I intended to share another smoothie with you today, but because of the stomach bug I've had for the past three days, a smoothie is one of the last things I felt like making this morning. Instead, I'm just sharing an IVF update.
The only nice thing (if we're looking for a nice thing) about having this stomach thing and not being able to eat much is that it knocked my weight down a few pounds which is nice considering the meds I'm on/will be on soon will most likely make me gain a few pounds. Considering I'm already overweight, that's something I'm trying really hard to avoid, at least until it's the weight of a baby. :0)
I had some tests done this week; blood work and ultrasounds and such. I learned that I have a nice, clean uterus and ovaries. I currently have no cysts or fibroids or other issues. That particular ultrasound wasn't super fun. It was internal and included two different catheters. One of the catheters was a mock embryo transfer, so although it wasn't exactly comfortable, it was nice to know exactly what that will feel like and that it wasn't terrible. It all went really quickly; in fact, when I went back out to the waiting room to call Steve in, he thought I had just been taking awhile to give a urine sample and had no idea that I was done with the ultrasound already. Overall, that was all good news.
After the ultrasound we spent some time with nurse learning all about how to do the injections I will need. I will be on four different injectable meds and each one is slightly different. The first of those injectable meds arrives this week (we didn't order them all at once because insurance isn't covering any of them and the nurse recommends applying for discounts for some of the others before ordering...I don't start those meds until later in the month anyway). My med protocol includes the following:
Dexamethasone (oral)- a low-steroid to keep my body from attacking the embryo once it is transferred to my body. I'll take this throughout almost the entire process.
Birth control- to prevent cysts on the ovaries. I'll take this for almost two weeks.
Lupron (injection)- lowers estrogen levels, shrinks uterine lining, prevents ovulation. I'll be on this for over two weeks.
Menopur (injection)- a stimulation med to help follicle growth. This one comes with two vials that need to be mixed. According to my current calender, I'll only be on that for six days, every other day. I say "current calender" because I will receive further instructions at the end of the month depending on how things go and when my egg retrieval is.
Gonal F (or follistim depending on whether we can get a discount or not) (injection)- another stimulation med. This one is nice because it's in the form of a pen. I just need to dial the right dose, just like you would with an insulin pen. I'll be on this for about a week.
HCG Trigger shot (injection)- this one needs to be mixed too. I only take this one once (thank goodness because it's an intramuscular shot) 34 hours before the egg retrieval.
Progesterone- I'll start on this after the transfer. My doctor's office uses progesterone suppositories instead of injections. Apparently studies now show that the suppositories work just as well as the injections, but they are a lot less painful. I'll be on that at least until they confirm the baby's heartbeat, if not longer.
I also found out that my blood work showed that I have slightly elevated levels of antithyroid antibodies. I still need to call the doctor's office for more information, but I know a little bit. The doctor didn't seem to be super concerned and even suggested that further testing was up to us and not absolutely necessary, but it could potentially mean we have a higher risk for miscarriage. That makes me nervous, but I'm choosing not to worry about it. I will find out more from the doctor on Monday, and like I said, he didn't seem to think it was something to be concerned about "in my case."
Overall, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Last week I was feeling in control and on top of things. I was eating better, going for walks, ending my night with a nice yoga routine. It felt pretty good. But this week, the combination of the blood work results, the stress of the cost of it all, and this stupid stomach bug knocking me down, I don't feel like I have any control over how this all works out. And really I don't. And that's a good thing, because the Lord is much more qualified than me. I know that it's important for me to remember to rely on the Lord through this, over and over again. It's not super easy though.
This whole time, without even realizing it, I've just been assuming that all of this will work, and we'll have a baby, or two, this time next year. Perhaps that has been faith that this is God's timing for us, or perhaps that has just been wishful thinking. Suddenly though, it has occurred to me that in a little over a month, we could be going through another devastating experience. Or we could get pregnant only to lose the baby. I have to consciously be reminding myself that no matter what the outcome, no baby or three, we have a God who loves us and will help us through it. Moment by moment.