Who would have thought making one tiny little human Sonne would be this difficult? I guess I don’t have to tell you, but our last IUI didn’t work. I had to hear the “we’re so sorry, we don’t have good news for you today” phone call AGAIN. This one was really hard. I was feeling so optimistic. It felt different this time. I had to give myself a bit to grieve the loss of a child that never was… What an inexplicable thing.
There is a ray of hope off in the distance, however: a new protocol!
Here we go! Heavy artillery time (and I’m not talking about automatic or semi-automatic assault rifles— #enough). I’m talking about Menopur, Follistim, Ganirelix, Doxycyline, Minivelle, Dexamethasone, HCG, Leuprolide Acetate, Valium (haven’t figured out what this one is for yet), Tylenol 3, and Endometrin. Wow. That’s a mouthful. On July 5th I begin my drug protocol for In Vitro Fertilization.
I’m over the moon at the moment because while IVF could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars, Jacob’s new insurance covers the procedures and most of the meds. The timing of the new policy kicking right before we begin IVF is just MAGICAL. TREMENDOUS. REMARKABLE. EXTRAORDINARY.
Technically, I’ve already started. I’ve been on birth control pills (seems so opposite of the point, right?) for a few weeks to bring all of my hormones back down to a beginning level (start of a cycle/period). I will stop the pill in a few days and have my baseline testing (blood work and ultrasound). These tests will tell me if my ovaries, uterus, and hormones are all on the same page and ready to begin. I then give my body a few days to get back to normal (have a period) and begin the medicines on July 5th. I have to take several pills (including an antibiotic and a corticosteroid), one shot of Menopur in the morning, and one shot of Follistim in the evening. After a few days, I will go in for monitoring. They will check to see if the protocol and dosages are working by checking my hormone levels and having a good look at the follicles on my ovaries. Hopefully there are a bunch of follicles growing. I will follow this process and continue to be monitored until it looks like most of the follicles are getting bigger (they like them to be around 21-23mm, but they will take smaller ones, too). I will then give myself a shot of HCG (pregnancy hormone) to trigger the release of eggs. Approximately 36 hours after I take the trigger shot, my eggs will be retrieved.
The retrieval is the scary part to me. I will be under a “twilight” anesthesia. I’ve never been under before, so this is unnerving. I’ve also been told that I will be extremely out of it and super sore for a while after this. A day, maybe two… it could be more if I’m unlucky. I was told to warn Jacob that “the princess treatment” fill be in full effect. On the day of retrieval, I cannot drive and I will have a hard time doing mostly anything. He’ll have to be at my beck and call. The potentially WONDERFUL part about this day is that the doctor will be able to tell me how many eggs she retrieved. The doctor hopes for 7 or more eggs—the more, the better (hopefully without hyperstimulation— which can cause another whole set of issues I don’t even want to think about at the moment).
After the retrieval, the eggs will meet up with their soulmates (Jacob’s swimmers) in a petri dish and become embryos. They will hopefully experience cell division and then continue to grow for a few days. Some will thrive and some will not make it. The ones that thrive will be graded A, B, or C. A’s are great. B’s are ok, too. And while the grade of a C is not too shabby, on the grading scale of embryos they fail and are not to be used. At this stage in the game, because I am “young,” only embryos with the grade of an A will be used. These little guys (or gals) will then be biopsied. This test will determine the most viable embryos. The microscopic little tykes will then be frozen.
For a few different reasons, I will not be having a fresh transfer. The main reason is because of the testing. If I chose to do a fresh transfer, I would have to do so on day 3 or day 5. The biopsy requires embryos to be at day 7. The other reason is that my doctor believes that doing a frozen transfer, instead of fresh, will allow my body time to heal. I’ll have the embryo(s) transferred into me during the next cycle and it won’t be nearly as invasive or stressful, which is an awesome thing. Apparently, with some women, frozen is the way to go…. So I will not argue with this…. And I have just knocked on wood as to not jinx anything.
And so it begins….