Friday, June 29, 2012

In Vitro

So I officially started the IVF process one month ago, and a few people have asked how the whole process works. I decided I'd document my progress and a basic overview of what all takes place.When I began, I started out just taking birth control pills (I know, seems a little backwards, huh? It's to manipulate when the retrieval takes place and to get everything regular) and a prenatal vitamin, which I was already taking. No biggie. 

 This is all my medication. A bit overwhelming, no? 

On June 20th I began taking Lupron. Lupron basically stops ovulation. 
Quick ramble: This whole IVF process is super scientific. And manipulating. And freaking awesome. Seriously, these doctors are absolute geniuses. I'm so blessed to be able to be working with such an amazing team. 
Okay, where was I? Yes, Lupron. Every morning I inject 10 units of Lupron into my tummy. I'm also continuing to take the prenatal vitamin, DHA, a baby asprin (it improves blood flow to the ovaries, improving follicle development, and improves blood flow to the uterus, improving the quality of the uterine lining), and a Doxycycline, an antibiotic (just preventative - Chad has to take the same antibiotic as well), twice a day. Phew! I really thought taking all this medication would cause my body to freak out, but it really hasn't been that bad. Only a few times have I felt abnormally irritable, a few hot flashes (Lupron tricks your body into thinking it's going through!), and one bruise in my tummy after an injection. 

I know I look fat, but Lupron makes you bloat...bad. I already look pregnant right now, no joke.

I was given a calendar showing what I will be taking, how many times a day, for how long. It's been an absolute lifesaver! Next week, beginning July 4th, I will be taking 2 additional medications (Bravelle and Menopur - they stimulate egg follicles to grow within the ovaries) which will be mixed and injected into my tummy in conjunction with Lupron. I am, however, off birth control now and will be getting an ultrasound on July 3rd to make sure the Lupron is doing everything right and to learn how to mix the Bravelle and Menopur. 

I just scanned and uploaded the calendars - don't mind my ugly handwriting.
The following week I will go in everyday for ultrasounds to determine when to do the egg retrieval. Provided everything goes as planned, our tentative egg retrieval date is Sunday, July 15th. It's a quick procedure and painless for me, I'll be put under! They're going to take out as many eggs as they can. The last few ultrasounds I've had, they found lots of follicles (immature eggs) so hopefully it stays that way! Once my eggs are out, they'll do their thing with Chad's sperm (he's going to hate I put that on here. I can talk about my ovaries, eggs, follicles and uterus like it's no big deal but the minute I talk about Chad's sperm he gets all sorts of embarrassed. Whatevs). Once they've injected his sperm with my eggs, the specialists will monitor them everyday for five days, then do the transfer. Hopefully we'll get a good amount of fertilization, but they're only going to transfer two fertilized eggs, which I'm good with. The 25% chance of twins is enough for me. I can't even begin think about triplets! They'll then freeze the other fertilized eggs for potential siblings (it's $500/yr to keep them frozen - not bad). 

After all that, we wait. I know the exact day I will find out if I'm pregnant or not, but I've decided to keep that one a secret. It's the one secret we have in this whole process and we want to be able to share it in our own time. I really don't want people calling me up and bugging me about it if for some reason it doesn't take. However, I feel very optimistic and know this is the right thing for us to be doing right now. We've had so much help from family members, both emotionally and financially, and are eternally grateful for their contributions. I am truly in awe at how blessed we are.


  1. Wow that is complicated! But I hope that it works for you :D Hopefully we'll be hearing about a pregnancy in the near future :D

  2. the medications have changed so much those are none of the same stuff i took. But it was almost 10 yrs ago i was there.

  3. I am so excited for you! You are a strong woman! Good luck with everything!

  4. Wow Kate! this is really cool. You are so brave and strong! I liked reading about it! sending prayers and good vibes your way! Hope to hear good news soon :)