Today, we checked in on my ovaries to see how the Follistim has been working. It has been a tough treatment cycle. I was at a work retreat, and things just weren't as smooth as last time. My stomach was all bruised up and the headaches were intense. I didn't drink enough water because I didn't want to be running out of the meetings all the time to use the restroom, which just made it worse.
The cycle madness continued at today's appointment. I knew there was something going on in my left ovary because I felt a lot of pulling and cramping on that side. Sure enough the left ovary had at least 7 measurable eggs. Three of these were around 12mm and the other four were smaller, somewhere around 7-10mm. Nurse H called it a "heavy recruitment".
On my right ovary, I have one mature egg with a measurement of 18mm. No one knows how large an egg becomes before your body ovulates it. It varies for each person. It is possible that my body will ovulate this egg on its own. If that occurs, then the trigger shot and IUI will be for nothing, as I will have already ovulated. The problem is we can't tell if this will happen or if it did happen. Frustrating.
When Nurse H saw the situation on the ultrasound, she printed out the pictures and went to consult with Nurse M for a second opinion. It was a dilemma. Do we do the IUI right away in case I ovulate that egg on the right, or do we wait and grow the ones on the left, hoping I don't ovulate in the meantime?
They ended up deciding to "prescribe" sex, just in case I ovulate early, and continue with the Follistim for one more day. I took that dose today and the IUI is on Thursday.If I do ovulate early, I am not so sure I will become pregnant this month. Our odds aren't good at getting pregnant the "old fashioned way".
If I wait until Thursday to ovulate, it seems the chances for pregnancy are much greater. However, what happens if I ovulate all those eggs??? ALL those eggs! How many babies could that be??? This scares me to pieces. My babies have waited forever to get here; I want them to have every advantage possible. And cramming too many babies into my body would be devastating for them developmentally. That is not the start in life I want for my kids.
Having said that, for years I have seen women (including myself) worry themselves into a frenzy over their treatments, analyzing every little detail and second guessing every decision. Before all this treatment stuff started up again, I promised myself I would not fall into that trap. I was there last time with the Clomid/IUI cycles and I d0n't want to experience that again.
So, I am trying to think positively. Here are the thoughts I've been repeating over and over...
The doctor's office is very aware that I do not want to "selectively reduce" (abort some of the babies if you are carrying multiples). They have promised to take every precaution so that we do not end up in that situation. They would have cancelled the cycle if the risk was too great.
During one of my Clomid/IUI cycles, I had 4 very mature eggs, and I didn't get pregnant at all that time, so 8 eggs total doesn't necessarily mean 8 babies. Although I have a lot of eggs, most of them are very small, and may not amount to anything anyway.
If I ovulate early, than oh well. There is always the next treatment. Treatments 3 or 4 are typically the most successful anyway. The failure of cycle 2 doesn't mean a future treatment won't work.
Last cycle, everything went perfectly... not too many side effects from the treatment and 2 mature, perfect-looking eggs. The result? No pregnancy. This time, everything is difficult, chaotic and uncertain. A completely different experience than last time. Maybe the result will be different too.
Most of all, God knows us and He hears our prayers. We have been praying for our family: for the treatments to work if He sees fit, for comfort in case they don't, and for the right children to come into our lives, in the right way, at the right time, and in the speed or order they're supposed to.
At the end of the day, that's all we can do. Pray, make good decisions and pray again. The rest is out of our hands.