Tag Archives: ivf

Drugs, syringes and more drugs

IVF Drugs

Most of our IVF drugs laid out on the table; this isn’t even all of them. We found more inside the sharp’s container and we had already put some in the refrigerator.

Our IVF drugs came in the mail yesterday. When I opened the door there was a medium-sized box sitting at my feet labeled “TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY” and “PLEASE OPEN THIS BOX IMMEDIATELY AND STORE ITEMS AT INDICATED TEMPERATURES.”

It was filled to the top with cartons of vials and bags of syringes. A separate container of drugs were being refrigerated by a couple icepacks inside styrofoam insulation.

We laid everything out on the table and just looked at each other in awe; our first thought was we couldn’t believe the sheer amount of medical supplies. We clearly underestimated the amount of drugs Desiree will pass through her body in the next two months.

IVF drugs

You can see the very edge of “the bible”, the stack of instructional papers on how this all works, in the upper right-hand corner of the photo. Hopefully we don’t screw this up.

I’m not sure what our second thought was, but I’m pretty sure that’s when the worry set in. We kept asking ourselves which drug was first, how we administer each one, when we start them, what the dosages were and so on. It’s a scary feeling being at the mercy of a jumbled stack of papers collected at various appointments over the past month. The fact that our infertility coordinator never sent us the final schedule didn’t help either.

Right now the only thing we think we’ve gotten right is the one drug that needs refrigerated is in the refrigerator. And that probably only happened because the box told us to. The coordinator showed us how to do everything, but who can remember it all? And she didn’t expect us to either, hence the bible she sent us home with.

The daily shots start on Monday so we’ll be spending our Saturday reading decoding the ever-growing stack of papers on “how to do IVF”. God only knows how we’re going to get through this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no turning back now.

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Sonohysterogram results and drug awareness

We’re happy to report that even though the sonohysterogram (saline ultrasound) was a bit painful and crampy, it went well and we’re polyp-free. It also turns out we didn’t need the referral after all; thankfully monday was more manic than it needed to be. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers.

We were at the doctor’s office for about 3 and a half hours, not counting the 40 minute drive each way. The bulk of the time was spent with our fertility coordinator learning about all the IVF drugs we have to take; how to prepare and administer them and when to do it. Basically, it’s about 7 different drugs, most administered by shot, some daily, some fluctuating in dosage depending on schedule and all coordinated with certain events both in the cycle and treatment. The way we understand it is some of the drugs are designed to prohibit the body from doing what it does naturally so that the other drugs can control or trigger events in the cycle along the way. The stack of papers from the original consult are nothing compared to what we left with today. We’ve ordered the drugs and we start soon so we’ll be studying all the literature in the meantime.

Today was exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally. At the end of the day we grabbed some pizza, hit the showers and crashed on the couch for the night.

How does IVF work?

Here’s a great, basic understanding of how IVF works and what we’ll be undergoing. It glosses over some of the finer points (like ICSI) for the sake of brevity. For a great look at how a natural fertilization works check this video out (and for an extra bit of fun share it with your teenagers).

I’m pretty sure the good people at IVFAustralia are the ones who produced this video. They’ve done a fantastic job and their Web site is a great resource for understanding IVF.

First steps down the long road

The initial IVF meeting went well. It was basically a consultation where our doctor explained what it was, how it works, options available and risks involved. Money wasn’t on the menu.

After we left we agreed the treatment was far more complicated than we thought and because of that more overwhelming than we expected. We definitely got the sense that for us this was uncharted territory. Honestly, we felt dumb. Here we are 8 years into our infertility and you’d think we’d have it all figured out by now. And there we sat like deer in headlights, confusing all the terminology and clueless what happens when – good thing he sent us home with a stack of papers.

So walking away there was a lot of decisions to make like are we going the frozen or unfrozen route, how many eggs will we implant, how will we choose to discard embryos and other questions we really can’t remember (better check those papers).

When we’re going through infertility treatments we’re focused on the one at hand. And I guess the hope we have in finally getting pregnant can keep us from looking too far forward. We honestly never thought we’d be doing IVF, but here we go.