Friday, February 19, 2010

ivf - day 39 - the equipment

Like any hobby, IVF comes with lots of equipment. I have a whole cabinet designated for it.

You may have noticed the word "hobby" in my first sentence. Although I don't love this activity, it is like a hobby in that much of my time and thought is devoted to it.

So, let's start with the FSH equipment...

Menopur is an injection I take in the evening. 75 iu and it's quite inconvenient if you ask me. The box that it comes in is large ("cumbersome" as Greg would say....he likes to use's word of the day).

But it has a fun I the only one that likes peeling these things back?

And this is what the inside looks like from the top.

The upper left corner is the Product Insert.
The upper right is the Q-caps
The bottom is the Menopur and diluent.

First, the Q-Caps. These fit on the top of the syringe. They work to poke a hole in the top of the little jars so you can draw in the solution.

Next, the product insert. Should I toss this?
Why yes I will. All that information is available online, so no use keeping it around.

I will say that the pharma-rep in me does enjoy reading these from time to yes, I read it first before throwing it away. This one reads like a novel. Just look at that first sentence...draws you right in to the story.

Next, the box with the goods....

This is what's inside. On the left, the sodium chloride which is the diluent. On the right, the FSH (Menopur).

Here's a shot of the Sodium Chloride. (duh)

And a little better angle so you can see it just looks like water.

Now, the stuff that makes my eggs grow, grow, GROW.

Yes, that powdery substance is the sweet nectar I crave.

See, it just looks like a pill you could swallow. Which begs the do they get it in that jar? It's smaller than the neck (kind of like those ships in a bottle). Again...inquiring minds want to know.

And, so here is the final line-up for one shot:

  1. Attach Q-Cap to Syringe.
  2. Suck up about 1cc of the Sodium Chloride (diluent).
  3. Push the diluent into the Menopur bottle.
  4. Suck that back up.
  5. Switch out the cap with the needle.
  6. Clean your belly with alcohol swab
  7. Inject (avoid the bruises)

Okay, next line-up is easy. I've already talked about this one.

This is the Lupron that I take every morning for suppression. I draw from the same jar each morning with a little insulin syringe. The needle is attached to this one and there's no fancy Q-Cap to confuse me at the crack of dawn when I'm giving myself this shot.

Leuprolide is the same as Lupron...just so you know I'm not crazy by showing you this photo.

Last, my Follistim, which is FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). I use this in the morning and at night. So, if you're keeping track that's 2 injections in the morning and 2 in the evening for a total of 4 per day.

(Giuliana's got nothing on me)

This is a simple line up as well. I have the pen and the cap that contains the needle.

There's a flap on the top of this that I peel back (kind of like the cap on a creamer but smaller) and that exposes the underside of the needle.

I open my pen and place that onto the pen and twist.

When it's tight, I pull the outer shell off, leaving the needle and the cap on the pen.

Pull off the cap (see this is the tiny needle that Guiliana had a fit can see the size in comparison to my fingers above and below).

I dial the base of the pen to whatever dose I need.

Then, it's time for the injection. That's an easy one, too.

As an update today:
  • I had my 2nd monitoring today. My uterine lining looks great! It's at 8 and is tri-layer with a streak...that's where the embryo will implant.
  • My follicles are growing wonderfully. Unlike last cycle, they're all at roughly the same size which is good since they'll all be harvested at the same time.
  • I got my bloodwork back and my E2 had gone from 469 to over 1100 in a 2-day period. It's not good for it to more-than-double, so I've backed down off my evening dose of FSH. No biggie, just a slight reduction.
  • I'll go back Monday for another monitoring.
  • Thank you to the embryologist who cleared up my question about E2. Estradiol is abbreviated E2 because it has 2 OH units (hydroxyl) attached to it. I actually know what this is because my twin sister took 2 semesters of organic chemistry and she babbled about OH a lot! I guess I should have paid more attention. Anyway, thanks for speaking up, I educated my IVF nurse today on the abbreviation, so now she knows, not that she cares. This little tidbit also reminded me that I actually have an embryologist reading my blog who knows waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more about IVF than I do, so I really need to check my facts before posting.
  • There was another comment by "bumpfairy" on my last post. I will be talking about her lately. She's near and dear to my heart.


diana albright said...

i love ripping those box tops, too (especially love the rip tabs on those USPS flat rate priority boxes)!

i've been following your IVF journey, and i admire you. injections would be scary for me and remembering all those pills would be nearly impossible. but it is like a labor of love, huh? i'm confident that you'll be a mommy soon, and it'll all be totally worth it!! you & greg are in my thoughts!

Angela W said...

Wow, April! I wish you much luck and send many prayers! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Zorina said...

All those items were so familiar to me! As a matter of fact, I think I still got some I need to throw away.
You hang it there, April. It's all for the "love of family".
Soon enough you'll be taking trips to Babies r' Us for your lil'one.

Keshet said...

Thinking of you:)

meagan said...

Your in our thoughts and prayers. Much love :)

Joaniebolognie said...'s gonna happen...I'm praying for you!!!