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Day 11 (Round 1 of IVF): Surgery Tomorrow & Resiliency

Day 11 (Round 1 of IVF): Surgery Tomorrow & Resiliency

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

So I took my HGC trigger shot (Pregnyl) last night and this morning I took my pregnancy test. The HCG trigger shot essentially makes your body think it’s pregnant to help with the egg retrieval process. My body had a good reaction to the shot, so I am officially having my egg retrieval surgery tomorrow. I am really excited to finally be at this point, and trying to stay hopeful.

 

I’m not sure which of the four shots I’m on that are causing my extreme thirst. I am like a fish, I feel I cannot bear it unless I’m drinking water at least several times every half hour it seems. I’ve been drinking water not only to quench my insatiable thirst but to also help with the growth of my eggs. I read that staying hydrated can help with the development of eggs. I have one egg that is not quite of mature size, and they said that maybe by the time of the surgery it will grow big enough. A weird fact they told me is that eggs can even grow outside of the body before ICSI. I am always blown away by the amazing science behind fertility treatment.

 

Today we decided to stay in and rest. Mom has a really bad migraine. I have a ton of studying and a few assignments I have to do today anyway. While mom rested most of the day I was immersed in studying fairy tales for my English literature class. And if you haven’t heard, the original Little Red Riding Hood stories (pre-Brothers Grimm) are insanely demented. Who knew these original stories were not meant for children at all. Very interesting to see the many adaptations over time.  I also read the various adaptations of Bluebeard, also a horrifyingly messed up story. But as with any memorable story there has to be a good amount of conflict. I’m majoring in English, so I love cozying up to read different stories, especially the ones that are a mindf***. Easy breezy beach reads bore me.

 

I’ve found that going back to school has been a great decision for me during my fertility struggles. I can’t control the outcome of my fertility issues, but at least I have some sense of control in my life by going to school. Some people might think taking on school when doing IVF treatment is too much for them emotionally. For me, I find it to be a really good distraction from my overthinking anything and everything related to becoming a mother. At this point I can’t control when, if, or how I’ll become a mother, but the one thing I can control is where my thoughts go. If I can push my thoughts towards learning something new and focusing intensely on my school work I find it to be really satisfying. I feel like I am actually accomplishing something and working to towards a tangible goal.

 

I’m only taking one class at the moment. It’s the second semester of my World Literature class. I knew there was going to be a s*** ton of reading, just like in the first semester. So I decided to only take one class for two reasons; 1) The amount of reading would probably be on par with two classes, 2) I’m doing IVF treatment, you think I actually have any more money to do more than one class? It’s just the right amount to balance everything between work, school, and my other job…infertility treatment. If you’ve gone through IVF treatment then you know the large amount of time it takes for the many appointments.

 

I am thinking I might also look into pursuing other hobbies as well. I want to start swimming again. Or maybe I can learn to do something artistic or crafty. All work and no play makes Julie a dull girl. Now I’m imagining my psycho self frozen outside in the snow like Jack Nicholson in the end of The Shining. Yeah I don’t want to end up like that. I need some more fun in my life. With all this tension and overthinking around if I’ll become a mother I’m trying to seek out ways to escape. I’ve always had a tendency to be an epic couch potato, watching lots of movies as a means of distraction. But instead of zoning out, I’d like to do something that makes me feel alive, and not something that simply numbs my emotions. I’ll need to meditate more on this. I will say this, I have another website in the prewriting phase. I’m still gauging the scope of it. I’ll let you in on a little secret and give you a hint. It will be about doing the things in life that can be incredibly challenging. How’s that for a vague hint?

 

Tomorrow is the big day for my first egg retrieval. I can now feel cramps coming on at 4:30pm. I’m hoping these moderate cramps are an indication of my body doing the right thing. It’s not that painful, just a little more than my regular period cramps. I think the right ovary was the one they said had more eggs. I will of course be disappointed if none of this works, but what I will not be disappointed over is that I at least tried. I must push past the emotional pain of this whole process. I will not allow myself to waste time worrying. If you are like me and have low AMH/ovarian reserve you know exactly what I mean. Ladies, if you have the same diagnosis of me my best advice I can give you is to not waste time, buck up, do your research, and get your treatment plan into action.

 

My first pregnancy loss I spent two weeks in bed depressed. After I was able to pick myself up from that time in my life I told myself, “I’m never going to wallow in my pain like that again. It’s just too painful.” I had three pregnancy losses after that and I was able to cope better because I remembered that promise I made to myself. Any type of loss we experience in our life can debilitate us if we let it. Even if I am unable to have a baby at the end of all of this, I’m hoping I can at least say I’ve gained the ability to be more resilient.

 

Thank you for reading.

Check out my other blog entries by clicking here for the archives page.

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Day 1 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Excited & Nervous

Day 1 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Excited & Nervous

I feel like I had to wait forever to get to the point of starting my first round of IVF, in reality it has only been about five months from the decision to start. Today my husband stuck me with both Follistim (300) and Menopur (150). I wanted him to do it the first time so I can get a sense of how it would feel. I’d like to practice doing it myself either tomorrow or the next day, because I will be out of state for the egg retrieval while hubby works back home.

Before we got started with the injections for the first time ever, I stood in front of my big FedEx box of medication and said my prayer of positivity, which came straight from my heart,  “Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa. Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa….Hey Macarena! Ahhhaay!” I smiled and raised my hands in gratitude.

My husband’s schedule is already locked in for the year, so he wasn’t able to come down with me for the retrieval. My little bum of a cyst on my ovary threw off our plans we had set to take this time off together. For some reason I was panicking thinking that we’d have to postpone IVF for another year until he can get more time off. But my nurse out of state told me that he could just come down before me and freeze his sperm and we can still stay on track for the year. What a relief! Although it’s disappointing he cannot be there with me for the retrieval, I am so thankful my amazing Mom will be by my side to help. My clinic requires someone to help me after the surgery. Even though I will be doing medical appointments daily, I’d like to start looking into some fun things she and I can do while we are there. I need to fly out of state again in about a month (or whenever I can afford it) so they can do the transfer of the frozen embryo (FET), if I am lucky enough to have an embryo to transfer. I think they said I can do this one on the weekend, so hopefully I can have my husband with me.

My sonographer said it best, “Let’s hope they have a good Easter Egg hunt with you.” That’s the hardest I laughed in my recent appointments.

Before we got started with the injections for the first time ever, I stood in front of my big FedEx box of medication and said my prayer of positivity, which came straight from my heart,  “Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa. Mama-say mama-sa mama-ko-sa….Hey Macarena! Ahhhaay!” I smiled and raised my hands in gratitude. My husband made his usual weirded out face when he thinks I’m crazy. He’s used to this kind of stuff by now. He pulled up a chair to the kitchen counter and we both worked together on learning how to do the medications.

 

The two injections I took today were not as painful as I imagined they would be. The needles are actually thin and somewhat short so I didn’t feel much pain. The Follistim had some residual stinging afterwards but not too bad. Probably even less pain than all these friggin’ blood draws I’ve been doing lately. My veins in my arm are looking pretty spotty and sad. But one trick I learned when I have to do my labs is to run quickly up the multiple flights of stairs to get my blood flowing. That makes it easier for them to find a good vein, even if I haven’t had much water yet that morning.

 

I’m so happy to be starting my stims. If you haven’t done IVF before and you are about to start, just focus on following along with the individual steps in the videos from your clinic. Take it one step at a time. I think once I’m done with this round of IVF I’ll write up a how-to guide or something similar to help others. But at this point in time I really don’t have much advice, I’m a newbie to this game. My sonographer said it best, “Let’s hope they have a good Easter Egg hunt with you.” That’s the hardest I laughed in my recent appointments. I loved that! So here’s to my upcoming Easter Egg Hunt. Hopefully they can get some good eggs for my retrieval. Thanks for reading and good luck to you wherever you are in your fertility journey.

 

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