On Feeling Like a Bloated Beluga 🐋

I thought I would write another post regarding weight gain/bloating. As I stated in previous posts I expected to gain 10-15 lbs (as it seemed that is what other egg freezers whose blogs I read gained, as well as a friend of mine who has donated her eggs). I weigh 120 lbs.  I weighed myself every single morning (seemingly anticipating a massive weight gain overnight) but didn’t gain a single pound! I did, however, at the latter end of my injection cycle, start to bloat a little bit and felt VERY full and uncomfortable. I would walk around my house with my hand on my belly like a pregnant woman.  Surprisingly, I actually became even more bloated AFTER the procedure (see picture below taken on July 19th; 13 days after my procedure).  I can’t tell you exactly when the bloating went away, but it was definitely gone by at least 1 month following the procedure.

IMG_6804

**Please excuse the snapchat caption. And I promise I’m not pushing my belly out, that is all natural bloating!

Laying My Eggs

On Thursday July 6th I got a ride to the fertility clinic. I checked in and a Nurse came and got me and brought me into the back. She showed me the changing room. I chose a locker (which had a gown, robe, paper slippers, and a surgical hat in it), got dressed, and locked my belongings away. I then went out and met the Nurse. I asked if I could keep my phone with me (obviously this wouldn’t be allowed in a normal OR but since it was just conscious sedation I thought it might be okay, and it was, PLUS I have to document everything I can photographically!). She verified my personal information, put in a IV for fluids, and asked if I had any questions or concerns that hadn’t been answered. I said I was just worried about the sedation because of a previous bad experience I had and she said I would be awake the whole time and they could adjust it if needed during the procedure. I asked her to take a picture of me for IG 🤗 and then I waited yet again. After about 20 minutes someone from the lab came out and introduced herself and said she would be the one taking care of my eggs. About 10 minutes after that another Nurse came out and walked me into the procedure room. I hopped up onto the table. The doctor, someone training with him, and some other nurses came in. They confirmed my info again and then the doc ordered the Nurse to administer either 4 or 5 of Midazolam and 100 of Fentanyl. I started to feel fuzzy after a few minutes. He put in that metal crank that is used during a pap, I guess he must have been getting the needle into position because he then took the crank out. He said he was going to start, I said okay. While he was doing it I was definitely feeling some discomfort/pain and was kind of squirming and saying ‘ow’ and he asked if I wanted more Fentanyl so I said yes, he ordered 50 more. So I was definitely awake and semi-aware for the whole thing. He told me at the end that they got 9 eggs. I was okay with that number, but I knew that this didn’t mean that they would be freezing 9 because they might not all be mature enough to freeze. They asked me to shimmy over to a stretcher and then wheeled me to recovery. I said I was having pain and asked how long that would last for and the Nurse said I could take Tylenol when I got home but they could also give me some now if I wanted which I said yes to. I just chilled and was very sleepy in the bed and 20 minutes later (at about 10:10) I texted my sister and said she could come to pick me up now (I had originally told her to come between 10:30-11:00). They asked me to pee (because they need to make sure you can pee before you leave) and then I got dressed and went to the waiting area. My sister came and drove me home, and made sure I had everything I needed. Then I was on my own for the day, which was fine since all I did was lay in bed with a heating pad on my belly.

I had mild pain in my abdomen, mostly when I got up or moved around. The heating pad helped a lot with this. I had some very very mild spotting overnight, which is normal (it’s from the needle puncturing through the vaginal wall).  Sidenote: Apparently the needle goes into your vagina, then out the side of the vagina, and over into the ovary. I always kind of assumed they would go straight up through the uterus and into the ovary. WRONG.     The next day (yesterday) I wasn’t having any pain but was definitely having discomfort all day and a crampy feeling. I took a few Tylenol throughout the day and continued to use the heating pad. Yesterday evening I was feeling EXTREMELY bloated and uncomfortable for hours. My belly was sticking out like crazy and I was starting to worry that something was wrong. Today I woke up and the bloating went down a bit, just feeling crampy still, but it’s getting better. I took my dog out for a short walk because she hadn’t had one in a few days and because honestly my back has been sore from laying down for 2 days straight!

Forgot to mention: They called me on the afternoon of the egg retrieval day and let me know they froze 7 eggs. ‘That’s it?!’ I wanted to say (but didn’t). I guess I just have to keep in mind that that’s the yield from just one ovary and I really should focus on the fact that I was fortunate to even be able to freeze my eggs. So now I have 7 of Meg’s eggs in the freezer, and should I have difficulty conceiving the natural way in the future, I will have those as a backup ☺️.

IMG_6363

Trigger Shot Day!!

Day 10 (July 3)

Yesterday the doctor told me that I have some large follicles and some medium ones. She said that once a follicle is over 17mm they think it will have a good egg in it. She asked if I could come back tomorrow (July 4) for another ultrasound because she wanted to give the medium size follicles another day to see how they are doing. I asked if it had to be in the morning (because these early morning appointments are killing me) and she said yes because they blood test needs to be at that time. So I said yes, purchased one more day’s worth of meds ($600 even) and went on my way.

Lab Results:

Estradiol 5433 pmol/L

Follicles: 21.2mm, 14.8mm, 19.1mm, 10.7mm, 15.8mm, 10.3mm, 12.4mm, 9.7mm, 10.7mm, 12.5mm

Endo thickness: 8.9mm

Day 11 (July 4)

This morning I saw a different doctor and he told me I can take my trigger shot tonight. I was talking with the nurse and she explained to me that the trigger shot releases the eggs from the wall of the follicle so that when they go in and retrieve them the eggs don’t stay stuck to the wall.  I guess they won’t want to leave their mother (because I’m kind of amazing) but I’m gonna do what I want with those little guys and what I want is to freeze them to near death, vitrification here we come!

So this means that my last dose of Menopur and Gonal-f was last night, and my last dose of Orgalutran was this morning. Tonight I will start antibiotics at 8:00 which I will take twice a day for 5 days. I will take the 2 trigger shots (Triptorelin) tonight at 9:30 (they come is pre-loaded syringes again similar to the Orgalutran). Then I go in tomorrow (Wednesday) morning for blood work to have my progesterone and LH (luteinizing hormone) tested. Thankfully I can do this at Lifelabs in Tsawwassen and won’t have to drive all the way out to Burnaby again. For some reason this blood work is not part of the huge amount of money we are already paying and it will be out of pocket.  Thursday morning will be the big day. I need to be at the clinic for 9:00 am, procedure is at 9:30, and I will be there for 1.5-2 hours in total even though the actual procedure just takes 10 minutes (said the doc).

Today’s Lab Results

Estradiol: 8122 pmol/L

Follicles: 9.9mm, 19.0mm, 13.6mm, 18.1mm, 13.1mm, 17.6mm, 19.0mm, 19.1mm, 14.8mm, 14.6mm (He said he wasn’t going to measure them all)

Endo Thickness: 12.4mm

P.S. – Starting to have extreme anxiety about being awake for the procedure… I’ve built up a bit of a tolerance to Ativan, and I always need extra freezing at the dentist so I’m worried that they won’t give me enough meds for the procedure.

 

Video of Injections

I made a video of me doing 2 of my 3 daily injections. Thought this may be helpful for anyone who is considering freezing their eggs or doing IVF. I’m very open to any questions so if you have any please comment or e-mail me through the ‘contact’ tab!

I wasn’t able to upload the video directly to my blog but here is the Youtube link:

 

Day 8: And Feeling Great! (For real)

I received a call from a nurse yesterday saying that they were ‘starting late tomorrow’ and that I could ‘sleep in!’ she said with excitement, the kind of excitement someone uses when they truly deep down in their heart believe it will bring you joy. ‘I do?!’ I responded with glee. ‘Yes!’ she said, ‘we’re going to start at 8.’ Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, I don’t know bout all y’all, but that ain’t sleeping in to me…. ‘What’s the laaaaatest I can come?’ I asked, ‘8:15’ she said, obviously feeling bad about falsely exciting me. So I got to wake up at 7:25 this morning instead of 6:45. Woo effing hoo.

Blood test happened as per usual. Then I realized that I left the Orgalutran (this is my new drug that prevents ovulation (we want to keep those eggs inside until we want them to come out!)) in the car, so I begrudgingly walked back out with my large coffee, scowling at anyone who I passed because of the early hour. Just to be clear I passed no one because NO ONE IS AWAKE AT 8:45 ON A SATURDAY ON A LONG WEEKEND. I retrieved the syringe and went back inside in to the waiting room. I had my first conversation with another lady who was in the waiting area (usually we just all ignore each other, like the civilized, antisocial, millennials we are).  Actually I don’t think this woman was a millennial but that is beside the point. So eventually I am called into the U/S room. I am not supposed to go more than 24 hours without taking the Orgalutran, and since I took it at 8:55 yesterday it was about time I took it. So I get the injection ready and inject myself, put the needle in the sharps container and the garbage in the garbage and proceed to take off my shorts and underwear in preparation for the U/S.  Now usually it takes at least 10 minutes for the doctor to come in so I figured I had plenty of time to do the injection, take a picture for Snapchat, and undress.  Wrong. I am about to hop up onto the table when the door opens. Now let’s get real here guys, I’m a nurse. I’ve seen a lot of naked bodies, like a lot, most of them old and saggy and wrinkled, after a while in a professional setting a naked body is just a naked body. I also have had numerous doctors and nurses see my naked lower half many times throughout this journey so who cares anymore, not me! Back to the story, the doc and nurse open the door, I am standing there half naked, ‘oh sorry’ the doc says, ‘come in,’ I say, ‘you’re going to see it all anyways!’ She started to search for my right ovary but pretty quickly she said ‘oh right, there is no right ovary.’ Maybe she remembered me and my history better since she is the doctor I had the consultation with. Or maybe she is just a responsible health care provider and actually reviewed my chart before examine me. She also asked if I was okay if she placed the ultrasound or if I wanted to do it myself. I said she could do it but just to go slow (I have vaginismus so inserting the vaginal ultrasound is painful but usually just at first). So she starts to put it in and I kind of squirm and then it gets really painful and I yell out ‘fuck!’ But then it’s in and it’s fine, and she shows me my ovary and I can see so many follicles! Très exciting.

IMG_6326

I feel like Helena on orphan black because I keep referring to them as ‘my babies’ but in a Eastern European accent.

After the ultrasound she says I should do two more days of the meds and then I might be ready for the trigger shot on Monday. So on Monday I will go back and have more blood drawn and another ultrasound. I can’t believe this is coming to an end soon. I’ve been so excited and I will be sad when it’s over.

P.S. – Still haven’t gained any weight. I feel like I look a little bloated tonight but maybe that’s just because all I had for dinner tonight was leftover roast chicken with nothing on the side, and my favourite beverage; a Coke!

Estradiol levels today: 3780 pmol/L

Follicle Measurements: 16.1mm, 10.8mm, 16.1mm, 16.3mm, 13.5mm, 8.4mm, 8.2mm

Endo Thickness: 7.09 mm

Day 6: Miserable Megan

This morning during my ultrasound the doctor is poking around inside of me with the vaginal probe (and not being very gentle I might add) and he says aloud to himself “now where is your right ovary?” and I say “I don’t have one” and he says “what?” and I say louder and more forcefully (because he is freaking hurting me fishing around down there) “I don’t have a right ovary!”  I find this really frustrating because I feel that if I am paying $11,000 to have a procedure done you could take a few minutes before my ultrasound to review my god damn file, YOU SHOULD KNOW I DON’T HAVE A RIGHT OVARY, THAT’S WHY I AM HERE DUDE.

Here is a pic I snapped during the U/S of my follicles being measured:

IMG_6301

Follicle sizes today: 10.2mm, 12.6mm, 13.5mm, 8.7mm, 9.5mm

Endo thickness: 6.8mm

Estradiol level today: 2951 pmol/L. (3 times what it was 2 days ago!)

Afterwards, he told me he wants me to take the Orgalutran 0.25 mg that I was supposed to start tonight, this morning. So I bought another dose of it (one day’s worth is $112 fyi) and they took me to another room where I injected it right then and there. The doctor said one of my follicles is getting a little big and they don’t want me to ovulate it which is why I had to take the Orgalutran early. This one comes in a pre-loaded single dose syringe and it definitely stung the most afterwards (for about 30 minutes) out of all of my injections so far, and it was quite itchy afterwards too.

I’m kind of over these injections now. I really looked forward to them every day before but now I really am starting to feel like a pin cushion (which I know sounds cliche or whatever but I get why people say that now because that literally is what you feel like). Today I also have the sensation of feeling very full/having pressure in my lower abdomen. It kind of feels crampy and my lower back has really been bothering me (like it used to when I would get my period). On a positive note I asked the doctor today why I can’t take antihistamines and he said because I am just freezing my eggs (as opposed to doing IVF I guess) that he doesn’t care if I take antihistamines or not! I got home from my appointment at 10:00am, took an antihistamine (non-drowsy) and slept for three hours.  These hormones are really sucking the life out of me.

Can you see all of my needle poke locations here?img_6285.jpg

I’ve been weighing myself every morning because I hear that women can gain 10-15 lbs while doing this. So far I haven’t seen much of a change but I have a feeling that will change soon…

 

Day 4 = Allergies Galore

Had another appointment early this morning. I drove 50 minutes to the clinic, was only there for 15 minutes to have blood drawn (Estradiol levels today are 929 pmol/L), pick up four more days worth of meds (aka $2100 if anyone is interested) and then drove an hour back home in rush hour. Needless to say the commute is my least favourite part of this whole process.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a very low energy person anyways, but the last few days I have been extremely tired, not sure if that is from the hormones or not.  I know fatigue is a possible symptom but it also could just be me.

I have pretty significant environmental allergies (I did allergy shots weekly for 3 years in my late teens/early 20’s) and the amount of pollen in the air this year is INSANE.  And to top it off apparently it’s recommended that I don’t take antihistamines during my hormone cycle.  So I am pretty much trapped indoors while the weather outside is beautiful and hot.  But I don’t want to go outside, be exposed to the allergens, have to take an antihistamine, and ruin this very expensive procedure.  Praise the lawd for Netflix and all of the summer shows that have started recently 🙌🏼.

I do my fourth set of injections tonight and am looking forward to it as usual (not being sarcastic)!