I’ve been hiding. “Quiet” seemed like a suitable setting given the combination of both Mother’s Day and a bad case of the jitters following my cycle start, which led to nightmares about vacant ovaries, my exes, and black bear attacks in New York (not all in the same night, although that could have made for a real blockbuster).
Anyway, I had my first scan yesterday (Day 6) since starting on stimulation drugs and we appear to have follicles/eggs (Away with ye Dream #1)! Looked like about 18 follicles measuring between 4+mm and 14mm (a pretty big spread as measurements go, but similar to my previous cycles).
I am not letting myself get hung up on the numbers because (and this is mainly for the benefit of IVF-newbies):
- Number of eggs on scans ≠ Number of eggs retrieved. (I had OHSS once, and a bunch of empty follicles as my shitty consolation prize. Another time I had some shy eggs that suddenly came out to play).
- Number of eggs retrieved ≠ Number of mature eggs.
- Number of mature eggs ≠ Number of eggs that fertilise, even with the help of an Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which gives sperm a ride right into the egg.
- Number of eggs that fertilise ≠ Number of embryos that make it to day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Growing eggs is like the most punishing sporting event ever. Not everyone at the starting line hears the starting gun, not everyone who starts the race remembers they are in a race, and then someone runs away with the finishing line.
Anyway, we’ve added some new meds (including the ever-charming, rash-and-nausea-inducing Cetrotide to shut down the pituitary gland so the eggs don’t run off to the party before the decor is up and the drinks arrive).
Our next scan is tomorrow and we’ll see where we are by then, and if the slower ones have picked up the pace a little. In the meantime, I’m eating too much avocado, cashew nuts and pomegranate, and having some rather entertaining/encouraging conversations with my ovaries/follicles.
My acupuncturist has also gone into womb-heating/blood flow overdrive, adding moxibustion to the mix and sending me home with little acupressure ear seeds (little plasters containing seeds of the vaccaria plant which, in addition to my ear, are also on my wrists and feet). They are on specific acupressure points and I’m supposed to stimulate them when I need a hit of ‘chill’. Sure, let’s do it (mainly because, despite the cupping misstep, she’s a sweetheart and SO determined to help me get pregnant).
With some luck, we’ll have a bounty of beautifully mature eggs come retrieval and emerge from the cycle with an embryo (or two??) for transfer and some to freeze. That, of course, has never actually happened. Our maximum cycle yield (once) was two embryos.
But hey, why not wish for miracles – it seems a waste to wish for anything less.