Add the Trigger Meds!

Day 13– Waking up to what feels like a bowling ball resting on my stomach. Is this what it’s like to be pregnant and have to pee every 30-minutes?

The weight of carrying these full follicles is getting heavier and it’s as though gravity is pulling my belly button down to the ground.

My right ovary seems non-existent in my body as I move around but my left is as though there are water balloons squished up in there.

Is today the day we will pull the trigger?

It’s possible and yet I don’t want it to be too early if there is a chance the little ones will still grow to 17 or 18mm. Remember, 18mm is mature and anything smaller may not produce a healthy, viable egg.

I get a pinching prick into my arm. My poor vein is so yellow and bruised.

Into room 3 I go for another monitoring.

As the nurse closes the door for me to undress, I fall to my knees. “God, I surrender this outcome to you. Help me be calm and accepting of what you are doing inside my body.”

A delightful sonographer joins me in the room and we begin.

Sure enough, we have big black circles on the screen. She measures 11 follicles ranging from 9.6mm to 24.8mm, wahoo!! Then comes the left, a little smaller but that is not new information. Eleven follicles there too, measuring from 11mm to 20mm, yippee!

I have 22 follicles measured total with 8 follicles being of mature range (above 18mm).

There are 7 that are either 15-16mm and they ‘might’ grow to be 18mm by the time we retrieve, or they might just be too shy.

I give those over as I can’t do anything about it.

Ok, I’ll be honest, I really want to stick myself with some of the drugs I have at home, even just a little bit just to give that extra boost.

I tell on myself to Hubby so that I can see how insane that would be.

I’m not the doctor, I have never been through this before, and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I just have to trust. Sit back and trust.

I bet we trigger tonight, so I’ll wait for the call from our nurse to confirm.

Oh my goodness… Thank you body for responding so well to these medications. I don’t know what the quality of my eggs is in there, but I have done everything I can to help them be healthy.

I’m so grateful to be at this point in this journey!

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6 hours later

We receive a call from Nurse Christine. Wonderful news as she confirms 21 follicles with at least 15 of them being a mature size, yippee!!

Tonight, we will trigger!

She has our instructions for the medications.

Stopping all Gonal F, Menopur, and Cetrotide we turn towards the trigger shots.

Since I don’t have a period without medical intervention, Dr. O’Brien decides to use a dual trigger method. I will inject myself with Lupron and hCG tonight and visit the clinic in the morning for blood work to make sure it’s all absorbed and properly ‘triggering’.

There is a hesitation of using the hCG because it could cause the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Dr. O’Brien decides to go with a small dose of hCG and will add more tomorrow if my blood work shows my body is not responding.

After a quick tutorial of how to mix the sterile water with the white powder medication, change the needles and draw just the exact amount prescribed, we say our goodbye.

We spend the next 2 hours waiting to hear from the scheduler to know what time to give the trigger shots tonight (which will be 36 hours from the retrieval time).

Trigger shot at midnight TONIGHT for a retrieval of noon in 2 days.

On we go!

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I fall asleep to help the time pass and wake up at 11:55pm to get ready for the shots. Hubby stayed up and mixed the solutions for me so all I have to do is prick and return to bed.  (What a great Hubby, such support.)

The hormones rush through my body and it takes me an hour to fall back asleep. Finally, I do, one day closer.

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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.

God Answered

There have been a few mornings when I have felt nauseous. Little subtle ongoing cramping over the past few days. Maybe I’m pregnant?

Every time I have a little twinge of “am I pregnant”, I immediately begin praying with a simple, “God, if it’s your will” and go on with my day.

I feel I have been getting really close to God this past week as it seems to be every hour or two I am saying this prayer.

In the past few days though, my sense has changed. Maybe it is me protecting myself from a potential let-down. I don’t know if I am pregnant. And I have to wait.

I have a few friends texting, wondering how I’m doing and praying for me. I appreciate it. Knowing I’m not alone.

We need cheerleaders in our lives, when I can’t allow myself to be hopeful, they are.

I am willing to wait until day 14 after the trigger shot and continue to trust God knows what He’s doing.


Here we sit, day 12 after the trigger shot, how quickly thoughts change. I know I’m supposed to wait a few more days, but I figured I could go to the Dollar Store and get a pregnancy test just to see if any of the remanences of the HCG shot was still present. If it was a positive test, I would chalk it up to being leftovers and test in a few days. If it was negative, at least I would know the HCG from the trigger shot is out of my system.

I test and there is only one line, not pregnant.

“Good to know the HCG is out of my system. Maybe it’s too early,” I thought. “I’ll test again in 2 days.”


My back has been hurting this afternoon and sure enough, I now know why.

I don’t have to test.  I began spotting. I knew it in my heart that I wasn’t pregnant and this was just a confirmation.

I plopped down by Hubby and snuggled up next to him and I told him. He wasn’t surprised either.

Gosh, darn it!

I really was hoping this was going to be the month. I even was praying for twins and thought I was going everything right. I was even following the suggested food intake throughout the course of my cycle.

What more am I supposed to be doing?

I am bummed. God, what are you doing in this?

I email CCRM and let them know so they can get me a request for a blood draw to confirm I’m not pregnant so we can start a new medicated cycle.

That is what we are going to do, right?

Hubby and I talk. We don’t know how many more medicated cycles we are going to do.

At what point, do we have to surrender and say that we tried everything we could and it’s just not going to work?

1 year? 2 years? 3 years? How long God?Image result for footprints in the sand

This cycle completed 8 medicated cycles in just about a year.

Might not be very long for some people, or maybe it is for others. I’m sure it’s a personal choice.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one.

This is what I don’t understand:

If we are created to procreate than why can’t God heal my body so that I can do just that?

What are we missing in this whole process?

  • I am given medication to stimulate follicle growth- check
  • I am monitored days 12-? To see the follicle growth and thickening of the lining- check
  • Hubby has strong swimmers- check
  • I get the HCG trigger shot to force an ovulation- check
  • Hubby gives his swimmers over to the nurses for a cleaning- check
  • Nurses take the best swimmers and inject them right up to where my egg(s) is/are- check
  • I rest and relax, pray and trust that they get together and implant…
  • Not sure if that is a check or not.

Dr. G. Says the only way to guarantee they get together is by doing IVF (in vitro) which is not an option for us at this point.

At some point, I have to trust that God is truly the miracle worker and creates life.

Why isn’t he creating life in me?

Is it something I have done? Am I not supposed to have my biological children? Why not?

Questions I won’t ever have answers to.

So God, what do you want from us? Do you want us to do another medicated cycle?

I fall asleep praying.


Day 1– I go in for the blood work and ultrasound just in case we decide to move forward with the medication.

In my quiet time this morning, as I was talking with God about this, I felt peace about letting go of a medicated cycle. This peace comes more from the hope that I will be one of ‘those’ stories where we try the fertility route and when it doesn’t work, we begin thinking about adoption and we miraculously get pregnant.

Is that my story? That after all this human intervention with medication, God is using this experience to show me that He truly is all powerful and that no medication or doctor can do what only he can do?

That would be cool!

So, I’m at peace with whatever we need to do, or not do.

While in the ultrasound with my new-found friend, Erika, the stenographer, she finds a large black circle in my left ovary.

“What is that?” I ask.

It’s a cyst,” she replies. “Double the size than what I usually see.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t there before ovulation.

From what I learned today: It’s common for this to happen where the follicle releases the egg during ovulation and remains empty in the ovary and over the 2 weeks can fill with fluid- causing this cyst. If I were to go on medication while I have it- most likely the cyst will absorb the meds instead. I have to wait until it’s gone before we can do anything more.

She doesn’t know what the doctor will say so at this point I leave the office without knowing if we will be able to do medication this cycle.

I call my nurse at CCRM and she confirms. No medication this cycle and possibly not the next cycle (if I get one) as it is double the size. It will need time to dissolve before they will prescribe anything.

My heart was prepared and I praise God for making it abundantly clear that the answer is no for this cycle.

We can still ‘try’ without medication and all the gizmos and gadgets… the good ol’ fashion way.

We plan to regroup with Dr. G this month to talk through options based on his observations and expertise. Maybe this is the conversation we need to know it’s time to move on.


I feel carried. The tears still come.

I am sad at the thought that there may not be a little Hubby and little me to watch grow up.

I have had these same visions before. As though I am watching a 1980’s home video, I can see a little version of us, looking up and smiling at us. This little human we have created.

These thoughts and the sadness I feel are not new. I have felt this longing for our own biological children for a few years and the potential reality that this is a dream I need to let go of is still too hard for me to bare.

Image result for aloneWhat’s so terribly difficult is that there is a world around me that has no idea the pain I am in. I tend to be a silver lining type person, looking for the good and what God is doing in and through each situation. But there are still moments when I am feeling life is not fair. I am happy for all my friends who get to experience this blessing, but when I am on Facebook, I often feel as though people don’t realize the pain others experience. Maybe this is just my issue and I need to grow a thicker skin so that others can post their joys and not rain on their parade.

Just like my friends who are single, longing for a partner- seeing engagement pictures and wedding photos can be difficult.

Does it mean that we should stop posting the joy-filled moments that are in our life- absolutely not? Maybe being aware of the world around us though.

Or maybe I just need to go off Facebook.

Turkey Baster

The medication worked! We have 2 major follicles (19mm and 17mm) that are presenting strong and proud on the ultrasound screen.

We’re making a baby here folks!

Dr. G is happy with the results and scheduled our IUI for 4 days from now.

I’m not a patient person and was ready to give myself the trigger shot of HCG today and be ready to go in 2 days but am trusting Dr. G knows what he’s doing.

I’m thrilled! This cycle is not lost and we have a shot, even at twins, ha!

God, thank you for being so good to us. I trust that these extra 3 days were for your purpose and in your plan and give these next few days over to you.

(TMI ALERT)

I’m a little scared because tonight before bed I noticed my cervical mucus is stringy, like egg yolk. Everything I have read points this to mean that I’m on the verge of ovulation.

I pee on an Ovulation stick, an “O” stares back at me, meaning not ovulating.

Okay, maybe this is just pre-ovulation fluid, I try and convince myself.

I become a little upset that we aren’t triggering ovulation tonight in order to catch this timing correctly.

What do I know though? The only thing I know about this type of stuff is what I have read on Google and heard through my friends.

God, I trust you.

I say this over and over again, calming my fears.

I lay down to rest for the night… God, I trust you.


I wake up, pee on the stick, still an “O” starring at me. My mucus is still slick and I am a bit fearful that we’ve missed it. I can’t think about this though, I have to trust what the Dr. is saying.

The plan is to wake up at 1am tonight/tomorrow to give me the HCG trigger shot. It has to be administered 36-hours prior to the IUI appointment.

I’m less than thrilled.

The shot is a compact dose of HCG hormone. Vaccine_640.jpg

It sends heat through my body and I am overtaken with hormones.

I can’t go back to sleep.

I stay up for the next hour, reading.

God, how am I supposed to go to work tomorrow on such little sleep?

Oh my gosh, how am I going to have babies who need me in the middle of the night if I can’t even do this one time?

I am psyching myself out.

I take a deep breath.

I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

God, I trust in your timing and your plans. I trust that you know what is best for us and you know what our futures hold. I leave all these worries in your hands and will do what you have placed in front of me to do, today.


The IUI day is here.

I don’t know what to expect and am a bit fearful because I’m not experiencing any of the ovulation cramping I have in the past. This just feeds my fears that my ovulation window has passed and we are about to spend $400+ dollars on a procedure that is worthless because the egg has already come and gone.

How quickly I enter into the negativity.

It really doesn’t help me to be thinking this way or to be in fear.

I just don’t know how else to be in situations of unknown. I am changing my mind around to be in faith and trust that this is the perfect timing.

Hubby goes in at 11am for his contribution to this effort.

He signs some papers and labels what he needs to with his name and date of birth.

His part is done.

For the next 2 hours, the nurses clean it and test the swimmers. They take out all the swimmers who didn’t show up for the race and label each swimmer with a “0, 1, 2, or 3”- based on motility.

Only the “3’s” make it back into the tube.thin-test-tube.png

After sorting through all of them, they are ready for me.

I follow up at 1pm for my procedure.

I check in and am directed downstairs to receive the swimmers. I have to sign paperwork and double check that the labels all have the information of Hubby. They walk through the process of how they cleaned the swimmers and also showed me how they ensure that these swimmers in front of me are the same as Hubby.

I am impressed with the concise and thorough process of confirming that these swimmers are meant for me.

I head back upstairs with the swimmers in my hand. Not to shake them or tip the tube as they are all ready for me.

I’m scared that this is our one shot at it and it may already be unsuccessful just at the mere chance that the egg is gone.
I have to stop this thinking.

I choose to believe that there is an egg (or two) just getting ready to be released.

I choose to believe that there are swimmers at the ready.

It’s as though we are getting the two together at a party and saying, “here, meet each other”.

I’ve done all that I can.

What would help the most at this moment is for me to relax and take deep breaths. There’s nothing to fear, nothing to control, nothing that I can do to help anything more than what we’ve already done.

I just have to BE.

Calm, peaceful, hopeful.


What an experience.

I walk into the room with the nurses and they were so incredibly reassuring.

Praise God!

I spoke with the nurses and they don’t feel it’s too late.

In fact, they said the timing seems right on and to stop Googling!

There were two nurses helping with the efforts and although it was not the most enjoyable experience when the catheter is inserted, it’s wonderful to know those swimmers got all the way up there.

And now we wait, pray and trust.

Hopes for Blueberry

I’m not surprised that each morning for the past 3 days I have stared into that Ovulation test predictor stick without emotion. I have become numb to the “O” glaring back at me. No smiley face, not even a tinge of a possibility that my body is showing any trace of LH hormones. What used to be a frustrating symbol has now become a part of my morning routine. I don’t let it phase me.

Today is the (hopefully) final ultrasound before we are triggered to force ovulation. I am praying for a large enough follicle and although I answer Hubby with 19 when he asks how big I think they are, my heart wants it to be 20+.

We check in to the CCRM ultrasound counter and have a seat to wait for our name to be called. The sunshine warms my back. I feel at ease.

Leaning over to Hubby to share how great it would be if the ultrasound tech from my OBGYN was there today (she’s been doing all my ultrasounds since this first began), I realize I am scared.

What if there aren’t any follicles large enough? Will this tech know what to look for since I tend to have weird little follicles in random places?

Before I can acknowledge my emotions, the door opens. It’s Erica! The tech from my OBGYN office. She works at CCRM once a month, and today is her day.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME GOD?

Amazing.

I feel instant relief and a little emotion well in my eyes as she greets us. I want to hug her.

She welcomes us back and sets us up.

I feel as though I am in good hands now.

She inserts the wand and sure enough, h there are three follicles and one is 22mm!!

Wahoo! Thank you God!

We are ready to move forward with the HCG trigger shot.

Dr. G wants us to change our schedule slightly to help enhance the possibilities of pregnancy and also prescribes a tiny blue tablet (suppository) full of estrogen to help make a cushy lining for our hopeful little one to nestle into. I have to use this for the next 2 weeks and he says it can be a bit messy, blue messy in fact.

At this point, why not? I’ll add it to the list of experiences.

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It reminds me of a blueberry and actually began joking about it being just that.Blueberries are to help in pregnancy so why not let this be another opportunity to believe that good will come.

Hubby and I time out the shot correlated with the new schedule. This will require me to wake up at midnight tonight to give myself the shot in order for everything to fall into line after that.

The things I do for this soon-to-be, hopefully-will-be baby.

Let the next two weeks begin today!

Nightly, I administer the blueberry tablet and let it do its thing while I sleep.

I find myself excited and hopeful of what these few slight changes might bring us. We actually could become pregnant.

Hubby reminds me not to be too excited and that we can be hopeful but to keep our expectations low.

I know he’s right.

Living for today and doing all we can do.

I change my schedule for the next two weeks. Creating more downtime, taking things off my to-do list so that I can just relax and not bring too much stress to my body.

God, I trust you… this is all I can say. Over and over.