The Grand Finale!

Thursday I was back at the office in the morning for more monitoring. My instructions for that evening were to continue my routine of Cetrotide in the morning, Follistim and Menopur at night. This was day 10 of stims for me and my body was feeling pretty run down. I had a massive headache and the nurse said I could take some Tylenol to help it. I was hoping when I returned in the morning the doctor would tell me I was ready to trigger that night. It would all depend on my numbers from the bloodwork and what my follicles measured in the morning.

I arrived at the office early as usual on Friday (THIRD). Two nurses came in that morning to do my ultrasound, as the doctor was not arriving until a little later. I trusted the nurses would be able to complete the ultrasound with competence just as the doctor had.

However when she went to look for my follicles she had a difficult time finding them to measure them.

“It’s very shadowy.”

I was in a panic. Did they disappear? Did I do something wrong with my injections? Why couldn’t she find my follicles?

Each time the doctor went to measure them he had no problem finding them. At this point she had been poking around for over 5 minutes and it was getting pretty painful. I sat up and she began to tell me that I would be getting a call later with my blood test results when there was a little knock on the door.

Thank you JESUS!

He asked how everything was going and I voiced my concern about the results of the ultrasound. He instantly told me to lie back down, that he wanted to take a look himself. Just to reassure me that everything was fine.

I was overcome with an immediate sense of relief.

He completed the ultrasound within a couple minutes and easily located and measured my follicles. At this point there were about 7 or 8, a few that seemed to be mature and the others a little smaller. The majority of them measured over 16 mm, but some were a little smaller. I was pretty sure he wanted them to be a little bigger.

It was another waiting game to see what my new instructions would be. Would I be triggering that evening or continuing the stimulants?

I was feeling much better than the day before, but the waiting was KILLING me! I was getting ready to leave work and I still hadn’t heard back from them. I decided if I didn’t hear back by 3:30 that I would call the office.

They called me shortly after instructing me to continue my stimulants the following evening and my antagonist in the morning.

My bruises and bloat- sorry this is real life. I’m not very blessed in the ab department anyway
I was already pretty sore, bloated, and bruised, but I kept the end result in sight! All of this pain and discomfort would totally be worth it. I was certain!

Friday night, I went to set up for what I hoped would be my last night of stimulants, day 11. I got my Follistim pen out and went to get out my vials of Menopur when I realized I did not have any powders left of Menopur, only solutions.

I promptly dove into a panic. (I am a huge panicker, if you haven’t caught on) How could I be so careless and not notice that I had no more powder?! So absolutely careless of me. I was sure this was the ultimate mess up and it would completely void any progress I had made during the last week and a half. All of those injections for NOTHING!

It was around 7PM. There were pharmacies open of course, but none of the ones around me had fertility drugs. My haul had been shipped to me from a pharmacy that specialized in these drugs, and it was 2 hours away. I surely wouldn’t be able to get there before closing, if they were even still open!

I texted one of my friends who had just completed a cycle right before me. I explained my situation and she said that she had extra Menopur! She actually had 150 IUs left, which was exactly the dose that I needed! It’s like the stars aligned and miraculously she had EXACTLY what I needed!

I also placed a call to the answering service for the doctor’s office. I felt awful about bothering them on a Friday night, but I suppose this is the reason that they have a system like this set up. I wanted to see what my options were and if I should make a trip to my friends house that was about an hour and a half away. I would be giving myself the dose late, but I figured it would be better late than never.

As I was getting ready to make the drive, a doctor from the office called me back. I had never met her before, as she mostly worked at a satellite office that they had in another city. I explained my situation to her and she began telling me how the Menopur was half FSH, which is what was in Follistim. The other half was LH, which was a different find of hormone. She instructed me to take 225 more IUs of Follistim and that missing the LH for the evening shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. However if I was to continue the stimulants for the following evening I should get additional Menopur.

I wanted to be confident in her response, so I reassured myself that everything would be ok. I was lucky to have so much extra Follistim that I was able to have that as an option to solve my problem. I gave myself the extra dose and thanked my friend for her beyond generous offer.

Never a dull moment.

When I went in the following morning I was so hopeful for the news that I would be able to trigger that night. It was now Saturday morning, day 12.

The doctor came in to do my ultrasound and as he began to rattle off the measurements of my follicles, I was elated to hear the numbers!

22, 20, 21…

He continued to call out numbers that I was more than pleased with. I may have started out a little rocky and had gotten a little anxious when many were triggering sooner with smaller doses of stims, but EVERYONE is different. I now know that if I do this again to not compare my numbers to others.

The doctor stated that as long as my estradiol level was good, that I would be triggering that evening.

Ohhhh the trigger! I was so nervous about this injection! A huge needle and a few extra steps made it difficult to give to myself. He asked again where I lived. I was pretty sure that if I really had asked he would have met me somewhere to give me the shot as he had with the patient he told me about.

I was confident that I would be able to give myself the trigger. Remembering back to how apprehensive I was about the other injections and how ultimately they weren’t nearly as bad as I thought them up to be, I was thinking the same thing would happen with this shot. If I could do them, I would be able to do this one shot with no problems.

He said that he could have a nurse show me how to do the injection in my thigh, but I was not interested in that! I told him I had a big butt so I was more comfortable giving myself the injection there.

The doctor laughed and said, “Oh now you’re bragging about your big booty!”

I’m not sure if that was the direction I was going, but if I had all the extra meat back there I was pretty sure it would be less painful than my thigh.

He grabbed each side of my behind and made target circles for me to give my injection to myself. I wasn’t certain which side I would want to give it on, I would decide later. He reassured me I would be fine giving it to myself, but to wait for a call later as to what time I should administer the injection. The timing was VERY important. He told me a story about how one patient had not listened to the time and when he went in for the retrieval there were no eggs.

My Targets
They called a short while later and told me to stop all other injections, but to give myself the trigger at exactly 8:30 PM.

The grand finale injection.

I had become friendly with some of the other women who I had met when arriving early and waiting for the office door to open. A couple had found me on Facebook and we started sharing our stories and experiences throughout the day. It was really nice to have others to discuss things with each day. There was a level of comfort and understanding between us that was nice to have. One of the women had triggered the night before while the other one was triggering just before me that evening. Of course both of them had their husbands doing their shots. They could not understand how I was able to do it myself.

All the women could not believe that I was doing everything myself. They couldn’t imagine it. I want to make clear that before put in this situation, I would have had the same thoughts. But when you are faced with the options of doing it yourself or losing out on your chance to have a baby, you find the strength because you have no other choice.

But I won’t lie, the day dragged. I was so nervous I barely ate all day. My nerves were shot and I was shaking a couple hours before the shot. I couldn’t get out of my head, but I was confident I would be able to do it.

Pregnyl, my last injection
Around 8 I started setting the bathroom up. I recall one of the women stating how the powder took a bit to dissolve.

I also began icing my left side. I felt like this would be the easier one to complete the injection. One of the videos I had watched suggested it so I decided to give it a try.

At 8:25 I began to mix the solution, then changed the needle because the mixing needle would be dull from puncturing the tops of the vials.

I was set to go and began to turn to my left when I realized that this wouldn’t be the best side for me to turn to. Last minute ditch, I turned to my right and began to pinch the spot, when I remembered the instructions were to spread the skin taught.

And the needle slid right in. I didn’t dart it like the videos had said. I slid it in slowly and pulled the injector back to check for blood, but saw nothing. I pushed the medicine in and waited 5 seconds before I pulled the needle out. Blood started coming out so I quickly covered the hole with a band aid.

Yes, a hole. The needle is thick!

I went to lay on my stomach because I was nervous that the medicine would start coming out. Ha!

But I was right. The injection did not hurt at all! The needle slid in like butter. I was so mad I wasted all day being in a panic about it! The painful part was after. The site hurt for quite a while but I felt such a sense of relief that it was over. All of my injections were over! I would need to go in the following morning for bloodwork to make sure that I had gotten enough of the HCG, but that was it. I was on the road to my egg retrieval. The moment I had been waiting for. I was so excited!

I woke up on Sunday morning with a terrible headache. I was expecting it from the burst of hormones I had put in my body the night before. But NOTHING could get me down! I was so excited to see what my outcome would be on Monday for the retrieval!

The nurse instructed me to arrive at the office 7:45 AM….