I was put on birth control for 10 days. During this time I was also self-injecting Lupron (this drug was used to prevent premature ovulation by suppressing the pituitary gland). It worked and I was "suppressed" and on day 1 of my period I began full cycle monitoring for our IVF. This entailed going to the RE every other day for about 5 days. On those days I had a vaginal ultrasound, blood drawn (to test the hormone levels), and a review with the RE of the prior day's results.
My protocol included:
*Lupron (self injected 1x day) - suppression drug
*Gonal F and Repronex (injected in bum by dear hubby 1x/day) - stimulate ovaries to produce multiple eggs
*Prednisone - Steroid to counter any potential auto immune disorders
*Baby Aspirin daily - prevent any clotting
*Materna - Vitamins
*Thyroid pills - precautionary to give thyroid added boost and ensure overall health
*Estrace - Fake estrogen (like i need more estrogen)
*Progesterone Suppositories - to aid in implantation, build up the uterine lining
*Host of Antibiotics - Precautionary - to ward off any potential bacterial infection ( both hubby and I had to take this for 3 days and then I for an additional few days after the retrieval).
*Pain killers - proud of myself - only took 1 and practised every form of meditation, prayer and deep breathing to deal with the pain/discomfort.
*Bottles and Bottles of Gatorade (hate the stuff and tried to supplement with Coconut water) and soups - to prevent fluid retention
Stimualtion period was okay for the most part but by day 9, my ovaries felt like 2 watermelons about to explode. Day of retrieval was horrible. J had no trouble producing a sample ...hmmm..speedy gonzales
The actual retrieval is a blur as I was heavily sedated but 15 eggs were retrieved but only 6 were mature. 6 of 6 fertilized. I had a horrible reaction to the medication and could barely stand up due to the nausea and gut wrenching puking (I was later told by one of the nurses that I may have been given too much medication).
That evening, J presented me with an early Valentines day gift (and yes it was a surprise because we are not the type of couple that celebrates the occasion but it was a much appreciated surprise).
TRANSFER DAY ( Incidentally Family Day:))
Easy as pie, no pain or medication!!! At this point we had 6 embryos (all perfect 8 cells, embryos can range from 4-8 cells). We decided to implant 2, freeze 2 and leave the remaining 2 in the lab for further growth. Embryos are often graded 1 being the best and 5 being the worst or vice versa. We had 1 #1, 3 #2s and 2#3s which we fondly call our ugly ducklings. the ducklings were left in the lab for an additional 2 days and the hope was that they would rebel and become "swans" or medically known as blastocysts. The diference between a blastocyst and an embryo is that the latter has 70-100 cells whereas the former is comprised of 4-8 cells.
Many centres choose to perform a 3-day transfer (embryo) but 5-day transfers (blastocysts) are also quite common. Some research has shown higher implantation rates with a 5-day transfer which is more in line (timing) with the location and stage that a normal pregnancy would be at that point.
one of the little guys made it to the blastocyst stage and the other expired. So as of now we have 2 in utero, 2 frozen embryos and 1 frozen blastocyst (otherwise know as our snow babies).