On Monday, Feb. 21st at 2:30 p.m. Brett and I drove to Orlando for our "final" IVF apt. This basically means a few things; do our mock transfer, get an ultrasound, get our protocol (final schedule and meds), do injection training and most importantly sign our lives away...
First things first, our mock transfer - this is awful because they make you have a VERY full bladder. They basically go in and insert the egg transfer catheter to make sure they "map" your uterus for the real transfer which will take place in a few weeks. They don't want any mistakes to be made on the big day so they take the guess work out. Besides the full bladder, it was a piece of cake!
Second they do an ultrasound. This is to check for any cysts and to see how your uterine lining looks. Turns out I have a HUGE cyst on my left ovary from the medicine last month (that didn't work, remember?). This can be a BIG problem but the doctor wasn't too worried because once I start Lupron next week this will take care of the cyst. After 10 days of Lupron I will go back to the doctor if the cyst is still there we will do another week of Lupron and so on until the cyst is gone. He thinks I will only take the lupron for the normal 10 days/maybe up to 17 days either way it's not a huge problem at THIS point. Just something to keep an eye on.
Third, is the protocol. This is changing for me from my last IVF almost 4 years ago. This time I will start a new oral medicine (which I started yesterday) called Metiformin. This will help control my polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS for short). There are VERY ruff side effects of this medicine so I'm holding my breath that my body adjusts to the new medicine easily. I will take this until the 2nd trimester (if I end up getting pregnant). Now, I will list out for you exactly what I'll be taking and when;
1. Birth Control Pills - 28 days total (but I start Lupron on day 21 of the birth control pills)
2. Day 21 start Lupron shots 5units daily between 6-8am. This shot will go on through the WHOLE cycle, approx. 20-25 days.
3. Stims around day 31 of cycle. Along with my morning lupron shot I will add in a Menopur 37.8IU shot between 6-8am. At night I will be doing a Follistim shot 125IU between 6-8pm. These shots are given in either your stomach or upper thighs.
4. During the lupron and stims I will also be taking a low dose aspirin and an antibiotic. Aspirin to help with any blood clotting issues and an antibiotic to ward off any illness.
5. When stims are finished, approx. 8-10 days, I will give myself a "trigger" shot. This is Ovidrel 250mcg and is given at the directed time.
6. Exactly 36 hours after trigger shot is Egg Retrieval.
7. Day of Egg Retrieval I start the Progesterone shot between 6-8pm for 5 days. This one is RUFF. I have talked to a few nurse friends of mine who are willing to help me out with this shot, Praise the Lord.
8. 3-5 days after Egg Retrieval is Egg Transfer.
9. Pregnancy test is about 12 days after Egg Transfer.
Forth, is injection training. This was easy since I have done it before. I'm not too worried about giving myself all these shots but I KNOW how sore my body will be.
Last, we signed our lives away! Just kidding! But for real we had to make some decisions such as, will we freeze the left over embryos if we have any left over? Who will keep the embryos if there is a divorce? And who will the embryos go to if we both pass away before we use them all? To answer these questions, YES we will freeze any left over embryos. In the case of a divorce I will have custody of the embryos. And in the event of both of our deaths my brother and his wife will have custody of them (they don't know that yet ha-ha). They will be given custody of our children in the event of our death so it seemed right to name them to make the decision of what to do with them. There really is a lot to think about when it comes to IVF and it's not always black and white.
Well, that sums our lives for the next few months! I feel a VERY calming peace about the whole situation. I KNOW that God is in control and I have nothing to fear. A friend recently told me that I need to embrace the pain that is IVF and allow God to work through it. I love that I never really embraced it the first time I had my own agenda and God's second but this time I feel like I'm really allowing God to take the wheel which has brought me MUCH peace.
If you got through all of this, God Bless You. ;). Thank you for your support and most of all prayers. I hope that our story will continue to inspire others to trust God and not put him in a box. He blesses us all different ways and I refuse to treat IVF any different. Thank you Lord for guiding our steps....