I feel terrible saying that.
I know there are a ton of people who would give their eye-teeth just to have the opportunity to do as many IUI and IVF cycles as we have done.
I know we are very, very blessed in the opportunities we've had.
I hate it. I very much dislike the word 'hate'. Luke adores Mama Llama books, and one of them has a line, "Llama Llama HATES that book," and we read it, "Llama Llama doesn't like that book," because I don't like the word "hate".
So I don't use it lightly when I say I hate this whole process.
I was aggravated enough this morning at my appointment because I was scheduled for 8 and got there at 7:45. Someone else was already signed in...had gotten there a few minutes before I was for an 8:30 appointment.
She was called back first.
WHY MAKE AN APPOINTMENT? This happens all.the.time. Drives me nuts.
Anyway, my regular sonographer here in NC wasn't there, but the fill-in was awesome. She works in the MFM office that I would be going to if pregnant here and she herself is an IUI/IVF patient. She does it for a living and lives it for a life.
When she started to scan, I knew it wasn't great off the bat. She was quiet, where she'd been sooooooooo chatty up until the wand went in. Then she said, "Girl, you've only got one follicle here."
I had five antral follicles on that ovary the other day. Only one was responding to pretty heavy medication.
She then said, "Let's hope there are 20 on the other side."
Yeah, right. Two.
There were seven on Monday.
Two were responding.
She said, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but girlfriend, if it was me, I'd quit wasting the drugs, have sex, cross your fingers and go for another cycle next month if that didn't work."
I have been really very much anticipating this cycle—mainly because either I get pregnant and HOPEFULLY bring a sibling home, or I don't, but feel like we have done all we really should have done to do so and we just have to accept that we only get to raise Luke.
Which would bring its own grief in acceptance, but still...taking me out of this limbo of "Will we or won't we have more?"
I did NOT anticipate sort of having that decision made for me...crappy cycle not giving me even the vote.
I could not see pumping my body with drugs that basically killed my mother (her breast cancer was estrogen-induced), not to mention throwing several thousand dollars away for 3 crappy little follicles...especially with my horrible egg quality issue.
And I was ready to scrap it. Scrap it, save the meds we have left for next month and pray for less suppression at the beginning. (I was suppressed with lupron a few more days this cycle to hopefully prevent my estrogen from being CRAZY high like it normally is and not putting us in the situation where we may have to cancel because it was too high.)
Well, well, well....no worries there. My estrogen on Monday was 51. Today? 46.4. Yeah, that's not great.
My lining was still showing some fluid.
My gut was screaming, "STOP!!!! STOP!!!! STOP!!! STOP!!! STOP!!!!!"
But John said we needed to wait until we talked to Dr. K.
Of course, when he called, I bawled and bawled. He had not yet seen my reports yet, and was basically going on what I told him. He, true to his nature, said, "LORI....I have told you a million times 90% of what we worry about doesn't happen...."
And then, as he does every time he tells me that, he said, "I'm sorry...I know you fall in that 10% often. You've had a lot of experiences that have negatively impacted your thinking and I understand that. But, without being disrespectful to the ultrasonographer, she is not an endocrinologist. You pay me to worry about how to make your ovaries respond and whether or not you should cancel a cycle and it is far, far, far too early. I am as optimistic as I was a few days ago that I'm going to be able to give you a pregnancy this cycle."
I cried some more and said, "But only three follicles????????? Three measly little follicles??????"
He then reviewed my cycles...Matthew's started with low estrogen and I had 12. Luke's started with low estrogen and I had 13. Trey's started with low estrogen and I had 17. All three were pregnancies. Two of which were lovely full-term pregnancies. This, apparently, is just how I roll. He said, "Do you honestly think that based on your track record, you'll only have three this time?????"
Yes. I honestly do.
This is different. Very different. At this point in Trey's cycle, I had estrogen of 182 and 18 follicles. EIGHTEEN. I don't know about Matthew's or Luke's, but I know that I wasn't stressed about how many I had. I didn't stress about those cycles until later, ha ha.
I reviewed blog posts from the last cycle and apparently, I was freaking out on day 6 and Jackie reminded me I was a Day 8 kind of girl...that's when things came on and came on strong—that's what happened in both Matthew's and Luke's cycles, and darned if she wasn't right and that very thing happened in Trey's cycle too.
Regardless....I hate this. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate this. Since Matthew died, I have tried to live making decisions I would not regret. Living in a way that should the worst happen, I'd be able to look back and say I'd not make a single different decision.
I was praying that this cycle would leave me with no regrets—not regretting giving one more shot after we lost Trey...feeling like I could truly accept this cycle not being successful would be the end of our reproductive efforts because I felt like I'd really given it my all these past 13 years.
Now, I am in a sea of regret. Regret I had too much lupron. Regret that we are going to go ahead and what if it stinks and we should have stopped and started over? Regret that we DO get to retrieval with a few more than 3, but not as many as we could have if we'd started over anyway.
I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
I just hate it.
And I hate that I am feeling so hateful right now.
I'm heading to Virginia tomorrow. Luke keeps saying, "Grandma? Grandma? Grandma?" so I think he's going to enjoy it, and regardless of the cycle, it will be nice to visit. He is at a crazy fun stage and I know our family will love it.
I'll also know more Saturday. That's when Dr. K said he'll consider where we go from here.
So until then...I just have to give these ovaries a pep talk.
And by the way, for anyone who has ever wondered why infertile women don't "just do IVF,"...THIS is why. It's not like you just walk in not pregnant and walk out pregnant.
IVF is NEVER a guarantee.