If you’ve followed along thus far, you’ll know in my last update (here) that I had just begun daily Lupron injections. I was about a week out from my second injection of the day, Menopur/Gonal F.
Now, I’m resting after having my egg retrieval yesterday!
In this post, I’ll update you a bit on where I left off, and how I’m doing now.
You guys. I’m so relieved to not have had ANY side effects from this medication. I mean, maybe a headache here and there, but that’s it!
Not only was it painless to give, but nothing nasty as a consequence. Whew!
That needle is so small, I even got to where I wasn’t icing it ahead of time. It just didn’t hurt! I only noticed a slightly itchy sensation for a couple of minutes afterward, but then it was gone!
It would leave a little red area on my skin, which cleared in the next few hours. I would also get an occasional tummy bruise, but it didn’t hurt.
Gonal F / Menopur
On March 8th, I began this combo of meds each evening. I was pretty nervous about these for a few reasons.
- Everything I read said it feels horrid going in (like acid)
- I was told I’d feel like a total basket case and hormonal monster because of these
- I was told I’d be bloated like a 5 month pregnant lady
So, my first injection was a BREEZE. Didn’t feel it. Didn’t hurt. It was awesome. I iced it for quite a while ahead of time.
Second night (and the subsequent times)…not so great. I wouldn’t say acid like. Not even burning, really. It did feel like a very very sharp, intense, pinching that spread as the medicine flowed into me. It was pretty tough at times to keep pushing the plunger, because it hurt so much. I’d just bite down on my shirt (see picture below), hyperventilate a bit, and then it’d be over. So, it’s doable, just pretty unpleasant.
I will say though that I had NOOOOOO side effects! That’s right. No bloating. No crazy hormones. Nada. It was a breeze.
So far, I was feeling like a boss, just trucking along.
In fact, I really enjoyed mixing my nightly meds, as it made me feel like a clinician or a wizard or something. Those are similar, right?
I want to take a moment and say that I really think I weathered these meds so well because I genuinely tried to eat the right way for preventing OHSS. In my previous post, I mentioned that I’d heard you should have a high protein and sodium diet, with low sugar and carbs. Well. I definitely drank a lot of Powerade Zero, protein shakes, and Asian food (for the salt!). Seriously, we had SO much Asian food! That’s my best guess as to why I didn’t have terrible side effects.
Also, any sensitivity/cramps I did experience, however mild, were so tolerable because I’m used to extreme pain from endometriosis. I asked the doctor and he confirmed that’s probably exactly why I handled it all well. So…silver lining with endo…I guess!
We started my nightly meds on a Thursday, and I went for my first estradiol and ultrasound the following Monday.
We proceeded through the week with a visit on Wednesday and Friday, as well.
- Estradiol = 226
- Lining: 4.94
- Follicles = 17 (nurse told me she didn’t expect all of them to grow)
- Estradiol = 566
- Lining: 8.76
- Follicles = ? (Wasn’t pleased they didn’t tell me. Raised cane about it later. Got my numbers eventually!)
- Stupid doctor we talked to for the pre-op that morning was AWWWWFUL. Would NOT give me my numbers! Said it would stress me out, blah blah blah. Well – I reported her at my next appointment. Ladies, this is YOUR BODY, YOUR RESULTS. Fight fight fight.
- Estradiol = 1,629
- Lining: 9.98
- Follicles = 9
Friday, I also received instructions for a Monday retrieval (two days ago Monday).
Man. Of the entire process, the trigger shot of HCG (I used Pregnyl) had me the most anxious (that is, until I found out I’d have to be awake for retrieval!!!!). That needle is quite large, and I couldn’t imagine how icing it would make a big enough difference, when it is going so far into the muscle.
Boy was I wrong!
You guys!!!! It didn’t hurt! At all! Not even a pinch. I iced that sucker (my butt, that is) for 30 minutes ahead of time. I guess it really was sufficient. Mind blown, let me tell you.
Let me also tell you something else.
If you have close friends walking through this with you, I’d encourage including them at this step.
We go to my best friend’s house almost every weekend (for the past 3 years! They live one neighborhood from us) for an easy dinner and general hanging out. They have two precious kiddos, and we just do life together. Usually that looks like watching Little Baby Bum on Netflix, while drinking wine. Very adult.
This weekend was to be no exception, whether they liked it or not! I know people get squeamish with needles and blood, but I really felt like I needed some company for this.
So, we went over to do our thing, like usual, at around 5. The kids went to sleep around 8, and then the shot was supposed to happen at 9 pm.
So, we put on a standup comedian, and chatted while I sat on an ice pack.
At about ten til, I began prepping the injection (distraction). We all planned the logistics, as well: My friend, Jess, needed to hold my hand, husband needed to do the deed, and her husband, Ross, took pictures.
So, at 8:57, everyone cleared the couch so I could lay down (I recommend this). Jess got into position so I could break her hand, if need be.
Ross prepared the camera, bird’s eye view.
Sean started with the alcohol prep pad.
And then, he said “ready?” and I was like “NOOOOO!” And then, “WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT.” And then I talked to myself in my head a bit. Decided waiting wouldn’t change anything.
So, I clamped down on Jess’ hand, and he did it! And ya’ll – I literally asked “is it in?” Yep. No joke. I hate when people say that’s what happened, and then I go through something, and it’s so not what happens. But this is for realz you guys.
After it was finished, I drank some hot tea (which Ross generously provided all of us), and walked circles around their living room for about 10 minutes.
Then, we went home because that’s way past our bedtime!
So, next morning was Sunday. I totally felt fine, and even served with the babies in nursery. No side effects. Maybe a little sleepy, but whatev. That’s nothing.
The next morning we needed to be at the clinic at 8. We were given very specific instructions about which medications (pills, thankfully) to take and when.
The Valium I took didn’t do jack. Made my eyes move slowly, but that was it. Ever since I learned I’d be awake, and not totally sedated, for the procedure, I was rather freaked out.
Ah! I don’t want to feel that!
But alas. I did.
You guys. Fight for sedation. This was HORRIBLE.
I was given Versed and Fentanyl in an IV for the procedure. Despite being a little loopy, I felt EVERYTHING.
I remember the following:
- Dr. said, “Okay Candace, you’re going to feel the speculum” (whatever. Doesn’t hurt)
- Dr. said, “Okay, you’re gonna feel some warm water” (which was quite pleasant!)
- Dr. said, “Okay, sharp stick” (A;SLDFKN A;SKDJFH ;AKSHF; AKSFH; AKSDFH ;AKSHF! )
- NO. No, not a sharp stick. A sword into your vagina. That’s what it was. A giant, massive sword full of pain juice.
- I saw the needle. I swear I did. It was like, 10 inches long. Why did they let me see it?!
- Everyone said, “Keep breathing…relax your knees…deep breaths…I just gave you more meds” (no way. No. They didn’t do ANYTHING)
- Can I just say the worst worst part was that I knew they had to do the other ovary the entire time? So even when it seemed to subside for a sec, I knew they’d be repeating the entire thing on the other side. Gosh darnit.
I wish I’d blacked out. That would’ve been excellent. Alas, I did not. The only thing the meds helped with were causing me to rest my eyes when it was done, as I don’t remember being wheeled back to recovery. But that was it.
Now, the pain was gone immediately after the procedure. It was ONLY during it that I was dying. Even now, a day later, I’m totes okay.
So, I came to in the recovery area where my husband was reunited with me.
He had to go do his thing when they took me back. Let me recommend a photo shoot with husband ahead of time, to give him some material to work with – if you know what I mean!
I remember the nurse asking which type of soda I wanted, and telling her Ginger Ale. Then I remember drinking it. It was lovely.
Doctor came in shortly thereafter and said they got 10 eggs.
Ugh. I was hoping for more.
But! I haven’t fully processed, to be honest. So. I’ll leave it at that, for now.
They were good enough to wheel me to our car, and then we drove home. The car ride was just fine – no pain, as meds were still in me.
We stopped by Chick Fil A. I was famished. It was awesomesauce.
When we got home, I went STRAIGHT to bed for about 5 hours, with my heating pad. Oh man. I’d been looking forward to that sleep.
As the meds wore off, I felt a little sore. Nothing at all like a typical period with endometriosis, though. I’ve not been actually miserable even once. I’m totally fine. I wouldn’t even call it discomfort. That’s overused and meant to be a veiled reference to basically dying.
Day 1 Update
This brings us to today.
I got a call this morning from the doctor that:
- Of the 10 retrieved,
- 7 were mature
- 5 fertilized with ICSI
- 7 were mature
Ooooh man. I don’t know how to feel! I’m so unsure. I wanted more. I expected more. I have so many “what if” questions floating in my head.
I also do trust the Lord. I know He is good no matter what happens.
My biggest thing is this wait. I know it will pale in comparison to the TWW, if we get to transfer an embryo.
I won’t hear from them until Thursday. They’ll let the embies rest tomorrow, undisturbed. So. I’m trying to distract myself.
Wow. Not easy! Everything sucks right now.
Not interested in my books, movies, shows, etc.
Raise your hand if you’ve been here before!
Before I go, let me entertain you with a few silly videos of me before and after.
And, as always, thank you for reading!
On our way…
This video is Sean talking to me after I got back to recovery.
Me, interviewing myself…a tad bit more awake than above.
On our way home