Friday, September 28, 2012

I Always was a B+ Student

After CD 7 I did, indeed, reduce my Follistim dose by half.  My E2 was at 879.

Today is CD 9 and I had another poke and prod appointment this morning.  Dr. Tran gives me a B+ grade in terms of how everything is going, which Ian finds awesome and perfectionist Sharon finds OK.   Basically, the only reason I don't have an A is because there are 2 follicles that are bigger - sort of leaders of the pack. So, there is the idea that those are probably the two "best" ones containing the "best" eggs.  Unfortunately, they will likely get lost in the process because they are maturing too quickly and it's more important to get the quantity of the pack than the potential quality of those two.   The pack contains 15 follicles that are all right in the range we want them to be in and another 2 or 3 that are dragging behind that will probably not mature on time.   Dr. Tran did say there's a chance that if the timing works out, we'll be able to grab those two along with the other 15, but it's not very likely.

Either way, it looks like I'll have 15 follicles, at least, and hopefully they will all be full of awesome amazing mature eggs ready to be fertilized!  I was asking Dr. Tran about what would happen if this cycle didn't work - if I would be on the same drug protocol etc the next time.  He said that I would - that it was perfect for me and they want to start people on a higher dose of the stims and have them reduce as time goes on.  He also said my hormone levels are within normal range.  So this is all good.  But, he also pointed out that he thinks it is very likely that I'll have embryos to freeze and be able to do a FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) next time, if there is a next time.   This made me happy.

So, in the meantime, it is looking still like probably a Sunday trigger for a Tuesday retrieval, but he mentioned it might possibly be a Monday trigger for a Wednesday retrieval.  I am frantically trying to make sure everything at work will be OK no matter which days I'm not here...just sort of over-scheduling staff at the branch the whole week because the whole week is pretty much potentially sick days.

My next appointment is Sunday morning, and we should really (I hope) know then.  He did say that if my E2 levels look high today, they'll have me come in tomorrow morning as well, so I'm waiting on that call.  I usually hear around mid-afternoon.   Now that this is actually happening, it all feels really fast moving.  Which is great!

In the meantime, all side effects still out in full force.  Mostly, aside from tiredness, I am feeling extremely bloated.  All the ladies out there can picture that feeling of bloat that many of us get when we are about to ovulate and/or are about to get our periods.  Well, so that's when you have one follicle growing big in there.  I have 20.  So, let that give you some sense of the extremeness I'm talking about here.  There is a tenderness that feels a little like gas, but isn't.  Also, it feels like I ate a whole turkey, but it went in my ovaries instead of my stomach and I can't poop it out.

For the nerds out there - this is what it looks like each time I get an ultrasound.  I'm getting really really very very good at reading them at this point!   I stole these from the various internets.  Also, I feel like I need to add IANAD (I am not a doctor).  So, ya know, this is just my understanding of things.  As is everything I post up in here.

Speaking of "up in here", OK...

 This is what a healthy ovary looks like during a typical menstrual cycle.  The whole sort of middle grey area (shaped sort of like a kidney) is the ovary and all the darker black spots are follicles.  There is one clearly dominant follicle that will send out an egg at ovulation.

This is an ovary in the midst of taking stims for IVF.  You can barely see the outline of the ovary because it is so full of follicles.  There are like 10 of them visible here, but when the doctor or tech is doing an ultrasound the wand is moved around (inside the vagina) to see all of the follicles.  So you'll see a screen like this and measurements'll be taken, and then it might move around and find more.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CD7 Update

Today is Cycle Day 7, and it will be my 6th night of stims.  This morning I had a monitoring appointment (good ol' poke and prod) with Dr. Tran.  We saw tons and tons of growing follicles.  I lost count, he was saying the numbers so fast, but there are about 5 that are over 11mm and there were about 20 total (give or take)!!!   Let's hope there are eggs maturing successfully inside their little sacs! (heh heh i said sacs).  My dream is that there will be plenty retrieved and plenty fertilized and plenty that look good at day 3 so that we can transfer 3 and freeze enough for a frozen cycle.  Maybe that's too much wishful thinking, but would sure be nice!

He's going to check my blood results when they come in and is likely to reduce my Follistim dose by half, so I would be on half the amount of stims they started me on, which would be nice.  Sadly they can't just eliminate the stupid stinging Menopur (SSM.  Just kidding - that's not a real acronym!) instead of also reducing the Follistim.  Oh wells.  I'm hoping reduction in Follistim will = reduction in my insane sleepiness.  Not holding my breath, though.

So, we're looking at a very likely Sunday night trigger (that's when I'll give myself the hCG shot) for a Tuesday (the 2nd) morning retrieval and a Friday (the 5th) transfer.  Next appointment is this Friday morning at 7:30am, so we'll still if we're still on schedule for that then.

Will keep y'all posted!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The State of the Cycle

Here's how things are looking so far.

Lingo to be made red and bold when with definition for easier finding.  We'll start with this one:  CD = Cycle Day.  CD1 = 1st day of period.  We  count from there.

My appointments so far this cycle:
CD 2 (Friday, 9/21) - I had my baseline appointment.  The point of this was to make sure I don't have any cysts (which happen often during this phase of a cycle).  The birth control pills and Lupron were/are being taken, in part, to help prevent cysts, because you can't go forward with an IVF cycle with Cysts.  At this appointment, I had the nurse that I met a few times during my IUIs and I really like her.  She's nice and friendly and gives me lots of information.  We saw a lot of resting follicles on my ultrasound, which is great!  And no cysts!  She made me get a little excited with her cry of,  "lots of potential in those ovaries!"  We also talked about how much more information you get during an IVF cycle vs an IUI cycle and how the rates of success are much higher.  Queue hopefullness.  I found myself dancing around the kitchen that night while cooking.  Got a phone call later in the day that my Estradiol (E2) levels look normal, which also means no cysts so I was good to go with starting my stims (the medicines that stimulate my follicles to grow - in my case during this cycle it is Follistim and Menopur) and I started my Folistim and Menopur that night, and reduced my dose of Lupron by half.

CD 5 (Monday, 9/24) - This was just a blood draw appointment and I gave 1/2 a vial for the IVF.  In addition, I finally did my final appointment for the AMIGAS study that we had our IUIs through.  So I gave an additional 5 vials of blood for that and met with the study coordinator to answer the final study questions.  They took all the same vitals they took throughout my treatment and closed my case.  It was really nice that they were able to wait until I was doing IVF and have me come in when I already had to be there.  I didn't have it in me to go do this before...just so much harder to drag myself into the city for an appointment with a blood draw when it's to close out something unsuccessful.  Was much easier to take in the context of moving forward in other treatment.

I really realize how much more the study prepared me for IVF in some ways than a traditional IUI patient.  The extra blood draws/ultrasounds and appointments make this seem a bit more like old hat.  And I give WAY less blood for IVF than I did for the study.  Of course, the injections and meds are so much vastly more than IUI, and that there was no real way to be prepared for.

Anyhow, I  Got a phone call several hours later that my E2 levels were 340 and that this means I can reduce my dose of Menopur by half.  I was taking a nap when the nurse called so I didn't get to talk to her directly, but I am learning as I go and it sounds like all this monitoring is for this exactly - so that my meds can be precise and changed as needed to make sure my follicles are growing, but not growing too much.  Anyhow, I am psyched about this because the Menopur stings like crazy hell, and it stung less last night because it was less concentrated (same amount of liquid, half the meds).   Also, as far as I'm concerned (and them too), the less stims I have to take for a good outcome, the better.

CD 7 (Wednesday, 9/26) - On Wednesday I have an appointment at 7:30am (yes, this means leaving my house at about 6:15am) for another blood draw and an ultrasound.  I'm excited to see what all my little follicles are doing!  Grow, follies, grow!  (but not too much, please)

How I'm feeling:
So, the Lupron is still making sleep hard.  In addition, the Follistim (I think, based on my Internet medical degree) is making me exceptionally sleepy.  So, up until about two days ago I was in a sleepless fog as happens when you aren't getting full nights of good sleep.  Suddenly two nights ago I began being able to mostly sleep through the night, maybe a little more restless than normal, but far better than it had been.  But, at the same time I have started to feel nearly unbearably tired in the day - kind of like the way one feels after taking a nice dose of NyQuil.  I think that's from the Follistim.

I have had some pretty severe headaches, although none in the last couple of days (knock on wood).  I think the reduction in my Lupron dose is helping that and the sleeping.  My muscles were so tight in the back of my neck and head that I couldn't drop my chin to my chest (I am usually quite flexible) and I could just feel this direct line from the top of my spine straight over my head and into my headache.  Not pleasant.

My lower back started hurting at this same time, right about where ovaries would be.  This is familiar because it's how I felt toward the end of my IUI cycles when I had 2 or 3 big ol' Follicles going.  I'm a little scared, cause it's still pretty early in the IVF cycle, so it will likely get worse.  And that makes sense, cause IUI = 2-3 follies and IVF = 10-20 follies.  Anyhow, the extreme fatigue may be directly a side effect of the stims, it may be just because the lack of sleep is finally really catching up with me, and it may be because my body is working really really hard right now.  I was definitely really tired during IUI cycles as well.  My guess is a good combination of those 3 things.  Yesterday I couldn't really stay awake during the day.  Slept whenever I could.  Also, I went out to dinner in my pajamas.

What else?  My stomach is sore and tender.  Like you might imagine a stomach would feel after having 3 needles stuck in it a night.  I went and bought two pairs of super soft pajama bottoms at Old Navy yesterday because when I'm home I can't wait to get the pressure off my belly and put those on.  (Hence the wearing them to dinner).

The cat is a brat and likes to walk on my stomach somehow now more than ever.  But she's also totally adorable and fell asleep with me on the couch yesterday - curled up on my chest.

Emotionally I'm feeling OK.  I'm moody, for sure.  More prone to tears and more prone to giggles than I have been in awhile.  I also feel like I'm always seeking sympathy.  Last night I asked Ian, "What if YOU were the one who had to do all the injections and I wasn't?" and he said, "I would probably also plow forward and do them and I would probably also complain about it a lot."   He told me that I am brave, and I like that.  Although I don't feel like I have any other options, really, so it doesn't feel quite like bravery.  But anyhow, I do see the hormones affecting my mood stability, but so far it hasn't been overwhelming and I've been able to maintain sanity and perspective.

I feel like there are two big unknowns right now and I can't really do anything but wait for them to both happen and see how it goes, but for a planner like me, it's hard!  I wish I could put everything in my calender!
1. We don't know when my retrieval or transfer will be.  We don't even know for sure that there will be a retrieval and transfer.  But I get more information every couple of days and all I can do is wait.  Hard to plan anything, work or lifewise, without knowing.
2.  We don't know when my friends' baby will be born.  Which, I can assure you (and myself), is harder for them than for me!  But mostly, I so bad want to be able to be there, but it could end up being retrieval or transfer day.  It will be complicated with my meds and my appointments (and more work being missed).  It would be so awesome if I could plan it out and prepare to make sure it was going to work, but hey - turns out life doesn't really like to be planned all the time.  So, I have just been working on coming to peace with knowing that I will be there when and for however long I possibly can be and hoping it will be just perfect timing and that they will still love me no matter what!

Some Photographic Storytelling:

These are my three different needles all ready to be injected the first night that I had to do three different ones.  So, the littlest one with the orange top is the Lupron that I've been doing for weeks now.  It hurts a little bit, but is tiny and SO fast especially now that the dose is so low and so there is so little liquid going in.  The spreading rash I used to get from it is tiny and far less stingy than it was before. The middle one - the bigger syringe - is the Menopur.  It is 1 cc of liquid that was mixed with 2 vials of powder, but now is mixed with just 1.  The needle is thicker and bigger and it's so much more liquid to go in, so it takes much longer.  This is the one I hate because it stings so much and it feels like it takes forever.  From the second I start pushing the plunger until it's done it is ouchie mcouchpants all the way.   The bottom thing is my Follistim pen.  It has a tiny needle at the end and the meds in a cartridge inside.  I dial the dose with that knob thing and it does most of the work for me.  This one I usually don't even feel it going in.  It's the best!  Well, not the best ever, but the best ever of needles one might have to stick in their tender belly flesh.  I almost didn't believe any liquid was going in at first and I described it as sticking a needle into a stick of room temperature butter, it is just such a smooth entrance.

We had a wedding to attend on Saturday and I wasn't sure what I was going to do, since it was my second night of doing all 3 injections at 10pm.  I decided that I would bring everything with me so that if I didn't feel like rushing out of the door at 9:30 to be home on time, I wouldn't have to.  When 9:30 came around we were still waiting for another friend to do an awesome arial performance and the dancing and photo booth hadn't even started.  I was freaking out about where I could do this, because there was only a single ladies toilet and I didn't want to hole up in there for too long, and since I was wearing a dress I'd have to entirely lift to show my belly, hiding in a corner wasn't a good enough option.  But, I found someone who worked for the caterer, who found someone who worked for the venue, who gave me access to a back office that had a couch and a door with a lock.  Anyhow, I found a place, watched the performance, and went to shoot up.  Our friend, who is a doctor, was keen to "help" but was not entirely sober.  Nor was I.  Ian guarded the door.  And I used this pile of wedding chairs as a staging area.  Unfortunately stuff kept falling into the chair pile, and the friend kept having to dig it all out.  Also, I somehow managed to poke myself in the finger with one of the needles and start bleeding.  Am hoping I don't end up with finger babies due to tiny drops of meds getting in there.  All in all we were probably hiding in that room for upwards of 20 minutes, but we got it done and it was kind of funny.  We only stuck around another 30 minutes or so after before I was exhausted and needed to go home, but I'm glad that I had given myself the option to stay a little longer and leave when I wanted to.  

This is Tom, the AMIGOS study coordinator, showing me my giant binder.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but it's like 4 inches thick and is all my paperwork from my 4 IUI cycles with the study.  Tom didn't know he was in the photo.  But he was.  

Here's my belly last night about 30 minutes after my injections.  The picture doesn't really do it justice, cause nothing shows up as brightly as it does in real life, but you can sort of see some of the bruising, redness, bumps and pokes from 4 days worth of injections.  

Locations I have been in while injecting myself:
My parents' flat
An airplane
My house
The bowling alley
RF-80 (wedding)


Friday, September 21, 2012


Every time I get my blood drawn, I think of David Allen Grier screaming, "ESTRADIOL!!"  

Confession: Much to the chagrin of my hater of a husband, I love the Adam Carolla show. and I loved Loveline when Adam Carolla was on it (the radio show, in particular) and every single time DAG comes on and does this, it has me in tears laughing like no other comedy bit I can think of.

So, every time a nurse, tech or doctor starts talking about my estradiol levels, I think of this and feel a little bit happy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


You know what's not the most fun?  This combination:

* Cramps without Ibuprofin
* Insomnia without Benedryl (or other sleep aid)

But, I'm trying to be really perfect and not take any of the things they told me I'm not allowed to take.  If this gets fucked up, I don't want it to be my fault, ya know? 

On the plus side:
* Cramps (and all that goes along with cramps) came as expected based on the manipulation we did of my body by having me take 14 days worth of birth control pills and then stop taking them.  So far, so good.
* Baseline appointment tomorrow (blood draw and ultrasound).  Let's get this party started!  Also, it turns out that I had forgotten how much more pleasant my period is when I'm on birth control.  I'm crampy, but it's NOTHING compared to the last 3+ years of non-birth control period cramps.  
* All over the world people that I love are in various stages of growing tiny humans inside of them.  I feel like this is supposed to bother me, but am glad it doesn't.  Not that it doesn't hurt a little bit sometimes.  BUT BUT BUT it still falls solidly in this "on the plus side" list.
* One of these tiny humans - well, I will hopefully be there when he is born.  How amazing is that??? 
* My brother-in-law is coming to visit tonight.
* We have a fun wedding to go to on Saturday and I am taking the day off work. 
* I won money for sucking at bowling (last place in the league boobie prize, baby, yeah!!!)
* I am getting better at the injections.  Faster, less cautious, less afraid.  This makes me feel less confined to my house for doing them - less like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight.  I should be adding two more starting tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. 
* I am getting better at meditating.  I bought this because apparently I am turning into a hippie (aka am willing to try anything at this point).  For others who are in the process of infertility treatments, you can use the code IVF35 to get a pretty good discount. For me, I've found that it provides the same thing acupuncture was providing - peace, restfulness, stress relief etc.  So, it is a good substitute because the time and money commitment of acupuncture became too much for me (causing more stress than it relieved). 
* I joined the gym and took a zumba class, which was hilarious.  #notcoordinated  Going to try really hard to get back in fighting shape and not let the side effects of the meds and the depression from the treatments continue to make me doughy and uncomfortable in my skin. 
* I am generally in good spirits in spite of how awful this is.  I am lucky in so many ways, and I know it. 
* People have reached out to me in ways that feel really good.  Knowing that strangers and friends of friends have found this blog and found something in it worth reading and been inspired to share their stories with me, well, that's just amazing.  And knowing that my friends and family are rooting for me, paying attention, and worrying with me does truly make me lighter.

Let's save the bad stuff for another day, shall we?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Hey y'all.  This is my IVF Cycle Calendar.  For those who really like to follow along at home.  It doesn't include my post-transfer care (progesterone, blood tests etc) and it doesn't include the oral medication that they'll tell me when to start taking as they monitor.  I will add those things in by hand to my printed version, to make it easier for me to keep track.  In the meantime, this does give a sense of the timing of everything and what a cycle sort of looks like.

Sorry it runs off the page a little bit (at least if you aren't reading the blog in a reader, but on blogger directly).  It just is the only way to make it big enough to be readable.

Friday, September 14, 2012

On the Side

Well, my dreams of making it through this side effect free have been dashed.  In fact, the dreams have been dashed by...well...dreams.  Yeah, so the Lupron.  Is giving me insane dreams.

I thought I had jetlag, since I traveled back from Ohio, arriving late Tuesday night.  It would have made sense that I was tired early in the evening and waking up early in the morning given the travel and time difference.  And the anxiety, I attributed that to nerves before an important interview (that was on Wednesday) + travel + fear of starting my meds.  

When I woke up, again, this morning at like 4 am with strange dreams, a wide-awake brain, and an anxious stomach  I decided to do some research and it didn't take long to realize that what I am experiencing is a classic set of Lupron side effects.  Anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness, mood changes.  That makes more sense than jetlag, especially since I've been back for as long as I was away.  It's not like I traveled across the world or anything.

Other things I am feeling (that could be from Lupron or birth control pills):
* extremely sore boobs
* sore lower back - sort of generally achey
* weird sort of soreness/pulling sensation in lower belly 

The injections themselves aren't that bad, I guess.  I don't know.   Each time I have to sit there with the needle all ready and my stomach all alcohol swabbed and count "1,2,3" like 10 times before I can bring myself to actually do it.  It's just so anti-instinctual to stick myself with a needle, no matter how small it is.  It doesn't hurt once it is in, or really going in.  It does, however, sting afterwards for like 30 minutes and I get this mini-rash right around the injection site, which I am guessing is my body reacting to the medication itself as it starts to spread out.  But it could be worse.  And I feel like complaining about this right now is only bringing on a sense of impending dread and doom for when I have to add two more injections a night in a week or so.   

I gave myself an injection on an airplane, and something about that hit me hard and I just couldn't stop tears from coming and coming.  I had to leave an event last night, sneaking out of a quiet theater before it was over, in order to be home on time to do my injection.  I was sad to not hang out with my friends after the event and to not get to congratulate my friend who was part of the event.  

Basically, I don't want to be a whiner, but here I am whining.  This isn't that fun.  It's sure to get worse before it gets better.  Yet, I still don't feel like I *really* have a choice.  I have no doubts.  This is something I have to do.  The alternatives do not yet feel like viable acceptable alternatives.  So I'll keep on jabbing.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Drug Roll Call

Yesterday Ian and I attended our IVF Injection Class and I feel a lot more informed about all the different things I'll be ingesting in various ways over the next months.   So, here's everything, broken down into the who, what, where, when, why and how.

The first thing I had to take was this course of antibiotics, called a Z-Pak.  Ian also had to take it.  I'm still not 100% sure why, but my understanding is that it will kill off a variety of infections in either of us that could potentially prevent implantation.  

On day 2 of my cycle I started taking these here birth control pills.  Oh irony.  This is the only thing I am currently taking and I will take 14 days worth of active pills.  A lot of people (myself included) are initially confused about the use of hormonal birth control during IVF, but it does actually make sense, I swear.  They just want to have control of my cycle timing in terms of when to start all the other meds I'll be on.  It also helps prevent ovarian cysts that would make us have to cancel the cycle.

Next we have the Leuprorelin.  The brand name normally associated with this drug is Lupron, but what I have isn't brand name, although I generally still refer to it as Lupron.  Anyhow.  I start the Lupron on Monday and take 10 units every night for 11 nights after which, if all goes well at my baseline appointment, I'll switch to 5 units a night.  Lupron is measured in Units, like insulin (as opposed to ml or IE (international units), which other injections are measured in), so I use insulin needles to inject it.  It has to stay in the refrigerator, so this is the one that I'm carrying onto the plane with cold packs.  Lupron is used off-label for IVF and is generally used in cancer patients.  Its use in my treatment, though, is to prevent ovulation before we want it.  We are trying to force my ovarian follicles to grow and grow and grow in order to mature 10-20 eggs, as opposed to the normal 1 egg.  We don't want any of them to pop out of my ovaries.  We want to go in and get 'em when they are all cooked!  So Lupron helps with that.  

After 11 nights of Lupron, I go in for a baseline appointment where they will check my levels of Estradiol in my blood and do an ultrasound.  If everything looks like they want it to look, that night I will change my Lupron dose from 10 units to 5 units and I will add two more injections, both of which stimulate my follicles to encourage them to continue to grow.  The aptly named Follistim that you see here is literally a man-made version of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) - the same that my body naturally produces.  So, I use the pen device to inject myself with this one.  150 International Units per evening.  Each cartridge contains 300 IEs, so I can use it for 2 nights.  Those little plastic things with the pink caps are needles.  So those go in the pen, the cartridge of meds goes in the pen, the dose is "dialed" into the pen and I needle it up.  As a true lover of ink pens, I feel sad about the pen that contains needles instead of ink. 

The same night that I begin the Follistim and reduce my dose of Lupron, I also start Menopur at 150 IUs a night.  Menopur is FSH  (like Follistim) and also Luteinizing Hormone (LH).This one works differently from the others (of course).  I have to mix 1/2 a vial of liquid with two separate vials of the hormone (which is a dissolving pill like thing in its vial) in order to get my full dose.  

So, for those keeping track at home, at this point I'll be doing 3 different injections done 3 different ways with 3 different sorts of needles each night.  I'll do that for at least a week, during which I'll have a blood draw and ultrasound every couple of days.  After a week, that may change to every day.  At this point they are monitoring everything very carefully to decide when to schedule my retrieval and transfer.  

At some point they'll tell me to stop taking each of the above drugs, I presume.  They may also tell me to take either of these drugs, which I know nothing about how/why/when (maybe it's even later - after embryo transfer?  they told us to not worry about these ones, cause they'd let us know when we needed 'em).

When they decide that things are looking good, and it's time to move forward, they will give me a very very precise time to take this Novarel, which is a brand of hCG.  hCG is the same thing I was injecting during my IUI cycles to trigger ovulation, so it's the only one I've actually used before.  It is measured in mL and has to be mixed similarly to the Menopur.  It's the same hormone our bodies produce when we are pregnant that is being measured in pregnancy tests.  In this case, we need to be quite precise with the timing, because we want the hormone to finalize maturation of the eggs in the follicles in the ovaries, but we don't want them to actually be released (no ovulation).  So, I'll give myself this injection at whatever time they tell me to on whatever night they tell me to, and exactly 36 hours later I'll go in for my retrieval.

The retrieval is done under IV twilight anesthesia. . They use a needle through the vagina to empty the follicles (which hopefully all have amazing healthy beautiful eggs).  Don't really want to think that much more about that.  It should be sometime in the first week of Octoberish.  Ian "produces" and embryos are (hopefully) created.

Three days later I take a Valium and head back in for the transfer, when they will put 2-3 embryos back in my uterus in hopes that they will implant and become a viable pregnancy.   They will freeze any good looking leftovers.

Starting sometime soon after that, I will, for several weeks, insert this progesterone gel, Crinone, every morning.  I will let you use your imagination on that one, but if you are a lady who has had a yeast infection, it'll be a lot like that.  This is to help the uterine lining and aid in implantation.  Often a progesterone injection is used, and this is the shot that people dread most.  It is a much much larger needle than all the others, and is given in the butt.  It is pretty painful, apparently, and would have to be done every day for weeks.  I asked about this gel because I had read about it somewhere, and the doctor was happy to prescribe it instead.  Apparently, in fresh cycles, it yields the same results.  It is messier.  But ya know... fewer painful shots FTW.  If I ever end up doing a frozen cycle, I will use the progesterone shot, because for some reason with frozen embryos, the shot yields better results than the gel.   In our class yesterday Ian and I learned how to do the shot just in case.  We got to use a fake butt to practice.  I am kind of regretting not taking a photo of it.  It was a gelatinous meat cutlet like thing in a carrying case.

Two weeks later I take a pregnancy test.  If it's positive I take another one a couple of days later and make sure levels are going up, not down.  Two weeks after that I have an ultrasound.

If not, I decide if I want to do it all over again.   

Ian is already calling my stomach my pincushion. 

And I'm off tonight to Ohio to see important people.  Especially these ones.  Am trying my darndest to make them another cousin!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Yours and Mine

The big ol' box of drugs arrived this morning.  Ian was trapped at home, unable to even get in the shower, waiting for it to show up because Fed-Ex could not leave it without a signature and some of the meds have to be refrigerated.  Luckily it showed up on the early side of the relatively small delivery window.

I really wanted to see everything right away for some reason, so I asked Ian to send me a picture.  He sent me an email titled "Yours and Mine" with two photos attached.  You can probably guess which is which.

So, that's what one cycle of IVF drugs looks like (minus the birth control pills and the Z-pak that I already had from my regular pharmacy).  I'll do a med by med inventory when I have time and actually know what they all do!