7th Day Results

We received the call around 9 in the morning on Wednesday, stating that the 6th embryo in culture did not make it. Although I was a bit disappointed, I am very happy with the results of the stimulation. Out of the 10 matured embryos, 5 out of the 10 embryos were biopsied and cryopreserved (frozen). Now we wait… 2 to 3 weeks for the results of the biopsy and for further information on transfer, ahhhhhhhh.

Day 6 Update

Today, we received an update of the progress of our embryos. As far as embryo development as of Friday we had 8, 4 very strong, 2 good, and 2 weak. At 7:30 this morning, I received a call canceling our potential fresh transfer. Around 11, I received a voice mail message stating that we had 5 successful embryo biopsies and  cryopreservation. We have a 6th embryo in culture for an additional 24 hours. Tomorrow, we will receive the final count!!!

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This picture was taken in the lobby of the doctor’s office the day of retrieval.

Retrieval

Retrieval Day is HERE!!! The day before the retrieval you meet with a medical assistant, they tell you what to wear (pants, socks, full underwear). I wore my Retrieve Believe Conceive shirt from Bitty and Boho, black pajama pants, and my Jack socks from Jill (instagram handle mydisneyart21) that read “Baby Super Freak”. All the nurses and the doctor loved them. We got to the doctor’s office at the exact time they asked us to be there. They called me in a few minutes later. Surprisingly, I was calm. My blood pressure was in the normal range, which never happens when I got to the IVF doctor. They had me go to the restroom to empty my bladder and undress from the waist down. I was given a gown to wear, I sat on the chair, and the preparation began. The needle for the IV was difficult. At first they found a vein on my hand that would of been perfect, however, the vein collapsed. Ugh! So the nurse went for a vein on the wrist. As the nurse was inserting the needle, I began to see stars. Thank goodness she was able to get the vein. Shortly after she inserted the needle, I began to feel nauseous, hot, I began to sweat and felt like I was going to pass out. They began to fan me and gave me alcohol pads to help. It wasn’t working but thankfully the individual that was going to administer the anesthesia walked in to give me something to help. When my doctor arrived, we spoke briefly and she sent my husband out of the room. I actually did not know that the anesthesia had already been administer and before I knew it they were waking me up. According to the nurse’s report, the first thing I said once coming out of anesthesia was, “I want a burger and fries”, apparently I was really hungry. Secondly, the nurse informed me about the amount of follicles that were removed, there were 22, my remark to that news was, “I want them all”. After that, I was moved to the recovery room were I sat and drank my Gatorade. In order to be sent home you had to use the restroom. We were walking out of the doctor’s office about 2 hours later. The remainder of the day was resting since I was on bed rest for 24 hours.

Overall, the experience was pleasant. In the hours following I did feel soreness and the doctor said it was like having 22 bruise on my ovaries. The day following was a bit difficult, I felt sore and bloated the whole day. The 3rd day after the retrieval was better.

Stimulation

WOW!! I totally underestimated the stimulation process.

I began the process on August 10th, with two injections a day (Gonal F and Menopur). The Gonal F was not difficult to administer, the needle was tiny and no mixing was required. The Menopur, on the other hand, required me to mix and the administration burned a bit. At least that is how my body reacted to this injection. For the upcoming 10 days, my appointments would consist of ultrasounds and blood work. The ultrasound was to measure the uterus lining, the cervix, and the size of the follicles. The blood work was to check my estrogen levels.

I returned to the doctor on Monday, August 13th (Day 4 of stimulation). I was very nervous to see how the follicles were growing and to find out if I was administering the medications correctly. Later that evening I had to check my voicemail to find out my instructions for medication and when my next appointment would be. The instructions for Monday were the same as Friday to administer the Gonal F and the Menopur. The voicemail also stated that all was going well and that I was to come back to the office on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, August 15th (Day 6 of stimulation), I felt cramps and pressure when arriving at the doctor office. I had a feeling the third injection Cetrotide, which will prolong your ovulation, would most likely have to be administered. Throughout the day, I experienced discomfort and my ovaries felt heavy. Later that evening, I heard my voicemail and the instructions stated that I was to administer the three injections (Gonal F, Menopur, and Cetrotide) and a oral medication to help in the inflammation. In addition, the voicemail stated I was to return to the office on Thursday, August 16th. The administration of the Cetrotide was difficult. This medication did have to be mixed and burned more than the Menopur.

On Thursday, August 16th (Day 7 of stimulation) the veins in my arm were beginning to bruise. The nurse was very patient and was able to retrieve the blood required. During the ultrasound, the nurse stated that my left ovary had produced larger follicles and more quantity than compared to my right, which I thought was really interesting. Later that evening my voice message stated that I was doing well and that I would be returning on Saturday.

Thursday and Friday injections went well. I continued with the three injections and it was getting a little easier to administer. I began to bruise on the left side on my stomach from the injections.

On Saturday, August 18th (Day 8 of stimulation), my husband went with me to this appointment. During the blood work they could no longer retrieve blood from my left arm due to the bruising. For the ultrasound, the nurse stated that my follicles were getting to a good size. My husband was impressed to see the progress we had made. During this appointment, the nurse mentioned that it was time to get the trigger shot, Novarel. The Novarel is a intramuscular injection, which requires mixing depending on the instructions of the nurse. The nurse mentioned that a voicemail would be left indicating if to give myself one more day of stimulation or the trigger. Later that evening, the voicemail instructions were to provide myself the stimulation injections (Gonal F, Menopur, and Cetrotide) and to return to the office on Sunday, August 19th.

On Sunday’s visit, my doctor was present. She told me that she was very impressed with my progress. Once the appointment was over, my husband and I were anticipating the voicemail to begin the trigger shot. We received a call later that afternoon that the Novarel was to be administered exactly at 8:45 that evening and my retrieval was scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st at 7:45. A voicemail was left stating that I was to go to the office on Monday, August 20th for blood work and instructions.

OMG!!!! It was actually happening!!!! I can’t believe it that we are finally here!!!

On August 10th, I did not feel like myself. I was extremely focused to the tasks, and anxious to hear what the doctor had to say. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to begin stimulation. It was the strangest feeling, at the same time of being focused I would pace back and forth and I was speaking at a accelerated rate. Days 1 to 6 of stimulation were not too bad. Although the Menopur burned during administation it wasn’t unbearable. The needle for the Menopur was thicker than the Gonal F, however, it was something I got used to. Now the Cetrotide, that was a completely different story. First off, the medication amount that was to be administered was more than Gonal F and Menopur medication amount. Once the needle began to break the skin, it felt like it was burning until the needle was complete inserted and the medication was administered. As the days progressed, it did get slightly easier. One of the main reason was because I learned the more skin I pinched, the less it burned. I found that breathing through the process and inserting the medication in a slow and steady pace also helped. At one point, my husband saw me in pain stated that it could be contributed to the fact that I was not administering the medication fast enough. I tried that and I ended up bruising. After that, I told him if he kept telling me what to do, I was going to administer the left over medication to him to see how he felt.

Overall, I never thought I could make it through this process. Injecting yourself with 2 to 3 medications for a total of 9 to 10 days, NEVER thought I could do it. As the days progressed, I continued to tell myself “one day less!” I also had a great support team composed of my husband, family, and friend that reassured me that all is going to be ok.

The Nerves

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This week is a very exciting week for us. On Friday, my husband and I will begin our first day of stimulation. I cant help but feel both excited and nervous to begin this journey. 

Here is a bit of our story. My husband and I have been trying to begin a family since 2013. During this time I was in graduate school and working full time. We obtained several medical opinions in our quest. We participate in several procedures to obtain a family. We had several positive pregnancy tests with miscarriages shortly after. This emotional roller coaster was more than we could bare at times. What kept adding to the emotions were people asking, “When are you having a baby?”

April 2018, we decided enough is enough!!! We are going to target this problem head on. After running all the exams for the third time, tests revealed no medical issues or concerns. SO WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?!?! We decided that we are tired of trying and being unsuccessful, therefore, we decided to begin the IVF process. 

If you are interested in following this process with us, we will be documenting our journey here.