IVF#2: After 10 Days of Stims

Goodness! It’s been 10 days already, and we’re still not trigger-ready.

Today has been an exciting day however. At 6am, I awoke to my wife’s ecstatic giggles, as she exclaimed “It’s a SNOW day!!” Our school board cancelled all buses and closed all schools for the day, due to the terrible weather.

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As teachers, this means we do not have to come into work. It’s a safety thing really. Last year, an Ontario school board kept schools open during one of the worst snow storms, and a teacher had a fatal accident while commuting to school due to the terrible road conditions. School boards rarely call a snow day unless it’s projected to be really necessary, as they have to pay back the government for the lost teaching day.

But we woke up to our front door being snowed in. I had to go out the side door, and shovel and brush it clear to walk through. The snow was also at least three times as tall as Clementine (the dog), so DW had to shovel a path for her from the side door to an appropriate “bathroom spot” in the yard. Juno (the big dog) just loves this weather. She sat on a mound of snow in our front yard, while DW and I brushed off the cars and shovelled our driveway. We wouldn’t have been able to get to my monitoring appointment without doing so. I love shovelling. I like the physicality of doing it. But today, I got some sharp pains in my left ovary after tossing numerous shovels of snow. I guess when your ovaries are the size of oranges, you shouldn’t be twisting like that. DW made me stop, and finished off the driveway on her own.

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By the time we were done, it was time to leave for my monitoring appointment. I was hoping that my follicles would be ready to trigger today, as my beta (if we do a five-day transfer) would land on DW’s birthday, but alas, it seems we may have to wait one or two more days. I don’t know why my follicles take so long to grow. I have so many of them, but they just take their sweet ass time. I’m already half-way through my third 900IU Gonal-F pen, which costs about the same as one of my paychecks!

Anyways enough of my complaining. Here are today’s stats:

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So, we’re getting there… One or two more days until trigger.

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IVF#2: After 7 Days of Stims

So I’m at that point of bloatedness now where it hurts to pee and poop. My ovaries are each packing in 10 follicles that are on average, a centimetre in diameter each. In the morning, the bloat isn’t so bad, but by the night time, I feel like someone has pumped my belly full of air, creating a very high-pressure system. It hurts to twist or turn too quickly, and rolling over in bed has to be done very carefully. It takes me forever to empty my bladder, because bearing down feels like I’m squishing my ovaries. Pooping, well, you can imagine how difficult pooping is too.

I had monitoring again today, and have a lead follicle at 14mm, so I start coming in daily now for blood work and ultrasound. I hope things progress fast, because my cervix is getting very sensitive to the poking around, I’m running out of veins, and just had to buy another 900IU of Gonal-f and vial of Lupron. These drugs aren’t cheap!

Plus, stimming for 14 days last time nearly killed me- both the wait, but also the amount of monitoring and the OHSS. 36 follicles was just crazy!

So here are today’s stats:

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Those follicles are growing, and more importantly, they are growing all within the same range of sizes. I hope all 20 make it to a good diameter so that they’re all mature. Last time, even though I had 36 follicles, only 19 were mature enough.

What I’m really enjoying right now is comparing my stats from this IVF to those from last year: after 13 days of stims, and after 14 days of stims.

Judging from how things progressed last year, I predict that I’ll be triggering on Tuesday, and retrieving on Thursday. That seems so far away, and a long time feeling so bloated, so of course I’d be thrilled if things progressed quicker this time around.

Another update tomorrow!

IVF#2: After 5 Days of Stims

Just a quickie today, but I wanted to update y’all after today’s monitoring appointment.

Yesterday, I went in for my intralipid infusion, which took about two hours, and involved me being hooked up via IV to a bag of what DW calls the “special mayonnaise”. At $750 a pop, out of pocket, it is also an expensive mayonnaise. I have very few superficial veins, and it took the nurses four tries to tap a live one. They eventually had to go for one in my hand, which hurt a lot, and with the Aspirin that I’m taking, bled a lot afterwards.

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Yesterday, I also noticed globs of egg white cervical mucus, which tells me my estrogen levels are high. Each of the little follicles in my ovaries release estrogen as they mature, contributing to the clusterglobs in my underpants. I anticipate that it is bound to get messier by the day. Lucky for you, I did not take pictures of this, as I might have been tempted to post them.

Today, I ran from appointment to appointment. I had really bad insomnia last night (probably due to high estrogen levels, which messes up my sleep every cycle), and took 50mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benedryl) at 11pm. Benedryl makes me super groggy and I was laying in bed like a zombie this morning, almost missing my monitoring appointment at the fertility clinic. Over the course of 15 minutes, I managed to shower and dress, set up the crockpot for pulled pork, fry some eggs (sunny side up), butter some gluten-free toast, and make myself a protein shake. I also made it to my appointment only 4 minutes late. Phew!

At the clinic, I had blood work and ultrasound done, which revealed 10 follicles on each side (20 in total!), 4 of which are 10mm or larger. They still have a ways to grow, so I go back in on Friday for my next monitoring.

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I’m happy with this number, and now just want them to grow into big fat juicy follicles. Last IVF, I ended up with 36 follicles, with only 19 being mature. This time, since we are doing a fresh transfer back into me, I hope I am not overstimulated, but still have a good number of mature eggs to make good quality embryos. *Fingers and toes crossed*

After monitoring, I rushed downtown to my acupuncture appointment. I’ve got a whole bunch of herbs that I need to take to increase my kidney yang, as my pulse was a bit slow and weak. I also had an acupuncture treatment, which was nice. My TCM doc is a bit of an odd duck, so it’s always an interesting treatment.

Next update on Friday!