First shot: Saturday, 21 NOV 2015 I took my last BCP (Birth Control Pill) and began my 0530 shot called Lupron. The Lupron basically stops your body from ovulating on your own so that the mature eggs don’t release before the doctor has a chance to the retrieval. It’s a drug that I was on during my last two cycles of Super Ovulation, so at least we were used to it. Ryan set an alarm and gave me my shot every single morning. 🙂 This would continue every morning until the day of my trigger shot.
Last day of down-reg and first day of Lupron!
Morning Lupron Shots
First IVF Appt: Tuesday, 24 NOV 2015 We counted down to this day for over 6 weeks and were so excited to go in for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. However, while everything looked good to proceed, we had to wait a few days because my body wasn’t quite ready to begin the stimulation drugs. With IVF, everything has to be absolutely perfect to go forward to each next step (you are putting thousands of $$ into this after all). We left the appointment extremely disappointed and felt like it wasn’t the best way to begin the cycle of positivity, but by the end of the day I got the call that we could begin the stimulation drugs in 2 days…on Thanksgiving.
Day 1: Thursday, 26 NOV 2015 Happy Thanksgiving!!! We were so excited to get started on the rest of our shots (FINALLY!!!!) and it couldn’t have worked out any better to begin them on Thanksgiving. No doubt about what we were thankful for. I started off on 250 IU’s of Follistim (again, a drug I was familiar with from my 3 Super Ovulation cycles) and 1 vial of the Menopur (a new drug). The Menopur required mixing right before giving the shot (daily at 6pm on the dot) so Ryan handled all of that while I did the “easy” Follistim. 🙂 They definitely burned a little, especially the Menopur, but they were subcutaneous rather than intramuscular so not too bad.
Stimming Day 1 – Thanksgiving
My nurse shot prepping the Menopur
Menopur shot prepping
Day 2: Friday, 27 NOV 2015 So far so good and still not a whole lot of symptoms (except for the headaches and hot flashes) and I couldn’t take anything but small doses of Tylenol as NSAIDS aren’t good for the eggs and can make you ovulate prematurely as well. (Follistim 250/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 2
Day 3: Saturday, 28 NOV 2015 Shots were still going well and the headaches were starting to dwindle. No real side effects except a few hot flashes. I was actually feeling scared and anxious that I wasn’t feeling any pain or discomfort. Was everything working?? This road can feel so overwhelming and you can’t help but to worry about every little thing. Thankfully, Ryan was there to remind me to “Just Be Held” by God and give Him control. That always seemed to calm me down. 🙂 (Follistim 250/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 3
Day 4: Sunday, 29 NOV 2015 Still feeling good and positive, although getting more and more nervous for my first appointment in the morning! Since I wasn’t feeling any pain, was everything working?? (Follistim 250/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 4
Day 5: Monday, 30 NOV 2015 (Ultrasound/Bloodwork) Definitely started to feel a little bit of pain and cramping my ovaries being pushed. First progress ultrasound scan and bloodwork. The goal is to have as many follicles as possible while balancing your hormones and staying healthy/not overstimulating. Originally Dr. Blohm had told us he wanted close to 20 for retrieval so we had the odds in our favor for a good amount of mature eggs that were able to be fertilized and make it to the transfer back into my body and/or cryopreservation (freezing for later attempts and/or siblings). Left Ovary: 10, 9, 9, 8, 5 – Right Ovary: 10, 10, 9, 9, 8 From everything I was told, this really disappointed me. I was hoping for at least 10 on each side! This was only 10 total…half of the amount that we should have had. My doctor assured me that it while it wasn’t perfect, it was still good numbers and that he could work with these. Quality trumps quantity after all. Again, I left in tears, but a few of my friends through my IVF support group made me feel TONS better. While some had had better numbers, I was doing very well. However, we did up my drugs a bit to push my follicles to a little more growth. (Follistim 300/Menopur 1 Vial)
Good Numbers for Day 5
Stimming Day 5
Day 6: Tuesday, 01 DEC 2015 Back to regular stimulation and definitely feeling the cramping and some pain from all of the drugs. Very normal for an IVF cycle, but nothing I couldn’t handle. It was also Yawkey’s birthday!!! Hopefully it’s his last as an only child 😉 (Follistim 300/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 6
Follistim Shots – One of my 2 daily night shots
Day 7: Wednesday, 02 DEC 2015 Still sore and had another headache, but just felt like pressure (kinda like a sinus headache but all over). I allowed myself to take a little bit of tylenol and a half a cup of coffee to knock out the headache since i’d given up caffeine. (Follistim 300/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 7
Yawkey was very supportive and protective
Day 8: Thursday, 03 DEC 2015 (Ultrasound/Bloodwork) Was REALLY feeling the discomfort of the shots now!!! However, we were getting really close by our appointment that morning. Left: 18,17,16,16,16,14 and Right: 18,17,16,16,15,14. Doc asked us to come back the next day to see if we were ready to rock and roll. We were just getting more and more excited to be getting close to the important parts of the cycle: Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer! (Follistim 300/Menopur 1 Vial)
Stimming Day 8
Day 9: Friday, 04 DEC 2015 (Ultrasound Bloodwork) Dr. Blohm said everything looked great!!! I was still a little nervous that I didn’t have more follicles and that some were still on the smaller side. He reassured us that some of the smaller follicles can end up having better quality eggs that are more mature in them so I felt a lot better about that. He also said my uterus was PERFECT and ready for us “to place two beautiful embryos in here and be good to go!” Pending the results of my blood-work down in the lab after my appointment, we were ready to rock and roll! We left with all of our instructions to do one final shot of Follistim that night at our regularly scheduled time (1800 hours or 6pm) and then to “trigger” at 2000 hours or 8pm with the HCG shot intramuscularly. We were ready for the egg retrieval come Sunday morning at 0800! (Follistim 300)
Stimming Day 9
Trigger and Retrieval Instructions!!!
Trigger Shot Time
My shot administrator 🙂
Shots by a tree