So much of this process is wait, wait, wait, wait, wait now go, hurry!! It’s no wonder people going through IVF seem a little anxious. Every person that’s ever given the advice of “just relax and it will happen” to someone struggling with infertility, truly needs to do a Freaky Friday switch with one of us and figure out why the hell we’re all not sitting around relaxing.
Ever since my septum removal I’ve had random spotting throughout my cycle. It makes it harder to decide when my period is beginning or ending but I’ve finally determined that when blood is bright red, it’s an actual period. 9 short days ago I called my clinic because I’d had bright red blood over 24 hours and figured it was worth going in for an ultrasound. On the 6th, I went in for a baseline to see how my lining and the cyst were doing. I had super low expectations and didn’t even tell Kaptain I’d made an appointment since I didn’t want to get his hopes up. My doctor was out of the country and so the clinic’s other doctor attended me. She was awesome and caught me totally off guard by letting me know the cyst was gone, my lining was perfect and I’d start stims that day. What?!?!
I ran home, got my ovidrel and brought it back so they could compound it as I’d be microdosing ovidrel along with my nightly gonal f injections. I also texted Kap letting him know I’d made the appointment, had it, things were good and our IVF cycle was starting. It felt so good to surprise him with good news for a change. He was super excited. That first night he did my shots for me and it was stressful and unpleasant. Luckily, he had a stims present to surprise me with afterward which took the edge off. The next night I did my own shots. 450iu gonal f and 10iu microdose HCG. Both of those are stimulation drugs that force the body to develop a bunch of follicles instead of the normal 1 or 2 per cycle. 4 days after my first shot, I had a bloodwork appointment so my estradiol levels could be evaluated. Once again, I prepared for the worst. My levels were actually really good and I needed to stay on the same nightly meds until my next monitoring appointment 2 days later. That day I saw my doctor who was back from vacation. My ultrasound showed 4 or 5 follicles per ovary, a strong lining and that day’s estradiol was right on track. We also had Kap do a sample to freeze just so we’d have a back-up for the day of retrieval. Yes, I’m paranoid but after all this, there is no way we’d have to cancel due to lack of adequate sperm. He did his contribution then that evening I added cetrotide to my evening shot routine.
Cetrotide is not my favorite for a multitude of reasons which I’m about to describe. But first, what is it? It’s an inhibitor that keeps ovulation at bay and forces the follicles to all mature at the same rate. Pretty important stuff, right? Therefore it’s not like I could just skip it. So, here are the reasons I don’t love it:
* Cetrotide comes with 2 needles, a vial with a rock hard clump of powder and a syringe pre-filled with liquid. To prepare it I had to put the largest needle on the syringe, pierce the rubber stopper, inject all the fluid into the vial, slowly mix it by swirling without creating bubbles, withdrawal every drop back into the syringe that was still piercing the rubber stopper, take the syringe out, switch to the smaller needle and then the shot was ready. For the love.
* Cetrotide burns. It burns on the way in. It burns afterwards. It’s just a burning little shot all together.
* The needle is literally 3 times as long as the other needles for the gonal f and micro HCG
* My skin around the injection site broke out into a red lumpy rash.
* The possible side effects are super scary and I made the mistake of reading them that first night. I was convinced I was going to die for at least 2 hours after the injection.
See? Cetrotide sucks but I didn’t want to ovulate early and ruin this cycle so I did it every night. Luckily, I did read a tip online about wiping the syringe down with alcohol before injecting to reduce the injection site rash and that helped. Yay for small wins.
At my ultrasound/bloodwork appointment 1 week exactly after my original baseline scan, my doctor shared that I was on track to trigger the next day and have egg retrieval 36 hours later; a full day early! He said everything was progressing well. My lining looked great and I had 14 follicles, 10 of which he believed we would likely get eggs from. I know things could still absolutely go to crap but this is far better than I’d ever hoped for. As a woman with diminished ovarian reserve, every healthy follicle is a really awesome surprise and to have that many is amazing. We will take any wins we can get. 🙂 That was yesterday and I did one last round of gonal f, micro HCG and my old pal cetrotide. Tonight we’ll do the HCG trigger to get ready for Monday’s egg retrieval at 7a. I’m a little nervous but mostly excited now that everything’s moving so quickly. Here we go!!