Day 9

We’re getting the hang of this. I still feel like a human pin cushion, but it is getting easier. My strategy is: do it quickly. Menapur burns going in so my original plan was to take it very slowly…last night I switched things up and I was all about speed. I had V push it in quickly while I grimaced.

Much better, much easier. It hurt, but it was over sooner.

Today I go in for another routine ultrasound and blood work to find out how my follies are growing. I feel like the finish line is right around the corner. Then I’ll need to conjure up all the faith, hope and strength I have in me to believe, expect, and plan for success.

IVF has definitely taught me that I am stronger than I thought I was. It’s also taught me to surrender, trust the process, and be patient with my body.

Current symptoms: I’m feeling bloated, fatigued, muscle aches…

IVF – Week 1 Update

My first week of IVF has been quite a journey. From understanding the medications and how they’re administered, to adjusting to my body feeling different, to the many clinic appointments. IVF is not only expensive financially, but the emotions involved are significant.
Never have a felt a stronger mix of hope and fear. I hope this works. I visualize that positive pregnancy test every day. But then the fear creeps in. What if it doesn’t work? What if all the money, and injections, and office visits were all in vain?

This IVF process is my last chance to be a biological mother and it freaks me out. A dream I’ve had my entire life all rests on how my body responds over the next few days. Yes I’m hopeful and optimistic…but beneath it all is a panic – I want this so badly and I don’t know how to handle this not working.

What I’ve learned so far is to take this process one step at a time. Today I need to take 3 medications. Fortunately two of them (Gonal F and Menopur) can be mixed so I only need two shots. The 3rd medication, Cetrotide, is practically painlesss going in, but it burns and stings for about 30mins after, but it doesn’t hurt going in – so I count that as a win.

Tomorrow I’ll deal with tomorrow.

Today, I’ll take things as they come, and I’ll do my best to focus on the positive, count the wins, and celebrate how fortunate I am to have this opportunity.

My Protocol:

It was just a week ago the I had my first IVF injection. My protocol called for two medications: Menopur and Gonal F. Fortunately, they can be mixed so I only have to take one shot. Then a few days later, my protocol changed to an increased dosage of Gonal F and the introduction of another injection Cebtrotide.

The Meds: Menopur stings going in, making it really unpleasant. The Centritide doesn’t hurt going in, but once it’s done, the skin burns and is really irritated for around 30 minutes.

Monitoring: every other day I have to go in for monitoring (which includes blood work and a vaginal ultrasound). 

The meds

My IVF meds arrived today. Wow, it’s getting real. I felt pretty overwhelmed when saw the box…it’s big. There are a lot of medications and a lot of needles…big needles. On one hand, the arrival of the meds means I’m getting closer to my dream of having a baby. But on the other hand, there’s a sense of panic for what lies ahead.

I want to do this…I can do this…I’m tough enough… but it’s still pretty scary and intimidating.

The meds arrived today and things for really real.

My Saline Infused Ultrasound Fail

Today was supposed to be my SIS (Saline Infused Ultrasound). It’s a simple procedure where the doctor inserts a catheter into the uterus and fills the uterus with Saline. They also do a vaginal ultrasound at the same time so they can take a look at the uterus to check for polyps or fibroids or anything that could cause a fertility issue. The procedure should take just a few minutes and it’s relatively painless with the exception of some cramping.

That was not the case with me. The doc couldn’t get the catheter to stay in. So after several very painful attempts, he determined that it simply wasn’t working. Instead, I’ll have to do a hysteriscopy (a more invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia.

Times like this I try to contour up the faith that I have. Here I was anticipating the meds being the hardest part, but I can’t even get to that phase without experiencing these setbacks along the way.

“Trust the process, things are unfolding exactly as they need to to ensure my success…”is the mantra I repeat over and over again.

So for now I wait for the surgical center to contact me and schedule my hysteroscopy.

The journey continues… 

The Journey BeginsĀ 

Last week I went in to my fertility clinic to do a baseline ultrasound and blood work. Having done six IUIs previously this was a pretty routine for me so I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary.

I did my blood work, went to the examination room, plopped myself on the table and waited. The second my doctor walked in I new something was different.

He took a deep sigh, touched my arm and said, “you’ve done 6 IUIs now, 5 of which were well timed with the perfect follicle size and a great sperm count, and we haven’t been successful. It’s time to explore other methods. We need to talk about IVF”.

IVF – the three letters I’d been dreading. Immediately I saw an image of needles, and me being wheeled out of a room. IVF was not my birth plan, but he was right, it was something I needed to really think about and consider.

I went home, and started birth control (as part of the IVF protocol). I then started watching videos on the process, reading up on adoption as an alternative, and with my wife, we weighed the pros and cons of both options and reviewed our family finances. By the end of that weekend our decision was made. We set another appointment to see the doctor, and just a few days later, there we were in his office sitting across from him at his desk.

“We’ve made a decision,” I said, “IVF. Let’s do this”. We then spent the rest of the appointment asking questions about procedures, medications, stats, and timelines, and by the end of that session I felt nervous, excited, anxious, scared…but well informed and ready to begin.