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IVF: My Journey to Motherhood

This was my journey through Invitro Fertilization. I decided to document my second go-around, as my 3rd son, who is now 22 months, was conceived with IVF. I thought it would be helpful to women so they can understand what it takes to get pregnant. The end result was Harry and Julia. They are healthy and doing great these days.



Tuesday, January 21

As soon as Eli topped 12 lbs. I got sad thinking about how fast he was growing up. I just love him so much and I realized that I really wanted to have another baby.

However, I had vowed to never, ever do IVF again. It is not a very pleasant experience; one that is best to be forgotten quickly. Rinar and I seriously considered adoption and the sooner the better. I mean, we have already done the twin thing, so it really didn't matter if Eli was a baby. I prayed a lot about it and went to the temple seeking the answer I was hoping for. You know, you write a check...wait...and there is a little bundle of joy waiting for you a few months later. Hence, no needles, pills, blood draws and copious doctor's appointments.

But, adoption was definitely not the answer for least not now. I don't know why, but it has just never felt right. Yet, I just knew I wanted another baby. What was I supposed to do? I couldn't possibly do IVF again. The thought just makes me want to throw up. Yet, when I gave in to the will of my Heavenly Father, that was definitely the route He wanted me to take.

I have done all of the preliminary tests as of today. Dr. D. said that we will start treatments this Sunday, January 25, 2009. I want to do it as quickly as possible. I don't want to have to think about it. I just want the list of things I have to do, and I am just going to do it. I think it is called blind faith. I cannot say for certain if I will get pregnant. But I know it is the course I should take; of that I am absolutely positive.

Wednesday, January 22

It was a rough day today. I had another appointment where they did a trial transplant. This is where they measure my uterus and pick the location where they will implant an embryo. Since having a baby, my uterus is a little bit bigger than before. When he did the procedure, he had a hard time doing whatever it was they were doing, and so the nurse had to get a different instrument. I don't remember what they called it but it looked like a pair of scissors the size of my forearm. Plus, it is never a good sign when the doctor tells you, "This is going to pinch a little." Wincing usually follows, and it did.

As I was getting ready to leave, Dr. D. ordered another blood test because my progesterone levels were too high. I always thought they were too low. Usually, a blood draw is not a big deal. Right now, it is fine. However, when you get one every other day for approximately a month, it starts to get on your nerves a bit. I am wondering if I should be a little bit worried that I have had to get several extra blood draws already.

In the afternoon the nurse called me back and gave me the super-great news that I would need to start taking Ganirelix. No, it is not a is one of those lovely shots I have not been looking forward to getting. And since I do not have my meds yet (they come tomorrow), I had to drive back over to Summerlin to get the stuff I needed. It only takes about 1 hour to get there and back. Since I didn't have anything better to do today, I was thrilled at the new task that was laid before me. (NOT!)

Melanie gave me my shot. I am too much of a chicken to do it to myself. Surprisingly enough, it didn't hurt at all. That is probably because there is plenty of fat down there to pad any stick I may incur. But afterwards, the skin did feel a bit irritated.

Another shot awaits me tomorrow. It is like the hors d'oeuvres before the main course.

These are all of the medications that I will be using for this process. If things go well, I will probably have to get additional stuff. $$$$ Now you can see what it takes to make a baby when you can't do it yourself.

Saturday, January 24

I went this morning to get a blood draw and to have an ultrasound. Ultrasounds for IVF treatment are done vaginally, so it gets really old quickly; one down and about 10 more to go.

The blood draw was pretty miserable. They took 2 vials worth today. I really did not enjoy it very much. Of course, when does one ever enjoy blood draws?

Sunday, January 25

**Note to self: when getting an injection, make sure to put the saline in the powdered medication (menopur) and THEN into me... and don't just inject saline. It is a waste of a good injection.

Tuesday, January 27

I went to Lindsay's house to get my injections. Rinar is out of town. She did a great job, but it still hurt quite a lot. I already have a bruise on my thigh.

Thursday, January 29

Another day, another round of shots. I get to have all the fun around here. Every day the pain level seems to rise a little bit. Rinar gave me my shot today. He seems to do the best at it. But no matter how good someone might be, it is still going to hurt. I just have to keep reminding myself that I ran a marathon...this is nothing.

Friday, January 30

3 shots...I am now up to three shots: Menopur, Follistim, and Ganirelix (again). I have decided that I really don't like that darn Ganirelix shot. It is not very accomodating to my body.

When I woke up this morning and got Eli out of bed, I realized that my ovaries are kicking it into overdrive. They are starting to get swollen as they hit hyper-drive mode. I am going to have to break out the sweatpants soon. Those will be the only kinds of bottoms I will be able to put on in about a week or so.

Tuesday, February 3

Things are starting to shape up. I found out yesterday that I get to take an additional shot of Ganirelix. Yeah for me! Rinar gave it to me this morning while I was lying in my bed, half asleep. Every round of shots seems to hurt a little bit more than the last round. And since I didn't have enough shots with my initial box of medications, I had to drive to Summerlin to get two more vials. It only takes about an hour to get there and back. Its a good thing I don't have anything better to do, right? Plus, my insurance didn't cover the two extra vials, so I had the added bonus of paying the pharmacy $179. But don't worry, they gave me a discount.

I am glad that tomorrow will be my last round of what I like to call "the juicers". These are the shots that juice me up and make all them pretty little eggs that the doctor is going to take out of my body on Friday.

Yes, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. D. is 99% sure that Friday will be the day of my little operation. I will find out exactly the time tomorrow when they are going to get it all going. But for now I can take comfort in the fact that I still have to do 4 shots per day.

Wednesday, February 4

I got word today that I had to get "the shot" tonight at 11pm. This shot is what triggers ovulation. I had Melanie come over and we had a little shot party. I made some Tollhouse cookies and we got everything ready and then waited for 11pm. Of course, while we were waiting we chowed down on cookies. It is good that she was willing to come, because Rinar is still out of town. He won't be back until tomorrow.

Clock, heating pad, cookies, milk, and two syringes. Good times!

Waiting for 11pm.

Tick tock, tick tock...

Since my butt hurts, the heat definitely helps and I do not have the ability to give myself a shot. I am too much of a wimp.

Thursday, February 5

Pre-op today: CHECK!

I am ready to go tomorrow. Get those eggs out of me!

Friday, February 6

19 eggs! That was the total count extracted. Rinar and I got there 30 minutes early. Then they called me back, prepped me with a gown and an IV, and I was soon in the operating room. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery area. I got a little bit of a nap and then Melanie came and picked me up. Rinar had to get back to work. Since I had been fasting from the previous night, I decided to treat us both to some Cafe Rio. It was delicious. Then I came home and took a long nap.


These pictures are the various views from my chair. Fascinating, huh?

I feel pretty beat up, but not too bad. I hope that tomorrow I will be on my feet again, doing stuff around the house.

Saturday, February 7

Dr. Danishmand called today to tell me that 12 eggs fertilized and have made it to the next stage.

Sunday, February 8

I had to get my blood drawn early this morning. Later on, they called to tell me to start taking Progesterone oil. This comes in a shot. The stuff is nice and thick, so it takes a while to get it all in there. I also have started Estrace, 6 tabs per day.

Monday, February 9

I am definitely more cranky today. I must be taking hormones, or something! The latest update from the doc: 4 eggs have continued to divide cells and are on track, 3 are a little behind, and 3 are even more behind. I don't know all of the fancy scientific names for these stages. You can look it up on wikepedia.

Everything is on track for a Wednesday transfer. I am making babysitting arrangements. They can get cancelled, as things can change quickly.

Tuesday, February 10

No change today, except I need to get my house clean.

Also, my backside is starting to host a constant soreness. Last time, I seem to remember the feeling lasting for several months after all injections had ceased.

Wednesday, February 11

My kids were all farmed out, my visiting teacher gave me a ride, and I was on my way to the Fertility Center. Today was the day and I found out that after 19 eggs, we were able to make two good-looking embryos.

Now it is time for 3 days of bed rest.

Thursday, February 12

Just slowly rotting in my recliner...

Melanie has been my fabulous little slave. She puts together the most wonderful, well-balanced meals for me. It doesn't hurt that she is a dietitian.

Tuesday, February 17

Well, medication is in full swing and I am definitely feeling the effects. Let me give you a run-down of the rather lengthy list:

2 Progesterone pills, 4 times a day
2 Estrace pills, 3 times a day
4 patches of Vivelle dots (estrogen), changed every 3 days
2 Progesterone suppositories, twice a day
1 cc of Progesterone oil in the evening (shot)

With all of these hormones getting pumped into my body in various ways, I get hit with huge waves of exhaustion and sleepiness. It is like I am that sleepy dwarf in Snow White. In essence, I daily enter the "4th dimension". All I want to do right now is go to bed. I don't have the luxury because I have three little boys that need me.

I will take a blood test on Saturday morning. This is THE blood test. All will be known by the afternoon. It is something for us to look forward to and I know that a lot of people are waiting to know the results, all of my helpers that have been there for me as I have endured this process.

Friday, February 20

I feel paralyzed by exhaustion right now. The progesterone is killing me. If I try to bend over and pick something up, I swoon. I really want to clean my house, but I just can't. Oh, a nap would be heaven, but who has time for that?

One more day, 24 hours...and then we will know.

Saturday, February 21

I got my blood test this morning. I made it just in time. Then I killed sometime before I went home. I got a McDonald's breakfast and looked around the pet store. I was able to get an aquarium book I had been eyeing on Amazon for the past month. I also looked around at Ross but there was nothing appealing to me.

I figured the longer it took me to get home, the shorter wait it would be to get the call from Dr. Daneshmand.

Sure enough, the phone rang at 1pm. I got tired of waiting and decided to take a shower. When I just walked into the bathroom, I heard the phone ring.

Rinar answered. It was Dr. D. calling with the good news. I am pregnant. I smiled and did a little fist pump. Then he told Rinar that I did not have to do the progesterone shot anymore. With that news, I started jumping up and down with glee. Only a fellow IVF patient can fully understand that reaction, right?

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