More meds, more hope

Days 7 & 8

It seems like more of the same at this point. 

I went in for my monitoring appointment yesterday and was happy to see some follicle growth in my ovaries. 

There were six follicles total, three on each side- measuring approximately 10mm each so that is a good start but nothing to write home about. 

There are still quite a bit of smaller follicles that are too small to measure that we need to grow so I’m instructed to do much of the same. 

Continue with the medications as we have and rest up. 

It’s time to order more medications and I can’t believe how quickly the numbers add up. 

Shady Grove’s Shared Risk is great to the extent that a client can go through multiple IVF rounds in order to have a successful pregnancy. The downside though is the client needs to pay an outside vendor for the medications. 

Meaning, we paid for the medications last round… and need to shell out more money for the medications this round. Since I’m on higher doses of medication, the cost is higher. And this is not refunded if we don’t have a successful pregnancy. 

Oh, the cost for hope in having a new little life in our family. 

I call the least expensive fertility pharmacy I can find that works with Shady Grove, Encompass. 

They have come to know me now (it seems) and I slide my next order in to be received in the next day. 

As I give my credit card number, I repeat, “this is all worth it”, I remind myself. 

Time to relax and let my body grow these little amazing things.

I enjoyed another acupuncture session to feel as though I am contributing to the growth effort in some important way and am mindful of how much I am exhausting my body. 

Dr. Shu reminded me that I need to be very relaxed and to stay calm through this process. He also re-emphasized no working out aside from walking and to ingest warm foods and drinks. 

I must say, relaxing with a toddler is a hard suggestion to follow and yet I am being very mindful of how much I pick her up or bend down to be with her. 

My abdomen is swollen. 

It feels bloated and when I go to give myself the nightly dose of medications, I can see where the bruises are starting to form. 

There are little red dots all over my abdomen where I have recent poked and I feel myself just wanting to rub my skin gently offering some sort of condolences for the pain I have inflicted. 

Nurse Emily called with the monitoring report and it was as expected. 

Slow growing and we will see you in a few days to see how things progress. 

She did start me on Cetrotide which will help my body restrain from ovulating too early with the larger follicles they see on the ultrasound. 

We wouldn’t want that!

This means adding one more poke in the morning in addition to the pokes at night. 

My poor abdomen. 

Thank you for embracing these pokes, dear abdomen, for the hope and sake of a new little life. 

AM: Cetrotide- .25mg

PM: Gonal F- 375 IU

PM: Menopur- 225 IU

Pins and Pressure Points

The art of acupuncture. I’m not sure if it’s a placebo or if it actually has healing components but either way, I’m doing it. 

I started acupuncture way back in college when I was suffering from chronic shin splints. And although I didn’t heal from the shin splints, I think it had more to do with me not following my doctor’s suggestions to stop running then it did the acupuncture. 

I decided to try it again when we began our fertility journey six years ago and have really found someone in Denver who I trust. Dr. Melati at Herb & Legend is wonderful with her knowledge of the body and what it needs. 

She has treated me through our successful IVF cycle back in 2018-2019. Anywhere from supporting hormone function as we prepped for the egg retrieval, to supporting my body before and after the transfer of our now wonderful baby girl, to the pregnancy sickness that I experienced for 16 weeks to now helping my body release all the extra hormones from the unsuccessful IVF round a few weeks ago. 

Now she is helping me with the hot flashes I have at night because of the higher dose of medication to the headaches that seem to be nonstop throughout the day… in addition to increasing blood flow to my uterus for healthy follicle growth. 

Dr. Li Shu at Acupuncture & Wellness Center is also wonderful. 

I felt like I was in good hands as he got to know my story and really wants to help provide a good treatment for me in the upcoming days. 

After a few questions and some chat about the Shared Risk Program at Shady Grove (which he was very impressed with), he began to place the needles into my skin. Although some of the points were different from what I was used to from Dr. Melati, I felt as though I could trust his experience. 

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He checked my pulse and shared that it felt weak and that it would be a good idea for me to relax as much as possible these upcoming days and not work out. He encouraged me to treat my body well and give it a break. 

He then placed a heat lamp over my abdomen and explained that this will help the blood flow. He also encouraged me to drink warm water, tea and eat warm soup and to stay away from ice water. I laughed- there are very few days during the summer when it’s over 90 degrees that I will drink ice water so there is no issue there. 

He read me well- my body runs cold and I need to give it as much warmth to help increase positive energy and not deplete my body when it’s needing to focus on creating these follicles. 

He turned on the music and left me to doze off. 

After 45 minutes, he returned and proceeded to massage my back and spin, pinpointing different pressure points. 

I then sat in a chair and he massaged my head and neck stopping at certain points that were particularly tender. 

This guy knows his pressure points!“Go to any lengths”… and so I am.
I’ll return tomorrow for another hour of supporting my body as much as I can while it grows as many follicles as it can, as big as they can grow!

Pins & Needles… or just a pin cushion?

Wednesday- right side

Thursday- left side

Friday- right side

Saturday- left side

Sunday- right side

I’m beginning to look like a pincushion on my backside with little prick marks across the upper region.

Hubby has done a wonderful job as I know this is not easy for him to be inflicting minor pain on me each morning and standing by as I limp off to begin my day.

Image result for upper quadrant of buttock

By no fault of his, he crept a little too close to my middle region of my back area and boy was that a rough day. Thankfully we have clarified where the upper quadrant is for this to continue.

If we are fortunate, we will continue with these morning shots and the three pills a day for the next 10-12 weeks.

Yes, shots in the buttock for the entire first trimester.

The progesterone and estrogen combination is helpful in continuing to create a safe home for Coffee Bean to be secure and to grow healthy.

Unfortunately for me, this means morning IM shots and a day with soreness when I walk and sit.

This is all worth it… this is totally worth it.

I have continued seeing my acupuncturist, 4 times over these past 14 days. Her main focus has been to increase blood flow to the uterus.

This time she has had me laying on my stomach and needling areas of my lower back and connecting stimulation clips that provide an additional current to help encourage the response for blood flow.

I can honestly say I have done everything I can think of to prepare my body for this little one to rest and grow.

Tomorrow, we fly!