We are smack dab in the middle of another cycle of IVF right now. My days are filled with shots, ultrasounds, and blood draws. Not to mention ovary pain, a swollen abdomen, and estrogen-induced psychosis.
Like last time (December 2009) we did this, I am responding VERY well to the stimulation drugs. I started with 150 Units of Follistim in the morning (same as last time). This is my second favorite shot. It is a pen injection and so I just dial up the dose I want and stick the needle in the belly and push the button. At night I do my Lupron injection which is the number one favorite because it is only 10 units, I use an insuling syringe to inject it, it doesn't hurt and Jeremy usually gets it ready for me (he's so helpful). Since we are now stimulating, I am also doing Repronex (above picture) at night. I started at 75mg on this one (150mg last time). This one sucks. I have to mix it. The drug itself is a powder and I mix 1mL of sodium chloride to reconstitute it and I have to inject that entire amount subcutaneously. And it stings. The first night I did it I cried. It hurt and I feel like that is just too much liquid to be injecting subQ. Anyway, I got over it.
So those are my shots. Three a day right now unless I have to change my Follistim cartridge in the middle of my dose, then four shots a day. I have been responding very well and they have backed off my doses. I am down to 37.5 Units of Follistim and 0.5mL of Repronex.
Staying on the topic of needles...I'm seeing a new acupuncturist. I started going to Family Acupuncture in Johnston. They are for real. First off, they're Chinese. Nuf said. Second, this is what they do. They are not some other sort of professional who got a certification to do acupuncture. I don't want to rag on my chiropractor who did it last time but I didn't really feel like they knew what they were doing. And I can't blame them. It isn't their specialty. So anyway, when I would go to my previous acupunturist they would put in about 10 needles at different points on my arms, legs, and over my ovaries. Diana, at Family Acupuncture used about 30 needles and put some in my head, my ears, arms, legs, and probably about 8-10 in my abdomen. Now, I understand sometimes less is more, but I think this lady knows her business! I've only been once and have another appointment coming up. Studies have shown acupuncture increase success rates with IVF. Also, my mom told me she read something that showed seeing a clown after having your embryos transferred also improved success rates...I don't even know what to say to that...
What else? Hmmm...
Oh yeah, estradiol levels. So when you are stimulating like I am you go in every other day for an ultrasound to look at your ovaries and a blood draw to check your estradiol level. My baseline level (before starting stims) was 90. Wednesday (1st ultrasound) was 443 and Friday was 1224. So yeah, estrogen-induced psychosis. Psychosis might be a little dramatic. I'm just kind of moody and short-tempered. Jeremy bears the brunt of this but bless his heart, he puts up with me and doesn't complain. I go in again tomorrow and hopefully it won't go up too much more. If it goes over 5000 I am at increased risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). Last time I did go over 5000 and we had to "coast" a day. Hopefully we'll be a little more controlled this time.
Our retrieval will be either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday this week, assuming all goes according to plan. Then our embryo transfer will be either February 28th, March 1st or 2nd, again, assuming all goes according to plan.
Let me know if you have any questions about IVF - the process, how they take out the eggs, how the fertilize them, anything at all really. I don't want to brag but I'm kind of an expert.