IVF

We’re pulling the trigger!!

The last 2 days of monitoring have gone pretty well! When I went in on Monday I still had 10 follicles showing and they were ranging from 12mm-23mm.  My estrogen level was 1,604!! So my body is totally doing what it needs to do and I just need to calm down.  I had to do another night of stimulation shots last night at the same doses and come in the following morning for blood and ultrasound.

Of course they were super booked up and only had a 10:15 slot open so I had to leave work in the middle of surgery today (thank god for awesome co-workers who have been helping me out).  The ultrasound tech did her thing and was measuring away at each beautiful looking black dot on the screen.  She said things were still looking really good and I had a good number of follicles in the 20mm range.  She said I’ll probably trigger tonight or tomorrow.

A trigger shot is what induces ovulation and is used as the final step before egg retrieval.  It is essential that it is timed appropriately in relation to the egg retrieval – 36 hours before.

I was really hoping when my nurse called later she would say that we’d be triggering tonight.  I’m so ready for this!  She emailed me on my way home from work and said she’d be calling soon with instructions.  Ooook?  She has never emailed before telling me she’s about to call, she usually just calls.  It’s gotta be happening tonight! Ahhh! I told her I was driving home from work and she asked me to call her when I got home.  I couldn’t wait to get home!

When I finally got home I sat down with my planner and a pen ready to hear what to expect.  I put Eden outside in case she started barking and had Janet inside (not thinking she’d make a sound).

I didn’t factor in her arch nemesis, the mail man.  So as I’m on the phone with the nurse getting very specific and special instructions Janet is eating her food and then all the sudden she hears the mail slot open.  Oh, shit.  I’m just gonna try and paint a picture of what happened next: Janet sprinting to the couch to look out the window for evil mail person, food still in her mouth, intense barking, gasps for breath, food stuck in her throat, choking on said food, barking some more, choking, barking.

OMG can someone give me a freaking break.  I just wanna hear the most important instructions I’m gonna get through this whole process in peace.  Janet please shut up and stop choking.  I’m gonna be such a good mom, right?

In between rubbing Janet’s throat to help her stop hacking I was able to play it cool on the phone with my nurse and gather the information I needed.  Well at least the important stuff.

IMG_20170307_201844_812

WE’RE TRIGGERING TONIGHT AT 10PM and we go in Thursday morning for egg retrieval in Chicago!! BAAAAA we’re sooooo excited!!! I took the obligatory before and after stimulation shots picture to compare the damage they ensued.  I don’t think they caused too much bloating. It could be worse. Hopefully that belly will be getting a lot bigger in the near future anyway!

We decided to get a hotel room for tomorrow night in the city in order to help things go as smooth as possible on Thursday morning.  My nurse said they prefer if Brandon gets his sample at home and not at the fertility center.  I guess it’s better that way.  Something with how the spermies liquify or some crap.  I’m not sure exactly what she was saying – remember Janet? Anyways, we’d have to get the sample there within 2 hours and while that shouldn’t be an issue coming from our house you just never know what crazy Chicago traffic you’ll get especially during rush hour.  IMG_20170307_201128_376We do not want to chance anything at this point.  So if we get to be bougie for a night in Chicago than hell yeah for us.

Janet is fine by the way.

 

 

 

IUI

iui #1

Our first IUI was on November 18, 2016

The 2 weeks leading to the actual procedure were not as scary as I thought they’d be.  The injections of Follistim that went in my tummy weren’t all that bad.  Sure they stung a little going in and it took some self-convincing to poke myself but after it was all said and done it was easy breezy.  The nurses and doctor monitored my follicles and blood levels and would call me each night to direct me how on how much Follistim I should be giving myself.  This cycle I ended up administering 75 units for 5 straight days.  The idea was to produce 1-4 follicles each time that were big enough to potentially produce a healthy egg (ah-ha that paperwork on multiples made sense now).  This is where IUI’s and IVF differ.  The idea with an IUI is to control the amount of follicles produced to a small number whereas with IVF they want you to make as many follicles as possible with the idea of making a lot of embryos.  IUI has a higher chance of multiples because they can’t control how many of the eggs would be fertilized and IVF they know exactly how many embryos they are transferring back into the woman.  It sounds confusing if you don’t live in an infertile world.  Here is a basic explanation of what the difference is.

I ended up making 3 good size follicles during this cycle.  And… NOW WE’RE PREGNANT WITH TRIPLETS!

Just kidding

3 follicles was a great outcome for someone who was struggling to produce 1.  When the doctor got the result from my ultrasound that these follicles were the appropriate size he decided it was time to induce ovulation with an injection of HCG, yay another shot! This injection was a lot more intimidating.  The needle is scary big and you inject it in your butt muscle but I had to do what I had to do.  Acutally I didn’t do it at all.  I knew that there was no way in hell I could psych myself into injecting myself with this huge needle.  So I did what any normal person would do and asked my friends at work if they’d give it to me.  Thank God I work in a place where we give multiple injections a day so this stuff is second nature to us.  My good friend (and co-worker) Ashley volunteered and it still makes me so happy and honored that I have friends like her who are more than willing to help me with weird infertility shit.  I was so brave tho. NOT. I fa-reaked my shit out.  I like to believe I’m a pretty strong person and a lot doesn’t scare me but something came over me right before Ash injected me.  I had a full on panic attack.  I started sweating and crying.  Honestly I don’t think it was just because the size and look of this needle.  I think it was a combination of this and all the emotions I was feeling.  All the hormones I had been injecting into myself probably didn’t help either.  Either way I was not in a good place.  My other friend at work let me hold his hand while Ashley stabbed my ass.  I think I squeezed and dug my nails into his as hard as I could.  I hyped this up to be the worst experience of my life.

I barely felt a thing.

This video still makes me cringe.  The pathetic whiny sound in my voice, ba gross.  What a baby I was.  I honestly would rather do these shots then the tummy shots any day.  That’s how painless it was.

I went in the following day to officially be inseminated.  Our appointment was really early in the morning.  Poor Brandon had to wake up ready to go and ready to produce his sample.  Ah, how awkward this all was for everyone involved.

We showed up an hour before the procedure in order for them to do the “sperm washing”.  Again, I know, so weird.  But this is the world we live in now!  This process weeds out the weak, slow, or abnormal swimmers and leaves us with a concentration of the best of the best.  After the “washing” they tell you the numbers you’re left with and how they compare with what is ideal.  A good number is above 10 million, we had 17 million.  The motility they want to see over 50% and I think we had it in the 70’s (can’t remember exactly).  So we were working with some good little guys.  Yes! One more thing that was helping us towards making a baby!   To put it all together we were working with Brandon’s great swimmers and my 3 follicles.  Good odds in scheme of things.  Remember all it takes is 1 sperm and 1 egg.

The insemination wasn’t too bad.  Some mild discomfort but nothing awful.  I was told to come back in 1 week for a progesterone check to make sure I ovulated and a week after that for a blood pregnancy test.  We were going on a mini vacation to Michigan the day we would have to get the pregnancy test so we scheduled it in the morning before we got on the road.

The TWW (two week wait) is always the worst.  This is the period where I over analyzed every little thing.  Every thing I felt I wondered if it could be a symptom of pregnancy. In the mean time, the nurse called with the good news that my progesterone was consistent with ovulation.  Yay!

And then the morning came where I began to spot.  I knew it was over and it hadn’t worked.  I remember calling Brandon and telling him on my way to work.  He is the sweetest man in the world every month we go through this.  He always tries to tell me I could still be pregnant.  Well, after trying for this many months I knew that my body was telling me it wasn’t going to happen this time.  I began to hate that he’d tell me this.  Believe me I know he was just trying to stay positive and help and keep the faith but it was harder for me that he just wouldn’t accept that it wasn’t happening this month.  It was like a false hope he would give me when in reality I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  I remember this was the first month where I finally told him to stop saying things like that and that it only made it worse for me.  He understood.  I went home from work that day and skipped the gym to take a nap, I needed it.  When I woke up, the reality of what happened hit me.  Brandon still wasn’t home from work and I remember feeling so alone.  I started to sob uncontrollably.  That kinda cry where you can’t catch your breath.  I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself I was a failure and my body sucked.  I was a in a really low place.  I hated myself.  I hated that I had no control over what was going on.

Like I said before – we went in for the pregnancy test right before getting on the road to Michigan.  They would call me later in the day with the result.  I knew what the result would be anyway but when my nurse called and confirmed it was negative it broke my heart.  Unless you have gone down this road you have no idea the heartbreak that comes on this journey.  You hope and pray each month that this will be it.  This month was a lot different than all the others months we tried to have a baby.  It was harder to accept the negative result with all the assisted help we got this month.  The clomid, the shots, the blood work, the ultrasounds, the IUI – all of it for nothing.  It was a huge blow to my confidence.  For the first time on this journey I had a thought I never had before.  I thought this might never happen.