So apparently this is not my best cycle. Far from it. Figures. The first cycle I have after surgery, and it stinks.
My first clue that something was "up" was my follicle scan on Wednesday. I had a 15.3mm follicle on my left ovary. It was CD 8. I had several days of brown bleeding after my period, and was still staining (with no mucus). So why was my follicle already so large (and I didn't take any ovulation meds)?
Then today I was scheduled for a post-coital test in the morning, with an ultrasound and bloodwork. In the late afternoon I had a uterine biophysical profile (Dr Kwak's assessment of the uterine environment and bloodflow in the endometrium). We were supposed to have relations last night for the post-coital test, but I STILL did not have any mucus as of late last night. Plus, DH and I got in a tiff. So I was all prepared to cancel this morning, when I woke up to beautiful 10KL. Crystal clear, stretchy, lubricative. I decided to go ahead and keep the appointment, which meant early-morning nooky. I'm not a morning person.
So I get to the appointment and first they do an ultrasound (with WATER on the probe cover, NOT GEL) to find an 18.1mm follicle. I get whisked away to the next room for the post-coital (done by a nurse). She quickly takes the sample into the adjacent room and tells me to join her there after I'm dressed. (For those who don't know, a post-coital test checks a sample of the cervical mucus from the cervix after intercourse, to test for the presence of sperm and if they are living and moving or not.) When I got into the adjacent room, she had placed the slide of my sample under the microscope and there was a tiny television screen with the magnification for me to see. She told me she didn't see any that were living. Sure enough, as I watched on the screen, nothing but dead or dying sperm.
The nurse then looked up at me and said, "But you're not interested in IUI, right?" I shook my head, and she proceeded to list off some home remedies I could try to improve my cervical mucus. Nothing I haven't heard before, and nothing I'm not already doing. She also gave me instructions for a baking soda douche to help my vaginal environment neutralize. (I didn't bother telling her that just a couple months ago I had the pH tested in my vagina and it was so perfect that neither I nor the Dr could see ANY change in color on the litmus between my sample and the "control.")
So, I sulked off to the waiting room again to wait for my blood draw. And I reflected. Basically my thoughts centered around three words: WTH?????
How could I have passed this same test with FLYING colors last year, and this time I failed?? I didn't spend 13 months in a program studying all about cervical mucus to not know the difference between fertile and infertile mucus! So how could this be?? I clearly saw FERTILE mucus this morning.
The wheels began to spin, as I hastily texted LifeHopes and Sew all kinds of choice profanities (I was like the texting equivalent of Mel Gibson. On a tangent, wow, the devil certainly got to that poor guy ever since Passion...)
I honestly have not heard of ANYONE (aside from myself last year) who has passed the post-coital test. Everyone I know who had it done has failed. Is this due to poor timing in ALL cases or something else? I think it's something else.
I started to recall what I know about the cervical mucus. It is a crucial part of fertility because it allows for sperm transport, for sperm survival, ... AAAAAAND... as a filter for abnormal sperm. This third purpose of the cervical mucus is how our bodies ensure that any pregnancy that occurs is the most healthy pregnancy possible (with only the healthiest sperm). Add to this fact the fact that ALL of DH's semen analyses have revealed a high percentage of amorphous sperm, and now we're going places.
My conclusion is this: the sample of my cervical mucus from the external os had all of the FILTERED, amorphous sperm that did not get past the cervix. The healthy, living, swimming sperm were no longer IN the cervix, but were instead into my uterus already! (By golly, I think I'm really on to something here.) Dr. Toth had told us that the sperm will swim back and forth between the cervix and the fallopian tubes several times during their lifespan in the woman's body. So the reason I had such great results last year is simply this- my post-coital test last year was done at least 10 hours after intercourse. This year it was done 3 hours after intercourse. I caught a lucky break last year and just happened to see the still-living sperm as they were BACK in the cervix, while today I didn't have such luck.
And I truly feel that this is why MOST post-coital tests fail.
Furthermore, I will point out that In Shock and Gratitude conceived twins naturally on the same cycle in which she "failed" her post-coital test. (For the SAME DR in the same office, might I add.)
But that wasn't the end of my crummy news today.
This afternoon I had another uterine biophysical profile. Last time I scored an 18 out of 21 possible "points." This time, 14 out of 21. My bloodflow in the zone of implantation was sparse, even though I'm taking 60 mgs Lovenox 1 x day. I also had a "hazy" endometrial lining, not as distinct as it usually is. I'm wondering if estrogen is the culprit here- today it was 310, which would explain the lack of mucus up until this morning.
What irritates me is that all of these things were MORE than PERFECT before. I had awesome mucus, and a good number of days of it leading up to Peak (often scoring a perfect 16.0 or close to it for Mucus Cycle Score), and my follicles always grew at the appropriate times... so why would things be out of whack NOW that my adhesions are all gone?? Are they acting up on purpose so that I feel like an idiot in front of Dr Check? (I know that the next time I meet with him he'll say, "Well, here are some more answers for you- your estrogen is off, your mucus is nil, you're ovulating too early before your lining has a chance to really build up, etc. etc.") I've already told him that I am more than ok in all these areas :(
I'm just so frustrated. Why do I bother spending money, time, and energy on these cycles when I never know what's going to happen?
Jesus, I trust that you know what is best for me.