Friday, December 24, 2010

Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like Chocolate Chip Cookie Ovaries

As promised in yesterday's blog, we're going to give the backstory on my "chocolate chip cookie ovaries". But we'll do you one better and give you a full update on where we currently are in our IVF process.

-We met for the initial consult with the IVF doc, which we already posted about, so I'll jump to the next step.
-We attended a 3 hour class at our IVF doctor's office (which, by the way, is called Arizona Center for Fertility Studies). During this class they gave us a complete overview of the process, medications, costs, etc. It was jammed-packed full of information, but it left me feeling a little overwhelmed, nervous, and as if I was going to forget something.
-We ordered my "stimulating" drug (which will help me to have a ton of eggs), HMG, from England, online (the website was suggested by our doc). It was really easy to do. The doc faxes a script; you order the meds; they ship them within a few weeks; and you pay 1/5 what you'd pay in the US.
-We picked up my "suppression" med, Lupron, from a specialty pharmacy. Lupron will trick my body into thinking it's going through menopause, so it will have a "rest" period before they stimulate my ovaries with the HMG. This "break" and then "flare" will help get the most eggs possible. I will be on Lupron for about a month.
-On "Day 2" of my cycle (Wednesday), we went to the doctor's office for a transvaginal ultrasound, in which they check out how your uterus and ovaries look. This is where the chocolate chip cookies come in. Turns out, on an ultrasound your ovaries look like little chocolate chip cookies when they're full of eggs, since they have a bunch of dark chips (or eggs) that you can see. We got some exciting news that it looks like I have a lot of eggs - she counted 16 in one ovary alone, so she's guessing I have over 30 total. These will be the eggs that will hopefully mature and be used this cycle. We were excited to hear that everything looked good on this exam, as it was the first test actually checking out my reproductive health.
-On "Day 3" of my cycle (yesterday), we went to my new OB-GYN to get acquainted and to have a slew of blood work ordered (they test for everything from HIV to Rubella to hormone levels!). He did a quick physical exam also and all checked out. He said, "they should have you pregnant in no time. You'll be an easy one." I have to tell you, those words made me happier than if he had told me I was the pretty woman he had ever seen!! I was psyched to hear a doctor say what I was hoping. Although, I need to manage my expectations, you never know!
-After that OB-GYN appointment, we headed to a lab for them to draw my blood for all my blood work that was ordered. You know how labs are, we sat there waiting for 45 minutes, and once they called me back, it took all of 2 minutes and I was out of there. We expect to here the results from all the blood work sometime next week.
-Right after the Lab (literally...we were in the car) Ronnie gave me my first Lupron injection. The thought of Ronnie sticking me with a needle worried me, but he was a pro. He said, "take a deep breath, exhale..." and boom, he stuck me and it was over. It is the world's tiniest needle! The injection site itched like a son of a gun for about 7 minutes, was red for about 20 and then everything was back to normal. Pretty cool! I'll be doing Lupron injections once a day (in the morning around 9:30 AM) from yesterday until January 28th.

And that brings us to today! All in all I am very excited that we have officially started the cycle and I'm excited to get the last few diagnostic tests out of the way for me (they have a few more things they have to do to verify the prediction that I don't have any reproductive issues) - more on that as they come in the next few weeks. Please feel free to ask any questions you have...we're open books!