CD 29: Transvaginal Ultrasound and blood work. Nothing growing.
We literally had one more day until our cancel date and I was praying like never before. The amount of time and emotional (agony!) we have invested in this cycle by this point is time is incredible. And perhaps weighing even heavier was the amount of money we had now put out in medications. By this point in time, I was on literally hundreds of dollars of medications each day. I can’t recall exactly, however it was definitely over the $300 range. Every. Single. Day.
To cancel now felt like we literally just threw money out the window. One day left. Please work!
CD 30: Transvaginal Ultrasound and blood work.
I walked into the clinical room and waited for the RE to come in. We looked at the results of my ultrasound. There was no growth at all. I broke down and started to cry… it was over. We had put everything we had into this cycle and it was over. The RE basically said that same thing our doc had said a couple days earlier regarding cancelling now. My body was exhausted from the medications and stress. This was going to be the best course of action.
The only glimmer of hope was that Dan and I had talked about IVF and everything that entailed. We weren’t sure of our answers to the many ethical questions surrounding IVF, but we were sure that we felt comfortable going ahead and starting the next round going that direction. We wanted to talk a little bit more with our RE to better understand everything, but IVF was a great option for us. Not to mention, the success rates were much higher.
I left the clinic feeling extremely defeated. I knew we had given it everything, and there was nothing left to do. I think that is the absolute hardest thing… not having any control. I’m a type-A personality that likes to be control of everything. This was something, that no matter how much I tried… there was nothing I could do.
I started to head to work that day, but by half way, I was crying too hard to go in. I just couldn’t pull myself together. I ended up pulling off the highway and sitting by the side of the road crying. After some time, and talking to Dan, I was able to pull myself together and focus on what was next. The clinic said that my body needed a good break from the medications, so Dan and I would need to make the most out of the next couple weeks- I was hormone free!
I pulled into work and went to my office. By now, most of my colleagues knew the basics of what was going on. The good thing is that most of them have medical backgrounds so had an understanding of the process. I think it was general knowledge not to ask me how things were… if was face was red and blotchy, it would probably be a safe bet to just say hi and steer clear. That day I was obviously more upset. I had several people come give me a hug with some words of encouragement. I put on a big of a smile as I could fake and closed my office door and tried to surround myself with enough work to keep busy. I had accepted that it was over, and was looking forward to relaxing for a couple of weeks. Trust me. We needed it.
Just after 1pm my cell phone started to ring. It was our clinic. I took a deep breath and answered. It was the nurse that I was with this morning.
“Adele, you actually aren’t going to believe this… we just got your blood work back and your estrogen has climbed significantly. We think that it’s finally working.”
I felt like yelling into the phone ,“Are you F*ing kidding me???”. Instead I just asked a bunch of questions. When your estrogen increases into certain levels, it normally means that a follicle is developing. Did this mean my cycle was back on?
She basically said for me to take my meds tonight and come back into the clinic tomorrow. In 2 days, we should be able to see some growth in a follicle. If it had grown, then we’re back on. If it hadn’t, then we’d cancel. Greaaaat…. I think.
I hopped back in the car and made the 30 minute drive back to the clinic. I had no more medicine so needed to buy enough for another 2 days (there’s a pharmacy in the clinic- most stores don’t carry fertility medication).
I honestly didn’t know how to feel. I felt like I had just calmed down and had begun to move on from this cycle, but now was pulled back in. In some ways, I wanted it just not to work so we could have a break. But, if it worked, then I could be pregnant. And that was the overall goal, correct? I decided to stop over thinking and just get through another day.
CD 31: Transvaginal ultrasound and blood work.
I walk into the clinical room and the RE greets me with a smile. It wasn’t the ‘I pity you’ type of smile, it was the good news type of smile. She showed me the results… I had 8 follicles that had grown over 10mm since yesterday. EIGHT? She was concerned about the number as the most the clinic will allow for an IUI round is 2, but none of them had grown over 14, so we were hoping that most of them would calm down and one (maybe two) would surge and grow extra big. She sent me home and said she’d call depending on my blood work.
I was all smiles again- could this actually be happening? The cycle was back on and it looked like it was going to be a go. All the money, time, and tears were worth it! We were getting pregnant!
CD 32: Transvaginal Ultrasound and blood work
I brought Dan along for this appointment. He has able to get the time off of work and knew this appointment would be a big one. We had to pray that one or two follicles surged in growth, but left the others in the dust. If we had too many, the clinic would simply cancel me for the opposite reason- too many follicles.
The ultrasound was incredible painful and I could barely walk due to the pain in my abdomen. My head was killing and my belly was one giant bruise from the meds. I was an emotional nightmare. I was feeling nauseas and was doing all I could to keep it together. Focus- the end goal!
We got the news from our doc who was on that day. I now had 19 follicles. And they had grown… a lot. I had 19 follicles between the sizes of 13-17 mm. Crap. I think this means it’s bad news.
The doc then threw us for a loop, he suggested that we immediately switch to IVF… as in, now. That was really the only option- either switch to IVF or cancel immediately. The clinic could not proceed with this many large follicles, however, there was a chance of moving forward and having a successful egg retrieval with the follicles we have.
Thank God Daniel was there. We asked for a couple minutes to chat. We hadn’t really figured all of the answers, but if this was the only way to keep going, maybe this was good news? Maybe this was meant to be? My body apparently hated IUI, but perhaps IVF was our solution?
We called the doctor in and went over the consent forms. We agreed to IVF however we also had to agree on what to do with left over embryos. The doc explained that he would put two embryos back in my uterus if the egg retrieval and fertilization were successful. So what did we want to do with the rest (if there were more)?
We decided to freeze the remaining embryos. We agreed that if something happened to us, that we would donate the embryos to medical research. The idea of someone walking around with our biological child wasn’t something we were ready for. We also decided that if one of us died, we gave the other the ability to make the decisions with what was left- including using them after death if that is what we wanted.
I’m sure that a zillion people have a zillion reasons why the decisions we made were wrong. But for us, this is what we decided we were comfortable with. The idea of life and the question of when did it start was still something I was internally struggling with, however, I knew in my heart that we were ready to start IVF.
Onwards and upwards.