Baby Steps

documenting our journey to parenthood

Straight to IVF

on January 18, 2012

I can’t believe we’re approaching a year of this already, yet we have only just begun! I haven’t posted since our initial consultation, so here’s a quick summary of all that we discovered in the last 8 months or so…

  • Met with Dr. Witt and after some minor tests, learned David does not have retrograde ejaculation after all. We’re still unsure if he has any viable sperm at all. To figure that out, he’d have to undergo a procedure called MESA or TESA. We’re hoping he won’t have to.
  • Had a few more consultations with Dr. T and he still has tons of confidence in us. That’s keeping me positive.
  • We did a bunch of genetic testing and learned that I’m a carrier of the MTHFR gene, which can cause neurological damage to a fetus. Dr. T prescribed me Folplex which is essentially a heavy dose of folic acid. I’ve been taking it once a day ever since.
  • I had a sonohystogram performed to ensure my ovaries were healthy. I remember I did this right before our anniversary in August. It was a weird procedure where they basically inject a bunch of saline solution into your uterus and perform an ultrasound to see if they can see anything abnormal. Fortunately, the only thing they found was a small cyst which isn’t too big of a concern, or so they say.
  • Shipped the only 4 vials of David’s sperm to RBA back in November. The arrived safely. We’re going to use them first.
  • Ordered a slew of medicines right before Christmas that arrived on my door step in many, many boxes and coolers. It was overwhelming, but exciting, as we knew it was going to begin soon!
  • We made it through the holidays, enjoyed a trip to Costa Rica, and began the countdown to the new year. We wanted to start this journey at the beginning of the new year for insurance reasons primarily. I do have some coverage through my work, which is good, but this fertility stuff isn’t cheap!

With all that data collection behind us, we consulted with Dr. Toledo and agreed that the best plan of action for us is straight to IVF with ICSI using the banked sperm. With the $7,150 deposit down, we were ready to go!

Fast forward to January when we began anxiously awaiting Aunt Flow. We could finally start our first IVF cycle once she visited.  On January 12, 2012 she arrived. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so big to see that ugly thing show up. I was pumped! I called RBA right away and told them it was GO TIME!

Friday, 1/13/2012 was my initial suppression check. David came along to support (and to learn how to administer all that medicine that has been sitting in the fridge for so long!) After some quick bloodwork, we headed into the tech’s room for the ultrasound. My mind must have been elsewhere that day (or I was just so so so excited this was actually happening!) I was having a hard time hearing the nurse’s instructions — particularly the one that told me to undress from the waist down. So after she walked out of the room, I asked David if he caught what she said and we both looked at each other with a blank stare and I quickly walked out of the room, found the nurse, asked her to repeat the instructions, and headed back and left my jeans, undies, and socks at my feet. It felt odd sitting on the table with no bottom half on, but still having a sweater and scarf around your neck. David thought it would be kinda weird if when the nurse walked back in she saw this half naked woman sitting on the table. So I threw the pillow over my lap. The nurse walked in and just started laughing at me, reminding me that the cover sheets were ALWAYS located in the bathroom. Whoops.

The suppression check went great. My “ovaries look like ovaries” and we were cleared to start stims Friday night. My protocol consisted of 225 iu of Gonal-F injections once a night, plus this yucky blue pill that we both had to take to fight off any bacterias. David administered the first injection that night, and did it like a pro. It didn’t hurt at all, though the needle bent a little bit so I had a little tenderness in my stomach that night. The rest of the weekend he was like Dr. David giving those things like he’s been doing it forever. With all the tiny prick marks in my stomach, I was starting to wonder when I would see or feel any side effects. We spent the weekend relaxing, and met up with a few friends for dinner where I casually nursed a tiny glass of wine.

Monday,  1/16/2016 was MLK Day and I had the day off work. I went in for my next ultrasound and bloodwork and they were able to measure 5 follies on the left and 8 on the right. That was success for just a few days! I came home from the doctor and was told to start the first Ganirelix injection. This was a syringe style (as opposed to the pen that I was used to for the Gonal-F) and it made me a little more nervous. Again, David was a pro and administered the shot perfectly. Stayed strong with the 225 iu of Gonal-F that night and was actually excused from my Tuesday check. That’s about when I first felt a little bit of cramping.

Wednesday, 1/18/2016 was my next bloodwork and ultrasound appointment. With my protocol the same, I expected to see some good results. Indeed they were! I had around 22 follies that they measured and my E2 level went from 800 on Monday to 2,032 on Wednesday! Apparently every 200 of E2 equates to approximately 1 mature egg at retrieval. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the bump forums and hear mixed things about the E2 levels rising so quickly. The nurse called that afternoon and said Dr. Toledo wants me to decrease my Gonal-F dose to 150 iu. That should help with the E2 levels. Apparently if they get too high you are at risk for OHSS and your retrieval can be cancelled. The nurse assured me that they weren’t too high yet, so we’ll continue with the lower dose.

Back to the clinic in the morning for more bloodwork and ultrasound. If all goes as it has, I’m teed up to trigger on Friday and the retrieval will be Sunday morning!! We’re staying cautiously optimistic through this whole process, and sending lots of prayers up to the big guy. He’s with us through this journey, I can tell; He’s already brought David and I so much closer and I know that was all a part of His grand plan. Let’s just pray our family grows because of this, too.

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