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IVF Journey Week 4 – Starting on the Big Meds

June 03, 2021

HAPPY FIRDAY – AND HERE IS YOUR FERTILITY FRIDAY READING. What a week it has been! Once again, I felt I was left with more questions than answers, but I did not let it get me down. I have been feeling this growing excitement this week for the process (and the outcome)…I really think it has a lot to do with my Mindfulness Practice every single night. I have been telling myself daily “fertile mind – fertile body” and I have a good feeling about this month. Both hubby Josh and I have discussed that we will try 3-5 rounds if this one is not successful with a mini-emotional/personal/family check in at the 3month and 5month mark. We know the emotional and financial stress this takes – so we want to be sure we are always checking in with one another!

This week – we picked up the BIG PARTY MEDS!  Thursday was DAY 1 of Menopur injections.

As of Thursday Night – we have the big steps this week. Preparing the Ovaries for Stimulation

I ceased the Estrogen 60mg tablets on Saturday last week. This was a HUGE surprise to me, I assumed I would be on these right up till we started the Menopur Injections. Once again I was surprised. I stopped taking these so my body could have a natural cycle. Almost all women will start some form of a birth control pills for a set number of days. Birth control medications decrease the chances of creating cysts that could interfere with the cycle start. These little wonders  also allow the doctor to control the timing of the cycle. I was taking a little extra to manage my irregular and sometimes unhappy ovaries. Well, by Monday this week by body decided not to have a regular cycle (of course) which meant bloods on Monday to ensure my hormone levels were normal and I was not already pregnant. I had been on medication to prevent this for 3-weeks so I was surprised they still tested – just another wonder of IVF.

Fun Fact: With the birth control pills before stimulation, development and growth of the follicles is temporarily halted. After the intake of stimulation medications, follicles tend to grow at the same rate with the higher number of eggs available for the retrieval.

Well, then the waiting game happened till the Nurse Specialist called to give me all clear to continue with the treatment schedule as already planned. Once my bloodwork was done, the nurse specialist discussed our results with the OBGYN and then called me. I am not sure how things would have changed if my bloods were not “normal” but I am VERY happy we are on track.

THURSDAY NIGHT WAS ROUND 1. I was not worried, nervous or scared – only because I had spent months doing my own trigger shots. I was use to the needles, Judy (the IVF nurse specialist) was really supportive in showing us how to mix the medication and how to administer it. It feels a little like a drug lab (and kind of illegal) but no sweat.

I FROZE my belly before we completed the injection. Hubby Josh gave it to me (so he feels like he is part of the process) and gave me a fun bandaid. The bandaid does not serve any purpose other than to make me feel happy.

                      

THE AFTER FEELING: Well it was not amazing but tolerable. Thursday night was a busy one for us as we were preparing to go to Daydream Island Friday morning. I had packing and cleaning and organising to do (including packing the meds which MUST stay at fridge temperature). The injection was not painful – just felt strange. I could feel the cool liquid under the skin and it felt like I had a really small breast implant left under my skin. I rubbed it gently with the palm of my hand to help move the medication around. I did not apply any pressure – but it did make it feel better. I found bending over and too much tummy squeezing (when lifting heavier things like my suitcase) made the injection site throb a little. Outcome of round 1 – not too bad & tolerable.

I followed my injections up with a BEAUTIFUL cup of Vanilla/Rose Tea and a teaspoon of condensed milk. This is my new evening treat and perfect soothing drink!

WHAT ELSE I DID TO PREPARE THIS WEEK: 

  1. Reduce The Stress

I know from study and research that basal stress levels can influence natural and assisted conception. Reducing this stress during an IVF stimulation cycle can be one of the hardest things to achieve, but I am determined to do it. Several reports suggest improvement of pregnancy outcomes with the use of acupuncture and other stress relieving techniques. The things I have undertaken include mind-body programs, meditation/breath-work and positive visual thoughts.

I use a guided meditation every evening, which includes a routine of rose/vanilla tea, a pregnancy safe essential oil blend and a fertility yoga sequence.

2. Understand the Meds

I will share these in another post which includes information about what each medication does, the purpose and when I took them. This will be different for everyone. Everyone’s plan is different and outcomes/dosages are prescribed based on numerous blood tests. Always follow what your specialists tell you – they know best! I chose  time and will stick with it. This will help build the routine, assist with relaxing – and for me, this helped me feel like I was in control – of the whole process

3. Find Your Tribe

I called on family and friends for support over the 2 weeks of “main meds” which meant preparing them for my mood swings, telling them what I think I would need to feel okay. Some of these things include time by myself, a lot of good sleep, healthy meals and snacks to ensure I do not fill up on junk, a well stocked tea cupboard and absolutely none of the pregnancy “no-no”  foods!!

I will update you all NEXT FRIDAY after scans, a whole week on the medications and blood test outcomes!! For now – tootaloo while we head to Daydream Island for some R&R with friends!!

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