I think I’m somewhat surprised to say it, but since I started back up on the Lupron, everything has gone according to plan. I returned for another monitoring appointment after they pushed everything back by a week (a combination of bloodwork and an ultrasound) and everything looked just how it was supposed to. I passed my ovary suppression check just fine, they said, with everything looking quiet and boring like they wanted.
That led to beginning estrogen injections twice a week, to help thicken the uterine lining to prepare it for the embryo transfer. This medication is oil-based, which means that it’s a lot slower going in than the Lupron. Oh, and it needs to go directly into the muscle using a needle about the length of yardstick. Right in the tush. So, let’s just say that the lead-up to these injections gave me a whole lot of anxiety. I did a fair amount of research which quite possibly only made me feel worse. I found lots of horror stories about the progesterone injections (different medicine but the same technique) causing pain, lumps of medication pooling up and forming knots in the muscle, and people accidentally hitting the sciatic nerve making it difficult to walk for a day, a week, a month! Sometimes the internet is not your friend, my nurse said.
I also found suggestions about applying ice beforehand to numb the area, as well as suggestions about applying heat beforehand to ease the distribution of medication. (Well, which is it?? I need answers!) I learned about warming the vial of medication prior to injection and massaging the site and using a heating pad afterwards. And to put a piece of chocolate in my mouth beforehand to distract my brain. In the days leading up to that first shot my whole body would tense up just thinking about it.
My gut was to go with ice instead of heat prior to the shot, which I did for about half an hour. The time came, and with my best “I’ve given birth…I’ve given birth… I’ve given birth…” mantra under my breath to remind myself of my strength, Nurse Jamie asked if I wanted him to count to 3 before he did it. I stammered out an, “I… don’t know,” and just kept on breathing.
In… and out. In… and out. In… and out.
“You’re doing it,” he said.
I was confused.
I literally didn’t feel it at all. And then, it was over. I couldn’t believe how worked up I got about it all. Tonight, however, I start the progesterone injections. One shot, each night, through the entire first trimester. (I’m sitting on an ice pack as I type.) Adding in the estrogen shots twice a week still. So, we’ll see how all that soreness and knotting comes along. Now is when it gets real.
But… what this all means is that my second monitoring appointment (well, third really, including the first botched one) went well, and that we are all systems go for the embryo transfer this Wednesday!
Jamie and I will travel to the clinic in Connecticut, where we’ll be joined by Vivianne and David via Skype. The procedure itself sounds to be fairly quick, simple, and painless, from what I understand. Don’t worry, I’ll report back.
It’s finally really real. This whole time, up until very recently, I’ve been trying to manage my emotions because I’ve wanted to prepare myself for the possibility that something would cause it all to fall apart. I didn’t want to be let down. But here we are, just a few days before transfer, and I can now allow myself to get excited.
Given that they date pregnancies back to the beginning of the cycle prior to conception (which in my case is the embryo transfer) adding on the age of the frozen embryo, heck, you could even say I’m about 2 weeks pregnant right now! I think I’ll go ahead and have that ice cream after my shot tonight after all.