I went in today for my Day 3 assessment after stopping my priming medications: Estrace, Androgel and Prometrium on Saturday.
My AFC went from 8 in June, to 2 - TWO!!!
Mini panic... Do I start to cry now? Wait... the nurse is now telling me they are going to cancel my IVF cycle? Wait, what?! What is happening??
Let me tell you what it feels like. First, you get a wave of emotion equivalent to hearing that someone has died, then you're supposed to grieve. Yet, now someone is telling you that it's not a big deal. We'll just cancel and start all over. No time to grieve those other 6 follicles that could have been. Then you feel angry, because you've been waiting six months just to start your IVF protocol. Cancelled? No, no, no... We're going through with this!
Let's recap the conversation that we had with my RE when we discussed our IVF protocol. We're starting with 8 follicles. Ok, so let's play the hypothetical game and say we don't have 8, let's give a cut-off of 4 follicles. If there are 4 follicles, then we will for sure go to egg retrieval. If there are 3 or fewer, then we (my husband and I) can decide if we want to go ahead with retrieval, or convert to an IUI.
As the nurse is telling me that she is just reading what the doctor's notes say - it clicks in my head that this is not what the doctor meant. The nurse was not there for the conversation. Going through fertility treatments without speaking to your fertility doctor directly is like playing a game of broken telephone.
I am on a timeline. I turn 40 at the end of this year. I do not have time for the doctor to regroup and come up with another plan.
I wrote about Dr. Crawford's advice previously. You have 4 resources: Time, Money, Physical Health and Mental Well-Being.
I am running out of time!
I relay my conversation regarding the protocol meeting to the nurse, and she discusses the medications for stimulation. She says she will call the pharmacy later when they open (since I have there early morning for diagnostics). Ok, perfect! I asked for the medications to be filled at an at-cost fertility pharmacy, since I am paying for the medications out of pocket.
I leave the nurse's office and head to get some acupuncture done. My naturopath is positive and up-lifting.
I have a good session. I'm feeling a little bit more relax. It only takes one. I stop and pick up a chai latte and head on my way home.
Fast forward to this afternoon. The IVF nurse calls and says that I need to go in again for an ultrasound and blood work on Thursday. She had spoken with my doctor and that she wasn't pleased with the results. Thursday - great ok. So now I have to last minute rearrange my work schedule. It's ok! My manager is understanding... we got this. But, Thursday is the morning that I am supposed to start the stimulation medications. I contemplate how I am supposed to juggle getting all this done and get to the pharmacy, while also working. Things are not looking good for me now.
If you're like me and you have low AMH, you will understand. If you do not have low AMH, then you will probably not understand. Women with low AMH are not expected to have a lot of follicles. Many of these women will still go to egg retrieval for a couple of follicles, because it only takes one to make a baby. The focus is on quality versus quantity. There are some women who have 20 follicles and get nothing at the end. While others with 1 or 2 and get to take a baby home.
I was trying to turn my loss of 6 follicles into a positive. This can still work. We can still get a baby from 2 follicles! My husband on the other hand. He doesn't like it. His gut is telling him that whatever the reasons are behind them stopping my cycle is because they are not positive. It would be different if they were hopeful, and excited, but they're not. So if they are going in, expecting the worst case scenario, then they are not going to help us. So I get it. My hubby says he'll do whatever I feel like doing, but I get where he is coming from. It doesn't make it any easier to handle though.
As always... stay tuned for the next post on what actually happened!
For more on my fertility journey click here.