Friday, 21 April 2017

IVF Week One Almost Done

My period arrived on Sunday so I called the clinic nurses. I had to take a home pregnancy test on Monday morning since I was leaving for a work trip that morning and didn’t have time to go to the lab. It was, of course, the most negative pregnancy test ever. I couldn’t decide which would have been worse – having to go and sit at the lab for a pregnancy test when I know I’m not pregnant, or having to take a home test when you know you’re not pregnant, because even though you have your period and know that after 28 failed cycles the odds of the 29th time working when you haven’t done anything new, watching the test slowly develop you still have that teeny tiny bit of hope that you’re going to be the specialist snowflake of them all that gets a positive test even though you’re bleeding and about to start IVF.

I was able to start the birth control pills on Monday night (cycle day 2). I actually temped Monday morning because I’m so used to doing it. I didn’t bring my thermometer with me on the work trip so I haven’t temped since but I’m still tracking stuff on Fertility Friend. My VIP subscription is about to expire and I’m going to be switching to the free version to keep track of my meds and any symptoms. It is really nice not having the early alarm so I can sleep in a little – with my allergies/morning congestion I have a hard time falling back asleep after temping.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

And so it begins . . .

After 4 appointments in 2 days we are finally ready to start IVF with my next cycle. We had to meet with a counsellor to talk about IVF and infertility and our communication and coping with having infertility, failed IUIs, and how we will work through the IVF cycle. That was followed by an hour long introductory video to IVF. The video was pretty much useless and I could have done a better job on it. I can’t decide which part of the video annoyed me more – the fact that the narrator kept mis-pronouncing progesterone, the fact that they were trying to be all dramatic with cryopreservation and just showed them taking the lid off a liquid nitrogen tank, or the fact that they made the vagina look super weird in their cartoons. They also used scare tactics to dissuade you from transferring 2 embryos without providing any statistics to show if these increased risks were actually statistically significant. The only thing I did learn was that pre-implantation genetic screening is offered at our clinic, but only for couple with multiple miscarriages, multiple failed implantations, or known carriers of genetic diseases.  On the second day of appointments we met with one of the doctors to sign the consent forms, which involved such fun discussions as what should be done with the embryos if either one of us (or both) die, or if we divorce. I had a mock transfer done, which was pretty similar to an IUI, although I had a lot of cramping and nausea in the afternoon after that. Finally, we met with a nurse to get my IVF protocol and do the injection training. I think my husband was kind of overwhelmed by having to measure the medications, mix medications, and the whole injection process, but it was all very similar to injecting mice so it was no big deal to me.

There was a little bit of panic about if I’d actually be able to start with my next cycle because they want me to come in on CD2 for a blood pregnancy test, but I’ll likely be out of town for work on that cycle day so they are letting me do a home pregnancy test and call in with the results.

IVF Cycle Plan
CD1 – call to report CD1
CD2 – take a home pregnancy test and call with results. Wait for call from nurses about when to start birth control pills.
Take birth control until May 5 then have a withdrawal bleed.
CD1 withdrawal bleed – call to report and schedule monitoring
CD3 – Ultrasound and blood work. If everything looks good will start stimulation drugs (225IU Gonal-F, 75IU Luveris)
8-13 days of stims with monitoring ultrasounds and bloodwork every few days
As follies get close to being ready, start taking Cetrotide to prevent ovulation.
HCG trigger shot 36 hours before egg retrieval
Egg retrieval predicted for the week of May 21 (Happy Birthday to me :S). Eggs fertilized using ICIS
Transfer on day 3-5 depending on how embryos are growing. Start progesterone suppositories after egg retrieval. I will push for 400mg prometrium like I took during my IUI cycles because I know that that amount should stop the bleeding.

Pregnancy test 13-15 days after transfer. They don’t recommend testing before the blood test but I think I will test that morning so I can be prepared when they call with the results.