IVF starts with Shots, Shots, Shots
One Wednesday January 6th, I started injections for our first IVF cycle.
Starting Lupron was hard, I got hot flashes and it really stung when I gave myself the shot. We were in Orlando for the Dopey Challenge. I gave myself my evening dose of Lupron, in the Steak ‘n Shake bathroom. The majority of the handicapped stalls in Orlando had sinks and mirrors, which was so nice.
We ran the Pluto 5k on Thursday and my friend Celise held up my costume so I could give myself the Lupron before the race. I remember her saying that she was shocked that I stuck myself without hesitation. That night we were in Hollywood Studios and gave myself another shot in a Disney World bathroom.
Friday we were running the Minnie 10k at Disney World and I had to get my injections through bag security at the race. I needed to find a spot to give myself the injections, and then run the race.
Giving myself 1 (Lupron) injection was easy, but then adding on another 2 (Follistim and Menopur) was going to be stressful. Follistim and Menopur both help the eggs grow.
That morning, I ended up giving myself 3 shots instead of 2, because I forgot to dial out the correct dosage in the Follistim pen. My running friends helped hold the injections and alcohol wipe while I gave myself the shots, it was actually quite helpful. They joke and say they were helping me make babies.
That night I gave myself 3 shots, and it took me 20 minutes. Chase texted to make sure I was okay. The Menopur injection was giving me issues, and I couldn’t get the big bubbles out. Once I was finally able to get it all ready, the Menopur stung bad going in. Thankfully I didn’t have a problem with the other 2 injections.
About a half hour later, I felt sick to my stomach and I was worried that the injections were making me sick. A friend who had previously done IVF said she had gotten sick with the fertility medications. It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone, and I prayed that I could make it the next 2 days without being sick.
For half marathon morning (January 9, my birthday), Chase got me ginger ale, to help with the nausea. Before morning injections I ate a lot more; having oatmeal, a bagel, as well as ginger ale.
Once I figured out the shots, it took maybe 2-5 minutes, twice a day, making sure I was around 12 hours in between each injection. I continued on that schedule (twice daily) for 10 days total.
Chase and I got back from Orlando on January 11, and the next morning the clinic checked my blood and estrogen levels. They check the estrogen to see how the follicles are maturing. Depending on my numbers they could tell me if I needed to increase or decrease my dosage.
On January 13 (a week after starting Lupron) I had an ultrasound along with another blood test. They found 3 follicles on the left and 4 on the right, and my estrogen was at 838.
Two days later (January 15) I went back in and they found 4 follicles on the left and 4 on the right. One follicle was measuring 17mm and another at 8mm, the rest were between 12-16mm, and my estrogen was at 1301.
We had an early morning appointment on January 16 (Saturday). Since IUI and IVF are time sensitive, fertility clinics are open 7 days a week. My estrogen was at 1605, and I had 6 follicles on the right and 4 on the left. Because I still had the cyst on my left side, I knew I wouldn’t get very many follicles from that side.
January 17, I had 4 on the left and 4 on the right. One measured 21mm on one side and 10mm on the other side. My estrogen was 1882, and I was to trigger ovulation that night at 10pm and stop fertility injections.
At this point I was done with fertility injections, and the next step with IVF was egg retrieval.