Spoiler alert: It’s bad news.
You know it’s bad news when your doctor calls, not the nurse.
Just to give some background on the process of IUI. I call the office on Day 1 of my period to schedule my appointment for an ultrasound and blood-work (checking hormone levels), usually on Day 3. On Day 3, I arrive between 7-9am. I have never liked getting blood drawn but I’m getting better at it. Maybe one day I’ll watch. Instead, I stare at the sperm/egg holiday decorations. The ultrasound happens next. It’s a vaginal ultrasound to view the ovaries and count how many follicles (where the egg pops out) are ready. It’s kind of cool to see. And then I wait for the nurse to call with instructions.
If all is well, depending on the protocol, I start clomid and take it for 5 days. My basic understanding is that it’s to encourage more follicles to develop so that instead of releasing only one egg, a few more are released. It does increase the risk of multiples.
The next appointment is Day 12, at least it was last month, and that’s when my blood-work showed that I already ovulated, like really already ovulated. This month I went in earlier, on Day 9, to try to catch the opportunity to complete the whole IUI round.
So I dragged myself out of bed at 7am this morning (a Saturday) and drove the 30 minutes, watching the sunrise over the Queen City. Blood-work. Ultrasound with my actual Reproductive Endocrinologist instead of another doctor. Each ovary seems to have a cyst this time. Looks like there are a few follicles growing but nothing can be determined until the blood-work. And I wait. I was trying to be hopeful. See?
It’s when I’m standing in line to vote, that my cell phone starts to buzz. No one likes to play phone tag with the doctor’s office, so I left my husband to hold our place (and to get some privacy) to answer the call. My heart dropped when instead of the nurse, I hear my doctor’s voice. Not that I don’t like her, however, it’s a Saturday, and she’s making the call. “It’s highly unusual, but you have already ovulated, again.” What?!?! Not sure if I have always had a wacky hormone cycle or if the clomid made my hormones wacky. “If you haven’t already had intercourse, I would suggest you do.” Thank you for that – when intercourse becomes a protocol step.
More waiting. I get to wait for another period. I don’t really have high hopes for a natural pregnancy at this point but the husband does. There are two options from here: a different medication similar to clomid or the more expensive injection medications (basically IVF without the IVF). I am not sure I have the mental and emotional strength for another “maybe this will work” medication but it’s the natural next step. So we start with the least expensive option.
There’s a reason I don’t want to do IVF – all the hormone injections. It’s one thing to have someone draw my blood, it’s a completely different thing to give myself multiple shots. There is one injection I have to give myself with IUI, it’s supposed to trigger ovulation when multiple follicles are ready. I *think* I could handle one injection. If not, I have a few nurse friends I could call.
To cope with the news, we went to lunch and a movie. I came home and worked, the husband cleaned his car. As I sit here and type, football games play in the background. Because what else is there to do? Life as usual. Keep busy while we wait. And wait. And wait. Probably do some reading online to see if anyone else has experienced early ovulation.
We have a week long vacation in a few weeks. I have something to look forward to. We just have to be careful to avoid the Zika-prone areas of Florida. Because it’s not a crappy enough situation already.