Tag Archives: follicles

IVF week 4: The lining situation

Last I wrote we had just gotten through the follicle situation. Friday morning (5/24) we arrived for another ultrasound and more blood work. We were hoping to see that even more follicles had developed and they did. We were now in the 10-15 follicle range. The drugs and “the leg trick” seemed to be working, but as it turns out maybe a little too much.

When we sat down with our coordinator she was happy about the follicles, but explained that Desiree’s uterine lining was getting too thick at 17 millimeters as opposed to the 15 they’d like to see. We’ve never had a problem with lining before, in fact we’ve always been told it was good. So once again we were staring at the possibility of having our cycle cancelled early. In addition to that news the Follistim dosage was dropped down to 4 clicks from 9. Like I said before we knew things could change overnight, but we didn’t expect it to keep happening. It’s hard not to feel like we’re being betrayed, like they never explained just how much risk was involved emotionally and financially.

And so we were back at home that night praying for another miracle. The best case scenario was we go in on Saturday for the ultrasound and the nurse tells us that she over-measured, that the lining is actually only 16 millimeters. I remember saying that both to Desiree and to my Mom that day after we got home.

So the next morning we’re in the ultrasound and I kid you not the nurse measures the lining at 16 millimeters and tells us that she over-measured the day before. On top of that they found even more follicles. It’s the kind of thing that just makes you laugh to yourself, we couldn’t believe we made it through another scare.

The only thing left to do that day was wait to hear from our doctor. It was the call we’d been waiting for all week, the call where he explained the status of our cycle and whether or not we’d be moving forward with egg retrieval. We hoped we didn’t have to go through another day of drugs because the more drugs the more chance the lining would grow.

Desiree made sure I’d be the one to take the call in case it was bad news. I spent the day trying to keep my mind off it by working. I kept both of our phones next to me on my desk and made sure not to leave the room without them.

He called with great news, he told us to take the HCG shot that night, which triggers ovulation, instead of taking Follisitm and Repronex, and that our egg retrieval was schedule for Monday morning. He mentioned things had been touch and go for a couple of days (didn’t we know it), but he thought it all worked out.

He also said Desiree’s progesterone level was approaching a worrying number. So like the follicle count and lining this was something that could possibly throw a wrench in the machine, an unfortunate reminder that we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s still a lot that can go wrong, probably more than they’re letting on. So please continue to pray that the retrieval goes well, that we have lots of healthy eggs, that they all fertilize, that we’re able to freeze some, that Desiree’s levels stay optimal and that we get the green light for a transfer.

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IVF Week 2: More Lupron, ultrasound and genetic testing

Sharps container

This is mostly weeks 1 and 2 Lupron syringes with some week 3 stuff mixed in.

This update comes a little behind schedule as we’re now well into week 3, but do stay tuned because I hope to post another update by Monday.

Week 2 was the same as week 1 as far as drugs are concerned, we continued with 0.2 cc of Lupron in the leg. Desiree’s thighs are starting to track and become lightly bruised, she welted up a couple times, but that’s normal; well, as normal as shooting infertility drugs into your thigh can be. Apparently it happens when the drug irritates the muscles. One of the side-effects is weight gain, but she consistently exercised and watched her calorie intake so she’s actually down 2 pounds, a small victory.

On Friday we went in for another ultrasound. The goal was to make sure her ovaries and any follicles were sized the way they should be for the time of the month before they had her start the Follistim treatments (i.e. follicle stimulating hormone). It was probably the fastest ultrasound she’s ever done; she passed with flying colors. I’ve been in the room for every one she’s had so I’m getting pretty good at looking at the screen and identifying what I’m seeing. They typically start with the right ovary, measure, count the follicles, move to the uterus, measure, and move to the left ovary and so on.

After the ultrasound we sat down with our infertility coordinator who checked in on us and prepped us for the week 3 drug regiment. We’re still doing Lupron, but at a reduced dosage, and introducing Repronex (another follicle stimulating hormone) and Follistim. That will make for three shots a day – one in the thigh, one in the stomach and one in the derriere.

The only other thing that happened in week 2 was we received the results from our genetic DNA mutation testing. The clinic took both of our blood samples in week 1 and sent it to GoodStart where it was tested for some 14 different mutations. The results tell us what we’re carriers for, if anything, and what our chances are of those carriers passing to or manifesting in any children we might have. I had no carriers; although they didn’t test for things you’d think they would like cancer and heart disease – I highly suspect I have those because they kill everybody these days. Desiree is a carrier for cystic fibrosis. The chances of passing that gene to our child is 50%, the chances of it manifesting in them is 0.06% since I’m not a carrier, another small victory.

Thank God for the small victories along the way, we’ll take as much as we can get.