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Whew! (a.k.a. IVF #1 - I'm losing track)

Apologies for dropping off the face of the (blogging) earth! You know it's bad when your own husband is threatening to post a comment demanding that you update... Here, in a nutshell, are the things that have been keeping me from blogging over the past ten days:

-car repairs (my car unexpectedly & expensively needed new brakes right after I got back from TX)
-visiting with Aaron's family, who are in town for the birth of our new niece, Zoe
-moving to new offices at work (read chaos, upheaval, and great big time vacuum - but the results will be very exciting!)
-scrambling to get tested for gonorrhea & chlamydia, as required by my fertility clinic before we can proceed with IVF, when my OB-GYN failed to perform the tests the first time I asked at my pap smear several weeks ago (thankfully, I was able to get this done just in the nick of time, and the doctor did not charge me since it was their error)
-care group gatherings
-unrelenting sleepiness & overwrought emotions (both perhaps due to Lupron and to the insane busyness, and the latter definitely due to some indwelling sin!)

It's probably a good thing I haven't posted in the midst of all this, because anything I wrote would most likely have been a litany of complaint. Thanks to the prayers and encouragement of friends, some time in God's word, and the counsel of my husband, I am more aware of the grace that is available to me even when I feel overwhelmed by the stuff of life. (Perhaps I will post more on that another time.)

So what, you ask, is going on with this IVF cycle? (Thanks, GLouise, for checking in on me!) The first ten days of Lupron are done. I might have had the infamous Lupron headaches; they were fairly mild, though consistent, but they might also have been due to the ridiculous amount of tension that has lodged in my shoulders and neck. My baseline scan was yesterday, and after Nurse Answers called to say that the ultrasound and bloodwork results look good, I lowered my dose of Lupron (5 units) and started Follistim (200 units) last night. My next monitoring appointment is Saturday, at the downtown office since my suburban branch does not have weekend hours. I'll be back at my normal clinic for an appointment on Monday, and Nurse Answers says I'll be there so much next week that I'll feel like I should move in to their offices. Let the real fun of IVF begin...

Here are a few questions that I forgot to ask Nurse Answers - do any wise IFers have any tips on these things? First, is it okay that I can't ever get all of the air bubbles out of the Lupron shots, and that I always end up with a small itchy welt at the injection site? The welt fades away by the time I wake up in the morning... Also, now that I'm doing two injections a day, can I keep poking the same old spots on my stomach? I know the thigh is supposed to be good for subcutaneous shots, but it's just not as "padded" as the tummy so it kind of weirds me out to think of plunging a needle into my leg. But my stomach is getting covered in tiny dots and bruises... Lastly, is it within the range of normal that I already had one 14mm follicle on day 6 of my cycle after taking Lupron for 10 days? There were some other smaller follicles, too. Wendy Wander's reaction made me think it might be a little strange (and worry that our cycle was going to be cancelled!).

The fact that I have to go in for monitoring on Saturday is somewhat disappointing, because we were planning to go here this weekend. I'm 100% Dutch, so Aaron needs to be initiated into the ways of my people. Alas, it will have to be put off yet another year. Instead, we'll take advantage of being in the city and we might try to catch a Cubs game. (I've lived in the Chicago area for nine years, and I've never been to a game!)

Two more items of note: I am writing and posting this FROM HOME. We've been living in the dark ages (or trying to save a little money) by not having an internet connection at home for the past three years - we've just gotten online at the local library or at work. But as part of the office move mentioned above, I will be working from home, which means we have internet at home now. Hooray! AND check out the link to Grace Covenant Church in the sidebar - same old link, brand shiny new website!

Now, I've got a late night date with some shots...


Amy said...

Ooh, working from home--that's very cool.

Thanks for the update--I've been wondering what was happening in your world!

GLouise said...

congrats on getting the Lupron out of the way. I never did have any of the wacky side effects of Lupron, but perhaps I was too nervous to notice.

I don't know if I am really the best IVF expert to answer your question, especially since my darling husband administered all of my shots for me, but here's my opinion, based on two cycles of stimming:

- try to get all the air bubbles out of the pen before shooting up...My husband would tap to get the bubbles out.

- don't inject the same exact place twice in a row. Owww. Stomach is supposed to be the best place though, so good job on that!

- I think it is OK you are already getting follicles, despite the lupron.

My biggest piece of advice is to try to relax and see how the cycle plays out. Although my RE never "said" this to me, most RE's look at IVF #1 as a "diagnostic" cycle, to see how we will respond to the meds, etc. I wish I had had that in mind when my first cycle was cancelled due to under- stimulation (only four follicles after the full time of stims). I guess the same would go for those who "over stim" and have to be cancelled due to risks of OHSS.

Remember that the Lord is in control...You sound like you are doing great, and that you are a pro with the shots! Hoping everything will go smoothly for you and that you'll get to retrieval with some great eggs!