The first week has gone well. This IVF has felt a lot easier physically than the last ones so far as I've had less injections in the beginning phase. This round my doctor has me trying a relatively new shot called "Elonva". This is a slow releasing hormone so you only need to once to trigger several follicles to grow as opposed to every day like the other drugs. I had to inject it in the evening on day three of my cycle. Then starting four days later I had to start injecting "Orgalutran" to suppress ovulation. After a week I went back for my first check up at the clinic. I had been feeling pretty calm and positive up to then but the night before my scan I started to worry. I haven't felt a whole lot of symptoms so far. Bloating, and the odd stomach cramp but that's it really. I couldn't help worry that maybe I won't respond well to this drug and grow enough follicles.
Luckily the scan went well. I have seven follicles growing at the moment! This is the best number I've had yet. However only two of them are a good size, the other five are still really small and will need to catch up. The doctor wants me to inject a mixture of menogon (called Menopur in US I think and pergoveris) for two more days to try to help the follicles grow bigger and then I'll go back for another scan. At that stage the doctor should be able to tell me when the egg retrial will be, it's looking like it could be about four or five days time.
This IVF cycle we hope to let the embryos grow for five days in the lab instead of three. When you transfer embryos on day five your odds are better as the ones that have survived till then are generally good quality. Our problem is that I have only ended up with a few embryos each cycle so in that case it could be better to transfer them on day three. Dr. Peppy says that if we end up with at least four embryos then we can wait until day five, otherwise we would go with a three day transfer again. We have also chosen to transfer two embryos again.
I asked the doctor who scanned me how many eggs does she think we'll get at the retrieval. She had it's too hard to predict. So yeah I really don't know how it's going to go! The number of follicles won't correspond to the number of mature eggs unfortunately. Each cycle so far I have ended up having some empty follicles. That said I am trying to stay optimistic and just wait and see what happens. I was thinking the other day that I have been coping really well so far with this IVF, but then I remembered that I'm only a week into it and all the much harder stages are still ahead of me! The egg retrieval, the agonizing wait to see if or how many eggs fertilized, the praying that there will be at least one embryo to transfer.. not to mention the dreaded "two week wait" afterwards.
The past two weeks hubby and I have been eating very healthy and I'm really happy about that. The weather has been lovely here and I've been enjoying spending time in our garden. Lots of the herbs I planted several weeks ago have started to grow so we now have some rocket and spinach leaves. I went for a walk and said some positive affirmations in my head. Things like "I am healthy. I am strong. I am growing lots of healthy eggs.." and even "I am fertile". After three and a half years of unsuccessfully attempting to have a baby, I thought it would be good to try to replace some of the negative thoughts with more positive ones. This is a fresh new cycle and we aren't out of the race yet.
On Saturday I decided to "treat" myself to a massage. There's a Thai massage place in town and I booked myself in for an hour long massage focusing on back, shoulders and head. Anyway, I guess I had forgotten how painful Thai massages can be. Yikes! There were some nice relaxing bits but mostly lots of uncomfortable and sore parts. The occasional shoulder pain I get from sitting at a desk job all day was gone after but I also have some sore looking bruises on my arms since! I don't think I'll be going back there in a hurry. One of my colleagues at work even noticed. I told her what happened and she commented that I'm too much of a "princess" for Thai massages. That makes me sound like a bit of a diva or something, doesn't it? Anyway I think I'll stay away from Thai massages for now and go for things that are actually relaxing!