All of me

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on November 16, 2011

July 26, 2011 – I received a phone call from the Fertility Clinic. We were starting our IVF protocol! That’s right, there was no 1-3 month wait for us. There was actually no wait at all. Both of us were speechless. I remember returning their call at work and they went over a tentative schedule with me to make sure we would be able to do it. They asked if I wanted to go over it with my husband before I let them know but I made it very clear it didn’t matter. We were on our way to getting pregnant!

We celebrated like we were pregnant. We told our family our exciting news – our next step in achieving our dream. And we splurged on a nice supper at Tony Roma’s. Things were finally going our way. I was super optimistic that this was it. I had told a friend at work and I remember her saying that it must be time for our miracle as things were coming together so quickly.

I started on August 7.  I started a nasal spray called Suprefact which basically told my pituitary gland to stop secreting hormones. I would be going into a menopausal state so that we could rely 100% on the meds – there would be no surprises this way and the doctors could manipulate my reproductive organs to do as they wish. I started taking this five times a day for two weeks.

August 21st – my first appointment with the clinic to make sure everything was where we needed to be to start my stimulation hormones. Things were great – exactly where they needed to be. I started my injections that afternoon.  I was initially started on 112.5 IU’s of Gonal F and 75 IU’s of Luveris. Because of my PCOS, there was a worry my ovaries would over-produce and so I was started on the lowest dose. The Gonal F was in a pen, much like what diabetics use, but the Luveris was a powder that had to be mixed with sterile water and distributed with a syringe. Both were injected into my stomach. I didn’t mind the pen as the needle was super thin and you couldn’t feel it.  The luveris was another story – the needle was quite thick and always left a hole in my tummy. It took some effort to get it punctured through the skin as well. That was something I really had to psych myself out for.

August 24th – another early morning trip into the Calgary Clinic. This time it was to see how my body was responding to the medication and if my follicles (the pockets in which you find the eggs inside the ovary) were growing at an acceptable rate. This visit didn’t include an internal scan, just bloodwork. Each appointment was a first-come, first-serve basis and they started taking patients at 7:30. So I always had to leave at 5-ish to make it on time. That’s right – I got up at 4, drove for 2.5 hours for a five minute appointment to get bloodwork drawn. This would be the norm in the coming week or so. I got the call at around 11 that all my levels were exactly where they should be! There were no changes for my medications and I was to go in on the 27th for more bloodwork and a scan.

August 27th – happy birthday to me! I always wanted to spend my Champagne birthday driving to Calgary before it was light out.  During the internal scan there were 7 follicles growing within my right ovary and 3 on my left. I thought the numbers were a little low myself (I was hoping for a lot of chances – at least 20 eggs…) and they weren’t quite the size they should be. Less than a centimeter…  (insert sad face here). They increased my Gonal F dosage to 150 IU hoping for a growth spurt and then we celebrated my day of  birth at my favorite breakfast restaurant – Cora’s. Yum!

August 30th – another day in Calgary! Yipee.. Follicles still weren’t growing at the appropriate rate. They were just over 1 cm in width and my medication got upped again – this time to 300 IU’s. And the most heartbreaking news – my left ovary had decided to play hide and seek – only the doctor’s couldn’t seek it out anywhere. So I was left with the possibility of only retrieving eggs from my right ovary – and there were only 7 follicles in there. What I first thought was an absolute sign that this was finally our moment, my heart sank and doubt crept in. Because with the fewer number of eggs to work with, the least chance of something actually happening – if you get a 50% fertilization rate on 20 eggs – that’s 10 embryo’s. With 6 or 7 eggs, that’s only 3 or 4. And that’s not guaranteeing those embryo’s making it past three or five days.

September 2nd – I thought forsure this would be trigger time. But no, they still weren’t quite big enough. For retrieval, doctors like to see about three follicles around 2 centimeters in diameter. Mine just weren’t cutting the mustard quite yet. They sounded hopeful that it wasn’t too long, though. And asked that I come back in two days instead of three.

September 4th – The time had come! My follicles were just the right size and my left ovary had gotten heavy with follicles and finally dropped where they could easily see it again! They were still only seeing 7 follicles in my right ovary, but this time there were 4 big ones in my left. I was given 25000 IU’s of HCG trigger shot to give them one last kick of maturation and given strict orders to make sure we made it to the retrieval on time. Once you get the trigger, your body only waits 40 hours before they release all of the eggs you’ve produced. So if you don’t take it at the proper time, or don’t make it to the clinic at the right time, you have no chance.  We took our trigger at 1 am on the 5th and were to be back at the clinic at 11 am on the 6th. So we drove to my parent’s to visit them for Labour Day long weekend and prepared for our next leg of the journey.


One response to “Ready….set…..go!

  1. heather martini says:

    Ooh that was a cliff hanger!!! 🙂

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