Steps of IVF:
1) Control ovarian hyerstimulation (taking hormones which produce eggs)
2) Egg retrieval
4) Embryo Transfer
I'm still at stage 1. Today is "stim day" 10. I started Gonal F and low dose HCG (injectable hormones that help produce lots of eggs) last Friday. Being a needle phob I am quickly getting over this fear. I've learned to stick myself in the stomach....so far 20plus times in one week. I had follow up with the doctor last Monday, Wednesday, Friday and yesterday for ultrasound monitoring and bloowork. My arms are toast. Thursday I started the third kind of injectable medication (Ganerelix), which prevents premature ovulation so you don't lose the eggs. It also keeps them around longer so they grow into mature eggs....immature eggs are incapable of being fertilized. I had good news at all follow ups that my follicles (the thing that holds the egg) are growing nicely and steadily. At my last appointment I had about 10 to 12 follicles around 17mm (average is 8 to 15 follicles). By now each ovary is the size of a grapefruit whereas normally it's between 3 to 5 cm. Needless to say I've felt quite uncomfortable the past few days! The first 6 days on hormones I felt great....no side effects at all. However since Thursday I have become increasingly uncomfortable (bloating and weight gain) and am having mood swings. The injection sites are also sore and bruising. Tonight I will take my last shot called a "trigger shot". It's a medication called HCG which will help the eggs to undergo final maturation. Timing is vital. If the shot is given too early, the eggs will not be mature and are incapable of being fertilized. If given too late the eggs are "too old" to fertilize. Egg retrieval MUST be completed precisely 34 to 36 hours after the HCG shot is administered for viable eggs.
Tuesday is the big surgery date for egg retrieval. I'm nervous and excited all at once....while I've done my research I'm still not s sure what to expect. Of course Chris will be there and my sister from New Hampshire has offered to come down. I'll be out of commission for a day or two so it's a big help. Weirdly, I'm not as worried about the pain or discomfort, but more of the outcome. Not every follicle will contain an egg and not all retrieved eggs are capable of being fertilized. My main worry is not having enough because we can't afford to do this again....and my body is slowly having a nervous breakdown.