I don’t remember it being so uncomfortable last time.

This round of IVF has been pretty smooth so far. The follicles have started growing on a lower dose of FSH than last time, which has meant it’s so far been a faster stimulation period (though I’m still awaiting a scan tomorrow morning to see if they’re up to size yet, so it could still go on a bit longer…), the injections have been at times unpleasant and at times totally pain free, seemingly able to vary based on the direction of the wind or something.

But oh my goodness, the discomfort now that they’ve started growing.

At the last scan, I had around 60 follicles. The smallest follicles were around 5mm in diameter, and the largest were 10-12mm each. It was hard to know for sure, but I had about 4-6 each side that were that big. The rest ranged from 5-10mm. So let’s do the maths, using the averages and conservative estimates:

(5*11mm)*2 ovaries =  110mm
(12.5*8mm)*2 ovaries = 200mm
(12.5*5mm)*2 ovaries = 125mm

110mm + 200mm + 125mm = 435mm of follicular mass. That’s 43.5cm. Almost half a meter of follicular mass, all balled up inside me. (And this was on Tuesday – they’re growing by about 2mm a day, so you can add (2mm*60 follicles=)120mm today. So that’s 555mm or 55.5cm by now!)

So yeah, it’s a bit tender. I feel bloated, my back hurts, it’s painful to lift anything – including Toby – as I get a stabbing sensation in my lower abdomen. And I’m exhausted. Like first trimester knackered. [Which is hard right now because John and Toby are both unwell, and the latter is still keeping the former awake several times a night, most nights. And has started waking up before 6am to boot.]

I’m hoping this is a good sign – that it means the follicles are growing and there are plenty of them. But I know from bitter experience that lots of follicles doesn’t equate to lots of eggs. In fact, more is possibly worse. Rather than a few well-developed eggs, we get a whole henhouse full of half-fried ones instead. And we just won’t know how good these follicles are at laying eggs until harvest time.

I’m terrified that this pain means I’m ovulating the eggs away naturally, as we think happened last time. I’m really scared of that. Again, we’ll have to wait till harvesting to know for sure, and I don’t know when that’ll be yet. Just another of the many unknowns here. I’m hoping I’ll get a better idea at my scan tomorrow morning.

But for now I’ll keep cycling through the emotions of 1) comfort from my discomfort because maybe it means it’s working, and 2) fear that it actually means they’re dissappearing.


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