Cautiously Optimistic

We official started treatment on February 26th in which I was injecting 10 units of Lupron for 10 days. I didn’t initially have any side effects for the first few days until I was hit by a headache that resulted in my curling up into a fetal position and crying until I passed out. I can say that was not in the least fun and I have made a point to take Tylenol several hours before symptoms would start as it seemed that despite the fact my injections were are night, I would suffer side effects mid-afternoon, excluding waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat1. Eventually, I accumulated and my side effects were rare or not as painful.

March 8 marked the start of stimulations and the lowering of my dosage for Lupron to 5 units. All I can say is ouch. The insertion of the needle is not painful, not in the least. I think to some extent I’ve gotten used to it BUT the medication BURNS. I cannot even describe the pain, it’s something you’d have to experience to understand. Thankfully, Angela has gone through all of this before and informed me that it’s not the needle or the syringe, which is what I thought the issue was initially, but the medication and is often referred to in the IVF community as “stim burn”. Least to say, I have 6 days left and I cannot wait for it to be over.

Yesterday, I went in for my first blood draw to see how I was doing with the stimulations. I received a message from my practice mid-afternoon yesterday, lowering my issue dosage of Folllistim from 175 to 100, so I could only conclude that I was in fact responding better than expected. My hypothesis was confirmed today after an ultrasound with my doctor who stated my estrogen levels were 600 when they ideally want them around 200. I think this may explain the irrational hatred I had earlier this week after receiving an e-mail from my non-manager2.

The ultrasound also revealed several developing follicles, several around 9mm-11mm and a few hovering around 12mm-13mm which is high, given that generally they wait for eggs to be around 16mm. In addition, my endometrium is already at 7.8mm which is generally where they want the lining to be prior to transfer and I’m only 4 days into my stims. My doctor said everything looks very good and I have another blood draw tomorrow and then a follow up ultrasound and blood draw on Sunday. My doctor also informed me that he wouldn’t be surprised if egg retrieval happened a day earlier than the estimated date.

It’s a little surreal at how fast everything is progressing. I’m still trying to remain realistic and not be too optimistic because as I like to say “shit happens.” I’ve managed to stick to no caffeine or alcohol, though I do very much miss having my iced tea, but I know it’s something that has to be done and I am hoping my efforts aren’t in vain.

Overall, we are in a pretty good mindset. Unlike what R expected I haven’t had any emotional outbursts and I’ve been pretty even-tempered through it all, though the nurse he works with assures him that will change. We are not overly hopeful and are tempering our optimism until we can confirm successful conception. I guess time will tell.

  1. Yay, hot flashes!
  2. I refer to her as a non-manager because she is barely communicative.

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