Green Light to Stim!

When I had my baseline appointment last week, the Dr. found an estrogen-producing cyst on my right ovary that was causing my Estradiol to be 392, which was way too high. So they kept me on Lupron (10 units) for an extra week. After spending way too much time on Google looking up estrogen-producing cysts, high levels of E2, and delayed/cancelled IVF cycles, I had hope when I read that getting your period may help the cyst disappear and E2 levels would drop. It was possibly the first time I was thanking the heavens when I got my period on Saturday. Not sure how much validity is in this, but I also tried cutting out meat/dairy products over the next few days in hopes that that would help reduce my estrogen level.

I went back for an ultrasound and bloodwork on Thursday and the Dr. could no longer see the cyst anymore! A few hours later, I got confirmation that I was good to start stimming the next day as my E2 had decreased to 91.8…woohoo!!! I am cutting it extremely close with this IVF cycle as I am booked for a hysteroscopy on Nov. 6. Hopefully all will go smoothly with this round of FSH meds and that egg retrieval will be able to happen before that date.

Since my memory is at the level of a 78 year-old, I had pretty much forgotten all of the injection training I had received at the clinic 3 weeks ago. Maybe I should have taken up the nurse’s offer to borrow the teaching tools to practice at home (yes, I was that bad…!!)…Thankfully the clinic’s website has training videos on it. I don’t know if it’s just me or if others doing IVF feel the same way but I was incredibly stressed about doing these injections. I can’t believe I was worried about the Lupron injection before! Now that is the easiest one. I was to reduce Lupron to 5 units, use Puregon (350 units), and Menopur (150 units).

S and I have been on decent terms lately. Kind of being like friends. We text each day wishing each other good morning and good night and occasionally get together for a meal or movie. But other than hugs, a kiss on the forehead (from him) and the use of the kissing emoji, we awkwardly avoid any other form of romantic contact. Anyway, he knew I was feeling really anxious about these injections so he offered to come by after work to help me. My anxiety overtook any pride/independence I was feeling and I quickly took him up on his offer. As I carefully laid out each item (oh my god, so many!!) with the corresponding instructional pamphlet, he watched the training videos.

#1 – Lupron: Easy peasy!

#2 – Puregon pen: Was the second easiest. Thank god, my dose was simple so I needed one vial exactly. Hurt a little more than the Lupron syringe and bled a little bit.

#3 – Menopur: The one I was dreading as there was mixing involved. We did get confused about how much saline to use as I needed two vials of the powder. We decided to use 1 mL since the pamphlet said that is typically the dose. As I injected, it definitely felt like a lot more liquid going in and it was the most painful. With this one, I bled the most and was a bit sore afterwards. This is the only time that I was glad that I have a good amount of fat on my mid-section.

#4 – Tuxedo truffle cake that S brought: It did feel like it was a cause for celebration to get the first day of stimming injections over with. I was very relieved and also very thankful that S could be there with me to assist (mostly keeping me calm, reminding me of little things I forgot, and not letting me second-guess myself).

The whole process took about an hour, which is probably really long, but I’m sure if it was by myself that time would double. I will be attempting this again on my own in a few hours so hopefully I will get through it okay!

 

 

 

First IVF Injection Day!

Today is my first injection. I am trying to psych myself up. I can do this. Think of how many other SMBCs have been able to do these injections on their own. Were you as nervous as I am? I am so scared of needles that out of the countless regular blood tests I have had done, I look away every single time the needle goes in. Shit. This is supposed to be the easiest out of all the injectable medications too. I can do this. Breathe. I can do this.

This is How Much I Want You

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One more thing accomplished…day 3 FSH level blood test – check! Now hopefully the results will be okay…

Prior to this, it was quite the day…

I have been off of birth control since the beginning of the year when S and I were supposed to start trying for a baby. I was happy to be off the hormones as I figured my body needed a break from them after over 15 years of it. After finding out that I would now be doing this on my own without S, I continued staying off the bc so that my body would be baby-ready even though IUI wouldn’t likely happen for another 4 months or so. I held out (barely) for the day 3 blood test but now it looks like I will need to go back on the hormones because of the cursed countless number of fibroids and thalassemia (which in case you don’t know,  is not as pretty as the name may sound. It is a genetic blood disorder that causes chronic anemia. And of course, I ended up having one of the more severe types).

Being off the bc, my periods have been more regular but have been more of a bloodbath than usual. Well it started a couple of days ago and I ended up hemorrhaging while I was at work. They ended up calling an ambulance and the school I was in was put on alert while all of this was happening (poor kids!). It was absolutely mortifying. The bathroom, my black pants (staple of my everyday wardrobe), shirt and even boots looked like props in a horror movie. At least the majority of my coworkers are women, which helps. They hooked me up to the IV and eventually after finding a match, I received a blood transfusion of a couple of units.

Unfortunately, this blood came in one way and promptly out another but I am still standing. Pale and frail as a ghost, shaky and out of breath with the slightest of movements, but I am here.

I am hoping that going back on the bc and continuing with the max doses of tranexamic acid and Advil will prevent this from happening again. But I know that with the combination of these two serious conditions, it will be a fine balance between trying to create life while trying to keep mine going at a safe level. My doctor has warned me that if I do get conceive, it will be a high-risk pregnancy and that he will have to “monitor me like a hawk.”

My mom had a hysterectomy at my age but this was after bearing three children. My doctor and I have tried everything under the sun over the last decade, including every kind of bc, Lupron, Fibristal and two hysteroscopies. He is adamant that the only treatment left for the fibroids is to have the same fate as my mom.

But I refuse to give up. I will continue pushing on in my lightheaded, lethargic haze with the hope that one day you will be here and know that this is how much I wanted you.

M

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