I’m worn out.
It’s 2:15pm and I am still in my pyjamas.
Today could have been if not the day before transfer, then the final days leading to transfer. Trying to sustain good eating habits and a sense of hopeful calm has been difficult the past few days.
Last night and this morning I reached a new low. My anxiety went through the roof, my hope plummeted, and I have a new perspective tacked onto my definition of despair. Last night’s estrogen injection was done in silence, the air thick with resignation. This morning, I forgot to take my cocktail of vitamins, a quiet shout of What’s the point? sprayed above my head.
I’ve been stuck in a loop of terror: Will our cycle be cancelled? Is it possible for 35 follicles to catch up? And, after reading the comments on yesterday’s post, Will they only retrieve five eggs? And I’m exhausted.
The thing is, I wasn’t asking for advice. I know the opinions left in comments were a well-meaning attempt to break the possibility of bad news, but they only lit a match to my fears. I mean, five? Fucking FIVE eggs? I mean, even with my DOR, I could probably get five eggs.
For those reading who haven’t done IVF: five eggs does not mean five embryos.
By the time you allow for attrition rate of mature eggs (20%), eggs that fertilise (20%), then embryos that make it to blastocyst (50% from retrieval), we will be lucky to get one or two embryos to do PGD on. Five eggs means maybe one healthy embryo. Just one. Transfer that one embryo, and with a 30% chance of success… well, that would mean this cycle has been a fucking disaster.
The #KLaHM calm that I worked so hard to build and maintain quickly evaporated. We have spent a dizzying sum of money — money that, honestly, we don’t really have and won’t be able to come up with again — and I felt so sick to my stomach that this cycle has failed before it’s had a chance to begin. I haven’t been able to eat or concentrate on anything else. I don’t think I’ve ever been this worried about something in my life.
To keep myself steady, I remind myself that the opinions were not given by doctors (and even if they were, they’re not my doctor) and not based on the latest data on Saturday. My best friend talked me off a ledge, and I’ve had a few texts and emails that have been a lifeline. It’s been a very tough 16 hours.
But then our nurse called. Here’s what we know:
- They are being very careful not to over-stim Nellie, because she is usually very responsive on the even the lowest dose.
- Yes, it is anomalous that she hasn’t responded the way she usually does.
- Yes, there is a possibility that this cycle will be cancelled, but it is a slim possibility.
- Our particular clinic only measures the top five follicles. Just because we only have measurements for five follicles doesn’t mean that there will only be five follicles to retrieve from. Given her rising levels of estrogen, we can expect much more than five eggs (unless the cycle gets cancelled).
- Nellie’s follicular growth could increase exponentially between yesterday’s appointment and tomorrow’s.
- After Nellie’s appointment tomorrow (Monday), we will probably have a concrete idea of what will happen: cancel or trigger.
So although we are not out of the woods, DH and I are feeling a lot better. He has also asked me to not share any more medical specifics for the time being, saying that it invites speculation and unsolicited advice which, in this instance, has been more harmful than helpful.
Absolutely no hard feelings to anyone — because I know and appreciate you were trying to help — but I agree with him.
Besides, I prefer writing about perceptions, not hard data. So, I’m going to stick to writing about how I feel, what it’s like to do DEIVF. (I can always retroactively add medical details to my TTC timeline if I feel like it.)
Right now, I am feeling more relaxed. I’m no longer freaking out. My appetite has returned. I can get through the next 24 hours until our next update. But I’m absolutely worn out, and I’m going to have a Sunday afternoon nap.