I learned two lessons today:
First, don't taunt your ovaries. Remember last post when I challenged them to put up or shut up? Yeah, well, so they've responded. With a resounding:
You're not the boss of us!
Second (directly related) lesson: never brag on the internet about your antral follicle count of 15 which is oh-so-awesome-despite-your-DOR. Because the universe will goddamn well come and take it away just when you need it most, which is of course when you're doing an IVF cycle.
Today's AFC? Grand fucking total of 8. Lowest. EVAR. Oh, and a bonus cyst.
I get it, ovaries. You win. I lose. You feel good about that?
I'm trying to make light of it now, but the truth is that we're both pretty devastated. M came to monitoring with me this morning because we had to pay our cycle fee and sign a bunch of consents (again! Can't they just keep the ones from last time??). Even he knew that 8 was bad (for me) without me having to tell him. We went for breakfast afterwards before heading to work, and I sobbed into my eggs. How ironic. We discussed options. I called my RE to see if she wanted to postpone this cycle and hold out for one of my better months. She wasn't in the office. Her receptionist said she'd pass on the message, but when I got my drug instructions later in the afternoon the nurse's message didn't say anything about postponing.
And the cyst? It's 1.2 cm, which is apparently small enough to proceed. I'm actually wondering if it isn't my usual lead follicle, due to the early follicle recruitment that is standard with DOR. Estrogen priming was partially designed to prevent this. But the priming also makes it impossible to know if it's a cyst or a follicle, since my estrogen is already way up due to the Estrace. If it's a follicle? It's going to suck up all my meds and leave the others in the dust.
Of course there's a million things going through my head. That I wasted four months on DHEA only to go into my next cycle with 25% fewer eggs on deck. That if I see my standard drop-off and fertilization rates, I'm looking at a retrieval of less than six and a fertilization of less than three. Which means it's over before it even starts, because what are the chances anything will make it to a Day 5 freeze at that point? And yeah, I know it's all about quality not quantity and blabbity blabbity blah blah, but seriously? What the fuck? Why even bother?
Sorry for the tremendously depressing post. I totally get that those of you with much lower AFCs will think I'm whining over nothing. And I might agree with you, if I didn't have to do a freeze-all cycle and could do a Day 3 fresh transfer, but that's not on the books for me. I have to have something to freeze. And the chances of that with an AFC of 8 are much lower than with an AFC of 15. That's just basic math. Although to be honest, I don't even think we'll make it that far. If I was a betting woman, I'd say we're headed for another cancelled cycle since I've never had all of my antral follicles respond to the stims.
I don't know why I manage to keep being surprised and disappointed every time something else doesn't work out for us. It's par for the course right now, and yet I keep getting blindsided. You'd think I'd learn. You'd think I would have figured it out.
Stims start tonight. 300 units Gonal F, 150 of Menopur, and a shot of Suprefact (which makes this a flare protocol in addition to estrogen priming). No more Estrace.
Let's just get this over with.