At this point in my life, the gimme-a-damn-baby stage, one might assume I’d be thrilled to miss a period — oooOOOooohhh, maybe I’m pregnant! But no. Now it’s got me paranoid. I have no idea what cycle day I am because I started taking the BCP sometime in the middle of my last cycle, then it overlapped a bit with Lupron, which is meant to suppress everything before I begin my artificial Day 0 and Day 1 that leads into my IVF round.
The point is: I was told that I’d have a period while on Lupron, and I haven’t. It’s worse than being told there are loot bags coming at the end of a party and then realizing it was all a lie. A horrible, vicious lie. In any case, I phoned the nurse and she said not to freak out if I don’t have a period, and also not freak out if I do. Translation: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” I’m trying not to worry, but I was under the impression that bleeding was sort of necessary because I’d need to clear out the “stale” lining from last cycle before I build up a nice new lining for my prospective tenant, Mr. Blastocyst.
Further paranoia stems from the fact that I respond like crazy to any and all fertility meds, so now I’m convinced the Lupron has over-suppressed me and my ovaries have gone into Sleeping Beauty mode and won’t wake up until the endocrinology prince comes along and punches them in the face (let’s be honest, kisses do nothing).
Does anyone with Lupron experience have any words of wisdom? I haven’t had ANY side effects so far, except for this anxiety, but I’m just waiting for something else to hit me — like a hot flash, or night sweats, or a swarm of flying monkeys… you know.
I used to be the patient who had to lie down before getting a shot of anything because there was a serious possibility I might faint. In fact, my friend’s mom once tried to do some acupressure on my neck using a sharp pen, and despite the fact that it never actually punctured my skin, I fully passed out on their kitchen floor.
Now, I’m injecting myself with needles constantly, and am totally over it — in the stomach, thighs, butt cheeks, both subcutaneous (just under the skin) and intramuscular (right in the muscle). And here’s proof that exposure therapy REALLY works: I’ve actually gotten so bored with these injections that I’ve begun timing myself, to see how fast I can administer a Lupron shot from the moment I unbutton my pants to the second I put the alcohol swab on my skin to stop the bleeding.
My times so far:
Jan. 2: 1 min, 42 sec.
Jan. 3: 1 min, 33 sec.
Jan. 4: 1 min, 30 sec.
The secret to speed largely comes down to whether or not there are any air bubbles in the syringe, and also how fast the alcohol swab packet tears — sometimes it’s a nice, clean break, but other times it’s like wrestling with a stubborn packet of cereal. Of course, my hubby has warned me many times, “THIS IS NOT A RACE”, and I obviously don’t want to sacrifice my health or risk getting the dosage wrong. But honestly, we need to inject some fun into these infertility routines (see what I did there? inject? Eh? Eh?)! Maybe I should add a fun soundtrack, too, like Flight of the Bumble Bee!
What do you guys do to make injection time inneresting?
In our IVF orientation, the embryologist stressed that Day 5 transfers (when the embryo has reached the ‘blastocyst’ stage) are where it’s at. They have higher rates of success — so much higher, in fact, that any clinic doing Day 3 transfers probably doesn’t even know what IVF stands for they’re so dumb. But then I hear from other friends going through treatment that their REs and fertility docs are insisting Day 3 transfers are better, that Day 5 transfers are what embryologists in the Stone Age were doing (and yes, I’ve totally researched this — there were embryologists in the Stone Age).
Anyway, I decided to turn to Dr. You-Probably-Have-AIDS-or-Cancer, otherwise known as Dr. Google, and found this page explaining the difference: Basically, it seems that 5-day transfers have better success rates because they’ve progressed further and therefore the embryologist can get a more well-rounded view of whether the cells are dividing on schedule and fragmenting as little as possible. The advantage of a Day 3 transfer, on the other hand, is that the cell may have a better chance of implanting, especially if it’s growing at a slower pace. Also, Day 3 embryos may fare better in the freezer than their Day 5 counterparts, however this could all depend on the freezing technique used at your clinic.
UGH. Do any of you have coherent thoughts on this matter? Seeing as I’m scheduled to get a Day 5 transfer, I really could do with some reassurance that this is the right choice. Yes, my fertility doctor is a man I trust, but he is also a man who has sperm-shaped stress balls in his office and a pile of Crocs by the door.
(Note that the above image is from Million Dollar Baby, which is appropriate because our own quest for a baby is costing exactly that.)
When the hubby and I signed up for our first IUI, we had to fill out reams of legal consent forms saying that we understood the sperm freezing and thawing process, that we didn’t hold the clinic responsible if the treatment failed, and so on. There was also a part where we needed to stipulate what we wanted to do if hubby dropped off his sperm sample and then suddenly divorced me or died before the IUI was scheduled to happen — did we want to leave it up to me to decide what to do? Did we want it destroyed? Did we want to donate it to science? All I could think was, “The window of time between jerking off and separating the good spermies from the bad ones and getting that stuff up in my bizness is about three hours. What is the likelihood that my husband will run off with another woman or DIE in that time frame?!” Furthermore, the forms then asked us what we wanted to do if BOTH of us died and there was sperm leftover at the clinic. Seriously? WHAT KIND OF APOCALYPTIC SHIT IS TAKING PLACE IN THE 10-MINUTE DRIVE BETWEEN OUR HOUSE AND THE CLINIC??
Honestly, lawyers and their lawyering.
So of course, we got a stack of very similar forms for our upcoming IVF, which ask the same questions about what we’d like done with our embryos if we kick the bucket in between retrieval and transfer. What’s interesting is that this isn’t a fill-in-the-blank situation — if we both die, we only have two choices, and our final choice must be indicated with a checkmark. The first option is to destroy our embryos. The second is to donate them to science for research purposes.
Um, hello, where is the option called “Give our precious bundles of cells to infertiles looking for donor embryos or even, like, my sister, so at least our genes might get to survive in this cruel world that killed off two perfectly lovely people in the prime of their lives who would have made great fucking parents”??