A daily glimpse into the first weeks of our IVF cycle:
Day 1: Monday
Well, today is the big day! This morning, I went in for my baseline blood work and ultrasound, and tonight I had my first injection of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone, the hormone that will help me develop more than one egg this month so we can retrieve as many as possible). I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the needle, and the injection didn’t hurt. The medicine, which needs to be refrigerated, burned a bit going in because I imagine it was cold and thick. Just discomfort, though; no pain.
Day 2: Tuesday
I’m letting Len do the injections for me. He’s the one with the EMT training, after all. On a side note, I couldn’t sleep last night, maybe because of anticipation that the hormones are actually starting to get to work, but mostly because of my gurgly stomach. Something is going on in there.
Day 3: Wednesday
I had more blood work this morning. Looks like my estrogen is high, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and my follicles are still small, which is a good thing. The doctors were worried I would respond “too well” to the meds, and my ovaries would get too big too soon. So far, so good. I’m incredibly crampy today, though, which is new. I don’t even get period cramps.
Day 4: Thursday
Today, I got the phone call to start taking the medicine that prevents me from ovulating all those growing eggs too early. Actually, ovulating them at all. When we’re ready to retrieve my eggs, I’ll get a shot called a “trigger,” which contains LH (luteinizing hormone, the hormone your body produces to make you ovulate), so we want to keep them in there until we’re ready.
The doctors had told me to bring the syringe of the LH blocker to work with me today in case they wanted me to start it. Never in a million years did I think I would need to woman up, lock myself in the work bathroom, and stab myself in the stomach with a needle full of drugs. IVF like a boss. Or, a drug addict. Whatever.
Day 5: Friday
We’re feeling pretty good about this. This is the first month, well, ever, that we have the same chance as anyone else to get pregnant. Only we’ll be implanting fertilized embryos, rather than waiting for nature to take its course, so maybe we’ll be ahead of the game. I try to not let myself think too much about the idea of being pregnant this month—I have to expect the other outcome as well.
Day 6: Saturday
More blood work and an ultrasound this morning and holy shit I might be triggering on Tuesday! It hasn’t even been a full week and we’re talking about trigger shots, retrieval, and transplanting already. At the rate my follicles are growing, we might be ready early next week! The doctors said they thought I would respond well to the meds, but seriously?! I can’t believe it. I’ll know more on Monday’s appointment, but I’ve been on cloud nine all day.
On a side note, today the doctor told me my ovaries were each the size of an orange. Let me tell you, I am feeling every bit of those oranges. I’m bloated, uncomfortable and I feel like I waddled around work all morning. On the drive home, I was simultaneously driving 80 miles an hour on the highway to get myself to a bathroom as fast as possible, and driving on full alert, afraid if I had to slam on my brakes for any reason the seatbelt across my lap might pop my stomach. Today, my sweatpants are my best friend.
Day 7: Sunday
Much more comfortable today. I think it’s the ultrasound days when I feel the worst; that probe they use to poke around in there really irritates those orange-sized ovaries. I’m really not looking forward to tomorrow’s ultrasound, except for that I’m hoping for more good news about triggering. The course of the rest of our cycle will be hopefully decided tomorrow!
Stay tuned for week two!