Work has been super busy, as has life, so I have not had a chance to sit down and blog about IVF thus far. I have sent a few e-mails to friends, so for simplicity sake, I am just copying and pasting them below along with the date so I can record this time.
April 2, 2012
Ladies, it's officially go time for Operation Baby O. For real this time... the rest of the last year and a half was just practice, apparently.
Tonight I will begin ovarian stimulation in hopes of producing many lovely eggs. I will inject 100 IUs of follistim and 1 unit of menopur (don't worry, I don't really know what that means either) every night for the next 8-12 nights. I go in Saturday for my first bloodwork and ultrasound to see how things are progressing. Assuming everything seems good, I'll go back Monday morning but it's possible I could go back Sunday depending on how things look. Once my eggs are about 16mm (>20mm to "harvest"), I will add ganirelix, which is the antagonist. This will allow my eggs to keep growing but will keep me from ovulating prematurely. Once they add this, I will be on it for three days and then it will be time for my hCg shot, which is followed by pre-op the next day and then retrieval the following day.
More than likely, I will have retrieval on the 12th or 13th but it could be a few days earlier or later. When they do retrieval, I will be put under general anesthesia, and then will insert a very long needle (guided by ultrasoud) through my vaginal wall and into my ovaries to retrieve the eggs (sounds pleasant, huh... that's why you get drugs). Matt will also make his deposit at this time, then we pray that we get lots of Grade A embryos! (Not kidding, they grade them and being the overachiever that I am, I expect nothing less than straight A's.)
After the retrieval, I have to start progesterone injections right in my butt with a needle that sort of scares the bejeezus out of me (in addition to estradiol orally... I don't even know what that does but I just do what I'm told). Apparently, this is going to be a lot of fun. I have determined that I can handle the right side, but the left side is tricky, which means Matt will have to do that side. This scares me even more. Pray for us.
We are doing a blastocyst transfer, which means we let those babies mature for five days in the lab (and get pictures of the cell division along the way... Baby Olson's first glamour shots?) before he or she goes back in me for a 38-week stint in lockdown. So, retrieval day is day 0 and day 5 will be the transfer of our future child. It's all very scientific and mind blowing, really. If all goes as planned, I will know that I'm pregnant by the end of the month. If it doesn't go as planned, send lots of reinforcements, and by reinforcements, I mean wine and twizzlers.
If you could keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks, we'd sure appreciate it. I like to make light of it, but as we all know, this is a pretty big deal and will hopefully be the beginning of a majorly wonderful and wonderfully major life change for us. But, whatever happens, I am just trying to put my hope, trust, and faith in the good Lord who I know hears my prayers and will grant them in His perfect time. I've been leaning on this verse lately...
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3
I know the vision will be fulfilled, and when it is, it will not be late.
Thank you for supporting us and I will keep you updated as things progress. Now off to play human pin cushion!
Well, speaking of overachieving, my ovaries are winning that award. In the words of the doctor today, "it's not often that I can't remember if I've already counted that follicle." I don't even know what the final number was but I had a lot of follicles ranging from 11-16mm, most were 12-14mm. This is good, but it's also fast. All my bloodwork looked good though. So I've dropped my follistim dose to 50 IUs (half of what I had been doing) and added the ganirelix (to keep everything growing but keep me from ovulating).
I go back Monday, and more than likely, Wed will be retrieval day. I will know for sure on Monday. This would put the transfer next Monday.
As for how I've done with the meds, the shots have been easy so far (big needle in the butt doesn't come until next week). I have had no side effects except some tenderness in my ovaries, which isn't surprising given what we saw today! So, other than the fact that I wish we had gotten pregnant on our own a year ago, I don't have any major complaints.
I will update Monday after my appointment. Happy Easter!
Well, it's good news and possibly not great news. The good news is that my sleepless nights are almost over (for the time being). Since going off the pill, I've realized that right before I ovulate and start my period, I sleep very restlessly. So, I guess it's no surprise that excess levels of FSH and LH have the same effect. Also, I was a little worried about timing w/ my NY girls trip on the 22nd, but there's a chance I will know I'm pregnant before said trip (as opposed to doing a transfer too close for comfort to the trip). The not so good news is while I have a ton of follicles, we might not get as many mature eggs as I thought.
At my appointment this morning, the first thing the ARNP said was, "Wow, your ovaries are big!" I believe she also remarked that my uterine lining was beautiful with a nice triple stripe. She concluded by saying I had nice ovaries. It sure is nice to be paid such compliments on your female anatomy. ;) I had several follicles that were 20mm (i.e., ready to go) and several more than were close. I also had many more that were still less than 16mm and thus not so mature (and likely won't mature before retrieval). They wanted to try to eek another day out of me to get those ones bigger, but no such luck according to my lab results. So, tonight at 9:30 I do my hCg shot (no more of the other meds) and tomorrow I go for my pre-op. Then Wednesday at 8:30 am is the retrieval, which puts a transfer (God willing) on Monday.
I am definitely anxious, especially since there aren't as many big eggs as we'd like, but hey... we only need one embryo to make a baby! I know it's in God's hands and if it's meant to be, it will happen no matter how many embryos we get.
Please say a prayer for the procedure, as I will be going under anesthesia. And, obviously, a prayer that this is our time. One thing I've wrestled with a teeny bit is whether I/we are trying to play God by doing this, but I truly feel like God has only opened doors and not shut them in this process. I mean, going into it, we had NO IDEA that our insurance had fertility coverage. I can't imagine dealing with the heartache of longing for a child and not being able to afford options to get there, so I feel very fortunate. And, I think where something like this might push people away from their faith or away from their spouse, Matt and I have only opened our hearts more to Jesus and grown closer to each other. Sure, I would have loved to skip all of this and gotten pregnant right away, but I know that He shapes us through hardships (James Chapter 1 - straight up wisdom, y'all) and I know He is working in us. God knows we both talk to Him a heck of a lot more than we used to, and I, for one, am better for it. And, I've found more opportunities to share my faith and be comfortable in sharing my faith over the past 6 months than the previous 29.5 years.
And shoot, our child will NEVER doubt how much we loved, prayed, and wished for him/her.
With love and anticipation,
Side note: I just found out at pre-op this morning that a Day 3 transfer is still possible. It depends how many embryos are progressing well as to whether or not they will let us go to Day 5. So, a Saturday transfer is also a possibility at this point and we won't know which we're doing until early Saturday morning when the embryologist calls us. I have my fingers crossed for Day 5!