Day 6, halfway to retrieval

First off, if any of you are in a position to consider donor embryos, you may want to consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give birth to a Neanderthal! Thanks to my sister for passing that on. Go, Harvard!

So we’re all just chugging along here, which is good. On the sixth day of stims and I’m happy to report that, yet again, I’m experiencing zero side effects from any of this medication, other than a few tiny bruises where I’ve probably injected the Gonal-f too quickly. No bloating, no cramping, no mood swings, no nausea, no headaches. I’ve also been told that I won’t be taking Luveris (the LH-boosting drug) because my doctor is starting to yoink that from protocols of women under 35.

My results from today:

Estrogen: 1,911 (520 in U.S.)
Progesterone: Didn’t say.
LH: Didn’t say.

Follicles on the right: 1.2, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, and 9 others.
Follicles on the left: 1.2, 1.0, 1.0, and 9 others.

Because we’ve finally started IVF, which is kind of a big deal, hubby and I decided that it was time to be a little less private about our fertility struggles and start updating our close friends. It’s been really interesting to see how everyone reacts — some appear devastated and say “I’m so sorry” over and over, while others simply get excited that we’re trying to start a family. Some have responded by asking specific medical questions (“Unexplained infertility is a good thing, right?”), while others have asked specific financial questions (“How are you affording all this?”), and others still have asked for a refresher on how babies are made. Some we’ve emailed have written back lengthy, thoughtful replies and shared their own sordid gynecological experiences, while others have written just a few sentences along the lines of, “That sucks, keep us posted.”

I always find it so fascinating to see how people react to important news, especially of a highly personal matter, whether good or bad. It just says so much about them and how they approach life, and it’s usually a very accurate gauge of their empathy or emotional IQ.

I’m curious as to whether any of you have any funny or crazy stories about coming out of the infertility closet — did anyone react inappropriately, or surprise you by being unexpectedly sympathetic?


This is a pic of the Empathy Belly! What’s that, husbands? You wish you knew what it was like to be preggo? Well, strap this puppy on! (Also: if you wish you knew what it was like to have asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, they make Empathy Lungs, too!).

15 thoughts on “Day 6, halfway to retrieval

  1. Yay for no symptoms! You are a stiming machine! I think the weirdest thing anyone asked when I came out about our IVF cycle was “if gross stuff was happening you know… down there.” To which I just laughed and said, “What, you mean increased cervical mucus?” And she looked like she might pass out :) For the most part, though, I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were either supportive or just politely kept their distance, obviously creeped out by anything dealing with vaginas, ovaries and uteri.

    • So true! People ask how it’s going and I’ll say, “well I get hot flashes and I’m tired and I can feel my ovaries growing,” and they’ll look at me like I’m gross! Weird. Why is that weird? It’s not as I was talking about my labia or something. They’re ovaries people! And if you don’t wanna know how someone who’s in the middle of IVF is doing don’t ask! LOL.

  2. Best reaction (i.e. the only thing i ever want to hear): “I am so sorry this is happening to you. You are going to be a great mom”
    Worst reaction: “That sucks. But you know what else sucks? Being pregnant. So at leastyou don’t have to deal with that!” (Needless to say, I have not spoken to this person since

    Sounds like stims are going awesome! Yay for no bad reactions! keep us updated!

  3. My mom’s reaction was to tell me about Celine Dione, and all of her cycles. Geesh!

    I’m glad you’re off to a GREAT start! Lots of follicles to work with there! I’m so glad you’re not feeling the symptoms of the meds. I didn’t either, but like I’ve said in the past, I don’t think I could have been any more hormonal and pissy than I was when we finally started IVF!

  4. Wow, your follicles are looking awesome, you have lots of them and totally even growth! I love you but I’m super jealous right now. :) Best response we got to exposing our infertility: an out-of-province friend who emailed to ask for our mailing address and realized we’d moved from a condo to a house. She joked that she knew what that meant for our future plans! M responded that yeah, but we’ve been having trouble and were seeing a specialist. Her reply: “That’s so exciting!” I get that she meant the prospect of us being parents is exciting, but it totally came out as dismissive of the infertility issue. Blerg.

  5. You are your follicles are doing awesome!
    I haven’t told too many people about IVF, although I am starting to feel like I need to just be more open about it. It’s a huge thing in my life and I feel very closed off from everyone by keeping it to myself. I don’t think anyone has said anything terribly inappropriate, most people seem to be pretty uncomfortable with it though.

  6. Go follicles GO!! Sounds really fantastic so far! Yay!! I’m glad you opened up with friends! I’d say that was one of the best things we did. The extra support is great!

  7. That follie count is rocking!! Congrats!!! And hoorah for feeling no sxs! I also didn’t feel any until a few days before retrieval when my belly was undeniably bloaty and just felt a little fragile. And you have TWICE as many eggs as I did, so just listen to your body to see if you need to go a bit gently with yourself or not! We’ve told very few people about IVF because the responses of the few people we have told were downright insane and pretty much horrible. Our friends and family members clearly have no idea what to say or think. Sigh. (Not to get too personal (too late) but thank GOODness for you guys and the IF blog-o-sphere or I would be feeling broke, broken and alone!!)

    • Aww… it’s true, the Interwebs can be surprisingly helpful in times like this. And I find most people in this community are very open-minded and supportive. I had an enviro-blog for a while and dealt with CONSTANT hate mail, which scared me off from starting an infertility blog, but so far it’s been awesome.

      I’m assuming you don’t have a blog of your own, but let me know if you decide to take the plunge!!

      • You are so sweet!! Yes, the IF blog world is generally a safe comfy place ;) Thanks for your encouragement – I might just do it!!

  8. Our experience with telling people was pretty similar: the people who are always selfish turned it into a discussion about them, the people who are mellow to the point of uninterested about most things approached our IVF the same way and the people who are “feelers” really went to town empathizing with us- so pretty much everyone was in “character”.

    But for me I was glad I shared. I’m not a big secret keeper and once I got past the initial hurdle of me accepting that we were going to take the plunge I felt better having people know, rather than not.

    • Haha, SO TRUE. We actually told about three people quite early on in the game, and selected them based on how we thought they’d react, and whether or not they’d offer the exact type of support we were looking for. But yes, pretty much everyone reacted “in character”. :)

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