Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dreaming of the finish line in spite of the roadblocks

I am trying to stay balanced in this sea of IVF quicksand.

Every morning brings me to my clinic with blood work and ultrasounds. I never expect much and am always waiting for the doctor to tell me that the road ends here. I never really could see myself at egg retrieval and I know part of this was a way to protect myself from my never ending fear that I was going to be cancelled due to poor response.  When I met with my doctor, two days ago, we talked about this paralyzing fear that I had. He said the ball was in my court. If I was comfortable going into egg retrieval with 3 follicles, than so was he. I again asked him, if he thought I'd ever do better than that. He responded that this response of between 2-4 was as good as I'll probably get. So, with that, I decided to put my anxiety in its place. I have been embracing the idea that I need quality and not quantity. I have been repeating "It only takes ONE." ad nauseum.

I was proud of myself for working to keep positive when it feels like EVERY odd is against me.

Then I went to my appointment this morning. 

Over my last few ultrasounds, there has been some difficulty in locating my left ovary. I've had to assist with putting pressure on my lower left abdomen from time to time. I never complained. I never thought much of it. This morning, one of the doctors mentioned that my ovary was hard to find. (Hmmm, hard to find?) He then said that it was behind my uterus. 

Then he said, "You need to understand that it is going to be very difficult to extract follicles from the left ovary. We may not be able to get them. I just wanted you to know ahead of time, and not be surprised."

Every positive thought drained from my brain as I tried to comprehend what the implications of his words were in relation to my ability to get pregnant.

I believe I cursed. This is very out of character for me. I then apologized and asked of the 3 follicles I have, how many were on the left ovary? You know, the one in hiding?

Two. What are the chances? I produced a mere 3 follicles. I get on board with quality and not quantity, only to be told that 2 of the 3 may not be able to be retrieved. I couldn't even take it. The tears welled up in my eyes and I was just stunned by this recent development. The doctor tried to help. He told me that if they had to use aggressive manipulation, while I was under anesthesia, he would try to get the ovary in position. 

God bless the nurse and her ability to realize that I was about to fall over. She walked me to a consult room to give me my teaching sheet about the HCG trigger injection and told me about an abdominal retrieval.  Apparently, my doctor has been known to go through the abdomen via laparoscopic surgery in order to retrieve hidden follicles. Knowing that there was a possible Plan B for retrieval made me feel so much better and able to get back to positive thinking. I mean, what's one more scar on my stomach, I am far from bikini ready at this point in my life.

 I left, picked up Toddler T and drove him to nursery school. During his afternoon nap, I got my daily instruction call from the nurse. I'm starting Cetrotide tonight and there is talk of HCG trigger Friday night with retrieval on Sunday. It then occurred to me to ask if my doctor would be doing the procedure on Sunday. I did. He's not. It's not his weekend on call and Dr. Downer was on. Yes, the same one that 'just wanted me to know, he might not get the eggs', is going to be the doctor doing the procedure.

I expressed my concerns to the nurse. I mentioned that my odds aren't great (to say the least). I asked if an abdominal retrieval was possible and what are my options if Dr. Downer doesn't know how to do it?  I'll get some answers tomorrow at my appointment. In the meantime, I am hoping that if my doctor is comfortable doing an abdominal retrieval, that he might, out of the goodness of his heart, come in and do the procedure himself on Sunday.

This my new mantra. It's getting longer.

Ovary, please come out of hiding. Estrogen, please keep rising. Follicles, please keep growing, survive retrieval and fertilize. Embryos, please grow for 3-5 days, implant and develop into one healthy baby.

Say that 5 times fast.


  1. Oh hun... I'm sorry that all this is happening for you. I always wonder why can't it be easy for us for a change ? I'll be saying your mantra for you too from afar... and hoping your doctor can come it and that those eggs can be happily retrieved. Come on ovary... out of hiding !! FXd for you xo

  2. I've been keeping up with what's happening this cycle and have everything crossed that this is it for you. Good luck this weekend. I'm sending all of my positive thoughts your way.

  3. This is so stressful... I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope that everything goes well this weekend. Hang in there!

  4. Here from LFCA. I'm so sorry you're dealing with these stresses. For whatever it's worth, my right ovary was annoyingly prone to hiding from ultrasound, but always did manage to get tracked down for retrievals. As, like you, I had small numbers of follicles, it mattered. I hope everything will go smoothly for your r/t.

  5. I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time. They can really push hard when you are knocked out - so I bet they'll get your eggies. Crossing fingers for you!

  6. I'm really glad you've got a doctor who will work to get those other eggs out of you! Good luck!!!