Tag Archives: progesterone

IVF Week 5: Egg retrieval

Egg retrieval drugs

This is Desiree’s egg retrieval drugs – progesterone, Doxycycline and Medrol.

Yesterday was our free pass which meant we didn’t have to leave in the morning for an appointment and Desiree didn’t have to get an ultrasound or get stuck with any needles either from myself or a nurse. We went to church in the morning and spent the rest of the day chilling out on the couch. Our nerves were up. Being through the ups and downs of the past week had us on edge. For me that’s going to last until she’s on bed-rest after the embryo transfer. If we make it there it means we’ve achieved the chance we set out for, we made it through a successful round of IVF.

To completely understand the order of today’s and tomorrow’s events read this short description of an egg retrieval. Or thanks to National Geographic you can watch it. Basically they collect Desiree’s eggs, collect my semen, wash my sperm, mix the eggs and sperm together, let them incubate and check for fertilization. Now, we’re getting ICSI so instead of mixing the eggs and sperm together the embryologist will actually catch the perfect sperm and inject it directly into the perfect egg. So basically if we get pregnant we’ll have the perfect kid (just kidding).

This morning Desiree started Doxycycline (antibiotic pill) at 6 AM on an empty stomach (she hadn’t had anything since dinner yesterday per doctor’s orders). She’ll take another one tonight with dinner and repeat that regiment for the next 2 days. It caused her some nausea on the way to the clinic which is normal.

We arrived at the clinic around 6:45 this morning. We both had to be free of any deodorant, perfume, cologne or makeup. The nurse showed us to the operating room and had Desiree change into a gown. We met our embryologist. She went through the pre-procedure verbal confirmation with Desiree and said she’d call tomorrow with the fertilization results. The anesthesiologist arrived, hooked her up and talked with us as we waited for the doctor; turns out he spent some time passing through Ohio so we shared some Cedar Point stories. When the doctor showed up the nurse kicked me out and sent me off to collect my specimen.

In about 15 minutes the doctor came out and said it went well, that they retrieved 12 eggs. I assume he meant they’re all good too because he was very happy. The entire procedure only took about 20 minutes. I went back into the operating room and sat with Desiree for about an hour as the anesthesia wore off. She had some cramping but that’s normal.

She requested hotcakes for breakfast (and a ribeye for dinner) so we grabbed some McDonald’s on the way home. After we ate we both crashed for a few hours.

Starting today we’re no longer doing the Lupron, Repronex or Follistim. We ended up with some leftover drugs to donate. Turns out we bought the extra Follisitm for 2 clicks which is practically nothing. Hopefully we can donate the rest. Anyway, in the place of those drugs she starts a low dose of progesterone (POI) every evening from now through the transfer. This one goes in the rear and prepares embryos to implant better in the endometrium. If she gets pregnant after the transfer we’ll continue it through the first trimester. We’ve been numbing those shots with ice so she doesn’t feel much. That’s more important for POI because it’s oil and takes a while to inject.

Right now she’s feeling bloated, but that’s normal and may even last through the transfer. Even though today went great we know we’re not out of the woods yet. The best case scenario is we have a great report from the embryologist tomorrow and can start looking forward to a transfer on Thursday. And so far our best case scenarios have been working out – here’s to hoping tomorrow’s is the same. Happy Memorial Day!

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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.