It’s now day 10 of IVF and I simply cannot control my emotions at this point. I feel like I’m on the verge of tears constantly, and for no good reason. I had another ultrasound appointment scheduled that morning and I was feeling anxious about the amount of time I would be laying in the dark room while my follicles were measured and counted. I drove myself to the doctor’s office and sat alone in the waiting room until I was called back. It felt like an eternity sitting in the waiting room…just me, my thoughts and my stirring emotions. I heard my name and I forced myself out of the chair to go start the process. I stopped to give blood, and sluggishly walked to the ultrasound room. The technician began counting and measuring, and the number 23 kept flashing in my mind…I knew I would have 23 follicles on one side. The technician said, “wow!!” when she looked at the screen. I said, “I’m assuming there are more today?” She responded and said, “yes, and most women would do anything to have this amount of follicles.” I was still on the verge of tears. I told myself to get my shit together, and be thankful for this blessing. 20 minutes later the technician told me she was done with the right side and would be moving to the left. She giggled and told me how thankful she was to have a radio in her room for me to listen to. She was right…how awkward would our encounters be without a little background music! Moments later “The Eye of the Tiger” started playing, and the technician said, “they are playing this for you!!” I started thinking of myself as Sylvester Stallone, in Rocky. I’m training to start a family – toughen up! I got myself over the hurdle of holding back the tears, and my emotions began to recede. 25 minutes later, we were done with the left side. I asked if we had any that made it to the 16mm size, and she responded, “no, but we did have more that made it to the 14mm mark.” My heart sank…I don’t know how much more I can handle. I went to work, and as the day went on my body was becoming increasingly more uncomfortable, swollen, heavy and pressured.
I left work a bit early that day to get a pedicure, to try to distract my mind from focusing on my physical feelings. I didn’t make it ten minutes down the road before Nancy called to give me my update. She told me I didn’t have any follicles that reached the 16mm mark (I already knew), and I would unfortunately have at least one more day of injections, ultrasounds and blood work (I already knew). She didn’t tell me how many follicles I had that day, but I needed to know. It was the one thing that was keeping me going. It almost became a competitive game with my body, “how many follicles can we get today, ovaries?!?!?” Nancy told me, “23 on the left, and 20 on the right!” There was my number 23 I had flashing in my mind earlier that day. We ended our call and I was reflecting on the work my body had done over the past 10 days. 43 follicles! 43!!!! I hadn’t heard of this many follicles before, not on any blogs, room chat groups, fellow IVFer’s. I’m so proud of me, my body and our hard work!
I documented my physical journey through photos during the injection and follicle growth period. The best explanation I have as to why this process was so difficult is, it’s like becoming six months pregnant in a matter of 12 days. There is no gradual growth process here…you just expand rapidly and aggressively. It’s manageable, but I wish I was more prepared for how it was going to feel. My case was probably extreme due to the amount of follicles, and this is not the case for everyone. My hope is to share my experience to help prepare each of my fellow IVFer’s for what is to come, but not scare you! My experience is amongst the 8% of our community, so don’t stress!
Love and baby dust my friends!