On Thursday I had a follicle count: 5. I was hoping for more, but I had 5 last time so maybe that's just where I am now. Maybe 5 is as good as it gets. I was a little sad, because like any sane person I was hoping for more. So, all weekend I ping ponged between slight depression and trying to stay positive (thinking 5 great eggs would be better than 8 crappy eggs), and I realized that this is the balancing act I do during every cycle. I try to remain positive while dealing with my feelings of inadequacy, and the depression that those feelings stir in me. Last cycle when we came up with only 5 follicles (instead of the 8 I had gotten before), when I only had 1 embryo at transfer, when my betas were less than spectacular... I tried to hold high the torch of hope, while keeping a level head and preparing myself for potential failure. Or as it turned out, inevitable failure.
Today, walking into my RE's office, my husband asked me if I was nervous. I said, "A little." It was the truth. Usually my body runs like clockwork and so do my IVF cycles. I'm textbook, other than the fact that I should possibly be able to produce a few more follicles per cycle than I do. But my last cycle was off. I ovulated late and got my period early. Things have just not felt quite right ever since I started the DHEA. It's like my ovaries always feel swollen, but they're not.
So once in the office, I lay back and waited to see how much my 5 little hopes had grown. Well, I was right to be nervous... they hadn't, grown that is. And now there were only 4. My body is reacting as though I am not stimming at all. Four teeny, tiny little follicles. Crap, crap, crap I say.
We have no idea if it's the DHEA or the estrogen priming or just a fluke. My doctors always laugh because my body never does what you expect it to. But, I have to say, I'm not laughing today. I'm sad. And I'm trying to figure out if we should adjust the stims and then take another look in few more days to see if that changes anything, or if we should just call it quits on this cycle and think about maybe trying again later.
And while I angst over this decision, I find myself in that old, too familiar, place... precariously balancing between hope and despair.