Our test results concluded that my tubes were blocked, I wasn’t ovulating, and Adam had a low sperm count. IUI was out as an option for us, and we had our double whammy infertility results- IVF it was. The next step was for Adam to go to the urologist to make sure everything was alright.
I received a text message from him after his appointment that simply said.. “I have X-men sperm!”
Apparently Adam has 97% mutant sperm. They have two heads, or two tails, or no tails. So with that information, the okay that he was alright, and a plan in place, I had my baseline bloodwork and we were ready to rock in February of 2016.
When my meds showed up to my work I was overwhelmed to say the least. Look at all these needles! Look at all this medication! I watched youtube videos of other women doing their sub-contaneous injections, I watched the Freedom Fertility instructional videos, and tried to mentally prepare myself for the road ahead. Then, finally, my orders came in.
I’ve been recording every single injection I’ve ever taken since we began our IVF journey. I’m a hoarder of nostalgia, and plan on turning this footage into some sort of compilation some day, but right now it’s tucked away just being stored.
I was so nervous, I was shaking. Adam recorded me as I stared down at my belly, wiped clean with an alcohol prep pad, pinched skin between my fingers. I attempted once, as soon as the needle got close to my skin I stopped. This was so much scarier when you’re doing it to yourself! I was very determined, though, and after a few false starts I was in. It wasn’t as bad as I thought! I can do this, right?
As you know, we are two cycles deep and preparing for our next transfer. Here’s the run down of how that first cycle went.
I stimmed for 12 days. I had my egg retrieval on February 20th, and we had 12 eggs retrieved. Out of those 12 eggs, 6 were mature. Out of those 6 mature eggs, only two fertilized into embryos via ICSI (they put the sperm directly into the egg) and on the fifth day, I received the call. Our embryos stopped growing. The cycle failed. I had been planning on doing a freeze all cycle since I had overstimulated. After my first egg retrieval I had to take three days off of work, in addition to the two days I laid around on the weekend. I couldn’t poop for a week, no stool softeners gave me relief, and after and enema and two suppositories I had little relief over a few days. I tried drinking prune juice and projectile vomited it back up. I looked 5 months pregnant. Needless to say, I did not have a good time.
Receiving that phone call at work was awful. I went into the bathroom and cried after I got off the phone with Dr. Plante, who was very comforting. I called Adam and cried to him, too. Dr. Plante asked me if I wanted to take a break and I said no, as long as medically safe, I’d like to continue on. So I booked a follow up with her, and the next week I dropped in to talk about what went wrong with our first cycle.
My estradiol levels (a form of estrogen) had dipped low 2 or 3 days in to my cycle. Dr. Plante had to adjust my injections accordingly, and though they did rise, they hurt my egg quality. With your estradiol levels you want an even, clean rise and they did not have that. For my next cycle, she was to start me at a slightly higher dose of Gonal F, and I was also put on Metformin to help control my hormone levels.
Metformin is a diabetic drug, but it is also prescribed to women who have PCOS. It’s hard to get used to, it gives you terrible stomach aches and diarrhea. It’s not fun, but I was willing to suffer through if it meant better egg quality cycle two. So! I had my period, I started another round of birth control, and prepped myself for cycle two…