We were back at the clinic for bloodwork and an ultrasound today. And we are making progress.
We drove there again, leaving at 5 this morning. It’s hard, doing these trips back and forth. I wish it were easier. The strain is starting to show on both BDH and I. He’s tired and stressed about work, and then of course I stress about that. I stress about the money, I stress about whether we’re going to get through the cycle, stressstressstress… I can see why some couples cannot survive infertility and the treatment process. It is not easy. We’re both edgy and worn. BDH bears the burden of trying to do this while keeping his managers happy at work, and while he has been wonderfully supportive of me and has been a huge part of this process, I know how stressful it is for him. These are the days I wish I had a crystal ball to see into the future — will it all work out? is it all worthwhile, in the end? — because if I could get an answer one way or the other, I’d maybe do things differently. But we’re nearing the end. One way or another, the end is in sight.
I did my blood test at 7 am, and we went to the hospital for my 9 am ultrasound. In between the two, we had my 8 am shot, which we did in the parking garage. Anyone looking out of a hospital window would have seen me with my pants down, getting a shot in the leg from BDH. NIIIIICE. Mind you, I’ll bet we’re not the first couple who had to administer some of their shots in the car, and I’ll bet we won’t be the last.
The ultrasound was delayed today. Normally we’re in and out really quick. But today, we didn’t even head down the hall to the exam room until about 9:40. It seems someone got their wires crossed, and they were scrambling to get one of the doctors in to do the ultrasounds. As I waited in my bedsheet toga in the changeroom, I heard the exam before me get underway. (I eavesdrop. So sue me.) Toward the end of the exam, the doctor started counting off the sizes of the patient’s follicles, and I counted along on my hand to figure out how many follicles she had. This woman had TWENTY-NINE. And that was not counting some tiny ones the doctor couldn’t be bothered measuring. That, my friends, is what you call overstimulation. That’s twice as many as they aim for in a cycle. I felt kind of bad for her. Sometimes it’s okay to have underachieving ovaries.
When my turn came up, I got the knock on the door, and I walked in to see… Doctor Dour sitting at the ultrasound machine. Doctor Dour is a woman in her late forties, let’s say. I suppose she is pleasant, in her own way, if you count a smile hello as pleasant. Perhaps she’s just shy. Or reserved. She talks very economically, and she is certainly not one for small talk. I have tried, in the few times I have had her, to be pleasant, to jolly her up a bit… no dice, man. Doctor Dour is virtually charm-free. And she tends to diss Doctor Power, Gynecological Superhero, at least once during every appointment I have with her. (But then, he IS a hard act to follow. We LOVE him.) This does not endear her to us. And, as a woman AND an OB, you think she’d know her way around a vagina a little better than she seems to, because some days she’s pretty fierce with that ol’ ultrasound wand. Like today. I swear she hit a speed bump or a rib or something because WHOA, she yanged hard on that thing once and I very nearly leapt off the bed. So not our favourite doctor in the place, then, but she’s not the worst, either.
HOWEVER, it was not all a bad time. For in this exam, we learned two things. First, the Magnificent Seven are growing, and they seem to be growing at a uniform rate. This is good. Slowly, yes, but still growing. And that is what counts. Second, (*drum roll*) THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN HAVE CALLED IN REINFORCEMENTS! Well, ONE, anyway. One more small follicle showed up on today’s ultrasound, bringing the total to eight. Eight little follicles. So that was fairly cool. I was very pleased. Doctor Dour, of course, was noncommmittal. Bah. Party pooper.
Once we were done, we were off to the pharmacy to restock on drugs. We had another long wait there — apparently this hospital was THE place to be today — but finally, my name was called. We went up to the till to find, sadly, that BDH’s drug plan had finally maxed out. We now have to pay for all our drugs. Well, we worked the system as long as we could, and saved ourselves a fair bit of money. And we’ll try to push it through again next time, because, quite frankly, the woman behind the counter was a noob, and we’re thinking that maybe it might have been a mistake. It’s worth trying, anyway.
And with that, we climbed back into the car, and headed off for the two hour trek home. I dropped BDH off at work on the way, and came home to wait for the callback about the day’s tests.
Our case nurse, Pat, is off today and tomorrow, so a different nurse called us back. She said my estradiol was over 3000 (3300-ish, I think), and my LH was 3 or 4. I can’t remember exactly, because as soon as I got that first number up over 3000 from 860-something last week, I did a mental “YESSSSSSSSSSSS!” and totally missed the rest. All good numbers, though, which I confirmed with this nurse. Although, I think the nurse is a noob too, because I asked her which of my medications was to stop me from ovulating, and she told me one, then called back and told me another. I honestly don’t think she knows. And this is one more thing I don’t want to stress about. So we carry on with the meds I am taking currently, and head back on Wednesday for more blood and ultrasound. And Pat will be back, so I’ll ask her my drug question.
So we are moving up: in estradiol, in follicles, in costs, and in stress and worry and exhaustion. So, progress is not all it is cracked up to be then, huh?