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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meds, meds, and MORE meds

We met with my personal nurse who is my "go to" nurse through this entire process on Monday. This was the day we were going to be told about all our meds, learn how to inject, ingest, etc. the meds, and when to take said meds. And let me just say...I've never seen so many meds one person has to take in a 2-3 week period of time. But hey, it's worth it, right?

So, I continue to take my birth control pill until Nov 12th. However, I will start an injection called Lupron on Nov 7th while still on the birth control. This is one of the small needles that will be injected into the stomach area. No biggie, right? I guess we'll see! I'll have an ultrasound on Nov 14th to see how everything looks, and start my other 2 injections on Nov 16th. So, at this point, I'll be doing 3 injections a night (Lupron, Gonal-F, and Low dose hCG), each of which are injected in the stomach area. I hope after the first few, it will be like second nature:) Also while doing these injections, I will be on Doxycycline (antibiotic-to keep me as healthy as possible) and Aspirin.
The following video is an example of several injections I will do in the stomach area.
While on these meds, I will have appointments for blood work and ultrasounds every couple of days to monitor the follicles and measure their growth. They will look for the follicles to grow to be around 18-21 mm in diameter before deciding when the egg retrieval will be. The goal of all these injections is to stimulate the follicles enough so that the doctor can retrieve a good number to be fertilized.

Now, this is just an estimate, but retrieval could be around Nov 27th. I will get some good 'ol anesthesia   during the retrieval because they use a small needle to pierce the ovaries and suck the eggs out. I can't imagine being awake for that. OUCH! The big OUCH, however, will be the lovely Progesterone shot (in oil) I will be getting each morning every day after the retrieval. For those of you who don't know, your body naturally produces Progesterone after ovulating, but the more you have the better. You need Progesterone for implantation to be successful. The bad part is that this needle is LONG and BIG and it's oil going in which is thicker than other solutions. goes in your backside. I'm sure Jason will enjoy giving those!
Here is an example of what the Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shot looks like...
While taking the Progesterone shots daily, I will also have an estrogen patch I will wear (changing out every other day). Lastly, the embryologist will decide whether to transfer the embryos back to the uterus either 3 days after retrieval or 5 days after. Most of the time, if you have a good number of embryos, they will wait until day 5. The reason is because if the embryos can grow well and cells are dividing well in the lab by day 5, they have a really good chance of becoming a successful pregnancy. Day 3 transfers are usually done when someone doesn't have a ton of embryos and they don't want to wait two extra days incase some of those don't make it to day 5.

The fun part! On the day of the transfer, I get to take a Valium to relax my body (mostly my uterus so it doesn't contract and cause problems after the transfer). So, I'll definitely be taking a few days off work to just chill and let that (those) embryos implant into the endometrium lining. God willing, we will have a baby (babies) in Sept of 2013.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. We covet all of the sweet messages and notes. You guys mean more to us than you'll know! We love you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blood work, U/ step, IVF Orientation

Friday, I took off work and went to PREG for an appt to take more blood and do an initial ultrasound. Jason went with me because he had to get some blood work done as well (the only time he has to be stuck-lucky him). I finally met the nurse I will be working closely with through the process, and I just love her already. She is just very sweet, compassionate, caring, and knows how to answer all my questions in just the right way! Having a good nurse/doctor makes this experience much easier!

During my ultrasound, she looked at my endometrium and both ovaries to see how many follicles I was producing. Obviously, since I'm on birth control right now my endometrium lining was thin (as it should be) but once I start taking some of the meds, it will thicken up and be ready for implantation. She saw 10-12 follicles on each side, so once I'm on the meds, hopefully I'll have good numbers of follicles to grow nice and big!

The next step happens tomorrow. We have another appointment (orientation) to meet with our nurse and discuss the IVF process and how to give all the meds. She will teach us how to mix all the medicines together, load them into the syringes, and inject myself with them. Some will be medicines I have to mix a powder substance with water, while other meds are already mixed and ready to go in a "pen" like contraption that you twist a certain many times for the correct dosage. I will be doing 3 injections a day for a good 10-14 days to stimulate the ovaries. These will be done at night at a certain hour. I'm hoping after I do the first few, it will be easy. I've watched lots of youtube videos of women giving themselves the injections and they say it's not really as bad as it seems. I have no problem with needles so I think I'll be fine:)
 I think I can, I think I can!
Mixing meds/withdrawing meds

I'm sure I've already told you all this, but November 19th is the first day of injections. We are just continuing to pray the Lord will grant us this desire to have a baby (babies??) and that we can use this experience (successful or not) to help others dealing with infertility. It can be a lonely road by yourself, but reaching out to others in your position can be comforting. I hope I can be someone others look to for advice, information, and encouragement! It's been wonderful to have that in my position! I'll let you guys know how tomorrow goes. I know we're going to learn lots of information at one time. Hopefully, I'll remember everything when next month rolls around!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IVF Seminar and what's next...

Jason and I went to PREG's IVF Seminar last Thursday night in Greenville, and my doctor, Dr. John Payne, was the presenter for the evening. PREG puts on these seminars once a month, FOR FREE, you a $250 credit for treatment through them. What a deal! The seminar is for anyone. You might be thinking about IVF or just want more information. All are welcome. Just go to and register.

Most of the information I felt I already knew, but it was nice for my mom, Jason, and myself to all be in the same room, hearing the same information. Most of the time it's me learning the info and having to relay it to them. So that was nice:) To start, general information was given about what needs to happen for women to get pregnant, lots of stats about pregnancy ratings and the way the female's age factors into the percentages. Then, other factors were discussed including problems women have, problems men have, and what can be done to work around these issues.

Lastly, IVF was discussed in detail and success rates were shown for the different age brackets. For those less than 35, there is a 60% chance of pregnancy when 2 embryos are transferred, 30% chance of twins, and less than 10% chance of triplets. This is compared to a 5% chance each month of pregnancy for couples who experience infertility. That's a huge increase and we are hoping we fall into the majority.

So, where am I right now in the process? Well, I currently started my new cycle and I'm required to take birth control until the start date for my injections. WHAT, you might ask? Aren't you trying to get pregnant? HA! I asked the same thing. Basically, our doctors have an injection start date each month and you must take birth control (not get pregnant on your own) until it's time for you to start those injections. This way, the doctors know you are not/have not ovulated. They are controlling your cycle so that when you start injections, that medication will tell your body what to do, and hopefully start producing lots of follicles with soon to be mature eggs inside.

So, I start my BC tomorrow and will be on that until November 17th which is my injection start date. I will do injections for 10-14 days while monitored by ultrasounds often (every couple days). The doctors keep close watch so if needed, they can change up the medication if need be. After that, they wills schedule the egg retrieval day where they will retrieve all the follicles (hoping for an egg in each one), get a sperm sample from my husband, and fertilize the eggs that day. They will watch them for 3-5 days and once they are ready to go back in, the doctors will find the best 2 (God willing there are 2 or more) and transfer them back to my uterus. NOW, their only job will be to implant.

It's going to be a crazy time, but I feel completely ready, relaxed, and pray the Lord will keep me feeling that way. We covet your prayers and hope to be pregnant by the end of the year!