Monday, January 30, 2012

Spring, are you really here?? And a few infertility concerns...

Ok, obviously I KNOW spring isn't here, but it sure feels like it today!! It's supposed to be low 50s outside today, when we normally are averaging 20s for highs this time of year. I must say that this year has been the strangest winter weather I have ever experienced.  I'm enjoying the nice warmth that we are getting, but it is a little unsettling since this is so odd for us.

That said, on to my real reason for the post...

IVF will be starting in two cycles now.  It was supposed to start next cycle (right around the end of Feb.), but David can not take off for the last blood test he needs.  They want to do the complete test for CF (where they check for every single known mutation).  I understand why they want to since we will be doing IVF, but he needs to take the day off in order to have the test done.  Then, the test needs to be analyzed and then a letter of recommendation can be written for us to start the IVF process. I have an appointment on the 9th of February, and I was hoping he could come with me for that appointment.  He's a teacher though, so he can't take off.  His first day off is Feb. 20, and my cycle is due to start on the 22-24. I don't think that's QUITE enough time to get the test results and the letter. ;)

At first, I was quite sad about this.  I really wanted to start this coming cycle, but I realized that I have waited quite some time already so one more month won't make a difference at all. David was worried about how upset I'd be, as he knows I've been ready to get everything started. I explained to him that I realize he has obligations and can't take off whenever he needs to.  Especially with us doing IVF, he's having to be quite selective about taking days off because there will be quite a few days he'll need to take off once the process gets started.

With all of that said, I'm starting to get VERY nervous about IVF.  I think now that my liver doctor has given me the approval (pending the results of testing on 2/9), I am starting to realize how fast it is all happening. I started (foolishly) reading all of the risks of IVF last night, and I wound up feeling like a basket-case at the end of the night.  So why am I so afraid?

I will start this process by going on birth control to regulate my cycle and match it up to the lab's schedule (no worries here as I had been on birth control for over 10 years to regulate my cycles).

From there, I will receive an ultrasound to check my ovaries and uterus to make sure there are no complications they might have already missed such as a thin uterine wall or a few other issues they look for (again no worries here - I've had enough internal and regular ultrasounds that they don't bother me one no real risk with these).

Then, at some point they will take me off of the birth control and start me on hormone injections (here comes the first worry).  I will be injecting synthetic hormones into my body which will stimulate my ovaries to produce A LOT of eggs.  The risk here is that I develop a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).  This terrifies me.  Basically, the ovaries can begin to overstimulate, and left untreated this condition can become life-threatening.  My doctor ensured me that they will be checking me every other day to make sure that I'm not developing the condition, but my fear is still there. I'm also worried about the mood swings that come along with the hormones, and I worry about having some kind of reaction to the hormones.

If the hormones, against all of my worrying, work perfectly fine without complication, then I will be scheduled for egg retrieval (EEK!).  During this process, they will put me under with anesthetic and then surgically (minor procedure) remove as many eggs as they can.  They hope for 10 eggs each collection to work with.  Since not all eggs will fertilize, this gives them a good sample of eggs to work with.  Ahh,  my second and bigger fear.  I HATE surgical procedures, no matter how minor. I HATE being put under with anesthesia.  I always worry when I have to be put under, and I've had no less than 6 surgeries in my life so I should be used to it by now.  I'm not though.  This also worries me because they stated that they had trouble finding my right ovary.  I'm curious as to how they make sure first that I'm not developing OHSS, and then secondly how they plan to extract the eggs from this ovary if they can't find it.  Hmmm....

Obviously, I need to ask a few more questions and discuss the results with my doctor.  Hopefully, he can easily calm my fears, and I can go into the process with a peaceful state of mind.

Once this whole procedure is behind me, I will hopefully be blogging about how silly it was for me to worry so much.  Hopefully, I will then be blogging about all of my fears associated with the actual pregnancy...oh boy.

Sorry in advance for any anxiety-ridden posts which may result from this infertility journey. I did warn you all in advance, however, in my "About me" section..I'm a worrier!!! 


  1. I'm a worrier too. When I got diagnosed with food allergies I finally had to force myself to stop reading all the crazy reactions I could be subject to. I was really freaking myself out and was scared all the time.

    It sounds like your doctors are doing everything they can to make sure you don't have to worry about anything going wrong. I'm sure you will be fine.

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  3. Good luck! I think it's entirely normal to have those kinds of worries. For what it's worth, my mom had OHSS after her IVF procedure, and although it was not comfortable, I don't think they were ever particularly worried about it. I am praying for you, friend! I hope that everything goes okay.

  4. If you'd like, I can come down to UofC and hold your hand. :) It only takes like an hour to get there. :)

    Also, I'm super impressed with myself for getting through the whole blog in one day lol.

  5. Good luck! Although I did not do IVF I know how anxiety provoking fertility treatments are. But with each step you are that much closer to starting your family! And how you got there will be a distant memory :-)

  6. Thank you ladies for your support and good wishes. I am trying to calm down and realize that yes, I am in good hands and they will work as hard as possible to make sure everything goes smoothly.

    Cindy, I'm glad to hear that they weren't too worried about the OHSS. Hopefully it won't even be a concern for me.

    Kayla, Does it seriously take you an hour to get to U of C? That's crazy. That's about how long it takes ME to get to U of C.

    Young Grasshopper, Thank you so much for the sweet comment. I can totally imagine the anxiety you went through now. I can't wait until this is just a distant memory!


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