Thursday, July 27, 2006

Let's get this part out of the way

Obviously, I just started blogging after two failed IVF cycles, so those particular (highly relaxing) experiences are not being relayed in a riveting fashion in real time. I considered blogging before the first one, and then again during the second one, but I was afraid that they might actually work, and then how embarrassing would that be to be an infertility blogger who immediately got knocked up? Oh, it all seems hilarious to me now. Sort of like when I used to be worried about transferring more than one embryo. Those days, like my buttocks, are behind me.

But if you're an infertile yourself, you want the details. And I, service-oriented to my dying breath, shall provide them. The stirring, bullet-pointed narratives commence now:

IVF w/ ICSI #1 (March/April 2006):
Standard long leuprolide protocol - BCPs, leuprolide, F-stim, R-nex, HCG, Medr., Tetr., PIO.
9 days of stims.
24 follicles, 12 mature eggs, 8 fertilized; all looked great at day 3, so we went for a day 5. All went to hell by day 5. Transferred one "fair" blast in a very tortuous and torturous ET (due to retroflexed uterus). 0 frozen. BFN.

IVF w/ ICSI #2 (June/July 2006):
Standard long leuprolide protocol - BCPs, leuprolide, F-stim, R-nex, HCG, Medr., Tetr., PIO.
10 days of stims, better response throughout cycle; dosages slightly lower at end.
29 follicles, 21 mature eggs, 19 fertilized; 12 frozen at PN stage and 7 cultured; all looked great on day 3. Transferred two (one 8-cell, one 9-cell) on day 3 in a slightly better but still tortuous and torturous ET. Continued culturing the others; 1 good blast frozen. BFN.

Both times, I did acupuncture. (On the second cycle, I even ritualistically visualized my embryos with the help of my AnjiOnline CD - really, I'll try anything.) Both times, I ate fruits and vegetables - and took folic acid - and exercised leading up to the cycle. Both times, I felt heartened and optimistic about my response to the drugs. And both times, I ended up weeping in my bed like a spurned and lovelorn teen when it didn't work, which is understandable but inadvisable given that whenever I cry I look as though I've been crying for approximately six weeks afterwards. I should at least make a point to weep from a sitting position. [An aside: I went to summer camp from when I was nine until I was twelve (at which point the camp directors got a divorce and sold the place), and I remembered recently that at the beginning of every session the counselors would deliver a spiel about how, if you felt homesick, you shouldn't cry in the communal bunk area of your cabin but rather should cry while you were in the shower. Presumably, this was to prevent a contagion of homesickness from sweeping the cabin, but it's kind of hilariously old-school and repressive, isn't it?]

As I mentioned below, the REs don't know why it isn't working. For this, they are paid more than $300,000 a year, which is real money where I live. Obviously, though, I do have endometriosis. If I were half as determined as my endometriosis is, I would be both rich and famous by now, and I might have solved the issue of climate change.

[Another aside: I'm considering asking for a urinary catheter during/after my next ET. That's right - I've had such bad experiences with the full bladder and the long, painful transfer that a catheter sounds preferable. For some reason, I cannot use a bedpan - I just can't get the pee to come out. Yes, it is a failure of character. And, yes, I've had a catheter inserted sans anesthesia before. I do recall at the time thinking that I hoped never to have that happen again. Have any of you had a catheter during ET?]


Hope548 said...

I'm very sorry for all you've been through, but I'm thoroughly enjoying your sarcasm! I hope you're able to start on your next cycle soon and that you get positive results!

bihari said...

I haven't had a catheter myself, but I do catheterize patients all the time without anesthesia, and the women actually do pretty well. I mean, it's nobody's idea of FUN, but it might be highly preferable to the agony, and I use the word advisedly, of a full bladder. As my women's health instructor used to say, "A flatter bladder is a gladder bladder."

I love this blog with a fiery passion, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Me too, me too--the loving the blog with a fiery passion part.

luolin said...

Hi. I came here via cyclesista.

Can you negotiate about the full bladder requirement? It never came up as necessary for my two transfers. Not that I got pregnant, but I don't *think* that's why...