I Have A Secret…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Well, I suppose I should catch you all up  on what is happening. Warning: if you are a male, I use the word “period” a lot in this post.

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. So, this will be a long entry.

We were planning on starting IVF with my April period.  My cycle has never been regular. I could go months without anything, Once I even went a whole year. But since the D&C in December I have been much more consistent. I have averaged about 38 days between cycles, which is crazy.

Anyway, getting my period on April 13, while I was on my way down to Ohio State (read about the trip) to visit my sister was unexpected. My birthday is April 24.  Two years ago I had my first miscarriage on April 27.  Since my period started on April 13, if I had decided to start IVF right then, I would likely be doing my retrieval or transfer on or around my birthday.  I decided I no longer wanted my birthday associated with all of this. So, after a quick call to the husband, we agreed we would wait until my May period to start our next round of IVF.

One good thing about waiting is that it allowed us to do a saline ultrasound to see if there was any scarring from the D&C. Luckily, on April 19 we were given the all clear and so we looked forward to sometime in mid-May when my period would come and we would start again.

So, imagine my surprise when I got my period again on April 30.  And this was no spotting. This was a full-blown visit from Aunt Flow.

I called the doctor’s office and spoke to the nurse.  She decided to have me come in on Friday, May 3. I would have an ultrasound and blood work and make sure that my levels, and uterine lining, were in line with a normal period. If so, I would be given the green light to move forward.

Sidebar: a couple of things to note here.

  • Last time we did IVF, we were very lucky in that the nurses had a stash of samples of the main medication that is used to stimulate follicle growth and were therefore able to share it with us for free. So in a cycle where medication can run about $2k, we only spent about $300. This time around we were informed that they are no longer allowed to give out samples and therefore we would be incurring the full cost of the medication.
  • I remembered that a friend of mine, with whom I had reconnected thanks to facebook, had reached out to me after the D&C and informed me that if we decided to do IVF again, she had an unopened box of this main medication that she would be happy to send my way. I reached out to her and asked her to send it and she did, just in time. Thank you Nicole!

So, on Friday, May 3, I had my first Lupron injection in the evening. And on Saturday, we started the twice daily injections of Lupron and Gonal-F. That is 4 shots a day.

I cannot believe I am doing this again.

So this morning I went in for my first monitoring appointment. When you’re undergoing IVF treatment you go in every couple of days, and towards the end, every day for them to monitor you.  It is very regimented. You get to the doctor’s office, check in and wait for them to call you.  First, they take you back to draw blood. They are checking to make sure your hormone levels are right. This can sometimes be an early indicator of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

Then, you go back into the waiting room. The next person to call you in takes you back for the ultrasound. Here they are measuring the lining of your uterus. They are also checking each ovary and looking for and measuring follicles. Each follicle contains one egg.

When women ovulate regularly, they typically release one egg. That is their period. When you are undergoing treatment for IVF, the injections are meant to stimulate follicle growth.  You are hoping to get several eggs, thereby increasing your chances. This also gives you the opportunity to freeze some in case things don’t work.

After the ultrasound you go back to the waiting room and wait for the nurse to call you. You go back with her into an office and she tells you what they saw on the ultrasound and sometimes gives you further instructions. But usually she tells you to wait for a call later that day. That gives the doctor a chance to see the ultrasound and the results of the blookdwork and adjust protocol accordingly.

Today, my nurse Sue, told me that things looked to be moving along well. It looked like I had 10 follicles on one side and 9 on the other side.  She said she would talk to the doctor and that they may decrease my dosage and need to see me again as soon as tomorrow or Thursday.

Last time, we did 8 days of shots. On the 9th day I did my HcG trigger shot. And on the 11th day I had my retrieval. If I were to follow the same timeline this cycle, I would be having my retrieval a week from today on May 14. We’ll see what happens.

One of the hardest things is not talking about this to everyone. First of all, it is the NUMBER ONE thing on my mind at all times.

Secondly, there is the logistical element of it. If I have my retrieval on the 14th, I will probably have my transfer on the 17th and will then be on bedrest for 3 days. Meanwhile I have gotten an invitation to a BBQ on the 18th and a request for cupcakes (my side business) on the 19th. I can’t give people definitive answers because I don’t know for certain when any of this is happening.  It is such a fine science that the doctor makes decisions day by day.  But, I can’t tell people WHY I can’t give them a definitive answer. I have to make shit up.

Of course, I could tell people. There is no law prohibiting that. HIPPA doesn’t apply to me talking about myself. But, we have decided that we would like to try to keep this quiet this time around.

You see, I believe, I HAVE TO BELIEVE, that it is going to work this time. That I am going to get pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term.

And if that does in fact happen, I want to be able to share the news like every other normal couple gets to.  I want to do something cute like innocently get my mom a world’s best grandma mug. Or make my baby board on Pinterest public rather  than private.

If I have people following along with this every step of the way, I don’t get to do that.

And I think I deserve the chance, after all this time, to have some part of this seem normal.

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About llipps

New mom, infertility survivor, marketer, wife, daughter and friend. I struggle to find the balance between being all things to all people and being happy with who I am. I love meeting new people, telling my stories, and hearing yours.
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