"Trust your initial instincts -they are usually correct." I recall many teachers offering those words of wisdom, but mind you those same teachers also advised you to "read every question carefully" and to "review your work." Often many exams were not necessarily testing your knowledge, but were evaluating your ability to find the best answer that fits a particular question. In which case, your initial instincts could be misleading.
When I first moved to California, I was planning to keep my Connecticut plates and my CT driver's license in order to maintain my New England identity. I had always done so when I lived in other states for schooling and training. However, my Dudley-do-right husband pointed out that California highway patrol is strict about making new residents register their vehicles, and I would need apply for a California driver's license in order to facilitate voter registration. Still not able to let go of my Connecticut roots, I kept my old mobile phone number. My RE is one of the few who recognises the area code, as a reflection of the fact that ten years ago we lived in the same town on the other side of the country.
I had to take the written exam in order to obtain a California driver's license, and I was rather surprised at their primitive testing process. When I took the test as a teen in Connecticut, it was computerized. Each question actually showed you a little video and you judged your answers based on what you thought was appropriate in that situation. There were only 16 questions and you needed 12 correct responses to pass. I got my first question wrong, but then aced the next twelve and the computer stopped the test after I submitted my 12th correct answer. Fifteen years later, the much larger state of California simply issued a double sided sheet of paper with multiple guess questions and I think we had to supply our own pen. There was a designated testing area, which was merely a large counter and no one proctored the exams. One could easily cheat off a neighbour.
I thought that 15 years of diving experience and reading the California driving handbook the night before would be enough preparation, but I was wrong. I was truly struggling with the questions. The temptation to cheat was overwhelming, but I felt I had to maintain some integrity. I re-read one question and changed my answer by placing an 'X' though the box I had filled in and coloured in the one for my new answer. Later, I reviewed it once more and thought about what they say about your initial instincts. I placed another 'X' though that box and circled my original answer. Just to make my intentions clear, I added the words 'Yes' and 'No' next to my responses.
I handed in my test and watched as my paper was hacked with a red marking pen. "Five incorrect. FAIL!" pronounced the DMV employee as she signaled to the next person in the queue and handed my exam back to me. Humiliated, I walked out of the DMV as quickly as possible. I was devastated. While I can't say that I never failed a test in my academic career, it was a rare event. Now I had just failed one of the most fundamental exams in one's life. I got back in my car to drive home after failing my driving test and I looked over my paper. She had marked the question where I changed my answer twice as being wrong, but indicated that my original response was correct. I stormed back into the DMV, drew another number and waited to confront the disgruntled DMV grader. "How do I know you didn't just mark this now?" she demanded. I was tempted to mention that if I wanted to cheat I could have done so while I was taking the test... Instead, I pulled the "May I speak with your supervisor?" card. I plead my case and he believed that my initial intention selected the correct answer. "Always trust your initial instincts" He advised me. "They are usually right."
When I went into hypertensive crisis after consuming birth control pills for ten days, I expressed concerns to my RE about what this would mean for potential IVF protocols. He noted that he preferred to use microdose Lupron, and more recently when we started IVF discussion, he commented that a Lupron agonist protocol is standard. However, when he proposed my tentative schedule, he described that after giving it some thought, we could stimulate with a natural cycle. This makes me question which suggested protocol truly reflects his initial instincts?
I know my initial instincts were correct when we decided to pass on the original proposed time table. In addition to coinciding with the in-law invasion, it would have been really difficult to be out of the office while I've been trying to tie up loose ends before my vacation. There was one more disconcerting aspect about that possible retrieval date. It would fall on little Myrtle's first birthday. I know that I need to move past the fact that Myrtle conceived naturally on her second attempt while I am infertile... However, to be going through a procedure for assisted reproduction at the same time when everyone is celebrating the day her relatively easy pregnancy led to a textbook spontaneous vaginal delivery on her fucking due date and produced her gorgeous daughter; would be filed under the heading: Not Helping.
The easy solution would be to wait for my next natural cycle in October, but my RE will be attending the ASRM annual meeting during the approximate retrieval time. If we look toward November or December, we could be conflicting with the holidays. I don't want to wait until 2014, as when we met with my RE for a postmortem after my miscarriage, he recommended starting before that date. I'll be 38 that year, and success rates start to drop. Sooner is better than later. After trying to avoid IVF for over a year, I don't want to delay any longer. So we're back to the (original?) plan of a lupron agonist protocol. He's targeting a retrieval date of 30 October, so I'd start stimming around the 20th (Interesting that he picks the retrieval date and works backward). Husband has no travel plans during this time, I may run a half marathon on the 20th, but then my competition schedule is clear until my 80s run mid-November. Not that it would be critical, but just an added bonus that my calendar happens to be free, and it seems nice to have some aspect working in my favour.
Husband couldn't resist pointing out the irony. Just before we started trying to conceive, we signed up for this holiday time share so that we could take family vacations with our little one. Not only is a trip with both our parents, my aunt and uncle, cousins and their estranged significant others not what we had in mind, it created a barrier for us to achieve the dream of having a little one. Alas, a reminder not to count your chickens before they hatch, but it also reflects how one decision can affect circumstances in the future. Yet, which ones are pivotal? Would the difference between the two protocols be akin to picking six of one or half dozen of another? Calling 'heads -I win; tails -you lose' on a coin toss? Or could this be a game changer? Whose initial instincts will be validated? Only time will tell...