Pregnant - Nursing - IVF concerns

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12-02-2011, 01:20 PM
Has anyone here gone through IVF? I'm in the middle of my first cycle right now and have no gauge for what's normal and not, and kind of feel like I need a place to talk about it. I hope no one minds me starting this thread is in this forum (it seems like the most appropriate place for this topic?).

I've done 9 days of stimulation, and am probably triggering tonight (I'll find out for sure this afternoon). Yesterday my estrodial was ~1800, and this morning my largest follicle was measuring 26mm. I have another 6 or so follicles measuring 20mm+, another 6 or so that are measuring 15-20mm, and then still others that are 12-15mm. Yesterday morning I had only three that were 18mm+, and so there's been a lot of growth in the last 24 hours.

This morning a nurse spoke to me after my ultrasound and mentioned some concern about ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and that they might change my trigger from hCG to Lupron as a result. If I trigger with Lupron I'll go back in tomorrow morning for bloodwork, and if I'm not triggering properly then the retrieval will be pushed from Sunday back to Monday. I'm concerned about that at this point because it seems like several of my developing follicles are already quite large... if everything gets pushed back an additional day, will the eggs in those follicles over-mature? I guess I'm just concerned about things that might impact our ability to end up with a few good embryos. I'm also concerned about the OHSS in the sense that it could result in cancellation of the cycle after retrieval and fertilization (i.e. that they might wait and freeze any quality embryos and then do transfer at some later time).

I am fine with the fatigue and physical discomfort I've been feeling (it's probably very mild compared to actual pregnancy!), but I don't know whether it's normal or not that I have almost no appetite and am having trouble getting enough fluids in. With the concerns about over-stimulation I'm now supposed to drink only fluids with electrolytes, no water, and to be honest the idea of drinking that many calories in Gatorade or Ensure is kind of freaking me out. I bought some sugar-free electrolyte drinks as well, but I also don't love the idea of consuming that much artificial sweetener right now!

Am I crazy? LOL. This process is pretty intense and it's consuming a lot of my thoughts, and so I know I might just be over-thinking everything. Thanks for letting me get some of these concerns out here.

Edit: Oh, also... an extremely minor concern... but I seriously feel dumber the last few days. I feel like I'm not thinking nearly as clearly or quickly, and I can't get my thoughts into words or something different comes out of my mouth than what I intend to say. Is this something that could happen because of the hormones, or am I just being crazy?

12-02-2011, 02:58 PM
I have absolutely no idea about IVF, but hormones can certainly cause problems with word-finding and such.

As for electrolytes, last I checked the sugar was an essential component for them to do their job. It's not a large amount, and a few days of drinking a proper electrolyte mixture or Ensure will not do any damage to your long-term weight loss. Skipping them might be bad for your health now, from what you describe. Find versions of whatever you need which are palatable (if possible) and which you feel good on, and don't worry about the calories.

12-03-2011, 10:32 AM
Thank you, Esofia. :) Your feedback is truly appreciated. I'm glad to know that the memory/thought issues could be due to the hormones, and that I'm not just imagining it. And I took your advice to heart on the electrolytes vs. calories and really put down a lot of fluids yesterday afternoon and evening. Not only do I feel MUCH better this morning as a result, but my weight is back down a pound. Yay for getting rid of some of that retained water!

I triggered last night with the Lupron, and had bloodwork done this morning and will find out this afternoon whether it worked. If it did, the retrieval will be tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed!

12-03-2011, 07:03 PM
Hi there,

I also have no experience with IVF, but from reading your post, I'm shocked at how involved it all is!! I had no idea!! You sounds like an endocrinologist yourself! :lol:

Anyhow, I just wanted to wish you luck for tomorrow and sending you some serious baby dust!!! :)

12-03-2011, 08:43 PM
OMG kirsteng, I had no idea how it involved it was either! :lol: It's pretty crazy. At least if I have to go through this more than once I will know a lot more the second time around and it won't feel so overwhelming, lol.

I just got the call that the trigger worked, and so the retrieval is on for tomorrow! Thank you VERY much for the good wishes!! I really, really appreciate it. :)

12-04-2011, 12:44 AM
I did IVF in the fall of 2008. It was so overwhelming and very intense , especially because of all the medications (Lupron, Bravelle and Menopur for me, plus a few others at various points in the process), and you sound a lot more knowledgeable about the details than I was.

Unfortunately I don't have answers regarding the liquids and the lack of appetite. My doctor didn't restrict the types of fluids I could drink, and I didn't have any appetite problems during treatment - I did later on during the pregnancy, though.

In any event, I wanted to offer support even if I can't provide specific help. Good luck with the retrieval; I hope all goes well!

12-04-2011, 01:51 AM
Lisa, thank you very much for the support and good wishes! It really means a lot, and to have someone understand what I'm going through is a really good feeling. And I'm VERY glad to hear that your IVF resulted in a pregnancy!! I know how much it can take to get there, and I'm really, really happy that you were able to. :)

The medications are a lot to keep track of, I agree! I started on just birth control, and then stimulated with Menopur and the Gonal-f RFF pen, and then did the Ganirelix injections the last few days to prevent premature ovulation. The doses seemed to change every few days, and then doing some at night and some in the morning... :dizzy: I worried a lot that I was going to mess up or forget something and ruin the cycle. I feel like a pro now at injecting myself though, lol.

12-05-2011, 12:51 AM
Chickadee, you're very kind. Yes, we got our little girl, for which we are very thankful. No embryos left over, though, so it's unlikely she will have siblings.

You gave the shots to yourself? I am in awe. I am not sure I could have done that. My husband gave me the shots.

I hope your retrieval went very well and that you get great news about embryos in the next few days!

12-05-2011, 03:01 PM
Lisa, I can imagine how that would be very bittersweet. :hug: Absolutely wonderful that you have your daughter, but this process is so expensive and overwhelming that most simply can't go through it multiple times. It's a very tough reality, and one that most people can't understand what it's like to face.

My husband had to give me the few intramuscular shots, but he hated doing it because he felt like he was hurting me, lol. For the sub-Q ones that I could give to myself it was just easier to do it that way. Thankfully I'm not bothered at all by needles and shots, so it was totally fine with me.

The retrieval yesterday went well - they recovered 19 eggs. :) This morning's report was that 17 were mature, and of those 12 fertilized. Another hurdle cleared, and my husband is very pleased that his contribution performed well, lol. I am still experiencing some symptoms of over-stimulation and so now have some restrictions on exercise, but I am hoping things clear up on their own soon. Either way, this is all worth it.

Thank you again for the understanding and good wishes. :)

12-11-2011, 08:59 AM
Yay!!! How exciting that you have TWELVE fertilized eggies!!! What happens next?? When do they get implanted?? How long before you found out if they attached?? I'm so excited and CROSSING MY FINGERS for you!!! :hug:

12-12-2011, 12:37 AM
kirsteng, thank you, and thank you for asking! It's so nice of you to be excited for me. :hug:

We transferred a single, beautiful embryo on Friday (we even got a photo of the embryo from the embryology team!), and we will find out within the next two weeks whether or not we are pregnant. :) My husband and I have been talking to my belly and lovingly telling the embryo "please stay". Sappy, but true. We want so much for this to work!!!

We'll also find out this week how many embryos they were able to cryopreserve... I'm hoping for a good number, as that will give us something to go back to if things don't work this time around.

So much emotion... trying to relax as much as I can while waiting to find out, but it's tough!

12-12-2011, 01:43 AM
Keeping my fingers crossed for lots of sticky, sticky baby dust for you.

12-17-2011, 12:08 AM
Thank you, mandalinn - I really appreciate it. We're still waiting to find out, and it's been tough.

12-17-2011, 03:26 AM
The two week weight is wasn't so long ago that I was in your shoes (with IUI instead of IVF, but the same waiting period). Hang in there! You're almost ready to test, right?

12-17-2011, 02:35 PM
I'm so very glad the IUI was sucessful for you, mandalinn. :) We have our blood test on Thursday, but at this point I'm not very hopeful. I have been testing at home and finally got a faint but clear positive yesterday morning on two different tests, but tests last night and today have been negative, which has been pretty crushing after the positives early yesterday. I think it probably is/was a chemical pregnancy, and at this point I just want to get to and get through the blood test so that I can move on whatever the next steps are.

12-17-2011, 11:29 PM
I know the 2WW can kill you mentally, but I spent the night before my positive test sobbing uncontrollably for 3 hours, because I was ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that there was NO POSSIBLE WAY I was pregnant (I had started mildly spotting, which turned out to be implantation bleeding, but that I totally thought was the start of AF, and I had NO symptoms, and the same thing you had, what I thought was a faint positive followed by nothing). Literally, I was thinking onto the next month already, trying to make myself OK with it. Next morning? BIG FAT POSITIVE.

Just don't give up hope! It's not over until AF shows!

12-18-2011, 01:01 AM
mandalinn, thank you so much. :hug: I've been spotting and cramping as well the past two days, and that combined with the tests... What you described is exactly how I've felt today - just trying to make myself ok with it, and move on mentally to the next step. I'm doing better tonight than I was earlier today, but it's really good to know that there may still be some hope there. I'm so afraid of getting my hopes up again, and yet I tested again tonight because I can't help myself. LOL. It was negative, but I expected that and so it didn't reduce me to tears this time. This is a crazy, torturous process! I know I've got to just relax and breathe and wait. We'll see what Thursday brings.

12-18-2011, 01:11 AM
Tell me you at least got the dollar store tests so you're not spending $10 a pop!

12-22-2011, 09:12 PM
Unfortunately, no! LOL. By the time I realized there were much cheaper tests out there I figured it was too late to order them - stupid me, I should have done it anyway! But I will know better next time. :)

Our beta today was negative, but I am doing ok. I knew based on the negative HPTs and how I was feeling what the result would be, and so I'd already gotten past the worst of the disappointment by today. We're going to be able to move right on to a frozen embryo cycle, and I'm really thankful for that.

Thanks to everyone here who provided feedback and support - I just had no idea what was happening this first time around, and being able to talk about it helped. :hug:

12-22-2011, 11:15 PM
Hi Chickadee!
Sorry I didn't see this post sooner...keep the faith. My first IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy and we were devastated. Our one frozen embryo didn't survive thaw and we were truly lost, but our next fresh IVF cycle resulted in our twin boys. They are healthy 9-month-olds now. It took us four years to conceive, but it was sure worth it. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your frozen cycle. :)

12-23-2011, 12:18 AM
I'm sorry this wasn't your month, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next cycle! :hug:

12-23-2011, 12:26 AM
Thank you very much, ladies. I just finished a nice workout, and I'm feeling good and very positive for the future. :) And BlueIsis, thanks for sharing your experience with me. I'm sincerely so happy for you that you have your boys after such a struggle, and and every success story I hear gives me more hope. :hug: