Monday, 20 December 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

Sorry I haven't been around for a while - life suddenly got ridiculously busy, and it's still not showing much sign of letting up. At least it gives me less time to think about things...

My AF showed up on Friday, so I went down for my blood test on Saturday morning. While I waited for the call with the results, I took the opportunity to do a bit of Christmas shopping in Oxford Street, and was amazed at how uncrowded Britain's busiest shopping street was on the Saturday before Christmas. Perhaps the forecast snow had something to do with it - it started to fall around 10:00.

By the time I was ready to go home, there were about four inches in central London, and about seven inches at home. My journey home took me three hours (compared to the usual one) and I ended up having to walk the last three miles, because there was no public transport at all running to my town. I got off the train in the next town, bought myself a sledge and trudged home, pulling my shopping behind me on the sledge.

So it wasn't with unreserved joy that I greeted the news that the clinic wanted me to go in again on Sunday for a repeat blood test and a scan. My FSH was 7.6, oestradiol 247, LH 3.4 and prolactin 289. Apart from the oestradiol, those were pretty good results, and I'm pleased that my FSH has come down again so nicely. But I wasn't sure how I was going to get back into London yesterday, and even less sure how I would manage daily blood tests over the Christmas period if I got the go-ahead to get started.

In the end, DH and I managed to get to my sister's on Saturday evening and spent the night with her - she lives closer to central London and her local station has more trains and was more likely to be open than our little terminus station at the forgotten end of a branch line.

Mr Greek God did my scan again, and I was impressed that even before he looked at my file, he seemed to remember the issue that I had last month.

This time, I had a 12 mm follicle. He said they didn't like them to be this big so early, but that this was a day later in my cycle than the scan I had last month (day 3 rather than day 2), which could explain why it's a bit bigger. And the good news was that, whereas last month one ovary was doing absolutely nothing and the other had a big follicle and two tiny ones, this month I had two follicles on one ovary and three on the other, and all were around the 10 mm mark - so bigger than they would like, but there wasn't really one dominant one.

I asked him why I always seemed to have these big follicles already before getting started, and he said that although it wasn't ideal for IVF, it was what my body was meant to be doing.

DH and I then went away and waited for the call. We went to Mass at a very nice church round the corner from the clinic, then waited in Starbucks with big mugs of coffee and the Sunday papers.

The first call, when it came, was not what I had expected. It was the nurse I had spoken to in the morning, who had received my blood test results. She asked me to confirm what day of my period it was, and asked how heavy the flow was and whether this was normal for me. From this I guessed that my progesterone was raised again, as it was last month. (I sneaked a peak at my file while I was waiting for the scan, and last month's CD2 progesterone level was 6.something, when it should have been less than 2.) She then said she was about to take my file up to Mr Miracle Worker, and would call back shortly.

When the next call came, it was Mr Greek God himself. He said that my levels were not ideal for cycling this month - and I must admit that after the travel problems over the weekend, I did breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn't going to have to travel into London every day during this bout of snow.

He then said that if my levels are similar next month, they would like to try down-regulating me. I've always done the short protocol up to now, and when I asked Mr Wonderful after the last cycle if down-regging might help to prevent the dominant follicles, he said he didn't think it would be suitable for me. But I'm actually really pleased to get a chance to try something new, and curious to see how my body responds to it.

So it looks as though, provided my FSH level is reasonable next month, I should be starting down-regging in mid-January. I think what they're planning is the follicular protocol, which seems to be halfway between the long and short protocol. I can't find much about it on the internet, but down-regging starts on CD1 or 2 with daily Suprefact injections, and you normally start stimming after 10 days. I'm sure they'll tell me more about it when the time comes...

So, the news is mostly positive, and it's just our laughable transport system, the amount of work I still have to do before Christmas and the fact that I have yet another cold/throat infection that stops me from looking forward to the next few days.

Oh, and the ugly? That's me - I'm a bit run down at the moment, and it's showing up in my skin. I have more zits than I've had at any time since I was a teenager, and look a bit like a geriatric adolescent. Perhaps Santa should bring me a big bottle of Clearasil...


  1. what a wild ride you are on??!!! I have an adorable image of you dragging your gifts behind you in the snow, its like a christmas movie!!
    I am so sorry that this cycle is not shaping up as hoped. What a fake you got on the first lab day, although it is a good sign that your fsh does not stay too high for long. I hope this new protocol is the trick.
    thinking of you....

  2. I'm an early dominant follicle girl myself. And I actually think this idea of really examining your day 2/3 numbers and determining whether it makes sense to proceed in this cycle or not is a really good thing. It stinks that it means more delay, but I think there are a couple of times in my past cycles where we maybe should have waited it out until the next cycle. Sounds like down-regulating a bit could be good too. I've been seeing the pictures of London with all the snow. Beautiful, but I understand the hassle (we have snow on the ground at the moment here in Washington too!)

  3. Wow, you are one tough woman to trek 3 miles in the snow with all your shopping in tow! I would have sat there and sulked haha. I totally understand your excitement about down-regging! It's something different and may make you respond in a totally different way. With early follicles like that it certainly would make sense to at least TRY it. I'm sorry you're feeling run-down and hope everything eases up a bit for Christmas!