I feel - literally and metaphorically - as though I have been kicked in the stomach.
As I continued on with the meno.pur injections over the course of last week, my abdomen grew progressively more tender. I interpreted that pain and discomfort as a sign that the drugs were working as they should. With every twinge, I visualised the follicles appearing on my ovaries. I imagined them growing to a good size. I attended Saturday's scan feeling optimistic. I was expecting a better response than last time round.
Since our first attempt at IVF was cancelled, I have trod that fine line between hope and caution. I have listened to those who told me that there was every reason to expect that I would have a better response on a shorter protocol, and with an increased dose of drugs. I have done everything I possibly could to try and ensure that this cycle worked. I have given up alcohol and caffeine. I have eaten as healthily as I possibly could. And nothing - not the weekly acupuncture sessions nor the expensive anti-natal vitamins - appears to have made any difference. The polyp is just the final fucking straw.
Yesterday, we toyed with the possibility of simply cutting our losses, of not going ahead with the retrieval. After my lap & dye test three years ago, I suffered a particularly bad reaction to the anaesthetic. I am exhausted by the prospect of having to undergo two sedations, and two unpleasant and uncomfortable gynaecological procedures in a short space of time: one to retrieve the eggs, another to get rid of the polyp. Neither of us are optimistic that this cycle will result in viable embryos. I have only two follicles, either or both of which may turn out not to contain a fully mature egg. Even if we get two eggs, they may not fertilise, or may be damaged as a result of the ICSI procedure. Any embryos we do get may not survive the freezing process.
I suspect that there may well be a problem with the quality of my eggs, as well as with the quantity. I have reached the point where I need to know whether there is any point in us continuing treatment; I'm not sure whether I can go through all this again. If we go ahead with the retrieval, then at least they will be able to give us some indication as to whether we have any chance of having a child that is genetically related to both of us. And so, at exactly midnight last night, I stabbed one final needle into my bruised, aching and swollen belly and administered the HCG shot. We will return to the Great Big Infertility Clinic for retrieval tomorrow morning.
Right now, I just want this to be over. I feel angry, let down and betrayed by my body, empty, barren.