Viva La Vida

Today was my day 8 monitoring appointment after hearing that on day 2 there were no follicles. The plus side of this is that I wasn’t bleeding, but no I still can’t look the ultrasound tech in the eye. I’ve given up on that. Shes a really pretty, nice, woman. I just want to apologize to her that she’s seen my vagina more in the last 4 months than I have in my whole life.

It was stressful. I was given the blood-work, then the ultrasound, for some reason they can never find my right ovary, I’ve mentioned that before but I’m not kidding, at least once a month they can’t find it. It wanders off like my husband in the grocery store when he sees that there are 1 bazillion choices of soup. I keep shopping and he stays there staring. 10 minutes later I notice he’s not with me, and then I can never find him either.

During the ultrasound, the tech couldn’t find my right ovary. She called for the dr to come in, who also couldn’t find it. He told me to get dressed and from the lack of success I assumed this would be a throwaway cycle at best, and the beginning of the end at worst. I was at the desk waiting to check out my bloodwork came back, the Dr stopped me asked to do another ultrasound. Apparently my E2 was so high that there was no way there were not follicles in there. Without ever getting a clear look at my right ovary, the Dr  found 2 follicles, one that was 5mm and the other was 14.1mm so he wants me to monitor again on day 10. There was good news today but after the fear of this past week, I am back to squishy and a little raw. I’m sitting here relieved, a little hopeful, and a little vulnerable. I don’t know yet what comes after this, if I will be doing a retrieval or not, but after the anxiety of this week I’m trying to slow down, to one day at a time, one hurdle at a time. LH was 4.3, so I’m not close to my “surge”.

To clarify a few things, I’m not doing traditional IVF, I’m doing something called Minimal Stimulation IVF or Natural Cycle IVF, it’s a protocol used a lot in Japan, and China, its supposed to be a good for older women, and women with certain issues, like cancer, or PCOS. It also costs a lot less than traditional IVF, the idea is to get fewer, but higher quality eggs. There are only a couple of clinics in the US that do it, and they are crazy busy. Upon entering the office for the first time, my husband said, “He’s either incredibly talented at what he does, or its free”. I’ve never been to any doctors office that’s so busy. It still surprises me every time I go.

I should also mention that the Dr is compassionate, kind and patient. I am not the easiest person to treat, I question everything, I am impatient and vague reassurances don’t cut it for me. I am demanding, without being a dragon lady, but he has always taken the time to answer my questions. I believe he cares about his patients and isn’t a used car salesman like so many of the IVF clinics you hear about are, making promises they know they can’t keep.

Women in this for the long haul, I think the most important thing you can do for yourselves is take care of you. Eat well, sleep enough, avoid additional stress, exercise enough. This process is not for the weak or faint of heart, have a good support system. If its family or your significant other awesome. But a solid group of girlfriends wouldn’t hurt either *something really I need to work on*, and if there is a peer-to-peer support group offered at your clinic, give it a shot.

Today was good news. I think I need to take some time to breathe, and then actually put in practice the awesome advice I just gave you.

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