Today I called in my day one of what could be my last cycle of infertility treatment. I’m going to try to document this one fairly carefully. It’s a big one.
And so, with that, let me put the disclaimer out there RIGHT NOW that there could be TMI in this and subsequent posts about this cycle. So if you’re not interested in knowing about just what goes on with my reproductive organs, or you wish to remain blissfully ignorant of what happens during a gynecological procedure, or if you are just squeamish reading about girly bits using all the proper terminology, might I suggest clicking on a different site? Go no further. Do not pass go; do not collect $200.
Also, if at any time during my infertility posts you feel compelled to come back with a response like “Oh, you think THAT is bad, just wait until LABOUR!” or something equally helpful, take this opportunity to consider the following before doing so:
- I am cranked full of hormones.
- That is in NO WAY helpful or productive to the conversation at hand.
- I am now cranked even MORE full of hormones than I was in point 1, and, also, in the interval, may have grabbed a sharp pointy implement to hurt you with.
If that is you, please go look at the People magazine site or something. Thank you.
On the other hand, if you’re cool with all that, carry on.
With a day one, you call in and plan the next step, or few steps, in your cycle. For me, this means I’ve got to get up on day 3 (Thursday) and head out around 5:30 am (earlier if the weather is bad) for the 1.5 hour drive to the clinic. In this case, I just have to go to the lab they work with. I have to be in town by 7 am for a blood test. I have to be there between 7 and 7:15 at the latest so they can get the blood drawn and ready for a 7:30 pick up, so they can have same-day turn-around of results. On most cycles, day 3 blood work just makes sure blood levels are normal, before you can proceed.
I had thought that this protocol called for a day 3 ultrasound as well, but, as it turns out, it’s not on the charts. And to this I say praise the Lord and pass the beer nuts. Let me just say, I do not enjoy transvaginal ultrasounds as much as some people. Perhaps I am just an old stick-in-the-mud, but there’s very little I enjoy less than having someone jam a wand up my person and yang it around so that it pushes sideways against my vaginal wall like it’s a balloon just needing to be stretched out before you can blow it up. But if there’s something I enjoy even LESS, it’s having that same procedure in the middle of a period. Because, you know, you’re uncomfortable already with cramps and bloating and soreness and stuff, so let’s just add to that discomfort, and then throw in a whole lot of embarassment and ick factor to make the day REALLY memorable. Oh YIPPEE. So I am happy that they’re passing on that exquisite joy this time.
So once my day 3 blood tests are back, I will get a call back with instructions. This will either be to stop, because my tests came back irregular, or to wait until day 5 and begin a cycle of birth control pills. It seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? Taking birth control pills to try to get pregnant. Well, here’s the explanation behind that. (Bear in mind, this could be COMPLETELY wrong; this is just what I understand happened. But it was explained to me while I was in a bit of shock and denial, so you know, don’t take it as gospel. I was wigged out, and might have misunderstood. Okay. Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.) This is what’s called a microdose flare protocol because — well, because the MICRODOSE protocol I was on LAST cycle caused my hormones to FLARE. The microdose was of a drug to stop me from producing any hormones or any follicles. But my system went into a freak out and went “OMG, they’re trying to shut us DOWN! Get a follicle out STAT! MUST! REPRODUCE! MUST! PROTECT! GENE! POOL! Fire in the hold!” So I produced 2 follicles all in a hurry before I had even started taking follicle stimulating hormones, and THEN my hormones shut up shop. They had wanted 10-15 follicles from that cycle. So I spent 6 days injecting myself with a drug that cost $450 a day, and it all went into those 2 little follicles like I had called in the reinforcements.
So because of the microdose flare, I am starting birth control WAY in advance. Sneak attack. Paranoid hormone bastards won’t even know what hit ’em. I’ll have everything snoozing well in advance of the follicle stimulating hormones. And that way, I’ll be a blank canvas, waiting for the Da Vinci of REI, Gonal-F (*insert heavenly choir here*) to create a masterpiece of 10 to 15 follicles on my ovaries. Okay, at this point, I’d take Kinkade creating a less magnificent but at least commercially viable 7 or 8 follicles. Because last time, it was some guy who draws stick figures. (Yeah. Metaphor. Keep up, willya?)
And after that is done… well then, poppets, I get to begin injecting myself with abut 5 different hormones and drugs! YAY! But that’s another story for another day.