Days 7 & 8, and Drug Smuggling

Last night, I did my injections, with shaky hands, over an open toilet bowl, in the bathroom of a New York City steakhouse. My follicles survived to tell the tale.

Once upon a time, during an IUI cycle, I had to give myself a trigger shot in the dressing room during rehearsal for a play I was in. Then of course there was the night of the Billy Joel concert when R had to give me my PIO shot in a restaurant bathroom. Other than that, I have managed to be home for all of my injections… until last night.

Last night was the first time I had to stim away from home and boy-oh-boy did I have anxiety over it. We had to leave at 2:15 in order to make our train, and we wouldn’t be returning until well after midnight, so I knew I had to pack plenty of ice packs. I quadruple checked that I packed everything I needed in my insulated lunch bag, and we were off to the city. 7 pm came quickly, in spite of the fact that I couldn’t have any adult beverages, and I headed upstairs to the bathroom, meds in tow.

No one in the bathroom. Phew. I chose one of two stalls and clicked the lock behind me. I took my linen napkin and lined the tank of the toilet with it. The remnants of lemon herb vinaigrette have to be cleaner than that tank, right?!? So now picture me facing the toilet, hovering over the open bowl with thousands of dollars of supplies in hand. Out came the Tupperware of meds, out came the Follistim pen case, out came the countless needles. I was so careful, and THANK GOD nothing fell in other than one safety cap, but when I think back on it, it could have been disastrous! Of course, as soon as I started to prep, there was suddenly a long line if women waiting for the bathroom.

Ok, Follistim and Menopur injection – check! HGH injection – check! Lupron injection – check! I cleaned up, capped all needles for my sharps container at home, repacked, and finally exited the bathroom.

That was step 1. I still had to get into Madison Square Garden. When I got to the front of the security line, I had my bag open. “Medications.” I said as the guard shoved his dirty flashlight in and around. “Uh-huh.” He didn’t believe me, but he let me through. Oddly enough, they gave my father in law a more difficult time about the umbrella he was carrying! I held the bag firmly between my feet during the concert and train ride home and breathed a sigh of relief as I popped everything back into the fridge just before 1 AM.

This morning’s Day 8 b/work and u/s revealed:
Uterine lining 7.6
Follicle count 16ish
I can remember that the right ovary was
15, 13, 13,13, 12, 12, 11,
10
But I can’t remember the left ovary for the life of me. Mostly 11s, 12s, and 13s. R came in with me and said he counted 15 or 16 total.

Meds stay exactly the same tonight (225 Follistim, 75 Menopur, 25 HGH, 5 Lupron). Doc predicts retrieval for Tuesday or Wednesday. We are getting there!!!

Stims Days 4-6 Recap

225 Follistim
75 Menopur
25 Omnitrope (human growth hormone)
5 Lupron
————————————-
I think I counted 21-ish follicles this morning (day 6) at my ultrasound. Of those, 11 were measurable (ranging from 9-15). Lining 6.5 (which is much less than last cycle at this time, but I know not to compare…) Doc seems happy with this and I go in again on Saturday morning.

Things to note:
— I was NOT shown how to mix the omnitrope, nor was I given any resources to help. This is very atypical of my doctors. Basically, I made it up as I went along and prayed for the best. (You know you’re an IVF veteran when you can just “wing” a new injectable).
— I am loving my acupuncturist. She is half an hour away but it is worth the trip. Hormone headaches are minimal at this point. This was not my experience with my former acupuncturist and I’m so glad my mom passed this name along to me from a friend of hers.
— I am going to see James Taylor at MSG tomorrow night and I have to “schlep” my meds in a lunch bag surrounded by ice packs. I am freaking out about this a little. I think I am going to call the venue tomorrow and make sure they will let me in with my bag of needles. The things we do!

It will all be worth it soon enough. ☺️
(Yes, I’m cringing slightly at my own optimism…)

Dilapan Day and 1-3 Recap

Thank the heavens, this morning’s Dilapan insertion was not nearly the nightmare it was the first time around. For those of you lucky enough not to know what a Dilapan is, it is a rigid stick that is placed in the cervix for the purpose of dilating it. Doesn’t that sound magical? 😉 A Slender, curvy cervix makes for a difficult transfer. This is supposed to make it easier, though if you talk to the doctor who did my first transfer, the jury is still out on whether or not it was effective. Anyway, just had the procedure done and this time it was a piece of cake. I’m still crampy but the actual process of inserting it was no big deal, and I am pleasantly surprised!

Shout out to my cervix for being cooperative. Love ya, babe! 😉

Here is my stim days 1-3 recap:
– 75 Menopur (1 vial)
– 225 Follistim
– 5 Lupron

Felt some tiny twinges yesterday afternoon on the right side, and sure enough my current front runner, measuring in at 11 mm, is on the right. I have 5 smaller ones on the right, and 7 on the left. Doc says this is right in line with what is expected. Here’s hoping for no surprises. I start Omnipotren (human growth hormone) tonight.

I took a sick day from work but must attempt to work from home for the next few hours. Can’t wait to have the magical cervix wand removed later this afternoon!

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Day 9… Jumping Uterine Lining!

Day 9 Quick Update:
Uterine Lining: 12 mm (Whoa baby, that’s quite a jump from yesterday’s 8.5). I tried not to google this but I was unsuccessful. Of course I ended up finding all sorts of conflicting information. Some of it made me worry and some of it made me feel better. What do your docs say about endometrium thickness?!?

Follicles: Still 10 of those strong cuties in there! Now we are ranging from 11 – 18! There were a couple of 16s in there which I was happy about, too.
My right ovary is tending to make the plumper follicles, while the left ovary is making more follicles in general. As a team, I feel they are really rallying to go for both quality and quantity. So today, I’d like to take a quick pause to appreciate my ovaries. Honestly, I think they are working their a$$es off!

Day 9 Stims: doc is bumping to

— 225 Follistim!!! (This is up from yesterday’s 150!)
— 150 Menopur
— Cetrotide

I told her I would be out of Menopur and Cetrotide after tonight and she told me NOT to order a refill because she is almost positive that I will trigger tomorrow. Which means I go in to lay my eggs on Wednesday.

I am getting excited and hopeful, which I know is dangerous. But it is so much more fun than anxious and worried… so I’m gonna ride this wave of optimism. 🌊😄 (<— me enjoying the ride).

Stims, Day 8

OK, gals, we can all breathe a sigh of relief: my eggs are still in there.  {Phew!}  None of them have jumped ship, managed to fall out, or vanished into thin air, in spite of my anxiety, worry, and injectable troubles!  Yay for growing follicles!!!  Seriously, a HUGE sigh of relief over here (for now, until the next obstacle, I’m sure!).

 

So, here are my Stim day 8 stats:

uterine lining: 8.5 mm

follicles: 10 front runners!  They range from 9-15 mm.

I think these numbers are perfectly average, and that is just fine with me.  The doctor was alone in the ultrasound room today and actually had me record all of my numbers, which I LOVED!  She predicts egg retrieval for Wednesday.

Also, my stim protocol is changing slightly tonight:

Follistim: 150 iu

Menopur: 150 iu

Cetrotide: one dose (can’t remember dosing on this right now and too lazy to look it up… does .25 mg sound right?!?)

 

Feeling the same as the past two days – a little bloated and the tiniest bit tender, but nothing major.  I guess the more intense effects were growing pains the day after my first dose increase.  So I have arrived safely back from Crazy-Town.  For now.  😛