Having completed so many donor cycles, we thought we knew how my body would respond. I was used to producing huge numbers! My lowest retrieval was 22; most were in the mid-thirties. My last cycle resulted in an astonishing 52 eggs, of which 48 fertilized and 46 made it to blast. We know that I make awesome eggs.
What we didn't know is how a big difference the injections had been making.
Today is cycle day 18 and I have... zero. My coordinator, the same one I've had for every egg donor cycle, says that my ovaries look baseline. The same as they have looked on every CD3 scan we've ever done.
I can't believe it.
Of course, I do believe it because I was there. I watched the screen and knew before she said anything. There's nothing going on.
She said that my ovaries are presenting similarly to her patients with PCOS. (Which we know I don't have; I don't even want to go down that rabbit trail.)
The layman's explanation she gave us is that I have a ton of antral follicles - about double of what is considered normal. Which explains why we got the big numbers on the donor cycles. The problem is that, left to its own devices, my brain seems to only send enough signal to my ovaries for the "normal" amount of follicles. We're not getting enough action to cause anything to mature.
Although my temp charts are bi-phasic, it's most likely that I haven't been ovulating every month. That would definitely explain why I've never gotten a positive OPK and why my cycles are so long: my body can't seem to produce enough estrogen to get things moving.
(All of a sudden, I see what a miracle Little K is...)
So, what do we do now?
My coordinator suggested Femara or Clomid to get things going, either starting one of those now or waiting for my next period and starting between CD2-5.
In the end, R and I decided to go ahead with trying one now and seeing if this cycle can be saved. My lining is looking great at 6.8 and, honestly, we're just ready to lay this whole thing to rest.
My coordinator ended up giving us five days worth of Clomid free of charge, which I will start taking tonight, and then come back in at ten days (CD28, OMG WHAT EVEN?!) to see if anything has developed. If not, we'll cancel and try again next month.
So, what's the good news?
Well, for starters, the good news is that we're working with a clinic rather than doing the home insemination. As I told R in the car ride home, I'd much rather throw $2000 at something with the doctor than $1200 at nothing at home.
The other good news is information. It's so good to have an explanation for my long cycles. I love knowing more about my body and getting a better understanding of what's going on and why.
And, of course, the validation that doing this with the doctor is the right decision.
I am reminding myself over and over that God is in control. He knew how today would play out and He knows the end result. His ways are perfect and His plan is the one that will come to pass.
My plan was to be triggering within the next few days. He clearly has another plan in place.
What I would really love from you ladies is to hear about your experience with Clomid. What should I expect? I have a feeling that the next five days are going to be nuts...