Monthly Archives: May 2007
There’s more to IVF than I even imagined, and I did research it before yesterday. I don’t have all the paperwork with me, but here’s what I remember:
Shots– there are 5 different things we’ll shoot me up with at home before and after the retrieval and transfer: Lupron to make my ovaries dormant (knocks out my estrogen production and puts me in menopause– fun), Menopure and Bravelle to stimulate my ovaries before the retrieval, HCG trigger shot, and Progesterone in Oil to sustain the embryo afterwards.
There are also antibiotics, steroids, and estrogen patches, none of which I expected. All in all, it sounds like pure misery. Here are my biggest fears:
1.) OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). I’ve had a shadowy preview of this with my injectables cycles.
2.) Not being able to sleep b/c of the steroids but not being able to at least put the time to good use b/c I’ll be on bedrest after the retrieval and again briefly after the transfer = going out of my mind
3.)Gaining a ton of weight from OHSS and being really uncomfortable and/or gaining a ton of weight because the steroids make me ravenous
4.)Hot flashes and night terrors from the Lupron
5.)The possibility of having to give myself PIO shots b/c of work travel. The nurse warned me against giving myself the injection in my thigh– said I wouldn’t be able to walk afterwards. I know some women give themselves the shot in the hip by looking in the mirror, but I don’t think I have the nerve. When I was a kid, it took my mom and two nurses to hold me down for a flu shot. I’ve matured significantly, but just looking at that big needle still turns my insides to jelly. I’ll try to line up someone in any city I have to visit. I called an immediate care center in Indy to see how much getting an injection might cost, and they acted like I was some kind of drug addict. They wouldn’t administer the shot. I’m pretty sure junkies don’t call an immediate care center and make an appointment to shoot heroin.
6. And of course– that this whole thing still might not work
I officially start my new job this week Friday, which means today, tomorrow, and Thursday are going to be BUSY. Transition plan from my old position to my new position is finally ironed out and not a moment too soon. I’m busily telling contractors I work with on a regular basis but was not allowed to tell until very recently that they will have a new primary contact here as of Friday. I hate springing it on them like this. I feel like I’m abandoning them. I’m trying to clean out 6 years of stuff in my office and move it to my new office downstairs, and I cannot find any boxes. I’m transitioning projects to the poor guy who is going to be taking over my stuff until they find a replacement for me. I have to travel for my new job next Saturday, and I can’t figure out when I’m going to spend time preparing for that.
But the biggest thing of all– the thing really filling me with dread and diarrhea– is that our IVF orientation got moved up to this afternoon. So this is all really happening. We’ll get the protocol today (and probably the final $$ amount), and Vanessa will learn to shoot me up with all kinds of new and exciting drugs that I have to start taking late in June. I can’t believe we’re really doing this. IVF is that thing I’ve watched stories about on shows like 20/20. It’s extreme. It’s high tech. It’s something film stars do between movies because they haven’t had time to get pregnant otherwise. It’s that thing that 60-year old women travel to South Africa to have done because doctors in the US won’t do it. It’s the last thing a granola girl like me ever wanted to do. It’s the thing I said I wouldn’t do at the start of all of this. I wanted to get pregnant the old-fashioned way; you know– in my own bed with a turkey baster and Vanessa and candlelight and the mellow tunes of Tracy Chapman or Natalie Merchant playing in the background. This feels like someone else’s life.
And if it doesn’t happen after IVF? How do I deal with that? How do I deal with the guilt and disappointment of spending all that money and putting us both through all of these doctors appointments and injections and procedures and still not achieving the goal of a “natural” journey into motherhood where I get really big and Vanessa gets to put her ear to my belly and feel our baby kick and at the end of 40 weeks a real-life baby that looks something like at least one of us shows up? I think I’m more afraid of that disappointment than I am of 12 weeks of PIO injections, the taste of menopause the Lupron is going to provide, or even the giant needle they’re going to use to aspirate my eggs. It adds insult to injury that this is the time when anti-anxiety meds and alcohol are most verboten.
posted by Mel
Are Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shots always part of the protocol for IVF? They sound really awful. I’m trying to mentally prepare. Nothing we’ve shot me up with so far has left the kind of bruising I’ve seen in pictures from PIO.
posted by Mel
Seeing Aunt Flo is never really good when you’re TTC, but today I’m happy she showed up. I already knew I wasn’t pregnant, but if she didn’t turn up by Monday, the RE’s office wanted to put me on Provera to force a visit and then a month of birth control to get rid of a couple of cysts left over from this injectables cycle before we could begin IVF. We haven’t seen the cysts on an ultrasound, but I know they’re there b/c they give me sharp shooting pains every time I accidentally turn too quickly in any direction. Now there will be at least one full month in which we will not be messing with my reproductive system in any way. Cycle day 1 means a fresh start.
Congratulations on achieving pregnancy at last to E and A over at Two Moms are Better Than One, and thank you so much for posting that link to your baby’s bio sibs. Whenever I discover a fertility blogger who has delivered an actual baby or is pregnant, I always go back to the beginning to figure out how they got knocked up. These women did 2 years of treatment before getting pregnant with twins via IVF. It gave me a glimmer of hope that IVF could actually work after all the negatives. I have to keep telling myself that there is a 60% rate of success for IVF for women my age, and most women do not resort to IVF unless they have to. So there are lots of other women in my situation– women who have had a year or more of doctor’s intervention and still gotten a negative pg test every month– who are getting pregnant via IVF. No reason I can’t get pregnant that way, too.
posted by Mel
OK. OK. I’ll do a meme. Vanessa will roll her eyes, but I’ll do it anyway.
1.) Animatronics freak me out. They’re creepy and unnatural and make Christmas shopping at Target a less enjoyable experience with all the ladder-climbing Santas and grazing dead-souled Rudolphs.
2.) I don’t care for rabbits either. I’ve been bitten once, and I doubt their capacity for real affection. I’ve been tempted by Angora rabbits before b/c I’d love to be able to harvest the fur for spinning (which I barely do anymore unfortunately), but Vanessa would have to be responsible for the emotional needs of said rabbits.
3.) My favorite poet is Adrienne Rich. She was scheduled to come to my university my senior year, but she sustained a hip injury and couldn’t make it. I was taking a class that semester on her work– The Poetry and Politics of Adrienne Rich. I was supposed to have dinner with her and introduce her. She came after I graduated, so I still got to see her and even spent some time talking with her. The subject of our conversation? The absence of lesbian mothers. At the time I was looking for an older female role model who didn’t believe my whole life was a sin, and I thought that person had to be a lesbian. Problem was– the only lesbians I came in contact with were bar-culture 20-somethings. Older lesbians just seemed to disappear on turning 30. Afterwards she sent me a collection of Audre Lorde poems that she had edited and a book of essays by lesbian and gay youth.
4.) Vanessa and I went to an Indian restaurant on our first date. I gave her a choice between that and Chili’s. She chose wisely. We had Palak Paneer and Chana Masala. She was trying both dishes for the first time. We try to make it back there every year on or close to our anniversary.
5.) When Vanessa and I met, I had given up on women. I had decided that men were much easier, so I was going to try to find a nice one and settle down. It lasted approximately one month. I am still a gold star.
6.) I love gardening outside, but I cannot keep a house plant alive– not even aloe (or, as Shirley says in total seriousness, Aloha). We have recently acquired some lovely tropical plants from a Friends of Garfield Park plant sale. Vanessa is caring for them; so they are thriving.
7.) I remained a Girl Scout longer than anyone I know. I received the Gold Award, the G.S. equivalent of an Eagle Scout, during my senior year in high school. My project was writing a column for an Indianapolis-area teen newspaper that I don’t think is in existence any longer. The column was about my experience as a student finishing out my last two years of high school on a college campus. I attended the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities on the campus of Ball State University.
I won’t tag anyone else. But anyone who wants to is welcome to play along.
posted by Mel
As we were shopping for pregnancy tests at CVS last night, I told Vanessa I expressly did not want the fancy-schmancy digital test b/c “at this point, I would welcome some ambiguity.” So we got one of those that has a plus sign if you’re pregnant and a minus if you’re not. Minus. Surprisingly little ambiguity– even when squinted at and held in several different kinds of light. So tomorrow evening I’m going out with my new team for margaritas after work, and I’m not going to murmur even a peep about not being much of a drinker. I’m going to try to enjoy the next month and a half of no medications (unless they make me go on birth control for a month or something horrid like that– I’ve heard some REs do that before IVF) and definitely no injections. I’m going to drink any caffeinated beverage I desire and take steaming hot showers and baths. And I’m going to obsess like crazy over how in the hell we’re going to come up with the several thousand dollars that have to be paid UP FRONT on CD3 of my July cycle.