Thursday, December 8, 2016

Egg Freezing (It's Happening!): Fourth Appointment

At this point in the cycle the crook of both my arms are bruised from blood draws and my abdomen is freckled with the memory of nearly 20 injections.

I drove to the hospital this morning to have my blood drawn again. Then, to the clinic to have an ultrasound. Today, the doctor could see both my ovaries (an improvement from the last appointment when one was missing in action) and while the follicles are growing in diameter, we aren't ready for retrieval just yet. This means a refill on some of my medications and an 8am doctor's appointment over the weekend.

I feel exhausted and lonely.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Egg Freezing (It's Happening!): Third Appointment

Another early wake up call to get to the hospital to have my blood drawn before 8am and then an appointment at the RE's office to measure the follicles on my ovaries to determine how I'm responding to the medications. My blood work and progress are good, but the RE couldn't find my left ovary on ultrasound. Count me concerned.

As of the third appointment (which was yesterday, actually), my RE started me on a third medication called Ganirelix. This medication, which stops eggs from being released too early, is taken by subcutaneous injection.

For those keeping track at home, this day in the egg freezing process involved:

  • One blood draw at the hospital;
  • One transvaginal ultrasound at the RE's clinic; and
  • Three self-administered subcutaneous injections.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Egg Freezing (It's Happening!): Second Appointment

Since the baseline ultrasound, I have injected myself with two different medications every night between 7-9pm. Both injections are subcutaneous and administered in the abdomen. The needles are small and the injections don't hurt.

The first medication is Gonal-F. As I understand it (and I don't understand it in any sophisticated way, since I'm not a doctor), this medication contains a follicle-stimulating hormone that stimulates healthy ovaries to produce eggs. The pharmacy gave me this medication in a pen that is pre-loaded with medication. Each night, I "dial" a dose, by clicking the pen to the prescribed number (225 in my case), screw on a fresh needle, and inject.

The second medication is Menopur. It contains a follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone that helps healthy ovaries to produce eggs. Preparing this injection is more involved. It requires drawing up saline from one vial, mixing it with the powder Menopur, and then drawing the solution up into a syringe for injection. If you liked chem lab as a student (and I did), you'll find this part almost fun.

After three days of this drill, I was to get my blood drawn before 8am at St. David's lab (since it was Sunday, the lab at the hospital was supposedly the only open lab in town). I was in and out of the lab in less than 10 minutes. Next, I drove up to the clinic, where the doctor used ultrasound to measure the dilation of the follicles on my ovaries in order to assess how I was responding to the medication.

At around 4pm, after my doctor had received my lab results, the clinic called me to confirmed that I should continue with my current dosage of Gonal-F and Menopur and plan for another blood draw and monitoring appointment on Tuesday.

I'm already feeling like a pin cushion and we're just getting started!

Other observations:

  • Feeling a bit nervous about coordinating upcoming work travel with the monitoring appointments (also, will TSA let me on the plane with syringes!?!).
  • Noticing more frequent headaches, but think this is likely symptomatic of a stressful period at the firm and not the medications.
  • Not noticing any other side effects.
  • Spoke with a college friend and learned she's completed two egg freezing cycles and contemplating a third to collect the number of eggs thought to be needed to produce two kiddos (not all retrieved eggs survive the thaw, fertilize, or successfully implant which is why you need more than one egg to produce one pregnancy). This stressed me out a bit. Given the cost, I have never considered completing more than one cycle. For now, I'm putting this out of my mind until my doctor tells me the number of eggs he was able to retrieve.