Monday, 2 September 2013

Stim updates and a welcome distraction

I know you're all dying to know what's been happening with my lady parts.  Don't try to deny it.

Well, so far we're still cycling.  Things are happening, but slowly and not in large numbers.  I went in for my first check on Friday morning after three nights of stims.  I had four small follicles growing, two on one side at 8mm each and a 5mm and a 6mm on the other side.  The nurse who gave me my ultrasound results and meds prescription was kind enough to state, in a somewhat accusing tone, that "they're all really small."  I must have stared at her blankly, because she helpfully clarified, "They need to get a lot bigger."

No fucking shit, Sherlock.  Again, her tone seemed to suggest that somehow was responsible for making this happen.  I respectfully declined to tell her that, if I could make things happen by sheer force of will, not only would I have a crop of about 25 eggs growing right now, but she would be bursting into flame.


The biggest piss-off was that I was actually not unhappy with the results.  The estrogen priming protocol is notorious on internet message boards for being a "slow burn" protocol, where you often start out slowly and stim for a bit longer before retrieval.  In doing so, you get more even growth and avoid the runaway lead follicles that are so often a problem with DOR (and have plagued me during both of my previous cycles).  Also in the plus column, my estrogen levels came back nice and high (taking into account that they dropped somewhat from baseline after I stopped taking Estrace) and were over 400 as opposed to previous cycles where they hovered at barely half that.

I was sent away with meds for two more nights and instructed to come back Sunday.  In the interim, on Saturday night M and I headed to the airport to pick up my friend Dee who was coming to town for a wedding and whom I haven't seen in almost two years.  She was a bridesmaid at my wedding but has been living out of country for a few years now, and I've seriously missed being around her.  She is, hands down, one of the most physically beautiful people I've ever met in real life.  If she wasn't so awesomely nice, it would be very easy to hate her as she's also incredibly fit and has even placed in the top five in some CrossFit competitions where's she's living now.  Lucky for her she's also sweet and funny and generally fantastic to be around, so I knew that whatever happened on Sunday morning, we'd have a fun day and I'd get to forget my troubles for a little while.

So on Sunday morning after five days of stims, I have three follicles growing at 10mm each.  I suspect that there are others in the running, but once things get over 10mm some ultrasound techs at my clinic stop measuring the smaller ones.  My estrogen also doubled and is sitting around 850, so I'm really hoping that means others will join the party.  Since my RE decided to proceed with anything over 4 eggs, I'll go out on a crazy limb here and say that chances of cancellation are now pretty slim.  BUT we're also definitely not going to get the 9 eggs we did last time.  At this point I'm hoping for at least 6 with a higher fertilization rate, but of course that's probably totally greedy.  I can't say I'm incredibly stoked about these results, but they're also not terrible so we're just going to have to go with it.

This is my "meh" face.

Other than that, yesterday with Dee was pretty awesome.  We made a gigantic breakfast of homemade waffles topped with fresh strawberries, then headed out to do some shopping and meet another friend for coffee.  There was lots of laughs and sorely-needed girl time, and a good emotional vomit about our infertility situation.  Then we BBQed dinner and sat out on our back deck with a bottle of wine, chatting into the wee hours of the morning.  And yes, for anyone who's counting, I consumed a couple of glasses of wine while stimming.  I know lots of people cut out things like booze and caffeine entirely, but you know what?  Eff that noise.  Humanity would have ended a long time ago if wine and coffee were the cause of infertility.  I'm pretty sure we've scientifically figured out my problem (spoiler: it's old ass eggs) and IVF is brutal enough without taking away all of life's little pleasures.  I don't drink much or often and I only have one coffee a day, so if anyone wants to tell me that's why I don't have a baby then they can go be judge-y somewhere else, thank you very much.

Next stim check is tomorrow morning.  We'll see what my wine-soaked ovaries can come up with.

16 comments:

  1. You know, I have been drinking coffee daily. I usually don't drink wine, but I would've if the occasion comes up. Life is too short to be too careful. Your friend sounds awesome. I am so happy for you that you got to hang out with her. As for your follicles, I am holding out hope that they will grow very evenly for you. I think mine wasn't even this time and that's why the outcome is the outcome that I got. I'm very hopeful for you!

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  2. DOR is so flippin' frustrating. I know exactly what you are going through, hoping for more but settling for less. I hope that tomorrow's check will show at least 6 quality follicles and that someone slapped that nurse into being a little nicer.

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  3. I agree, you can't cut out every little pleasure and indulgence. "Humanity would have ended a long time ago if wine and coffee were the cause of infertility." I hope your four eggs grow well!

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  4. i needed your post today. you are so right about it all. wine and caffeine have nothing to do with the outcome. if it were all so easy we would both be preggers with quads right now. rock on and here is to more growth.

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  5. You're so funny, LOL! I don't drink either coffee or alcohol, but I consume a lot of green tea, which also contains caffeine, and which I just found out depletes folate levels in blood. Arrrgh! That's my only indulgence, and I'll always blame myself that IVF #1 didn't work because I reduced but didn't eliminate it while stimming. I stopped it after embryo transfer, but still....

    Good luck; I'm keeping my tubes crossed for you.

    --Ellen

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  6. I am right there with you on the caffeine and alcohol front. I'm glad you aren't depriving yourself of fun things while cycling, it's the only thing that has kept me sane through all of this!

    I am really hoping this cycle brings you your BFP :)

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  7. You're a great writer and I can so relate to what you're going through. I hope this goes well for you...I'm on my 2nd IVF cycle myself and only ended up with 2 fertilized this time around (which totally sucked and was definitely cause for a total meltdown, which I candidly had), but one turned out to be great and I had a transfer 2 days ago. My blog is themedicatedmomma,blogspot.com if you feel like tuning in. Keeping my fingers crossed for good news for all of us suffering through treatment this month...

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  8. I know you have given up on trying to make that nurse burst into flames, but don't you worry. I have your back and I am working on it right now:-) I'm so happy that your ovaries are working and that you had a good friend to help you out. Sometimes a good dose of food, love and fun is all we need. Oh and I bet your next check will be awesome because wine makes EVERYTHING better:-)

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  9. I'm glad you had a great weekend and that you enjoyed that wine!! ����

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  10. I can't believe what a b***h that nurse was to you. Like you don't know that they need to grow -- this isn't your first rodeo. I had a similar experience during my cycle (I have DOR as well) and ended up in tears because the snarky attitude from the nurse along with the crazy hormones was just too much. Enjoy your wine -- we are not here to judge you. I say if it helps you relax and get through the journey, bring it on!

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  11. So glad you're enjoying your time with your friend, along with the coffee and wine. As for the follies, here's hoping for a slow and steady kind of situation. I have everything crossed for you this cycle!

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  12. I'll drink to that!

    (And don't get me started on that nurse!...)

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  13. Thinking of you and looking forward to another update. Grow, grow!

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  14. I once asked my RE about drinking while stimming. He said his official answer was that I should not have any alcohol. But unofficially, he said if it helps me relax then I should have a glass of wine because people in France manage to get pregnant. It made me laugh. So enjoy your wine. And your caffeine.
    I know you aren't getting the number you want, but I hope you are growing some good quality eggs in there.

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  15. Ugh, I'm so sick of all the rules about what you can and can't eat/drink while TTC. I mean, if the eggs are shit, what's a little caffeine/wine/gluten going to hurt? But I'm glad that you're burning slow and steady. Your estrogen levels are nice and high. Mine never budged on the EPP.

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  16. Sounds like things are going well- hopefully it continues!! A little wine never hurt anybody.... :-)

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!