Friday 27 March 2009

Of mice and men

Nurse Janneke meant business.

I clearly wasn't going to get any knock-knock jokes from this member of the Dutch medical profession.

"You get undressed in there madam, and the chair over there is for you sir."

Now, ET is shorter than the average Irish woman, and the Dutch are a very tall race. Everything caters for that, including examination chairs. Having to take a wee hop and jump while naked from the waist down, in order to clamber up into the chair, is quite hard to do gracefully.

I sat back and waited for the main event to start. Like a cross between COPS and some night vision badger watch show, the dildo-cam tunneled it's way though the grainy black-and-whiteness towards a blob that Janneke announced was ET's left ovary.

She measured and pointed out a couple of other blobs, which from here on out we'll call follicle number one, and two. Well done left Goldilock!

Off she went, twisting and turning and burrowing in the direction of the right Goldilock in search of a much desired third follicle.

There it was, our third follicle, fat and round. Party time.

We were somewhat less amused to see a fourth. Not to mention a fifth, and a sixth, and oh why the fuck not, a seventh.

With one measuring 12mm, two at 10mm, two at 11mm, and two at 14mm, it was like Noah's ovarian ark.

Janneke and her clip-board refused to be influenced into saying whether this was normal, or how likely it was there would be further growth in all of them or not.

All would be revealed to us by phone later in the afternoon.

So, none the wiser, I gathered myself. My walking follicle farm for a spouse put her pants back on and we left.

Seven hours later, one for every double crossing follicle, the hospital called. Basically, seven are way too many, and also, being suspiciously close in size the probability is that most of them would mature.

Tomorrow morning we go back for another ultrasound to measure their growth again.

Unless there is a real sign that at least 4 of them are not growing at the same rate as the others, the IUI will be canceled.


Do you think there is anything else they could say that would make it any worse right now?

Oh yes there is.

Not that we have to listen, but due to the number, and subsequent risk of multiples, they recommend we use contraception for the rest of the month.

We started today looking forward to an IUI, a real life shot at getting real life pregnant.

We finish today needing condoms.

The best laid plans.


AnnD said...

Oh my....I don't know what to say....God, it just seems like whatever going on with you guys is the extreme of whatever could possibly be happening! The extreme of 25 months of infertility and now with one cycle (or was it 2?) of Clomid, she makes 7 good follicles! 7!!!!! Are you kidding me?! Now, she's "Fertile Myrtle!" I never thought I say this but I hope that 4 of them are gone by tomorrow for you guys!

Kori said...

All I can do is agree with Ann.

Momo Fali said...

Wow. I can't believe they said you need contraception. I didn't see it coming...not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused - why not have a natural try anyway with all those follicles increasing your chances, and if multiple pregnancies take, then do what they should have done with octo-mum and selectively reduce?

I know that's quite a personal question and that you may not feel like answering it on here...

jojo said...

I have been following and I must say my first thought was " hot damn! go for it!" I am not sure what all of the rest of the medical information entails, but the chance of pregnancy sounds like a good thing! Good luck!

Heather said...

No way! I can't say I've ever heard of so many follicles on Clomid. That must be some kind of record. I hope a few of them get lazy and shrink away before tomorrow's scan.

Anonymous said...

I myself would go forth without condoms and see what happens.

But then again I am the gambling type.

Robin said...

I'm confused too. I'm with Elly Parker's previous comments.

ladyshanae said...

I agree with those that have said to go for it. The worst that could happen is that you could have your whole family in one shot, right? Hee hee!

Also, some might not mature and/or welcome a little swimmer. I had 4 on my medicated (Clomid + Injectibles) and my doc almost canceled, but we decided to go forward. He was surprised when we came back with only one baby, but it is known to happen!

Good luck - prayers and well wishes continue to go forth for you and ET!

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth I agree with the others. Hit it big boy!!
Seriously - if Mother Nature want's irony then now's the time - right?

Martin said...

@AnnD - There's not much chance of that happening I think. So it's back to the drawing board.

@Kori - Ditto.

@Momo Fali - You wouldn't hear it from an American doctor eh? different approaches.

@elly parker - In most NL hospitals they are VERY strict on multiples via artificial methods.
And therefore, having half caused the issue now with the clomid, they do not recommend us taking the chancew either.

As for selective reduction, personally, it should never be an issue that needs to be adressed if doctors and patients do what's best and not what's most lucrative.

@jojo - That's my 'gut' feeling too,

@Heather - Really? bloody hell. There must have been more from SOME people? wow.

@RiotGrrlCynic - So tempting.

@Robin - Safety of mother and child basically is the issue.

@ladyshanae - In theory it is great, we could do wonderful things here and now, but the risks associated are substantial.

@Penelope - It would be one in the eye for her alright....

Anonymous said...

Condom-shmondom. I say you hump like bunnies.

But who asked me?

Rikki said...

Talk about a fertility see-saw. Keeping everthing crossable crossed.

Here till the end...


Foster Mama said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that there are too many. Hopefully those 4 will stop growing so you could continue on with the IUI. Best of luck.

Reg said...

Can't they pluck out the four smallest follicles? Then you'd have the biggest three and could give it a go without endangering anyone or having to deal with awful choices. I'm sure there's some reason that can't work either. Damn it Jim! Here's hoping ET produced some flakes!

Anonymous said...

Shit. Shit shit shit.

Fingers extremely crossed all the spare follicles politely retire from the stage and leave you with just the three next scan.

It's not even funny. Condoms. Damn.

Argh. So frustrated for you.

Liz said...


I mean good, but enough already.

Not that you'll want advice without asking for it (especially from someone who hasn't got as far as you have yet) but my Doctor said I needed drugs to stimulate ovulation (cause I clearly don't ovulate) but from the sounds of it ET does ovulate anyway so, (and caveat upon caveat lets hope this one goes ahead) can they not try IUI without injecting?

It is pretty much a rhetorical question, and I'm sure it is something you've thought about. And I am going to go before my comment is longer than your post.

Best of luck.

(Yes I'm a few beers in)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Shit, shit, shit. You couldn't make up this stuff if you tried!! And even then, who'd believe it??

I understand everyone's encouragement to just "go for it" but we don't want to have to start calling you Octo-Dad, now do we?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your sweet wife is very responsive to the medication. That's good news, really! And, it sounds like the Dutch are much more conservative on their fertilty numbers (unlike here in the US where twins or triplets seem to be ok in the fertility business - hard on the woman). I'm crossing my fingers than not all 7 mature.

If this doesn't turn out to be the case, perhaps they will reduce the dose so you will have a proper number of follicles next time. I had an extreme response to Clomid on the first cycle (which resulted in painful ovarian cysts), so they halfed my dose for the second round. That worked much, much better.

Malky B. said...

Sorry to hear about this turn of events. It would be advisable to listen to your docs if they say use protection. You could wind up with 7 babies at one time. Something you'd want to avoid.

Lea said...

That sucks! I hope a couple of them decide to take a break so you can move forward. Grrr.

Anonymous said...

Chalk me up for another "go for it" opinion.

What's the worst that could happen? She gets pregnant?

Although, maybe it would be nice to have a month off.

Ms. Moon said...

Your walking follicle farm? Oh dear. Oh my. I'm so sorry but there is so much RICHNESS in this post.
One would never... One COULD never...
Please do what the doctors say. The way all the prayers have been going your way, you know exactly how things will turn out if you don't and ET is not a Labrador retriever. She is not even a huge woman.
But yes, she is a follicle farm. Bless her.

Anonymous said...

Fuck fuck fuck.

To be honest, if you used contraception for the rest of the month you'd be the first.

I say get at it!!!! Fuck them!! There are some lovely follicles in there ready to be used up!!!

I'm sorry that it's turned out like this for you.

anymommy said...

Well f*uck a duck, huh, that sucks. She makes good eggs, that's a positive, but I can't imagine the frustration.

I don't suppose your medical system allows any possibility of switching to IVF, so they can control the transfer?!

I would not be able to resist the sex, but I deeply admire your careful thoughts on the subject.

Sarah said...

Seriously, this fucking sucks. I'm really sorry. Sorry you two have been through so much to get here, only to have the rug pulled from under you, sorry you are now in the position that you have to decide whether or not to try on your own because of multiples...I'm just really sorry.

It really does fucking suck.

Gaby said...

Well, for what I remember, my RE had offerd us to use clomid in case we didn't get pregnant soon (my problem are m/c), and said that in general, that does not increase the chances of multiples... I would try a web search to make sure, but with that in mind, I would totally say "Go for it!".
And still, there's a chance those extra guys will stop maturing and everyone will be happy :)

Amber said...

Frustrating...just when you feel like it's about to go down, something doesn't work out just right. Maybe thay can decrease the dose and you'll have the perfect number for next cycle.

Anonymous said...

Un-fucking believable. Seriously. This sucks and I can't believe this turn of events.

People in the Sun said...

Condoms? At this point you should have started laughing hysterically, stopping only when ET smacked you in the face.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Good Lord! Could you catch a break maybe.

Yo-yo Mama said...

Dumb questions coming:

Why did they start her on stims? Doesn't she produce an egg on her own naturally? Of course, you could still do an IUI w/trigger and all, but I don't understand the stimming.

Next question (but it's probably rhetorical): is there an option to convert to an IVF? If so, that would be the only way to go.

I know you guys want a baby, but I have to disagree w/just about everyone here and advise you not to go bareback at this point. Even if you two have no problem doing selective reduction, it is not w/o serious risks including loss of the entire pregnancy.

I'm sorry her ovaries basically gave you both the finger x7.

RRP said...

I forgot to add, because I was so busy not being helpful, that my American doctor has told me that, statistically, twins are slightly more likely on clomid, but there's no meaningful likelihood of higher order multiples.

Just sayin.

DrSpouse said...

Oh dear, how very disappointing. But in some ways good - at least if you decide to do IVF, there will be no problem getting enough eggs.

(Selective reduction procedures and laws are different in different places so frankly I wouldn't risk it if I were you, even if you felt that was something you'd deal with on a personal level).

Alyssa said...

How disheartening. I am so, so sorry. Still praying for you......

Shanny said...

I say screw the contraception.... you waited too long for this so, um, why waste it?

G said...

What the???

Didn't think I'd ever say this, but I hope that not all of ET's follies grow! Best of luck xxx

Elfinamsterdam said...

Unless the can sue you or accidental lack of Johnny invalidates the insurance I say go for it.

You guys can handle it and you really want this ...

If not, can they give half a dose next time? or take one of the follicles that matures and just fertilise and implant that?

Sodding Dutch and Sodding Laws, they like bending them when it suits. I say look the other way Nurse! :)


Anonymous said...

screw the condoms...I say GO FOR IT...if it is meant to be, it will be..... said...

Friggin' Genius....Contraception when all you need is a baby....

Dunno what to say....

You know...this is not a genius comment either...but if the IUI gets cancelled, how about doing it the old-fashioned way? (There too would be the risk of multiples though).

River said...

It seems the Clomid has made you mix up your fairy tales. You now have Goldilocks and the Seven Dwarves.
I also hope that of these disappear or at least shrink a lot by tomorrow.

River said...

P.S. I also say (along with others) forget the condoms. It's possible only the biggest two will ripen before the others, giving you and ET a chance at twins.

Veronica said...

Oh fuck.

And 7? DUDE, egg making machine!

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Oh COME ON!!!!

*shakes fists at the universe*

biting my nails in anticipation for tomorrow.

mammydiaries said...

Nooooooooo! "That Sucks! But well done on the lovely wording! I'm digging the "follicle Farm"

Dondi Tiples said...

Goldilocks has 7 follicles! Seven!
That's a lucky number, you know.
Better than a 4-leaf

Martin said...

@RRP - In the bushes?

@Rikki - Thanks.

@Foster Mama - No such luck unfortunately.

@Reg - I'm thinking the surgery involved there might be a little over the top...

@nutsinmay - 4 is a bit ambitious I think. but yes, frustrated is the word.

@womb for improvement - yeah they can, that will be discussed soon, either cut the dosage, or try no meds at all.

@Maxi Cane - in short Mr Cane, wife took drugs to create one or two extra eggs for an insemination. ended up with 7. thats not good.

@Bonnie B. - yeah there are serious things to think about.

@Mrs. LIAYF - Yeah I know that most likely in the US the IUI may have gone ahead, I'm more comfortable with the conservative approach I must say.

@Malky B. - well 7 is a real stretch, but yes, it has to be seriously thought about.

@Lea - in a perfect world

@Dan - pregnant...with 7 Daniel...

@Ms. Moon - "ET is not a Labrador retriever" best laugh I've had in a few days. Thanks.

@S - Thanks.

@anymommy - It's not something they would do at such short notice.

@Sarah - Yes, it does.

@Gaby - Maybe.... thanks.

@Amber - That is probably what will happen, when, I'm not sure. - me neither.

@People in the Sun - trust me, I've laughed insane at this over the past 24 hours.

@James - you tell me sir, you tell me!

@DD - Thanks for the sensible comment!
The stimulation was intended to be mild, up to 3 eggs was the target, no more, they are strict there.
But ET took to the drug too well it seems!

They won't switch to IVF at this stage, not even an option.

How they develop is key to what we will do or not do, and frankly, we would be happy with 2.


@DrSpouse - I wouldn't even want to go there!

@Alyssa - Thanks.

@Shanny - because it might mean 7 humans growing out of another one....

@G - Thanks.

@Elfinamsterdam - well I agree with them not doing the IUI now, with this number of eggs the odds are too high for 3+.

WE'll be looking at the dosage for next time.

@hotmamamia - 'meant to be' is odd in my mind, considering these follicles have been artificially developed.

@WiseGuy - Yes, a much much smaller risk, but a risk.

@River - funny! yeah, we need to think.

@Veronica - Oh fuck, indeed.

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - Today.FFS.

@mammydiaries - thanks.

@Dondi Tiples - all messed up!.

Feebee said...

So sorry this hasn't worked out as you hoped.

I'm afraid I'm going to be a party pooper and say I think you should sit this one out. I'm sure you know that the biggest risk with a multiple pregnancy is not that you will end up with several babies but that you will end up with nothing.

FWIW, ET's great response does bode well for the future.

IrishNYC said...

Oh man. I'm hoping that some of those buggers decide not to mature. In my experiences I often had follies that never made it beyond 11 or 12mm. Then again, I never had so many.

At least you know she does respond to Clomid, so perhaps next cycle they'll lower the dose.

WhatAboutNovember said...

My two cents? Screw their last piece of advice. Wouldn't you rather have 2 babies than none? At least, that's the way my math works. :)

But I'm sorry for the heart-stomp. Life just isn't fair.

Maybe 4 will bail. *crossing fingers*

Martin said...

@Feebee - I know exactly what your saying, and it makes sense.

But the desire is just huge, and the odds, so small.

I don't know.

@Irish NYC - well 1 vanished, but the rest remained. A lower dose is likely, just don't know when.

@WhatAboutNovember - unfortunately no they didn't.

Serenity said...

I admit. My first thought was "go for it."

But then. 7. SEVEN. Okay, from the comments, sounds like 6 or maybe 5. That's a LOT of follicles.

So I'd listen to the doctors, if there isn't much else you can do to salvage the cycle. And let's hope that next try is better, yeah?

Hugs. That just sucks. Times seven.

Jane G said...

I'm with FeeBee on this one, I'd definitely sit this one out. Doctors tell you this for a very good reason.

"some night vision badger watch show" - shouldn't that be "night vision beaver watch show"?

Sorry, my mind is in the sewer as usual!

BABY STEPS said...

I didn't want to say but I did think that a initial dose of 100mg of Clomid seemed really high for a person with regular periods (possibly indicating a natural ovulation)but figured that was the way the Irish did it.

I (a rare ovulater) was initially started on 25, it didnt work at all. I was then bumped up to 75 which gave a nice 3 mature follies. I later was dropped to 50(I guess to try for 2 but still produce 3 every time.

Best of luck for next cycle getting the dose right for ET.

tiff said...

I hope you are not going to use contraception. Since they've cancelled and you are being left to your own devices, I really hope Spence and the follicles six get down and dirty.

Martin said...

@serenity - I understand, we have swung back and forth over and over on this. We can justify both sides with great reasoning all night long.

@Jane G - I teetered with 'beaver' myself, must be a sign of maturity.

I know what you are saying, and to the letter you are correct, But....

@Paint it Black - well I guess it's almost impossible for them to know how anyone will react on a given dosage, 100mg is a medium dose.

@tiff - Well they have canceled for good reason, I wouldn't be happy IUIing with 6 follicles. But naturally, with no trigger, is the question.

Jenni said...

this could only happen to you. it would be funny if it weren't so unfair.

Bluestreak said...

You mean to say you aren't up for 7 kids all at once? Whataya, chicken?

You and ET using condoms might be more irony than your bits can take.