Posts Tagged ‘menopur 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 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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IVF Shots Day 13 – Stim Day 4

Monday, July 27th, 2009

BLAHHHHHHHHH. Yesterday sucked. (So far today’s not much better.) I was such a crab all day yesterday I was even getting on my own nerves. It didn’t help that the lasagna I’d spent all afternoon making ended up burned. I mean, underneath the rock-hard crunch layer was a pretty good lasagna. I was fuming I was so mad!!

We did have my mom over for dinner, and I served her the burned lasagna, and she pretended to like it so much she took some home. (Is that what moms do? Eat their kids’ burned lasagnas?) It was nice to have her over for a little bit. Maybe she was having an off day too because we just bitched and complained for an hour about this, that and the other. Shelton went downstairs and returned about half an hour later and said “God! Are you guys still bitching?” Yes, Shelton we were. And if you knew what was best, you’d go right back downstairs and stop asking questions.

Last night we started the Menopur. This one has been causing me anxiety because it’s like… chemistry lab or something! We have these powders and sodium chloride and it all has to be mixed and injected into this needle and then into that needle. Certainly more complicated than what we’ve been dealing with, but totally manageable. We’re scheduled to do that through Wednesday, but then I believe we’ll start penciling in our doses each day after that.

This. Headache. Will. Not. Go. Away. EVER!! Where are we, like day 7…8…9? I can’t keep track. All I know is that it’s like an inconvenient zit that not only won’t go away, but keeps getting bigger and more conspicuous all the time. I’ve simply stopped taking anything for it. Nothing works. I’m not a big “take medicine” person anyway, and considering all the stuff I’m on right now, if it’s not alleviating the problem then I’m just not going to worry about it.

I had a mini meltdown last night. Much like the others, out of the clear blue sky, completely unprovoked. I just start crying. Told Shelton I’m tired of doing this. I mean, really? I’ve had final exams that were worse than this has been. If you’d tried to tell me that last night, I’d have probably scratched out your eyes. It seemed completely rational at the time. This morning I’m thinking, what a drama queen! It could have also been that I was so tired all day long and, guess what, I didn’t REST or take a NAP or just CHILL OUT! Instead, I worked all day. I put in a full work day yesterday… working right up until bed time at 11pm. Shelton was a little peeved about that, reminding me that I need to rest.

So here we are, Monday morning and we’re starting our third week of shots. Here’s to hoping everything continues to trend toward the positive.

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Big Box of IVF Needles and Fertility Drugs

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Earlier this week I received a phone call from the pharmacy filling our fertility drug order. I confirmed all of the pertinent details and then reviewed the order. They had the Doxycycline, Ovidrel, Progesterone in oil and Gonal-F, plus needles. I referenced the list we’d received in IVF class, and everything checked out. I had to call back with some insurance information, knowing it was really a waste of time because they weren’t going to cover any of this. Once I confirmed that I was told they would process my order through insurance and call the next day with a final total.

Yesterday, I received that call. I told the rep that if she hears a loud thump it was me falling out my chair. I think she was too busy to have a sense of humor and with a very concerned tone asked if I was OK. I laughed and told her I was just dreading the total. So drum roll please…. she ran the card and announced that we would be charged $1781.21. I didn’t fall out of my chair. In fact, I was rather relieved by that number. Don’t ask me why spending $1800 on prescriptions is relieving, but I expected an amount far surpassing that. Plus, we got our needles complimentary so that made the entire thing sound like a bargain!

I was told that FedEx would deliver the package tomorrow morning (today) between 8 and 3 and that someone had to be here so that the Gonal and Ovidrel could be refrigerated. At 8:15 the doorbell rang and our package had arrived. I signed. Walked back inside. Placed the box on the floor. And started bawling. I just kept saying “it’s here, I can’t believe we’re doing this, we’re actually doing this.” I think a part of me had just believed we were going to let time get away from us and one day it would be ten years later and there still wouldn’t be a baby. But that’s not the case. We are doing this. We are actually doing this.

So I had a good hearty cry this morning and then followed instructions and took inventory of the package. Two things were wrong:
1. My sharps container was missing. The container for the used needles. Don’t ask me why but I am so excited about that sharps container. It feels so official. I mean, how many people do you know what a needle box in their house? (If you can answer that… maybe you shouldn’t!)

2. My receipt was small. As in, a lot less than I was quoted less than 24 hours previously. $1142.66.

I called the pharmacy and I was told they would get my sharps container in the mail (damn right!), and then asked about the total. Don’t get me wrong, I’m jumping for joy over here. I saved $600 without even trying. I just wanted to confirm that a mistake hadn’t been made and which of the two charges we were actually incurring. Lucky us, it was the lower amount.

I promptly moved my drugs to the lower shelf of the fridge (behind the negro modelo) and then moved on.

I think when we have kids and we’re inevitably faced with the dreaded “how are babies made” question, I’ve got an easy answer. They come in a box. It’s like a model airplane kit. Except more expensive and more painful. The stork sends a box full of supplies and then you just make a baby. And a man, not your father, puts on the finishing touches, and wah-lah, you have a baby.

It should also be noted that two of my drugs are missing from the above list – Lupron and Menopur. We found out this week that our entire doses for both are being donated. I can’t even tell you how excited we were to learn this news. I’m not sharing specifics because I honestly don’t know what the disclosure parameters are with this and I don’t want to disrespect or cross a line I shouldn’t. But the parties responsible are likely reading this and we just want you to know that we are incredibly grateful. I’m not sure how those two items would have impacted our total Rx bill, but I am so very thankful that they didn’t. Hopefully we’ll have a fast cycle and we’ll be able to return the favor!!

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