Gunning Towards The Finish

I’m not sure whether these qualify as treats, but they definitely count as tricks:


This morning I had another UltraBlood combination. Pending what the doctor saw and my levels, there was a chance tonight this evening could be THE TRIGGER shot night. A nurse usually calls between 1-3pm with my update instructions, so I was anxiously awaiting the trill of my phone. Once it started ringing, it didn’t even get through the first full ring, anxious nerves had me all jumbled up. I am happy to report, that this evening, I DO NOT have to inject the Menopur, the Gonal F, or the Cetrotide. 
I am doing my trigger shot! Promptly at 8pm as the nurse instructed three times. We were originally going be using the Lupron, but that was changed today. I should have asked why, but I was just relieved to hear we are finally moving forward. I’ve previously used the Ovidrel for my trigger shot, so I’m not worried about that. I am relieved (for the time being) that there is only this one last injection to give. 
…and THURSDAY is my egg retrieval. Ahhhhhh!!! The excitement, jitters, anticipation, nerves, and anxiety are all over the place. This is a very good thing as I am so uncomfortable it isn’t even funny. I can’t imagine having more follicles than what I have. My clothes don’t fit, I’m bloated all throughout my abdominal region, and the pressure is so uncomfortable. 
However, despite all of the above, I am trying to stay relaxed, focused on the specifics, and being calm. Easier said than done for me, but I’m making a valiant effort.

This week. THIS week. THIS WEEK!

Wednesday through Saturday afternoon of this week had me feeling like a mouse on a wheel in its cage. I just kept running and running, at first it was fun and almost exciting, but that changed. It became exhausting, challenging, and supremely frustrating. There were problems almost daily; treks out to get more medications, pharmacies that couldn’t fill my prescriptions, people that provided wrong information, and HOURS on the phone. 
Fast forward to 7:30am this morning at my UltraBlood appointment. (Yes, I had one last Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.) My veins are fried. There is scar tissue on both sides, bruises, and hard veins to get in first place. Insert butterfly needle into bruise, and through scar tissue. The woman must have sensed it hurt, as she asked “are you ok?” I’m undecided if it was m clenched jaw or my white knuckles wrapped around the stress ball I was squeezing. A simple nod was all she got in response. Back into the waiting room I went. Then “Lois” came to get me for my ultrasound. She told me that things looked good on Friday and she had high hopes for me today. (I didn’t need her commentary, I had enough of my own hopes running through my head.) Up on tnd gable, and the ultrasound games begin…”starting with your right ovary…” At this moment while half asleep I realize she is going to give me the play by play. Peeking up slightly I responded “ok.” Whoosh, whoosh, click click, whoosh, click, whoosh whoosh, click click click. “You have five follicles on the right measuring between 14 and 16.4! And let’s go over to your left…” I lay there dumbfounded and mutter “oh. Five? Ok.” Another series of whooshes, clicks, pressing down on my abdomen, and “Lois” states, “three follicles on this side, 11, 12, and 16!” “Really?” I questioned her. “Yes, they’re looking great.” Repeating thank you over and over silently in my mind, I gave a small smile and a nod and told her to enjoy the rest of her day.
I quickly walk out to the waiting room and tell DH that “Lois” spoke to me the entire time. He gave me a concerned look, and I told him, “it was great!” And rattled off my measurements. Listen I know these aren’t amazing numbers, or huge follicles, but I’ve been lucky in the past to get two follicles above 14. So not only do I have eight total, more than half are measuring above 14. It’s a freaking miracle people. (Fully aware that it’s not, but allow me to enjoy my few minutes.)
Early this afternoon the nurse calls me to give me update information about my injections. I am doing the same combination, Gonal F at 75, a dose of Cetrotide, and 150 of the Menopur. She informed me my estrogen level was at 800 something, I have it written down but I’m in a comfy blanket cocoon as I type this so I’m not getting up. She then says ” you will either be triggering Monday or night Tuesday!” I gasped. “Isn’t it exciting? We need to get you in here tomorrow morning to see where things are, but it will be happening this week. Congratulations!” “I…thank…uhh, yes. Ok. This week!” was my eloquent response. 
After fisnighing confirming everything with her and taking my notes, the call was over. I scrambled into the living room, and told him the news. We high fived! It sounds lame, but it is by far the most excited we’ve been throughout all of this. Sitting there chatting and figuring out the days, and logistics, and everything else was elating.
Then the dread kicked in. Can’t I keep growing the eggs? Yes, they’ve grown slowly, but it’s going well. They’re INSIDE of me. My face drops. Things are correct. There are no problems. I don’t want the anesthesia. What if the eggs aren’t good enough? What will happen if  we don’t even get to an embryo transfer? My palms are clammy. I couldn’t help but to immediately start anticipating the worst. 
Almost five hours later, I’m more relaxed. I’ve trusted the process this far, despite my natural tendency to be pessimistic. I’ve begrudgingly taken it one day at a time, because that’s how your life is when dealing with infertility. But here I sit, optimistic and petrified, all rolled into one ball of hormones!

Shots, shots, shots. 


Not exactly the type of shots I was thinking of, but how the times have changed. Above is the listing of what I’ve been doing since 10/13. Excuse the sloppiness, I have three different tracking lists. Crazy, yes. Obsessed that I’m going to goof something up, YES!

So far this week I’ve had an UltraBlood combo Sunday, at 7:15am, over 45 minutes away from where we live. Funnnnnn. The woman that was doing my blood work couldn’t find the vein in my left arm, so she fished around for a while, but was kind enough to ask me “does this hurt?” My response, “after inejcting yourself every night you kind of become numb to needles.” Which is the truth, it didn’t hurt, and I’m a human pincushion. Eventually she withdrew the needle and over to the right arm she went. Had my ultrasound, and it was time to drive home. Again, Monday morning, I had another UltraBlood. The heat wasn’t on in the office yet as I had the first appointment, so that made the ultrasound that much more comfortable. Went over had my blood drawn, and that was that! 

My dose on Sunday was reduced, and it’s been down to 75 of the Gonal F since then. I return for another UltraBlood combo tomorrow. The bruising on my stomach has almost completely disappeared. I still have little scars, but I am hoping that they heal or at least fade, right now it just looks like I have random brownish colored pin dots on my belly. 

Last night while puttering around on Pinterest, I discovered this gem:


I’m about one more injection away from bursting. I have seven follicles that are measuring, meaning that they are 14+. Until today I haven’t really given much thought about what could be happening over the next few weeks. 

Here are my top 5 concerns…these are providing that everything goes smoothly, and there aren’t any unforeseen changes. 

  1. Anesthesia at the egg retrieval. I’ve never had any. Ever. I’ll be in a twilight sleep, sounds all sparkly (hehehe,) but this is really bothering me.
  2. That this is considered a surgery. That freaks me out. Again, I’ve never had surgery. So now we are taking two things I’ve never had done, and I’m getting both done, at once, on the same day.
  3. That I have to actually have the embryo transfer. Sounds ludicrous, but hear me out. Isn’t those little containers/Petri dishes or whatever they are stored in, they are safe. They are growing. They are, truly alive. Once the transfer happens, that can change. Once the two embryos are transferred into my body, they can not take. 😱 …and there’s a chance of this, a pretty decent chance. (Please don’t tell me to be optimistic. Obviously, if we didn’t want a baby we wouldn’t be doing any of this. I have to stay level headed. I have to know the statistics and keep them in mind. I can’t be blind to the fact that I can leave that office pregnant after the transfer, and then shortly thereafter, learn that we aren’t. 
  4. The 10-12 day wait to find out if we are actually pregnant. 
  5. Nothing takes. By that, I mean the fertilization doesn’t work, and we have to do this all over again. (Again, I’m fully aware that there’s a very probable chance of this.)

Four Down

I’m going to keep it quick tonight. This evening was my fourth night of the Cetrotide injections. They seem to get worse every night. About 30 seconds after the injection I feel like I want to claw my skin off of my stomach it is so itchy I cannot even believe it! Instead of any more bruises, I now end up with a baseball size red spot for roughly 2 to 3 hours which eventually disappears. My stomach is full of little scars from all of the injections,  not exactly pretty but I am hoping that with time they’ll go away. 
I had an UltraBlood combo this morning. All went well and later this afternoon I received a call about my treatment and a dosage update. I was instructed to reduce my Gonal-F dose to 150, and to keep the Cetrotide at the level I was currently using. I will be doing this dose tonight-Saturday, and will be headed in Sunday morning at 7:15am for another UltraBlood combo! 
Here are a few things I’ve decided have made this round of treatment easier.

  1. For my ultrasound appointments I wear a pair of my husbands crazy patterned socks. He can’t attend these appointments due to his work schedule, so it’s like he’s with me when I have the socks on.
  2. As of this current moment, I’m more comfortable with IVF than I was with the rounds of IUIs. 
  3. Being obsessively detailed with my injection information and doses. 
  4. I sing a song to myself during the ultrasound. Crazy yes, but I don’t particularly like small talk.

Now for the good news! Not only did the nurse inform me that I could lower my Gonal F dose, but “you have a ton of follicles. None are mature yet, but they look great.” Hallelujah. Previously my follicles hadn’t matured until the 12th day of the Gonal F injections, so apparently we are close. 

Gonal F & Cetrotide; Night 1

This morning was my first UltraBlood combo of this cycle. There was someone getting their blood drawn when I arrived, but the ultrasound tech wasn’t in the office. Needless to say, I write down my name on the check in sheet at the lab, and was getting my blood drawn within minutes. After that, a quick twenty step walk to my doctors office. The ultrasound tech was ready. My appointment was at 7:15am, but I had both my blood work and ultrasound done prior to that time. It’s the little victories here, and this is of course one that I will take, as it meant I wasn’t late for work.

This afternoon, around 3:30pm, I received my update call from the nurse. Continue with the Gonal F injections at the 225 dosage tonight, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In addition to that, I am to start the Cetrotide. This will be my first time adding solution to the powder in the vial, extracting, changing needles, and then injecting. Here’s a picture of my medication and injection line up for this evening:

Injections done. Gonal F, no big deal, is it sad to say I’ve gotten used to that? One benefit is that the needle is small, and the dosage doesn’t seem to be as much solely due to the fact that the area where the medication is stored, is wider. In my head, that makes the injection amount seem less, and go by faster…ready set, here we go injection #1.

Now onto the Cetrotide. I had to mix the power in the vial with the premeasured solution. O always enjoyed science and chemistry in high school, but this is completely out of my normal thought process of what one should be doing on a week night. Mad scientists, watch out, I’m on your heels! 

Even after changing to the “injection needle” it hurt like a SOB. I could feel the fluid going into my body (weird,) and could then sense it dispersing throughout after the injection was done. Not exactly a comforting feeling. This whole process is still very bizarre to me. One fat that is really helping me mentally, is that they are stopping me from ovulating. As I tend to ovulate earlier in my cycle, this is GREAT news for me because I know it’s being suppressed, and my body can’t do anything about it. Which of course, goes against everything I should want, because getting pregnant is supposed to be “natural.” 

Ha. Ha. Ha. 

My souvenir kits now look like this…

Here’s my daily dose of positivity for you. I’m trying something new, and completely out of my wheelhouse, but maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, I’m aware it’s now evening, but you take what you get.