A week ago I dropped Mike off at the airport for his 6 day work trip to Orlando. The man who had never been to Orlando was going for the 2nd time in 2 months! On the way to the airport we had a great conversation about IVF. We both were excited for the week ahead–he’d be attending work conferences, I’d rest & clean up around the house…and when he got back, we’d start trying to make a baby (again). Best laid plans, right?
Mike’s father needed emergency bypass sugery, so the man who doesn’t love flying got back on a plane 26 hours after landing in Orlando to come back to NY, landing after midnight. Early the next morning we headed to CT and then late Tuesday night (after much sitting, walking around, mindless conversation, Jeopardy as a distraction, and nervous laughter) a surgeon told us that we could see Mike’s father in the ICU in about an hour, as the surgery was successful and he’d be moved from recovery shortly. (!!) If you were wondering what the opposite of relaxing and cleaning up the house is, or attending a work conference, it’s spending time in a waiting room, praying, worrying, and hoping that your family member makes it out of surgery ok. And thank God, he did.
When I went back to work on Thursday morning, a coworker remarked, “I always find it to be so strange, the time spent in a hospital…you’re there, and things are measured so differently, but life beyond the hospital is still happening. Lives are still being lived normally, and things you’re involved in are going on without you.” (Or something just like that.) And isn’t that true?
Time was passed inside and outside the hospital. I had to leave sooner than I wanted, because with any luck, I’ll have an egg retrieval and embryo transfer in February, so I had to use my sick time wisely. Because that part of our life was still out there, waiting for us this week. And while there’s more waiting involved in this process (of course), some of our waiting is done. Yesterday morning I had blood work and an ultrasound to see if the birth control had done its job. And it had! My estrogen levels and ovaries were ready to start stimming. Wahooooo! Day 1 was finally here!
I re-watched the injection videos last night, just to make sure I didn’t mess up the first night of shots. And other than dropping a Q-cap on the ground, and wondering about a rounded plunger’s measurement of 1cc (what makes the 1cc? is it the peak? is the the bottom sides?), they went pretty well! Mike (and our good luck goldendoodle, Charlotte) helped me out. We set everything up, Mike took pictures and some videos, and we injected the Follistim first. The Follistim is FSH (Follicle Stimualting Hormone), and is really easy to use. You load a cartridge of the medicine in the pen, put the pen together, attach a VERY SMALL needle, and then turn a dial on the bottom to the prescribed dose. The first 3 nights I have the same dosage…225 of Follistim and 75 of Menopur. I got the needle in (abdomen), but when there was a LITTLE resistance to pushing it it (I think it was just a weird angle and nerves) Mike was a champ and pushed the meds in! Menopur takes a little more work. You use a Q-cap, which is a specialty needle/vial device, so you can pull the amount of sodium chloride you need to mix in with the powdered meds. That’s right. MIX. We were practically pharmacists last night (I kid…but we did feel a bit like mad scientists, I think). How to mix the Menopur? Q-cap on a syringe. Pull to 1cc of air. Push the air into the vial of liquid. Turn vial upside down and pull out 1cc of liquid. Insert liquid into vial of powdered meds, mix, and draw newly mixed medicine into syringe. Remove Q-cap, attach 1/2 inch needle, inject. This one had a lot of steps, but was easy. I think it will be easier tonight. I could have injected this one, but I asked Mike to do it…it’s nice having both of us be involved in the process.
How was it, you ask? Not bad, actually! They burned a little going in, the Menopur more than the Follistim, but the needles didn’t hurt. You can see 2 little pin prick marks on my belly, but no bruising. I woke up with a headache that hasn’t gone away yet, but that could also be the side-effect felt when you finally start to catch up on sleep after not sleeping enough (last week I was up past 12:30 three nights in a row…which is totally unheard of in our house/lives). I guess we’ll know more as the stimming goes on. I have 3 nights of shots and then an early morning appointment on Tuesday this week. My meds may be adjusted depending on what the blood and ultrasound show. And something else…I’m happy to be finally doing this. I feel like we decided SO long ago to move forward with IVF, after learning we would likely never have children without it. There have been so many ups and downs to date. I know I probably won’t feel great throughout all of stimming (how great would it be if I do, though?!), but emotionally and mentally I feel strong, ready, and hopeful…and pretty damn happy to be finally stimming.