Posts Tagged ‘estrogen’

IVF Shots Day 17 – Stim Day 8

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I’m pretty miserable folks. Pain is just radiating out of my right ovary into my stomach, back and everywhere in between. It hurts to walk. It hurts to sit. It hurts to use the little girl’s room. And according to the ultrasound I had this morning this makes sense because my right ovary is doing all the work and left ovary is barely doing its fair share. As I explained yesterday, my ovary is about 2-3 times its normal size, which would be painful all by itself, but then it’s surrounded by several eggs. My guess is at least ten now.

My appointment went well this morning, just in and out. My afternoon call from “M” said that my estrogen is now around 1600. I have another appointment in the morning and then I’m guessing we’ll figure out a plan for the retrieval. It will be Sunday or Monday.

I’m tired, I have a headache, I’m crabby and I’m sore. That’s pretty much the gist of today’s events.

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IVF Shots Day 16 – Stim Day 7

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Today wasn’t too bad overall. It seems by the time 5:00/6:00 in the evening rolls around I’m pretty beat and ready to just chillax.

I’m having a lot of pain today on my right side. Dr. T told me that’s to be expected considering how large my ovaries have grown and how many eggs I’ve got. The eggs are pretty concentrated on my right ovary. According to my very unofficial, uneducated count at the ultrasound today, there were 10 eggs on the right. In English that means A FRIGGIN’ LOT! Doc said my ovaries could be 2-3 times the normal size (which according to The Googles is 2.5-5cm). So if you go on the high end of things, and use the conversion tool on my Mac, my ovaries could be 6”. Clearly showing my math skills here – is that like a baseball? I doubt my ovaries are that large, but the point to this, is that they are largER than normal and they are hurting.

My ultrasound was a little, odd, today. I was told to go to exam room four. I walked in and there was a backpack, so I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. “M” walked us back in and said we got the “crazy room” today. She explained that they were testing a new ultrasound machine, so Dr. T would do my exam today, and we’d have some company. The sales rep for the machine would be attending my exam. I’m losing more and more modesty so, why not?! So I’m half-naked on the table, Dr. T is at the foot of the bed, behind him is “Lily Tomlin” the sales rep, another one of the clinic’s doctors and Shelton. So there we are in the clown car of gynecological exam rooms, and I see the coolest images of my eggs. This thing builds a three dimensional diagram of the eggs, filling in each follicle with a different color.

The clinic has a voicemail system where “M” leaves updates after each of my appointments. It’s actually rather convenient. When I have time, I dial in and receive the reports and instructions; and “M” doesn’t have to make two dozen phone calls all afternoon. I dialed in today and “M” told me that my estrogen is 1130 (up from 572 on Monday; 400 is normal). I didn’t get a count on the eggs, but told we’re progressing really well. I’m to continue my injections as normal and I have another ultrasound/blood work tomorrow.

During our visit today Dr. T said he anticipated doing the retrieval this weekend. I hope we’ll know more tomorrow and will of course keep you updated then.

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IVF Shots Day 18 – Stim Day 9

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Yesterday was kind of a roller coaster. I went from feeling great, aside from a little continued pain, to terribly nauseated and in bed at 9:55 on a Friday night. (Welcome to the rest of our lives I guess!)

Started the day with our LAST LUPRON SHOT!!! I’ll grant you, if I had to take those forever, it would be no bigs. I don’t even feel them. Nonetheless, good riddance! Then it was off to our fourth ultrasound and bloodwork of the week. This one had the best news yet, we’re done! My ovaries have responded incredibly well and we stopped our regularly scheduled shots yesterday. That means Thursday was our LAST MENOPUR SHOT!!! If you’ve never taken it, or are planning to take it, let me put it this way, it’s fire water. It’s like filling a syringe with fire and then injecting it into your belly. It’s so uncomfortably painful. So again, good friggin’ riddance!

The ultrasound was very busy yesterday. There were, from what we could see, 12 follicles (holding the eggs) on my right ovary and 5 follicles on my lazy left ovary. Our nurse “Y,” who we love!, did the ultrasound and showed us on the screen where my ovaries are actually touching. Afterward we spoke with “M” and I was like, no wonder I feel like none of my pants fit and I’m in so much pain. She agreed, the follicles are full and my ovaries have expanded and pushing out.

The other good news of the day? Retrieval is scheduled for tomorrow!!! We have to check-in at the surgery center at 7am Sunday, retrieval is scheduled for 8am, and we could be there for a few hours, including recovery. Sunday you ask? I’ve been told that not all IVF clinics make themselves available on weekends. Make sure yours is! Otherwise you’re compromising your cycle. They need to take those eggs out at just the right time. So I’m eternally grateful that our doctor, nurses and the entire surgery team are giving up a precious Sunday morning to poke holes in me.

Last night at precisely 8:00 I did my Ovidrel injection. This comes in a pre-filled syringe that’s been nesting in our crisper for the past few weeks. This is the “point of no return” shot, the “Houston, we are go for launch” shot, the “this shit is getting real” shot. This is an HCG injection (human chorionic gonadotropin) and is responsible for helping the follicles mature and triggering the release of mature eggs. It’s taken exactly 36 hours prior to egg retrieval. Apparently I was supposed to alert my health care provider if I had severe upset stomach and vomiting – good thing I didn’t go all the way.

The blood test showed that my estrogen was soaring somewhere around 2500 yesterday (400 is normal). The day before it was about 1500. So by my mathematically handicapped calculations, my estrogen increases about 41 points every hour. So I could very easily be around 3500 this morning. EVERYBODY LOOK OUT!!! I’m actually surprised that I feel as well as I do. I figured with estrogen that high Shelton would have stitches in his forehead and I’d be bawling because our dog’s bowl was out of water again. But alas, no tears. No need to panic.

Last night you would have thought Shelton and I had actually brought home a baby. We were just so romantical and sweet and whatever (insert nausea) with one another. We did a lot of talking last night. He told me he was proud of me for getting through all of this fairly easily, and for doing it at all. Thanked me for not going off the deep end and expressed how excited he is to have a baby. I pretty much echoed all of that – telling him there is absolutely no way I could have done this without him, and no way I’d want to have done it with anyone else.

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IVF Shots Day 14 – Stim Day 5

Monday, July 27th, 2009

No wonder I’m so tired. I apparently spent the weekend making eggs. Twelve to be exact. Just call me dodeca-mom – I’ve got 12 eggs inside me! I had my ultrasound at 8am, and think I probably showed the clinic staff how much I’m not a morning person. We were told everything looks “absolutely perfect.”

Yesterday afternoon I started noticing some dull pain in my pelvic region and right side. I liken the pain to what I usually feel when I have ovarian cysts. Almost like a pulled or strained muscle sensation, or as if I had a kidney infection. I knew something was up when I noticed that. Sure enough today they found eight eggs on my right ovary, and four on the left. She said I might make a few more, but for now we just want these to grow. The goal is 16mm – currently the largest are 12mm and the smallest are 8mm (if I remember correctly). They did blood work today and found that my estrogen level is 572 (normal is about 400). On retrieval day they estimate it will be around 4000. Finally, we learned that my retrieval day could be 8/3 or 8/4, but of course won’t know for certain for a few more days.

This morning I really didn’t feel well at all. The headache is still here, a little nausea, and extremely fatigued. I did today what I’ve been saying I need to do for days – I took a nap! And not just a catnap, but two whole hours! I felt much better after I woke up and had a little lunch. By the time the evening started I started feeling tired again. So I’ve been resting all night.

My Menopur shot tonight HURT LIKE HELL! I mean, I screamed. And Shelton removed the needle and had to stick me again. The needle is longer than other needles we’ve used and so he thinks he might have hit muscle tonight, saying it felt like he’d actually hit something when he stuck me. Whatever it was, it was awful and I hope we don’t have any more shots like that.

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IVF Class and Our Big Bag of Needles

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Well, folks, we’ve decided to get a goldfish. They’re like 35 cents, don’t come with any needles, or severe hormone shifts.

It wasn’t ALL that bad, but definitely overwhelming and quite sobering. After spending the past five years talking about it (and talking and talking), the whole thing slapped us in the face today. My stomach rolled over the moment we walked through the doors. During one portion while our coordinator “M” (she’s reading this… hello!) was giving her presentation, I thought I was going to have to leave. Tears started welling in my eyes and I was shaking my leg so hard I thought my sandal was going to fall off. Because rapidly shaking your leg is the cure for public crying.

We took our seat at the tables and there was a pink bag at our place. Shelton got really excited and thought it was a goody bag – full of drug-branded sticky notes, clicky pens and even candy. There was no candy in that bag. It might as well have been a goody bag from a Halloween party at Hansel’s and Gretel’s witch’s house. It was full of NEEDLES!!! Giant needles. Probably the same ones used to give elephants and humpback whales tranquilizers. There it is, my needle phobia (trypanophobia).

I literally shuddered. And used all self-restraint not to ask “M” if we could just get a topical cream or some sort of flavored Dimetapp-style liquid. Give me a pill the size of an Oreo cookie if you must. But needles? Most are tiny, I admit. The ones for Lupron, Gonal F, Menopur all seem to be relatively approachable. I’ll probably cry and throw a fit the first couple of times and then I’ll get over it. That progesterone needle? It’s the one that’s seven and a half feet long. It’s the one I’ll do daily injections with for SIX WEEKS! In my butt. Which will apparently bruise and be sore.

We also learned that despite my constant theory that we’d get ONE DRUG throughout our entire fertility preparedness project, that there will be multiple drugs. Administered BY NEEDLE multiple times a day. The Lupron, Gonal and Menopur will last up to 12 days. The progesterone starts at egg retrieval (Day Zero) and continues through what will hopefully be my sixth week of pregnancy.

The entire three hours did not consist of the needle parade. “M” thoroughly walked us through the ins and outs of this upcoming cycle. There were points where she’d make a little joke and the room would laugh and I would be so thankful. We’re in there with 18 other infertile couples and it felt like the most awkward first day of school. No one looking to their sides, straight ahead. I could feel the class-clown tension between Shelton and I; each of us constantly wanting to make some uninvited wise ass comment. Because we decided to wear our mature adult clothes today, we kept quiet.

She explained that due to the drugs our estrogen level on the day of egg retrieval would be close to 4000. Any other time of ovulation it would be about 300. That is ludicrous. She gently suggested to the husbands that they remember this estrogen spike and act accordingly.

We also heard from one of the clinic’s doctors. She explained some of the risks associated with the drugs, and risks and statistics for multiples. I still REALLY want twins, as in, does Shelton’s opinion count since he doesn’t?? However, since I was wearing my mature adult clothes, the ones that say you can trust me with a newborn baby and that I pay my taxes on time, I decided to hear out the doctor. Because of all the drugs we’re on, the likelihood of multiples skyrockets. I asked if family history of twins plays any role and she said that what we’re doing overrides genetics. Fair enough. So if we implant two embryos, there is a 50% chance we’ll have twins (or more!). If we implant a single embryo, there is a 5% chance will have twins. I felt like Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber – “so you’re saying there’s a chance!” It would be the responsible and safe choice to opt for the singleton. After all, I’ve decided we’ll have more than enough embryos to freeze and come back later.

Then we heard from the embryologist, described as our first babysitter. She takes the eggs, and the sperm, and waves her magic wand, or rather pipette, over the petri dishes and builds our little babies. The only concern I had with her was, how do we know my egg didn’t get matched with guy B’s sperm? Before I could ask she more than reassured me that that isn’t going to happen.

Finally, we signed so many forms that I honestly thought someone was going to hand me the keys to a new house. We consented to the IVF, embryo transfer, ICSI, embryo freezing and more. We signed off that the living spouse gets custody of the frozen embryos if one of us should die (I had to promise Shelton I wouldn’t make his “ghost” babies). If we both die then we selected to have our remaining embryos donated to research.

I have to call “M” tomorrow to get my birth control and prenatal vitamin prescriptions filled. I hadn’t even thought about the vitamins. I’m no good, NO GOOD AT ALL, with daily pills. So keep your fingers crossed for me. In college I used to tape my birth control to the bathroom mirror so I wouldn’t forget… maybe I’ll try that again.

Afterward, I made Shelton take me for ice cream. Not because the doctor hurt me, which was always my mom’s rule growing up, but because of the impending promise of pain.image

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