First ultrasound, first freak-out

Considering how many people describe the IVF process as an emotional roller coaster, I should have expected our cycle to start off with a steep, stomach-lurching drop. Yesterday, during my first monitoring appointment, the ultrasound showed a cyst and not much growth in the follicles. Unbeknownst to me, I had started the cycle with a tiny cyst (shown in the baseline ultrasound) that the doctors weren’t worried about but now appears to be getting larger due to the meds. The nurse said they’d call me with the results of my blood tests, which would show if my hormone levels were normal and help the doctor determine if my dosage should be increased or if we would need to cancel the cycle.

For some reason, this came as a shock to me, perhaps because I’d only been getting the shots for three days and had just had an ultrasound done four days prior. I knew that cycles can be canceled if the patient doesn’t respond well to the meds or delayed due to cysts or other problems revealed in the baseline ultrasound. But I didn’t think I’d face this possibility so soon. As a result of my ill-preparedness for that major downer, I quickly became concerned, i.e., I freaked out and automatically assumed the worst: We’d have to cancel the cycle, and because of the holidays, wouldn’t be able to try again until January.

Immediately after the appointment, while suppressing the urge to sob and fly out of control, I called Colin, who calmed me down and recommended not jumping to conclusions until we heard back from the nurse – in other words, to be logical about it. Logic is not my strong suit; however, with the help of my friend, Kelly, who has been through IVF, and her wonderful reminders that God is in control of this situation and is working through it for His glory and my good, I got through the couple hours of waiting for the nurse to call without a complete meltdown.

She had good news: My blood tests were normal and the doc wasn’t concerned about the cyst. They just wanted me to bump up the dosage of meds to stimulate more follicles.

Today, the nurse called me once again to say the doc wanted to see me earlier than planned to make sure the boosted dosage was working OK. I’ll go in tomorrow morning and find out if the follicles are fired up yet. So my prayer request for now would be that the ultrasound will show that the follicles are growing and the cyst is shrinking.

While we don’t know yet if the shots are working, we’ve become pros at shot administration. After a minor mishap during the first attempt, when Colin accidentally used a larger needle than necessary and worried that he’d jabbed it in so far it punctured my intestines, we figured out a virtually pain-free method of injection: I pinch a chunk of skin and Colin gives me the shot, which stings for a few seconds and leaves a little red mark from the needle prick. Then he discards the used needles in the SoBe bottle we’re using as a makeshift Sharps container and I scoop us up some ice cream as our reward for going through the whole ordeal.

Thankfully, I haven’t noticed many side effects besides a few headaches and some abdominal uneasiness, but then again, my stomach is uneasy half the time, anyways, thanks to IBS-related issues. Colin is preparing for the worst in terms of hormone-induced mood swings, but that hasn’t been too bad, either, in my estimation. He might have a different opinion. All in all, the process hasn’t been entirely awful thus far. I just hope we will be able to continue and not have to postpone the procedure to a later time.

Published by jennhesse

Coauthor, Waiting in Hope: 31 Reflections for Walking with God Through Infertility. Content director at Waiting in Hope Ministries. Wife and boy mom x3.

One thought on “First ultrasound, first freak-out

  1. I will keep you in my prayers!!!!! This past Sunday we had a GREAT message at church about dreams and the dream-giver. It was based off of Joseph. Our pastor talked about how God has given us our dreams and sometimes, when we are in the “process” of reaching our dreams…it is easy to get discouraged (DUH!!!! Relating that to infertility…it goes without saying) Anyways…my encouragement to you is to keep your eyes on the one who designed you and created you to have this dream of being a mom. No matter what you are faced with in the future…our dreams of for HIS glory. Don't give up (look at all that Joseph had to go through for his dream). It takes such a strong woman to do what you are doing right now and I will keep you in my prayers!!!! Please take advantage of calling me if you need anything: questions, a safe place to vent, etc. You are AMAZING!!!!


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