For those of you who may not be very familiar with the whole process I will break down how my clinic does things.
You inject yourself with drugs that contain FSH to encourage your ovaries to make eggs and also with LH to assist with ovulation. Once your follicles are a certain size (~14mm), the doctor adds in another injectable to the mix to keep you from ovulating (like Ganirelix). Your body is very confused at this point. Grow lots of eggs but don’t ovulate. Then once your follicles are mature to (~18-20mm), you do the trigger shot. This shot basically forces your body to ovulate in 36 hours. Except when you are doing IVF, retrieval = ovulation. So when the doctor says trigger at midnight, he really means midnight because your retrieval is scheduled for noon. Make sense?
Now for my updates!
Friday’s visit showed my largest follicle was 12.8mm and I had some right behind that. It seems to be good that they are all growing right around the same place, albeit a little slow. My estrogen went up to 691. I was told to start Ganirelix that night and then continue every morning until told otherwise. I had an acupuncture appointment later that day and shared my results with the acupuncturist. She said I didn’t seem happy with the results and asked what results would make me happy. I guess I googled too much to find about what is “normal” and where I should be at this stage in the game. But after I thought about it, I would be happy with 10 good follicles. So she said rather than feeling like my follicles aren’t growing “fast enough”, start thinking that my body is doing exactly what it should be doing. Building a good strong egg takes time.
This whole process is testing my patience! I finally got my results from this morning’s appointment at 5pm! Estrogen is up to 1334 and I have 12 follicles ranging from 17mm to 9.2mm. I’m so happy about the growth spurt! The nurse said the two smallest ones may not catch up, but I am happy with my 10. Quality over quantity, right? Based on my
medical expertise googling we may trigger Tuesday night…..that means a possible Fourth of July conception!!
So now comes the part when I complain.
I HATE Ganirelix. The needle is sorta dull so you really need to jab yourself. I didn’t realize how bad it was when I did the first shot, so I went to inject and the needle didn’t go in with ease. Ugh. I had to try again and inject with a little more force. Almost immediately the injection site was itchy red and burned. At that moment, I wanted to cry and be done with the shots. I also decided that M would have to administer these from now on.
I feel gross and bloated. It sorta hurts if I sit down fast or bend over.
On the bright side, I may only have two or three or days of shots! Back tomorrow to see if we need to change meds and hopefully confirm when we will trigger.
I am going to assume that my almost daily venti skim caramel macchiato (up until two weeks ago anyway) had something to do with the fact that my vitamin D level wasn’t in the tank! The ironic thing is I don’t like regular coffee or milk, but throw some caramel in there…yum!
After about 5 calls to get my lab results faxed, I finally have the results from last week.
Reference Range: 30-100 ng/mL
My results : 30.7 ng/mL
Whew! I just made the “normal” cut. From what I’ve read, the optimal level is around 35-50ng/mL.
So even though I’ve had to cut out my trips to Starbucks, I think my levels should increase a little now that I am taking a Vitamin D supplement.
Note to self: Ask Dr. L if I can have swing by Starbucks after the retrieval.
On to day 6 of stims. I am getting a little crampy and feeling blah. All I can think is that I am half way done with the shots.
With that in mind I have to tell you I am petrified of the retrieval. I absolutely hate the idea of being knocked out, spread eagle, and a needle going in my hoo ha. I get squeamish thinking about it. I thought maybe if I try to find out exactly how it’s done, I would feel better. I was wrong.
But while I was thinking about the retrieval, I started thinking about the transfer. That part I am excited about. I decided I am going to set up an acupuncture before and after the transfer. The place I am looking at will use the German protocol. Based on the study (published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility, in February of 2002), 160 women underwent routine IVF. Half of them were randomized to have acupuncture both before and after the embryo transfer and half were not. The results were also blinded to those who had acupuncture and those who didn’t. The acupuncture group had a pregnancy rate about 40% higher than the group that did not have acupuncture.
Um, yeah. I will take that chance even if it is another chunk of change.
My nurse just called- time to increase the meds. I guess I knew I wasn’t going to be that lucky. Seems my follicles are slow growers. Hopefully the extra dose will give them the extra boost they need!
The second and third day of shots were ok. I am getting better at the prep now that I have a little system. So far, no bruising or major side effects. I am getting a little bit of tingling/ovulation type sensations in my ovaries, but I am hoping it means things are working! I also decided to go back to see my acupuncturist for this cycle figuring it couldn’t hurt. My first appointment was Saturday and we did some mild stimulation on my belly and she showed me a pressure point that I can do on my own. Overall, it was pretty relaxing.
I went in for my first monitoring appointment this morning. I was surprised to see Dr. L in the monitoring room, but it was a nice surprise. He asked how the shots were going and how I was feeling. I told him I felt like things were happening. I am convinced my little follicles are growing. So we took a look at what was happening. I was a little bummed. I didn’t see much on the u/s, but from what the nurse said it looks like I have about 13 follicles right now. I asked if that was good and Dr. L. said 10 is about average, so I think I am right on track. He told me the blood work is usually more telling than the ultrasound at this point. Once he had those results, he would review them and the nurse would give me a call with the results, along with any changes to my protocol.
This afternoon couldn’t have gone any slower. I spent a few hours googling how many follicles I should have and what my estrogen levels should be. I don’t know how I am going to get any work done when all I can think about is how my follicles are doing. Right before I was about to do another search, my nurse finally called.
Good news!! No increase to my meds. My estrogen is 123 and she actually said I had 14 follicles, the largest one was 9.2mm. I hope that between the meds and acupuncture we see some nice growth during Wednesday’s appointment!
It’s Friday night and M and I have been talking about doing shots. A whole different kind than we were doing few weekends ago. (I took advantage of being on BCP and enjoyed long over due libations and a few nights out.)
I woke up this morning dreading that tonight was the first day of stims. Luckily, during the injection class we learned that we could mix Bravelle and Menopur into one syringe. Thank god!
The plan was for M to give me the shot if I prepared it.Around 8pm, I went upstairs to get comfy clothes on and start the prep.
I struggled a little to make sure I got exactly 1mL of the Sodium Chloride to mix with the Bravelle. Once I had that, I injected that Bravelle solution into the Menopur powder and was ready to go. I just wanted it over with. So rather making it into a production and calling M up, I swabbed my belly and jabbed. The needle didn’t hurt, the injection however burned more than the Ovidrel trigger.
I must have moaned and said ugh/oh god/etc. M was like “Babe….what are you doing?!?!” “Um, I am giving myself the shot.” He came up immediately. Thank god he did because I was over it all at that point ( I am in trouble since this is just day 1!!) and said I don’t want to do this again for the next 10 days. He cleaned up everything and gave me a kiss on the forehead.
He can give me the shot tomorrow!