IVF #2: Why Can’t I Be A Zen Master?


Ok, I tried to stay away from the blog. Tried it. I thought it would help me tone down the crazy. I can’t do it, though.


I need you guys like the desert needs the rain. I need you like leaves need the sun. I need you like ____________ (insert cliché of choice).

The truth is, there is likely no way for me to not be crazy. Let’s face facts here. To be fair, I was feeling cool as a cucumber until this morning. I was taking my injections like a champ, listening to my hypnosis MP3 every night and not obsessing about anything (I swear). But then. There’s always a but, right?

This morning I had my first scan since starting stims. At my baseline scan a few days ago, I had 28 follicles. This is a record number of resting follicles for me. I was pumped. I was feeling pretty bad-ass—yeah, don’t mind me, that’s just my ovaries, with like a million follicles. Now, I know that baseline follicle count doesn’t really mean jack, but I was excited just the same. Surely that meant I might end up with more than two blastocysts at the end of this, right? Meh.

So anyway, I go to my appointment this morning after three days of stims and my doctor counts 12 follicles total. Wait, what? Where did the other 16 follicles go? You mean they just turned into dust and disappeared? WTF.

I asked my doctor where they all went and she said that some just don’t respond to the medication at all. So yeah, 12. I’m pretty sure that’s less than I had last time at this point. I asked her if that meant that only 12 would make it through to the end and she said it’s not a definite number, but that’s around what we’re looking at. Well, eff me. Has this ever happened to you guys—after three days of stims you had way less follicles than you started with?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d be psyched to get 12 eggs at retrieval. But last time I had 16 follicles at the end and only got 10 eggs. So this is making me nervous. At my age, a little over half of my embryos will be genetically abnormal. So if I don’t end up with at least two day-five embryos, it’s not looking good for normalcy in these parts.

Another thing that’s upping my crazy factor is that I found out yesterday that I need three more root canals. They’ll have to happen in the next two weeks because I don’t want to put them off until I (please God) get pregnant. You guys, all I do is get root canals. It’s like a part time job. And who wants to get root canals while also injecting yourself every night?

Plus, hormones. HORMONES. This cycle I’m on the highest possible dose of stimulation meds that my clinic will allow. So yeah, I’m like, whoa.

But guess what? I have zero control over any of this crap. It is what it is. So really, what is my crazy accomplishing?



I need my center back. If you find it, can you send it along to me?


48 thoughts on “IVF #2: Why Can’t I Be A Zen Master?

  1. Welcome back!! I’m selfishly glad to see you writing again, but at the same time I’m disappointed that you are feeling a bit crazy right now. I hope you are able to centre yourself! And if you do, please share your success tips. 🙂
    I absolutely do not understand how so many follicles can disappear. I hope someone with some knowledge on IVF can enlighten you (and me too, cuz I’m super curious). But, for what it’s worth I still think 12 is a pretty awesome number.

    1. Hahaha, if I find my center, you’ll be the first to get the how-to manual! And you are so right, 12 is certainly nothing to sniff at. It’s all about perspective–something that is extremely easy to lose on this roller coaster ride of infertility and loss. Xo.

  2. I love your writing – glad you will connect with us through this cycle! I don’t know anything about IVF but hormones make me crazy too (have been on progesterone pills). Just hang in there – you definitely aren’t alone! Xoxo

  3. Been thinking about you! I drool over 12 follicles. My one cycle that brought me my son I was working with 7 ( major DOR over here). I have heard and seen that often fewer follicles mean better quality. Rooting for you so hard. I am not superstitious or anything but have a good feeling about this cycle for you. Xo

    1. Oh my gosh, Mamajo, I’ve been thinking about you, too! How are you doing? And you are right, 12 is still very good. I just needed to adjust my expectations a little. If I make it through all of stims keeping those 12 I will be very happy. Thanks for sharing your good feeling — I so hope it’s dead on! Xo.

  4. Wishing for the best! Unfortunately, You won’t know until you know. I had 13 follicles and only 1 mature egg. Some ladies go 1:1… Either scenario I always had to use the mantra it only takes one (which is also uber frustrating). So just know I am in your corner and wishing you lots of luck this go around. Welcome back!

  5. Oh my god — root canals and hormones, you poor thing! Yeah, I’d be way out in left field if those things were taking over my life too! Here’s hoping for a round dozen of mature eggs…

    Welcome back!

  6. Oh my goodness! That’s a lot of root canals at once. I’ve had 3 root canals, but those were long ago. I did just have to get a replacement crown for one of the root canal teeth, and I had to get an additional procedure to cut down my gums before the crown. It was a bundle of fun!!

    It’s hard to not be crazy during stims. I had 15 eggs at ER, my RE never told me how many I had to begin with, so I guess it’s good that I had nothing to compare it to. My RE told me before we started that anything above 14 was a good number!

    1. That’s great that your RE never told you anything. At my practice, they type the follicle count in directly on the ultrasound screen, and I can’t look away! And then of course I have to ask my doctor about it, and proceed to obsess about it, etc. I really think being blissfully unaware is the way to go! Maybe I’ll try averting my eyes next time haha.

  7. Hon you are doing great! We don’t do baseline scans here (or at least my clinic doesn’t and now I can kinda see why) BUT I can tell you that collection numbers and fertilisation numbers are just random. For me: 16 c, 13 ok to fertilise,only 2 of those suckers took / 13 c, 9 ok to fertilise, 8 fertilised, ended with 3 blasts / 16 c, 16 ok to fertilise BUT only 9 took and only 2 blasts. So you might get 12 and have 12 ok. It is entirely possible. But you may have less and get a good number of blasts. It is sooooo freaking random. Nice to have you back on here by the way. I love your posts. Just remember, you are on A LOT of drugs right now if you are doing max stim levels. Give yourself a wee little break. xxx

    1. Thanks for sharing all of those numbers! I really do like to see how others have got on. It just puts in perspective that it’s totally random what ends up making it to blast. If I end up with three good-quality blasts, I will be doing a jig in the street for sure! Oh, how I’ve missed this drama (not). And thanks, as always, for your never-ending, awesome support! Xo.

  8. Yikes, that is a lot of root canals in a short period of time. Best of luck on that venture. Hopefully this IVF round is it for and 12 follicles are your lucky number. I never knew follicles could disappear, hopefully someone gives you a good answer as to why that happens. Best of luck!

  9. Hormones and teeth and stress, oh my! I am glad you are writing though, because using your amazing creativity relieves some of the stress.

  10. I’m so glad you’re back, personally though I can’t fault anyone for dropping off the blogging radar. I have been feeling kind of down and have not been able or willing to write about it. I’ve never had 12 contenders so I don’t know what to say there except that old cliche about it only taking one. I am really sorry you feel so short on grounding. I honestly believe both hormones and steroids really mess with our ability to remain centred and connected to our core selves. Maybe cut yourself some slack in light of that? I wish I could put out a lost and found as for your centre and deliver it to you in the meantime. I need a magic wand. Seriously.

    1. Thanks, my friend. I have missed you as well! I’m sorry you are feeling down. Feel free to email me anytime if you ever want to have an off-blog vent. You are right, I should probably just accept the fact that the hormones are messing with me and not beat myself up over it! Xo.

  11. If you weren’t a little crazy I definitely would wonder wtf was wrong with you. This is shitty shit shit to go through. It drives us batty. But we always manage to dust ourselves off. You’ve got this Tanya. No matter what your head keeps trying to tell you, you have to just put your faith in your body and trust your doctor, and trust that you’re going to get your second little no matter what. Go hard because there’s no going home mama! Glad to have you back. Don’t worry about the camera shy follicles. You never know what can happen between stim day 1 and ER day. I believe in you and in this. It’s gonna be a good one! Xx

    1. Haha, you’re the best — thanks! I’m doing it, I’m totally going ALL IN. Cuz you’re right, there’s no going back! Operation Faith & Trust, starting now…

  12. Lol. Just lol. Buckle up and enjoy the ride! I had days and days of stims where they were too small to even be counted. Ended up with 10 being retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized ICSI. Sending luck and thanks for continue to include us in your journey xxx

    1. Hahaha, so glad I could make you laugh! All 7 of your guys made it to freeze, right? That is phenomenal! I would die of happiness if that happened. I’m doing ICSI this time because of PGD and I’m a bit nervous because we had good success last time without ICSI! We’ll see. Every day is an adventure, isn’t it?

  13. I’m glad you are back! I’m not sure where center is myself, but I can be in crazyland with you! At least it’s never boring! Ha!

    1. Thank you for joining me in Crazyland! You are right, there’s always something exciting happening there. Those poor, boring sane people have noooo idea what they’re missing. 🙂

  14. Yay welcome back! I have missed reading your posts. If I get to have another go at ivf I am not listening too much to the numbers, they seem to change all the time and I was confused esp re the disappearing ones! 12 is sounding pretty fantastic to me (me of few eggs). Think of it this way all you need is a few good eggs, a couple of frosties would be amazing but ultimately at least one great embryo to put back….well that is how I see it but you know how low my numbers were. Yuk to the root canals, you do not like to do things by halves! I sent you an email btw, it may of ended up in your spam lol. Keeping fingers and toes crossed and hope to hear how you are doing again soon. xo

  15. Welcome back honey!! Can’t believe it’s go time already :)… I went from 19 antral follicles to 14 on retrieval. It was disappointing but that’s the name of game I guess. I do hope you write more often to share concerns and craziness so we can cheer you on and help with the zen! *baby dust*

  16. I drop off the radar, too. But I still read and feel inspired. I am wishing you all the luck in the world. And if you ever need us, just post and you got us!

  17. Oh goodness me – I was reading this and thinking no, no, no! And then when you hit me with the root canal news. Oh man – you must be going crazy in the midst of it. I can’t even imagine what happened to those follicles. It seems like a lot to just vanish?! The human body makes no sense to me sometimes. I’d be pretty hacked off as well to go from 28 to 12. Although, as everyone keeps on saying (and I repeated it to myself endlessly, along with a couple of other mantras that kept me semi-sane), it only takes one good egg. Just one. You’ll get through this. Stay positive and I’m sending tons of grow vibes your way xxx

  18. I can’t help with your questions about follicles – but all you need is one good egg so I’ll be hoping that your one is there!!!! I’m glad to see a post from you and will be wishing you all good things for this cycle. xxx.

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