Monday, November 24, 2014

IVF Cycles - Part 1

After fourteen years of trying to have a baby we have finally reached our last option.....IVF.  This is both exciting and scary at the same time.  The IVF part doesn't scare me it the not knowing part that does.  I know with out a doubt that this is what we are suppose to do next.  I know God is in control but it's still scary to walk a path that you have no answers for.

First week of July we started the process of IVF.  I went to Dallas for routine sonograms but this time they had to do a scope to see if everything was alright.  There is a reason they put you asleep when you have scopes done.  This is the second time I've had this done in my doctors office, the first time being two years ago.  Let me just tell you it doesn't get any easier!  Thankfully everything turned out just fine and I was given the clear to start my shots.

I was a bit surprised when my box of medicines came was HUGE!  After I opened it I was relieved to find that most of it was packaging for the medicine to stay cold.  Don't get me wrong it was still a lot of medicine.

I started out with having to take one shot and two pills everyday for four days.  After that I had to wait for more testing, blood work and sonograms.  After that I started with two shots a day.  There was one drug that totally stressed me out.  We had to mix three different vials and put it into one syringe.  This was stressful because if we messed it up, we messed up the whole cycle.  This one type of medicine I had to take in the morning so James was brave enough to take on this task of mixing this medicine.  The only problem was he had to give me this shot before he left for work because once it is mixed you have to give the shot.  Every morning James would wake me up at 5:45 am to give me this shot then I would go back to bed.

This is James mixing one of the shots for me.

The evening shot was a different medicine that was refrigerated and let me tell you I learned quick to warm that one up!  Putting an ice cold shot in your stomach burned!!  I should say that my poor husband was the one giving me all my shots.  The one time I gave myself a shot I bruised so badly.  By the way every shot was given in my stomach.

After another a trip to Dallas for more blood work and a sonogram I learned that I had five follicles on my right side with two really big ones and three smaller ones and five smaller follicles on my left.  From what I understand this was a great thing!  Ten follicles was just what we were praying for!  Of course the more follicles the better our chances were.  After this appointment I was told I had to add another shot to my daily task.  Three shots a in the morning and two at night.  The only thing with the new shot was that it would slow down the growth of the follicles.  We needed all ten of these follicles to GROW!

We had to wait a couple of days for another sonogram and blood work.  James and I couldn't decide with this appointment what we should do.  Do I drive down and come back in one day or do we both go down and wait?  The hard part was with my appointment times being at 10:30 am every time.  That was the latest because of the blood work and that meant we had to leave the house by 4 a.m.  Thankfully, James decided to go with me and we would just stay til it was time for the retrieval.

We left the house bright and early and stopped in Abilene for breakfast at Chick-fil-a.  After breakfast James had to give me another shot.  So yes, James is mixing my syringe in the parking lot of Chick-fil-a!  The funny part was trying to hide what we were doing so no one would call the police on us!

We learned a log time ago you have to laugh through this process and find the things that are funny!  Mixing your fertility drugs in a parking lot is funny!  Another funny part was when James was giving me a shot one evening and I was watching The Big Bang Theory and started laughing while the needle was in my stomach....NOT a good idea!

After the sonogram and blood work we hung out til we got the results.  We weren't sure if we were staying in town or if we were going back home and wait til I was ready for retrieval.  After the blood work came back we received news that we weren't expecting.  We were told that the drugs I had been taking did not work like they had hoped.  What this meant was that the only two follicles that were big enough were the only two that grew to size.  We were pretty much told that this was a failed cycle and to stop the medicine and wait for a cycle then let my body rest one month.  After that my doctor would change my medicine and hope I would respond better to the new medicine.

To say that I was surprised is a huge understatement.  I never saw this coming and I never thought this could happen.  I know I'm not getting any younger and I know it's only going to get harder for me to get pregnant the older I get.

The only thought I have after this is I don't want any what if's.  What if we stopped?  What if this new medicine doesn't work? Are we disappointed.....yes!

I'm so thankful for our families who encourage us everyday!  We decided to keep our IVF cycles very private this time.  It's so hard going through this journey and with everyone knowing and asking you how things are going.  We just don't need the added pressure.

I want to leave you with this picture.  This picture will give you a glimpse of what I'm going through.  After twenty two shots this is how swollen my stomach is.  I tried to suck in but just couldn't...haha!!

Excuse the unmade bed and laundry basket....I was just about to climb into bed and took this picture.

Little did I know we were "pregnant" and Brooks would be born two months later!  I don't know why I'm always surprised by God's timing but I am.  Fertility is such a difficult and private process.  I just want to encourage you if you know someone going through fertility treatments, please be patient!  If you have never gone through this you really don't understand and please don't say you do.  All you need to do is love them and encourage them.

1 comment:

manolomel9 said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I understand exactly what you are going thru. We just completed our first IVF cycle in October, and it is very stressful and emotional to go thru. Between the scheduling, the expenses, and all those meds and their wonderful side effects it is definitely a roller coaster ride. Not sure what doctor you are using, but we live here in Dallas and went to Dr. Le at IVFMD. Good luck with everything and I hope it works for you.

Melissa (Sweeney)