Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Don't mind me, it's just the Lupron talking

I've been taking Lupron for seven days now. So far it's gone well. The worst side effect has been the headaches. They start every day at around 2 in the afternoon and grow steadily worse until I go to bed. I'm very lucky that I don't have to deal with stress from work or school. I can lie down whenever I need to, do yoga, cook, and just focus on getting through this cycle.

The part I was most worried about - actually giving myself the injections - in reality has been the easiest. The first time I did it I sat there with the syringe pointed at my belly for 10 minutes before I finally got up the courage to plunge it in. I did it - and all I could think was, "Is that it?" The Lupron needle is so tiny that I barely feel it going in. The medication itself does sting for a while afterwards, but it's nothing terrible and I feel much better now about the prospect of giving myself heparin injections for nine months if I am lucky enough to become pregnant.

Other than the headaches, the only thing I can complain about is the mood swings. And really, Eric should be the one to complain about that. For a while he was puzzled every time I'd have an uncharacteristic outburst, but now he seems to be catching on to the fact that I'm going to be crazy as a loon for the next little while. He's been marvelous about everything so far.

I have a tentative calendar for how this cycle will go. Come on and follow the bouncing fertility ball with me!

Phase One: Ovarian Suppression
August 4-13 Lupron 10 units daily; Dexamethasone .5 mg daily

Phase Two: Ovulation Induction
August 14-24 Gonal-F 2 vials daily, Repronex 1 vial daily; Lupron 5 units daily; Doxycycline 100 mg daily (E will take this as well to prepare his sperm for ICSI); baby aspirin therapy
I'll be closely monitored during ovulation induction with daily visits to the RE for blood draws and ultrasounds.

Phase Three: Egg retrieval
August 25 I'll be under IV sedation (hallelujah!) while the doctor aspirates multiple eggs from my ovaries using a long needle.
Begin progesterone-in-oil injections; begin heparin injections.
E will give a sample of his sperm the same day, and the lab techs will combine a few of the good swimmers with a few of my eggs through ICSI (a procedure that has only existed for a few years in which a single sperm is injected with a needle directly into the egg. It is used in cases of severe male factor.)

Phase Four: Embryo Transfer
August 28-30 Depending on how well they develop, up to 3 embryos will be transferred into my uterus either 3 or 5 days after they are created in the lab.
Continue progesterone-in-oil and heparin injections.

Phase Five: Beta Test
September ? This is where we find out if it worked or not. If it did, I'll continue PIO and heparin shots; if not, we'll decide whether to go straight on to attempt #2 or take a break.

The really scary part is that anywhere along the way the whole thing could fall to pieces. I could be a poor responder and not produce enough eggs. I could produce too many eggs and develop OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) which can be very dangerous and result in a canceled cycle. Our embryos could fail to thrive in the lab. Or they could simply fail to implant after the transfer. As straightforward as the process seems to be, there is so much that could go wrong. Our chances of success are about as good as they possibly can be, but I'm doing my best to prepare myself for disappointment. I'm assuming we'll have to do this several times before succeeding. That way if it happens on the first try, I'll be pleasantly surprised.


  1. Anonymous7:57 AM

    Hi - my name is Kate and I live in VA too! I've been reading you since you started and I will be praying for you.

  2. Hi Kate, thanks for reading! And for the prayers...I need all I ca get! :)

  3. I cannot believe you stuck a needle in your stomach. Wow. Go you.


Give it to me straight!

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