Friday, April 23, 2010
Typically when going through treatment for infertility, doctors have you try treatments in cycles of three. Because we wanted to become more aggressive in a faster timeframe, we moved right from the cycle with Clomid to a cycle with injectibles and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Injectables are medicines that are injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Their function is to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles. These medicines are ordered from special fertility pharmacies which deliver your medications right to your house. I was on a medicine called Gonal-f. During this cycle we were traveling to Texas for our cousin's wedding. Traveling with the medicine was easier than I expected and the hotel that we were staying at provided me with a Sharps container for disposal of the needles. When stimulating with this type of medication, proper ultrasound and bloodwork monitoring is necessary. One can typically expect to be visiting the doctor's office about every three days for ultrasound and bloodwork. It can be more frequent as the follicles get close to maturity. This type of monitoring allows the doctor to track the growth and number of follicles as well as hormone levels. The morning after we returned from our trip to Texas I was scheduled for monitoring. That afternoon I received a call from my nurse saying that my body responded too well to the medication and I had about ten follicles. We would either have to cancel this cycle (unless we wanted to end up on a reality tv show) or turn it into an In Vitro Fertilization(IVF) cycle. We decided to turn it into an IVF cycle. I continued the medication and monitoring for a few more days before I was instructed to give myself the shot of Ovidrel to induce ovulation. (At FCI, IVF cycles can be performed at the River North or Highland park IVF centers. Mine was scheduled to be at River North, which means that the doctor on the schedule for the day, would be the one doing my procedure). Exactly 36 hours later, a different doctor in the FCI practice performed an Egg Retrieval in which he retrieved 13 eggs. Of the 13 eggs, 12 were mature and 5 fertilized. 5 days after the retrieval, two beautiful embryos were transferred into my uterus. The pregnancy test was scheduled for today, the day after my birthday. I was so excited about what a great birthday present this would be. Not knowing any better, I answered the phone during my lunch hour when the doctor's office called with the results of the pregnancy test. The news was not good. Neither embryo implanted. I was absolutely devastated. I went into the office in my classroom and broke down into tears. I am lucky to work with a supportive group of co-workers. Several co-workers stepped in to cover my classroom so that I could leave for the rest of the day. Greg and I spent the night grieving together. We would meet with Dr. Beltsos on Monday to review the outcome of this cycle and determine the next plan.