These are highlights from notes I have kept or posts I have made in some of my online “buddy groups” since we began this 1st IVF cycle. From here on out I will make separate posts as I have updates to share:

Monday, February 26 at 9:24 p.m.
We had our follow-up w/ our RE for our test results today and to discuss “the plan.” In a nutshell our results were pretty much normal and he still recommends that we go straight to IVF if I get my period this cycle, mostly in light of the fact that we are working w/ one tube post-interstitial ectopic and how long we have been TTC again since we were allowed to after the surgery to remove it. He said he thinks our chances of conceiving on our own right now are about 1-2% . So after much discussion and reading up on IVF, we have decided to go for it!

From what I understand, If I get my period early next week (as expected), I will start “the pill” on Saturday, March 10 (they like to start patients on Saturdays apparently) and take it for 21 days. Then on Friday, March 30 I would take my last pill, go in for an appt. at which they would do a u/s and blood work. That day I would also start Lupron injections in my thigh (10 units daily). I would continue on Lupron until Friday, April 6, at which point I would go in again for an appt. for u/s and blood work. At that point I would lower the Lupron to (5 units daily). At some point along the way I know I will also be starting Follistim (FSH) injections to stimulate my ovaries and Ovidrel (hCG), I think that is the “trigger shot.”

The week of April 9 I would go in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for u/s and blood work. I believe during that week they will be adjusting the levels of Follistim I give myself based on the results of the monitoring. That Saturday, April 14 I would go to the office’s downtown Chicago location (prior to this I will be going to a more local office) for more tests and then sometime during the week of April 16 – 23 I would have my Egg Retrieval (ER) and Egg Transfer (ET). In light of our situation with my uterus (post interstitial ectopic) they would only transfer one embryo, but they would do their best to make it a Day 5 transfer with the embryo being at the blastocyst stage, giving it the best chance for implantation.

Also, this office routinly does Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), where they inject the sperm directly into the egg, as opposed to putting the egg and sperm together and hoping they meet. They also do “assisted hatching” as needed. That is “thinning or perforating the shell surrounding embryos immediately prior to transfer.” It is thought to increase the likelihood of implantation in some cases. We had never heard of this before, but it makes sense.

After the ET I would be essentially on bed rest for 24 hours and then after that my Dr. said no exercise (beyond walking) for two weeks. They would do a pregnancy test 10 days after the transfer. During those 10 days I will be getting daily Progesterone in Oil injections in my rear end (given by Bob) and if the embryo implants would continue the Progesterone injections for at least an additional 6 weeks and up to the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.

So it was/is a lot of information to digest! We are both excited and a bit nervous. But we also feel this is our best chance at having another natural child and we want to give it a try. We certainly would love to be pregnant this cycle and not have to go through all of this, but based on our RE’s perspective on our chances, we aren’t that optimistic. Anyway, that is our update! I have a good feeling about all of this, but time will tell. I think after all this time TTC another child and everything we have been through it just feels good to have a tangible plan of action!

Friday, March 30 at 2:20 p.m.
I had a routine u/s and blood work this morning, as I am scheduled to take my last pill tonight. Being my 1st IVF cycle I was surprised to find out the blood work was to make sure I wasn’t somehow pregnant after this cycle on the pill! I know the odds are unbelievably low, but it doesn’t take much for me to start fantasizing about how nice it would be if we could just bypass IVF! I know, I know… wishful thinking! During the u/s the tech found a 27mm cyst on my left ovary. The nurse said to go ahead and start Lupron tonight, but that if it doesn’t get significantly smaller by my appt. next Friday, I might not be able to start stimming then. She said I might have to go back on the pill or we’ll see. I put in a call to the nurses this afternoon to ask a few more questions, as I just want to know how far back this cycle could get pushed if it doesn’t go away. I am trying to be optimistic, it’s just disappointing for me to think that I might not get to do this IVF cycle as soon as I thought. Well, since odds are I won’t be getting a call this afternoon telling me not to start Lupron because I am actually pregnant , I am gearing up for my 1st Lupron shot! think the anticipation has gotta be worse than the actual event, but I will let you know how it goes. TGIF! We might take Sean to see that movie tonight “Meet the Robinsons,” but we’ll see!

Saturday, March 31 at 7:31 a.m.
I did my 1st Lupron shot last night! I know they are the easier ones, but I still was proud of myself for being able to do it! I also talked w/ one of the nurses yesterday afternoon and she said that if the cyst doesn’t go down by my appt. Friday, they will test the estridol level. If the level is low we can proceed with stimming and if not I might have to go back on the pill for another three weeks. So time will tell.

Saturday, April 7 at 8:54 a.m.
Good news!!! The cyst shrunk to 17mm and the estrogen level was low enough for us to start stimming!!! WAHOO!!! At my u/s yesterday I was disappointed to learn that it hadn’t gone away, but encouraged that it had shrunk. I had to wait until the afternoon for the blood test results. If they hadn’t been low enough I would have just stayed on Lupron for another week, instead of going back on the pill, but luckily it worked out. So I am down to 5 units of Lupron for the next week and starting w/ 225 IUs of Follistem. I did my first Follistim shot last night in my stomach and was surprised how easy/painless it was. Though the injection area did sting for a little while afterwards. I had been doing the Lupron ones in my leg, as instructed by the nurse. Anyway, I think the Follistim are much easier (pain wise) then the Lupron, not that those are even that bad, after getting use to them for a week. I will have u/s & blood work M,W,F & Sat. this week and the trigger either Sat. or Sun. w/ Egg Retrieval (ER) on either Mon. (4/16) or Tues. (4/17)! It is all starting to feel real and very exciting now that we know we get to stim this week after all!!! As one of my online friends currently doing IVF also said, I hope the Easter Bunny brings me some nice size eggs!

Monday, April 9 at 12:15 p.m.
I had my first follicle check this morning and the tech continues not to be able to find my right ovary, so we aren’t banking anything on that one. But the left looked great!!! There were 3 – 10mm, 2 – 9mm & 6 that were less than 9mm! They and I were pleased w/ that! She said to stay w/ the same Follistim dosage tonight unless I get a call this afternoon. I will go back for another check on Wed.! I am getting really excited! I know that things could go wrong at any point and this cycle might not work out, but I am still trying to be optimistic and have a good feeling about it! We are off to the library, then Sean’s soccer class and then playgroup! A bit of a busy afternoon…

Monday, April 9 at 5:31 p.m.
Well, I did get a call this afternoon and it turns out my estridol level is a little low. The nurse said it was nothing to worry about, but that they would like me to increase my Follestim dosage to 300 IUs. So that I will do. I was a little annoyed at first because I only have 225 IUs left in my current pen cartridge and thus would have to do two of those shots tonight. But Bob came up w/ the idea to start a new one (I read in the instructions once a cartridge is opened it is good for up to 28 days) tonight and that way if they lower the dose at some later in the week I could go back and use the old one and if not I can always do two later or something?! Works for me, not that doing it twice would be that big of a deal.

Today at 12:10 p.m.
Not much news here. I have my next appt. tomorrow morning. I am really getting excited for the ER and can’t believe that at the latest it will likely be a week from today! I am getting some headaches, maybe from the meds, but I also have been eating a good amount of Easter candy, so the headaches could also be from too much sugar! I also am a bit less tired today than I have been the past few days. But I have been making myself do things (like cleaning) around the house and that might be giving me more energy, if that makes sense.

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