I’m on information overload!! We had our Education Day with one of the IRH nurses, Samantha, yesterday. She was amazing!! I have to say that I don’t think we would feel so at ease with everything if the staff at IRH weren’t as wonderful as they are. Every question we have asked, no matter how silly it may be, has been answered with caring, understanding, compassion and total commitment to helping us understand everything we’re going through.
Sam went over our entire protocol and even showed me how to mix all of the drugs that I’m going to have to take…and there are A TON! Then she answered all of our questions and brought in the finance person to talk to us about insurance coverage and billing. The finance person wasn’t the greatest, but she’s the same one who told me that UC would have covered everything. I think she’s just kind of jaded by the insurance companies and is certainly a “glass half empty” kind of person.
As soon as my next cycle starts we’ll begin the protocol. For our protocol, it starts with taking birth control pills for two weeks to shut down my ovaries. This ensures that when we stimulate my ovaries all of the eggs will develop at the same rate. After the BCP I’ll have an ultrasound to make sure everything is on track and then I’ll start my drugs. I’ll be injecting 200 units of Follistim and 75 units of Menopur every night for ten nights. The last four of the ten nights I’ll give myself a shot of Gonarelix to keep my body from ovulating on it’s own. Then we’ll do the egg retrieval. This will involve an ultrasound guided needle which will aspirate an egg from each sack in my ovary. I’ve responded well to ovarian stimulation in the past so they think I may have as many as 15 eggs to retrieve. That day the eggs will be fertilized using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) whereby a single sperm is injected into each egg to be sure that the egg fertilizes. Then our embryos get a few days to grow. We’ll get a fertility report telling us what our fertilization rates are and how the embryos are developing. The about three days after retrieval, the embryos will be transferred back to my uterus. We’ll be transferring two embryos and freezing the rest, if there are viable embryos remaining. At this point we wait. I will be taking Progesterone supplements to keep my uterine lining thick and healthy for the embryos to settle in, but there’s not much more we can do.
Two weeks after transfer I’ll have blood work to find out if I’m pregnant. This is called a “Beta” and measures the hormone your body produces once an embryo has implanted. If I have any beta level they will re-test three days later. If my beta doubles then we know the pregnancy is progressing and they’ll probably turn me over to the OB/GYN.
We won’t know if it’s twins until we see the OB/GYN at about 8 weeks for our first ultrasound. Keep your fingers crossed and thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes!