Even though it is Day 2 of my cycle, apparently my clinic restarts the clock the day you start stims. So today is officially Day 1 of IVF #2.
It wasn’t the most auspicious start. I was late getting in to the clinic due to transport woes. And the news from the clinic wasn’t all what I was expecting.
The good news was that I’m properly surpressed, so I was able to start stimming. The unexpected news was that this time around I am using Gon.al-F and Repro.nex. So instead of my nice dial-and-inject Pur.egon pen, I am now mixing medications. Into a big needle. That Q. then has to stick in my ass.
Yep. We didn’t think Q. would have to start sticking me until the trigger, and then the PIO shots. We were prepared for all of that. I wasn’t prepared for big needles so early. When the nurse asked me how I felt about the whole thing, I actually got teary. I think it is because this time I’m going in with no illusions- I know EXACTLY how hard it will be and just how much of a grind I’m facing. And at the same time, I know I have to try to relax and not stress about the whole thing. All easier said than done.
So we do our own med-mixing and injecting tomorrow and Friday, and I’m back to the clinic on Saturday. I also started the baby aspirin and the pred.nisone today. Currently I’m only on the pred.nisone once a day, which I’m really hoping will help cut back on the crazy. I asked the nurse about it- she said heaps of other women have the same problems with anxiety and insomnia from that drug. At least it’s not just me.
I’m still on Lupron, but the dose has now been reduced. So the medication list is starting to pile up. I’m waiting for the afternoon call from the clinic to let me know where my TSH is sitting. I’m not sure how to try to manage it- I was anticipating having to increase my dose at least a couple of times a week to counteract the stress of stimming, but if it is still high, I may have to do more than that to get it to drop fast enough.
The other impact of discovering that we’ve gone straight to giant needles is on my running. I have been convinced that I will still be ok to run my usual half-marathon at the end of September (if the IVF fails, obviously). The way I figured it, I couldn’t run for the time after transfer, and probably wouldn’t be comfortable enough to run after retrieval, or even in the last few days prior to retrieval, but I figured I would still have enough time before and after the cycle to lay down the base fitness and put the final touches on.
I have been anticipating this. While I was away, I ran longer distances each week than I was supposed to, so that when I stopped running this month, I would still be ahead of schedule, with enough fitness built up that it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t run for a couple of weeks.
I want a sub-two hour half marathon. I was THIS close last year- I missed it by less than three minutes. And last year I had two weeks in August where I only ran one time (while on vacation). My times all summer have been significantly faster than they were last year. I’ve got a better base of fitness, thanks to all the running in the spring for the 10k.
But I think I have to acknowledge now that I’m not going to be running that half-marathon. I might still be able to run one later in the fall (there is another one in my city a month later), but it won’t be that one, over the course that I know so well. Because the simple truth is that it hurts to run hard when needles are getting stuck in my ass. It hurts to run when those muscles are inflamed.
I am in two minds about this. Part of me is really hurting with this news. Running has become a major part of my identity. It helps me handle my anxiety and the myriad stress factors in my life. When I have a good run, I feel fantastic- like I could conquer any challenge. And this half-marathon has become comforting- I know it is there on my calendar. It gives me a goal to work towards. So a big part of me is really really disappointed to think that I might have to give up on my original goal, when there are still so many weeks of training left.
There’s another part of me, though, that doesn’t think it’s such a big deal to just stop running now until the cycle is over and the beta result is in. I don’t know if it’s the drugs, or the fact that af is here, so I’m crampy and bloaty and miserable, or if it’s because I changed seasons when I came home and I’m not used to the heat/humidity yet, or if I’m just so disheartened by the weight gain over the holiday that I figure I might as well chuck in the whole thing. Whatever it is, there is a part of me that thinks I should just stop trying to stay fit at this point, and that I should loll around until retrieval, engaging in emotional eating if I need to, and thumbing my nose at the consequences.
If this cycle works, and we end up pregnant, I’m sure I won’t care if I gained weight or loss muscle tone/cardiovascular fitness over the course of the IVF. It will all just get added to the inevitable baby weight, and I will try to reset the scales once bub arrives.
But if the cycle doesn’t work, and I did spend most of it lolling around, I’m afraid of the level of self-recrimination I’m going to experience if I gain heaps of weight and just generally become squdgy and unfit. I have a body type that tones up quickly, but gets soft again just as quickly. I can look quite different without much change on the scale.
I am very much an “all or nothing” kind of gal- I do my best running when I am following a set training program. I am usually very fit and active, or very not fit (case in point: after the last half-marathon, I think I didn’t run more than three or four times for the entire fall). It is hard for me to find a balance. So I don’t think I’ll be able to just say to myself, “let’s just try to run a couple days a week for a short distance”, for example, and see how that goes. I would always be aware of what I SHOULD have been running for my schedule. And I don’t want to enter the half-marathon if my fitness base isn’t there, even if I say to myself that I’m not trying to beat my previous PB- that is how you get injured. If I’m on that starting line, I want to be prepared for the race.
I don’t want to add stress to this cycle by trying to maintain a running schedule for an event that I probably won’t even be able to run. But I also don’t want to hate what I see in the mirror come September if this cycle fails (which, let’s face it, is my current track record).
Any assvice on how to handle this is greatly appreciated.