Green light

Today we had our baseline sonogram for IVF#1. As you may recall, our goal for today was:

  • lots of antral follicles (‘lots’ is relative; the most I’d ever had was 6, the fewest was 3…; more follicles ≈ better IVF outcomes)
  • no ovarian cysts (I had a cyst visible on my last sonogram, and if it hadn’t resolved by now, we would have to delay IVF; small cyst + stims = really big cyst)

And [drumroll please…] I’m happy to announce that Dr. Y observed 7 follicles, and no cyst! We have been given the green light to proceed with our IVF protocol for this month.

My inner skeptic: To be fair, 7 is still a pretty terrible number for IVF and Dr. Y really really had to hunt to find the last one… Dr. Y also made a point of saying,

“There’s no guarantee that everyone on the guest list will show up to the party.”

Translation: Not all the follicles that we see today will be successfully harvested as mature eggs (and not all those eggs will successfully fertilize to embryos)…

My inner Pollyanna: It’s still the best AFC I’ve ever had and I’ll take it! My usually lazy right ovary doubled its production from last month (from 1 follicle to 2). Maybe it’s all the CoQ10 I’ve been taking. Maybe Dr. Y is being more liberal in his interpretation of what a ‘follicle’ is (Hell if I can see what he’s pointing to!) Maybe all your well-wishes/prayers/baby dust found their way through the ether to motivate my ovaries… Whatever it is, I’ll take it!

So now the plan is to continue my estrace and testosterone-priming for now, and start stims (injections and other goodies) at the end of next week. This also means that I no longer have an excuse to postpone forking over $1K for my non-Kaiser-covered drugs. You can expect upcoming posts on the chemistry of these new (to me) drugs, the biology behind my unconventional protocol (I’ve been doing some more research into this lately), and the finances of all this (I finally talked to the clinic financial administrator)…


But before I go, I’ve been thinking about this lovely post from Rain Before Rainbow. In it, redbluebird explains why she has chosen to keep her blog anonymous and not to share it with her IRL (in real life) friends and family.

By contrast, I’d say that this blog is semi-anonymous. I’ve avoided using any real names or photos of my face and have tried to be vague enough to minimize the temptation to find me out. But to be fair, anyone who knows me even a little bit who happens to come across this blog will easily figure out it’s me (my dogs and wedding photo are easy giveaways). Academics or chemistry-types who don’t already know me but who have even a slight detective bent could also find me using information on this blog. And if that weren’t enough, I’ve shared the blog with select friends and family members who want to follow along with our journey. (Judging by our IRL conversations, I’m pretty sure that only a small fraction of them actually read it.)

The downside of having some IRL acquaintances reading this blog is well articulated by redbluebird. For one thing, I can’t go into ‘angry infertile rant mode’, however much I might want to. (Not that I’d ever rant about anybody I’ve shared this blog with, but I’m afraid to rant about other people, lest someone I love even think that I might be ranting about them…) I also find myself watching my language (a bit) and being careful about TMI (a tiny bit).

But there are also clear advantages to sharing my blog with my IRL friends and family. The first is a major reason I started this blog – to avoid having to tell the same bad news, and explain the same sad lessons in reproductive biology over and over. In this regard, the blog has already served me quite well.

One unforeseen – and amazing – benefit is that a few especially empathetic IRL friends have used information from my blog to anticipate my moods and do exactly the right thing to make me feel awesome (or less awful, depending on the situation). Such was the case a few weeks ago, after a particularly demoralizing RE appointment. My friend A invited us over for dinner and had a bottle of good red wine waiting for me. 🙂

Or last night, when I arrived home from work to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card from S & Q, wishing us Good Luck for our appointment this morning. I didn’t even know that they knew we had an appointment today!

ImageThank you S & Q for the amazing flowers! I hope at the end of all this we have some gorgeous hapa babies just like yours! And thank you to everyone (IRL and cyber friends alike) who are reading this and wishing us well. I firmly believe that it makes a difference!

Leave a comment


  1. Yayyy! 7 is a lucky number, isn’t it? Very funny about “not everyone on the guest list shows up to the party” — that’s one way of putting it. 🙂 Although I will also say that sometimes follicles appear out of nowhere halfway through treatment and you get way more “guests” than you expected — those are party crashers that you WANT.

    Also, I’m taking the same approach with the semi-anonymous blog. I figure, if someone I happen to know IRL is searching for infertility websites (probably because they’re going through or considering IF treatment), then I’m happy to “come out” for their sake. It’s more that I don’t feel like broadcasting my infertility to, like, 500 Facebook friends who aren’t really my friends to begin with.

    • Ooh! I didn’t know that! Now in every ultrasound I’m going to be squinting to see if Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have found their way in there…

  2. Woohoooo!!!!

  3. Good luck! Looks like we are on the same schedule. I will be starting stims June 8. Looking forward to following your journey.

  4. Yaaaay! 7 is good, 7 is good.

    And for my IVF I didn’t look like I had too-too many follies (plenty, but not a whole lot) and then right towards the end – BAM the guests came to the party and even invited some unexpected guests with them. I’m with your inner Pollyanna.

    and holy shit you have good friends.

  5. A personal antral follicle best during your IVF cycle? I’d say that’s starting it off with a hell yeah! I’m also keeping things semi-anonymous. I’m avoiding personal details but if someone I knew found it, they could probably figure it out. But I’ve only told two friends about it.

    • Thanks for the enthusiasm! Having added perspective from someone who has been there means a ton. 🙂

  6. Seven ain’t so bad, my friend… it only takes one good one to get pregnant. Follies have a funny way of hiding early on in the cycle, so you may end up being pleasantly surprised.

    My blog is not exactly anonymous. I didn’t tell anyone IRL, yet somehow, somebody found out about it anyway. Of course, I didn’t know that when I posted a pretty nasty rant about this particular person. I felt like a total shit when I found out that not only she, but a whole bunch of people in my circle were reading. Yeah… I had to do some major damage control after that incident. And I had to really examine where all that anger was coming from. It was a tough time, and I regret that she was hurt by my words. But honestly, I’m grateful that the whole thing taught me something about myself, and I think I’m a better person for it. I seem to have a knack for learning lessons the hard way… lol…

  7. I’m embracing being 37, so I’m game for calling 7 a lucky number and I hope that’s the case for you. Thanks for posting that link. My blog is nearly anonymous, I told three IRL people about it, and I really regret telling one. She is an infertility survivor via domestic adoption and I find that she has a different perspective and while it’s good for me to look at things from a different view point, I feel it defeats the purpose of my blog, which is addressing my feelings, right now. Look forward to hearing about your retrieval!

  8. Woo hoo!!! Yeah for 7 lucky follicles!! It’s true, you only need 1 and you may very well have gotten your first glimpse of half your baby!

    I have also elected to keep my blog anonymous. In fact, although my husband knows that I keep it I haven’t yet let him read any of it. For me it is my personal vent space, worry space whatever it needs to be and I started it so he didn’t have to deal with quite so many tears month after month as I went through my cycles. It seemed like that became a moot point if he turned around and read about my tears.

    So excited for your IVF cycle! Woo hoo!!

  9. Seven is a good number for BAFs. You can get many more follicles once you start stimming. I am so excited for your cycle. Go ovaries go!

    It is funny, it never occured to me that I should keep my blog secret. I have told almost everyone I know (I think I am an over-sharer). I hope that I never write anything to hurt or offend anyone, but I can’t imagine doing that even if it was anonymous. Written words are so permenant. I, like you, think it is lovely that RLF read and send support. Although, mine are not as cool as yours (no bouquets for me).

  10. Yay for seven follicles and zero cysts!!! I’d say that’s a great start to an IVF cycle. Those are beautiful flowers and that was so thoughtful of your friends. It’s so great to have such caring friends when dealing with infertility! Or, from here on out, let’s call it “fertility” and assume this will be your lucky cycle.
    Thanks for mentioning my blog post 🙂

  11. AAR

     /  May 31, 2013

    YAAAAAAAYYYY!!!! guess that testosterone is working for you! 🙂 let me add, I’m grateful to have you as a friend IRL and I miss having you around. BIG HUG!!

  12. 7 sounds great! i think it is awesome that your highest AFC came on teh right month! grow eggs grow! looking forwrad to reading the upcoming post about your protocol!

  13. I would definite celebrate 7 follicles! That’s fantastic news!

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