Let the Medications Begin!

The day of waiting has officially come to an end! I have been on birth control for the past 2 weeks and I am ready for this little pill to leave my system. I have been experiencing the most restless nights and heightened anger. I feel horrible for Hubby who has become a punching bag for my emotions. Thankfully I have been able to explain to him that I’m not actually angry and I don’t have anything to really be angry about, it’s just these darn hormones.

Note to self: next time I’m prescribed birth control, ask to be on the low dose that doesn’t have this same effect on my body.

IMG_6039.JPG(We received a huge box of medications, needles, dispense bucket, ice to keep things cool…and this doesn’t include the refills they have on hold for us)

Today I spent the majority of the afternoon writing. I can see my fears and areas where my ego and pride have taken over my decisions. It’s time for me to start a new with this next adventure. I decide to step away from the responsibilities in my life that are not serving me at this current time. This has been a difficult realization as all the things I have going on in my life are ‘good’, but I want to have babies so I’m willing to give up the good for the great.

This is a painful realization but a freeing process.

I get to create space and time back in my life for what is my main priority at this time. Family.

Baseline Ultrasound and blood work.

I stopped the birth control yesterday and woke up this morning hoping for a bleed.

Nothing.

A little panicked, yes, but I’m not going to let it get me down.

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for.

I get to go in and have my baseline ultrasound and blood work!

Since we decided to go with a clinic out of state, I am needing to go to a fertility clinic here in Denver that will do ‘Outside Monitoring’.

I choose Conceptions because they give the best rate for the service that is required.

We still need to pay a start-up fee of $250 to become a patient in their system, but hopefully, the monitoring will be worth it.

Bright and early Monday morning, I arrive with eager in my step and hesitation in my mind.

What if they find something on the ultrasound that causes us to push the pause button on this whole shebang and have to wait until next cycle? I’ve heard it happen before.

I spend the car ride praying for Gods will to be done and for my heart to align with His desires.

Small poke and the blood is drawn.

I head upstairs to the monitoring area and am quickly taken back for the assessment.

Within 10 minutes, I’m skipping out the door. All looks clear and ready to roll.

That afternoon, I begin my period.

Praise God, my body is working as it should at this point.

Around the same time, I get a call from Nurse C at Shady Grove, “ready to get this thing started?” she asks with a playful tone in her voice.

Beyond ready!

I am to begin on Wednesday night with 2 shots.

I am giddy!

Medication:
Gonal F- 75 IU
Menopur- 150 IU

let-the-games-yvj6lx.jpg

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Tiny Tab Flips my World

One little tab can make a huge impact. One week ago, I had my blood drawn (confirmed: not pregnant and not ovulating). The next day I put one small tab in my mouth, took a swig of water and shot my head back with a gulp.

The pill dissolved and my body responds.

Over the past 7+ days, each morning this same routine and it has triggered a reaction.

My body wakes me up at 2am, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling.

My body is restless.

I flop from the left to the right, my legs are hot, I kick off my sheets.

The cold air kisses my body, too much.

I’m too cold and pull the blanket back up.

It’s too early for me to get out of bed but I can’t go back to sleep.

I begin praying and trying to keep my mind simple. If I think too much, I know I’ll be awake for the rest of the night.

Slowly, I fall back asleep.

When I awake, I am irritated. Is it because I didn’t get a good nights rest and am tired or is there something else going on?

The tightness in my chest is back. This time it feels as though there is built up the pressure and I just want to PUNCH something to release the energy.

Such anger.

No reason for this, I actually am having great days, but this emotion is intense.

I go to acupuncture. She explains that my emotions are little UPS truckscar-crash-trucks-taxi-road-vector-64349546 (vehicles) delivering messages throughout my body. By going on medication for hormones, they are all getting into crashes, not knowing how to flow properly throughout the body. I lay on the table, the needling zings me, she must have hit the spot. I close my eyes. God, help my body calm down and receive this medication that is meant to help.


Today feels dark. My soul feels quiet. I have the sense that I have walked into a cave and it’s time to hibernate for the next few weeks.

653x490.jpgI was with some ladies who are moms and although they meant nothing by their words, I felt a longing and sadness. They have little ones and talk about them like they came into their lives so quickly.

Why not for us?

I saw another birth announcement on Facebook. Good for them. Truly.

Will we be able to have the same experience?

I can be happy for others and their seasons of excitement and joy. For today though, I find myself needing to retreat.

Up until this point, I feel I have been doing pretty well with this whole journey. I have my moments of breakdown and sorrow, but for the most part, I’m seeing this as a chance to learn and grow. Hubby and I continue to grow closer to each other and this desire grows deeper in us both.

Ladies offer their understanding of fertility and stories of others who they know have gone through this and up until now, I have been open to the conversation and hearing the ways God has worked in others.

Today, I feel more fear. Scared that the IVF treatment won’t work for us.

I decided to list out my fears:

  • My baseline ultrasound will show something and it will prevent us from being able to start the medication
  • My body won’t respond well to the follicle stimulation medication
  • We will have to postpone egg retrieval because my body isn’t responding
  • We will have to end the follicle stimulation medication because my body responded in the wrong way and we have to start over with a different approach
  • We won’t get a lot of eggs (less than 20) at the retrieval
  • The eggs won’t be good quality eggs to use.
  • The sperm and eggs won’t go well together and they won’t grow and the cells won’t multiply
  • We find out there are chromosome abnormalities and we will only have 1-2 blastocysts

My prayer is that we:

Are able to start the stimulation process on time and that my body responds well and everything goes smoothly with the follicle growth.

Have over 25 eggs, over 80% are good eggs to use and that the majority of them are growing at the normal rate.

Receive news that our blastocysts are chromosomally sound and that we have multiple (5-7) healthy wonderful blastocysts to begin transferring for a pregnancy.

I have one more week of birth control before we have our first round of tests to see if my body is ready for me to begin the stimulation medication.

This means I have this next week of prayer and surrender to what God wants and the release my tension of what I want to what give over to God what I cannot control.

IVF Timeline

1_5Yqfls2QmHfRxDiEmi4eVQ.pngWhat’s the timeline look like for us?

If all goes well… this is what the timing and protocol look like for us. The tricky thing to note is that it all depended upon how my body responds to the medication.

It’s my charge to be as calm and relaxed as possible during this time so my body can do what it needs to do. I already know that stress is a huge factor that causes my body to shut down so I will have to build in space for chill nights and calming days.

I put in red the things I’m doing to help this calming process.

IVF Procedure- Step 1: Egg retrieval

Take birth control- 2 weeks

Baseline ultrasound & blood work- Day after last birth control pill

Day 1: Begin medications- 2 days after baseline ultrasound

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 3: Calming: light workout, acupuncture

Day 4: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: massage

Day 5: Calming: light workout, acupuncture

Day 6: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 7: Fly to Shady Grove

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, begin Cetrotide

Day 8: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk, acupuncture

Day 9: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk

Day 10: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk, acupuncture

Day 11: Monitor appointment & trigger shots and meds

  • Medication: Cetrotide, Lupron & HCG shot
  • Calming: walk

Day 12: Blood work (LH, P4 & HCG) to ensure trigger shot worked

  • Medication: (unsure)

Day 13: Egg retrieval

  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 14: Egg retrieval results/ follow-up appointment

  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 15: Return to Colorado

Day 20-21: Egg/sperm cell growth results- 5-6 days after retrieval

  • Freeze blastocysts that are healthy

—-WAITING GAME—-

Day 30: Receive period

  • Go on birth control until we receive test results

Receive PGS/ chromosome testing results- 3 weeks from egg retrieval

Consult with Doctor O to decide next steps for Step 2: frozen embryo transfer protocol.

Fuel for IVF

Many have asked what sort of food I have been eating while preparing for IVF. Keeping my intake simple, I have stuck to the following:

  • Vegetables4dc81320651e4.image.jpg
  • Protein
  • Grain
  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Olive oil

Here are the specific foods that have been suggested:

  • During the menstruation period:
    • Increased iron: meat, fish, leafy greens (chard, kale, collard greens, spinach)
    • Bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwi, citrus
  • During the follicle growth period:
    • Broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, pork, fish, olive oil, avocado, eggs, berries
  • During the Ovulation period:
    • Leafy greens (chard, kale, collard greens, spinach), eggs, meat, fish
  • During the luteal period: (warm foods)
    • Carrots, pineapple, cantaloupe, sweet potato, bananas

I have a cocktail of vitamins as recommended from the fertility clinic. There were more recommendations but they either had traces of caffeine in them or were sleep aids, both which I choose to stay away from.

  • Myo-Inositol- 2000
  • CoQ10- 800
  • L’Arginine- 2000
  • DHA- 1000
  • Vitamin E- 400
  • Vitamin C- 500
  • Vitamin D- 3000
  • Vitamin B- 500
  • Pre-Natal/Folate- 400
  • NAC- 1000

*I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. Please consult yours before taking these supplements.

Peace in the Wait

This is not easy. I have turned a corner and I feel as though I’m heading into a cave. I know I have been MIA.

We made the decision to move forward with IVF at Shady Grove in Maryland just about 6 weeks ago. We contemplated jumping right into the cycle as soon as we made the decision, but my chest grew tight with the thought of trying to squeezing it into our already full schedule and reworking some things seemed a little rushed.

Calm.jpgNo, we will wait the extra month and some change before we begin the process. That seems like the best idea and the calmest and serene and yet the waiting has not been easy. I have tried to keep my mind occupied with other things and use this waiting period as an exercise in trusting God, focusing on the here and now, and practicing the belief that what is in front of me is exactly what I’m supposed to be spending my time on, not the future.

I have plenty of projects to keep my body busy, but it’s my heart that I cannot control. The longing to know the outcome.

For the most part, though, I have been pretty surrendered to the process. Open handed to the fact that we don’t have all the answers at this point and we might not in the future. My body feels calm and my mind is relaxed.