Tuesday, January 14, 2014

IVF update: stimulation

Well I had a post all written out yesterday to share but some things changed last night.  Let me recap. We started stimulation shots last Saturday night and I went in to my doctor Tuesday for my first check.  Unfortunately,  I hadn't responded to the dosage of medication as well as they thought I would so they had to increased my dose fairly significantly.  Last week was rough, I'm not going to lie.  The hormones really threw me for a loop.  I was irritable, sad, depressed, and very worried that this cycle wasn't going to workout well for us with the way it started.   After 3 days of a fairly high dose, I went back to the doctor on Friday to get rechecked, and luckily I had made good progress and responded well to the high dose.   They lowered my dose just a little over the weekend.  Over the weekend, I really started to feel full and some discomfort in my pelvis just from having so many little eggs growing on my ovaries.  On Sunday, I ended up vomiting twice with very little warning or explanation...no fever, no symptoms of illness.  I figured it was just another glorious side effect of the hormones. Turns out it could be an early warning sign.

I went back to the doctor yesterday to get checked again.  My follicles all looked good but not quite big enough for the egg retrieval procedure, but my hormone level (estradiol) came back pretty high.   This is good and bad.  It's good that I am responding so well but it's bad because  it increases the likelihood of me getting sick with something called ovarian hyperstimulation, the biggest risk in the IVF process.  What happens when you hyperstimulate is that after the egg retrieval procedure when they go in and puncture each little sac and pull out the fluid and the egg, all the sacs and your abdomen can refill with fluid, making it hard to breathe, making you dehydrated, and just plain sick.  It could cause me to be hospitalized.  So good news is that we are still on track for the egg retrieval procedure, most likely Thursday.  The bad news is that we may not be able to do an embryo transfer this cycle be cause if I hyperstimulate, do a transfer, then get pregnant on top of that, I would be very very sick.  Nothing is definite right now but this is the possibility.  I went back in to the doctor again this morning for another estradiol level and ultrasound.  I currently have 26 egg follicles.  Now before you all start thinking I'm the next octomom, not all these will produce a mature egg.  If we can't do a transfer this cycle, we would do what's called a freeze all.   They would take all the little eggs and fertilize them with Harrison's sperm and then grow them for 5 days.   All the little embryos that grow an develop for 5 days would be frozen for a frozen embryo transfer at a later date.   The success rates of a frozen transfer are a little less than a live transfer but are still good and Nashville has good success rates.

A lot is still up in the air right now and we will know more tonight after receiving my levels from today.  By tomorrow we will know when our retrieval will be.  Most likely the decision about a transfer won't be made until after the retrieval when they see how I do and if I get sick.  Please be praying for us the next couple days.  Pray for my health ( and Harrison's sanity), for all our little eggs which have to potential to become little embryos, and for the doctors and nurses as they make these important decisions for us.   I'll update tomorrow when I know more.  Thanks for the support.

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