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The suppression check

I had my suppression check yesterday. I think it went well. Thankfully, there were no dominant follicles and no cysts, either of which could have resulted in the cycle being canceled. However, I had very few follicles that showed up in the scan. Just 5 to be precise. 3 on the left side and 2 on the right. The doctor said there were a few small ones he could see on the right ovary but I couldn’t help feeling bummed. I have an AFC of 13 and it’s stayed that way through the past year. Our last IVF I had 9 follicles which had been upsetting enough. How could the number go down by so much? The doc told me not to worry about this; he said this was not an AFC per se and that CCRM also at this stage was not concerned about the no. of follicles (they hadn’t even checked the ‘follicles no.’ box on the lab order they sent). The more important thing was that there were no dominant follies and that things essentially looked good to go. I reasoned with myself that the priming also might have contributed to the low follie count in some way.

I decided to take that info positively and walked down to the Quest lab to get my blood drawn for hormone levels. The lady at the front desk can be pretty moody at times and it was sheer luck that I found her in a great mood. She drew the blood efficiently and sent me packing with the promise that she would courier it out soonest so results could be faxed stat to CCRM.

The rest of the day was a nervous mess as I kept fielding calls from CCRM asking me why my blood-work had not reached them yet. At one point things got pretty stressful as they were about to shut down for the day and Quest had told me that it might take them another couple hours to fax the results out! Thankfully, just 3 minutes before closing I got a call from my nurse and she said they have the report, all looks okay and I am good to go with the stims. In the meantime, I had ample opportunity to get my anxiety levels shooting through the roof as I relentlessly scoured the internet looking for some reassurance that my poor follie count was not an absolute cop-out and there were examples of women having similar numbers yet being successful. All the suppression check posts I found, though, were of women with a thumping 10-20 follies, despite the priming. Thankfully, I had to step out of the house for my acupuncture session which finally put an end to my cyber-stressing! We ended up having a nice evening with my parents and my brothers family joining us for dinner at a restaurant.

I took my first shot of menopur 150IU today in the morning. I know from experience than menopur burns a lot but perhaps because I was expecting it to, it wasn’t all that bad. It’s finally hit me that the cycle is underway and that we are leaving for Denver in 3 days. Hopefully, there will be enough to occupy my mind so that I won’t be going nuts agonizing over each ultrasound and blood-work result. I plan to take my school work with me, go out a lot while we’re there and treat it like a mini-break of sorts. Tomorrow, we are headed to the NorthFace outlet to get some warm gear for our trip.

Keeping fingers crossed!

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Never a dull moment!!

The past few days have been crazy. I’ve constantly felt like updating you all out here but been busy and somewhat reluctant to take a dip in the virtual world. Which, I suppose, is a positive sign! My parents are visiting (did I mention that?) so the days are a happy blur of taking them out, cooking yummy Indian meals with my mom, catching up on school work and just generally basking in their affection!

On the IVF front, though, there’s been a fair bit of action. The meds are all here including the saizen and are chilling in the fridge. Freedom did a great job as always and Braun pharmacy (they sent the saizen) were sweet enough to send me a nice big box of alcohol swabs which I had requested for. This past Monday I started off with 2mg estrace twice daily and then three Cetrotide 0.25 injections beginning Tuesday. As always, my super husband does a great job with the needles; I have barely felt a thing and even though I’m bleeding more at the puncture sites than last time, it all goes by in a flash. I think the most painful part for me is slapping the ice pack on my tummy to numb it.

I was extremely apprehensive about the estrace since I’ve heard horror stories of side-effects while on it, especially for women who have endo. So far, though, I haven’t had much trouble barring some headache and fatigue. I decided to stop yoga until I’m done with the stims so exercise has been mostly restricted to my nightly, after-dinner walk with K which I relish and look forward to.

So where’s the action, you might ask? Well, a couple nights back as I was about to doze off it suddenly struck me that my suppression check was scheduled on a Saturday. My OB’s office had assured me they would take me in (the doc on emergency duty that day would perform the u/s) so that wasn’t an issue but what about the blood-work? I know that the Quest I go to does not do stat testing for hormone levels on Saturday and that is the only Quest around here open on a Saturday. Before long I was hyperventilating wondering how I would get the results to CCRM on time and mentally going through a list of possible places I could go for same day testing in the area. Another option, of course, was to skip the OB’s office altogether and head to a local IF center which would be okay with monitoring me locally. I spent the entire night restlessly anguishing over things and first thing next morning called my OB’s office to find out if they could help me. The staff was very nice but unable to confirm whether or not Quest would do it. I emailed my doctor in the meantime hoping he would reply soon with possible alternatives. At the same time, I called CCRM wanting to confirm that they would have someone in their office to receive the results and advise me on next steps on a Saturday. Turns out, that was the most important call I made! My nurse (who has a remarkable ability to be frightfully dense!) let it out that in case my period (scheduled to arrive a day after my last dose of cetrotide) was late and came over the weekend, the suppression check would be moved to next Wednesday and stimming would begin next Thursday! Apparently CCRM lets patients stim only in a Thursday-Sunday period. Fantastic! I wasn’t as irritated by the obvious repurcussions this would have on our travel plans (we’ve already booked the tickets) as I was by the fact that it took my calling for her to inform me of this rather critical point!!

Of course the rest of the evening was spent stressing over whether or not now period would arrive on time. I spent the day pretty much on the road driving from one place to another, completing long-due errands. By the time we finally made it back home after picking K up from work, I was beat. I was feeling feverish, achy and just massively lousy. After dinner, I just about managed to crawl into bed, grateful the day was over. Each muscle in my body was screaming in protest and sleep came as soon as my head touched the pillow. At about 3am I woke up feeling craptastic. My period had started bringing with it a fresh round of anxieties. What did this imply for my suppression check? Would things get significantly postponed or, worse still, canceled? Another night spent trying to coax sleep into my weary eyes, to no avail.

Anyhow, today after what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get through CCRM and was told to continue estrace but move up my suppression check by one day. This is actually better for us because it means we don’t have to run around town like headless chickens trying to find a lab that will process same day results for us on Saturday. So that’s where things are at. Tomorrow first thing in the morning I go to my OB’s office for the scan and blood-work, and then cross my fingers (and everything else that’s crossable) that things go well and I get the green signal to start stimming this Saturday!