Preparing for cancellation #2

Happy Thanksgiving. I’m here for an update, one that I thought was going to be a good one and now I’m worried it’s very bad.

I’ve been taking follistim since voting day. They started slowly this time, so my estrogen didn’t get too high too fast and then plummet, like it did last time. And everything was going so well. My follicles are numerous and huge, estrogen was rising properly…tonight’s my trigger shot. Last time I never made it to this point. My retrieval is scheduled for Saturday morning. If I go.

I’m as bloated as could be, I’m finally at this point, this is finally happening, and then I just got the call that my estrogen dropped. From 1828 two days ago to 750. This is bad. The nurse said to still take my trigger shot tonight, and then come in for bloodwork tomorrow. If it has dropped again, then they are cancelling the cycle. A day before retrieval. For the second time. And since my estrogen was the issue in IVF #1, leading to that cancellation, I just have this feeling that it’s over. And I don’t understand. What is this estrogen issue? Why would my estrogen drop when it’s supposed to rise? How do the doctors fix that? I’ve never heard of this.

And it’s upsetting. Yes, I’ll be “grateful” to find out the true cause of my problem – “undiagnosed” can only get you so far (though today’s nurse dropped the PCOS title, and I thought, “finally”.) but maybe it’s something more than PCOS. So, okay, maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten pregnant on my own, and 6 rounds of Clomid and 3 IUI’s didn’t work, and my first IVF was cancelled. And maybe my second. But what can be done about that? And here I’m frantically googling how to raise it myself, in one day. Drink a lot of water? Eat more Thanksgiving turkey? Did it drop because I did something? I was kind of sick the past few days – low fever and a cold, and only drank broth, ate bananas and pretzels. Did I miss out on a key vitamin that I could now consume mass quantities of to fix this by tomorrow morning? I just hate that this is so out of my control. I mean, I realize this whole process has been out of my control, but I’m so close. I just feel like – two IVF’s cancelled and I don’t even want to do this. I do want to do this, but not if it keeps messing me up like this. I go through all the motions and follow all the rules. I’m just pissed. And on some level I hate complaining on this blog, because I don’t want the pity vote, especially from people who know me in real life. I don’t want to be the person you feel bad for. I’m so sick of that. And since I never blog anymore, I’m not sure how many people even see this. But if you do, and you have any experience with this, do you know what the deal is?

I’m upset, I’m pissed, and now I have to go to Thanksgiving dinner pretending everything is going fine.

IVF #1 – Cancelled.

Yeah, cancelled. A weird, strange turn of events and I’m a variety of emotions right now. Basically, what happened is, when I started the shots (follistim) I responded too well, and my estrogen shot up way too high, before my follicles had a chance to catch up and grow. Then it was a game of playing with my dose, and in doing so, they lowered it to bring down my estrogen to catch up with my follicles. The estrogen dropped, but it actually plummeted, so much so that even as my follicles grew, my estrogen never came back. I spoke to my actual doctor on the phone yesterday, and he said my ovaries are very sensitive, obviously, and next time, they would start me on a much lower dose and build it gradually.

My follicles grew, though. Yeah, they’ve grown. And I’ve been in to see them for ultrasounds..let’s see.. like 10 days in a row maybe? Something like that. And the past few days, the nurses were blown away by the amount of follicles. I had a total of somewhere between 60-80 eggs between both ovaries, though the amount of those maturing was probably more like 25-30. Either way, I was at high risk for OHSS, and they wanted to watch me so carefully. As of this morning, before I knew it would be cancelled, my biggest follie was 19 mm. So close. Because of that, I’m sore, crampy, slow, bloated, etc. Is it the worst pain I’ve ever felt? Not at all. But it’s enough so that lifting things is not a good idea, not to mention any sort of exercise. I had to actually wear sweatpants to work yesterday because regular pants were going to be too uncomfortable. That was just embarrassing – luckily it was a Friday, but still. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been late to work the last 10 days in a row, too. I’ve had people covering for me. I’m pretty sure the whole school knows, as a teacher who shows up late to school every day for a week and a half gets pretty obvious. I’ve been getting up at 5, leaving the house at 6, waiting there at 6:30 to be the first in line for blood, then the ultrasounds, then speeding to work and getting there around 8:45. It’s been stressful, to say the least. My job had taken a back seat for sure. I was just putting in enough effort to make it through the day. And I’ve been emotionally distant at work, too. I’m well aware. And you know what? It would’ve been worth it. Definitely. If it wasn’t for the fact that my cycle was cancelled a day or two before trigger and then retrieval and I have to do the entire thing again from scratch next month.

And so yeah, I’m kind of pissed about that.

So now I’m on the pill. Ha. The pill. I haven’t been on the pill since…two April’s ago. It’s been a long time, and I was hoping to never do it again. The only reason I am, other than following orders, of course, is because they will shrink the follies, bring me back to home base. I’m sick of sweatpants and being fat and bloated. Silver lining…maybe my acne from the drugs will clear up.

Yesterday, I was really pissed off. Today, after finally, for the first time in weeks, sleeping eight hours and not rushing to the doctor’s (I did go, but at a slower pace this morning), I’m in a weird place emotionally.

My current emotion is one I wouldn’t have expected – relief. I guess this is a point that a lot of people get to – where it’s just…it’s so much, so much on your mind, takes up your whole life, and then you catch a “break” from it – in this case, forced upon me. And this break, there’s nothing to overanalyze. I’m on the pill for a while. What’s to think about?

And it’s almost this big thing lifted off my shoulders. Today was the big marathon in our state, and two years ago, I did it. My first marathon. This morning, as I literally drove past the runners on my way to the doctor’s, I thought about that day. It was a horrible race, actually. But I was proud. And I had a goal – to finish a marathon. When is the last time I have had a goal that I have tried to reach that wasn’t baby related? I guess two years ago. That was my last goal. And today, I miss that. I want a normal life again. I want to have goals that aren’t baby related. And no, not like “losing weight”. But like, maybe running a half marathon again, and losing weight in the process. Or re-decorating our house. Or getting in as many dates with my husband as possible, and do a little traveling like we used to, when the goal was to enjoy each other fully without thinking about other people, like future children.  To love like teenagers. I miss my old life, when there was more to it than simply receiving fertility treatments and wondering why I’ve been dealt these cards.

So, I’m not sure how long this mood will last before it turns bitter and very unpleasant, but until then, I’m trying to embrace this “gift” of a break I’ve just received. We are going to pumpkin pick, do a little hiking (as soon as I’m physically able), spend time with each other, go to the movies, start on our house projects…who knows. I’m going to invest in my job again. We’ll do what we normally do, without thinking about babies. Supposedly, those babies will come eventually. But until then, right now, I need a new goal.