Thursday, July 13, 2006

Erev IVF

I start my first round of IVF tonight.

Just like a Jewish holiday, this cycle begins the night of the first day. So right now it's Erev IVF, or the day before IVF.

There are four different drugs to take: Lupron, Gonal-F, HCG and Crinone. Three are sub-cutaneous injections, and one's a vaginal suppository. In a nutshell, they all prepare the bod to stop ovulating naturally, to stimulate follicles in the ovary to grow big, trigger the follicles to release said eggs, and then keep the vaginal lining cozy enough to support an embryo that's been placed back inside. This is all concurrent with having two outpatient procedures: a surgery where a needle is threaded up into the vagina laparascopically to retrieve as many good eggs as possible, and then another where a sperm-fertilized egg is shot back in to try to implant and start the road to fetus-hood.

That's a mouthful, huh?

This weekend, the Mister and I went over all our notes and paperwork to figure out exactly what would happen when I take these drugs, exactly how much we are paying for them out of pocket, and exactly when I'm supposed to take them.

We had a lot of paperwork.

We met with a nurse educator Tuesday who went through the details of each drug and how to take each one. In this case, I'm happy I've taken shots most of my life. Some of the drugs use the same orange-tipped syringes I know so well, and filling them is similar to preparing an insulin shot.

The Gonal-F comes in larger pens, pre-filled, and while I haven't taken insulin this way, I know many still on shots do and it seems easy enough to figure out.

After reading everything on Sunday, I looked at the Mister and said, "You know, I think this is sort of exciting."

The Mister, however, immediately pointed out how much this was costing us out of pocket.

I told him kids are expensive anyway and that at least for this first round, where we are going through a relatively "discount" pharmacy to get the drugs, that we're paying as little as we can.

(The Mister's comment was a bit different than usual. Typically, he's the one telling me to have a positive attitude throughout this whole infertility trip. Many times, my cynical and thinking-ahead-several-steps nature has surfaced. "Should we just sign up with an adoption agency right now?" I glowered at the infertility doc after the first IUI didn't work. "Do I need to sell stocks I have as long-term investments to have more money at our disposal?" So far, the answers have been "not yet" and "no." So feeling excitement at the upcoming cycle is frankly, a great departure for me.)

Of course, while it's impossible to predict specific days right now, it looks like the procedure for egg retrieval or embryo insertion may happen during one of my busy weeks at work. I'll definitely be out the whole day for the first procedure (which is akin to having surgery under light anesthesia) and likely out the day things are put back in. (This is also presuming, kinehora, that all goes well this round and there are no problems or reasons to stop the IVF cycle altogether.)

So there is someone at work who can do my job, at what point do I tell him, or my boss, that I'm having an outpatient medical procedure and that I need to be out? A week before? Earlier?

Also, my current boss is a woman who is filling in for my former boss, who left to give birth. The current woman is also pregnant, and her last days are sometime in August. Her replacement (another woman, not pregnant as far I can tell), is someone I'm friendly with, but ultimately, I don't necessarily want to tell anyone that I'm going through IVF cycles. Or do I?

I mean, heck, I'm telling all of you, cyber-readers. And that feels fine. But I don't want to be seen as someone not up to the job while I'm trying to get pregnant, a task that will certainly take me out of the office for some time should I actually have a child. And when I'm at work, I'm actually really into the job, and don't want to have conversations about fertility with people who may not necessarily understand what I'm going through. (This office appears to be pretty fertile, at least for others, since I've been working there. In fact, except for a handful, all the women who have left the job have been those who left to have kids and didn't return. It's not a particularly family-friendly office, if you didn't already guess from my worked-past-midnight post.)

If it doesn't work, frankly, I don't want sympathy from people at work as the Mister and I figure out if/when we'll do more round(s) of IVF. And if it does work, I've thought about keeping silent about it until I was actually pregnant for a while, like four or five months, until it was impossible not to tell. I just don't want to get prematurely public about a pregnancy that honestly, could go wrong in so many ways, having read blogs about miscarriages and terminations and other issues.

(Although, no, it's not like I'd have a reason to think this could happen to me, but then again, why am I dealing with infertility in the first place when the majority of the people I know are popping out kids or announcing pregnancies left and right?)

Tomorrow I have another endo appointment, and I want to double-check with her about whether any of these drugs will affect my blood sugars. I've heard they might and they might not. Looks like I'm back to keeping intense paper records of my every blood sugar. We're also going to go over the results of my week-long effort wearing a continuous glucose monitor a few weeks back. We'll see how that goes.


Nicole P said...

Good luck, C! With the treatment, first and foremost, but also with all of the attendant stuff.

I'll be thinking good, positive, reproductive thoughts for you.

Flmgodog said...

I am thinking positive thoughts for you as well. I am glad you are optimistic about this IVF. I think it helps to have a positive outlook.
Good luck at the endo.
We'll be anxious to hear.

Caro said...

I'm thinking positive thoughts for you too.

Shannon said...

I really hope this works for you. You are going through so much to succeed.

I'm sending you baby {{{{vibes}}}}

Penny said...

best of luck to you that it will work the first time. And, just because it can't hurt: woo woo go ovaries!!!!

julia said...

I don't think I'd mention the reasons why you'll need to be out. I'd just say that you need to have a medical procedure done and that the doctor has to schedule it and you'll give them as much notice as possible.

julia said...

Jeez, I'm so rude sometimes.

Good luck, Lyrecha. I hope this works for you.

art-sweet said...

Crossing everything: fingers, toes, nose...

Kerri. said...

I'll reproduce (pun intended) the well-wishes of the others: Good luck. We're thinking of you and hoping for the very best.


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