feat, and which makes it a thousand times easier to get through the day. And for all the support, even when I’m a whiny bitch. Also, for totally sticking with me and reading all my boring, boring crap, even though I never post any pictures and still have this gloomy grey theme. (I know that’s not exactly a compliment to *your* blog, but it makes me like you guys even more.)

I was just about to do Mel’s “4 things” game, but I don’t have time right now, so I’ll try to do it soon.

Tomorrow: ultrasound + update.

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