IVF (aka Our Year of Anxiety and Anticipation) – Part 2

Several months before Ryan and I began to seriously consider having a baby, my regular gynecologist sent me for an ultrasound to determine the cause of my long standing irregular periods.  A few days after the test, I received a phone call from a rather callous nurse.  She informed me that I had something called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and that because of this, I stood very little chance of ever getting pregnant.  She proceeded to tell me that even if I did conceive, the likelihood of my being able to carry a baby to full term was, more or less, non-existent.

I felt a lump in the back of my throat, and my heart shattered into a million little pieces.  I later found out that this wasn’t a realistic interpretation of my diagnosis, but the seed had already been planted.  I was terrified that my body would wage war against our dreams of becoming parents. I felt like a failure, and was horrified that Ryan would lose out on the chance to be a father because of my crappy ovaries.  I mentioned this to our RE at our first meeting and she attempted to reassure me that I had nothing to worry about.  My PCOS would not be the deciding factor in our journey towards pregnancy.  I still wasn’t convinced.

The 30% she’d told us about was burned into my brain, and my constant companion for that next year. I was completely rattled by the idea that we were going through such a strenuous journey and there was a 70% chance we’d fail.  Even more so when I considered the added stress of my lovely cystic ovaries.  As with everything else that Ryan and I had been through though, we learned to take it one day at a time.

The initial testing they put me through was quite intriguing.  Not only were there the standard blood tests and pelvic exams, there were some extra special ones that I’m pretty sure utilized every medical device known to man.  It was during one of these tests that my doctor discovered I had a polyp residing snugly inside my uterine wall.  She told me that it may not be an issue at all, but if an embryo were to try and implant itself onto that spot, the chances of a viable pregnancy were very slim. Enter surgery #1 – the polyp removal.

On the day of my surgery, Ryan had just started a new job so he was unable to come with me.  In his place, my mother volunteered to take me.  Two things you should know about my mom…she’s terrified of the interstate and completely squeamish!  This trip would test her limits in both areas; especially post-surgery when she would have to drive her drugged up daughter back home.  Following approximately 9 failed attempts to put in my IV (the squeamish mother nearly passed out right then and there,) they wheeled me back to the operating room and started the show.  The final result – a beautifully smooth uterus that was just begging for a little baby.

After that surgery was out of the way, it was finally time to set up my IVF protocol.  This would determine our course of action for the next few months.  After a couple meetings with our doctor and the nurses, a seminar that covered the in depth process we were about to start, and a super fun lesson in giving myself injections, we were finally ready to start.

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