IVF#2: After 12 Days of Stims… We Trigger Tonight!

Well here we are, after 12 days of Gonal-F doses ranging from 200IU to 250IU, finally, we trigger tonight!

Yesterday I waited by the phone, self-soothing with spoonfuls of coconut butter (you must try coconut butter- not oil- it is so rich and creamy and delicious. It’s the only food I could really taste yesterday), for a phone call that never came. This morning I went to my monitoring appointment, had more blood drawn (so many holes in my arms now), and went for my daily meditative dildo-wanding.

These are my stats:

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As you can see, it was a good call for my RE to have me stim for one more day. A good amount of growth happened, and some of the mid-sized follicles have grown to potential maturation size. The ultrasound technician says that in her experience, the follicles 16mm and greater will probably be mature by egg retrieval. The 15mm ones are iffy, and anything smaller is unlikely to yield a mature egg by egg collection. So right now, we’re looking at 18 or so potentially mature eggs, which is great. Obviously, you never know until egg retrieval, but I love to speculate. TTC had made me a master speculator. I have self-diagnosed a whole shit tonne of things already, most of which has actually been correct.

Anyways, there’s a lot of snow around here, and I’m dying to take the dogs out, but the conservation area doesn’t get plowed, and the snow is knee-height. Juno killed and ate 90% of a raccoon a couple of days ago (we lost her in the conservation park and then found her laying in a mess of fur and blood, so we speculate (see master speculator!) that it must’ve been a small raccoon based on the fur). She has been crapping fur poops, which can’t be fun. I might throw on my gators and go for a jaunt with her. Oh, that dog… Eating things she shouldn’t eat.

Speaking of eating, I have been feeling quite a bit less bloated in the belly lately. I believe that it is due to some changes that I’ve made to my diet:

1. Cut down my carb intake a bit. Because of the amount I was working out before stims, I was eating 40-50g of carbs with each meal (so 4-5 times a day). I’ve cut that down to 20-30g of carbs with each meal, sometimes less, depending on the meal. I always feel a bit better eating less carbs. It’s not a weight loss thing, it’s an overall homeostasis thing.

2. I’m force-feeding myself protein with each meal, even with snacks. I ate a lot of protein before (at least 35g per meal x 4-5 times a day), but feeling like crap doesn’t make you want to cook or eat things that require a knife.

3. I’m consuming a lot more salt than usual. I usually consume very little salt, but thanks to some advice from this lovely blogger at Plan B Chronicles, I’m eating way more salty foods. I’m adding salt to my soups, eating more salty snacks, etc.

4. Metamucil is my friend. I’m taking two scoops of the Orange flavoured powder once a day. DW says it makes her poops “nice and fluffy”, which makes me giggle. I don’t think my poops are ever fluffy, but I’m crapping at least once a day right now, which makes me happy.

Having so many follicles, I’m aware that OHSS is quite likely on the horizon. All of the above mentioned efforts are also to prevent it. Last year’s IVF had 36 growing follicles, 19 of which were mature. I felt super shitty for 6 days after egg retrieval, and then started to feel a lot better. All in all, it took 2 weeks for me to be able to take a dump without crying alone in the bathroom (due to enlarged ovaries). I was bloated and in pain, but didn’t have nausea or troubles breathing like some women do. I definitely had ascites, and got to practice some diagnostic tests that I had learned in professional school.

Lindsey at Awaiting Autumn also mentioned taking Dostinex (Cabergoline) for OHSS, and I’ve sent an email to my primary nurse asking about being prescribed some. This study shows that it doesn’t negatively affect egg maturation, implantation rates, or pregnancy rates.

So yeah, we trigger tonight, and egg retrieval is on Friday, though I’m still waiting for a call from the nurse to find out the exact time for both events.

Last year I said that I’d never do this again (because of the pain and trauma to my insides), and here we are, doing it again. I hope that we finally get some babies out of this.

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Fertility Friend Was Right

Yesterday’s blood work confirmed what my BBT suggested- as of yesterday morning (CD18), I had not yet ovulated. I got a phone call this morning from the nurse that I should start Provera on Monday along with the Lupron, and that I will be taking the Provera for 7 days. After a few days of stopping, I should get my period, which will be CD1 of our actual stimulation cycle!

*TMI warning*
Last night, I discovered what must be some kind of cervical mucus plug. It came out while I was showering, and was a huge glob the size of my thumb. I experienced this on my last natural (meaning non-FET) cycle as well, and recorded it in Fertility Friend. Last time, it was followed by three days of copious amounts of EWCM and then ovulation. Fun times.

I haven’t been sleeping well, which also seems to be a recurring symptom that I’m noticing the week before ovulation. I can’t wait for the Provera, as I find that I sleep so much better during my luteal phase (or with lots of progesterone). I have become a progesterone junkie. I just love that shit.

For now, we’ve been keeping busy. DW has been chipping away at school work and marking, as well as taking the dogs on their regular hikes (she doesn’t get to take them as much during the school week, which is when I usually take them). I’ve been working through Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building Program, which is kicking my ass due to the sheer volume of exercises and reps. I’m used to doing reps in the range of 6-8, and 4 sets of 5-6 exercises, but her program includes a lot more reps (12-20) and more sets (4-5), and 6-7 exercises. It’s forcing me to take longer rest periods, which has me at the gym for almost 90 minutes for just weight lifting (previously, I would lift for 40 minutes and do cardio for 20 minutes). This doesn’t leave much time for cardio, which is fine because she doesn’t include much in this beginning phase of her Muscle Building Program. I’ve also jacked up my protein intake and incorporated more carbs back into my diet, which is different for me as well since I was previously on a low carb, moderate fat, moderate protein diet. I’m fighting against some hard-gaining genetics (and soon-to-be fertility drugs) though, so we will see what happens with all of this. My goal isn’t to lose weight, it is to pack on as much muscle as I can before the embryo transfer. Pregnancy made me so tired last time that I just know I won’t have the energy to do any heavy lifting.