There are so many appointments I have each month. At “high time” I had four out of seven days with a blood draw or ultrasound! Inconvenient but necessary would be how I describe it. Nurses and doctors all in your business, poked, prodded and pushed in an attempt to create life.
The top two ways monitoring occurs are through blood work and ultrasounds. Blood work looks at my estrogen levels. Estrogen is pushed out by growing follicles and when they reach a healthy level my follicles rupture and *hopefully* release an egg. The lab techs at CRM have gotten to known me for the most part on a first name basis. This round my monitoring fell over the holiday period of Christmas and New Years. With holidays came a slight shift in staff. My usual lab technician had left, I assume, to spend time with her family. Her stand in was a lady was clearly unhappy about working Christmas Eve. She was cold and in-personable and left me with a ruptured vein. Not the most painful thing i’ve endured to date but still another scar to remind me of the journey so far.
Ultrasounds are the second form of monitoring that are used. These are not external screenings as depicted on the cover of your pre-natal pamphlet from the hospital. We are talking a wand in the place where the sun don’t shine and the good Lord named “private” because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Over my two years I’ve had ultrasounds with no follicles and ultrasounds with as many as 3. Below is an image of what follicles look like on an ultrasound. To be clear follicles are not eggs, many people mistake this truth. Follicles are the place that eggs are kept and grown to mature each month.
The below image is an old one from October, from my most promising cycle. It showed THREE beautiful follicles, one follicle on my left (1.4cm) and two on my right ovary (1.5 & 1.3cm). Unfortunately none of them resulted in pregnancy.
Monitoring is part of the process. This is the infertility journey. Most of the time it takes my breath away and leaves me gasping for air. It is in those moments that i’m held by Christ. When my body physically hurts from battle and I cry for Christ to take away the hurt I find my hope in Him.
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” (Psalm 121:1-2)