My appointment went very well this morning! My doctor was hoping that my follicles were going to get really big and they ARE!! They all measure between 18 and 25mm!! (Last IVF round they did my egg retrieval when my biggest follies we 15-18mm and I ended up having a lot of immature eggs that didn't fertilize.) So this round the plan was to let my follies grow bigger and they DID! Also THREE MORE have showed up so it looks like there is a total of 14 follicles!! My uterine lining measured 11mm which is great! The ideal thickness is between 8 and 12mm so hopefully mine will be just perfect for an embryo to burrow in. :) My blood results were a little surprising...my E2 was 3309 which is more than twice what it maxed out to last IVF round. The higher the E2 the higher the risk is for OHSS. (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome causes intense abdominal pain, bloating, and weigh gain from excess ovarian fluid building up in the abdominal cavity. In some cases it requires hospitalization to have the fluid drained.) So far I feel fine (other than sore ovaries), so hopefully I wont have any problems. My LH level was still 0.9 so there is a very low chance of me ovulating on my own prior to retrieval.
My doctor told me to do my hCG trigger shot tonight at exactly 11:30 PM. Then we are supposed to have sex...really romantic huh? And we're not allowed to do it again until we are cleared by him (it will be at least several weeks or more). I'm serious...we are forbidden to have sex until our doctor tells us its ok to. Call me crazy, but isn't that how people used to make babies?? "At least we get one last hurrah tonight." That is a direct quote from the nurse this morning. Clearly our personal life no longer exists!! HA!
What is an hCG trigger shot?
My eggs need to go through the last stage of maturation, before they can be retrieved. This last growth is triggered with an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Timing this shot is vital. If it's given too early, my eggs will not have matured enough. (Which is what happened last time.) If given too late, the eggs may be “too old” and won't fertilize properly. The daily ultrasounds are meant to time this trigger shot just right. Since this is my second IVF I trust that our doctor now knows that this is the right timing for my eggs to be prime!
My egg retrieval surgery needs to be exactly 36 hours after I give myself the trigger shot so that I don't ovulate and loose all the newly matured eggs. That means this Wednesday at 10:30 AM it's game time!! This is also the day that Ben will finally be involved in this lengthy IVF process. He has an appointment for his "sperm retrieval" at the same time as my procedure.
And now I would like to share a story with you...
When Ben and I were first going through our fertility diagnostic testing in February 2008 we were pretty freaked out by the whole unfamiliar process. Because of this we accompanied each other to every appointment to provide support. I am about to explain the world's most awkward situation: When we found ourselves in a room at the fertility clinic with a cup..... for sperm. Yikes!
We were escorted by a lab technician to the "special room." As we walked in we realized that it was just a glorified public bathroom. I looked around and instantly knew it was the weirdest place I'd ever been in my entire life. There was a lamp on a table with a red light bulb (mood lighting, I guess), a rack full of well flipped through porno magazines (gross!), a cheesy black faux leather chair in the corner (even grosser!), a television hanging from the ceiling with a VCR (whaaaat?), a basket of collection cups (ok...), and of course the bathroom sink, paper towel dispenser and a toilet (seriously?!?!). My first words to Ben after the tech left, "EWWW...Don't touch anything!" He couldn't have agreed more as we stood there, hands close to our sides just looking around in disbelief. As if this room weren't the most awkward situation ever, we could hear nurses gabbing loudly right outside the door in the hallway. "How the hell are we really supposed to get through this??" It felt wrong, embarrassing, weird and completely hilarious all at once...just like the time when they showed the sex-ed video in sixth grade. OMG!! This wasn’t a place that either of us had EVER envisioned ourselves. So much for the mystique of privately conceiving a child together, and at that moment we both knew, the honeymoon’s over!!
Now after 2.5 years and numerous "sperm retrievals" Ben has gotten used to the drill just as I have gotten used to assuming the stirrup position for 5 or more people at once. For us, trying to make a baby means doing things most couples never have to experience! We are willing to do whatever it takes!! That's how much we want a child of our own!
Just two more days until our eggs and sperm will finally meet!