A quick medical update
Hi Blog-land! I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about where we are in our first IVF cycle, so I thought I would update everyone. I got my period last Tuesday and then went to the doctor on Wednesday for blood work and an ultrasound. The dr said my uterus and ovaries looked healthy and were cyst-free, so cleared me to undergo IVF. Yay!
IVF is a pretty long process. First, you start by taking birth control, which I started last Wednesday. The birth control regimen allows the doctor to perfectly time my cycle and have complete control over my hormones. I will take the BC pills for 2-3 weeks, and once I get my period, the real fun begins! On Monday, 4/23, hubby and I will meet with Dr. D, the head nurse, and the insurance consultant to prepare for our cycle. The 2-hour appointment will include a full discussion with Dr. D about the cycle and protocol as well as a statistical review and the signing of many consent forms; a sample egg transfer to measure the depth of my uterus and a sonohysterogram to make sure my uterus wall is normal; a consult with the nurse to order medications and learn how to inject myself; and, a consult with the insurance consultant to review our coverage. The meeting will give us the opportunity to ask questions, to understand our protocol, and to set the cycle schedule. I am definitely looking forward it!
After our IVF consult, I will finish the BC pills, and wait for my period to begin. When my period starts, I will schedule blood work and an ultrasound. The doctors will monitor my hormone levels and check my ovaries to insure that they are cyst-free. Around day 5, I will begin the injections — the type of injections will depend on my specific protocol. The injections hyperstimulate the ovaries to produce many eggs, with a goal of producing 8-14 eggs! Since everyone is different, I will go to the doctor every few days to check my hormone levels and to check the number of eggs. This will be a challenging part of the cycle. Because of the hyperstimulation, my ovaries will swell and I will be uncomfortable. I won’t be able to work out and will do my best to rest and think happy baby thoughts! I will meet with the doctor regularly so he can adjust my medicine based on how my body responds to the initial dosage. Around day 14, the eggs should be mature. I will take a final injection of HCG to rapidly mature the follicles, and 36-hours later will visit my Dr for the egg retrieval. The egg retrieval is somewhat invasive. I will go under anesthesia, and the Dr will gently remove the follicles. We are using a procedure called ICSI to inseminate the eggs. Basically, the embryologist will insert 1 sperm into each follicle to produce beautiful pre-embryos. 🙂
Then, we wait for 3 to 5 days to see which embryos develop normally — only 30-50% will survive and develop. Depending on the number and health of the embryos, we will complete the transfer on day 3 or day 5. After the transfer, I will start a host of medications and do my best to take it very easy! Then, 2 weeks after the transfer, I go in for a pregnancy test. When it’s positive, I will continue to be monitored by my RE for 6-8 weeks and then will switch to my OB-GYN!
I am excited and thankful that we are able to use IVF to have a baby! I feel positive that we will be successful :). I couldn’t do this without the love and support of my hubby, family, and friends — thank you for all the positive thoughts and energy! Much love 🙂