Egg Retrieval Day!

Bright and early this morning was egg retrieval.  After 8 days of stims, I had 18 follicles that were growing in various stages, and was feeling very much like an overstuffed turkey.  The trigger shot went really well (J was a pro)and I was left to worry about the actual retrieval.  I won’t lie, I was NERVOUS about the retrieval.  I was concerned about the pain, concerned about the unknown, and just overall freaking out about it.

Well…it’s been about 10 hours since the retrieval, and I can honestly say it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  The hardest part of it all was getting the IV in (unfortunately, nothing to eat/drink after midnight last evening, so I as dehydrated), and that took three tries and two blown veins.  But, after that, it was such a smooth process!

I arrived an hour earlier than my retrieval time.  During that point, I got checked in, got dressed in my uber sexy gown and surgical cap, got my IV put in, and spoke with the anesthesiologist and the biologist who would be doing the ICSI and biopsies for PGS.  Then, I went to pee again (these people are SERIOUS about empty bladders), and strutted my stuff into the surgical room.  I laid down on the bed, and was talking to my doctor while they strapped down my arms, and that is honestly the last thing I remember.  Next thing I know, I’m back in the prep room with Jamie, and working to wake up (very groggy, I won’t lie).

Overall, out of 18 follicles, there were 11 mature eggs (which is more than I could have hoped for).  I’ll get a fertilization report tomorrow morning on how many of those are showing signs of fertilization, which is the first major hurdle.  After waking up, I was really pleased to realize I had ZERO nausea, and only very mild tenderness in my abdomen.

After I woke up enough to drag my sorry butt out of the clinic, J and I went to breakfast.  I INHALED some serious breakfast…an omelet, salad, and toast from my favorite brunch place.  Divine!

So…After all this, I can say we’re coming up on the end of Stage One: IVF.  I have three more days of Ganirelix, to shut down my ovaries, and 10 days of Provera to induce my next cycle, but since we’ll be doing a freeze all cycle, it’s pretty easy and downhill from here.

I’ll be sure to update tomorrow on a fertilization report, but please keep your fingers crossed for good news!!

Much love,

Stims and Trigger…

Sorry that I haven’t posted as frequently as I did in the beginning of stims.  To tell the truth, it was more of the same.   The Follistim was easy, the Menopur didn’t really burn (though did start to bruise), and the Ganirelix felt like I was stabbing myself with a spoon.  Overall, not too big of a deal.

I’ve been back and forth every other day for monitoring since Wednesday (it’s Sunday now).  I’ve seen significant growth on my follicles, and now have 18 follicles ranging in size from 9mm to 23mm.  I got a call back from the nurse, and tonight I do a Lupron + HCG trigger.  I was surprised at how exact they were…I am to give myself my first injection of Lupron at 9:15pm, and then the trigger right after that.  Then, 12 hours later (so tomorrow morning at 9:15am) I do another Lupron shot.  I also go in for blood work tomorrow morning to make sure the trigger shot worked as it was supposed to.

Egg retrieval is scheduled for Tuesday morning, at 8:15am.  I’m glad it’s early in the morning, because I know you’re not supposed to eat and I don’t want to be starving before the procedure.  I get the hanger something fierce!  I’m nervous as hell…mostly because I don’t know what to expect.  I’m hoping that I don’t have too much pain afterwards, but they are retrieving a large number of eggs, so who knows.    My boss is completely ok with me taking off as much time as needed, so that’s really good and a load off my mind.  Otherwise, I’m just hanging out.  J practiced with the large needle on an orange, so he says he’s ready to give me the trigger shot (up until now, I’ve done all my injections).  I’m nervous, but one way or another we’ll get it done!

I guess it’s really happening!  Now I’m in the countdown to egg retrieval!

Much love,

IVF Stims, Day Four and Five

Day Four of stims went well!  Same old, same old.  I must have nicked something on my thigh during my Menopur shot, because I bruised (first bruise yet).  Overall, I felt pretty good about it!

Day Five – I haven’t stimmed yet, but I did have my first monitoring appointment this morning!  So far, 16 follicles, ranging in size from 6mm to 17mm.  So, tonight I am decreasing the Follistim to 100iu (down from 150iu), and the same dosage for Menopur (150iu).  Then, because my follicles are so large, I will start Ganirelix tonight.

As for trigger, the nurse thinks that I will trigger on Sunday, with an egg retrieval on Tuesday, so the days are really counting down!  I am getting ready for this to get on the move, but also slightly nervous.  Hopefully the Ganirelix shot goes smoothly, tonight!

Much love,

IVF Stims, Day Three

Well, Day Three of stims has come and gone.  I’m finally over the fear that the Menopur is going to burn…it hasn’t so far, so I doubt it’s going to start now.  It’s amazing to me how I started this whole process absolutely terrified of having to do shots daily, to thinking that I was going to have to force J to do it for me, and now to not thinking anything about the injections and doing it myself.  I knew I wanted to try to do the injections myself from the get-go, but was worried that I wouldn’t be able to.  Thankfully, it has been SO EASY to do.  It’s shocking, honestly, but I feel like a total badass now!

So, while the injections themselves have gone really well, I have realized that the other physical aspects are less than stellar.  I am tired EXHAUSTED all the time, my abdomen feels twingy often (that had better mean everything is growing as it should be), and my headaches are raging.  I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a bus!  I’m not sure if I’m coming down with a cold or what, but if this is how I feel after three days of stims, I can’t imagine how I’m going to feel after day 10 or even day 12!

But, all in all, I have my eye on the prize.  So far, this aspect of IVF has gone much better than I was expecting, and I’m very thankful for that.  I’m slightly nervous about egg retrieval, because I have no idea what to expect after the procedure, but if it’s been anything like the rest of this process, I’ll build it up to be absolutely horrible in my head and then it won’t be so bad.  At least, that’s my hope.

That’s all, for now!

Much love,

IVF Stims, Day Two

Day Two went about as well as Day One.  After injecting the Follistim on the first evening, I had some bleeding when I pulled out the needle, but last night it didn’t bleed at all.  I must have nicked a vein or something the first time around.

Again, the Menopur went in just fine…no burn.  I did have a bit of a bump under the skin after that injection, but it seems to have gone away by this morning.

Overall, the injections seem to be going really well!  I’m much more comfortable with everything, but the HCG shot is still concerning.  I know for sure I can’t do that one, and J isn’t super comfortable with injections, so I might have to outsource that one to a friend who’s done this before.  We’ll see.

Even though the injections are going really well, I have a feeling the stim weight is going to start coming on.  I’m up 2 pounds from last week, which could be due to just the weekend and eating out (which I’m hoping), or it could be due to the stims.  I am seriously hoping that it’s just the regular weekend weight…ugh.  I’ll keep you updated though!

Much love,

IVF Stims, Day One

Glass Medicine Vials and botox, hualuronic, collagen or flu Syringe on a white background.

I will admit, I’ve been worried about this all damn day.  I’ve been reading up on the injections, and everyone said that the Follistim was no big deal, but that the Menopur burned like crazy.  So, of course, I was convinced that it’s going to be the worst thing known to man.

I dug out my meds around 9:15pm (when I couldn’t wait any longer) and let the Follistim come to room temperature.  I got the Menopur mixed, and my Follistim pen primed, and then went back to the couch to finish my episode of “Fixer Uppers” (I LOVE that show!).  Around 9:45pm, I started in.  I did the Follistim in my stomach, because it seemed like the easiest place.  The injection went in with NO problem whatsoever.  I didn’t even feel the stick from the needle!  When I pulled out the needle, it bled a bit, but after holding a kleenex on it, it was fine (whoops…probably should have used a sterile gauze pad, but couldn’t find one and didn’t really care).

Then, it was time for the dreaded Menopur.  I was so scared about this shot…absolutely convinced that it was going to feel like the fire of 1,000 Hells as it entered my body.  I decided that I wanted to do that injection on my thigh, near my tattoo.  I figured, what the heck, I already managed to get a huge tattoo on my thigh and that didn’t kill me, so this would be fine too.  Pinched a GIANT bit of fat (seriously…GIANT…it was shameful and reminded me that I needed to work out), and went for the kill.  OMG…NO PAIN!  No burning, to feeling from the needle, nothing!  Such a relief!  I pulled out the needle, and didn’t have any blood from the injection site, so just called it good enough and pulled up my pants.

Of course, then I went to toss the syringe and nearly passed out from blood pressure dropping (because I was terrified of the shot, then the relief was so big)…J was like, “OMG, are you ok?!”  LOL…poor guy.

Needless to say, Day One of stims went by really well!  I actually think I can do this!  Only 9-11 more days to go!

Much love,

In Case You Were Wondering…

IMG_1001In case you all were wondering what $5500 looks like, all in one place, well I’m here to show you.

Today I received all my meds in the mail for our IVF cycle.  Yep, all $5500 worth.  I’ll start stims on day 3 of my cycle, which should be either Friday or Saturday.  My protocol involves Follistim, Menopur, and Ganirelix.  The Follistim and Menopur are there to help grow follicles and aid in ovulation, and then Ganirelix is used to prevent ovulation before the follicles are mature.  Then, when the time is ready, there’s a trigger shot of HCG to force ovulation for the egg retrieval.

I’m ready for this (I think).  I mean, sure…a large part of me is absolutely scared shitless at the unknown of what I’m getting myself into, but hey…no guts, no glory, right?  I’ll try to blog through the cycle so that I can let you all know how things are going, but I’m hopeful!

Much love,