First Week of IVF
We have completed our first week of IVF and we have learned so much. There are many curve balls in any infertility journey and learning to conquer them has been a lesson in its own.
Right before we started our stimulation injections our doctor said to us "have we talked about the possibility of doing a frozen embryo transfer?" - we knew I was high risk for OHSS but nobody seemed to worried about it until now. I have been closely monitored over the last week and extremely cautious hoping that we can continue with our plans for a fresh transfer.
First Week of Injections:
We started our first injections on Saturday - which was quite the adventure. You can read about that HERE.
The first symptom I started noticing was headaches - I don't normally get headaches so I'm assuming it was my first symptom. In the beginning I could drink a glass of water or eat something and it would go away, however now I am constantly feeling some sort of ache or fog in my head.
I then started to have trouble sleeping - I'm so exhausted all day but then I can't sleep at night so i'm just tired all the time. My headaches and nausea have been a big contributing factor to lack of sleep as well. I have only noticed a little bloating, but as my ovaries and follicles grow my stomach will too. I've now gotten to the point where I'm very aware of my ovaries - walking down stairs, hitting bumps in the car, its uncomfortable but absolutely incredible. It's absolutely incredble what the body can manage, create and do.
First Blood Draw:
The first blood draw is a super quick appointment - I went in had my blood taken (obviously) and was sent on my way. They do this to make sure you're reacting to the stimulating hormones - everyone is different so they adjust your medications if needed/as needed. Luckily for me my estrogen levels were good, high, but still normal. We kept our doses the same.
Second Blood Draw + Ultrasound:
The second blood draw comes accompanied with an ultrasound - which was Thursday. On the right ovary they counted 15 follicles, on the left ovary there were 13. Really great numbers - about what we expected.
However the doctor again threw in: "There's going to be a pretty good chance that you're going to have to do a frozen embryo transfer." He must have seen the heartbreak in my eyes because he started rattling off statistics and how it can be beneficial and I understand all of that. I understand that it is safer in my situation. I'm mostly heartbroken for selfish reasons, and the hormones running through me don't exactly help.
With this blood draw they check to make sure my estrogen levels are still safe and they were. They told us to stick with the same doses - however we would be adding one more shot into the mix. The Cetrotide - basically it prevents my body from ovulating on its own. We want the eggs to grow as long as possible!
When I say my estrogen levels are safe - they are in the 800's and they said at this point if it was in the 1,000's then they would be concerned.
Third Blood Draw + Ultrasound:
My third blood draw + ultrasound had to be done in the Sandy office as the Layton office (our usual location) isn't open on the weekends. It was quick and relatively painless - the ultrasounds are a lot more uncomfortable than I thought they'd be.
We received good news, there is 1 follicle measuring 18 mm - which is the size the majority of them need to be for egg retrieval. They are counting about 10+ measuring close behind and several smaller ones that may or may not catch up.
My estrogen levels were still great - 1,053 (I think - I wasn't able to write it down when they called me) and they told me that anything above 3,000 now would be of concern.
I'm really hoping we're going to bypass OHSS and not have any problems. Like I said, there isn't much you can do to prevent it but I have been taking every precaution I can and the prayers and positive vibes you've all been sending have been felt.
I have one more monitoring appointment on Monday, and we will most likely be pulling the trigger that evening! IVF lingo for the trigger shot, which is an HCG hormone that makes your follicles release the eggs just in time for the retrieval.
The trigger shot is when a lot of women start to have OHSS related problems - keep the prayers and positive vibes coming. #OperationBabyWilson is almost over!