Sunday morning was spent like most other Sundays…a drive up the Thruway to the doctor’s office for blood work and an ultrasound at 8am. Just like the other appointments, it was easy. After my ultrasound (during which no ovaries were hiding), I walked down the notably empty hall to the acupuncture room. That’s right! On Sunday I tried acupuncture…and it. Was. GLORIOUS.
I didn’t feel nervous about acupuncture. I’ve been busy stimming with needles every night, so the acupuncture needles didn’t worry me. I had about 25 needles in my head, ears, hands, belly, legs, and feet. After the needles were in, Caitlin, my acupuncturist, put a warming lamp near my feet, turned on a white noise machine, and left the room for about half an hour. I feel relaxed just talking about it. I dozed in and out, focused on my breathing, and savored the quiet that I heard and felt. I will go back the day of my embryo transfer, before and after the transfer, as well as 4 days later, to help with blood flow and to support possible implantation. I can’t wait.
After my acupuncture was done, I grabbed a coffee (half decaf) and drove back home. As I got home, I got a call from my doctor’s office. The time had come to add the Ganirelix shot to my evening lineup. Holding steady with my Follistim at 300 and Menopur at 150. Repeat 3 times and return for blood and ultrasound on Wednesday.
Sunday night, after lounging about it all of my post-acupuncture glory, watched the Super Bowl and then I took shots, just like so many football-loving, Super Bowl-partying, red-blooded Americans. BUT. No alcohol shots, just the new norm: fertility shots. Side bar: Friday or Saturday night I had a dream that I had a glass of wine and I woke up feeling SO guilty. I immediately thought, “It wasn’t worth it!” …for the record: it wouldn’t have been worth it…but it didn’t even happen. So weird.
Anyway, we administered the Follistim and Menopur as usual and opened the box with the ready-to-go Ganirelix. The syringe comes pre-filled and once you remove the needle cover & tap the air bubble to the top, you’re ready. What I didn’t expect (and neither did Mike) was that the Ganirelix needle is thicker than the Follistim and Menopur needles and was much tougher to get in! My first attempt was weak, I suppose, and the needle just kind of bounced off my skin…I mean, it pushed the skin in, but didn’t pierce it. So I pulled the needle back and after Mike and I both talked about how weird it was to see that, I used a little more force and got the needle in. The Ganirelix burned as it went in and I had a small reaction immediately after. The skin around the injection site was red, probably a couple of inches long, and it was hot. It passed within 15-20 minutes, and I continued to watch the Super Bowl without issue.
At my appointment on Sunday, a woman in the waiting room remarked, “Ready to be done?” And I smiled politely and think I said something like, “You bet.” But my follicles aren’t ready…and in all honesty, I’ve kind of enjoyed this process. I have felt relatively well, aside from some tiredness (I’d say exhaustion is too strong a word, but an afternoon nap is basically necessary to survive), bloating, and headaches last week. It’s not that I’ve enjoyed the injections or the probing. I have, however, enjoyed playing an active role and feeling like we have some sort of (albeit very limited) control of our struggle with infertility.
Today we have another box of Menopur and one more cartridge of Follistim coming. My doctor’s office did a great job ordering enough for my predicted calendar: my original retrieval date was slated to be tomorrow, February 8th. But my follicles aren’t done growing yet. Slow and steady, but on track and looking good, or so I’ve been told. Given we’re snowed/iced in right now, I’m glad we didn’t have to navigate a winter storm today or tomorrow for egg retrieval. It would probably be another layer of stress that we don’t need to add right now. I suspected that school might be closed today because of all the snow that was on its way, so I actually stayed with my parents last night, so this morning I could just drive 10 minutes to my appointment and then head home, rather than driving the hour north to the doctor’s office, have a quick appointment, and then drive back home. Getting the extra sleep and only driving the thruway once today was a nice treat. Although, I must have triple checked (or more) that I had all of my meds, syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, etc packed up yesterday morning before heading to work. And then I needed to store my Follistim in a coworker’s fridge during the school day. All in all, it was no big deal, I was just worried I was going to forget my Menopur, or not bring a needle, or who knows what! I made it up and back home with everything I needed, and now we’re just waiting for our new boxes of meds to arrive.
After 2 more nights of stimming and Ganirelix, I’m scheduled to go back Friday morning for another set of blood work and an ultrasound and then Friday afternoon we’ll have a better idea of what’s to come. Until then, we’ll lay low some more…we’ve (re)watched a LOT of episodes of The Office today, I’ll probably nap, Mike is drafting a blog post to share sometime soon, and we’ll enjoy the last couple days of control that we have during this whole struggle that is the life of the infertile turtle.