First Day

First injections were today. I was 100% excited and 0% nervous. Which is weird because I thought that I would be nervous about the actual insertion of needle into skin BUT here is what happened:

Because I had my injection teaching session over a month ago I decided to check out Youtube for a little refresher on how to mix the Menopur (my dose for Menopur is 150 IU but I found the instructions weren’t totally clear on how much saline to mix with it).  So when I got home after being out all afternoon I grabbed the Gonal-f injection pen from the fridge where it has lived for the last month and raced upstairs with excitement.  I sat down at my desk with all of my supplies (which I laid out last night because I’m a weirdo and am was way too excited to wait to do it all today).  I started to mix the Menopur concoction and asked my Mom to come up and take a video for snapchat (obvi) of me doing the injection.  Now obviously with snapchat you only have 10 seconds so I couldn’t be a wuss and be afraid and mess up the video (god forbid I don’t document my first injection on social media). So I swabbed an area of my belly to the left of my belly button, grabbed the loaded syringe, told my Mom to start the vid, and the needle went in like a knife into butter!  Really, it did. If you are doing this yourself as well, the key is to try your best not to think about it, just grab it and put it in; the more you think about it the more you are mentally torturing yourself.

Next up, the Gonal-f pen.  So this drug comes pre-loaded in an injection pen and I forgot 90% of what the nurse told me about how to use it, so back to Youtube I went. But the video I watched wasn’t my pen exactly and it was showing something about setting it up for first time use, and I didn’t remember the nurse mentioning that during my teaching session so I decided to check out the ginormous instruction sheet that came in the box. After setting it up, I twisted the pen to my dose of 300 IU, swabbed a different area of my belly and in the needle went!

Overall I am very happy with how it went and very excited to see how the next few days go.

P.S. – I watched another video on Youtube last night and one woman said she became so bloated during her injections she looked like she was 6 months pregnant…. So here’s hoping that does not happen to me, I mean come on guys, it’s SUMMER.

P.P.S. – Below is a picture of my supplies and a pic of me being super excited with my Gonal-f pen 😀

Fabulous News Folks

Had my blood work (Estradiol 104 pmol/L this morning) and ultrasound today. Ultrasound looked good which means I can start the hormones tomorrow! I’m ecstatic. Yay! Yay! Yay!

On my drive back from the clinic I was feeling crampy and thinking to myself, how the eff do women get their period EVERY MONTH. The cramps, the back pain, it’s miserable.  It reminded me of that scene in the Netflix show Sense8 where Lito is linked to Sun and he experiences what her period is like and he is such a little bitch about it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=P_2mXH6Ap1U if you want to check it out). But since I haven’t had my period in so long that is exactly what I felt like! Before I realized it was cramps I was like what is this pain in my abdomen? I do not feel well.  Then I got home and went to the bathroom and much to my surprise I got my period. Not stoked at all.  I asked a friend who has recently gone through this process and frozen embryos and asked if once she started the hormones the period stopped. She said she couldn’t 100% remember but she thinks it was a full normal period. Ummmmmmmm WHAT?!  I was not expecting to get my period throughout this process, so it is a big negative shocker. Guess I’ll be buying some tampons today!

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Birth control pills. Hate them. I spent the first two and half weeks with pretty bad nausea every day. Also, I am a very low energy person, but these pills are making me EXHAUSTED. Finally the nausea subsided, but then the birth control gods were like ‘nahhh, let’s let this bish suffer some more, let’s give her super sore titties!” And so they did. Just walking around they hurt and I have to hold them against my body with my hands when I go up or down stairs (and let me tell you guys I do NOT have big boobs so it’s not like they’re flopping around all over the place), but the stair jiggling is enough to make me whine about it (whining is something I do well if you haven’t noticed).  Thank fuck that I only have two more days of taking them and then on Friday I go in for another ultrasound and blood test!

The Waiting Game

Last Friday morning I drove out to the fertility clinic at 7am (too early to be awake in my opinion) for an ultrasound and blood test on what was SUPPOSED to be day 1 of taking my hormones.  The blood test was for Estradiol. During the ultrasound the doctor pointed out some follicles on the screen and measured them. Then he pointed out this huge follicle that was HUGE in comparison. ‘Nooooooooooo,’ I cried out. I knew this was not a good thing after reading about Jenny’s ‘monster follicle’ on her blog Chill the Documentary. (ps.- I cannot wait for her documentary to come out later this year!). My three normal follicles were 3.7mm, 3.9mm and 4.9mm, and the huge one aka ‘Big Daddy’ was 19.5mm.  The doc said that if I were to start the hormones that day (as planned) that the smaller follicles would be suppressed, which is obviously not what we want to happen. What we do want is for as many follicles to develop as possible so that they can retrieve as many eggs as they can when the time comes.  He said if Big Daddy was reacting in a certain way to my natural hormones then it would continue to grow and starting the hormones that day would not be a good idea.

I was at the clinic from 7:30 am until 9:00 am and had plans to take a ferry to Vancouver Island at 11:00 am.  So the plan was that I would pick up 3 days worth of hormones and bring them on my weekend trip so that if once the blood test results came back I would be able to start that day. The clinic said they would call me in a few hours when the results of my blood test came back and they would let me know if I could start the hormones or not. I was in the cafeteria on the ferry when a nurse called and said that I was not to start the hormones that day. They were going to put me on a birth control pill called Marvelon for 25 days continuously (until June 19), and then go in for another ultrasound and blood test on June 23. If all goes well that day I will start the hormones on June 24 with a retrieval date between July 5-7. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t start the hormones that day because I was really really really looking forward to it and had planned some work related things around ultrasound/bloodwork and retrieval dates.

So looks like I’ll be checking back in 3 weeks!

To Bleed, or Not to Bleed

I can’t remember the last time I had my period. It’s probably been over 5 years. I do this on purpose so that my endometriosis doesn’t destroy my insides. When the doctor told me to stop taking the Visanne in preparation for taking the hormones I was nervous about getting my period because when I used to get it I would get it BAD. Like 8 full days of bleeding accompanied by hellish cramps that could not be tamed.  So while off of the Visanne I have been getting some minor cramping and a few times I thought I felt a little wetness and I would think: ’it’s happened! it has returned!’ But every time I checked it was a false alarm, Hallelujah.

P.S. – The doctor said she didn’t think I would get it immediately because I’ve been on this drug for so long, guess she was right!

Injection Teaching & Schedule

I had my injection teaching session two days ago. I met with one of the nurses at the fertility centre and had a one-on-one session. I will initially be on two medications; Gonal-f and Menopur. The Gonal-f comes in a pre-loaded injection pen. The Menopur is in powder form in a vial; you mix liquid with it, draw it into the syringe and then inject it. I found the session to be pretty straight forward, as I’ve said before I have experience giving injections so that isn’t a source a worry for me. We talked about when I want to start the hormones. I am visiting a friend in Calgary right now and return to Vancouver on May 23. I wanted to start the hormones the day after I get home, on May 24, but the nurse said they usually have people begin on Fridays, so we will push my start date to May 26. Here is what the schedule looks like:

May 19: Stop taking my Visanne (I need to stop this 1 week prior to starting hormones)

May 26: Ultrasound and blood test in the am and first hormone injection in the pm

May 29: Blood test

May 31: Ultrasound and blood test. This day I will also start Orgalutran 0.25mg and take it every day until the retrieval

June 2: Ultrasound and blood test

June 4: Ultrasound and blood test

June 6-8 (depending on what my follicles are looking like): RETRIEVAL!

I’m not super looking forward to having to go to the fertility clinic every few days for the ultrasounds and blood tests (it’s usually a 45 minute drive but will probably be longer since I have to go out during rush hour), but I guess I can handle it for 2 weeks. P.S. – It will be extra tortuous because I am absolutely NOT a morning person. Wish me deep sleeps and extra caffeinated mornings!

I’m Going to Do It!

I had my consultation today. A few weeks ago I had some ‘pre-natal’ blood work done. I checked my results online prior to the appointment and apparently my AMH is low for my age (which I was trying to not freak out about until I met with the doctor and she could explain further). I asked if it was low partially due to the fact that I have one ovary and she said yes, and she also said that endometriosis can negatively affect egg reserve. She explained the procedure and the fees and basically how the whole process will go.

Egg facts I learned during the appointment:

When looking at if you want to freeze your eggs you look at the quality and the quantity.

Quality is largely based on age:

AGE % OF ABNORMAL EGGS
21-35 15-20%
40 40-50%
45 80-90%

*My doctor wrote out these numbers for me during the appointment

Quantity aka egg reserve is assessed by the following three ways:

  • FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) I did not have this done because it has to be done on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle and I don’t have one (I’ve been on a drug called Visanne for around five years to stop my periods since the endometriosis made my periods so terrible)
  • AMH (anti mullerian hormone) Mine is low at 10.4 pmol/L
  • AFC (Antral Follicle Count) This is done using a vaginal ultrasound and you can see and count the number of follicles! I believe I had 7 or 8 which is apparently average. And by apparently average I mean I googled it and saw that result on one website and didn’t bother to cross-reference because I’m lazy.

>>>>Sidenote: the doc said that my ‘uterus looks great’ for any future pregnancies. I obviously asked what determines a ‘great looking uterus’ and she said the size and the shape. Can you imagine if someone on the street just came up to you and said you have a great uterus, I mean, guys, WHAT a compliment. Seriously though, it is. Especially after learning I may have low or borderline low fertility.

>>>>SIDE SIDE NOTE: SHE SAID I HAVE A CYST ON MY OVARY. To which my brain response was ‘What?!’ and my verbal response was more like ‘WHAT?!’ She said she could tell it’s fluid filled and not endometriosis related. She didn’t seem worried about it at all which I guess put me slightly at ease… and I asked if it would go away on it’s own and she was like fo sheezy (but in medical terms).

My fertility as I understand it:

  • The quality of my eggs is good because of my age (26)
  • My quantity might be low (based on my AMH) but my AFC looked good

I think I was expecting to feel a certain way after the appointment. More excited. Or more turned off of the idea. Confused doesn’t feel like the right word. Neither does indifferent. The next step is completing the 11 page consent package (which in essentially says if they make any mistake of any kind, mechanical, employee related, if there is a natural disaster, a flood, a war (yes it literally says war) that it’s not their fault. So naturally I signed (with my sister as my legal witness).

As I continue to read blog posts on the topic I really feel that doing this is a great choice. The younger you are when you freeze your eggs the greater quality the eggs will be and it also increases the chance of having a successful pregnancy in the future with those eggs. So the next step is to give them my signed consent forms and within a week they will call me to book the teaching session for administering injections and provide other information.