IVF #1: Future Still Uncertain

Blarg. That pesky cyst is still hanging around. I went back to the doc’s on Friday to get everything checked out. My regular doctor was in a different office that day, so another dude, who I really did not like, did my ultrasound. I don’t even think he glanced at my chart beforehand. He was like, “There is a cyst present.” Yeah buddy, got that memo, thanks. I asked him if it was bigger or smaller than last time and he said he’d go into his office to check. Once I met him there, he told me the cyst was the same size. I asked him what happened if it didn’t go away. He said they can drain it, which isn’t a great option because often it just grows back. The other option is surgery, which I’m sure involves months off for recovery time, not mentioning all the usual risks of surgery.

I left feeling part upset, part relieved and part freaked out. Upset because I couldn’t start that day. Relieved because I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to start that day, since these last couple of weeks just felt so crazy, and IVF would certainly be adding to that crazy. And freaked out because I really don’t want to get surgery.

So I’m thinking, ok, I’m going to take at least a month off.

But then the nurse called me later that afternoon with a curve ball. She said that my doctor wants to convert this cycle to an estrogen priming cycle. Basically, that means that I’ll wait for ten or so days, then come back in so they can check to see if I’ve ovulated. Once that happens, I start taking Estrace (which I think is just estrogen in pill form) until I get my next period. At that point I’ll start the injections on day three. That means no birth control pills (woo!). She said nothing about the cyst, which seemed to be a major issue this morning with the other doctor (and feels like a major issue to me).

I asked the nurse what happens if the cyst doesn’t go away and she was like, “Oh, I don’t know. I think Dr. G. was mostly just concerned about getting your antral follicle count up.” That was the other thing. At my ultrasound before starting birth control, I had 20 follicles, and on Friday the number had gone down to something like five. Anyway, apparently estrogen stops them from disappearing. I have no idea why, but I’d like to find out.

After getting off the phone with her, I immediately googled, “estrogen priming IVF” because I’m obviously a glutton for punishment. Every single site was like, “This protocol is only for people with very low ovarian reserve.” For anyone who is blissfully unaware of all things infertility, low ovarian reserve is really bad. All of my previous tests for ovarian reserve came back normal, so I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe it’s the birth control’s fault?

Anyway, I have billion questions for my doctor. She did actually call me Friday evening to see if I had any questions and “wanted to chat” (love her), but unfortunately I missed the call. Hopefully we can connect tomorrow.

If you’re still reading (I’m pretty sure this is the most boring post I’ve ever written), can you please send me some cyst-shrinking prayers/thoughts/vibes? I’m kind of glad that I have another few weeks to just kind of chill, but after that, I really hope I can finally start. But in order for that to happen, this cyst needs to go away or at least get smaller. I’m looking into every natural remedy in the book, including herbs from my acupuncturist. Today, I tried apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Why that’s supposed to work, I don’t know. A couple times a day, I’m visualizing the cyst shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. We’ll see.

And maybe, if you can spare ‘em, send over some overall happy thoughts. I’m trying not to get discouraged, but I am hoping things will go a bit smoother from here on out. I’m trying to be calm and still so I can feel that presence around me–the one that says, “Mama, I’m coming, don’t worry.” I’m trying to send the “what if” thinking packing and just believe that this is all part of The Plan.

But sometimes it’s hard. And by sometimes, I mean right now.

Anyway, that’s all I got. Next ultrasound is on the 28th. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the next episode of As The Ovaries Turn.

IVF #1: Oh, The Drama

IVF is so dramatic. I recently read a blog post where the author joked that every appointment during IVF will feel like the defining moment of your life. Sadly, this is true. I’ve felt crazed after my last two appointments. Like, holy crap, end-of-the-world crushed. And then an hour or two passes and I’m like, oh yeah, this is not the end of the world, not even freaking close.

I had my follow up appointment yesterday morning. The cyst hasn’t budged. In fact, it might be ever-so-slightly bigger. That sucker is holding out. The doctor had me stop the pill and told me to come back in again on cycle day two. If the cyst has disappeared or significantly shrunk by then, and everything else looks good, I’ll start the injections that day. If not, then I might have to wait ’til January to finally start this cycle. Apparently, their lab is closed for a three-week period over the holidays and they don’t let you start if it looks like the end of your cycle might fall anywhere in that window.

After the appointment that morning, I was like Eeyore in over-the-knee boots, glumly going about my work, thinking, How can I possibly wait until January? My baby is never going to get here. I’m getting old. I’m probably too old to even be wearing these over-the-knee boots. 

But now? Meh. It is what it is. There’s nothing I can do to control the outcome, so I’m letting go. Of course I don’t want to wait ’til January and of course I’m bummed that the cyst hasn’t shrunk, but I really believe that what’s meant to be will be. I’ve had a lot going on with the car accident, millions of root canals, craziness at my job and Tim’s contract cancellation, so maybe it’s not the right time. Or maybe my baby really wants to be a Libra, who knows. Or maybe I’ll go back in a few days and they’ll be like, “Look at these perfect, cyst-free ovaries! Let’s start right this second!”

The point is, it’s all out of my hands. Whoooosh! That’s the sound of my worries being carried away by the wind.

So for now, the Drama Queen has left the building–at least until my next appointment!

IVF #1: Stalled By The Cyst Monster


I went to my baseline appointment bright and early this morning. I was feeling pretty pumped. My ovaries, however, were not.

Right at the beginning of the ultrasound the doctor said, “You have a cyst on your left ovary.” On the screen it looked like a gigantic monster cyst. She said it was about two inches. Ok, maybe not jumbo-sized, but that still seems kind of big to me. There was no evidence of any cysts at my ultra-sound two weeks ago. She said that cysts are normal, but this one was just had “really bad timing.” You can say that again.

In addition to the cyst issue, I only had a few follicles total. I had 20 two weeks ago. I don’t understand where they went and why they decided to peace out. I get that the cyst might have effected the follicles in one ovary, but even the cyst-less ovary only had three or so. I asked her if that was the birth control’s fault, like maybe it over suppressed my reproductive system, but I didn’t get a clear answer on that.

She said we had three options:

1. Make sure the cyst is not making estrogen. If it’s not, we could go ahead with the cycle as planned.

2. Stay on birth control pill for another couple of weeks and then reassess.

3. Stop birth control, wait another full cycle and then start again. She said there’s a possibility that she’d change my protocol and start the next round with no birth control pills.

She told me that she would least likely want to go with option 1 because I had so few follicles. She said, “Maybe this just isn’t the best cycle to start.” My heart dropped a little when I heard those words.

My bloodwork came back this afternoon and showed that the cyst wasn’t making estrogen. So I have that going for me. The plan now is to stay on birth control ’til Monday, repeat the ultrasound and then meet with the doctor afterwards to discuss what to do going forward. I’m glad we’re meeting with her again because I have a bunch of questions. But if the birth control is over-surpressing me, which it seems like it is, then things aren’t going to look any better on Monday, right? And if we have to take off another cycle, I’d really rather get started on it than delay the inevitable.

My doctor kept saying that we need to focus on the end game and not on the short term. I completely agree with her, but I was so excited to start. I know another month and change isn’t a huge deal in the long run, but I’m not getting any younger. I feel like all of this waiting is starting to pile up.

Curve balls, man. They get you every time. I was positive that this first IVF would go smoothly. I didn’t have a feeling either way on if i would get pregnant or not, but I felt strongly that the process itself would be pretty straight forward. Har-har-har, the joke was on me.

To put it mildly, I am really bummed.

Has anyone out there in the blogiverse had a cyst stop treatment, or had a lower follicle count at their baseline than they expected?. If so, please share your stories!

Everything’s Coming Up Bogus

This bumper hates New Jersey.
This bumper has no love for New Jersey.

You guys, ugh. These last few days have been kind of crazy.

It started on Friday. Lettie was all set to go to the pumpkin patch—her first school trip—and I was also going as her chaperone. We were both so excited. I mean, I was talking this field trip up for weeks.

Anyway, the kids were being transported to the farm via school bus. The idea of a two-year-old on a school bus sketched me out, so I decided to drive her in my car just to be safe.

So, naturally, we got into a car accident on the way there.

Effing New Jersey, dude. Every time I’ve been in a car accident it’s happened in Jersey.

I was sitting there at the world’s most confusing light trying to figure out if I could turn when, BAM, some guy crashed into the back of my car.

I immediately started screaming and crying because I couldn’t believe I got into an accident with my two-year-old in the back. That one second between when I got hit and when I turned around and saw that Lettie was ok was the scariest second of my life.

Luckily, she was ok. I was ok, too, minus a sore neck. Also luckily, the guy that hit us was nice. He was older and must’ve been a dad. He kind of talked me down from the ledge.

He was like, “You’re baby is crying because you’re crying. Why you don’t go sit in the back with your baby?”

So I did. And when Lettie stopped crying he was all, “Ok, your baby is calm. Why don’t we drive to the gas station to get off the road?”

After we got home, I went to the ER to get my neck checked. The doc said it’s likely just muscle strain and sent me home with a prescription for muscle relaxers. Our car will be in the shop for a week or two, but at least we get to drive a sweet Nissan Ultima rental.

That accident freaked me out, though. That same night I woke up and couldn’t stop picturing a different outcome, one where I turned around and Lettie was not ok. This resulted in a nice little 3 a.m. sob fest. I don’t know how anyone loses a child and survives. I really don’t. Even just the thought of it makes me want to throw up.

Now fast-forward through a muscle-relaxer-induced haze to the events of yesterday. A bit of background: Tim is a teacher in a seriously bankrupt school district. They’ve been saying for months that teachers need to contribute to the district’s debt, which is the result of years of bad money management—absolutely nothing that the teachers had anything to do with. Yesterday the school district had a secret meeting and cancelled the teachers’ contract. Is this legal? I have no idea, but I’m guessing no. The Teacher Union is going to sue, but who knows how long that will take. One of the results of this contract cancellation: they increased our monthly insurance contribution…by $550 a month.

5-effing-50 a month!

We could switch to my plan but, haha, my plan has zero infertility coverage. Tim’s does (which I know is incredibly rare and we are incredibly grateful for it). So either we find out a way to come up with an extra $550 a month or we’re going to have to potentially stop fertility treatments–at least until we can save some major dough. I don’t think the changes effect this current IVF cycle, so we will proceed as planned for now. Please God let this one work.

You know, not to add any more stress to an already pressure-cooker situation or anything. Aren’t I supposed to be heading into IVF all stress-free?

Tomorrow I go in for my baseline scan and then I’ll hopefully start stims by the end of the week. Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and we can get started. Oh, and tomorrow I’m also getting my fourth root canal in as many months. Party time!

I don’t know, guys. I try to be positive on the ole blog. But right now? I’m just feeling pretty overwhelmed. If you have any faith and or hope to lend me, I could really use it right about now. I promise to repay you in spades.

Instead of a trip to the pumpkin patch, Lettie got to hang out at the gas station all morning. Wooooo!
Instead of a trip to the pumpkin patch, Lettie got to hang out at the gas station all morning. Wooooo!