Sunday, January 31, 2010

ivf - day 20


After much thought, I've decided to share the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) this time. Our first round back in June/July 2009, I was a bit more private, and only told a few close friends and family who were on a need-to-know basis. Basically, with the number of trips I made to Nashville and the alarm ringing on my phone to remind me of injections, either I could tell them the truth or they might think I was suffering a life-threatening illness.

But, this time is different. I'm much more open to talking about the process. I'm 100% comfortable with the ethics behind it and with people knowing what I'm/we're going through to have a child. If you've never heard of IVF before or only vaguely know about it, you'll be surprised over the next few weeks as you learn more. But, if you've been through it yourself or known a close friend, you won't be surprised one bit. It's likely that you know someone who's considered IVF or maybe you have considered it yourself. 1 in 7 couples experience some type of infertility. Although I'm not statistician, that seems very prevalent to me.

Here's what you need to know before I begin documenting my journey. IVF is pretty much the same protocol for almost everyone going through the process. It is a 54-60 day process and begins the day of your menstrual cycle (day 1). The first phase is suppression. My body is basically taken into a state of menopause (fun stuff there). The second phase is stimulation, where my body is in a state of overproduction of eggs. The third stage is the egg retrieval, embryo transfer, and waiting game (not my favorite part).

So, I begin today with the documentation, mainly because this is my first injection this cycle. For the last 3 months, I put myself on a list of vitamins (C, E, DHEA, extra Folate, Prenate DHA multivitamin, Selenium, Zinc). On day 3, I started an oral contraceptive that I will be taking for 21 days (only a few days left of that). And, on day 8, both Greg and I started a z-pack antibiotic for 5 days. It takes me about 7 minutes to swallow all my pills each morning, and I'll give you a full list of that process later.

But, today is all about injections. 10 units of Lupron that I give myself subcutaneously in the belly. Pinch and inch. That's what I do every morning at 7:00am. I started this morning to the left of my belly button and tomorrow, I will move to the right and back and forth she'll go. You see, this is a very precise process and it's important that I alternate sides and administer the dose at the proper time. I use a tiny insulin syringe/needle and it doesn't hurt a bit. It's much easier than getting your eyebrows waxed, let me tell you. But, just like waxing, I have to give myself the countdown so I don't chicken out. Not that I would, but it makes it easier.

If you're not a fan of shots, IVF desensitizes you to them right away. Before it's over with, I may be up to 3-4 injections per day...and the needle sizes only get bigger.

And, one last piece of trivia for you. Want to know how the process of IVF was developed?

Cows.

Not my cow, per se, but she's a nice representation for heifers as a whole.

You see, cows have a VERY predictable reproductive system (just ask Bennie the Bull, he knows). They have 9 month gestations and like our cows, they give birth every spring (if Bennie times it right). VERY predictable.

Humans are less predictable, obviously, but the similarities are uncanny.

The first IVF human baby was born in 1978, and without the help of cows, it might've taken much longer to perfect the technique, taking me out of the game altogether.

So, next time you sit down to a nice steak, just think about how grateful I am for that cow you're eating.

I'll be back tomorrow for another IVF update and some pics around our snowy farm.

28 comments:

Amy Gordon-Pruden said...

Good luck to you!

*reyanna klein* said...

You guys are in my prayers, April! My sister went through IVF too last year (to become a surrogate) and was unsuccessful. She said she'd try to carry a baby for us too if it turns out that I can't. (We'll see...)

*sigh* I know it's a lot of hard work (physically, mentally, emotionally), but I know you both are so strong to do this again. You both are MEANT to be parents. :-D And thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. :)

Hugs to you both! :)

Melanie said...

Dear April, I just wanted to tell you that I think you are very brave to share your story and how important that sharing is. There are so many people going through the same experience so you are not only doing yourself a favour by opening up but also your readers who may benefit from your story or explanations. It is a tough road and sometimes just to know that other people are going through the same can help. So thank you! And just like you my first IVF was successful but the embryo had settled in a fallopian tube so we lost it and now I am even less fertile than before ;-). Maybe it gives you hope that it worked the second time around as well and everything is looking much better at the moment. The waiting game just never ends - now I wait and worry whether it will stay with us. I wish you all the best for your journey! Maybe we should open an IF forum at SC, I believe there are quite a few ladies struggling and I would really like to know whether they scrap about their experience. Take care!

Astrid said...

April, indeed so many people go through this proces. Yes i (we) did too. Always good to hear succesful story to lift up your spirit. We got 1 boy with IVF (5 yr old now) and 1 boy with ICSI (2 yr old now). For the first one we got lucky after 3 rounds of IVF (plus 1 cryo in between). We almost gived up hope, it was our last attempt. But miracles happen... For our 2nd boy we only needed 1 attempt.
It seems like the process is a bit different then we have experienced (but it keep changing and probably depends on the country too (I'm from the Netherlands)
Thinking of you in this intensive process, keep hope that's the main thing.
Good luck!

Astrid

Jen Thompson said...

Other than that it's hard, I know next to nothing about IVF. Even just by reading this post I have learnt alot.
I wish you all the luck in the world April and Greg and I will be following you on your journey through your blog. Thankyou for sharing~!

Laura said...

Lots of thoughts with you guys. The end result is well worth it, I promise. And there's probably NOT a more organized person to handle all the ins and outs of IVF than YOU! :)

Katie said...

Good luck April. You will be in my prayers and I sincerely hope you are successful.

Keshka said...

Thinking of you and wishing you the best, April. I especially appreciate this post because we are going through infertility issues ourselves, and it means so much to be reminded that we're not alone.

mommy2alex said...

You are wonderful and brave to go through this and now share your journey. I think that sharing it will give you (and others!) added strength and LOTS of prayers!!

Elisa said...

I am rooting for you and Greg all the way! May your dreams come true.

{elisa. 4 IVF attempts, 2 adopted children}

Gerald Stephanie and Garrett said...

Prayers going up for you and Greg! We love you!

Zorina said...

I will definitely add you & Greg's name in my daily prayers.

We've been there, done that...after 8 yrs of IF struggle (IUI's, Herb meds, Acupuncture, etc.etc. ), our 2nd IVF try became successful.

So just keep HOPE and FAITH in your hearts... GOD will provide.
Thanks for sharing with us.

jill marie barrett said...

you go girl! thanks for blogging about this experience. i know how hard it is. we did this 5 years ago. i remember the daily shotss very well. my husband would try to make a heart shape on my hip/butt. it left little bruses for a few days. find the little things that are funny durring this process. i know they might be hard to find, but i promise that they are there. i know a few online support groups if you are interested. they are a good place to ask questions, and get unconditional support. i can't wait to hear of your success.
jill b

Shannon said...

I will keep you in my prayers... I know the process is crazy, long and crazy! Stay strong!

Lynn Ghahary said...

april you are so brave my friend to share your story. i know there are lots of women (and men) out there struggling with the same issues of infertility as you and can appreciate your honesty. my oldest darian is an ivf baby (my little guy brandon was a total surprise) and the entire process is one amazing miracle if you ask me. i'm here for you my friend if you ever need to chat. best of luck to you and greg - you WILL be parents one day.

debbieback said...

thanks for sharing this process with everyone. hopefully we can provide an ear when you really need one. sending all my fertility prayers your way.

Kiwi The Kreator said...

You're in my prayers!!!

KarenP said...

You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers as you take this journey! xo kphike (Karen)

Davinie Fiero said...

I don't care whether it was an undefeated season or not, this is the Foster year! I just know it! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Kristin said...

Here's hoping for patience and baby lotion in your future :-)

Seriously, talking about it has been my only saving grace and the interruption of my life is not nearly as significant as IVF.

You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!

Karen said...

i think you are so brave to talk about this. i wish you much success, my friend. you and g-man will be THE best parents. praying that this round is successful. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hey April ~ I will keep you and Greg in my prayers. My husband, Adam and I are also going through infertility treatments. And will find out next week whether or not our last treatment worked. I am glad you shared your story and again wish you success in your journey. There's alot of waiting and unfortunately, sometimes disappointment. But the ultimate gift is so worth it and I hope it happens very soon for you.

Janie B.
MN

Joanie said...

You are an amazing lady! I think it's really something that you are sharing your journey with us...I am praying for you and Greg!

Christa said...

Thank you for sharing your journey April, what an amazing amount of strength you both have during all of this. I will keep you in my thoughts as you continue your journey then onto the parenthood adventure!

lisa truesdell said...

((hugs)) - thank you for sharing this process - i have some friends that have gone through it and a "sort of" knowledge and it's fascinating to me to learn more. i'm so glad that this avenue is open to those who need it.

jenney said...

I'm so in awe that you're sharing your story. This such a private thing for some people but hopefully you'll give someone else the courage to make it through their treatments. Good luck with your journey, April! Hugs!

rmeyfe said...

I hope that everything goes well for you! Good luck!

Life with Claire said...

April,

I am an old childhood friend of Stephanie Howell's. I was linked to your blog through hers and I have found your journey through IVF so interesting. I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and she was so easy to conceive but trying for baby #2 has proven more difficult. Beginning treatment with a fertility specialist is where our journey is right now. I never thought I would try anything being that we have a child already but it's interesting how your wants and desires shift through the journey of being a mom. I wish you so much joy and success with your pregnancy and thank you for sharing your story. It has been very helpful to me and refreshing.

Thank you,

Kristen Cox