Gearing up

I took my last bcp on Saturday.

Ironically, given the situation, I had less bleeding on both Sunday and yesterday than had been the case for the entire previous week. But by late yesterday afternoon I figured it was ok to go in to the clinic this morning. My sister (bless her heart) came over to play with E. for the morning. They built a blanket fort, did lots of drawing, and just generally had a great time. E. was in good spirits, even though I bolted out the door very soon after he woke up.

Q. and I are going to have to figure out how we’re going to organize things for this cycle. I got in to the clinic at 8:45 a.m., which is getting towards the end of cycle monitoring hours (they run from 7:00 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays). I got out at 11:30 a.m.

RIDICULOUS.

Partly it was because we were starting everything up, so it took a while to get all the medications together and go over all the instructions. Partly it was because the ultrasound techs were short-staffed so they were running a bit behind. Mostly it was because I’m convinced my f/s forgot about me and screwed up his rotation through his offices, as he dumped me in a room and then left me there for THIRTY-FIVE minutes, and there would have been only two more people in front of me. It’s possible he dashed off to do an IUI or two, but he’s done this before. It’s the downside of my clinic being so busy.

Anyway, Q. is going to have to look after E. any morning I’m in at the clinic. I next go back in on Sunday, and I’m *hoping* he can then next see me the following Wednesday, as E. would be at nursery school, so it won’t interfere with Q.’s schedule. But there will come a time where we’re going to have to decide whether it makes more sense for me to leave for the clinic long before E. wakes up (which means Q. will be guaranteed a hysterically weeping child), or wait until after E. wakes up, which will blow Q.’s entire morning. If I get to the clinic right for the start of cycle monitoring, I hopefully would get back home again by 9:30 or so.

You forget how much time this process takes until you start doing it again.

Last night Q. and I signed our consents and made decisions about whether we were happy for discarded biological material (eggs that didn’t fertilize, follicular fluid, etc.) to be used for research purposes (yes) and whether we wanted one of us to be able to use any leftover embryos if the other had died (no). We also decided that we wanted to use the embryoscope, provided my f/s could assure me that using this new technology meant that the embryos wouldn’t be disturbed. This did indeed prove to be the case- they have six chambers in the incubator, so our embryos would get their own spot and their perfect environment won’t be disturbed by other clients’ embryos being added or removed. We decided this perfect environment was worth the $750 price tag. This is the last time we are going to do IVF, and we had a lot of attrition in our embryos between Days 3 and 5 with the cycle that brought us E. This new incubator might help them develop. I guess an added bonus will be the fact that it gives the lab techs the ability to see which really are the perfect embryos, but if our cycle goes like last time that will be irrelevant- we only had two embryos that had made it to blast by the day of the transfer, so if we get that result again clearly we’ll just be using them.

I asked my f/s to check my TSH again and should get a call about that this afternoon. All the extra blood tests he ran came back normal, although my AMH has dropped from 37 to 20, which is not unexpected given I’m three and a half years older.  It still indicates a ‘medium ovarian reserve’, so he didn’t seem too worried about it. We spent quite a long time looking at the calendar. He felt my estrogen was a bit on the low side this morning, so eventually he decided I would start stimming on Thursday. This is going to make it really touch and go to make sure we get everything done before Christmas, so I could use some good vibes for responding well. The LAST thing I want to be doing on Christmas Day is an embryo transfer.

He’s starting me on 225 iu Gonal F and 75 iu Repronex. I told the nurse to treat me like someone who’d never done it before, so we walked through every step. It should be straightforward, but it is always stressful when so much rides on you doing the right thing at the right time. I’ll go back in on Sunday to see how things are progressing.

I’m not going to lie- I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety about all of this. I’ve been sleeping really well lately, but the last three nights I woke up at 5 a.m. and then couldn’t get back to sleep. On Sunday I spent E’s entire nap surfing Pinterest for ideas for E’s room (as we’re probably going to move him into the room that is currently my study when we transition him to a bed, whether we’re having another baby or not)- an anxiety displacement activity if ever I saw one. It mostly served its purpose as a distraction, except for the point where I realized that the mattress I want to buy E. (which is made by the same company that made his crib mattress) is really quite expensive, and while it would have been easy to rationalize purchasing it if we weren’t spending all this money on the IVF, it’ll be harder to figure out where that money will come from in our current situation.

That gets to me a lot. I think there is a big part of me now that doesn’t believe we’re going to end up with a 2.0, in which case we’re basically about to flush thousands of dollars down the toilet. And while money obviously isn’t everything, there are so many other things we could be doing with it- things that would have tangible benefits for the child we DO have. I know if the IVF doesn’t work we’ll at least have the peace of mind that we did everything we could, but I wish so much there was a way to get that peace of mind without emptying our savings account.

From here on out my focus is the IVF cycle. Any dissertation work I get done will be a bonus. I’ve basically just shelved the chapter that still needs significant work- I’m not going to even look at it until January. Instead, I’m plugging away at the notes in bold I’ve left to myself in the other chapters (they usually say things like “get this reference sorted” or “add the example with the guy with sixteen kids who’s excused from munera“). They are not sweeping changes, but they have to be made, and every one I do now is one fewer I’ll need to do when I can actually focus on my work again.

When I get overwhelmed, I just remind myself that, no matter what happens, this is the very last time I’ll be stimming. This will be my last retrieval. Whatever we get from this cycle, whatever the outcome, we’re done.

Deep breaths. Take it one day at a time.

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6 Comments

Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Emotions, Medical issues, Medications, PhD, Second Thoughts, Sleep

6 responses to “Gearing up

  1. Thinking positive thoughts for you that everything goes well and is done before Christmas!

  2. Fingers crossed that things happen on a schedule that works for you!!! And there’s nothing wrong with anxiety displacement- that’s how I deal with pretty much everything. 🙂

  3. I said the same thing to myself last time also – at least this is my last time stimming!

    I think you’re wise to use the embryo scope. In the scheme of things it’s not much more money, and I think it truly could make a difference.

  4. Good to know that your tests are normal. I’m really excited for you and interested to hear about the embryo scope. Good luck!.

  5. I completely understand where you’re at. I feel your pain with the money — if this cycle doesn’t work for us, honestly one of the worst parts will be knowing that our insurance runs out at the end of the year and each frozen transfer will cost us $5k. I do think there is a lot of comfort in knowing this is your last time stimming. There’s freedom in that…and I hope, hope, hope that this last effort gets you the baby you’ve worked so hard for. xo

  6. I totally agree with you. They said something weak about it being a sterile OR so they’d have to suit up. So what? As if that’s the most difficult part of this process.

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