I’ve always been an overachiever. As a child I won spelling bees and essay contests, got good scores at vocal competitions, and sold the most candy in the fund raisers. I haven’t changed much. The overachieving that saw me succeed academically transformed me into an adult with a burning need to be right, win arguments, and be the best at anything I do. I’m not necessarily proud of this trait. It has a nasty way of creeping in and causing trouble in every facet of my life. Overachieving has its benefits, though. It’s also what makes me good at my job and drives me to be a devoted wife and loyal friend.
As it turns out, I’m also what we’re going to call an “ovaryachiever.” [Note: this term was coined by my always-witty bff on the way home from the gym. I hope you are all lucky enough to have a friend like her. When I count my blessings she’s very near the top of the list.] A trip to see doc and the guru Friday morning showed that both ovaries are in good shape for another treatment cycle. Phew. Doc gave us the lowdown on the menopur, told me to start taking the letrozole, and that was that. While I was dressing, she and the guru were engaged in a rather intense debate about the size of my follicles and the impact of their growth rate on the scheduling of the menopur shot. They’ve worked together for a long time and tend to speak a language all their own, finishing one another’s sentences and frequently leaving us in the dark. I walked up on the conversation and could tell they were talking about me. Doc picked up on my curiosity and tried her best to explain. As she described, I’m an “early recruiter.” Sure. Makes total sense. My ovaries are overachievers, too.
When the ovaries recruit eggs early, it becomes difficult to predict ovulation timing, which makes successfully scheduling an iui a bit of a challenge. It also means that the menopur has to be administered early in order to have any kind of effect. So tomorrow morning we’re back to doc for the menopur shot, and to measure the follicles. Menopur is the same drug used by women going through in vitro fertilization, usually self-injected on a daily basis. Since the point of ivf is to recruit and harvest as many eggs as possible, menopur is given in a very high dose. With me, doc is just looking to ensure that I have more than one mature follicle that makes it through ovulation. The more follicles present, the better chance that one of them will meet up with a swimmer or two.
We’ve also made one more change for this cycle. We bought a 3rd vial of sperm. Normally we just use 2 vials – 1 for each iui procedure. But last month’s early surge made us question whether or not we need to have a back-up vial available. So for this cycle, we’re trading acupuncture and herbs for a reserve cavalry of swimmers. Lots of couples buy 6 or so vials when they first start trying to conceive. This is usually done to ensure that their selected donor is available when they need him. MKL and I have a short list of chosen donors, but aren’t “married” to any one guy. This relieves some of the pressure of donor availability and also allows us to order vials on an as-needed basis. The additional vial isn’t cheap, and we might end up selling it back anyway. But if my body ovaryachieves again this time, we will be ready.