Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can't wait

Tomorrow is the big day. Our first (and hopefully last) egg transfer in step three of our IVF process. Anxious you ask? What? I'm cool as a cucumber. (Yeah right) To say that I'm excited is an understatement. We still have to wait for twelve days before we find out if we are pregnant or not but that is too damn long to wait. Damn it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Follicle watch

Well it has been quite a while since we last updated our blog and I want to apologize for not keeping you all up to date. I was finishing up my last couple of weeks this semester, which could only be described as one of the most painful and tiring processes.  We needed to catch up on sleep before we went ape sh*t batty. Needless to say now that we've fully rested and the bags under our eyes are not so dark, we are in full gear now and are excited to be back to give an update.

Right now we are in day 10 of the antagonist protocol process. What the hell does that mean? Well with the IVF process S is taking medications to grow and mature multiple follicles, at the same time she has to prevent premature ovulation. The doctors want to make sure that there are a good amount of follicles (the sacs the eggs grow in) growing at a certain rate and that they can retrieve the optimum ones for better chances of implanting the sperm. S has a total of 24 (yes you read that correctly) follicles that are growing at a steady rate together. Her ovaries each have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of a lemon. We're hoping the lemons don't make lemonade, but make Babies!!!!  

While that is a great thing for us we also have to be careful because we don't want S to hyper-stimulate. When that happens she could have some fluid leak into her abdomen when the doctor retrieves her eggs. And we DO NOT want that. So in order to keep her follicles growing, but not too much, it means medication out the wazoo! She's taking medication at  night (via injections), medication in the morning (via injections), vitamins in the middle of the day and antibiotics. Her distended stomach has little prickly scars all around her belly button.  In addition to gaining weight, her hips are continuing to widen and she has hot flashes.  She looking more and more like the penguins from Happy Feet, none of her clothes, including her sweat pants fit. She wonders if she's trying to prepare to have a baby or is experiencing early signs of menopause.  Since she is uncomfortable, she now likes to be literally butt naked from the waste down. If you know S, you know she is pretty conservative.  For her to walk around partially naked is amusing.  I think she is beginning to understand and appreciate the nudist concept more as the days pass by.

We've also been going to the doctor's office every day to check S's estrogen levels and measure the size of her follicles. And when I mean everyday I mean e v e r y d a y. That means that again she is getting stuck with a needle because they need to take a vial of blood. They use a wand for the ultrasound. After 9 days of monitoring her arms are bruised and her vagina is sore.  The nurses have gotten to the point where they say, "See you tomorrow" at the end of each visit. Each time we go we inch closer and closer to mature follicles. Oh and every time we ask the nurse what size the follicles are we get a different goal size for the follicles to grow to. First they said they wanted them to grow to 16-18 mm and then they said the size should be 18-20 mm. Right now the sizes range from 16-21mm in both the left and right ovaries. So we are hoping that we will get the thumbs up to have the egg retrieval on Tuesday.

While we wait for the follicles to grow we also want to make sure that they are healthy and in great condition. So S has been eating protein, protein, protein and drinking tons of Gatorade. Why Gatorade? It's the thirst quencher.  Well in addition to drinking a lot of fluids S also needs a good amount of sodium to absorb some of the fluid and hopefully reducing the risk of hyper-stimulation. What combines the two better than Gatorade! So if you come by our house hoping to rummage through the fridge for goodies you will be greatly disappointed since all we are stocked with is fertility medication, Chobani and Gatorade.

Well now you know all of the factual information so you might be wondering how all of this is sitting with us emotionally. While we knew (and still know) that this process is relatively slow and delicate we can't help but be anxious. We always go into the visits hoping that the follicles grew at least two millimeters from the previous day. We check the phone to hear messages from the office wondering if we got the go ahead for the egg retrieval. We go to baby stores and look at clothes and furniture that we need to keep our minds focused on the end goal. To put it bluntly we're on an emotional roller coaster and the only way we can get off is once we see the positive pregnancy test. Of course after that there is another set of emotions that we will have to tackle but we want to get through this stage first.  I'll let S give you the details of how she feels in another post.

All in all we're doing good.