I wish this blog entry started off telling the story of an unexpected positive pregnancy test. Like my eggs were finally scared straight when the IVF meds showed up or one volunteered as tribute, and we’d have a baby on the way when we least expected it. But, that’s not this blog post. I think, in more reality, the reaction was more like an SNL spoof of Scared Straight:
So instead of telling you a wonderful story of our surprise unexplained reversal of unexplained infertility, we continue on with our journey…which remains unexplained…and with little surprise.
We had a conference call with our injections coordinator/trainer on Monday to talk more in depth about our medication protocol, and yesterday, after being 4 days late (ah, just like the good old days of trying to get pregnant years ago, when I’d be 4, 8, 3 days late inexplicably…before Clomid, a miscarriage, more Clomid, and meetings with specialists), I called our Reproductive Endocrinologist (we so fancy) to report the start of a new cycle.
And with that call, I started taking birth control. Yes. You read that right. Birth control. THAT’s the first medication I have to take to kick off our IVF game. As far as I’m concerned, I’d like a refund for all of the birth control I paid for over the years protecting against pregnancy. That’s probably one of my favorite jokes that Mike and I make: demanding money back for guarding against pregnancy, when we never needed defense in the first place. But that’s neither here nor there (and sorry if that joke make you feel weird…humor is a big coping mechanism around here). Why the birth control? It will calm my ovaries and prevent follicles and eggs from growing and developing. Then, when my ovaries are calm, the RE will take over and help stimulate and grow follicles, which will hopefully contain healthy, robust eggs, ready to be fertilized, transferred, and burrow in for a fruitful pregnancy.
So. I started birth control last night and got a phone call this morning from Michelle, our IVF coordinator. I’ll take birth control until the 25th, and then have baseline testing on the 27th. I’ll have blood work and an ultrasound done and hopefully my levels, lining, and ovaries look good and ready to start. If so, I’ll start my injections that night (this is the phase known as stimming, for stimulating growth). I’ll start with 2 meds each night, and after 3 days of stimming, I’ll head back in for another round of blood work and u/s. From there, dosages of the meds may change and I’ll go for monitoring more often. At some point I’ll add in a third shot each night, to keep my eggs from releasing. Then, when my doctor says I’m ready, we’ll administer a trigger shot 36 hours before retrieval, which will tentatively be on February 8th & hopefully an embryo transfer on the 13th. This is all subject to change, but! for now we have birth control, our IVF calendar, and our meds (some that are chilling in the fridge & others that are in our someday nursery).
After reading countless blogs about IVF (thanks, Pinterest), I haven’t been TOO surprised by what our doctor or nurses have told us. But today there was a new little tidbit…I can’t wear nail polish for the egg retrieval or transfer! And I have to have the polish off at least 2 days off before the retrieval. It makes sense, I suppose, as I’ll be sedated and have to wear a pulse-ox monitor on my finger, but it wasn’t something I had considered. Among the various sacrifices we’ll (gladly) make for this to happen, unpainted nails is a very small (and silly) thing, but I was still surprised. There are a few other things, but when the time comes, we’ll write about those.
Aside from some mild disappointment in the face of (obviously? distantly? tragically?) hoping for the miracle pregnancy this past cycle, we’re excited to start our IVF cycle. And even thought we have to wait a little bit more to start stimming meds, then wait for the retrieval, then wait for updates about the eggs, then wait for the transfer, and THEN wait for a pregnancy test, the waiting seems to be more bearable as we *finally* take active steps in this process…while we wait some more.