The world’s worst presents.

The day has finally come (tomorrow). The day I start my third type of fertility treatment – injectables with an IUI. Let’s see – I haven’t had a period since, (hold on, let me check a calendar) May 11th! That’s a long time! Today is CD 54, but I only know that because I just checked. I haven’t kept count since the day I found out 150 mg of Clomid was going to do nothing but cause me to go insane, and that was somewhere around CD 25.

Sidebar – I was at a thyroid appointment the other day (which is looking lovely, by the way -0.9 TSH is damn near perfect) and my doctor asked if I have been getting my periods regularly. I almost burst out laughing.

Anyway, I’ve been going through the proper steps to ensure a great time with my first set of shots. I watched the videos, asked a few clarification questions with the nurse, got a fantastic HSG completed successfully, and had my baseline blood work and ultrasound this morning. Oh yeah, and Christmas came early:

Kidding. These would make the world’s worst presents. The best thing about that picture is the watermelon I plan on consuming over the next few days.

Now, this morning’s ultrasound wasn’t exactly routine. I must say, first of all, that the wonderful condom-covered probing camera (known affectionately as the dild0-cam to most of you) was a comforting delight compared to whatever was shoved up there with the HSG last week. When we started, the nurse said, “You have a full bladder. Did you go to the bathroom?” I felt like a kid. Yes – I did! Like, 20 minutes ago! I can’t help the fact that I chugged a protein shake right before I got there…

Then, as he’s looking around in there, he discovers what I’ve known for a while – I have tons of little baby follicles in each ovary. Like, a lot. Like, he stopped counting and said, “Let’s just say there’s 30 in each one”. That’s a total of 60 follicles. That’s a lot of maybe-babies. Then he found one (I swear it’s that pesty cyst, back to say hello) and he says, oh, this one could be developing. If that happened, the cycle would have to be cancelled. But rest assured, there’s no way in hell I’m ovulating on my own. I would know it if I was. Anyway, I didn’t get any calls this afternoon regarding my blood work (which would have shown it), so I’m not concerned. After that was all over, I met with a nurse who went over the plans for tomorrow. She commented that it’s a good thing the doctor is starting me on a low dose (50 IU), because of the amount of follicles I’ve got in there. This leads me to an unpleasant thought – I feel like, if I’m going to have 60 follicles, I should’ve ovulated on my own. Or at least with Clomid. Maybe I’m not the typical type of person that does injectables with IUI, or IVF if it should come down to it. Clomid should have worked. But it didn’t. And my new fear is that even on the low dose, I’m going to produce too many eggs, and the cycle will have to be cancelled. I just really don’t want that to happen. I guess what I’m saying is simply that I want this to work. I really, really do.

With this type of treatment being so drastically different from what I’m used to – a simple pill for a few days – I hope I do it right. Not to mention the fact that I’m going to Maine tomorrow for a 3-day mini-vacation, and the drugs are coming with me. My first shot is tomorrow night, up in Maine. It can’t be that complicated – but I think I need to watch those videos again. My doctor commented last week that the first shot will take me 45 minutes, but 44 of those minutes will be the anxiety leading up to it. After that, it’ll be quick. I don’t think it’ll take me 45 minutes per say, but I can’t say I’m thrilled about doing this. In my stomach.

Also, different from many others is the fact that I don’t have my period. My doctor didn’t put me on Provera. So many nurses are asking me when my period has started, and I always have to explain I’m not getting it. So I’m not even sure what cycle day tomorrow is supposed to be – 1? 3? If you get your period, when are you supposed to start the shots?

And another question – approximately how long after the last shot do most of you trigger/ovulate? I know with Clomid you were supposed to ovulate about 10 days after the last pill. Is it similar for follistim?

Ugh. So many questions on this first round of injectables. Whether you’ve gone through injectables with an IUI, or IVF, is there anything you think I should know about any of this? Giving the shots, ovulation times, words of advice?

I’ll be back for another post once I return, and by then I should be an old pro.

HSG vs. Jury Duty

….I thought would be a toss-up. Both were pretty crappy.

But, last night I got word that for the 2nd time in a row of being called to jury duty, I didn’t have to go in. HSG wins.

Using my 1-10 pain scale, I’d say the HSG today was a 4. I don’t know why it was okay – the most painful part was the shot of numbness crap they gave me, but that pinch only lasted a few seconds. I didn’t even really feel the dye at all. And then it was over. Some spotting still, but I’m not even really crampy. As for the Advil, I decided to take 3 instead of 4, and I took a dose of hives meds (antihistamines) with it. So far, a little lump in the throat but nothing major at all. And my fallopian tubes are clear.

Check that off the list of reasons why I’m not pregnant.

This morning I watched all the videos on injections and suppositories and contacted the pharmacy. Still waiting to hear back from them on the actual delivery date of the meds, but right now, here’s the plan:

Get the meds in the next few days, go in for my baseline ultrasound Wednesday morning. Shoot myself up right after that appointment. Go to Maine (unrelated to the state of my pharmacy – going to visit my grandfather!) until Friday, bring all my meds with me (ice packs anyone?). Saturday morning, back to the dr’s for my second ultrasound.

More on the meds, shots, and all that soon. I’m sure I’ll have questions – I don’t mind needles, but whenever I have to use one, I never look at it! I always look away. That won’t work anymore. Good times straight ahead!

Fun with injectables

Okay, on to my RE appointment yesterday.

The reason I am not sure whether my HSG is tomorrow or two weeks from now is because I am scheduled for stupid jury duty tomorrow. I am hoping my name will be on the list tonight when I call, so that I don’t have to go. If I don’t, the doctor put me in for an HSG in the afternoon. If I do have to go, they only do HSG’s on Wednesday afternoons – and next Wednesday is the 4th of July, so they are off. It would have to wait until the Wednesday after that. I hate to wait another two weeks.

However, the good news there is that he is letting me start injectables at the same time – rather than having to wait a whole other cycle. I am fairly certain my HSG will come back clear.

As for the injectables – well, it seemed to me my doctor was leaning towards IVF, but he wasn’t pushy. N and I decided to do one or two cycles of injectables with IUI, and then take it from there. I found these stats interesting:

% of success getting pregnant per month: (in my age group – under 30)

-No drugs: less than 5%

-Clomid with IUI: 12%

-Injectables with IUI: 20%

-IVF: 55%

% of multiples per month:

– No drugs: 1-2%

– Clomid with IUI: 1-2%

– Injectables with IUI: 20-25%, with 5-8% being more than two babies

– IVF: 30%, mostly twins. 1-2% more than two babies.

This seemed to be why the doctor was pushing for IVF. He seems to think the risk of many, many babies is decently high, and according to those stats, I’d have to agree. However, we’re going to see what happens. He won’t even do the IUI if I have any more than 3 follicles past like, 15 mm. He said as an example, if I had 1 or 2 big follies at 18-20 mm, but then I had 6-7 little ones, no way. He wouldn’t do it. I’m fine with that. I am a little curious/concerned that my body will produce too many, and we’ll have to cancel the cycle, which would suck. But he’s starting me on a low dose (50 IU) and I will be monitored like…4 or 5 days out of 10. So a lot.

I just want to be pregnant with a healthy child. However, I would do mental back flips if there ended up being two babies in there. I would love to have twins. Triplets – and I start to freak a bit. I’m just worried about the risks. After triplets I can’t even think straight. However, none of that is worth thinking much about at this point, as I no longer get my hopes up for anything. Let’s just see if my follies will even grow – that would be a good place to start.

The other interesting thing is that my doctor will not be putting me on Provera, even though this is CD 47. He claims the latest research says getting my period now might actually hinder my ability to get pregnant from injectables, because it takes such a long time for my lining to build back up, or something like that. He’s either crazy or a genius, but I’m going to go with it. Between this and my stair-stepping Clomid cycles – I really never have a period! But I guess I can’t complain.

I also feel I should mention that it probably sounds like I am just bouncing around from treatment to treatment without a financial care in the world, and considering some of you go through such hardships to get the money, I probably sound like an ass. I can only say that I am so, so freaking lucky, beyond lucky, that my town just switched last summer to new insurance, and this new insurance fully covers just about everything. I am lucky enough to pick my treatments like it’s nothing. I have yet to see a bill since I started with my RE in December. I don’t take this for granted, believe me, but I am so happy money isn’t an issue.

With that said, my to-do list now has watching these “teaching packet” videos on my RE’s website (as in, how to shoot yourself up in the stomach, no big deal), calling the drug company up in Maine to schedule a delivery date for my lovely box o’ meds, and then, once they arrive, calling my RE to schedule my baseline ultrasound, to check out what’s happening in there. Then, we start. The HSG is a separate, lovely addition to all of this. It’s hard not knowing exactly what the timeline is – not knowing exactly what day I start. But it is a good thing it’s summer, and I’m home, so I can just go with it. My second round will be coinciding with the start of the school year, which is going to be one giant pain.

Or maybe I won’t have to go a second round? That would surely be nice.

How painful is an HSG?

I’ve got just enough time for a quick question for my blogging buddies out there:

On a scale from 1-10, 10 being “I’m going to faint here on the table because the pain is so bad” and 1 being “I felt basically nothing at all”:

How painful is an HSG?

I might be having one as soon as Wednesday, or possibly a few weeks later.

I’ll be back tomorrow for a clearer explanation of today’s RE appointment, but I will say that injectables will be starting up soon.

Thanks guys!