My BFN from IUI#3 was punctuated with an exclamation point by AF's prompt arrival. Typically, her entrance is heralded with some light streaks -just enough to tease my hopes about implantation spotting. Not this time; there was no courtesy warning. Only hours after my POAS confirmed what I already knew, I was in full flow. My CD1 was a full 24 hours earlier than expected. Since my hysteroscopy in February, AF has arrived on every fourth Friday. I have been Mary Perfect with the predictable cycles -until now. What a difference a day can make; not only do I lose the convenience of my Saturday monitoring appointments, but Husband is away at the end of the month and is unavailable if an IUI needed to be performed a day earlier.
AF's earlier arrival has called so much into question for me. My mid-cycle monitoring fell right over Memorial Day weekend. Presuming the office would be closed for the long holiday weekend, (they were closed the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving and the Saturday of Easter weekend) I made plans to go out of town, and did my ultrasounds on Friday and Tuesday. It turned out that they had enough patients who needed evaluation, so they were open on Saturday and they arranged to see a few patients on Memorial Day. (Had I known this could have been a possibility, I would not have booked my trip) It may not be relevant, but as my cycle started a day earlier, I wonder if I had been scanned on Monday, would my follicle have been ripe enough that my RE would have instructed me to trigger that night? Could that day have made a difference?
We've been discussing what our next steps will be, but one decision was easily made -we will not be doing an IUI this month. I've been reminded that even with manipulation, my ovaries are not mine to command. I don't want to proceed with a cycle that could be compromised from the start. Interestingly, even with my unpredictable ovaries, cycle monitoring and timed intercourse will still be in play for us. I know it seems a bit inexplicable that trying au natural may be more feasible than an IUI cycle, but apparently, that's the difference a day can make. We also decided that we could use the money earmarked for this month's cycle and will take some cross-fit classes. Yes, we are jumping on that bandwagon -when you can't have kids, you turn toward fitness.
For the record, this marks the fourth time that Husband and I will be away from each other around the time of my ovulation. The first time, I queried if the Universe was mercifully pulling us out of the game, like a baseball manager relieving a struggling pitcher. However, as the Universe hasn't shown us any favours even when we have managed to be in the same place at the right time, I'm convinced that the force within the Universe is indifferent at best. It does foster more of my frustration toward the fertiles who are oblivious to their cycles and still manage to conceive (as they have working gametes). Especially, when they view your cycle monitoring and tracking as being detrimental and instruct you to "just relax and let it happen". It feels like they are the students who don't bother to study and yet still ace the test; while we're the studious nerds in the library, and despite all our preparation, not only do we receive a failing grade, but we have to see the teacher after class.
Oh, what a difference a day can make. For this month anyway, it means no letrozole pills, no trigger shot, no vaginal ultrasounds, no awkward small talk with my RE. It has meant digging out my Clearblue fertility monitor and getting up at 0530 on the weekends to test my first morning urine. It brings concerns for performance anxiety related to scheduled coitus, but the difference of day means I don't have to scramble for excuses to leave work. It has meant appreciating a break and accepting that changing our strategy is not the same as giving up.