Friday, February 23, 2007

InVitro Fertilization through my eyes

In November 2006, my husband and I decided that we'd like to expand our family.

Now, as easy as that may sound to do, it wasn't going to happen the "good ol fashion" way. In 1996, when I was 21 and in an unsuccessful marriage, I made the decision to have my tubes tied after I delivered my 3rd child. At the time, it was the right choice for me. However, I regret not doing research to find other alternatives to tubal ligation.

Ok, fast forward to November 2006. My husband and I had been discussing babies for about 6 months and a few days after my nephew was born, we knew we had to give IVF a try!

Our first appointment with a specialist was December 7th. We were very excited to hear what the Dr. had to say.

We chose a Dr. in Manhattan Beach, CA. Our first appointment was a success. The Dr. told us that he felt we had a good chance of becoming pregnant due to my age, and the fact that I've already been pregnant and delivered three healthy children.

We were told to come back the third day of my next menstrual cycle. On cue, I arrived with bells and whistles. I couldn't wait to get started. My stomach was in knots. I was so excited at the opportunity to share a pregnancy and child birth with my husband. We went in thinking we would be able to do our transfer in February.

To my disappointment, my ultrasound showed eggs developing early. This set us a month behind. The Dr. told us we would have to wait until my next menstrual cycle to start. He gave me a prescription for birth control pills along with the instruction to start taking them on Day 1 of my cycle.

Although, I left the office sad because I didn't want another delay, I knew that for one reason or another it wasn't the "right" time.

I spent the next 25 days thinking about having a baby and counting down the days to my cycle. Finally, it arrived. I started taking the pill on day 1 of my cycle. The advantage to taking the pill on day 1, was that it was a light cycle with fewer cramps.

Day 3 of my cycle, we headed back to the Dr for another ultrasound. I prayed for my ovaries to be "quiet" so that we could move forward and they were!

We sat in the Dr's office and went over my IVF schedule. He ordered my prescriptions and warned us that the expense would be high. That day we paid $600 for our two office visits and two ultrasounds.

I went home on cloud 9! I couldn't wait to get home and share our good news with our family and friends. We now had a projected transfer date of March 15th!

On Feb. 9th we received the call from the pharmacy that our medications were in. Our cost, $2,065.15, not bad considering we were expecting them to be around $5,000.

On the 14th, I started an antibiotic called Doxycycline. This was given to me to prevent getting an infection from my upcoming SonoHSG.

About SonoHSG (copied from

"A hysterosalpingogram is where dye is injected into the uterus to look for anatomic problems, such as tube patency (if they are open), fibroids, polyps, or structural problems with the uterine cavity. This test is usually done in the first half of a woman's cycle, between days 7-10. A small catheter is inserted through the cervix in order to inject the dye, or, in some places, a balloon catheter is used to push dye through the cervix without actually threading anything through it. You'll be expected to turn a little as the doctor / radiologist takes pictures or views the process through something that looks a lot like an ultrasound. It should only last about 5 minutes. Some cramping and discomfort is common during the procedure and for a little while afterward. Also, some spotting is to be expected. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and suggest a painkiller be taken. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to shellfish. Women taking metformin (brand name Glucophage or GlucophageXR) should discuss whether the medication should be discontinued for a couple of days before the procedure."

This procedure was a bit uncomfortable.

My husband and I were also instructed on how to give my upcoming Lupron injections. It was a bit nerve wracking thinking about my husband giving me shots in my belly.

Monday, Feb. 19th, I begin my Lupron injections. I was terribly nervous about my husband giving me this injection, but even more uneasy with the thought of doing it myself. So, armed with my Lupron, a syringe and 2 alcohol pads, I take a deep breathe and reinstruct my husband on how to do it correctly. I then, stop him, restart him, then stop him yet again. I didn't like the look of the first needle, so had him get a new one. Then, I wanted a new alcohol pad. Finally, he begins to give me the injection while I let out a
"Eeeeekkkk" followed with a
"Are you almost done???"

Then, it was belly stung for a few minutes and my husband decided that in order for tomorrow's injection to go better than today's, I would have to be quiet.

The following morning, I decided I should try to give myself the injection and to my surprise it went much easier!

Feb. 20th, payment day! I think this was the most painful part of the entire process. :) Our IVF bill was a bit higher than our initial quote because the Dr. decided to add on a couple of procedures to help our success rate.

Feb. 22nd, we headed back to the Dr for our mock transfer. The procedure felt like a single menstrual cramp and only lasted a few minutes. Everything went according to plan and we continue to stay on schedule.

That brings us to this weekend. Our weekend will be a quiet one. I took my last birth control pill on Thursday, so now I'm only taking the Lupron each morning.

Tuesday we have another ultrasound and injection teaching and I begin egg stimulation on Thursday with Repronex and Follistim!

More blogs to come on this subject!

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