Well here we go! I went in the past two days for blood and ultrasound. On the 9th my Estradiol was 2176; on the 10th it was 3223. I am progressing well. The 10th also showed 18 follicles – which is good for a 42 year old.
I am feeling those puppies though. Supposedly my ovaries are the size of grapefruit. I believe it. I am peeing all the time and if there is any pressure from gas or having to do a #2, man do I feel it. My lower abdomen is crowded. My husband is also calling me a cheetah. I have spots of purple bruises all across my belly. I thought about taking a picture, but then thought against it. I don’t want to complain. I would rather just state things as they are.
We did 9 days of stim injections. Of that, the Follistim became the easiest when it went down to 75 iu. Really that one was a piece of cake. I think the low dose HCG and the Ganirellex stung and bruised more. I followed the tips of icing the area first, which I think really did help. I also put pressure with my fingertip on the injection site too. Having my husband help with everything was probably the most beneficial thing. I was never alone and he would give me a hug and kiss at the end of the shot session. All in all, the shots we not as bad as I imagined or feared that they would be.
So yesterday, CD10, I was in for my tests and I could clearly see from the ultrasounds all of the follies. There were a couple of big ones too, like 20+mm. It was crazy to think all of that was going on down there…my poor little, old, and tired ovaries. So the nurses said maybe we would trigger, or maybe one more day. I was shown how do mix and draw up the regular HCG shot. That made me feel a little mad scientist. They reviewed the needles and marks on the syringes and let me tell it back to them. I can’t say enough great things about the nurses at the clinic – they are top notch!
I went about my day…had some headaches, lower backaches, and just feeling uncomfortable in general. I was able to be home by 2:30, when the clinic called to say we are going to trigger tonight…(which was last night as I am typing this CD11 a.m.).
I needed to inject the triggers at exactly 9:30 p.m. I also needed to begin the antibiotic pills that I have. Maybe that is what is bothering my tummy…so many different antibiotics really do aggravate my stomach. Anyway, I began the ice at 9:15 and worked to set up the shots. The Lupron was an easy draw, but .8 cc ends up looking like a lot. Then I drew the sterile water into a different shot, pushed that into the vial with the white HCG powder, which quickly dissolved as I swirled it, then drew the dissolved fluid back into the needle. It was easy enough. The husband came down and was disappointed that he didn’t get to do the mad scientist thing. Nonetheless, he helped me do the two shots. The Lupron just felt like a large bubble of liquid sitting under the skin. It went in fine, but didn’t “soak in” very quickly. I just felt squishy there…but I am pretty squishy. The HCG shot stung, about the same as the Ganirellex, but then that injection site was red and ended up looking sore…well, it was sore. I read that the HCG shot can do that and it is fine. So I put the pressure on both sites for about 10 mins and then drank more water.
I have been drinking water and Gatorade like crazy. I was uncomfortable throughout the night because I was going to the bathroom so much. I also just couldn’t really find a sleep position where I didn’t envision smashing my ovaries, because that is what it felt like – and still does even now this morning as I sit here. It is just amazing the science of this all.
Anyway, no shots today – YAY! We go in at 8:30 tomorrow a.m. for the egg retrieval. I can see how other women get so excited for this day. 1. I can’t wait to feel less pressure down there. 2. It will be exciting to see how many eggs they get, how many fertilize, and how many make it to the stage where we can do the genetic testing. I am aware that we might trickle down to a zero at the end of this. That is fine. At least I feel confident in the process. That is maybe the best benefit of this at my age.
Getting preggers at 42 is a risk, so the IVF route seems to allow us a lot of checkpoints along the way. There is no guarantee that it will work, but at least we have little bits of information to help guide us as we go from step to step. I am glad that I responded well to the stims. I hope that the egg retrieval goes well tomorrow (and I may not update on that until the day after). I keep having these moments when I feel “outside” of myself. Like I am floating above this all in a manner that is just taking it in, not experiencing it. I have had that with medical stuff before – it is just strange.
I texted both the husband’s family (mom, dad, and sis) and my family (mom, dad, and 2 sisters) to say we are go for the egg retrieval. The husband’s family was immediate with their replies of excitement, wishing good juju for us, and asking questions about things related to the process. I was able to talk to my mom, but that was it. I haven’t heard a peep from my other peeps. I know they must be tired of my talking about our baby attempts…and mostly they don’t want to see me with my hopes up as the previous miscarriages were tough times. But still….this is a big deal and I do need to and want to talk about it. I was hoping my family would at least acknowledge me in some way. Oh well.
So today it is supposed to be record-breaking heat. I need to obviously run to the clinic for my appointment, and maybe run a few errands after that. However, once I am done running around a bit, I am going to stay in the A/C if at all possible. I am so grateful for the invention of A/C on hot summer days. I am also grateful that my schedule allowed for me to be able to take it easy this weekend. Phew!