Hey now! I know it's been keeping you up at night, so let me reassure you that my saline sono was fine (not NEARLY as painful with the RE doing the procedure as it was with the resident at the local hospital, who had me doing the crab walk trying to escape the procedure table. This time we talked about toe nail polish and OPI color names being wacky and then she was done). My ute is lurvely. My nurse coordinator ordered my meds. I start estrace in about a week and stimulation in 2.5 weeks.
I couldn't resist asking the RE about my high(ish) FSH and she waved it away. It's not THAT high, and it's fluctuated before (nearly 10 one cycle, down to 7 the next). And...it is what it is. And it's not surprising since my ovaries are sluggish about the stimulation, anyway. I echoed her sentiment and said, "Yep, the cycle will either work or it won't" and she hugged me -- fiercely -- and said, "No, we want it to WORK so Jackson can have a baby brother or sister." She's alright.
We're all sensitive people with so much to give. Understand me, sugar.
I am back in the stirrups again. We got pre-cycle bloodwork out of the way this morning and looked at my typically unimpressive antral follicle count (ooooh....11 follicles....my ovaries are lazy bitches). As soon as the nurse calls me this afternoon to confirm that my FSH and prolactin aren't completely fucked up, then we'll schedule the saline sono for this week. More wanding! I have a very active sex life, y'all. With medical devices. I'm sure that's a fetish of some sort.
I had those weird, anxious butterflies going into the RE's office this morning, but frankly, as soon as I got home and scooped up my little dude and got a hug and a kiss from him....just, whatever. All good. That's going to be my focus on this upcoming cycle, just keeping my eyes on the prize I already have.
4PM Update: My nurse coordinator called. My FSH on Day 4 (which she says is equivalent enough, if that's a scientific measure, to Day 3) is 12. Blargh. That's a little high for a 33-year-old. Oh, well. It is what it is and we are undeterred. Also, fuck you, ovaries. We're doing this whether you like it or not.
4PM The Next Day Update: My nurse called back to day I have to go back on Synthroid. Cause, oh yeah, I just stopped taking it after Jackson weaned without talking to any licensed medical professional first. The only reason I was ever on it was for attempting to conceive. And the only reason my thyroid hormones are out of whack in the slightest is the cumulative effect of over a year of exogenous hormones while trying to conceive. But, when I got a second RE opinion after failed IVF #2, he looked at my thyroid labs and said I was on the high side of normal and didn't need Synthroid. So there you have it: ART is more an art, less a science. Qualified experts can't even agree on some details.
Our sleep has been shit for the past week, and Jackson hasn't napped more than 15 minutes a day while we wait for these fucking molars to come in. He's been cranky, anxious, and tired (WE ARE ALL TIRED). He's been refusing most food and instead living on a steady diet of Advil and Orajel. He used to hate Orajel and now he opens up like a baby bird....
And Lo! Last night he slept through the night once again. And even woke up happy. I can feel one of the molars has cut through the gum, so maybe we're past the worst of it? But it's just one molar so far, and there are at least 47 more yet to come in, right? Fuck. And this time around teething has made his poops utterly foul and liquid and his farts have been mushroom clouds of disgust. Awesome.
Also, this week I had a major communication problem with a client that got someone in their department in beeeg trouble which I feel lousy about (plus I have to continue working with him...yay). And THEN on Thursday, it was snowing hard and I was trying to turn right into the parking lot to drop Jackson off at daycare and someone thought it was a good time to use a parking lane to pass me on the right. But who do you think got cited as being at fault? DING! DING! DING! Yep, I got a ticket for an illegal turn, even though she told Officer Friendly she saw me slow down and put my turn signal on and attempted to pass me on the right using a parking lane to cut across a right turn only lane in the middle of an intersection. So now I have to explain all of this to a magistrate in fucking traffic court. And take my car in to have the dents and scrapes patched up. Double fuck. I'm just a million times grateful that it was a minor accident, because getting hit with Jackson in the car nearly made my heart stop. And if another driver is in such a hurry that they'll pass someone on the right, while watching that person turning right...it could have been much worse. Bullet dodged.
But in better news, I suppose, my period just started with a vengeance (think: Carrie at the prom) so I have the privilege of undergoing a saline sono next week and then waiting for the results of bloodwork to start Estrace. So, it's almost cycle time, bitches. Time to get impregnated up in herr.
The RE consult went well. I mean, it went as expected. I brought Jackson with me and the staff oohed and aahed and fawned over him, which I like to imagine is fun for them given how much they watch people endure to get to where we are. And then we got down to bidness. We still have insurance coverage (except for meds, boo!) so we can afford several cycles if needed. New bloodwork for me and KB, to have current proof that neither of us picked anything up that one night in Bangkok. Another date with the jizz cup and a magazine in a medical clinic bathroom for KB. And then a saline sonogram for me, about 2 weeks from now, that will be the last piece of evidence we need to march on. So, yeah, if everything checks out (mainly, if Jackson didn't leave behind a mess when he vacated my uterine accommodations, in which case I'm taking the full deposit from him with no refund whatsoever) then we could be starting a cycle in mid-February. For those of you keeping track, that's in a month.
This time, things are different. They have to be. And they also just are. For one, my RE told me that continued weight loss (I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight but not yet at my pre-IVF weight) and aerobic exercise 5 days a week is considered beneficial for fertility and IVF. That wasn't the case 2 or so years ago, when I was advised to limit heavy exercise due to its potential effects on metabolism. You know about medical research, right? If you don't like the guidelines, wait a couple of years and the conventional wisdom will change. So my efforts to exercise (I'm going back to my personal trainer/torture buddy next week to get this weight loss show on the road again) and drop ell-bees apparently will dovetail nicely with my desire to get knocked up. But that's the surface stuff. The biggest difference this time is that it's not all or nothing. We don't emerge from this as either parents or not parents. And it's not an endless tunnel with no light. KB and I haven't set any limits on how many cycles (in my head I am prepared for 3, since it took that many to get Jackson) or discussed whether or not we'd move on to donor egg (which we were thisclose to doing last time around). I have no idea if I will feel emotional or sad if the first, or any subsequent, cycle isn't going well (I sort of expect it, as none ever did), or if they fail. I reserve the right to be a raging hormotional bitch when I'm jacked up on megadoses of gonadotropins, but for now I feel a sense of calm. Of determination. Of hope. I don't even feel cynical about it. I think, after all this time, I've finally accepted that this is our normal, our shifted baseline, and with that I can let myself daydream about another pregnancy, another baby, a completion of our family on our terms. I already have the baby's nursery theme figured out, you guys.
And so until my next period starts and the testing begins and then the next period starts and the cycle begins, I just live my life. I've got prescriptions for doxycyclene (for the saline sonogram) and estrace (for priming the antagonist cycle) sitting in my purse from this morning. In a remarkable show of restraint, I did not fill them today. See? Whole new approach. This is the new normal.
The consultation is next Wednesday morning. It'll just be talky-talk, probably not even a blood test; since I'm thinking about taking Jackson with me, so she can meet the nice chap she helped us sprout, I think my hands will be full o'toddler and unavailable for any sort of poking. I'm kind of excited to get this ball rolling. And kind of meh. You know, self-preservation-style.