08 July, 2016

Cycle Day Twenty Two: Ultrasound

I have mucho to write about today. Yesterday was a bad day because I had my class and I worked on school stuff, but I am ready to dish right now.
Yesterday we talked to our Endocrinologist. We asked her several questions such as:
Q: Because we are using frozen sperm (that we banked back before radiation for cancer treatment), do we need a backup?
A: Nope. The frozen sample is just fine.
Q: If we move across the country eventually, would we be able to have our embryos shipped to another clinic?
A: Definitely. Some people keep coming back to Utah to have the transfer, but we can definitely move embryos across country. (Overseas is a little more complicated though.) Some people get nervous because of the minuscule possibility that there will be a fault in the transfer and the embryos will be ruined, but she has never heard of that happening.
Q: What is the shelf life of frozen embryos?
A: Just about as long as we would want to have them frozen.
Q: If this IVF cycle fails, how soon could we begin again?
A: As soon as my period starts, we can begin another round.
Q: Should we try one or two embryos?
A: This one is a little more complicated. I do not want to be the next octamom and transplant twelve embryos. (Shortly before my mother passed away, I asked her if she would have rather had all eight of her kids at the same time instead of over a span of 15 years. I believe she rolled her eyes at me. Granted, this was when verbal communication was getting hard for her to do.) Our endocrinologist prefers to only transfer one. She said she will let couples do two if they are set on that number, but she would much rather transfer one. Here are our odds: 60% chance of becoming pregnant with one embryo transferred. 2% chance of having twins. 70% chance of becoming pregnant with two embryos transferred. 50% chance of having twins.
That was the end of our conversation. She did chat with me for a few minutes about our trip to Europe and how awesome it was. She really is a great doctor.
After the phone call, I had a slight meltdown (husband would claim it was more than slight) about the 60% she gave us. If one of my students had a 60%, they would fail. 60% sounds like basically 50/50 to me. I do not like those odds. I do not think we will make a final decision about that until we get closer to transfer day.
Today I had an ultrasound. Every follicle was measured on both sides (at least all that they could see). Our largest follicle is 19 mm. That is pretty big. The average woman ovulates when her follicle reaches 18 mm. I also have four follicles at 14 mm. I will do an hcg shot to trigger ovulation when at least 3 follicles are over 18 mm. The original estimated date for the "harvest" was this upcoming Thursday, but our nurse today thought it may happen as soon as Tuesday.
She measured 22 follicles today, most of them growing at a pretty steady rate. She said we looked great. I go back in on Sunday for more blood work and another ultrasound to see how close we are. If it is decided that they are not quite ready by Sunday, I will go in daily until it is time.
Because I do have a follicle over 18 mm, I added another shot to my daily routine. I now get to take Ganirelix (pictured below). Ganirelix is a "follicle glue." It prevents me from ovulating until I take a trigger shot. I am used to the daily fun of Gonal-f and Menopur, but Ganirelix is different. As soon as the needle hit my stomach, I felt an uncomfortable stinging sensation. (As opposed to a comfortable one?) It stung for a few hours and it has made my stomach slightly more tender, but not too bad.
I do feel slight discomfort in my uterine area. Something about growing 22 follicles that are around 14 mm. That's huge.

In other news, husband and I discovered something delicious. We froze half a watermelon and then stuck it in the blender along with some water, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar. It is extraordinary.

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