IVF #3 – What are you taking?

Were the first words out of my nurse’s mouth when she called me this afternoon. She was amazed on the huge difference this cycle has been compared to the last one. This morning, which is injection day 11, my appointment showed 14 follicles, but 13 were measured. It looks like maybe around 8-9 are mature right now based on my estrogen levels. So my estrogen went from 1330 to 1796 since yesterday. They are hoping that in the next day or so, the 15 and 16’s will catch up.

When my nurse said those four words to me on the phone, I simply laughed. Of course I still didn’t share that I was taking DHEA but who’s to say that’s what is making the difference. From what I’ve been reading, there might be more punch power in CoQ10. And since I had a minimal increase two days ago, last night I doubled up on the CoQ10. I know it didn’t make anything happen the way it did, but in my mind it helped.

I just did my trigger shot. I wasn’t nervous like I normally am at this time. I iced it up, mixed up the stuff and took it to my mom to give it to me. She laughs at me because I put an X where she needs to target…LOL.

It’s refreshing to know that I had no other injections tonight and from this point on. Now I get to think wonderful thoughts about my retrieval at 9am on Saturday and wish these follicles luck and super growth. With the possibility of retrieving 8-10 eggs, this just makes my odds that much better. This will allow me to do a day-5 transfer and pick which ones make it to blastocyst. That does make me nervous though because I still have some milestones to reach – retrieval, fertilization, division, and blastocyst. All of this in one week. I just know my eggs can do it.

So far I’ve shocked my nurse and I wonder if I’ve shocked my doctor too. Or maybe doing all these stimulating drugs has woken the fertility beast in me and is charged up now. Being single I would think things go into a deep hibernation.

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IVF #3 – Injection day 4, 13 follicles

This morning I had my day 4 appointment – blood work and ultrasound. I had a different technician today but she was still very nice. She found 13 follicles. It increased from 10 during my pre-IVF evaluation, so I’m super excited. This is the most I’ve had. I just hope the numbers stay up during stims.

Bit of history:

  • IVF #1 – Day 4, 5 follicles, estrogen 44.9
  • IVF #2 – Day 4, 8 follicles, estrogen 74.1
  • IVF #3 – Day 4, 13 follicles, estrogen 141

Symtoms:

  • bloated/full feeling
  • some bruising at injection sites
  • headache (hoping from meds and not stress)

Pre-IVF Evaluation

With every IVF you have to go in after you finish the birth control for what they call a pre-IVF evaluation. They take your blood and do an ultrasound to check things out. If all is good, then you can move on to the next step in the process.

Mine was yesterday (Friday) morning. I got to the dr’s office just before 7am and was seen right away. No matter how many times I’ve had my blood drawn, I still don’t like it. There was a room available so I emptied my bladder and went into the exam room. The technician came in and she is my favorite one. She’s just very social and always remembers past conversations.

She inserts the ultrasound wand – don’t know the technical name for it – and checked it all out. My lining was nice and thin, no cysts, and she saw 10 tiny follicles – five on each side. Wow! That’s the most I’ve had so far!

My nurse called me later that day to tell me all looked good and to also express excitement about the 10 follicles. She looked back in my charts and IVF#1 I had 6, IVF#2 there were 8 and this time there are 10. She asked me what I was taking. I told her vitamin D, prenatal, and CoQ10. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her about the DHEA. If I ever get pregnant, I’ll share with her then, just in case it would be used to help others.

In my heart of hearts I believe that it’s all helping me.

I begin the injections on Monday.

  • AM: 300 Gonal-F
  • PM: 150 Gonal-F and 150 Menopur

I’ll do this until Thursday, taking Thursday morning’s dose and then going in to check and see how it’s going. The hope is that all 10 follicles have grown.

I’m slacking a bit

I’ve had two rounds of IVF. Both required me to take birth control pills prior to starting injections. I took it like clockwork, just about the same time every night. I was focused. I paid attention. I was on top of it.

Not so much this time.

At least twice, maybe three times, I’ve missed a day. So I take it as soon as I realized which has been the next night. Am I just not worried about taking it? Am I getting tired of this whole ordeal? I think with each try I get more and more relaxed about it, but still. Geez.

So I’ve moved them from my living room end table to the bathroom where it can stare at me while I brush my teeth, and call my name to help me remember to take it. Ugh.

On another side note, I’ve read a few blogs from folks I’m following and they have gotten their “positive”….all on the 3rd IVF. So….technically this is my 3rd try and I keep praying that this is my time too.

Same protocol

As the last IVF. My doctor called today to go over any questions I have and to discuss next steps. Of course I have questions but like I told her, I don’t think there’s a way to know for sure. But she said to ask anyway, so I did. I basically wanted to know if when the three embryos were transferred back inside, did they stop growing, did they just not hatch anymore, or did they hatch by my uterus just rejected them. Like I suspected, she can guess what happened but without installing a video camera on lining of my uterus, we’ll never know for sure. She said that she suspects that my embryos weren’t a good quality and just stopped growing.

We discussed next steps which include the same protocol as the last IVF. Out of the two, the last one produced the best results so far. I agree. I didn’t grow 10+ eggs but compared to IVF#1, this one grew more and they were able to retrieve more. I can’t remember how we starting talking about the transfer dates, whether it would be a 3-day or 5-day transfer. She did say that typically they do 3-day transfers. So I asked if it would be better to wait and do a 5-day transfer to see if they ever get to the blastocyst stage. If they get to that stage, there is a greater chance of them implanting.

She originally was against it. I explained that my insurance pays for three transfers. I get two more. So why not hold on to them and see if they continue to grow to day 5. She understood my point in this and put a note on my chart. When we retrieve the eggs and fertilized them, we’ll see how well they divide and decide at that time if it will be a day-3 or a day-5. I felt good that she was willing to understand my side of things and will work with me.

Tonight I’ve also done some more research on DHEA. Right now I’ve been taking 1 25mg pill a day. The recommended dose is 75mg. So starting tomorrow I will take 75mg. I’ve read success with this dosage with patients that have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), which is what I have, so we’ll see! I just hope it doesn’t bite me in the ass. My doctor doesn’t believe in taking DHEA, yet in their office, they have a brochure discussing DHEA can help egg quality in DOR patients. I don’t typically go against doctors and I do trust this place, it’s one of the best places, but I don’t think it would hurt to try it for a cycle.

What would you do? Would you take it regardless of what your doctor says?

I’m beginning to hate holidays

Which is a terrible thing to say because I used to love them. I used to be social and always had something to do. The last five years or so, not so much. Fourth of July is coming up and I’ve been invited to a couple of events, but I hate that I have to go alone. I hate being single. Where did my life go off path? My circle of friends has gotten much smaller and there’s part of me that has become such a homebody that the thought of going out doesn’t appeal to me.

This reminds me of that movie, I think it’s called The Yes Man, and it has Jim Carey who had to say yes to everything in life. Even if he hated it or didn’t want to do it, he said yes. And it changed his life. Of course that’s a movie and who’s to say that it would be the same for me, but it got me thinking.

What if I say yes to everything?

The worst part

Of the 2ww is that you have to continue taking the progesterone and estrace (is that right?) even when you are getting negative home pregnancy tests. Part of me just wants to quit taking it but I always stick to it until either AF (aunt flow) or the nurse tells me to quit. Oh and speaking of, so far still no AF. Cramp yes, AF no…so far. Which makes this all very confusing, because today is 12dp3dt and the home test was a big fat “notevenclose’ all white space. Not a hint of a second red line to give me a glimmer of hope. Nothing. I kept staring at it thinking it would just magically appear. It didn’t.

The other “worst” part of the 2ww is that you analyze every thing you feel. Oh, shooting pain on left side, let’s google that and put that in my IVF journal for today. I mean seriously, why do we do this to ourselves. Prime example…last night I’m crawling into bed and getting settled. I have the TV on, the dogs comfy and I’m about to start reading my kindle, when all of a sudden my mouth starts watering and I had to throw up. I sat up to see if it would pass by but it didn’t. I rushed to the bathroom to end up barely making it to the sink, but only dry heaved. Still not feeling any better. I sat in front of the toilet (which reminds me, I really need to clean that bowl this weekend) and dry heaved once or twice more. Nothing ever came up. After that I felt fine and went back to bed. Seriously? WTF. Was. That?! I mean it can’t be because I’m pregnant because the home test says I’m not so what brought that on. I’ve never in all my life had that happen. When I throw up it’s usually because of too much alcohol, stomach bug (most of the time that’s the other end) and food poisoning (that’s usually both ends)…so where did that come from?

That’s what makes this 2ww horrible. You get these small balls of hope just to have another ball of doubt knock it out. As much as I hate doing 3-5 injections a day, plus a terrifying longassthickass needle for the trigger shot, the 2ww is the WORST.

So to sum up the last two days:

  • 11dp3dt – back pain, cramps, throwing up (or trying to)
  • 12dp3dt – back pain, cramps, shakes around lunchtime, sharp pains in stomach area

I know people say I’m not out of it yet until the beta test, but today is the first day I’ve really felt defeated; that it isn’t going to happen this time. It bums me out. And makes me so mad at myself for not doing this sooner. I mean three embryos were put back in. Not one is going to stick? Sad.