Canceled

My phone rang yesterday around 2:00.  It was Memphis.  “That’s odd,” I thought as I answered.  The next few seconds were fuzzy.  I can’t remember exactly what the nurse said.  The only word that I processed was the one I scribbled down on the Post-it note I grabbed off my desk – “CANCELED.”

After a pause, I woke up from my brief fog, asked the questions I needed answered, and jotted down much better notes.  In a nutshell, my prolactin level is too high to proceed with the transfer.  We’ve known since we first started fertility treatments that I have an elevated prolactin level, but we don’t know why.  I even had an MRI back in 2015 to see if I had a pituitary gland tumor, which I didn’t. Thank goodness.  So now, I’ve stopped taking the Estradiol since this transfer cycle is over and am on Cabergoline (again) to lower my prolactin.   In a month, I’ll have another blood test done to see if it has dropped.  In the meantime, my doctor will let me begin birth control for down regulation (again) once I start my cycle.  The timing should work out to where my repeated prolactin test will take place just before my baseline ultrasound (three days after stopping birth control).  If the level is high…another cancellation.  But if it’s back to normal, I can proceed with the Estradiol (again) and then onward to the transfer.

After all that sunk in, how did we feel? Well, pretty freaking annoyed.  This isn’t fair. Never has been. Never will be.  And what next? I mean, really, what the hell? It feels like a stale story line on Grey’s Anatomy, sans plane crashes.  But after letting out a few choice phrases and grunts of frustration, I tried to find the silver lining (because let’s be honest, I need those silver linings to get through this).  If something is wrong, I don’t want to move forward; so I’m thankful my doctor is being cautious with my elevated levels.  We can’t risk a precious embryo if my body isn’t ready.  And after I thought about it, I realized my mind wasn’t ready either.  I have been so unbelievably nervous about this transfer. After all, it’s our third, and the third time seems like so many more times than the second.  I’ve woken up sick in the middle of the night twice this week; Brennen chalked it up to nerves.  I’ve had heartburn out of this world! And for the most part, I’ve been…blah, for lack of a better term.  Tuesday night, Brennen wanted to shake me out of my slump.  Literally, he told me he wanted to shake me! I had also been dreading the pregnancy test, which would have been the weekend of Mother’s Day.  I don’t think I even need to explain my reasoning behind that one.  So I guess if I’m looking for that silver lining and trying to convince myself this postponement is for the best, once I get past the frustration, there is a little relief.  An extra month (and hopefully that’s all) gives me some time to get my mind and my body right.

For the next few weeks, we’ll take a break from the blog and all things infertility, except the daily pre-natal and the twice-a-week Cabergoline.  We’ll plant our crops for the year in our suburban garden, finally get those Christmas decorations back in the attic, and celebrate my 30th birthday (maybe at the beach hint, hint).  Until then, please pray for a happy mind, a happy body, and a much lower prolactin. See you on the other side of 30!

The Upswing

There have been a lot of valleys during this journey to Baby H – breakdowns where it felt like every ounce of energy was drained from my body; dinners spent venting to my husband about the multitude of pregnancy announcements on Facebook, challenging the fairness of it all; and most often, sleepless nights where I was haunted by all our unknowns.  Will I produce enough eggs? Will they be good quality eggs? Will we have a good fertilization rate? Will we have any embryos make it to transfer? To freezing? Will this even work? But lately, I’ve been on the upswing of what I so frequently call the emotional roller coaster; and I can’t help but find it strange that these unknowns that had my stomach in knots earlier this year, somehow bring with them now…peace.

A friend of mine who is wound very much like me went through IVF a year or so before my first round.  She told me that during IVF, I would surprise myself by learning to let go – that I would have a different outlook on what is important and worth my time and energy.  She was right.  During Round 1, my whole focus was on IVF – the injections, the monitoring appointments, follicle growth, embryo development, etc.  I didn’t meal plan.  I didn’t follow our chore schedule.  I didn’t run any errands.  I went to work where I could barely focus, came home, and rested with IVF stuff sprinkled in between.  My husband couldn’t believe it; I was letting go.

“Letting go” in Round 2 means something different though, and it’s hard to explain.  Those unknowns, everything I mentioned above, they’re still there.  They still cross my mind.  But I’ve realized that I can’t control them, so I can’t let them control me.  I’ll take my injections like a champ, but I can’t make my follicles grow.  My doctor, not me, will retrieve my eggs.  The embryologist, not me, will monitor our growing embryos in the lab. And God, not me, knows the plan for our lives.  All I can do right now is take care of myself emotionally and physically.  And that begins by not letting the unknowns plague my mind but by letting them go.

So here we are at a little over a week until stimming.  Our medications arrived today.  The baseline ultrasound is scheduled for Wednesday.  And all tentative monitoring and retrieval appointments are on the calendar.  We have a lot ahead of us; how much is yet another unknown.  But in this moment, I’m just a girl on birth control letting go and enjoying the upswing.