I screwed up. Call it overconfidence; call it miscommunication; call it nerves, but I took my first birth control pill for the downregulation part of this IVF cycle prior to getting Nurse-A’s go-ahead. Lo and behold they wanted to update my diagnostic day-3 bloods. I found this out when she called me around noon on Monday, approximately three hours after swallowing it. I had been away this weekend, and my good friend Flow showed up two days early, late in the afternoon on my anniversary (bitch) so by the time we cleared the weekend and I was able to get in touch with the clinic, it was already day three…or four, but probably three. (I hate that ambiguity; it gives me anxiety.) I started to flutter with all these panicky thoughts about my ovaries grooming a follicle early, and because of a late start on birth control, needing to skip a month, pushing my first banking cycle into the school year, so I took it with my vitamins in the morning since Nurse-A and I had already discussed a day-3 start (with no mention of bloodwork) when we talked calendar prior to my trip Upstate. Ah, no, I learned: the bloods were the gatekeeper. This threw me into a bit of a tailspin.
It was already too late in the day to get the results back to start meds today anyway, she noted, and we need you to update those thyroid and prolactin levels; it’s okay to do the bloods on day four too, so why don’t I email you a script for everything, and you can have them drawn tomorrow so you only get poked once.
The wheels started turning: a birth control pill is only in your system for 24 hours, so by 9:00 tomorrow morning, hopefully my levels will look normal? These diagnostic bloods are only marginally valuable considering I have several embryology reports that give hard data about my response to stimulation and egg quality–that will be the most influential basis of my protocol design. My ovarian reserve problem is no secret. Breathe. Keep mum. Wait a day. Drink a gallon of water, and hope to sidestep a significant delay.
It’s possible I spent most of the day trying not to worry, trying not to take a Xanax, and furiously cleaning and organizing my house to deal with the nervous energy. It’s possible I had a stomach ache over this until she called me with the results at 3:00 yesterday afternoon, but the goods news is that everything was picture-perfect!
Now, the fact that my FSH didn’t spike or that my E2 isn’t elevated like it was when I did day-3s last year doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of the report on my ovarian reserve because these bloods aren’t diagnostically valid. There’s just no way for me to know if/how The Pill tampered with my levels. Truthfully, this is such a relief! Had things gone according to plan, I would have had meaningful numbers to digest, maybe high FSH, and that would make me emotional and trigger a whole barrage of feelings about my broken body and aging ovaries and doom. No thanks! I’ll take the artificially healthy panel and the green light to start without the wave of hysterical Googling, tears, and self-loathing. I’m so sick of being a slave to numbers.
Here we go!