Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Uncle! Uncle!

You know that person who always picked on you growing up? The one who gave you noogies or wedgies or called you names? Well, my ovaries are that person, and my bazillion little follicles are their little friends forming the circle around us taunting me while I get pummeled.

So after what I was hoping would be a positive follicle check (more on this in a minute) turned out to be an epic fail, I found myself on the proverbial floor in the proverbial corner with a HUGE wedgie and a sore head and a very bruised ego after all the taunting and name calling (sorry for all the proverbs, LOL).

Are you wondering what happened that was so awful yet? I will tell you in a minute, but first I need to explain what happens at a follicle check so you understand (kinda) why I was so upset.

In your tummy are two plump little ovaries, one on the left and one on the right, filled with millions of teeny, tiny, invisible follicles. Most follicles contain an egg waiting to be released one day. Now, my understanding is that for non-PCOS women, on a normal day, early in the cycle their ovary looks something like this:

Not much going on here. Trust me, there are hundreds of thousands of follicles in there! Compare that to this picture of a ovary of a woman with PCOS (this is what mine look like):

All those big black blobs are follicles that have started to grow some and then stop and hang out. Thank you hormone imbalance! The way its supposed to go is ONE, or sometimes two, follicles are supposed to grow up and get real big and one day they will explode (this is what causes ovulation pain!) and the little egg gets thrust down your fallopian tube where it can get fertilized and then rides down to the uterus, implants and you grow a little baby (or have a period).

The trick with PCOS is there are already A LOT of potential follicles to claim dominance, and unless you want to be the next Octomom or Jon and Kate Plus 8, you really only want one or two to get big and explode. Enter playing with hormones to get the right balance to make just enough, but not too many follicles to grow.

So here is part of the reason I was so beat down today....I went in on Sunday to have my ovaries checked for a dominant follicle(s) and there were 3 potentials measuring 11mm, 13mm, and 14mm (they need to be around 18-20mm to trigger ovulation). The follicles "typically" grow 2mm per day (mine don't usually, they are very lazy!) Using this reasoning, in 3 days I should have had something like a 17mm, 19mm, and 20mm. I wanted to look on the screen and see at the very least this:

...wait for it...

I had a couple that were 11mm and 12mm! What in the world happened over the last 3 days!!! They didn't grow AT ALL! They may have even shrunk (RE says they may have been measured wrong before...not really buying that!). Then to put the icing on the cake she dropped the three letter bomb on me...IVF.

That is something that I NEVER expected. I am a great candidate for IUI since I have gotten PG twice with it. Honestly though, it is pretty standard protocol for REs to start pushing IVF after 3 failed IUIs. Well, IVF isn't going to happen here, and after my 3 remaining IUIs are used up my TTC journey will be put on hold, in terms of medical intervention, until we are independently wealthy or insurance doesn't cap fertility coverage. (insert plug for you all to sign this petition:!/petition/approve-infertility-coverage-every-state/W43WWdd6).

So after a visit to the vampires (The Lab) for blood work, I left in tears. All my hopes of getting pregnant temporarily dashed...blah, blah, blah. I have to admit that I am VERY hormonal right now. I have NEVER been this hormonal on an IUI cycle. It is killing me! I cry at everything. I have high highs and low lows...this is so not for me!

Anyways, after a good cry, a hug from a great friend, some girl talk, a few donuts, and a call from the RE saying my blood work was still good for this cycle, I realized that its not so bad, I'm not done yet, and this will happen...eventually.



Anonymous said...

Aww! I'm so sorry to hear that your follicles are being bratty. PCOS can really throw some curve balls :( Are you taking Clomid? Love your blog! Can't wait to read more.

Katie said...

Thanks, Sunny! I am not taking and clomid aren't friends (my follicles are very stubborn and they don't respond to clomid). I do the gonal F injections.