With our first FET fast approaching, I am searching for tips on how to better your chances of success. I know that there may be nothing that I can do that I am not already doing to help these embryos keep growing, but what else am I going to do between now and then? I spent the months leading up to our IVF researching and with only 13 days to go before I will be PUPO again, I need to do something to feel like I am preparing. I am hoping that with the Estrogen patches, my lining is growing as it should be. I am drinking some very yummy 100% Pomegranate juice, seriously limiting my carbs and trying to keep hydrated. My monitoring appointment is on the 19th and I feel at a loss without my near daily office visits that I got used to last cycle. I knew every 2 or 3 days where we were, if we were on track and if anything needed to be adjusted. This time, I have to wait for that one ultrasound to tell me if my uterus is responding. I have all sorts of concerns at the moment.
Driving home today this was my thought process…
”Hmm..I feel achy inside. What if I miraculously ovulate on my own? Can that even happen? Should we be having sex? Why am I having EWCM? Am I going to release an egg and miss an opportunity? Would this cancel a cycle? It is way too early for ovulation so what am I even thinking! I need to remember to get my pineapple! Is it the estrogen? Speaking of estrogen, what if my chub is getting in the way of the patches really releasing the hormones into my system. Damn you hormones for messing with me!”
This type of inner monologue is pretty much what happens when I am by myself and not occupied with a book or movie.
With all of these concerns rolling around in my head, the one that is topping my list of concerns is this…
Bed rest or no bed rest?
I have been reading blogs and articles and protocols and the opinion on post transfer rest is wide spread. I have read that some women are ordered to multiple days of bed rest- only getting up to eat or use the bathroom. Others are on modified bed rest…basically lounging on a couch for a few days. Others still, my doctor included, tell you that you can resume daily activities immediately. This means work and light exercise etc. not training for a marathon or moving heavy furniture obviously.
Last time, I took it easy the day of transfer, but I was by no means on bed rest. I am just wondering what others have been instructed to do- or even better, for those who had a successful IVF pregnancy- what did you do?
Finally, I got a letter from my RE in the mail today. Basically, it is the minutes from a review meeting that they had on my “case”. It summed up our protocol, how many embryos were transferred and told me (in case I didn’t already know) that the cycle failed.
Well thank you so much for dropping me this note! I love to be reminded that we were unsuccessful. And I hate that they said that. I was pregnant! It did work! And hey, how about a nice we are hopeful about your future cycles and here is what we would like to do to better your chances. Nope. Sorry you failed, call us when you want to try again. That letter is going straight into the our next fire, which should be soon considering I heard negative 30 on the weather forecast for tomorrow night.
Yesterday was my second ultrasound to check on my follicle growth. I was nervous for two reasons; the first being that I was feeling better that morning. Still uncomfortable, but not as much as days prior. That made me wonder if all 26 had suddenly disappeared somehow. I told myself that was crazy, but the thought remained. The second reason was my slow rising estrogen level. If you remember from my visit on Wednesday, they wanted to give it a bump and doubled my Menopur dosage. The nurse had told me that I would probably go back to my regular dose after the two days. Even though she also said not to worry about it, I, of course, was worried.
It did not help matters that I had a meltdown on Thursday night. I think it started when I felt frustration from hubby. I don’t know if it was in my head, or if he was actually rolling his eyes and had a shorter temper than usual. I do know that I felt like he was annoyed all night-with me, with the pharmacy we have set up on the kitchen table, with having to do yet another injection. Then he rushed the mixing process, got annoyed that I told his to slow down and be careful, then stabbed the needle through his finger. And I do mean through…I saw it go in and then come right out the tip of his finger. It was gross. I told him to slow down! But I didn’t say that when he pulled it out and catered to his now bleeding and sore finger. So that started things off really well.
After my injection, I just couldn’t keep the tears in. I was just tired. Tired of 3 weeks of injections and no end date. Tired of trying to find coverage at work so that I could come in 45 minutes late. Tired of worrying that this wouldn’t work, and hoping so hard that it will. Tired of living with the uncertainty of if our future has children in it. I was just tired. And it all came out. Then I went to bed and things always get better when I do that. For once I finally slept the whole night through and that never happens. I must have really needed the rest.
Friday morning I was second in line for my blood draw and got to the RE upstairs 15 minutes before they opened got to be first to sign in. I waited, got annoyed at the giggling couple in the corner, and wondered what we were going to see on the ultrasound. A nurse I did not know ushered me in. I guess when you start IVF you get the IVF nurses, so I only know the one that I met and liked on Monday. This one was fast talking and I wasn’t a fan right off the bat. As usual, I hopped up, half naked on the table and waited. The wand wasn’t as uncomfortable as it was on Wednesday- probably because I was finally able to go to the bathroom! Yay!
My lining had gone from a 7ish to 9mm layered lining.
Right (13.5, 12.5, 12.5, 11)
The other 7 that we saw on Wednesday are hovering around 9 or 10 that could still make it.
Left (11, 12.5, 12.5, 12.5)
She stopped measuring individuals after that and said that I had 11 mature on the left.
I am not sure if this included the 4 she did list or not.
So as of yesterday, I have between 15 and 19 mature follicles.
The nurse was ready to walk out the door when I asked her to write those numbers down for me. Normally the nurse will stay and talk to you for a few minutes about how you feel and what comes next. She did say that she would call me later with my blood results and was out the door. Amy, my ultrasound tech said she thought I would be back in on Sunday with a Tuesday/Wednesday retrieval. And with that, I was on my way to work.
The blood-work call came later, when the nurse left me a message that they are going to keep me on the double Menopur dose (good thing I ordered more) and have me come in on Monday morning. She also says that the doctor is guessing a Wednesday or Thursday retrieval. So my levels must not be where they want them yet. Super, more days of injections. The positive to a Thursday retrieval would be a potential 6 day weekend. I have been trying to make it through school despite being uncomfortable so that I can take the day of and the day after retrieval off. That would be Thursday and Friday. Monday is a holiday and Tuesday would be my transfer. Hey, if I could get a mini vacation out of this, and be able to stay home to recover longer, I am game.
So that is where we’re at. I feel like I have a tight band around my abdomen and if I have to bend over, I feel like I have to bend over 2 water balloons. I get tired around lunchtime and a headache in the evening. Thank goodness it’s the weekend so that I can take it easier than I have been all week. I will also continue to enjoy my princess treatment from Hubby… It definitely helps me to remain stress free when he takes over the cooking and cleaning for me! The foot rubs don’t hurt either!
Today was my first monitoring appointment with ultrasound. I am happy to report that Monday’s side effects have not happened again so far. That was a brutal day and I was nervous that the entire cycle would consist of severe nausea, dizziness and hot flashes. Since Monday I have gotten occasional shooting pains, mainly on the left- though the right has thrown some in there as well. I have been tired enough to take a nap when I get home from work and still sleep the whole night. I am even still tired in the morning after all that sleep! Starting last night, and increasing today, I have felt the fullness increasing. My abdomen feels heavy and I can tell that in the next few days, movements are going to be jarring my poor expanded ovaries. Certain movements, especially leaning into something, bending over, or lifting grocery bags has been uncomfortable. The constipation has kicked in and I am just plain old uncomfortable! I am pushing my way through the workweek, keeping in mind that I may need a day off if these symptoms continue to increase, or if I want 2 days off for the surgery. I just keep pushing through it.
Now onto the good stuff…
I was up again at 5:30 and into the lab when it opened at 7:00. I loved the girl I got today- I didn’t feel a thing! I was then second in line for my ultrasound. I must say that the ultrasound was super uncomfortable today, especially when she was examining my left ovary. Queue the wincing and slight moan.
Here is where my body is at after 5 nights of stims:
My lining was already layering and was 6-7mm. That was a good start!
11 total follicles.
2 @ 9mm and the rest under 8
15 total follicles! No wonder the left side hurt!
1@ 10mm and the rest at or under 9mm
That would be 26 total follicles. I am pretty darn happy with that number! I am a little bit scared of how uncomfortable this is going to get and my risk of OHSS.
The nurse guesstimated a retrieval day of next Tuesday or Wednesday. I was instructed to go out and get some stool softener and fiber. Fun stuff… I really can’t wait for it to kick in…no, seriously, I Can Not Wait! Then I was off to work and waiting for my blood results.
I listened to the nurse’s voicemail after my kids had vacated my classroom. Not exactly what I had been hoping for. My estrogen, while rising is going up pretty slowly. I have been instructed to double the Menopur for the next 2 nights. That will be 2 vials along with the 5 units of Lurpon and the 150 Gonal F. She said that it was no reason to worry and that I just needed a bump. Despite it not being a big deal, I have been ordered back in on Friday instead of Saturday. Oh well. I guess it just means less time for me to worry about my estrogen levels. You know that is all I will be able to think about for the next 2 days and I always go to worse case scenario. I am going to have to keep that in check to decrease the dreaded stress. I will also continue to enjoy the “princess treatment” that my husband is perfecting! We are on night 3 of his famous meatloaf! It is a good deal!