IVF: Not for the faint of heart

This post being brought to you by back spasms and muscles relaxers.  And Cheetos Simply Natural Cheese Puffs.  First, I didn't post everyday like I said I was going to for NIAW.  But I did 5 posts.  I still count that as a success.  And Friday and Saturday's weather was so beautiful, I could not spend it typing at a laptop.  We were outside a lot.  Saturday I had my graduation dinner with the family.  Sunday was my little sis' wedding shower, and Monday...

Ah Monday.  Graduation night, yes.  So glad to be officially done.  But we also met with our doctor in a conference.

We're doing IVF y'all.  Let me give you a minute to wrap your head around that.  Ok?  Have you recovered?  Ok, moving forward.

I think I am still trying to process all of this.  I knew it would probably come to this.  I just didn't take into account it actually happening. 

Dr. K. sat us down and went through my last four cycles there.  Everything has been completely fine and normal.  Two out of the four cycles, it seems like my estrogen level was a bit sub-par.  He wanted to see it over 500 and three of the four cycles were between 120 and 200-something.  One was 399, which was still lower.  He told us that in the third cycle, when I had a "fair" go-round, looking back, he would have told us to stop after that one.  So, estrogen seems to be quite the little bitch in all this. 

He told us we could switch to injectables and do another round of three IUIs.  But the Femara, which would take the place of Clomid, keeps estrogen at low levels so it would be impossible to monitor.  Injectable meds won't increase our chances.

I asked him what he thinks we should do.  He said, "I think it's time to move to IVF." 

So.  Let me give you a little sneak peek into what IVF is all about. 

This post may be a bit all over the place so bear with me.

First, I will need a saline sonogram and trial transfer.  The trial transfer is where they will measure my uterus by placing a catheter in there like when I did the IUIs.  It's so the doctor or nurse will know exactly where to place the embryos during the actual transfer.  Both of us need blood work for STD testing.  Note to self: must come clean to Chris about that night in Toronto.

I will do birth control pills for a few weeks along with 5 days of antibiotics.  I will then start meds and then do a retrieval and transfer.

Dr. K. told us that the IVF coordinator will be calling us in about a week for the finances.  Then a nurse will call me to go over my protocols and medications. 

We could be looking at a retrieval date of end if June, beginning of July.

Oh but what is a retrieval date you ask?

So I take a butt-load of meds to grow fantastic genetically engineered follicles.  Like a ba-jillion of them.  Not that many.

I may do a shot to release them.  Maybe.  I'm still learning here, it's the  fucking blind leading the blind.  The day of retrieval I get an IV, put to sleep, and they go in and excavate those said eggs that the follicles released.  Hopefully there is a lot.  That is a one day recovery.

The eggs will then be.. whatever, tested and fertilized with Chris' sperm and whatnot.  Little bitty embryos multiply and divide.  Five days later, we return to the clinic for the transfer.  That is when they will put 1-2 of the embryos into my uterus and we wait for a baby to grow.

I realize this is painfully simplified but it's a lot to understand.  We still have to have another meeting with the doctor to discuss the whole IVF process.  I've never been good at summarizing things.  I think I will just explain everything as it is occurring.

Today, the nurse called me and we went over my estimated dates for the cycle.  I estimate the big P to show her face around May 18th.  Assuming this to be true, we are looking at June 6th for the Lupron injections (to suppress my ovaries), stims to start June 16th (to stimulate my ovaries to grow boatloads of follicles), retrieval date of June 26th and transfer July 1st.  This is all estimation.  Just wanted your head to spin like mine did.

As for the financial cost of this, that is for another post.  I am excited, scared, but hopeful.  Right now though, the muscle relaxer is kicking in good and I must sleep.   Again, sorry for the lame post.  Even now, reading through this, it's not my best work, but I just wanted to get all this down.  So much to know.  So very, very much.

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