A couple of weeks of weeks back I listened to this awesome Huffpost podcast called IVFML and while I wasn’t sure if I’d actually make it to this stage, I sure am glad I gave it a listen. So far my IVF experience hasn’t been much different from my IUI cycles as I already had exposure to injectable medication. The difference has mainly been the dosage of my meds, the number of injections I’m doing daily and the associated side effects.
I have been on a Menopur 150 + Puregon 150 since Monday. For IUI I was only on Menopur 75 so I’m on about 4 times the dose of meds I was for my IUI cycles. I am starting to bloat which is pretty uncomfortable and I look pregnant. BAGGY SHIRTS FOR LIFE. I also have an uncontrollable appetite. Maybe not uncontrollable but I am eating more frequently and while I’m trying to keep it healthy, I find it easy to snack on junk sometimes though which probably isn’t best.
I know I explained the IUI process a couple of posts ago so I thought I’d break down the IVF process because most of this was news to me too!
Our IVF cycle in its entirety looks something like this:
- Superovulation – basically Saturday was CD1. On CD3 I went for my baseline scan at the Procrea clinic in Maple where I later go the go ahead to start my injections. These injections will help me to mass produces some eggies to increase the chance of later producing a viable embryo
- Ultrasound and blood monitoring – I am now on CD7 and just had my first follicle scan this morning. I have 9 mature follicles which is a great number so here’s to hoping they keep on growing. I anticipate I’ll add a third injection to the roster tonight (Orgulatran) which effectively stops me from ovulating too soon.
- Egg retrieval – I imagine that I will stay on stims for another 4-6 days and eventually will take a HCG (trigger) shot to force me to ovulate. 36 hours after the trigger, I will have my egg retrieval. I have been told I will be consciously sedated for this procedure which means I won’t feel a thing but I’ll be awake. Weird. The doctor will use an internal ultrasound wand (I often refer to her as Wanda) with a needle on the end and will suck out each egg from each follicle individually.
- Sample production – Shawn will be there the day of my egg retrieval and will provide the swimmers so after my egg retrieval, they can get working on fertilization
- Fertilization using ICSI – we are using an insemination technique referred to as ICSI (Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection). Sounds fancy, huh? This is used usually with there is a male factor infertility issue. In our case, Shawn’s motility is low due to a rare testicular disease he was diagnosed with a few months back called testicular microlithiasis. An individual sperm will be selected and injected directly in to each viable egg. CRAZY. We then wait one day and will get a call about how many eggs fertilized.
- Embryo watch – I don’t think it’s actually called this but the embryologist will keep an eye on these little guys for 3-5 days until we are ready to transfer one back in on day 5 (which is the blastocyst stage).
- Embryo transfer – once they pick the winning embryo, I’ll go back in for a transfer which is pretty simple from what I’ve been told. Not much different from my IUI where they will use a catheter to deposit our little embaby in to my uterus. If there are additional embryo’s the will be frozen for transfer at a later date if needed.
- THEN WE WAIT
It’s actually quite crazy how quickly this is all creeping up yet I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED. My little sci-fi babe should be nestled up inside me in the next TWO WEEKS. Whatttttttttt?!
For now, I’m trying to get rest, practice yoga and meditation as often as I can and relax.
We’ll see how good I do at sitting still the next little while. I’m not tuned that way.
Thanks for keeping me sane through this all! I don’t know what I’d do without all of you (I swear I could say this a million times and mean it every single time).