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My IVF Journal

May 19, 2014

I began posting about my journey to motherhood on the previous post When There’s No Manual and as promised here is the journal that I kept for the actual process.

imagesDay 1

The day started out at 6:30am , crammed into the waiting room of the fertility clinic with about 15 other women along with husbands and partners and a loud tv playing morning news.  There was blood work, a quick ultrasound and then a review of the process with our nurse.  In a little over an hour, we were on our way – beginning our journey.
Earlier this week, my husband had picked up a colossal amount of medications that included injections, needles, alcohol wipes, vitamins and suppositories. We unpacked it and all the goodies took up our entire dining table.  Then there were the videos.  Every medication and its delivery system had an instructional video and by the time we were 45 minutes in, I was wondering if I really wanted to do this. My husband was getting aggravated that it was much more involved than the clean cut meetings we had with our doctors the office. We powered through wondering why we were mixing liquids with powders together and filling them into a needle – I actually got frustrated that after all the testing and money involved, here we were standing in our kitchen preparing needles to jab into my abdomen, like it was some kind of take home science project.
I sucked it up and did my first two injections.  Popped a prenatal vite and watched the season finale of How I MetYour Mother and then hit the hay.
Oh I forgot to mention that out of all those drugs on our dining table, my husband only has to take an antibiotic in the am & pm.
Day 2
Woke up a little sore and overheated. Overall the day was pretty normal, luckily there wasn’t an early morning spent at the doctors office.
I was feeling sort of bad for myself and on the verge of losing it before teaching my class. It’s not appropriate to share what’s going on in class at least just yet so it was hard to get into a mindset where I could be there just for the students. Then a new student walked in – a cancer patient younger than me with a stint and a real need to chill out.  The universe has funny ways of reminding us that we are all in this together in dark times and light ones.   Here I was feeling bad for myself and this student was dealing with life or death – going through something so much more challenging than me.  I was grateful to meet them and be reminded of this.
The evening ritual was a little easier to do the injections, though my husband trying to be helpful ended up nicking himself with a needle.
Day 3
Still strangely sore in the area of my back waistline.  Upon prepping for tonight’s shots I noticed a big bruise from yesterday.  The shot on the same side as the bruise also hurt quite a bit after so I iced the area. Tonight’s ritual went really quick.
Day 4
6:30am start – bloodwork and ultrasound. The good news is that I have 22 follicles.  The bad news is that the blood work is going to leave a bruise. They were a little quicker at the office today – in and out in 30 minutes, not too bad.
Shots were ok. I’m noticing that my stomach is looking a lot like a pin cushion but I can deal.
Day 5
Pretty normal nothing to report.  No early start, thank goodness.
Day 6
Early start 6am blood work and ultrasound on a Saturday. This means we needed to drive 30 minutes away.  It was my first time to the big office. Luckily they had some coffee and food set up. The waiting room was like a big hotel lobby with lots of chairs and lives eats set up throughout. For 6am on a Saturday the place was booming with couples that had a slightly desperate look.   We rushed from there to the yoga studio so I could teach my class like everything was normal.
Got a call later in the day saying that things were progressing well. Dosed up on one injection and added an additional injection to keep my body from ovulating – bringing the daily tally to three injections.
Day 7
Woke up exhausted and bloated.  Starting to even feel a bit mushy. I actually cried in the car on my way to class over the most trivial thing.  Today the needles on my right side were fairly painful, there’s a bruise there and though I try to work around it the whole area is a bit sensitive. Luckily they said that the egg retrieval will be in the next few days. Also there’s a bruise on my right arm that has been growing for four days. I feel the need to keep it covered so people don’t think I’m an addict.
Day 8
Another early morning at the office. There’s hope that by the end of the week I will get the eggs retrieved.
In the evening while preparing the shots we realized that we didn’t have enough of one drug which sent me into a bit of a tailspin. We had to contact the doc on call and finagle with what we had.  Overall I felt kind of crappy – I was tired and sort of nauseous.  The spots where my ovaries are, are sore and bloated. I will make it through!
Day 9
Woke up nauseous again. Early morning at the office. The faces in the room are seeming more and more familiar – we are all on this journey together. No one really talks to each other though. The nurses and phlebotomists are very nice especially since I see them every morning.
The decision was made that tonight I would take the trigger shot and get the eggs extracted on Friday.
It was a relief to only have to take one shot.
Day 10
Another early morning for and ultrasound and blood work.  As they reviewed the follicles I counted close to 27.  When I reviewed with my nurse, she mentioned that because there were so many eggs I would be pretty sore after and not feel myself for about two weeks.   This was not what they told me when we first discussed the overall procedure – aka you’ll have some cramping and be fine.
Day 11
We had to get to the big office by 9am. I checked in for the retrieval and my husband was ushered off for a deposit of his own. While I waited for him I was shown to a room with curtain dividers like an emergency room but much nicer and more serene. Seven women were having the same procedure that day. I was shown to my ‘room’ and given a gown and a bed, filled out some paperwork and then was briefed on the next steps. My husband arrived and the anesthesiologist came in to review my chart and the process. While we waited for my turn I thought how crazy is this that science can be so specific that they can pull out my eggs, fertilize and hatch them – and then put them back in!  I also thought, ‘wow I’m pretty calm’. I did a bunch of breathing and mediation leading up to this and really my thoughts were that I could fight it and make it harder or just go with it.  I chose to go with it.
It was now my turn and I walked into the surgery room – everything was blurry since I had to take my glasses off and not wear contacts. I remember there was some upbeat music and the anesthesiologist was chatting things up with me. As I was instructed to sit on the table placing my butt over the hole – it hit me that I was in for some crazy shit. I quickly dismissed those thoughts reminding myself that I would be sleep for this process. My feet were placed in stirrups and then my legs strapped in – again some anxiety rising up. Then my arms were placed out by my sides. The last thing I remember was the doc mentioned that my arms would be strapped down as well and then I was sleeping.
I awoke to my husband calling my name and asking how I felt. I did a quick scan of my body – I actually felt ok, definitely groggy but really ok. Before the procedure my ovaries were so big I could feel them like big rocks sitting in my insides. Adding the massive follicles I had had a dull pain for the past few weeks – now I felt like I had cramps but that was about it.  The doctor came in and announced that they retrieved 19 eggs – 19 EGGS!!  I felt lucky because we heard the doc tell the girl next to me that she had 9.
The nurse gave me a heating pad and I just chilled doing a bit of stretching as I sat cross legged on the bed.
They gave us some ginger ale and crackers – my poor huzzie hadn’t eaten anything all day either. The nurse came and brought me to the bathroom.  I have to admit I was worried that it would kill to pee – luckily it was fine. The nurse examined my gait to make sure I felt ok and then after they removed my iv we were free to go.
Even though I felt pretty good, by the time we got home I was sore and tired. Walking into the house was a lot. I went straight to bed with my weighted heating pad on my lap.
The rest of the day was sleeping and chilling out on the couch.
Day 12
Woke up a little less sore. Taking it easy for the next few days. I also think that the injections are done. Today it was an antibiotic, another pill and a vaginal suppository 3x’s a day.   We got a call, late morning from the nurse telling us that there were 12 eggs mature enough to fertilize and out of them 11 fertilized.  I’m pretty psyched and our families are ecstatic though we had to stress that those 11 eggs will not all be going back in. The wait now begins – in four days (5 days after the retreival) the nurse will call and let us know if any of those 11 eggs are ready for transfer back into my womb.
Day 13-16
Still sore after three days, they weren’t kidding about feeling sore and out of sorts.  Nothing makes a yoga teacher not want to do yoga like the threat of literally twisting your ovary – they actually told me this.  I keep thinking I feel ok to be back to normal but end up laying on the sofa with a heating pad.  I also am pretty sure I know what it will feel like to be 3 months pregnant – I’m so bloated and sore, not to mention nauseous and emotional.
Day 17
Got a call today that the eggs aren’t growing fast enough. My bubble has been officially burst. We went from 19 eggs to 11. And now it seems that 6 have stopped growing and the other 5 are still duking it out in the Petri dish.  The transfer for tomorrow has been cancelled and we await word if any of the eggs have grown to the size needed. Any eggs that make it will be frozen until after I get my period again as we start a new cycle. I’m hoping we get some that survive so I don’t have to go through injections again.
Tonight I just want to have a glass of wine and crawl into bed and cry.
Day 18
Got a call in the morning – three eggs made it. I’m happy and relieved that there were three but I can’t believe that we went from 19 down to three that were useable.  I was hoping we would have some more but I need to be grateful for having any. Now I
Have to hope that at least one takes. They are freezing the eggs until next month when they will transfer them back in. They will only transfer 2 and we will have one extra. For now I get to discontinue the meds and just wait until I get my period. I’m assuming its going to be a doozie of
a period too since my uterus has been on supercharge and I’m still pretty bloated.   I can do a little bit of yoga while teaching but I can still feel my right ovary like a rock in my side.  I’m still getting hot flashes but they are less intense.
Day 19
It’s super hot here. I have to teach all day in a school with no AC – I’m hoping to not get too hot. I noticed the bloating went down a bit more.
Day 24
Got my period. It’s quite a doozie and I’m an emotional maniac. Fun times. Good news is in three days we can get back on track.
Day 27
6am back at the doctors office.  I just want to get the show on the road here.   All the levels are good now back on the hormones, luckily no shots.
Day 28
Day 29
Day 30
All I can think about is this migraine
Day 31
Early morning at the doctors office. Bloodwork and ultrasound.  Told the doc about my headaches and she suggested coffee or coca cola. I opted for coffee – two big cups of it and my headaches subsided during the day.  Got a call to double my dosage starting tonight and now the migraines are back.
Day 32-37
Cranky and bloated with migraines.
Day 38
Early morning appt – the office was packed!  Took an hour just to get to the ultrasound room. Dr gave the greenlight to start prepping for transfer. That means I’m back on the vaginal suppositories but closer to getting an actual baby in me. Fingers crossed.
Day 39
The date has been set to transfer my embryos!  In one week we will have some babies inside. In the meantime, it’s back to some injections, this time in my buttocks. Ugh. I’m not too thrilled about this especially because we are headed to Wanderlust this weekend. Yoga- ing will be limited and I will be sore. But that will only be for two weeks. And the pregnancy test is scheduled for July 4th just 16 days out. Now the work begins to really chill out my body and mind.
Day 41
Travelled to Vermont for Wanderlust Yoga Festival.
Major ramp up of drugs.
Two estrogen  2xs a day
Steroids 1x a day
Antibiotics 1x a day
Plus injection of progesterone oil into my butt cheeks!  Let me tell you this was fun. My husband had to inject it for me but the whole process I totally dreaded.  The nurse mentioned that we could ice the area before – I highly recommend that.  Nothing’s more romantic than having your husband stick you with a needle in you butt, except maybe rubbing an ice cube there first while he preps the needle – oh yeah, in a hotel room.
Day 42
Felt pretty good after a full day of yoga – I did have a sore butt cheek and a little tiny bruise.  This evenings shot was ok.
Day 43
More yoga and now two sore butt cheeks. Had a realization in class – the teacher mentioned that everything you want and need is here now. I’ve said this hundreds of times to my students but hearing it as a student melted me. It’s good to practice through this.
Into the 4th class of the day I started to feel pretty wiped out.   After class I showered and got ready for dinner and a concert. I started to get really cranky (hippie/yogi intolerance rising up slowly) coupled with a pretty sore body but made it until 11pm.
Day 44
Sore. Tired. First class I got hot flashes and a little dizzy and had I rest – it wasn’t even a hard class!  After that I was useless for a few hours. Took a disco nap, skipped the 2nd class and had some lunch – definitely felt better. It was really hot and  humid so I’m thinking that got to me. I swapped out the last class for a Yoga Nidra class and felt a lot better for the ride home.  Tomorrow is the last check before the transfer. I’m hoping that the weekend away prepped my body to hold this baby.
Day 45
Early morning at the doc – got the all clear for tomorrow’s transfer. Btw by butt muscle hurts so bad!  My quads are feeling the effects of a yoga weekend.  Also I think I might have roid rage.  Ended the night with a vaginal suppository.
photo 3Day 46
Transfer day!  I’m trying to stay nice and calm. There were some major ht flashes last night. I got up and taught my class and then prepped for the transfer.
We arrived to the center and I was prompted to drink 5 glasses of water. We were ushered into a private room to change and get an ultrasound. That led to me having to pee bc 5 glasses of water is way too much.
The night before and morning of I had to use a suppository to relax my uterus – it basically felt like I had no pelvic floor and was steadily streaming pee since I woke up. Everything looked good and the process started. There was an ultrasound tech, a nurse, the transfer tech, the embryologist and a doc in the room along with my husband. There I was pants downs and legs in the air – it all happened so fast that I didn’t really think about it until after.
Then someone walked over to us with a print out (see photo) – it was a blown up image of the two embryos, which basically blew my mind. There they were – little specks of new life. The embryologist had them under a microscope in an incubator on the other side of the room.
It was then go time.  My uterus was so relaxed it took a few tries to actually get the speculum in. After that there was a long tub catheter. All along there was an external ultrasound going on. The embryos were transported from the Petrie dish to the catheter and we watched as the catheter was inserted and the embryos placed into my uterus. It made me cry. For all we know this could be it. We could have a baby or two in nine months.
I went home and rested keeping things light. The meds stayed the same.  Now the wait begins.
Day 47- 51
The continues. I have even really tired most days and luckily I can rest. Yesterday I had a lot of energy but today I returned to bed after my morning class. I’m hyper-conscious of any move and trying to not do much yoga at all while teaching.
For some reason the shots in my butt  hurt a lot more. Now all I take is estrogen and progesterone – it’s. relief to be off the steroids, I can already feel my body less anxious.
Day 52
I went in for my blood test to see if the pregnancy took.  It’s been the longest few days.  I feel crappy but am optimistic even though the odds are pretty low that it will happen the first round.  I’m nervous that we only have one egg left after this and am stressing about if it’s worth it to have to do this more than once.  I’m really anxious about waiting for a call with the results and don’t know how I will react.  One my way to the clinic to get the blood work as I turned on the car a song that my father loved and would walk around jokingly singing is on the radio.  It’s a good sign that of course brings me to tears.  At the doctor’s office I notice for the first time these light blue rubber bracelets (think Live Strong) in a jar on the counter.  I notice that it says ‘BE POSITIVE’ on it and grab one for me and my husband.  They serve as a good reminder.
I am at camp all day and can’t really use my phone there.  I missed the call from my nurse and had to work up the courage to check the voicemail.  It’s unnerving and I am afraid that if it’s bad news I will be useless for the rest of the day.  That was the best voicemail I ever received.  I let out a muffled yelp behind my yoga tent and hold back tears.  I couldn’t call anyone so the news was transmitted to my husband and then to the rest of our family via text message.  I am totally in shock.  There’s fear that this pregnancy will not take or last, but just like the rest of the journey we can only take it one moment and breath at a time.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Bryna permalink
    November 22, 2014 3:13 pm

    I haven’t read your blog in a LONG TIME! This is such an intimate look into what women go through when they can’t have a baby the “old fashioned way”. Thank you for sharing it so openly! I had NO IDEA of what you really go through… I am a lucky one to have had my two girls the easy way even after a doctor pretty much told me there was a chance I would never have children.

    After all of that crap you had to put up with, she is a beautiful little lady. You and Jarrod will be fantastic parents. And I’m sure (now that it’s over) worth every minute of the crap. LOL

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