A Different Kind of Pregnancy Journey (Part II)

Part One is Here.

Once all the legal stuff was figured out, and the final paperwork was submitted, we could really get down to it. I scheduled my doctors appointment for 10/11 and we were off and running. The following week I went in for a mock transfer and hysteroscopy, then started the meds the next day. We did a medicated cycle, so for those interested, I took: Lupron (10 units) with birth control overlapping the first 6 days, then Vivelle patches from days 15 on (changing every other day; 2 patches 2 times, 3 for 2, 4 until I started the PIO, then back down to 2), and finally Progesterone (1cc) from 5 days before transfer. I also took Medrol for 7 days total, starting the same day as the PIO. Transfer was on the 27th of November.

Have meds, will travel.
The hysteroscopy was... well, I would rather not have to do it again, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! It was crampy and uncomfortable, but not horribly painful.

As for the needles. I didn't think about it too much before the actual day. There was a little bit of trepidation, but it was very surreal at that point. The day of: I got everything sorted out and set up. I got the needle out and dose pulled, then sat down on the floor to do the actual injection. In that moment, I was so scared. I had asked some advice from friends beforehand (who had gone through fertility treatments), and they gave me great info: "[H]old the needle about 1/4" away from my skin while I was pinching it. I'd hold it for a second and take in a deep breath to make sure my hand was steady, and then as I exhaled slowly I would steadily push it in. I don't know how else to describe it other than steadily, not too quickly but not too slowly."

It was the perfect advice and I repeated it through in my head a few times before following it to a T. In the end, the Lupron shots weren't bad at all. A little blip of pain when the needle went in, and that was about it. But that first time. Oh boy!

The only side effects I seemed to notice with the Lupron were some occasional nausea at the beginning, and an occasional headache, but they were very mild. I did notice that my skin was not a fan of being wiped down with the alcohol pads, and I would get a little read and itchy for about 15 minutes afterwards. Also, starting about halfway through I would often get a welt around the injection site, but it was always gone quickly, so my nurse wasn't worried. Oh, and I was bruised a bit from poking a vein during injections sometimes. 

The estrogen patches were fine. They were patches, so the use was easy enough.

The most annoying part of those was the sticky residue they would leave behind. They actually also seemed to help with the Lupron headaches, and nausea. Go figure.

Originally my transfer was set for the 20th, but when I went in for my ultrasound and blood work on the 15th, I had some fluid in my ute. Normal, not a worry, but they don't want it there when they do the transfer, so they had me stay on the Lupron/patches until we did another ultrasound on the 20th to see that the fluid had cleared. Then we were able to reset the transfer date, and I was able to move on to the Progesterone in oil.

Lupron bottom, PIO top (source)
Things were different with the PIO injections. Instead of doing it myself, in my thigh, with a tiny needle, it was Trav doing it in my butt muscle with a much thicker/longer needle. Eep. But like the Lupron, the anticipation of the first injection (so bad I thought I was going to throw up) was so so so much worse then the injection itself. Trav and I were both nervous, but again, taking advice from friends I iced the spot beforehand, and warmed the PIO before drawing it, and honestly hardly even felt it at all. The worst part was that my butt muscle would feel sore afterwards, like someone had punched me there. Totally doable though.

The upper part of this area.
A hard part I wasn't anticipating beforehand was having to rotate the injections sites and trying to figure out where to do the next shot, that was within the small upper-outter quadrant injection area, but wasn't too close to the last injection. With the lupron shots, I had the whole thigh to work with, and the puncture from the needle was so so small, that it was easy to find new places to inject. With the PIO, the area allowed to be an injection site is much much smaller, and the puncture mark is much bigger. Plus, you generally don't want to be within an inch of a preview injection site for a week, so you don't end up with pockets of oil which don't want to absorb. So it involved some careful rotating of injection sites.

The Medrol was just a pill, easy to take but heinously bitter tasting! It was better if I took it with something strongly flavored, like OJ, and immediately chased it with some food (I normally ate a handful of nuts).

When transfer day rolled around, I was so excited. The parents and I were so hopeful and knew that the doc was taking every step to ensure the best outcome. Despite my faith that it was going to work, I did have a moment that morning when it really hit me that it might not work.

Transfer itself was easy, other then a sore bladder from having it so full for so long. After that we kept up with the PIO and patches, and waited for beta day.

Emotionally I thought I knew how to handle a two week wait for testing, but it was different this time. When Trav and I were trying, if it didn't work we were sad/disappointed, but we tried again the following month. If this didn't work, it was so different. The couple was pretty sure they would be done. I was their last shot and that was a little scary.

On the 6th I headed in for my blood draw.

I thought I knew how I would handle a negative, I was wrong again. We found out that afternoon that it had not worked. To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement.

Obviously it was worse for the couple. So they decided to take some time to think about their options. 

After a little break, some number crunching, and some soul searching by the couple, they decided to move ahead with another attempt.

Part Three tomorrow! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me some love!
~ Meegs