So how does it feel to go back to the fertility clinic?

Mostly, it feels too far away to worry about. I haven't yet been reunited with the phlebotomy table* or the ultrasound room. I don't have a calendar of events. (I haven't actually had a period for over two months**.) Nevertheless, I am struck by one, particular feeling: a vaguely sinking one.

I thought we had two decent blasts from the last cycle, and I thought they were frozen individually, which would have given us more and better-looking options. We don't, and they're not - they're ok-to-freeze-but-not-waste-a-whole-two-straws-on blasts. And suddenly, I remember: everything has to be just a little bit harder than it should be.

It's never the end of the world, or at least it hasn't been for us***, so far, but it's never quite as good as you'd like it.

You never ovulate on time.

Your protocol doesn't yield the ideal number of eggs.

Or if it does, fully half those eggs aren't mature enough to ICSI.

And of the others, nearly half don't fertilise, or don't grow.

And you lose a couple more in the freezing.

And your thaw rate is below average, nevermind optimal.

And you get horribly sick during your luteal phase, which is a bit spotty.

And your beta isn't great, and it doesn't double well.

And your ultrasound - if you get there - is measuring behind dates.

And along the way, you get just about every unpleasant side effect, and at least three minor procedural complications.

Just a little bit harder. Just not quite as smooth. And with each step, you have to ratchet down your expectations just one more notch. Just one more notch. If you're not careful, it's the slow road to abject despair.

Nealy three years ago, I quipped that if I started titling my posts Just A Little Bit Harder Than It Should Be, pretty soon nobody would be able to tell one from the other. Then I went on to have a cycle where I couldn't collect the drugs when and where I'd planned, couldn't get plane tickets on the dates I needed, didn't ovulate on time, didn't have a good percentage of mature eggs, didn't get the expected number of decent embryos, got struck down by a horrible case of diarrhoea during a spotty luteal phase, had a marginally ok beta with a poor doubling time and embryos measuring several days behind on ultrasound, had a spotty first trimester, and lost one twin, after we'd seen the heartbeat. Just a little bit harder than it should have been. But ultimately (I try to reassure myself, desperately, over and over) every bit as successful as we wanted.

How does it feel to go back to the clinic? In a word, it feels deflating.

But I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

*I always had to lie down.

**I'm toying with the idea that maybe my cycle is in a spin because I weaned the Prata Baby. I had been perfectly regular for twelve months until I did that, then all of a sudden... nothing. I know breastfeeding is supposed to suppress fertility and weaning should reinstate it, but this zag-not-zig is just the sort of malarkey my reproductive system likes to pull.

Or maybe it's the decreasing daylength after all.

***Although it has been the end of the world for a number of our embryos, at various stages of development.


Summer said...

I hear ya. I hear ya.

Jess said...

Yeah, it's about like that.

Good luck?

megan said...

stressful, to say the least.
we'll be with you the whole way to help prop you up.

MrsSpock said...

Yes, stressful- and we didn't even do an IUI or IVF. No more than a day after this last positive, Mr S turned to me and said "We're never doing treatments again, right?"

Just worrying if my beta will be ok, and if I can make it through the 1st trimester without crashing and burning has me wanting never, ever to go through this again.

ColourYourWorld said...

Eeek you bought back all those memories... Yes but it can certainly feel like the end of the world at times. I think feeling deflated is totally acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know, now that you have had a successful pregnancy, it will be easy!!! I hate the people that say that. Because it isn't easier. It IS deflating.

Ms. C said...

es. yes, and yes.
I keep looking for the reason in the universe for all the obstacles. So far: nothing.
It should all be easier and reasurring that it worked once. But, it's not.
Thinking of you.

Betty M said...

yup been there. Maybe we should have t-shirts?

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