After a full week on the Menopur injections, I have managed to produce a sum total of five follicles. On my right ovary, I have two follicles measuring 10-13mm, plus another two measuring 8-10mm. On my left ovary, I have one follicle that is well under 10mm.
We are to go back to the clinic on Saturday morning for another scan, however at the moment our options - as outlined by Dr Approachable, who was wielding the dildo cam this morning - are as follows:
1. They go ahead and retrieve the eggs from the two largest follicles early next week. Given that we were scheduled to do ICSI, which requires fully mature eggs, and there is a further chance that the ICSI process may itself damage a certain percentage of those eggs, the chances of fertilisation look fairly slim.
2. We cancel this cycle owing to my poor response to the stims, and start all over again with a more aggressive protocol in a couple of months.
I did suggest a third option, that we turn this cycle into an IUI, but Dr Approachable pretty much ruled this out owing to Mr H's poor swimmers.
While I sobbed into a tissue, he made all sorts of reassuring noises - my most recent bloodwork showed that my FSH levels were 5.6, which he considers good for my age (I've just turned 36). Based on those results, he told me that there was no need for me to panic about having a diminished ovarian reserve. It was, he suggested, by no means the end of the road for us; next time round, they would simply increase the dose of Menopur.
But I still don't understand why this has happened. Did I do something wrong? Did I administer the injections incorrectly? I've spent the last three and a half weeks pumping myself full of drugs - why didn't my stupid, fucking ovaries respond?
I thought that starting IVF would take us one step closer to having a baby, but that now seems further away than ever. Before today, our problems never seemed insurmountable. I checked out fine; all our difficulties seemed to lie in Mr H's wonky sperm. ICSI would, we thought, enable us to bypass that particular problem. We weren't naive enough to think that it would work first time round, but we did think that eventually it would. 'Maybe it'll take us two or three cycles,' we told ourselves, 'but we'll get there in the end.'
But now we're facing an entirely new and unexpected problem. The door hasn't exactly been slammed in our face, but I do have a sense that it's drawing slowly shut, and right now it seems that there is very little I can do to stop it.