I am late in updating and guilty of possibly my longest musing to date below. I could make up a shit ton of excuses, but mostly it’s because my life right now is completely dictated by shots.
Lupron days 5-10 continued on pretty uneventfully. No more serious hot flashes and so far, emotions under control (mostly). We had our baseline ultrasound and blood work and everything looked great. A-ok to start the big gun meds (BGM’s). Side note, I am making up acronyms as I go because in the infertility world, they have SO MANY. That’s ammo for another post. In the morning, I’m still taking Lupron (just half the dose) with the paper thin needles. Yes you have to draw it into the syringe yourself, but seriously, this one is cake. No sweat. In the evening, I am taking Gonal-F, also baby needles, easy-breezy. BUT the other morning injection, Menopur, is the devil. Let me back track—and if you’re sensitive to gross stuff, skip this next paragraph.
Day one of Menopur-mixing went great. I am a pro, I don’t even need the Q caps (or so I think). When we were in the Dr.’s office, the nurse went through how to give all the different injections, etc. She mentioned these things called Q caps. They’re a little hat that sits on top of the vials so you can fill the syringes without using the needle. Then you reattach the needle and inject. The nurse explained that they were convenient if you were having trouble drawing ALL of the liquid out of the vial. I go to inject and it’s like trying to break the skin of an orange with a toothpick. I assume it’s because the skin +/- an inch of my belly button is becoming tough from all the injections (not true) so I try another spot. Nothing. The needle is actually starting to bend I am pushing so hard. I pull the bravest move ever, aka Pulp Fiction and basically throw this thing at my gut with all my strength. With a noise like a balloon popping, skin finally gives. Shot burns like jet fuel. Day two of Menopur, I talk myself off the ledge. Clearly I was only having a hard time because I was nervous on day one right? Wrong. I try again with the same results. Stupid mother f**king Menopur. I read a story from another blog about a girl using the wrong needle. Could I be having the same problem? I ask Dr. Google. Nope, right gauge, right everything. How am I going to endure 2+ weeks of this evil shot? I Facetime GirtyJ at her suggestion because she’s my go-to on all questions IVF that I don’t want to ask a doctor. She suggests the Q-caps even though I am not having trouble with the loading of the syringes. Ummmm DUH, the needles are getting dull going through the rubber stoppers on the vials. Days three on out have been one bazillion times better (even though the shots still burn). Lifechanging.
I went in for monitoring on day three of BGMs and my estrogen was low. No panic, just means an increase of the Gonal F in the evenings. The downside of this, is that we maxed out the insurance RX coverage, so all else medicine wise is out of pocket. The Gonal is now $300+ per day BUT we saved for it, and so much other stuff has come in under what we anticipated that it’s all still manageable for now! I’ve had a few moments where I’ve had to remind myself this will all be worth it, but luckily those moments are short lived. I’ve tried to keep the bitching and moaning to a minimum, as we feel VERY lucky that we even have an opportunity to give this a go. There are couples that struggle for decades without the chances we’ve been given and I don’t lose sight of that no matter how much crazy starts creeping in with the injections. I’ve hit on crazy mode twice so far. The first was out of the blue, just started crying for NO REASON. Then you find yourself laughing because you KNOW that nothing is wrong. PC wasn’t back from California yet at that point and I am pretty happy about that because it wasn’t my proudest moment. The second was actually explainable and I might have burst into tears even without medications because dealing with fertility pharmacies can be really draining. After spending hours on the phone and talking to 7 different morons, we found out we’d maxed out the coverage and needed to go through our more reliable Freedom Pharmacy for future orders.
I’ve continued to go in for blood and ultrasound monitoring every few days, and so far everything seems to be progressing well. We had 18 follicles originally, 9 of which are on pace to be the right size for retrieval. I am starting to feel the physical implications of your ovaries in overdrive. Feeling a little swollen and tender on the insides. My stomach is starting to bruise and it’s polka dots with injection marks, but in the realm of things, I’ve got this. IT.WILL.ALL.BE.WORTH.IT. Still no firm dates on retrieval yet but we are patiently waiting until our little follicles get big enough so that we can move on. Everyone has been really great about respecting our distance while also supporting us. I come home to cards from some my college girlfriends, and texts, calls and emails from others reminding us that we are not alone in this. Grow follies grow!