All I can say is that I NEVER thought I’d be here when I booked my first appointment with the Montreal fertility clinic last June. Nine months ago. Wow! I honestly thought that I’d have a baby by now. How time flies… how time changes a person… how time can sometimes be a curse, but in my case also a blessing. NEVER would I have been doing what I am doing now without that time to fall, fail, cry, understand, stand up again and seek a solution.
Time is such a funny thing and a word that pops up everywhere in my journey. I took my time to establish a career and find the right man. I felt like it was time to stop searching for that man and to have a baby on my own. I found out I was running out of time. I needed time to digest what was happening. I tried time and time again. I took the decision that this time would be the last time. I took the time to read and research about my options, to ask questions and seek answers. I felt like time stopped when I met that family in the UK. I’ve had a great time getting to know them. I’ve been patient as time passed while we were getting everything in order. Celebration time came when we finalized the adoption papers and I felt that, finally, it was TIME! MY TIME! Time to be a mom.
Funny enough, time threw a surprise wrench into my plans. Not a bad wrench, just an unexpected twist!
As I waited for my embryos – my donors’ clinic in the UK is taking it’s sweet time to fill out paperwork – a new cycle started and I went in to the clinic to see how many follicles I had this month. Since my failed IVF, I had a month of three, five and six follicles. Never the minimum seven that I had given myself as a basis to try IVF again. Part of me honestly hoped for less than seven. I had not only accepted that I would have a child that wasn’t biologically mine, but I felt like it was meant to be my path. I was excited about my donor family and the connection we have. I felt like I was moving forward in such a positive and ‘Kim 2.0’ kind of way. I will also admit that having more than seven scared me. I had failed before at IVF and I know my odds. It’s a lot of money. It’s so hard emotionally and those hormones play havoc on your body. So as I waited for the doctor to walk in to the examination room, mixed emotions took over me. What do I do if I have more than seven?
As fate would have it, I had 6 follicles on the right side, 2 on the left. 8 follicles total.
Time plays against you in that moment. You don’t really have time to decide what to do. You can’t take a couple days to think about it. Time is of the essence. If another round of in-vitro is what you want, hormones start that day.
Without thinking, without hesitating, I heard myself say: “Ok! Eight… Let’s do this then!”
It’s weird though. I am now two days into hormones and it almost feels surreal. Poking needles in my stomach feels like an automated motion. I don’t know if it is a defense mechanism to NOT get excited and NOT think about a potential positive outcome, but I am so much quieter and hesitant to talk about it. It makes me feel guilty. I want to be happy about giving my eggs another chance and I want to believe that destiny wanted me to try one more time before getting the embryos. However, am I just trying to try? Am I setting myself up for another fail? I know the pain of that failure and I am not sure that I am ready to go through that, alone, one more time. Am I spending all this money for nothing when I have such a beautiful option waiting for me and coming this way in the next few months? I want to continue with the adoption process, but is that sending a message to the universe that I don’t think this IVF round will work? Is that message to the world going to make this round fail? Am I jinxing myself? Am I overthinking… yes, definitely overthinking, but it is hard not to…
Of course, I would LOVE my biological baby. How crazy and exciting would it be if I were to get pregnant this round? I also know that, contrarily to the last time, I am not alone… my blogs only came out AFTER my failed in vitro attempt. This time around, I am going through the process in real time with you. So, I know that you are here for me. However, I am still scared. Shitless (pardon my language). I also feel like everyone wants me to get pregnant this time around… I know that no one EXPECTS it from me, but you know what I mean… You are all so sweet and are all routing for me.
I just mentioned that I felt hesitant to talk about this latest round of IVF and, in fact, almost a week has gone by since I wrote what you just read and I am only now finding the strength to post this latest blog. In those six days, so much has happened; it’s been a real life roller coaster.
After four days of hormone taking, I went back to the clinic for an ultrasound. The purpose of this appointment was to see how my follicles were reacting to the stims (aka hormones). At this point during my last IVF round, I had lost a follicle on one side, but gained two on the other – so the hormones actually helped produce more follicles than my initial count. I therefore expected the same kind of results this time around. However, we discovered that my left side had lost both its follicles and the right side had lost one. I started this process with eight follicles and now, five days in and I only had five follicles left. What a cruel joke.
Here I was finally getting over the guilt I felt for not being excited and finally starting to imagine again the possibility of having a baby that was biologically mine and… WHAM… A slap in the face by the fertility gods laughing at me for having hope. At least that is what it felt like.
My doctor told me not to worry, to continue the hormones and to come back in four days to see what transpired. As he ordered, I took Easter long weekend to shoot more hormones into my tired body, but I also took the time to enjoy a weekend cottage getaway. I had wine, I decompressed, I talked about my fears/my guilt and I went to bed every night rubbing my belly, asking my follicles to grow! “It’s Spring, it’s Easter”, I would say, “it’s time for rebirth and growth. Come on little fellas!” I felt silly doing it, but I wanted to be as positive as I could!
On my last full day, I rented snowshoes for a six hours, 13 kilometer hike up and down the mountain. While admiring the view, I was reminded of the quote “every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing”. It made me think of all the people that I’ve met through these blogs who have taught me that fertility issues often bury you in an avalanche of emotions, but you dig yourself out and you keep climbing.
I drove home prepared for whatever my next ultrasound was going to find. If I had too little follicles, I was going to do a round of insemination (might as well, I bought the sperm) and wait for the arrival of my embryos. If my follicles responded to my magical belly rubs and actually grew (!), IVF it is.
My left side is still on vacation. The two follicles that were initially there did not grow, nor did new ones appear. My right side has eight follicles; two that are mature, three that are close to being mature and two that are too small to be carrying a mature egg. I was down to five follicles a few days ago, so all I can say is that either my belly rubs are magical OR the Easter bunny brought me more than just chocolate eggs!
What’s next? I go in tomorrow to see if those three almost-mature follicles grew with tonight’s hormones. If so, IVF happens and then we are in our two weeks of waiting for a result!
I’m accepting positive vibes all around! May this IVF round work. May my embryos arrive and provide me with future siblings. May my Spring be less of a roller coaster than Mother Nature’s forecast!
Next update in two weeks!
(TO BE CONTINUED)