As Karen Fuss continues on her journey to have a baby on her own, she shares her thoughts, emotions and frustrations in dealing with cycle monitoring.
The Real Deal in Preparing for Cycle Monitoring
If you read my last blog, you are probably thinking that I am handling things relatively well. I sound quite informed and prepared. Well, that is just me talking well after the fact. Let me give you the real story of how I was feeling as my first cycle monitoring experience was approaching. Informed and calm would be the last words that I would use to describe. I think overwhelmed, anxious and a general feeling of “am I crazy to think that I can do this” are more accurate.
A couple days later after my last appointment, I finally had the courage to take out my envelope that I received from Doctor C. It contained information and the instructions on what exactly I need to do. Doctor C had gone over everything thoroughly with me. I had signed consent forms, initialed documents and even asked questions to demonstrate my understanding.
But the truth is that I was overwhelmed by the information coming at me and the magnitude of what I was doing. I didn’t fully grasp it. So I thought to myself, I will read it over and prepare myself. I figured that if I feel more prepared, perhaps I would feel more in control, and well, less freaked out.
It didn’t work.
Reviewing Cycle Monitoring
I took out the ‘instruction’ sheet and began reading it. And then I read it over again and again. It was becoming my new bible and I didn’t want to miss a word or misinterpret anything. Here is what it said:
“On day one of your period, you need to call cycle monitoring at the fertility clinic and Doctor C’s office to inform us so that monitoring can be scheduled to start on day three of your cycle.” (The actual name of the clinic was used but I simply refer to it as the “fertility clinic”. And of course Doctor C’s real name was used as well).
Okay. That seems simple enough. I read on.
“On day three you will need to have an ultrasound and blood work done first thing in the morning. These results will be conveyed to Doctor C in the late morning and then Doctor C will get in touch with you to let you know when you need to be monitored again.”
Okay. This too seems pretty straight forward, I think.
“For those patients on tablets, monitoring will be on, day three, day seven and then again two to three days and then possibly daily until egg sac (follicle) is the right size for ovulation…”
Okay this is starting to sound complicated. I am looking at the instruction sheet and trying to match it up with my “Patient’s Protocol for Cycle Monitoring” or the drug sheet that Doctor C gave me. I am going back and forth to be clear on what I am supposed to be doing or taking on day one, three, day seven or whatever day. It’s not working. It started to feel like I don’t know what the hell I am doing.
Where’s the Manual?
Of course there isn’t enough detail for someone like me who is older and has never done this before. Where is the manual?! You know, the one with numbered diagrams, the step by step instructions and a hotline for questions in every language imaginable? I got more detailed instructions setting up my new coffee maker. Clearly looking up it up on the internet to get more information or a product review is not going to work. I am starting fertility treatments to have a baby and not trying to make the world’s best cappuccino.
You see, for me, winging it or just going for it is not an option. I’m way too practical. I need specifics so that I don’t have to think. But I think that’s the point. There is no emotion or loss if your coffee maker doesn’t work. Plug it in and hope for the best. Who cares if you forget to run the water through or put the filter in? You’ll figure it out on the next try. But screwing up the instructions on your first cycle monitoring time? I don’t know about you but that seems pretty big.
There is so much emotion inherently built in to having a child. But then add on having a child on your own and undergoing fertility treatments too? Emotion begins to takeover sensibility. That’s what was happening and why I was craving the specifics. Keep it task oriented; show up at this time; do this when you arrive; take your pill on day three at 8 AM. Whatever the instructions were, I wanted it spelled out in front of me so that I didn’t have to think about the bigger picture and perhaps could reduce the emotional impact of what was ahead of me.
Unfortunately that manual doesn’t exist. It’s up to you to take control and figure it out.
So that is what I did.
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What do you think of Karen’s experience with cycle monitoring? Do you relate to her preparation style? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.