Posts Tagged ‘IVF Shots’

Embryo News and Progesterone Shots

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

If we’re still counting, it’s Day 22 since I started my first Lupron shot. However the counting has changed again. Now we’re at Day 2- which is the number of days the embryos have been alive. So I guess in a weird, twisted, technicality kind of way, this is day two of my pregnancy? OH DEAR GOD!

Embryos you say? Yes I say. We have embryos!!! For the first time in our lives, first time in our marriage, we’re able to say that! I called “M” at 11:02 a.m. yesterday, I didn’t want to appear to eager for the scheduled 11 a.m. call. She told me I was a rock star at egg retrieval and gave me these stats:

> 17 eggs retrieved
> 14 eggs mature
> 10 embryos

She told me I had ten little babies. And I cried. No one has ever said that to me before and I don’t think anything has ever put a smile on my face as quickly as that did. We did it!

I’ll find out later today when our embryo transfer will be. It looks like tomorrow or Friday; if I had to hedge my bets, I’d go with the latter.

I still felt pretty miserable from the egg retrieval yesterday. I even took a percoset, but that just coupled the pain with nausea and dizziness. It hurts to walk, it hurts to stand up straight, and it hurts to be in any position that isn’t “recline” or “flat.”

Last night was scheduled for my first progesterone shot. I’m been in AGONY over this injection! That needle is horrific – it’s an inch/ inch-and-a-half long. MAYBE A FOOT LONG! It’s thick too. All of this to push the progesterone in oil through my skin all the way into the muscle of my buttocks. No specified time was given for the injection, just that we needed to choose a time and stick to that. Being that we’ve been under house arrest for a couple weeks with the other IVF injections, and Shelton isn’t home until 10 p.m. on one night a week, we decided to make it a late shot. So at 10 o’clock last night, we fired it up. And, it wasn’t so terrible. My Menopur shots were far worse than this. Until about two o’clock this morning when I rolled over in bed and my left cheek wanted to stay right where it was. I can’t even sit on my left side today. And yippee, we’ll switch injection sides tonight so by tomorrow I won’t be able to sit down at all.

I think my sis-in-law was right, this is shaping up to be a ten-month pregnancy!

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IVF Updates and Egg Retrieval

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

What a weekend! I can say I’ve never had one like it, and hopefully won’t have another. I’m well-rested today and ready to take on what the week ahead looks like. Here’s a look back at the past few days and a look at what we’re looking forward to:

Friday: Can best be summed up here in this IVF Shots Day 18 post. We took the Ovidrel shot at exactly 8p.m., 36 hours prior to egg retrieval. It made me feel very ill, but it seems with an early night to bed I was able to sleep it off. What you didn’t see in that post, because it happened after I published, was my nuclear meltdown. I was sobbing hysterically, almost hyperventilating, and I just kept saying “I’m not ready! I’m not ready! We can’t do this,” and then chattered off a mindless list of the most inane reasons we shouldn’t be having a baby this week. Shelton once again talked me through it and I was fine … and we are most certainly ready … but I think I needed to get that out of my system.

Saturday: The pain from my gigantor ovaries continued. We attended a friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party, a little taste of reality and a scrumptious marbled cake! We took it easy for the most part on Saturday, save for a trip the grocery store that I should have sat out because the pain was so bad I considered getting one of those hovaround carts. That night Shelton and I had a picnic in the basement with movies and just relaxed. It was the first “no shot” day we’ve had since July 14, IVF Shots Day One.

Sunday: Egg retrieval day! We woke at 6a.m. to prepare to leave for the surgery center at 6:30. On the way there I joked that being a Sunday morning, it would be funny if they had to unlock the doors to let us in. And guess what? They did! The woman who admitted us was unlocking the doors as we walked up and I thought it was so funny and reminded of how strange (and super early) it was to be there on a Sunday. We were the only people there, and Shelton got the first draw out of the lobby coffee pot. I had a wonderful nurse prep me. She asked how many eggs we were getting and when I told her 17 she gasped and said that’s the most she’d heard all weekend. There had apparently been three retrievals Saturday and three after me on Sunday. Next we had our interview with the anesthesiologist and given a very thorough walk through of how everything would go down in the operating room. Then the star of the show, Dr. T arrived. His constantly calm demeanor is exactly what I needed before going back there. He walked me through the procedure and then gave me his standard instruction – “if you’re usually boss at your house, you’re not today.” Noted.

I was wheeled back to the OR where any shred of modesty I might have had left was quickly taken. Maybe it was too early to make OSU/Poke jokes! After all, they had sharp objects! I was awake for all of the prepping, and where my modesty poured off the table was when I was given a little bath, you know, “down there.” I was never put completely under, but I was still given a strong dose of something and have absolutely no recall after that. The anesthesiology nurse told me that I would have no idea what was going on and for all intents and purposes be out, but I would respond to them if needed – like a “Brandi, please move your leg.”

According to Shelton it only took 40 minutes and I was back in recovery. Dr. T came over to tell me that everything went well and we got all 17 eggs! After about 30 or 40 minutes of coming around Shelton and I headed home where I proceeded to sleep literally all day. I was in quite a bit of pain, and still this morning can’t say I’m exactly comfortable. I never had any spotting, as I was told would happen. I couldn’t eat after midnight Saturday, so by yesterday afternoon I was starving and Shelton kept me well fed.

Yesterday afternoon, after the egg retrieval, the ICSI procedure was done, in which they build the embryos. One sperm in to one egg. So as of this morning, for the first time in mine and Shelton’s marriage … lives, we have embryos. Granted nearly a half-dozen, but we have embryos. And something about that just makes me want to smile! I have to call this morning to see how the ICSI went, how many embryos we actually got, and when they expect to do transfer.

More details can be seen in this post about our embryo transfer and what we hope to be an upcoming pregnancy announcement.

Last night I started my Doxycycline, an antibiotic, and tonight I start those horrific Progesterone shots.

Thanks for all the well wishes this week!

IVF Egg Retrieval, ICSI, Embryo Transfer and Pregnancy Test

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

It seems almost impossible that we’re here. Three years ago we launched this site hoping to raise awareness about infertility, raise some funds for our treatment, and chronicle our experience with infertility and IVF. I feel satisfied that we’ve done all three. I’ve absolutely loved sharing all of this with you, and can say that it has helped me maintain my sanity, as this site has been my virtual therapist.

So what’s next, where do we go from here? A lot of people are asking and so here is the answer – we’re making a baby! Here is the schedule for the next week:

> Sunday 8/2: Egg retrieval. This surgery takes place at the surgery center at 8am and will hopefully yield at least 17 healthy eggs.

> Sunday 8/2: ICSI, or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. They will do this on Sunday once the eggs are retrieved and the sperm is thawed. One sperm will be injected into one egg, and then kept for a few days to let those early cellular division stages take place.

> Sunday 8/2: Begin progesterone injections. With the GIANT NEEDLE in my hiney! Begin the doxycycline pills.

> Tuesday 8/4-Friday 8/7: Embryo transfer. At the earliest this will happen Tuesday, at the latest Friday. A catheter will be placed in my uterus and ONE (and only ONE) embryo will be transferred inside. I will not be put under for this, but given something to relax a bit.

> August….? : This is where we’re going to go dark for a few weeks. At this time we do have a blood test scheduled for a pregnancy test. But we’re not saying when it is. Aside from our clinic we are the only people who know when it is, and we’re keeping that way. I always thought I’d likely wait through my first trimester to announce a pregnancy, just to be sure. I’ve really struggled with when the best time would be to make that announcement since we have this site. We’re so grateful to have so many people following our story and such a huge team of cheerleaders crossing fingers, legs and hairs, praying, sending good mojo and dancing the hully-gully! However, Shelton and I want to take some time to let this news be ours. I’m not going to make everyone wait an entire trimester, but I am going to ask that everyone give us a few weeks to be comfortable with the news, whichever way it goes, tell a number of close family and friends, and then we’ll let the world know!

Then know that just like with our IVF, we’re not going to keep any detail quiet. I’ll resume blogging the next nine months and invite all of you to come along as we anxiously await baby Koskie, sure to be the cutest monster anyone has ever met!!!

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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 15 – Stim Day 6

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Folks, yesterday was a breeze!! I felt great all day long, save for some random nausea that lasted about an hour mid-afternoon. This headache is still lingering but I’ve decided it can suck it and choosing to ignore it. That is when it’s not beating on the back of my eyeballs like the police on a door in the middle of the night.

Shelton and I have a fantastic system for my morning Lupron shots. I do absolutely nothing and he does everything! It’s marvelous. He leaves for work about an hour before I wake up, and it’s better for the safety of everyone in our neighborhood if he not speak to me before I’ve had time to really wake up. So he walks over in the morning, pulls the blanket back, gently says good morning and swabs my stomach with alcohol and then does the Lupron injection. It’s so fast and painless I probably wouldn’t know he’s doing it if he didn’t let me know, we do a quick kiss goodbye and I go back to dreaming.

I took myself on a date last night, and let me tell you, it was hot! I’ve got some birthday money stashed from last week so I used it to get a pedicure and then a plate full of yummy Mexican food at Abuelo’s. It’s one of the few places I have no qualms about eating by myself. I sat at the bar, enjoyed some chips and salsa, green chili chicken enchiladas, and a beer. An ice-cold, touch of lime, Dos Equis lager off the tap and it was SOOOOO GOOOD!!! I savored every sip. It was just one and I haven’t had a drink for about a week, and considering how great I’ve been feeling, figured it couldn’t hurt. Then, I tried to grab a new book but they were sold out. Finally, I returned home in time to give myself the Menopur shot and watch Bachelorette: After the final rose.

For the record, I do not typically watch this show. But the trainer, Matt Johnson, at was on this season so I watched the whole damn thing and got sucked in like a hopeless romantic college freshman. While I really wanted to see her with Reid, I think she and Ed make a stellar match!!

Shelton had class last night which meant I was on my own for the evening Menopur shot. I had talked to my mom about coming over to do it, but then at the last minute I sent her a text to say I was fine and could handle it. Total lie. I was completely freaking out. I didn’t want her to do it, nor anyone else for that matter. I wanted Shelton, but he wasn’t available, so I had to do it myself. These Menopur shots really hurt. I’m not being dramatic, they are awful. I trust how Shelton does them and we’ve gotten comfortable in the way in which we do the shots. I was too panicked to deal with anyone else. Shelton offered to let me drive to the school and he could do the shot in the car… but getting the Menopur shot mixed and ready required 46 separate supplies and by the time we’re done our bathroom looks like a chemistry lab. And let’s just say the Xterra isn’t exactly a sterile environment. And for that matter, neither is the public restroom at the school.

So alas, there I am in the bathroom trying not to cry. I had the hardest time getting everything mixed. The pressure in the syringe as I was drawing the liquid out would force the liquid back into the vials and out of the syringe. I felt like I had a big backwash mess of Menopur. I finally got the syringe loaded, spot on my abdomen clean, and watched the needle go in and started the injection. I swear to God everything goes into slow motion when I’m giving myself shots. The same thing happened two weeks ago with the Lupron. I HATE IT!!! It hurt like hell and I was certain I didn’t do it right – I kept watching to see if it was going to spill out of my stomach or get another gynormous bruise to match the one on the left of my belly button. But all is well. I didn’t break anything.

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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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