Textbook

Here’s a first. I’m having a textbook cycle. I know right? I didn’t think Id ever have one again!

Ideally in a retrieval cycle, you want your lining to be about 14 on the day of your retrieval if you plan on doing a transfer after. I don’t know if I will be doing one, I’m leaving it to the Dr so probably not.

You want your E2 to be about 200 or higher for single a good quality egg, your LH not to be peaking, anything under about 20 is fine. P4 should be low, because a high P4 means you’ve ovulated. A high P4 is anything over about 1.8. As your E2 rises your FSH should decrease which is also happening to me.

Blood work again today, and ultrasound, Dr came in to check the size of the follicle which has gone from 15mm to 17 mm since yesterday. That’s another thing. Any follicle over about 20mm before retrieval, will likely be “post mature” or you know, unusable.

While doing the ultrasound, he said “that is really a beautiful follicle” patting me as he left the room. A beautiful follicle? Another first. I don’t know what that means, all I saw was a big round blob of dark grey, but it made me happy, and he said please wait for blood results before discussing retrieval.

Results: E2 194.4, LH 15.7, P4 .42.

Lupron trigger tonight, at 10:30pm, retrieval scheduled for Friday morning at 9:30.

Welcome back to the Circus!

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101

My last post was post number 100. I didn’t even notice.

I went to the RE today for CD7 monitoring, I have 1 follicle still on the left ovary that is 12.1. FSH is lower, *weird* E2 is about where it’s supposed to be.  It’s grown exactly 6mm in less than 5 days with a natural cycle. Which as of this morning is no longer natural. I’m on a new protocol this month, where instead of Clomid, I’ve been prescribed Tamoxifen. Which I am only familiar with as a cancer drug. Because my mother took it for 10 years, before being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. That scared me a little, however it seems my RE has discovered that it acts (stimulates) similarly to Clomid but doesn’t thin your Endometrium or cause your LH to surge unnaturally. I monitor again on day 12 (Tuesday) to see whats happening. I imagine, since I’ve done this 10 or 11 times before, that I will trigger, and get a retrieval at some point next week if all goes well with the new meds. In 10, 11, oh who the hell knows, how many retrievals, I’ve never had a dominate follicle come from my left side. Ever. I’ve gotten a follicle or 2 from it before but they always wind up being the immature ones.

My left ovary is all wallflower-ish and under achieving. Like me in High School. Kinda. It’s the one that’s most easily visible and isn’t in a weird place like my right one, but it’s generally kind of lazy. Who else has 1 lazy ovary? How do you get it to be less lazy? Tell it, “You’re grounded until you produce a follicle?” Seriously, is there anything anyone can do to wake the lazy one up? Throw ice water on it? Poke it? What causes one to be lazy? Is there a difference in the egg quality?

Its been a busy week. Remember how I took Chinese III (Mandarin) a few months ago? We this semester I decided since I’m at home alone a lot at night, to take Honors Economics and Honors Political Science and Chinese IV, for fun. Note to self: Stop making decisions while hopped up on fertility meds or in the middle of a depression after a failed FET. Most people would avoid making decisions during times like that. Not me. Bring on some school, and some homework, and some new pencils, and SHUT THE FRONT DOOR this is expensive! Yes. I am an idiot.

My new “plan” is actually going pretty well so far. I’m avoiding the people and the “friends” and the situations that don’t add something positive to my life or my day-to-day. Instead, I’m trying to focus on friendships and classes and activities like Yoga, that make me feel better about myself. I’m also trying to avoid added stress and while the classes “might* have been counter intuitive, I have to admit it does feel good to have my brain engaged in something intellectual. Add a little more exercise and I should have a good recipe for how to better manage the outside stressors in my life.

Since I had to get a scrip filled from the Dr, I stopped at Costco this morning after my appointment. Where I got the scrip filled and decided to bring home some flowers for no other reason than because I felt like it. Usually there has to be an occasion. But not today. Today I just want to be surrounded by pretty, happy, peace and serenity, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. Right?

A New Record..

 

 

for the worst cycle ever.

Yesterday was cd12 monitoring. Saturday there was a follicle on the right size 7.6. Yesterday, no view of my right ovary at all, so no idea if there are follicles or gnomes or whatever the hell it is growing in there.

E2 606, no that’s not a typo 606. W.T. F?

FSH 16.1 meh, but its better than 41 so I’ll take it.

LH 7.6
They asked me to monitor again today.

I went in CD13 monitoring no view of my right ovary at all, not vaginal and not through the stomach. Nothing. So it was decided to see how the blood work was going.

Blood Pressure was a little high, but heart rate was 39. So she took it again, blood pressure was pretty normal but heart rate was 37. Freaked everyone out. Everyone. I don’t know what it means but I know all of a sudden there were 5 people in the room with me and I was terrified.

E2 411.70

FSH 18.4

LH 20.4

I’ve been referred to an outside lab for another ultrasound tomorrow, and its confirmed that I have a vitamin d deficiency. Awesome. I wonder if all that is starting to add up to something seriously wrong with me or if I am the unwilling participant to a bunch of weird happenstances. Either way, just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they do. Significantly.

Dr Paul said “something has to change” and I know he’s right. I just don’t know what that is.

 

 

 

Early

In a little over 12 hours I will be on the table/weird chair thingy they do egg retrieval in my REs surgery for the 8th time. Legs, strapped down, Queen Victoria on display, highlighted by the Russian Interrogation lights, my legs shaved, feet pedicured and the uh..bushes well maintained.

Its been another bizarre cycle where my FSH spiked, I was taken off Clomid, put on Estrace and we seemed to be off to the races from there. Except this follicle has grown over 10 millimeters in 7 days. And my E2 has gone from 40 to 235 in 7 days.  Add to it that I feel like my right ovary is building some kind of hipster nightclub in there, my failed “just go with the crazy experiment” and it becomes another humbling month of “yes I am still a control freak, who is a complete nutcase and yes I probably owe you and the rest of the free world another apology.”

There really is no dignity in this process what so ever.

Because my LH was SO HIGH yesterday, I *again* have the sneaking suspicion that I will have ovulated this little alien early. I’m trying not to think about it, but it’s not going so well, and every little twinge, every little knock is stressing me out.

Why did my RE have go to Turkey of all places when he knows my ovaries are unreliable, irresponsible and probably have horrible taste in music? If he hadn’t id have had an emergency retrieval today most likely and wouldn’t be worried about ovulating early.

Last month I was so sure it was going to be a bust that I work makeup to the retrieval. then snuck my phone in with me, photographed myself pre-surgery, texted the pic to my friend who promptly texted me back, “You wore makeup to a retrieval? Have you lost your mind?” “To which I wrote back, “If the outcome is going to suck, I’m going to look good doing it”. Which is retrospect still makes no sense.

I have done the meditation, and now I think I will just chant. “There will be a good follicle in there, not an alien. There will be a good follicle in there not an alien.”

Probably meditating again would be wiser. Lets see how well I sleep tonight.

 

Aliens

CD15 Monitoring Appt.

My right ovary has been pounding for a couple of days now. Like someones building an apartment or an alien in there.

1 follicle measuring 15.1 on the right side. I am still on Estrace to get my FSH down so E2 is 235, LH is 49.3. P4 is .31

The LH level concerns me. I mean it really concerns me because I tend to ovulate between LH 12-16. I’ve never heard of such a high LH level. Ever. Maybe it’s from the Estrace but I am scheduled for an egg retrieval on July 5, and taking huge doses of Ibuprofen to keep myself from ovulating. They would do an emergency retrieval tomorrow but Dr. is in Turkey until tomorrow night so I am first up on Thursday morning.

Still, the LH surge has started so there is a higher than usual possibility that I will ovulate this egg before my retrieval.

I’m ok with that I guess. I mean there isn’t anything I can do about it.

Lets see if the alien actually bursts through my belly between now and  July 5th. I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

Faith

CD 8 Update

E2 was 40.9 still way too low. FSH was 34.1, way too high for any follicles to grow, LH 15.2 also not good, because it means I’m nearing my LH surge so I will soon ovulate whatever is in there. Or not. I don’t know what happens to immature eggs when you ovulate.

1 follicle now on the right side, 4.5mm the 2 on my left side have disappeared.

Its official, this month is even worse than last months cycle. I’ve been told to stop Clomid, start Estrace, and to monitor again on Day 12. Which is Saturday.

A high FSH for someone cycling as long as me is anything between 20 and 30, my lowest on day 8 was 7, the highest is 34 which was today. If your E2 is too low, and your FSH is too high, no follicles will grow.

I’ve tried to keep a good attitude today, tried to keep my chin up, because after this appointment I had a job interview for almost 3 hours.

I’m home now, it’s settling in and I’m tired, and sad. I know that things can still turn around but as usual, I lack faith. Sometimes I think lacking faith is a character flaw, that it makes me less of a person. But yeah I said it. I still and always really struggle with faith.

Dr Yelian said not to get too upset about it, but he is an eternal optimist. Something I love about him, but don’t have faith in. Because on some level I don’t believe his optimism applies to me. Where does one get faith? I even have a bracelet with that word on it, to remind me, but Id really like to know where faith comes from and where I can get some more.

So this months “new” thing is a new drug, another hormone something else to make me moody and crazy and weepy. Awesome. I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

Loco

Rather than start this post with the qualifier that it’s a downer I’m just going to post a funny picture.

No. Its not my picture, or my dog but the hairy eyeball is something I’ve given out pretty frequently lately. I like that little dogs crazy eyes.

I’ve been wrestling with where I go from here (as though I am in control, see what I did there?) There is nothing to be decided really, but I feel the need to create a plan or a strategy. Because planning things I have no control over is super useful.

I can’t seem to stop myself from trying to create a strategy, and running through all the possible scenarios. If x happens then the result will be y, if y happens then z will be the outcome. I have control issues. Sue me. Maybe I am a drama queen but every bad cycle discourages me a little, and chips away at whatever faith/hope/trust I have in my own bodies ability to make good eggs and my belief in my ability to get pregnant. I keep reminding myself to “Have faith in your journey” When all I really want to do is yell WTF? Not just the letters either.

“Maybe I should take a break?” because of my AMH, I am afraid to.

I’ve been “unpleasant” to be around since Friday, and by unpleasant, I mean scary. I cry easily. I’m overly emotional, I’m short-tempered and I’m tired. I haven’t been sleeping past 4 or 5 am no matter what time I went to bed. I don’t have a lot of patience with myself, I am sick of pouting, sick of myself. Sick of not feeling like myself. I’ve spent most of the weekend in my head. Talking to myself, and trying not to talk to my husband because I don’t trust myself not to say something critical or unkind.

My one real-life friend who knows about my IVF went to Costco the other day and called me asking me if I needed anything. My answer was “Yes please. Id like the ovaries of a 25 year old, a new life and an Asian baby. And some sour patch kids if they have any.” She lives in Canada so, you know, she didn’t buy me anything on my list.

I’ve worked in the yard a lot. Moving things around, replanting some trees and flowers, moving lawn furniture, washing it down, cleaning the low wall around my patio with a scrub brush, soap and hot water. Raking, lacing out trees, trimming hedges. Moving the statuary to better locations and fixing the fountain.

I do that when I am unhappy, I clean until everything is spotless, laundry, iron, put things away, purge closets, clean some more, wash everything down, polish furniture, sweep and mop floors, organize until there is nothing left to be organized. Except whatever is in my head. Which if I could fold like a load of laundry and put it away, I would. Consequently as I type this, you can eat off any surface in my house. Not that you’d want to. I’m just saying.

I will see the Dr this morning and have my hormone levels checked. I can’t say I’m nervous. I’m not, I’m numb. I don’t expect anything good to come out of this meeting. Chances are he will say “No more Clomid for you, only natural cycles”, which are a whole other can of worms. You can’t control ovulation with natural cycles, and I’ve had 3 of them where I ovulated the best, lead follicles early so, no bueno. Or… “were going to give you Birth Control Pills, or Estrogen”… or something else that is new, and scary and may over suppress my already defective ovaries.

After,  I have to go have Dim Sum with my In-Laws who love tolerate me. Why you might ask? Because my husband decided last night that today was a great day to drive up and see them. The insensitivity is strong in this one Luke. I know he means well, but he doesn’t get that I am about as stressed out as it is possible for one person to be, and frankly. I don’t want to see anyone. Crap, if I am truthful I don’t want to see myself right now.

The plus side of my cleaning frenzy is my little fountain is fixed, I have created a new seating area in the rear of my yard, and all my little Asian statuary looks fantastic.

The outcomes of the meeting wont be posted for a while after, but I will post it later tonight.

Here are some pictures of the work I’ve been doing in the backyard so it will hopefully counterbalance the negativity of this post. You can see each picture in more detail if you click on them.

Japanese Maple tree, with a tiny pagoda.

My fountain whose filter is no longer clogged with roots, or biodegradable ew.

Yes, that is a Buddhas head.

Foo Dog, it’s an antique and I’m not sure if I love it or hate it. Husband loves it, but the painted eyes creep me out.

If you look into the tree and see all those Moroccan stars, they each hold a candle and we light them when we have parties.

My avocado tree is shedding a lot of leaves now so even after all that work yesterday there are leaves in the yard making my perfection imperfect.

Story of my life.