Friday, January 20, 2012

Overwhelmed

I couldnt really think of a creative title for this post since I already used shots, but overwhelmed pretty much says it all.

Shot Class was at the IRMS location in Livingston, NJ. We got their at 8:30am and in our class were two other couples and another woman - so 4 IVF/IUI/Infertility patients all together. I kind of wished we went around the table and said what we were "in" for since all the couples were around our age and looked healthy. I was surprised, but also kind of comforted since it made me feel like less of a reproductive freak.

Wanda was our "teacher" and I liked her a lot, especially because she kept calling us "ladies" when referring to things we had to do.

At our station were several different sized needles, a practice "butt" (which was kind of like a belt with a rubber square attached to it), our Follistim pen, and syringes.
We started easy and covered Doryx. Doryx is an antibiotic tablet that will be taken by DJ and me during the Luteal phase of my period (if I had one). It makes his sperm sample free of bacteria before it is used in the transfer and makes sure all my stuff is bacteria free too. This is taken by him 7 days prior to retrieval and I think I take it the day of the retrieval to the day of the transfer. I don't remember but I'm sure they will tell me.

Next we learned about Lupron and that actually starts today. Lupron, Follistim, and Menopur are little shots taken during the stimulation phase. They are meant to stimulate follicles and produce eggs. The nurse compared them to the insulin shots diabetics take, but I think the needles are a little longer than that.
Either way, Lupron starts tonight and will be taken with birth control until January 25th. Then its Lupron only until the 30th when I go in for another ultrasound, and then it is joined by Follistim and Menopur for a week to 10 days.
DJ will be giving me these shots for the most part. How romantic.

Once we are wrapping up with those guys, we enter the Luteal Phase and things get exciting. The drugs until this point have prepared my body for the creation and development of eggs while preventing ovulation. All the while I am going into the Clark, NJ IRMS office for blood work and ultrasounds. When all my ovaries are plump with eggs, I'll get a call from the doctor to schedule my egg retrieval. This call comes 36 hours before the retrieval is done and DJ gives me a shot of HCG in the bum between 9pm and 12am. This needle is significantly longer than the ones we had been using previously which can only mean its more intense.

The day after the HCG shot is shot free (yay!) and I just spend the day angsting because the following day is the retrieval which is in Livingston, NJ at the St. Barnabas Women's Center. Under general anesthesia, retrieval takes about 15 to 40 minutes and they go in my hooch with a little needle/vacuum and take out my eggs. From start to finish, its a 3 hour stint in the hospital as it includes time for pre-op and post-op stuff. The goal is to take 4 or more eggs at the retrieval and the average woman has 6 to 10 to give.

After the retrieval, I will go on Medrol (another tablet) to prevent my body from rejecting the embryos and I will take a progesterone shot to prepare my body for pregnancy. These look especially awesome because they are another long needle and will go into my butt. The nurse said they will draw a circle on each side so DJ knows where to shoot me. Who needs a couples' retreat when you could do IVF!

I get a day or two off and then I go back for the transfer. A quick in and out procedure will put the best egg(s) of the bunch back inside my uterus. The rest get frozen Austin Powers-style until we figure out what our plan is. The progesterone shots continue and after two weeks I go for a pregnancy test, blood test, and any other required prodding.

Below is a picture of all of my medications.

Of course I had a nervous breakdown yesterday because that's what I do on Doctor Appointment Days, but I've got my head together today which is good.