IVF Cycle #2: Let’s Do This Thing

It took more than 6 weeks (and, eventually, daily calls to the insurance), but in late March we were finally given a total cost and the go-ahead to move forward with IVF. We now have a small window of opportunity in which to fit a treatment cycle– and the timing isn’t exactly great. Next week Kyle will finish classes for his grad degree, followed by the stress of finals, and then, somehow, graduation. To add even more pressure, by mid-June we will no longer have a place to live, which means we’ve also been completely consumed by the job search and interview process since he was approved to send out his resume in February.

Several months ago I began taking a CoQ10 supplement in hopes of boosting my egg quality after having heard of several infertility-blogger friends doing the same a few years ago. Following a little more research, I worked to alter my diet, and for good measure, limited the use of my normal heat therapy for coping with abdominal pain. Although I know that these changes are unlikely to be the miracle cure we need for viable embryos, I’m willing to try. While being three years older this time around will be an added disadvantage, I was floored last month to hear that my AMH level (an indicator of ovarian reserve) came back with a whopping 2 point improvement from my 2015 results. It was so shocking I listened to the voicemail twice, convinced myself that the results were meant for another patient, and called my nurse back to confirm. But it was true, and misguided or not, I felt a burst of hope.

On Tuesday morning, my big box of meds for this cycle was dropped off at our door. Ross carefully “helped” me carry it into the kitchen and jumped around with the excitement of receiving a package. As I opened the box, he quickly knelt down beside it with an enthusiastic, “Let’s do this thing!” — a phrase that has recently entered his vocabulary from unknown origins and one I’ve taken to repeating.

IMG_8867
This is what a few thousand dollars’ worth of fertility meds looks like.
IMG_0421
Same concept, 2105 box

Our doctor formulated a different protocol which will use my natural cycle for stimulation, so instead of taking birth control pills first (which also helped sync my cycle with Elle’s in preparation for the fresh transfer), I’ll be doing daily lupron injections for the rest of my luteal phase (basically post-ovulation). The general idea behind this is to keep all of my egg follicles growing and ready for retrieval at the same time. We made the trek out to the clinic first thing yesterday morning to sign our final consent forms for treatment and to confirm ovulation through blood work. A few hours later my nurse called me with instructions: 10 units of Lupron injected into my belly each morning.

As Ross would say, let’s do this thing:

IMG_0901

IMG_6425
Not so bad

My stomach did a little flip when I first unpacked my needles the other day, but overall I haven’t felt nervous about beginning injections again. I know now that it gets much harder than this. But, to be extra careful, I read and re-read the instructions before beginning, following each step slowly and giving myself time to get used to it again. Then, just like that, it was done– quick and painless, not like the time I accidentally injected myself with a mixing needle:

IMG_0472
2015: The needle I used on the left (BAD) and the needle I should have used on the right.

After finishing I tossed the syringe in my sharps container, threw out the wrapping and alcohol swabs, and walked back into the kitchen– where I was immediately overcome by extreme nausea and a loud ringing in my ears. A few moments later, I was on the ground blacking out. I called out for help, but since Kyle was in the midst of changing a diaper, Pippa (our Chihuahua) was the first to attend to me. I don’t know what happened really– whether it was a reaction to the medication (has anyone else dealt with this before?), or simply a psychological response, but it was enough to shake me. At first I was going to wait to report it, but Elle encouraged me to tell my nurse. She was pretty concerned, so I’ve since been instructed to call their emergency line if it happens again tomorrow, which is not the way I wanted to start things.

Of course, it’s not the only thing we’re dealing with right now: Kyle left this morning for the weekend for a second interview and to check out the location. I was supposed to go with him but woke up with pain in my back from a pinched nerve, which ruled out sitting in the car for several hours. Ross and I are alone for a bit– which is made a lot harder by my inability to lift, carry, or chase him down to push pajamas over his head due to the pain and diminished mobility. But, the best part of living in the same apartment complex as all of our friends is that we’re never truly on our own: one sweet friend brought me dinner tonight, another took Ross for the afternoon and will be back in the morning to stay with me for the injection– even in the midst of their own life stress and post-grad job searches.

For once I would like to be the easy patient and have the rest of this medical part go smoothly. I’m terrified that another bad reaction to the medication will sideline me for this cycle, and we simply don’t have the time (or emotional energy) for that. The best case scenario is that our plans continue uninterrupted so that, in about a week and a half, I am able to go in for a baseline ultrasound and blood work before getting started with my stim injections and monitoring. It still hasn’t quite felt real yet, but I suppose there is time for that.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “IVF Cycle #2: Let’s Do This Thing

  1. Definitely take the CoQ10. I started taking it 9 months ago and they were able to retrieve 5 more eggs than my last retrieval. I hope you see success as well! I know the shots aren’t fun but hopefully the time will go by quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing you lots of luck. I know how hard it is and how much more challenging it must be with a toddler running around. I hope your pain eases up and that your cycle goes as smoothly as possible. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ❤ It has definitely been a challenge, especially since Ross is old enough to know that something is happening but still too young for any kind of explanation he can understand. I haven't really found a way that feels right to approach it. :/

      Like

  3. Wow! Let’s do this thing!!! (so cute!) Sending you lots of luck for your cycle. That’s incredible news about your AMH levels! Had you done any research into ways to increase it and tried anything in particular? I hope the rest of your injections have gone well so far. I have definitely felt light headed immediately after some injections that I would need to lie down, but never totally blacked out, that must have been terrifying. Glad you have an awesome friend to be there with you 🙂

    Like

      1. Ah, thank you, but no, not yet! Still just stuck on Lupron until cycle day 1 when I can schedule my baseline appointment. I was expecting it on Friday and of course the curse of infertility/treatments is that you spend so long hoping your period doesn’t come but it always does… and then when you really want it to come, it doesn’t! I am trying not to drive myself crazy, it’s too early for that yet!

        With the AMH I happened to see that it can fluctuate, even just from cycle to cycle, so I tried to see if there were any ways to improve it. Apparently you can have slightly decreased levels if it’s done in the winter (which is when I was last tested in 2015) and vitamin D can help increase it. So I’ve been taking that for several months now with my CoQ10 but I have no idea if that’s what made such a huge difference. I am actually in a normal range now for my age (on that number at least)! I am interested to see what, if any, difference there is between my results between this cycle and my last.

        Speaking of, I was actually up in the night last night unable to sleep and remembered you testing some things during your own IVF. I was planning on going back to look at it again. Were the posts from about August 2015?

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s