We decided to pour our hearts and souls (and pocketbooks) into a process that has no guarantees. That’s right, no guarantees. As you may have guessed, we decided to do it; IVF that is. We redid every test under the sun before we began just like we were told, with a few new ones added in for good measure.
I remember the excitement before the start of the first cycle. Excitement because we thought for sure it would work. Excitement because we would finally have a family after 6 years of trying for one. Excitement because finally, we were here and it was our time. I also remember the fear. Overwhelming fear. Fear that I would get terribly sick and hyper-stimulate from all of the drugs. Fear that we wouldn’t administer the drugs properly. Fear that our cycle would get cancelled because my body didn’t react right. Fear I wouldn’t have any eggs retrieved. Fear my husband wouldn’t be able to produce a sperm sample the day of the egg retrieval. Fear that I would fail to get pregnant. Fear of losing our money. Fear that it could tear us apart if it didn’t work. The thoughts were endless.
Ironically, I never feared that I would miscarry. I think at the time, you only focus on whether or not you will get pregnant (if you have never miscarried before). You can’t see that far out, especially on your first IVF. One worry at a time.
Getting Started, “Pre-IVF”
We met with the surgical coordinator, and she gave us a calendar of the dates for our cycle, with the details of what medications to take each day. The calendar dated from February 9th, 2014 to April 19th, 2014. That’s a long time. That’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears! And drugs.
Next, we met with the financial coordinator and chose our package. Sounds like a vacation but it’s not. We decided we would only pay for 1 fresh cycle. We couldn’t imagine paying for more. Plus, we thought it would work the first time, even though the statistics say that most couples need at least 3 IVF’s to achieve a live birth. Key word, live.
Once we chalked up the cash, we got our meds shipped to us. That was a scary day. It was now so real. The surgical coordinator gave us an injection training and made sure all the correct meds were there (another day we had to miss or go into work late; there are lots of these days with IVF). I was so confused at the injection training…thank God for my husband who is always so calm. What would I do without him? She also gave us our own “special” voice mail box that we would call after 5pm on the days we had blood work and ultrasounds done to get our results. The voice mail was very important because it told you the dosages to inject each night based on the blood work and ultrasounds from that morning.
And then it began. I was on birth control for a month to suppress my ovaries, and when I got my period in February, I had the infamous day 3 ultrasound done to make sure I had no cysts (a must before starting an IVF cycle), which I didn’t, so we were good to go. I started following the calendar like a science and taking the medications, or “stimming” as they call it in the world of IVF. I triple checked everything. We watched You Tube Videos numerous times before we would do an injection to make sure we were doing it correctly.
Note: I would recommend keeping a journal if you do IVF because sometimes you simply forget things (the drugs can make you forgetful at times!). I kept a journal and wrote in it everyday. I wrote about what I ate, what injections I did and their times/amounts, along with any oral pills and their times/amounts, what my estradiol levels were, the size and amount of follicles, what type of exercise I did, my mood, if I had acupuncture done that day (I bought a package and did this once a week for a month leading up to the transfer date).
As you can see, there is sooo much involved in the IVF process. We have decided to put further information into our following post titled, “IVF #1-Stim, Retrieval, Transfer, & 2WW (all you ever needed, or wanted to know)”