Officially a Freak Show…

I’m officially a freak show.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was standing in line at The Children’s Place, waiting to buy new boxer briefs for my ever-growing son, I saw newborn twin girls in a double stroller.  And, my eyes filled with tears. 

I made it home without crying, but broke down to my husband in our backyard.  I explained that I’m so tired, that I saw twin baby girls, and he ushered me inside to take a nap.  I woke up around 4 p.m., then caffeined up to make it though a cookout at our neighbors’ house.

I’ve been exhausted for the past week, which is a side effect of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) meds, but yesterday is the first time I’ve cried.  At my appointment on Friday, the IVF coordinator asked me how I’m doing, and I said that I’m just tired.  She said I’m injecting estrogen, and it might make me emotional, might make me “tear up.”  But it hadn’t, and I was proud that I hadn’t become a basket case.  Starting Friday night, I had to increase my doses of both Gonal-F®, which I inject at 7 p.m. every night, and Menopur®, which I inject at 7 a.m. every morning.  Apparently, the increased dosages have put me over the edge because there I was, welling up at the sight of twins. 

And, it’s not because I want a baby, although, of course, I do.  It’s because those twin girls have each other. 

Yesterday morning, my husband and I took our son to the beach.  He is very outgoing, so he usually befriends kid after kid, but today the beach wasn’t crowded, and his attempts to woo the two children next to us, the only two near us, didn’t work.  Within two minutes of arriving, he was standing next to them, staring at their sand creations, and showing off by running into the water, screaming because of the cold, then falling into the sand near them.  For whatever reason, this time around, his charms didn’t work, and, even when their father said, “Do you want to say hi to the little boy?”, the two didn’t budge from their contented play with just each other.  So, my son and I dug a big hole in the sand, which my husband filled with buckets of water, and that kept him occupied for a while, but then he just sat there, blatantly staring at the other kids.

I asked my husband, “Now do you get why I want to have another child?”

“I get it.  I just don’t know if it’s worth it,” he said.

“What?  What I have to do to myself?”

He nodded.

I’ve thought about that a lot in the past day and a half, and this is worth it, because either we will have a baby as a result, or I will have the serenity that comes from having tried.  To me, trying and failing is better than not trying and wondering “what if?” I had.  Plus, our son is now old enough that he will remember this process, so he will always know how hard we tried to give him a biological sibling.

The ultrasound this morning showed that I now have 11 or 12 follicles, up from eight on Friday.  I still have five in my right ovary, but one is still too small to be relevant.  I have six or seven follicles in my left ovary, but they aren’t growing fast enough, so my already increased dose of Menopur is being increased again, from 225 IU to 300 IU.  So, today, Day 8 of injecting myself with ovulatory-stimulation medications, I have 11 or 12 follicles, and my Estradiol is 655.  During my cycle two months ago, I had at least 20 follicles by Day 7, on which my Estradiol was 1,236.  I’m well aware that this is a numbers game, because last cycle my doctor retrieved 19 eggs, and, five days later, the day of the embryo transfer, we were left with only two healthy embryos.  With only 11 or 12 eggs retrieved, we could end up without a healthy embryo this time around. 

But, for now, I’m just taking this one day at a time.  And, today’s results are better than Friday’s, so I’m trying to be hopeful, but realistic.

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