Friday, January 13, 2017

IVF Round 1: Stimulation

IVF Round 1....This has been a post I have started and saved in my drafts for several months. We are finally here. If you've been reading along for the past year or so, then you know this is something that Lee and I have gone back and forth with. After 6 IUIs, we knew we needed a break from fertility treatments, and during that break we tried Natural Family Planning, various supplements, etc. Although we did notice some positive differences with those options, we did not get pregnant as hoped. December 2016 marked 3 years since we started trying to get pregnant. After all this time, we still remain unswayed in the fact that we want to have children. We desperately want to have a family of our own.We have spent a lot of time deciding whether not IVF was right for us, and finally came to a conclusion that we want to move forward with this treatment.

One of the things I was not looking forward to with IVF was taking birth control in order to get my timing for the next cycle just right. Thankfully, I only had to take the pill for about 9 days. After those 9 days, I stopped the pill, and a few days later went in for my baseline blood work and ultrasound.

Thankfully, my ultrasound and blood work both were normal this time (as opposed to when we tried to get this process started in October. You can read more about that here). We got the green light to start the injections, which have been patiently waiting in our fridge for over 3 months.

We started out with 2 injections, which Lee gave me nightly for 6 nights. During those 6 days I had blood work done twice and an ultrasound to monitor my response to the medication. My body responded very well, and on day 7 we added in the 3rd injection. Lee gave me the 3 injections for another 3 nights, and I had an ultrasound and blood work during that time. After 10 total days of medication, I was ready for the trigger shot. The trigger shot is an injection that forces my body to ovulate. Once the trigger shot is given, my body prepares for ovulation, and the egg retrieval is done about 36 hours later.

So now, we await the egg retrieval. This is a procedure in which the doctor will retrieve all of the eggs that my body has matured with the help of medication over the last 12 or so days. After my eggs are retrieved, they will be combined with Lee's sperm in a lab and will grow for several days into embryos.

Once the embryos are ready, I will have another procedure done to transfer the embryos into my uterus. Our doctor will transfer a safe amount of embryos, and any left over will be frozen for future transfers.

Lee and I are feeling pretty good about this process so far, and are looking forward to completing it. This round of fertility treatments has been more uncomfortable physically than the others because my ovaries are super stimulated. I will take that any day though, because emotionally, it has been fairly smooth.. I've had a few cries here and there (mostly over something irrelevant like a sad part in Gilmore Girls, haha), and 1 rough night after the trigger shot. Overall,I have not felt the intense impatience, frustration, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. that I did during our IUI cycles. Lee and I both are so thankful for that.

So overall, this cycle so far has been pleasant, and I'm excited to finish it up. If you are praying for us, our prayer requests right now are that the egg retrieval be quick and painless, and that we have strong embryo growth. I will hopefully be able to write another blog post between the egg retrieval and embryo transfer, and give you all an update! Thanks for reading, and as always, thank you for your love and support.

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