I’ve had a lot of questions about my IVF protocol and medications, so I wanted to share what it involves for me on a daily basis. Of course, keep in mind that everyone’s medications and response will be different.
Last week we officially started our IVF cycle. On Thursday, T and I spent about half the day at the clinic where we learned how to do all of my various injections, we met with the financial office and handed over a large chunk of money, I had my baseline ultrasound (with that wand) and bloodwork, and, because of medical history and diabetes, we met with the anesthesiologist to discuss my medical history and my medications and how those will be adjusted for my egg retrieval to make sure that my blood sugar doesn’t drop too low while I’m under anesthesia.
Now, even though I’m quite used to doing my own subcutaneous injections with insulin, all of these medications for IVF are a different animal entirely. I have a detailed instruction sheet for each medication, showing me how to reconstitute/mix each one, how to make sure I have the proper dose, and how to inject myself. I never thought I’d feel lucky that I’ve had to inject myself so many times in the past because of my diabetes, but for once I am! The hardest part about giving yourself an injection is getting up the nerve to just stick yourself already. And even though I still have to count to 3 before I do each injection, I’m an old hat at this and I think it’s made the medication part of IVF much easier on me. But I have to admit my stomach still looks like I’ve been using it as a pincushion and I have sworn like a sailor exclaimed out loud a couple of times while injecting myself. And, of course, each medication is completely different, so I still thank my stars for those detailed instructions every single day.
Last Friday, I began stimulation of my ovaries with 300 units of Gonal F and 150 units of Menopur (2 vials) every evening. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week I went in for an ultrasound and bloodwork to monitor my progress. On Monday, my doctor saw 4 or 5 follicles on my left ovary and 6 or 7 on my right. They were still pretty small, so no measurements were taken.
On Wednesday, I had 5 follicles ranging from 7 to 10mm on my left ovary and 12 ranging from 10 to 11mm on my right ovary. Because my stimulation was coming along swimmingly, I also began injections of Cetrotide on Wednesday morning. I do this injection every morning to ensure that I don’t ovulate before my egg retrieval.
Today the count was pretty much the same, only my follicles ranged from 11 to 16mm, but I actually lost count as all of those numbers were flying around! I’m trying not to focus too much on how many follicles I have and how large they are because I understand that it could change before my retrieval, some of the follicles could be empty, and some of the eggs could be unusable. We’re just hoping for a few really outstanding eggs, being the overachievers that we are.
Every afternoon after an appointment, I call in to my doctor’s office to get my instructions for the next few days. The nurses are great about telling me exactly what and when I need to do. Luckily, my dosages haven’t changed much, but I still write down everything and enter into my calendar with alarms to remind me when to do my injections and the dosage. Let’s face it, if I didn’t write it all down it would be gone from my swiss cheese brain within 5 minutes.
Tomorrow (Saturday) morning, I’ll go in for what will probably be my last monitoring appointment and we’ll find out whether our egg retrieval will be on Monday or Tuesday.
Next week, I’ll continue this process and walk you through exactly what happens to me before and after the egg retrieval. In the meantime, think big, happy, healthy egg thoughts for me!