Thursday, June 18, 2015

Stims and Scans

A week has gone by since my baseline scan. On Friday, I began my injectable ovary stimulating drugs (stims). Here's the update!

Day 1 (Friday)

Began my stims with two injections each night, 50 units of Gonal-F and 75 units of Menopur. I've previously used Gonal-F, so that wasn't too scary. Menopur was totally new for me.

Gonal-F comes in a pre-filled pen. You clean the area, screw on the needle, dial your dosage, grab a bunch of stomach fat, inject and wait 10 seconds, remove, dispose of the sharp part. Really not too awful.

Menopur isn't not quite as straightforward. It doesn't come pre-mixed, so you get to pretend you're a chemist and prep your own medication in addition to doing most of what you do for Gonal-F. I was pretty stressed that first time on Friday night. I don't always get the exact amount of saline into the syringe (apparently this is not a big deal anyways), and I have a heck of a time getting the air bubbles out. Supposedly, tapping the side of the needle removes the bubbles. That's what the teaching video shows. But in reality, tapping lightly does nothing, and tapping harder makes more bubbles! The hardest thing about using menopur is removing the cap from the needle. Yes, I'm serious. The cap is sooo tight. And so I tried to screw it off. That doesn't work. So I tried to pull it off. And it didn't move. So I tried pulling it harder. And again. And eventually I pulled with all my strength, the cap flew off, my hand lost control of the needle, and I stabbed it into my middle finger. OWW! So then I was bleeding and shaky and I still needed to inject myself while a bruise was rapidly forming in my finger. Day 1 of stims did not go as smoothly as I'd hoped. Ice helped a bit!

Day 2 (Saturday)

Same meds, same doses. Very very shaky hands! I was super nervous after accidentally stabbing my finger the previous day. Lucky for me, I had a cycle buddy who gave me some tips and a picture to help me get the cap off of the Menopur syringe off in a better way. This time I didn't stab myself. But it was still a pain (pun intended). Icing is gonna be a daily thing.

Day 3 (Sunday)

Cap and bubbles still annoying. But everything worked out fine. Got holes and mini bruises in my belly from the three days of injections.

Day 4 (Monday)

Bloodwork at PCRM. Up at 5:00 am to get to the clinic, got poked for blood, and then back to work after 16 days off! My estrogen was supposed to be between 500 and 1000, and it was 558... within the normal range, but on the low end. My Gonal-F dose was increased to 75 IU. Menopur still at 75 IU. Injections were still a bit stressful, but not as scary. This is the day when the bad headaches started. Only way to get rid of them is to sleep them off. More holes and bruises.

Day 5 (Tuesday)

Continued with the same dose. Felt weepy in the morning, and had a headache again in the evening. Getting hard to find new places to inject cuz already so many holes n tiny bruises on my belly.

Day 6 (Wednesday)

Bloodwork and first IVF follicle scan at PCRM. I don't know what the estrogen level was this time. Hopefully it doubled (or more) as it was supposed to. The most exciting part was finding out how many follicles we have - 6 in one ovary and 8 in the other - a grand total of 14 wee little follicles! The good news is that they are all close in size. The number will be going down as we get closer to retrieval. The doc is hoping for maybe eight embryos. For now, though, they're about 8-10ish millimeters each.

After the clinic, I had a great day at work... it was our Recognition Day and Graduation. Reminded me again how much I love my job. :)

Menopur and Gonal-F stayed at 75 units each, and I began a new, third injection of Orgalutran. I was pretty scared of this one because the needle is thicker and less sharp. That means harder to get in and likely more painful. The hardest parts was (again) the cap! Removing it took a long time because I was trying so hard not to stab myself with it. The injection itself wasn't too bad. It's supposed to keep me from ovulating - don't wanna lose our eggs before retrieval!

Day 7 (Thursday)

All 3 injections again tonight. This time they left me with more pain that usual. Iced it for longer, too, but still got a little bruise.

Tomorrow morning is bloodwork and follicle scan at PCRM again. Hoping all of them grew and none of them fizzled out! Going to the clinic every 48 hours while back at work is pretty exhausting. Not much of a headache today though, so that's a bonus. I'll find out tomorrow if my doses are changing, too. I'm pretty excited to get the update on our follicles though!!

That's all for now, but I'll have more news to share soon.

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