Monday, October 31, 2011

Egg pickup - quick post

I'm home, feeling relatively good after today's egg pickup. I'll post more tomorrow, but wanted to share the magic number.

30 eggs.

I've checked several times now, thinking I was in some sort of anesthetic dream. Still 30 eggs.

No wonder I was sore.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Triggering It All

I had my last Gonal-f injection yesterday morning, and my last sniff of synarel at 7pm last night. Then at 2.30am this morning, I stumbled out of bed, along with M, to give the trigger injection. This injection will allow the eggs to mature ready for collection.

The injection is a premixed syringe, and just needs to be given pretty much like the Gonal-f injections. The instruction sheet was hilarious, though - a massive page full of statistics and side effects, with just a teeny tiny corner devoted to the actual instructions. The steps themselves also advised me to inject myself in a 'dart-like motion'. M suggested that meant he should stand at the other end of the room and throw the needle towards me. Needless to say, that was not the approach we finally took.

The injection all went fine, in the end, though I was extremely faint headed afterward. I think that was just a psychological side effect, since this needle looked more like a needle than others have. A bit of Gatorade and I was all fine.

Not taking the Synarel has felt very strange this morning. No longer is my life ruled by the alarm on my phone! (Well not until Wednesday when I start the crinone anyway) Also, the desperate thirst I had before has also died back a little, which makes it harder to drink the 3 litres of water I need to consume to avoid OSSH.

Tomorrow I get to have my thyroid tablet and have a small breakfast, along with lots of water before fasting for 6 hours. Then off to the hospital. Apparently I'll be in quite some pain afterward, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to update again. Hopefully there'll be good news about the number of eggs soon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Last Check up

My eggs do not look like this . . .
This morning I had my final check up, scan and blood test before the egg pick up on Monday.

On the way in, I was feeling very sore. Walking too far or too fast is becoming a problem at the moment, due to the pain in my lower abdomen. The scan showed at least six large follicles on one ovary and nine on the other. "So we could be looking at as many as 20 eggs" he said, relatively calmly.

Since this is significantly above the 'doctors are really happy with' number of 15, I'm at a high risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. (Check out the link. There's a pretty good picture similar to what my ovaries look like at the moment). There are a couple of things that could happen here
  1. Everything goes wrong over the weekend. Egg pick up is cancelled. I cry a lot because I'll have to go through all this again (everyone thinks this is very unlikely, but possible)
  2. I don't recover well after the pick up and I get OHSS. The embryo transfer is cancelled and all embryos frozen for a later date. I only cry a little. (More possible. I'll know by next Wednesday)
  3. Everything goes as planned, and I don't really cry at all. (Probably equally possible with option 2)
Then we were off to the nurse to pick up my next lot of drugs (the trigger injection for Sunday morning and crinone for afterwards), to get more warnings about OHSS and to go through all the hospital stuff for Monday. Then a blood test and we were done.

So, fingers crossed we're ready for Monday. I'm quite thrilled that we've made it this far after everything we've gone through. Now just to get through the next few days.

Image from flickr

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And the award for most scanned ovaries go to . . .

Back to the doctors again this morning - I feel like I'm living there at the moment. Another scan showed no more follicles (phew) just the sixteen that were already there (16!). All a good size, all healthy.

Which is Good News. The egg pickup (or harvest as I like to refer to it) is booked for Monday at 2.30pm. The trigger injection, therefore, has to be given at 2.30am on Sunday. 2.30am. 2.30 in the morning . . .

Unfortunately, this good news means I'm experiencing quite a lot of ovary pain, and walking, sitting and standing are not so easy at the moment. Or wearing pants. I wore my last pair of loose pants yesterday, my only skirt with elastic today and I'm pretty much going to be wearing tracksuit pants by Friday. The doctor offered to bring me ugh boots to wear for the next scan (another one!) then.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Overachieving Ovaries

So, I had my scan this morning at the doctor. (I must say, there's nothing quite like beginning your week by dropping your pants in the doctor's office.) My uterus now has a 'lush' lining (his words), and my ovaries have been nice and busy since starting the Gonal-f stimulation injections.

A little too busy.

Seems my ovaries are as overachieving as the rest of me. The doctors usually like to see 12-15 follicles total at the end stage. At a week out, they like to see a little less.

I have (at minimum since these are only the ones they can see) 8 follicles in each ovary. Quite a nice size too.

Which is, of course, mostly good news (much better news than no follicles or only one or two). The only problem is that I'm much more open to hyper stimulation, and the whole thing might happen earlier than we like which means only one day off work, not three :p Also, the cramping sucks big time (think ovulation cramping and times it by 16)

So, dear ovaries, I promise you can have an A+ if you just behave until next Monday. No need to go overboard, okay . . . :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

IVF injections - one week in

So, I've now had 7 Gonal-f injections to stimulate eggs. How are things going?

-the Gonal-f counteracts a lot of the emotional side effects of the Syneral. This means I have more concentration and less emotional turmoil. This is a Good Thing

-the general achiness is also gone

-the tiredness hasn't

-replacing the other side effects I now have massive bloating, achy ovaries and irritation at all the injection sites :(

-also, I need to drink at least 3ltrs of liquid a day, so I'm constantly heading for the toilets!

A blood test last week showed that hormone levels were good, now we're hoping tomorrows' scan goes as well. Then another week until the tentative egg pick up

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Bit of Good News . . .

We made our way back to the fertility specialist this morning (btw, peak hour traffic sucks!). This time the scan was a lot better - left ovary clear, tiny follicle in the left, but on its way out. The doctor was happy and the injections could begin. Phew!

The nurse ran us through the basics of the injections - how to dial up the dose, how to attach the needle - then asked if I wanted to do it, or get her to. I decided I should do it - after all, I'll have to do it on my own starting tomorrow. Then I saw the needle.

The big, long, pointy needle that has to go into my stomach.

I froze completely. I just couldn't bring myself to hurt myself in that way. Luckily the nurse was on the ball and helped me guide my hand in. Turns out it doesn't hurt very much, and is quite easy to do. I was going to do them on my own before I left for work in the morning, but M. has suggested we move it earlier and he'll be around to help me. (He was also a bit shocked by the size of the needle and said he didn't think he could manage to poke himself with it.)

Hopefully the main side effect of this will be counteracting the Synarel - I want my mind back again! I just need to get lots of liquids and protein to avoid organ failure if I over-react to it.

I have a blood test on Thursday and a scan next Monday. All going well, the tentative egg retrieval is set for 31st October. And . . . Cue the Halloween jokes :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Squeezing in an update

So, I said I saw an end to the Synarel, didn't I. What a fool am I.

We went to the doctor early on Tuesday morning for a scan and to set up the injections. Unfortunately there was a big follicle (28 mm) still lurking in my left ovary, which would completely confuse the matter if we started injections. Doctor's advice? Just stay on the Synarel for another week and we'll look again.

Since then, the side effects seem to have become worse - strong hot flashes (I was sweating last night, but M said it was pleasantly cool), desperate thirst, headaches - hopefully all launching me into faux menopause and getting rid of the follicle.

Next appointment is Monday. Cross everything for me that we have a good result then

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Things I hate about Synarel

This is how I feel most of the time . . .
I've been on Synarel for 13 days now, which, in my mind at least, makes me perfectly qualified to talk about why it sucks (of course, this is the same mind that forgot how to do subtraction and needed help from a very kind 12 year old)

1. The taste. A friend asked me what it tasted like. I'm leaning between pesticide, an ashtray or the garbage bin after a week in the sun.

2. The fact the taste doesn't appear until about 15 minutes after the spray. So you're there thinking, that wasn't so bad. Then 'bang', aforementioned taste

3. The stupid song that is the alarm on my phone every 12 hours. (I know I can change it, but this is my stupid list.)

4. The fact I now seem to forget everything. Everything. Like simple words. And how to do subtraction. Today I brought a coffee with me into my study. Without any water or milk in it (but the teaspoon was still there)

5. The acne. Which turned out to really be my imminent period, but I'm blaming synarel

6. How hard it is to spell synarel

7. The mood swings. I feel like I'm harbouring seven dwarfs of moods in me at the moment - so far this last week I've had visits from Sleepy, Grumpy, Weepy, Snappy and Happy.

8. People who tell me that I shouldn't complain about synarel

9. Feeling like I'm not me anymore.

10. Insecurity over whether I'm doing it right or not. This morning, I pressed on the spray and got nothing - no sound, no spray, no liquid. So I did a check in the sink and repeated the dose successfully. But now I'm worried that maybe the first one did work and the second one is an overdose and I'm probably going to die . . .

11. The looks on people's faces every morning at work. The 'oh shit, what horror is she going to inflict on us today look'

The good thing about Synarel?

My period came on Thursday, so there now is an end in sight for the synarel

Image from Flickr