Sunday, 20 January 2013

Uncharted waters

Well my friends, we are officially in uncharted waters.  I triggered last night and am headed to egg retrieval tomorrow!

Before I launch into my usual number roundup, Idiotic Infertility had a couple of interesting posts last week on the topic of sharing stats.  She made the very reasonable point that not everyone appreciates seeing another blogger's numbers.  This is especially true if you're in a bad mental spot, since those numbers could trigger a lot of negative feelings including jealousy and depression.  Ultimately, it all depends on context and understanding how that particular blogger's infertility diagnosis comes into play.

Prior to her posts I'd never even thought twice about sharing my numbers.  For me, as soon as I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) I immediately hit the internet for research on what I could expect.  I'm a very analytical person and I really wanted to see what happened to other people with similar hormone levels or antral follicle counts.  Whether their outcomes were good or bad, I wanted to be prepared for every possibility.  And let's face matter what your diagnosis, even if you find 99 stories where people failed, all it takes to keep you going is that one time that somebody like you succeeded.

Anyway, there's obviously more than one way to do things and everyone will have their own opinions and comfort level about how much detail they want to read or share.  I'm going to keep posting numbers because at the end of the day this blog is about helping me to process things.  I hope at the end of it I can be one of those DOR success stories that I was so desperately searching for six months ago, and if not then I hope people can remember that no matter what my numbers say, everyone's body behaves differently and there's also a large component of luck involved.

So without further ado...after 12 full days of stims, I am headed into retrieval with 12 follicles showing on ultrasound.  Four of these are only 10mm and one is 14mm, so the nurse suggested they probably wouldn't be mature enough at retrieval.  But that leaves me with 7 ranging between 16 and 22mm that will hopefully yield some good eggs.  Luckily, lead follicle Fatty McFatterson slowed down enough for the others to catch up, so we won't have to sacrifice him after all.  While 7 mature eggs is certainly a much lower number than I had in mind when I first started IVF treatments last year, over time my expectations have become much more realistic.  As a poor responder with undetectable AMH levels who was worrying as recently as CD10 about being cancelled again, I will be over the moon if they manage to pull mature eggs out of all 7 of those follicles!  My estrogen is currently 8537 (2325 US), for anyone who's counting.

I'm currently flipping back and forth between excitement and oh shit this is really gonna happen nervousness.  I get pretty anxious in the lead-up to any kind of medical procedure, so I really have to try to keep myself busy today and not worry about it too much.  There's some pretty nasty egg retrieval horror stories online, but I've also read a lot of other bloggers who've returned to work the next day with some pretty minimal after-effects, so I'm hoping to fall into the latter category!  I'll try to post something hilarious in my drug-induced stupor tomorrow.

Oh, and I've been nominated for a Liebster Award by not one, not two, but four other awesome bloggers!  As that makes for 44 questions to answer, I'm just going to pick some of the more entertaining/insightful ones and do a post about that next week sometime when I'm (hopefully!) on pins and needles waiting for transfer day.  Thanks for the shout-out, ladies!


  1. I think your numbers are great! Good luck on retrevial tomorrow.

  2. So very exciting!! 7 would be most excellent! I hope that the retrieval goes smoothly. Hopefully just a day of rest and you will be back on your feet - or at least back on the computer ready to answer some of those Liebster questions! We look forward to your updates!

  3. I have been waiting for your update. your numbers look great and you are correct it comes down to the impossibility of predicting. go into retrieval knowing that you did all that you could. no more reading of retrieval stories. just focus on knowing that your body is in the place where it was meant to be. GL tomorrow!

  4. So exited that big fatty slowed down so the others could catch up! You have done well! Good luck tomorrow! Hope they get great quality eggs!

  5. Good luck on your ER! Exciting stuff! I didn't find the ER all that bad - the valium and sedation are nice. ;)

    Re: Posting your numbers - I know we are all trying to be sensitive to each other's needs, but ultimately I think this is your space. Go for it!

  6. I am sooo excited for you! 7 eggs would be amazing! I felt fine by the afternoon of my retrieval and went to work the next day. The drugs are nice while they last, but I only needed a couple of ibuprofen to deal with the cramping afterward. Fingers crossed for fantastic news tomorrow!

  7. So excited for you! 7 sounds like a great number to me! Lucky 7! Good luck tomorrow and enjoy the drugs :)

  8. I absolutely agree with Julia. This is your blog so you should write what you want without feeling guilty. I think it helps others, especially those just starting their IF journey, to learn the process and prepare for what they may be in for. I am always in awe of those that can produce massive amounts of follicles, but I also know that's just not me. I think most of us enjoy reading about other's success.

    Good luck with the retrieval! Mine wasn't bad at all and I was one of those back at work the next day. In fact, I even went to softball practice the afternoon of. I didn't do anything but sit on a bucket and watch, but I was there. My sister's retrieval wasn't bad either. She was a little sore the next day, but that's it. I'm hoping you get those 7 follies, but most importantly I hope you get good quality embryos out of the bunch! Good luck!

  9. This is exciting stuff! I agree with your decision to post your numbers. Most of us started our blogs with the intention of sorting out our feelings. Not with the intention of being read. But got a bonus of meeting such a great, strong group of women. So keep writing for your intended purpose. It's the right thing to do.

  10. Ooooh! Good luck for tomorrow. Enjoy the killer nap you've got waiting for you, and don't stress too much over the recovery; one of the few benefits of DOR is that our estrogen rarely gets high enough to cause OHSS. My estrogen was something like 2600 last time, and I was at work the day after, and going jogging the day after that.

    And I appreciate how you framed your report on your numbers. Yes, I think that 7 follicles with mature-egg potential is excellent.

    Wishing you all the best. REPRESENT!

  11. I was going to nominate you too, but seems how you've already gotten FOUR!!! Wow :)


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