IVF #3 – Injection day 6, 5 measurables

Today I had my appointment at the Towson location. Usually Saturdays there consist of a long wait, but today was different. I ended up being a bit late but by the time I took out my Kindle and read a page or two, they called my name for blood work. I sat back out in the lobby and read a couple more pages and they called me to go for the U/S.

The technician did her thing so quickly that I couldn’t keep track of measurements. I asked her how many total there were and she said 11-12 but I don’t think she really counted. She was busy measuring the larger ones. I thought I saw one around 7mm, another around 9mm. The nurse said it’s still early so I hope that means others will catch up to the larger ones. I was in and out within half an hour. World record!

I left and ran a couple of errands. Got home and ate some breakfast. Then it was back outside to do yard work. I ended up missing the call from the nurse but she left my new instructions.

Tonight the dose stays the same. Tomorrow morning I add in Ganirelix along with my normal 300 Gonal-F. Tomorrow night I start an increased does of Menopur, 225, and same dose of 150 Gonal-F. The nurse also mentioned that they measured five follicles. I’m confused though. I’m supposed to be starting the Ganirelix when my follicles reach 14mm but I’m pretty sure none did. So why start me on this now?

Monday is my next appointment and when my regular nurse calls I’ll ask her why. Plus I’ll remember to get a copy of the U/S results like I did for IVF #2.

I’m not looking forward to the Ganirelix. I remember having to use a bit more force to push the needle in, compared to the other injections. Last time I used my normal force and I couldn’t break skin and it just made a nice hole in my skin. I almost passed out. It’s hard having to give yourself injections.

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Injection Routine

I’m back to the same injection routine I had last time and it’s funny how you can pick right back up like you never missed a beat. It does change your regular routine in that you have to allow for injection setup.

The morning isn’t as bad because I only have the Gonal-f. Alarm goes off, I turn on the news and I get out of bed. The dogs meet me at the backdoor to be let out. I had back in and use the bathroom. By this time the dogs are ready to come back in. I open the door and they now head into the kitchen running in circles waiting for me to pour food into both their bowls. While they eat, I head to the fridge to fetch the Gonal-f. I drop it off at the bathroom sink while I quickly duck into my bedroom to grab my bath towels. I take my shower, get partly dressed, put my makeup on, dry or do my hair, and finish getting dressed. I finish up with some perfume, earrings, grab my phone, turn the TV off and take a detour to the bathroom.

By this time the Gonal-f is room temperature. I put a sheet of paper towel on the counter. I remove the cap on the Gonal-f. I take the needle cap out of its package and screw the Gonal-f pen into the needle cap. I turn the dial until it reaches 300. This is the dose. I roll up my shirt and unbutton my pants. I tear open an alcohol pad and wipe off the injection site. I pinch the skin and push the needle in. I push the the top of the pen and it push the liquid in and then I release my skin. Sometime I bleed and I’ll put a little circle bandaid on it so it doesn’t mess up my clothes. I try to alternate sides. For example, this morning this was on my left side. Tomorrow morning this dose will be on my right.

Now lets fast forward to the night routine. I notice that the clock reads about an hour before I plan to head to bed. So most nights I try to be in bed around 9pm – I get on Facebook, write a blog, work on Etsy, and then read.

Around 8pm I remove the Gonal-f pen from the fridge and place it on the bathroom sink. Now I wait a bit. When it’s time to head to bed, I take the dogs out one last time. They head to the bedroom and I head to the bathroom. I use the bathroom and brush my teeth. I wash my hands and get my setup going. I place another sheet of paper towel on the counter. I remove the cap on the Gonal-f. I take the needle cap out of its package and screw the Gonal-f pen into the needle cap. I turn the dial until it reaches 150. This is the dose. The night does is lower than the morning does. Now it’s Menopur time. Not my favorite. So for this there are small vials of liquid and powder that you have to mix. My does is 150 so that’s two vials of the powder (they are 75 each). I remove the needle from the package and immediately unscrew that longass needle and place in the sharps box. Don’t need it. Then I take the mixing cap and screw that onto the needle’s body. The vials have lids on them so you have to pull them off. They can be a bit tough but once they are off, take an alcohol pad and wipe them off. I push the cap+needle onto the top of the liquid vial and push the 1cc of air into the vial. This will help pull the liquid out. Now I pull the 1cc of liquid into the needle. Pop it off of the vial. Now push it on the top of the powder vial and push the liquid in. Swirl around gently. Now pull out all of the liquid and do the same with the second vial. Now there should be two vials worth of powder in the 1cc of liquid in the needle. Whew! I roll up my shirt and push down my shorts. I tear open an alcohol pad and wipe off the injection site. I pinch the skin and push the Gonal-f needle in. I push the top of the cap until all the liquid is in. I start with the Gonal-f because it’s the easier one to do. I save the worse one for last. Now it’s time to inject the Menopur. I find another place in the same area. I push the needle in and push the plunger until it’s all in and then I release my skin. This injection requires much more force than all the other injections. I have to use my thumb to force the plunger down. It burns as the liquid enters your body. So be prepared for that. It’s nothing you can’t handle but it’s noticeable. Again, sometime I bleed and I’ll put a little circle bandaid on.

That’s a day! That’s my injection routine right now. Next week another injection will be added in so I might edit this blog later on.

Got questions? Ask me anything!

 

 

Trying Again…

I owe everyone an update since my last blog. I blogged about a friend offering to be the donor. Well I decided not to go that route. It’s nothing against him but more on what I felt was right for me. He lives 1200 miles away. If I were to have a friend donor, I’d want him to be local, so he can be part of the child’s life. Not sure my friend understands but honestly that’s not my problem. I appreciate the offer though.

I’m in the middle of IVF #2. I’m on a different protocol – Antagonist. The way the doctor explains it is that in the aggressive approach, there are two protocols. I did the first one before, so this time we are trying the second protocol. Basically in a nutshell, this one doesn’t suppress my ovaries the entire time. I use the stimulating injections and then when the follicles reach 14mm, I add in another injection that suppresses ovulation.

My doctor visit this past Sunday showed that I had one follicle at 12mm, so they had me start suppressing ovulation Monday morning. Not a fan of this injection. It’s a slightly thicker needle and when I went to inject it, I couldn’t for some reason. Only the tip penetrated my skin. And it hurt. So now I’m shaking and light-headed. Needless to say I had to have my mom do it for me. I thought today would be easier but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Mom to the rescue again.

If all goes well, I hoping for retrieval to be this Saturday. I also hope that the other follicles catch up to the dominant one which measured 15mm this morning. I’m on daily monitoring until I Trigger.

More later on…

Monitoring appointment #2

Today’s appointment was at a different office than I normally go to. It was busy. My appointment was supposed to be at 8:30 and they didn’t even take me back for blood work until about 9:40, which I have to say they did a terrible job. I am so bruised on that arm and under the tape I had blood everywhere on my arm. Then I waited again for them to call me back for the ultrasound. I sit on the table with a paper sheet over me waiting for the technician to open the door. My nerves were already climbing up the walls, the wait didn’t help.

The technician finally comes in and she does what she does. She said they are still very small. I still only have four. I felt defeated.

I went home and curled up on the couch and slept for a while. I was so tired – like I was drugged or something. Stressed much? I snapped out of it and did some spring cleaning. I was like a tornado – cleaning out closets, under cabinets, putting winter things away, etc.

I hear my cell ring. I high-tailed it to the other side of the house, jumping over piles I have to give to Goodwill and another pile to throw out. The nurse told me my estrogen levels. 57.2. Everything in my gut says it should be much higher. She said it appears I’m a slow developer. There’s a 50/50 chance this cycle could get canceled or they could switch me to an IUI. Not sure why they’d do that when I had three unsuccessful IUIs. They are keeping my injection schedule the same. Why? Can’t they adjust them to give me a fighting change? She suggested that on Monday I talk to my doctor and see what she has to say. But I don’t want to. She’s negative about this whole thing. I wish I had a positively realistic doctor instead of a negative realistic doctor.

How can I stay positive when I get news like this? I hate sitting here alone with my thoughts. Today will be better. It has to be.

 

Day 4 Ultrasound and Blood Work – Results

My nurse just called and gave me my schedule of injections for the next couple of days. I am to continue the same dosage and same schedule as I’ve been doing. The break-down looks like this.

Morning:

  • Lupron – 20 units
  • Gonal-F – 300 units

Night

  • Lupron – 20 units
  • Gonal-F – 150 units
  • Menopur – 150 units

I have an appointment scheduled for Saturday morning for another ultrasound and blood work. I anticipate this happening every other day, maybe every day if needed (they say).

My estrogen level is 44.9. I asked if that’s good or not and they said everyone responds differently but the numbers was good enough to continue with the same medication schedule. I’m not sure how to take that – “good enough”. I thought they might up the night Gonal-F to 300 instead of 150 but they didn’t.

Pray that more follicles develop by Saturday morning. 🙂

First Ultrasound on Injections. Day 4.

This morning I had my first ultrasound for this first IVF cycle. The technician called it Day 4 which I’m assuming means the 4th day I’ve been on the stimulating injections, since I started Lupron two days before that. They informed me that the follicles would be small at this point but they still want to see where I’m at.

The technician found the right side and took a picture and she went to the left side, which always takes a bit longer. For some reason my left ovary likes to hide. The nurse came over to apply pressure while the technician moved the wand around to find it. Left ovary found.

I asked how many and they only found four. Two on each side. I’m bummed because I don’t know what this means. They said my nurse will call me later today with the results from my blood work and we’ll go from there. I’m nervous. Scared. Sad.

Can I stimulate more as the days go on or is what they see what I’ll be left with?

Medication Part 1

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The process has officially started when I began the fertility meds, IMO. Here’s what I’ve been doing since Saturday morning.

Saturday morning – Took 20 units of Lupron. Lupron, I believe, is supposed to suppress the ovaries. Not sure what that means and how this helps, but I’ll do what I’m asked. This involves a vial of liquid that you keep in the fridge and a syringe. Stick the needle into the top of the vial and draw out what you need. The needle is really tiny and is about 1/2 inch long. This is SubQ so it’s injected into the fatty part of your stomach. Easy. Doesn’t hurt.

Saturday night – Same as the morning.

Sunday morning and night – Same as Saturday.

This is where the real fun begins…

Monday morning I am faced with two injections. One is the continued Lupron. The second is the Gonal-F RFF Redi-Pen. The Lupron is still holding at 20 units and the Gonal-F is at 300 units. This pen is pretty fancy. After you place the needle on the tip, you rotate the dial to the dosage needed. This is also a SubQ injection and the needle is about the same size and length. Both of these are stored in the fridge.

Monday night it gets even better with three injections. Lupron, Gonal-F and the newly added Menopur. By this time I have the Lupron and Gonal-F down to a science. The Menopur on the other hand had me in such a panic that I had to get a friend on the phone to walk me through this. I had a small chemistry lab at my bathroom sink. The items involved in Menopur are a liquid vial, powder vial, syringe, mixing needle (long one), administer needle (tiny one), and a Q-cap. I don’t think I missed anything. I go to mix the liquid with the powder and the panic set in. The syringe was in mL measurements where my paperwork was 150 units. So confused. After searching Google and contacting a friend on Facebook, we finally got through this injection. What I ended up doing is drawing up 1cc of liquid and mixing it with 1 vial of powder. I drew up another cc of liquid and put in the second vial of powder and then drew up both mixed vials into the syringe. I had just under 2cc of liquid that I now have to push into my body. I was told that the Menopur hurts when injected; more like burns. It did but not too bad and not for very long. What I wasn’t expecting was how hard it was to push that plunger in compared to the other syringes. Whew!

EDIT: I just spoke with my nurse to clarify what I did. I did it wrong but still got the medicine in. What she said to do is draw up 1 cc of liquid and mix with 1 vial of powder. Draw that mixed vial into the syringe and mix that with the second vial of powder, then draw up the 1cc of liquid. So what I did was have too much liquid. But the important part was I had the correct amount of powder. Good to know for tonight!

I repeat this 5-injection day tomorrow (Wednesday) and then I do my morning injections on Thursday. I go to the doctors for blood work and ultrasound and then I will be given additional instructions for more meds. I believe they said it will be about 10 total days of meds. Yikes! I can do this though!