Thursday, 22 May 2014

Some days are harder than others

About a week ago, the 18 week pregnant primary care provider approached me to ask a favour. She was too inpatient to learn the gender to wait one more week for her anatomy ultrasound, and wanted me to take a look. I have to admit that I'm not too good at making this determination, as I don't do many second trimester scans, but I was able to offer a conjecture with some confidence. In return, I asked her to keep it a secret among everyone in the office so I would save face if I were wrong. "OMG! She's having a girl!" squealed one of our medical assistants who received a text message from her after the official scan. Well, what do you know, I was right.

Throughout the day, I kept hearing echoes of "congratulations!" and chatter about the baby girl. It was as if we were going through her pregnancy announcement all over again.  Sigh. Oh, by the way, I also had an ultrasound this morning, was anyone interested in my scan? Actually, I wasn't even interested in my own results. Based on the OPK data, my cycle would be starting tomorrow at the earliest. However, I have to fly to Southern California this weekend. My RE had agreed that I could do a preliminary scan to make sure I didn't have any sabotaging cysts, but I had to remind him multiple times that I'm technically CD Negative One. With the exception of a degenerating corpus luteum on my right side, my ovaries are quiet enough for us to proceed after AF arrives!  Oh, my endometrial lining was 17.4 mm, so I can look forward to a nice heavy period.

I recognised a familiar name as I scanned the patient messages in my inbox and I had a feeling I knew why she was contacting me. She delivered her firstborn just over 18 months ago, and although she was a bit high maintenance during her pregnancy; she was always polite and very appreciative and she worked her way into the hearts of almost every staff member. "So guess who is pregnant again?" I shared the news with Co-worker. Sensing that I might feel jealous, she inquired "You okay?" "Oh, yeah." I sincerely replied as I quickly recalled that we had started TTC when I diagnosed her first pregnancy and I thought we might overlap. Now it seemed as if I was trying to catch her again on her second.

I had just finished with my last patient of the day when I noticed that I had two voice mail messages. The first one was from Discover Card. It appears my recent purchases at the pharmacy were considered suspicious activity and I have to call to confirm, "Yep, that was me...I'm infertile and I charged my fertility meds. Yeah, I know I bought estrogen replacement, ovulation predictor tests and condoms last's complicated..." The other call was from Misery. My estrogen level was 82, even though it's probably a normal level for the luteal phase, my RE feels it's too high and doesn't want me to start my stims this weekend. I have to go back in next week for another blood draw and scan.

Another sigh. Seriously Si and Am, we're doing IVF and you still can't cooperate with us. I only need to go away for three days! I recall my RE indicated that we could just continue Lupron for a few more days, if necessary. Sometimes it's hard to tell what is a big deal. I have a good friend who is a first grade teacher and would do an exercise with her kids called 'Is this a big deal?' She would talk about responding appropriately to minor situation such as your mother won't let you sleep over at your friend's house, or you miss your favourite cartoon program as well as serious issues such as a friend moving, a grandparent's illness, or the loss of a pet. Parents would comment to her at teacher conferences that their kids would often try to keep their own reactions in check, "Mommy, don't yell at the other driver! It's only a little deal!" I advocated that she needs to share these lessons with adults. However, I don't know if this delay is a big deal.

Perhaps it only is to me in the sense that I'm more scared and more skeptical with this cycle and I just want everything to go according to plan. I acknowledge that I sound a little like Tara Reid's character from American Pie who insists that her first sexual experience must be absolutely perfect. I love her best friend's response, "it's not a space shuttle launch, it's sex..." It seems a little counter intuitive as I've already lost my IVF virginity, but rather I'm fantasizing about a stim cycle and retrieval that mirrors perfunctory, obligatory lovemaking with familiar, predictable moves, yet still ends with a dramatic climax.

There were two bright spots to my day. As I had to drop Husband off at the airport right before heading to my RE appointment, I missed swimming this morning. While I was waiting at my RE's office, I learned via facebook that Amanda stopped by the pool with her newborn baby. I was in my first stim cycle when she announced her pregnancy and I was wondering if I could be considered 'almost pregnant'. I didn't need to feel reminded that the answer was a resounding 'no'. At least I had managed to avoid one baby related commotion. There was a gentleman sitting across from me in the waiting room who was staring at the floor. I figured he must be here for a semen analysis.  Sure enough, I saw Porn Buddy greet him with a plastic cup in hand as she led him to the wank tank. When I was called to go back for my blood draw, I noticed this sign placed in front of the room:

I didn't see any men in hard hats walking around...
wouldn't a 'Do Not Disturb" sign be more subtle?


  1. Oh I just wrote a long comment and it got lost somehow! oops...

    Anyway, I think your feelings going into IVF#2 are completely normal. I know I felt a lot more pressure the second time around. I will be here reading and sending you lots of good luck and I hope from the bottom of my heart that things go wonderfully for you.

  2. I agree with Gypsy Mama. I feel like with every additional cycle it's for sure more pressure and in a way, worse. Almost because you know more that second, third or fourth time- you know? I am thinking of you, friend!!

  3. Thinking of you and hoping you can get started next week! And that sign is hilarious!

  4. I can totally relate to how you're feeling going into IVF # 2. It's hard to know what to feel. So many couples go into their 1st cycle of IVF thinking it's going to be "the cure." However, I love that sign! Made me laugh.

  5. Ha, that sign is great! And I love the "Is this a big deal?" concept. I definitely agree that adults need to learn that lesson as much as (or more than) first-graders. I hope this round of IVF will yield the long-awaited result you so deserve. I'll be cheering you on!

  6. Dude, I very seriously almost titled my post from yesterday the same thing. Some days are just harder. I am trying to be excited about our DE cycle, but it's tough after so much disappointment. Sorry you had a bad one.

  7. {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
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    \f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
    \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 Oh. My. Goodness. That sign! Seriously, that is too funny. I love the "is this a big deal" idea. I be those parents loved that teacher! \
    I don't know how you can keep from being more anxious/nervous with the next cycle(s). I think it becomes more real that it might not work. However, it also might be the one that WILL work. I really, really, really, hope this is it and it will be the perfect cycle for you!}

    1. Ummmm, I don't know what happened to my comment, but yeah. Maybe you could tell me what I said? Lol

  8. All these pregnant women and babies should just go away. I showed my husband the picture and both of us had a good laugh.

  9. OMG that sign. That is simply too funny. I sympathize with you wanting your cycle to go perfect and stressing over anything that might possibly interfere. I had similar feelings and it probably has to do with desperately wanting to feel in control of SOMETHING. Best of luck, and I hope it all turns out to be "little problems" (I do the same kind of no, little, medium and big problem coaching with my special ed students lol)

  10. I love the space shuttle perspective. And, while there are no hard hats, maybe other hard items? Which are not so frequently described on signs? I'm all for some amusing signs in places that are all too often not filled with amusing news.

  11. That is an awesome sign. Might as well keep things light when there can be so much as stake.

    Hoping that the delay is not a big deal!