My fellow follicles,
I stand before you this evening to give you pertinent information on the State of the Ovaries. Let me begin by saying the State of the Ovaries is good.**
Or at least, it’s not as bad as it could be. Kind of like the war in Iraq.
— the management
So here’s the way it was supposed to work:
You start counting the day you get your period. That day is day one. Assuming your period is relatively regular, you start your fancy little OPK on day 11 at 6:45 a.m. When you get a positive, you go the Big City and call them before 7 a.m. to schedule an appointment for bloodwork and a vaginal ultrasound. If you are indeed heavy with egg, they schedule the IUI for the following day, which allows you a full night of shopping for baby furniture at IKEA.
If for any reason you do not get a positive by day four, you are by default expected to produce your ovaries for their close up on day five so you do not inadvertently miss your ovulation date.
Potential wrenches in this plan:
* Your period is regular — except for this month — largely due to the insane level of stress that has invaded your life.
* You don’t live in the Big City. And on the weekend, you have to make it to the lab by 8:30 a.m. Which means that if you live in the small town, you need to leave your home by 5 a.m. in order to make it to the lab on time. Which makes it mathematically impossible to see the positive as late as 6:45 a.m.
* You do not get a positive on day four. So you leave at ass crack of dawn on day five to visit Big City without being able to consult with nurse, doctor, anyone before you leave. Because those people would have likely said: “Stay home until you get a positive.”
Which is how we arrived in the Big City at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. The ultrasound showed a 13 and an 11 for follicles (unmedicated), and the bloodwork showed no surge.
I believe that is the textbook definition of up shit crick without a paddle.
We were given three options:
- Stay in town until Tuesday morning — when (or if, they should have said) the follicle grows and the LH surges, we’ll do a same-day IUI.
- Go back to small town and come back later in the week when we get a positive.
- Or just give up and sob uncontrollably into the neck of your dog because you are friggin exhausted and just want to give up.
We opted for numbers one and three. After my initial sobbing subsided, we checked into a hotel and slept for a good six hours. We had a good time visiting things in the Big City.
We went back for a second ultrasound and bloodwork Tuesday morning. Bloodwork showed a fabulous surge. Manual exam showed a wealth of pretty fab EWCM.
But the ultrasound showed no growth. And so ended our first IUI.
As the doc put it: “You should still try at home. Tonight. Tomorrow. Thursday. And Saturday. I can’t say you’re not ovulating.”
So here’s why I’m miffed:
- Do not put in the instructions that we should come in on day five come hell or high water if you don’t actually think we should do that. We, the infertile, take the shit you send us home with very seriously.
- Do not tell me to stay in town for two days for an IUI without explaning that the IUI might never happen.
- And I am not a rabbit. So while I’m flattered that you think I should have sex four times in just over 96 hours, I’d kindly appreciate it if you discuss that with me first and not my husband, who will likely side on the “we need to do it to have a baby” side of things.
- No, I am not doing another IUI (or a first IUI since this one didn’t happen). I live 240 miles away and cannot miss three days of work (I work Sunday through Thursday) for shits and giggles and the off chance we might actually do something proactive toward treating our infertility. So let’s get back to the big guns.
** So here’s why I’m pleased:
- I have two ovaries. Both of them produce adorable little follicles without meds. While this might sound fairly obvious, I’ve begun to feel that until medical science confirms what is expected, I take nothing for granted.
- Imagine what my little ovaries will be able to do when we give them a good kick in the gonadotropins (caveat: I have no real idea what gonadotropins are and whether or not they stimulate ovaries).
- I said enough of the IUI crap and my doc agreed. So assuming we don’t naturally conceive on this quasi-cycle amid the rabbit humping (pardon my lack of faith here), we’ll be calling again on cycle day one to schedule the litany of appointments, injections and bloodletting that is IVF.