I finally had a positive ovulation indicator on day 20, which happened to be the day Husband was leaving for a two week trip to the east coast. Ah, ovies, you must have read the calendar wrong; you usually wait until one of us had already left to release the LH surge... Anyway, we realised this was actually our first time since our spontaneous conception over a year ago that we would be actually trying the old fashioned way. In theory, a quickie before leaving for the airport should be fun; but for Husband, the pressure was just too much. Husband is one of those people who needs to arrive at the airport hours before his flight. As long as he can get online, he's content to sit at the airport bar and drink the over priced beer. He has caused confusion at times as he's shown up at the appropriate time window to check his bags for an earlier flight... In contrast, I once finished going through security just as it was time to start boarding my international flight, and I stopped to get some trail mix as I walked to my gate. (I love airport trail mix...)
Previously, I would have felt disappointed to have missed an opportunity. We turned to assisted reproduction as we really sucked at TTC; but oh yeah, we suck at IVF too... A mediocre IVF cycle offers so much perspective. Spontaneous conception now seems like a fairy tale. As if a touch of a magic wand could turn our gametes into a viable embryo. At least for a short while I was able to feel like Cinderella at the ball. Until the clock struck six weeks and the pumpkin carriage turned back into an empty uterus. If a highly skilled embryologist could only generate one decent embryo from eight mature eggs, we still wouldn't have had a chance, even if we had managed coitus. Nonetheless, I was excited just to have an inkling that my ovaries were functioning again, and more so I was happy to finally have a sense of when we might be able to start this process.
In the end, it was a easy decision to do a medicated cycle for my transfer. I noted that I've only had three au natural menstrual cycles in over a year. All the others have coordinated with Femara and an HCG trigger and I'm also excluding the ones that occurred post procedures. Given that my cycles are inconsistent at their baseline and I have limited data, plus it took over seven weeks to have a "normal" period after my D+C; a natural cycle FET didn't seem too logical. Although my RE offered that he doesn't put much stock in ovulation predictor testing, AF arrived exactly a fortnight later. She launched right into full flow without any warning. Not just my version of 'full flow,' but the stains on my underwear would satisfy anyone's definition of full flow.
So it begins... I called to set up my baseline scan. Fortunately, I had a fairly light morning and was able to squeeze my last two patients into earlier spots, so the bean counters would be none the wiser about my absence. Heading into the mid-day traffic, it resonated that I was making the right decision with a medicated transfer. The office manager greeted me as soon as I walked into my RE's office. "I'm so sorry Jane, Dr Somebody I Used to Know went home ill. He tried to hold out for as long as he could..." As if she had to validate that he was truly sick, she added "He was throwing up..." My stomach started to sour at the thought of missing this window and needing to wait another month. Then she mentioned, "Is it okay if [the other doctor in the practice] does your ultrasound?" Oh, why didn't she lead with that? As long as we could proceed, I didn't give a fuck who was checking out my ovaries. I felt badly that my RE was sick, and it seemed that going home was the right call.
As I was preparing for my scan, I discovered that I has soaked a regular tampon in just under two hours. My inner thighs were covered. I had barely finished cleaning up before the other doctor and Misery entered the room. He introduced himself and asked what type of treatment I was doing. It's always a bit awkward to be filling in for someone else. When I worked in a community health clinic, I received a lot of patients from outside providers who didn't perform IUD insertions, and thus I dubbed myself the 'IUD bitch'. He proceeded with my scan and gave me a guided tour of my pelvis with a full explanation of the rationale. To my surprise, Misery spoke up, "She knows exactly what she's looking at..." she informed. "Ah, you've been at this for a while." he commented. For the first time ever, Misery's eyes made contact with mine while I was on the exam table and we shared a knowing smile. "Yes, I have." I replied. I didn't want to explain who I was or what I did. Many years ago, I needed some advice for a patient with recurrent pregnancy loss and I had emailed this doctor through the 'contact us' section on their website. I was quite impressed when he replied personally within a few hours. Once again, he was granting me a courtesy.
Actually, I was rather glad not to be seeing my RE, as I was a right bloody mess. I know it is out of my command, but I still felt embarrassed. I donned some gloves and cleaned the room, as I felt badly leaving it for Misery. Fortunately, I had a spare pair of undies in my swim bag, so I changed in the back seat of my car (not the first time...) before I raced back to the office in time to be twenty minutes late to a meeting and within two hours I had saturated another tampon. What the fuck? I was hemorrhaging! I actually had to open my box of super tampons. Oh, yes. Husband was due to return in a few more days. Our reunion was destined to be a sexless as his departure...