Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The real problem with IVF, part 3

On day 7 of the stimulation meds I lost the ability to function.

The previous weekend was fantastic - camping with Ada, Chris and Juniper, and the start of the week was fine.  I even made it through three evening work events last week, all of which were timed to require injections in assorted bathroom of varying cleanliness. Amazingly, only one of those bathroom visits involved half-explaining myself to a stranger. The stranger in question, who found me with needles and vials in the bathroom at the Chinese Classical Gardens, was completely unfazed and in fact slowed my progress by talking my ear off about the annoyance of having to shlep medications around (she has glaucoma).

Ada got tired
A not-so subtle reminder to myself of some of what I already have.

By Friday, I was worn out from a lack of down-time and from medication side effects. By Sunday I wanted to run away from home, or at least flee Ada's unexplained crabbiness for a few hours.  Instead I suffered through the nursery school picnic and took pictures of Ada enjoying the merry-go-round.

Merry Going Round
She loves the ride, but just thinking about it makes me a little queasy.

Mega-doses of hormones strip away my usual protections.  There is nothing between me and the world, so I feel annoyed and frustrated every easily. Unfortunately, this hyper-emotional state makes me to want to blurt out to everyone that I AM TAKING LOTS OF HORMONES AND AM NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Luckily for myself and others, I am mostly able to keep the shouting to a minimum.

I decided to reserve judgment about how this cycle is going until I got the day 10 results Monday afternoon. As usual, my body has responded a bit slowly to the meds, but from the day 7 results it didn't seem like things were going any slower than in the past.  I thought the main thing was just to deal with my over-the-top response to normal frustrations and annoyances.

Well, until Monday afternoon, when Jill called.  I love Jill, who broadcasts her news even before she tells you how sucky it is. Her tone of voice tells all, and I knew from her hello that things were not great. My estrogen is fine, but (as I already knew from the scan) I don't have a lot of eggs. As in - 3 or maybe 4 decent sized ones.  This is a new wrinkle.

I really don't know how to feel.  I mean, I feel shitty, but in a larger way, I don't know how to feel. I have not felt hopeful about this cycle from the get-go. Maybe it is the almost-year of failed cycles behind me. Maybe it is a sense that if it was gong to happen it would have last time when I felt so good about it.

I spent the past few months coming to terms with the idea of not having another child. But coming to terms with it, even thinking there are good things about having only one, it makes it hard to get my hopes up for this round. It is hard to hand over the credit card, repeatedly plunge needles into my belly, suffer the mental and physical annoyances, all while smiling at the nurses and making small talk about shoes or the weather. It was all I could do not to grab the doctor this morning and demand that she agree that this sucks.

Our nanny and friend Juniper has been asking when she should start sending the positive energy our way. Today I told her I needed it.  I need someone else to be positive for me. I am not feeling it myself, and nothing I am hearing from Chris screams hope and excitement, or even whispers that the outcome matters much to him, frankly.

I go back in Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon I will hear whether the few eggs I do have will get plucked Thursday or Friday. I find myself hoping that they'll have me hold out for one more day, but I am not sure why.  An extra day is just that, one more day to hope and fear and make bargains with my body and the 8 celled embryos that will soon inhabit it. Despite the possibility that one or two more eggs will have a chance to mature, an extra day of hoping is just what I don't want.  I can't help but hope for it anyway.


  1. Infertility sucks. IVF sucks. It is such a horrible roller coaster with so many places that things can go wrong. I had lunch yesterday with a friend that was also in her 2ww. This is her 3rd cycle and I was explaining to her that even once you get past the positive beta, there are so many other hurdles to get over. You just never feel like you can relax. I really hope they get enough eggs so you can move forward and on to the next hurdle. But I can totally understand all the things you tell yourself about already having one as I have told myself those same things many many times.

  2. i think it would be a bad sign if you couldn't/didn't have hope. i will hold positive thoughts and energy for you. i hate that you are going through so many ups and downs (mostly downs) with this. virtual hugs. a

  3. There is the quality vs. quantity issue to consider...so, I'll be hopeful for you and you can fret. Okay?

  4. breathe and bless you.

    positive everything your way, blog friend.

  5. We're sending all kinds of positive energy your way, and also to Chris and Ada. What you have already is amazing, but I don't think that means you can't want for more. If you want me to take Ada for an afternoon, please let me know. We love you guys.

  6. You can count on some positive energy from this direction, too.

  7. Aww, man. I *hope* this week ends better than it started.

  8. Here is to hoping for the best.

    IVF is hard enough the first time, I'd imagine repeat IVF is like sticking your hand in molten lava AFTER you've burned it earlier in the day.