28 Feb

I am taking a little longer than most to develop my follicles (otherwise and affectionately known as ‘follies’). This seems about right. It took me 37 years to really accept a few home truths about my family, 38 years to truly embrace the concept of taking responsibility for own life and 39 years to understand that it’s not my job to make anyone else happy. You could call me a late bloomer. So, it seems fitting that I am taking my good long time to grow these follies. However, should the pattern of my life transcend into this situation it could be good news. When I finally get something or do something – I excel and cover it really damn well.

Quick lesson:

Ovarian follicles are the basic units of female reproductive biology, which are found in the ovary. They are the little ovarian cysts that contain a single egg surrounded by fluid. On a normal menstrual cycle, a single follicle produces more fluid to trigger the maturation of its containing egg. During the ovarian stimulation stage, the growth of several follicles from both ovaries is triggered by fertility medications. The follicular growth will be monitored throughout ultrasound to give the doctor an idea of when the egg retrieval will take place.

Vaginal ultrasound is the best way to accurately assess and count the follicles. They need to be at last 18 mm before they can be retrieved.

Having 11 to 30 follies is good. It’s basically a law of numbers game so the more the merrier. However, it is not unheard of to have success with only a few.

I have two which are rocking along steadily and a third which needs to catch up a little. Come on follies you can do it! Grow nice and strong now, we are counting on you. It’s about quality, not quantity in this case. Which I should add is another classical personality trait of mine – I  prefer quality to quantity, always have.

I had a bit of a false alarm today. I went for my second scan and blood test today (the first one showed three follies but they were smaller than expected – around 7 mm). I was disappointed and little scared to find that the monster nurse (see my ‘orientation’ post) was going to do the internal ultrasound. As it turns out she was in a great mood. She was actually jovial and friendly so I relaxed and thought ‘what the hell, everyone deserves a second chance right?’. She was being so nice that I think she got a little carried away and exaggerated what she was seeing. Oh dear!

Reformed Nurse Monster says “oooo look at those lovely two follicles which are 18 mm. And the endometrium is lovely and thick too. Good things are happening here. You are ready to be triggered.” To which I exclaim, “How exciting, YAY!”. So I was taken into another room where another nurse talked me through giving myself the trigger shot and I was told to prepare to go Canberra on Wednesday.

Wrong wrong wrong! When I spoke to the nurse in Canberra she assured me that I had two follies which were 15 mm and one which is 12 mm. So in essence this is actually better because I could end up with three! YAY for three! And three is actually my favourite number. So I reckon I will end up with three big fat ones.

But how did the nurse here in Sydney get it so wrong? Well, maybe it is easy to measure incorrectly and that is fine. What is not fine is advising people on this very emotional journey before you can be certain. I spent from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm being really excited about how well my follies had come along. And although it is actually better that I get three opposed to two follicles, this situation highlights again the unprofessional manner of this dreadful nurse. You get them in all types of jobs I guess so I hold nothing against the practice and I can’t be bothered dwelling on it. I am looking forward not backwards.

I need to go for another ultrasound and blood test on Wednesday and I am told I will most likely go in for retrieval on Friday. Not long now eeeeeeek! Finger, toes, legs, everything crossed for a positive outcome.

I ask a favour of you, who is reading this right now. Please close your eyes for just a moment and imagine reading a future post of mine declaring I am pregnant. Wish me luck. X

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