Tonight we triggered.
I listened to Circle and Bloom, prepped the novarel, iced the injection site, put on a brave face and laid face down and waited for Joe to give the shot. He did amazing!
Today was full of emotion and fear. Tomorrow I will share details. Until then…
Each morning finds me waking to injections, follicular ultrasounds, blood work, and then a drawn out wait to hear the prognosis on where we are in regards to this cycle. My belly is swollen and spotted with tiny bruises but I am hopeful that it will all lead to a baby.
Today’s follicle count reached 27. Several in the 10 mm range…most 15-17 mm with a few larger. Leaving the office there was speculation that tonight might be the night to trigger. So when I got the call this afternoon I was relieved that we are pushing forward with one more day of stims to help more of the follicles time to mature. As excited as I am to be on the other side of my first beta, I’m nervous that I will end up with Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome. I know there is concern with the RE as well, possible medications to help stave off OHSS were mentioned. I’ll find out tomorrow what the game plan is after trigger (which will likely be tomorrow).
So tonight I relax and try not to think of all the what-ifs.
Today is a new day and offers up it’s own agenda. As my parents and husband painted siding, I made the 40 minute drive to the RE clinic for my now daily follicular check and blood work. Today the ultrasound tech measured 26 follicles ranging from 10-16 mm (the rouge is nearly 22 mm). Another day or two of stims (at a continued lower dose of stims) and then we trigger and move to egg retrieval. The sticky part now is a possibility of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) due to number of follicles and my estradoil levels (which has exceeded 2000). If I get OHSS this will mean a delayed transfer. Which inevitably means more money for a frozen embryo transfer, BUT would ensure I am healthy and the pregnancy less complicated.
Unfortunately, this post will be short as it is uncomfortable to sit with the laptop on my lap for too long…I think it’s time to recline. I promise to update tomorrow.
In this game, nothing is guaranteed. There is no wand to magic a perfect IVF cycle, nor a baby in the end. Today I was hit with the realization that just because I’m in the game doesn’t mean I won’t be sidelined.
I went in for my follicle count today. A very impressive count – 21 measurable follicles, most ranging in the 9-12 mm range. But the clincher here is that one of those bad boys is already 16 mm in size. Typically, the RE wants follicles to grow 18-22 mm before trigger in hopes of ensuring a good, mature egg. Any smaller and it could lead to an immature egg. Larger and it could lead to an egg that is, for lack of better description, over-ripe. My ovaries are large, already touching, and my estradiol has gone from an 18 to 1077 in just three days. This leads to swollen, bloated tummy and lower back pain. Oh, and a million trips to the bathroom.
A little research on the internet (why do I do this?) and I discovered that often women who develop “lead” follicles have to have their cycles cancelled. UGGG!
I went to acupuncture sick with worry. This journey bites.
My acupuncturist reassured me that I’m not out of the game just yet. She changed the acupuncture game plan to fit this new play and after 30 minutes of silence I felt a little better.
At approximately 3 PM I received the call from my nurse saying that my estradiol was really high, and that they were going to adjust my medications (read lower dose) in order to allow the follicles more time to mature and catch up to the biggest one. I will have to be monitored every day through at least Monday.
So for now I am still in the game. But nothing is guaranteed.
It’s amazing how quickly things change in this game. In a matter of moments IVF became the only means to a biological child when for years it was never even a thought. Now that I’m here and actually going through with the procedure I’m a little overwhelmed, emotional, and holding steadfast to a lot of fear.
I realize things aren’t always as they seem and I tend to over-analyze or obsess over things outside of my control. And there are a lot of things outside of my control in this journey. Like the needles, oh how I HATE needles. As a child (really, a 12-year-old) I literally through a tantrum in the doctor’s office because I was so freaked out about the shot that was supposed to go into my butt!
Did I mention that I hate needles, and today I gave myself 4 shots…in the belly…by myself?
And I did it yesterday too.
And I’ll do it tomorrow! And although I have to close my eyes and visualize my baby in my arms while pushing medication through a syringe, I will continue to find whatever strength necessary because the possibility of what is on the other end drives me forward.
This road is long and treacherous. And although there are very few smooth stretches, hope is pulling me through.
Last night I was restless. My body tired but mind racing. A thousand prayers have been sent in hopes of building a family. And the past three months have provided their fair share of obstacles. But this morning I woke after restless sleep to an appointment with the RE to determine if my body (ovaries, uterus, blood) are ready to move forward with this IVF cycle. And a little over 30 minutes ago I got the call. We are a go! My stomach dropped and tears welled up. I’m scared, elated, and hopeful. No longer numb…I feel it all in my chest. Every hope, dream, and disappointment I’ve experienced in the past 6 years resurfacing and the excitement of a REAL possible chance bubbling over.
Tomorrow morning I will inject the first of many follicle stimulating hormone injections (Menorpur to be exact) and get this ball rolling. I heard that Menopur stings. Is it really bad?
Tomorrow morning is the big pay-day for the RE. Thank God for my family and friends, and credit, or this chance would never have become a reality. Granted, we still have close to $2000 in additional fees (cryopreservation, anesthesia, and acupuncture) but the big payment is covered. I will know around 3:00 if this cycle is a go (maybe sooner)…and then begins the whirlwind of emotions I’m sure will follow. So please say a little prayer, send good vibes, or whatever it is you do that when I hand over the cash tomorrow it will lead me on a journey that places a baby in my arms.
Six-and- half-years of personal pain, disappointment, and mourning have come to the point where a process will either relieve or exacerbate that pain. And while I continue to feel “numb” to this process for the majority of my day, I do have moments where I feel so overwhelmed by this process that I’m not sure how to react. Tears find form and my heart falls heavy with fear.
It’s hard to put into words every thought that finds passage to my mind or emotion that lodges in my heart. This process is complex, technical, and hinges on the perfect execution of a half-dozen men. With ease, the love and intimacy involved with building a family can get lost. It is far to simple to bury yourself in grief, blame, and the ever-present “Why me?” and lose sight of your partner. And if you lose sight of your partner, you’ll lose sight of yourself – when this happens finding your way back becomes a journey all its own.
Lucky for me I have a partner who is optimistic and supportive. Although discussing procedures is not on the top of his list of fun things to do, I know that he is here for me and willing to do what it takes to build our family. He checks in often and when I fall apart he is quick to reassure. He loves me and wants to see me happy. His love and support makes this process easier.
Today I took my last birth control pill. In a few days I’ll be given word on whether or not this IVF cycle is a go. I pray with everything I have that it is, and that with this process my six-and-a-half-year journey will find the new beginning I’ve waited for.
If you’ve been through this journey before you likely understand the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been riding. Your thoughts, words of advice, and support is appreciated.
Deep breaths, this is really happening.
As I zero in on the this IVF cycle I find it difficult to comprehend exactly what is happening. In some aspects it doesn’t seem real. I have several dozen needles, over 30 vials of medication, and 2 monitoring appointments already set. Yet this all kind of feels anti-climatic: as if the media frenzy over the latest, highly promoted movie leaves me feeling unsatisfied after paying the $15 to see it.
Where is my excitement?
I don’t know how to process this lack of emotion. Is it normal to feel numb to the impending journey? I wonder if subconsciously I am trying to protect myself from potential heartache?
I simply feel indifferent.
Maybe that indifference will change as the first needle enters my belly. Maybe it won’t.
Maybe that indifference will change at my first monitoring appointment, or the second. Or maybe on retrieval day. Or when given our first update on our growing embryos. Or on the day of transfer….Or…Or…Or…
Two weeks from today I will be at the RE’s office, handing over $10k, and having my baseline blood work and ultrasounds completed…I will find out then if we are a go on this IVF cycle.
But before all this can begin, I have to complete my 10 days left on birth control and then begin shots of Lupron starting Sunday the 15th. I’m not too concerned about these shots as I have had to do similar shots in past IUI cycles. That’s not to say I am looking forward to it, I just know that I can handle it. The Lupron will continue through trigger. After my lat BCP I will start dexamethasone, which is in pill form.
Then the fun begins…here is the nearly $8,000 in meds for my cycle (thankfully we didn’t have to pay that much as insurance did cover a big portion, but that is all they have covered).
Thanks to the help of our family and friends (and our credit cards!) we are SO close to having all the money necessary (including the $2000 due after the cycle for cryopreservation, anesthesia, and acupuncture) . I think we are only about $1500 shy. We are having another yard sale in two weeks, which I’m sure will help.
So how am I feeling about all of this?
That’s a complicated question full of conflicting feelings. I’m nervous that it’s not going to work. Excited because of the possibility. I am scared out of my head about the injections my husband has to give me – and so is he. I’m feel blessed to be supported by those close to me and grateful for everything they have provided. I’m cautiously optimistic, but have that ever-present understanding that this could turn in a direction I’m not ready to handle. I’m afraid of how I’ll respond to my pregnancy test – positive or negative. Simply put, I’m scared out of my mind but so excited I can’t stand it!