Tuesday, January 27, 2009

messing with my hormones again: An IVF cycle broken down

Getting started with this IVF is so much easier than the last(first) one. I am so much less resistant to the process:

1. Birth control pills- yes, it is silly to take something that prevents pregnancy, in order to help me get pregnant. But now that I understand that taking them can help protect my ovaries from stress, I am all for it. And, the extra month is a good time to prepare, mentally. 21 days.

2. Lupron- well, I hated lupron last time(hello migraine) but have learned that it helps downregulate my pituitary, and keep it from releasing LH, so when I start stims, they work more effectively(aren't competing with anything) I am OK with that too. 10-18 days.

3. Gonal-F, luveris(stim meds)I do not look forward to having over-enlarged ovaries again, it was quite uncomfortable, last time. But, it is temporary. Knowing I will only feel that way for 5-14 days, I can deal. Also, sticking myself with needles is something I am really good at now.

4. Ultrasounds and bloodwork- weekly, every other day, daily... OK, those get old quickly, even if it is fun to count the follicles. Scheduling can be a beast. But, like with stims, this is a short term thing. After 3 weeks, I'll be (mostly) free.

5. Antibiotics. Last time, I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics they give you "just in case you have an infection." To me, it felt like the cure was worse than the (hypothetical) disease. Luckily, they only make people do them one time a year.

6. Trigger shot(to "ripen" the eggs, prepare them for retreival)- OK, I hate this one, it hurts, and also makes one 'blocked up' like I need more of anything in my abdomen.

7. Egg Retrieval- waking up at 5 am, donning ridiculous paper cap and shoes, being knocked out, being woken up, bleary, achey. I am hopeful I'll get similar news from the last E.R. (14 eggs, all mature)

8. Waiting for the fertilization report- scary, hopeful. 1 day.

9. Getting the fertilization report- one of the best days(last time). Possibly the first time my and Mr. S's genes got together.

10. Embryo Transfer. First one sucked, I didn't drink enough, and had to wait, had a horrible, dismissive, transfer Doctor. Second one went much better, I learned to relax while the nurse pressed down on my overfull bladder with the ultrasound wand. The Dr. was wonderful, and helped me relax (as opposed to Mr. "oh, are you cramping, that isn't good." This is where I think we failed the first time, and succeeded the second.

11. Progesterone in Oil- I won't pretend, these injections suck. But, having done just suppositories, and not gotten pregnant, I will do the evil PIO injections, and will try not to get impatient with Mr. S worrying where to do it, and going to slow. Faster is better, when a 1 1/2 " needle is concerned, people! 14 days-3 months.

12. Waiting to find out. Analyzing every twinge, bloat and body change. Crazy, weird, hopeful, interesting. But, again, not that long- 10-14 days.

So, I admit, I am excited to be back on the IVF train, never thought I would say that!


  1. Oh thank you for this post! This is all new to me and I am currently in the BCP part -- and then on to all of the things you write of here. I'm going to really try to de-stress.

    Thank you poppy --- I really hope this is a good cycle for you!



  2. Congrats poppy! Glad to know that things are moving forward in a way that you are happy with. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Best Wishes, Poppy, I send my best to you!

  4. Kudos on summing it up so well! It is a long crazy process from start to finish. Luckily, as you mentioned, the stims are only ~10 days of it. I'm going to keep you in my thoughts. Please continue to keep us posted on your progress.

  5. Thanks for this post! Like Wordgirl, I'm just getting started for the first time, and this is really helpful.

    I have so much hope that this will work for you!

  6. Good summary post!! I am happy you are under way - very exciting. What did you decide with the shared risk?

  7. thanks everyone. I realized it may be nice for some people to read, plus, it helps me stress less.
    Emily- we are not doing shared risk.

  8. You sound super-empowered!! Thanks for giving us all the details about the process. I wish you all the best!! And I'll wish speedy-vibes for Mr. S so he can do the injections quickly :-)

  9. Wow, your attitude sounds soooo good! It even made me excited for IVF!:-p

  10. Welcome back to the IVF train!
    I'm also doing IVF/ICSI #2. I am so sorry to read about your miscarriage, I really hope that this cycle works for you!!


  11. This is a really helpful breakdown, thank you for helping me understand it all a little better. I'm sending hopeful energy your way.

  12. Good luck with this cycle. You mentioned the PIO shots....

    Have you spoken to your doctor about Crinone? It worked for me this cycle. It has it's own drawbacks (messy) but not half as bad as suppositories.

    From your blog, I can see that you are paying for this IVF. I think that Crinone is expensive, but I have some left over from my last cycle. Please email me if you would like to chat about this. amyervinharrison@gmail.com

    Best of luck!

  13. Best of luck - hopefully this will be the last time you have to go through all of this and it will be a faint memory!

  14. stillwaiting-that is very generous, thanks. I got my period early, while on crinone for first ivf, so I am wary of using it until I get a bfp. Luckily, I'll be getting some for free from my clinic.

    thanks for all the well-wishes everyone!

  15. Although late, I had to come back and comment on this post. I have been feeling very overwhelmed about moving forward. Your positive spirit was somewhat awakening and contagious at a good time for me.

    I do know the reality of what is to come but looking at each step individually really makes it seem bearable again. So thank you. I may revisit this post often.