Friday, January 2, 2015

Fear and Anxiety in IVFLand

I can’t really say “loathing” because other than the extreme cost, I really don’t mind the IVF cycles. Especially since I had a great result from the first one. And let’s face it, everything moved along smoothly, like clockwork. The shots didn’t hurt, and I had zero side effects from them. Once I started stims, all went as it should. Follicles grew as hoped for. Estrogen level rose perfectly. Everything happened with the precision of a Swiss clock. And this was all without having to change my dosages, which is often the case when one isn’t responding with appropriate follicle growth. Even egg retrieval was stellar – I had 9 good follicles, 9 eggs retrieved, 8 mature. It doesn’t get any more perfect than that.
But what if it was all a fluke? I now know more about all the things that can go wrong with one’s cycle, and it scares the shit out of me. I see all these people doing all these things to improve their cycles, and for this one, I’m doing it too, because why not. I’ve changed my diet from the All Cheez Doodle Diet, have been taking a shitload of supplements, am avoiding plastics and cans as much as possible (BPAs doncha know), etc. But what if I go in and have shitty results right from the start?
What if Cheez Doodles are the key to IVF success?
What if I go in for my first ultrasound and there are only, say, 4 follicles, aka The Original 4?
You see, I basically still have Follicle PTSD from my first antral follicle count ultrasound. I went in there all cocky and shit, thinking hell yes, we’ll get a ton of follies, I have the badass AMH of 2.94, bring it!
The appointment didn’t go quite like that. It was a different doctor doing the US, and it’s probably a good thing I don’t remember her name because I continue to hate her with all the burning fury of a thousand suns.
Jerk Doctor: Okay, so on the left we have……2 follicles. On the right……also 2.
Me: Wait, what? There are only 4? Are you sure?
JD: Yes, only 4, possibly a 5th smaller one.
Me: But….does the number of follicles you have change from month to month?
JD: No, not really. Next month you might have 5, then 4 or 3, but they basically stay the same.

She wasn’t even sympathetic as she was imparting the information that was crushing my hopes and dreams. Needless to say, I was shell-shocked. Devastated. I went after that for my blood draw, and my Coordinator at the time saw me sniffling and asked what was wrong.
Me: I only have 4 follicles! That’s bad, isn’t it…
Kelsey: Well, it’s not what we would have expected with your AMH.
Me, sniffling: We……we can still do the IVF, right?
Kelsey, with a sympathetic shoulder pat: Oh of course.

I then drove home psychotically and proceeded to be devastated until probably my next US appointment. Which showed THIRTEEN FREAKING FOLLICLES. So much for the number not changing!
The point being, I’ve learned since then that there is in fact a lot of variation from cycle to cycle….so what if we’re back to LoserLand where I only have a few pitiful follicles? What then? While I’m exceedingly happy to have BFU, the fact is that there are so many things that can still go wrong, it’s not like this is a sure shot by any means.
I can’t even take to drink, since I’m off the booze. Ugh.
As a result, the countdown to base ultrasound #1 for my next cycle is taking forever. Luckily, in the meantime I’m planning out my return to the triathlon/racing world…..
Next up: Taking Advantage of the Situation, or, Doping, Is It Wrong?


Cassie said...

A thousand burning suns? Damn. I thought that was reserved for the Red Wings. She must have been pretty bad. (But she was wrong. Focus on that.)

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

The hated Red Wings are a thousand and ONE burning suns. Always and forever!