Sunday, January 31, 2010
ivf - day 20
After much thought, I've decided to share the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) this time. Our first round back in June/July 2009, I was a bit more private, and only told a few close friends and family who were on a need-to-know basis. Basically, with the number of trips I made to Nashville and the alarm ringing on my phone to remind me of injections, either I could tell them the truth or they might think I was suffering a life-threatening illness.
But, this time is different. I'm much more open to talking about the process. I'm 100% comfortable with the ethics behind it and with people knowing what I'm/we're going through to have a child. If you've never heard of IVF before or only vaguely know about it, you'll be surprised over the next few weeks as you learn more. But, if you've been through it yourself or known a close friend, you won't be surprised one bit. It's likely that you know someone who's considered IVF or maybe you have considered it yourself. 1 in 7 couples experience some type of infertility. Although I'm not statistician, that seems very prevalent to me.
Here's what you need to know before I begin documenting my journey. IVF is pretty much the same protocol for almost everyone going through the process. It is a 54-60 day process and begins the day of your menstrual cycle (day 1). The first phase is suppression. My body is basically taken into a state of menopause (fun stuff there). The second phase is stimulation, where my body is in a state of overproduction of eggs. The third stage is the egg retrieval, embryo transfer, and waiting game (not my favorite part).
So, I begin today with the documentation, mainly because this is my first injection this cycle. For the last 3 months, I put myself on a list of vitamins (C, E, DHEA, extra Folate, Prenate DHA multivitamin, Selenium, Zinc). On day 3, I started an oral contraceptive that I will be taking for 21 days (only a few days left of that). And, on day 8, both Greg and I started a z-pack antibiotic for 5 days. It takes me about 7 minutes to swallow all my pills each morning, and I'll give you a full list of that process later.
But, today is all about injections. 10 units of Lupron that I give myself subcutaneously in the belly. Pinch and inch. That's what I do every morning at 7:00am. I started this morning to the left of my belly button and tomorrow, I will move to the right and back and forth she'll go. You see, this is a very precise process and it's important that I alternate sides and administer the dose at the proper time. I use a tiny insulin syringe/needle and it doesn't hurt a bit. It's much easier than getting your eyebrows waxed, let me tell you. But, just like waxing, I have to give myself the countdown so I don't chicken out. Not that I would, but it makes it easier.
If you're not a fan of shots, IVF desensitizes you to them right away. Before it's over with, I may be up to 3-4 injections per day...and the needle sizes only get bigger.
And, one last piece of trivia for you. Want to know how the process of IVF was developed?
Not my cow, per se, but she's a nice representation for heifers as a whole.
You see, cows have a VERY predictable reproductive system (just ask Bennie the Bull, he knows). They have 9 month gestations and like our cows, they give birth every spring (if Bennie times it right). VERY predictable.
Humans are less predictable, obviously, but the similarities are uncanny.
The first IVF human baby was born in 1978, and without the help of cows, it might've taken much longer to perfect the technique, taking me out of the game altogether.
So, next time you sit down to a nice steak, just think about how grateful I am for that cow you're eating.
I'll be back tomorrow for another IVF update and some pics around our snowy farm.