Thursday, 14 April 2016

The tale of 45 injections

Well.  We are finally at that point.  As Bean referred to it, the Easter egg hunt is tomorrow.

After 3 weeks of down regulation I finally started on fostimon (FSH) for stimulation.  At my down regulation baseline scan, it was weird looking at my ovaries on the screen.  Where there had been 35 follicles the previous cycle, there was now nothing much to see.  The suprecur had definitely done its job of switching them off.

With 35 follicles at baseline I am above average! It's a blessing and a curse. Although it means I am more likely to get plenty of eggs, it also means I am at higher risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS). That means the clinic took a more conservative approach.  I was initially on 225iu of fostimon, until my first blood test.  I started this on Saturday 2nd April and had my first blood test the following Wednesday.

This blood test checks the level of estradiol (a form of oestrogen) and it needs to be high enough but not too high.  The nurse at the clinic explained that they want to stimulate some but not all of my 35 follicles.  After my first blood test I was asked to increase my fostimon dose to 300iu daily.

On the Friday I had a blood test and also a scan (dildo cam!)  The nurse counted the growing follicles and checked the size of them.  I had lots of little follicles at this point, and I continued on 300iu of fostimon over the weekend.  By the Monday I was starting to feel quite uncomfortable.  Another blood test and scan.  The scan showed 22 follicles between 1.4 and 2 cm in size.  No wonder I was feeling uncomfortable.

To put this into perspective, the average person going through stimulation like this would have 12 - 15 growing follicles.  This would be quite uncomfortable for them too.  I have nearly double that! Imagine roughly eleven 2 cm marbles in a bundle.  Got that image? Yeah? That's each one of my ovaries!

Bean came 'behind the curtain' with me for this scan so he could see all the follicles up there on the screen.  I was advised to drink plenty to keep my kidneys working well due to the risk of over stimulation, and halved my dose to 150iu of fostimon.

My final scan and blood test was yesterday, Wednesday.  Bean couldn't come with me as he was working, so Mum came along.  I have 23 growing follicles, and about 20 of these are good to go.  I was told I might need another drug to help reduce hyper-stimulation, but only if my estradiol level was over 20,000.  My last level was over 7000 and they expect it to double.  Thankfully, I didn't get a call to say I needed to pick up this drug so fingers crossed we have over come the hyper-stimulation issue.

So, last night at 11pm, I did my 45th and final injection. The trigger shot to mature my eggs.  This has to be done 34-36 hours before egg retrieval.  Egg retrieval is planned for tomorrow morning. After that final injection I had a good, ugly cry.  And lots of cuddles with Bean.  Relief? Anxiety? I don't really know.  Today I feel mentally relaxed, though my body is not too happy.  My abdomen is visibly swollen and I only feel comfortable when I'm lying down.  Needless to say I am taking full advantage of that by resting on the sofa with the cats and Netflix! Oh, and I plan to have a nice long soak in the bath as I won't be allowed one for a few weeks (due to risk of infection initially, but also over heating after embryo transfer)

Tomorrow we need to be at the hospital for 7.30 am for prep. There will probably be a bit of waiting around before I actually go down for the procedure.  I imagine we will be there most of the morning.

If you have a minute tomorrow morning please send us a thought or a prayer, or cross your fingers for us (whatever it is you like to do) to wish us luck. Thank you x x x

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