Archive for September, 2010

All Systems Are Go!

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

So exciting!

Yesterday morning, I went to my cancer followup for a colposcopy and biopsy.  The doc said everything looked perfect on the surface, and that the excision site had healed up great.  I’ll probably get the results of that in the next couple of weeks, and they will book me for another check-in, probably around March next year.

Yesterday afternoon, Frank and I met at the fertility clinic and the ball really got rolling!

They seem to have lost my blood test, but are simultaneously sure that they must have seen it, and it must have been fine, or they wouldn’t have booked the appointment.  We learned that Frank is pretty much a zygote machine… apparently when they’re counting up motile sperm, they want to see something like 8 million per millilitre, and our boy Frankie had about 13.  Go Frank!

The doc was a bit put out that had a biopsy that morning, as he needed to do a little test that could cause bleeding, or be painful… he wanted to make me come back & do it another day, but I pouted and convinced him I was a tough chick, so we went ahead.  And in fact… it really wasn’t a big deal.  They did a “mock transfer”, where they take a teeny tiny little catheter, like the one they will use on the Big Day, to measure how long a hose they need to get the egg put in the right place.  Apparently I’m an “85-er”.

While they were in there, they did an ultrasound to look at my ovaries.  Lucky for us, I was at a perfect spot in my cycle to see some nice fat follicles doing their thing, and he counted a good number of them in each ovary.  So everything looks great!

After seeing the doc, we spent about an hour with the nurse, going over the nitty gritty of hormone treatments, risks, the pros of cryopreserving unused eggs, and the “schedule” once we get going.  We have a mountain of reading material to get through, a pile of consent forms to sign, and a bunch of drugs to research.  Did you know we can collect Airmiles on our follicle stimulating hormone purchases?  INSANE.

The wackiest part of the day was being told that the schedule is totally up to us now.  We’ve done all the prep work, and we can start as soon or as late as we want, and we don’t even have to check with them first.  So, Frank and I are discussing the options, and deciding when to start.  Apparently the clinic closes over the holiday, so I can’t start in December, but starting at my very next cycle (this month), would put my hormone injections & monitoring at the same time as I’m trying to final a project at work… probably not a good idea.  I don’t really want to wait until the new year – I really want to get it going ASAP, but I’m leaning on starting on my October cycle.  We’d know by Christmas if it worked!

Here’s how it goes:

They gave me a prescription for my first hormone: an inhalant that will essentially help keep all my eggs in the basket (it suppresses the release of eggs from the ovaries).  On day 21 of whatever cycle I want, I start taking it daily, and when I’ve done that for about 12 days, I call them to say I’m ready for the next part….and then I just COME IN.  No waiting for an appointment, no scheduling, no nothing.  I just call, show up that day, and a nurse will show me what to do next.

That next step is to take a self-administered FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) injection for a number of days.  This drug simulates the hormone my brain would normally produce that tells my ovaries to ripen an egg for ovulation.  I’ll be taking very large doses of this, so my body will (hopefully) ripen many, many eggs, and the inhalant drug will prevent them from being released until the right time.

As there’s some nasty things that can happen with artificially ripening eggs, I will need to be monitored regularly for about a week, while I take the FSH.  Also, I was warned that an epic PMS may accompany this process.  I apologize in advance for my impending insanity 🙂

They will determine exactly the right day to give me an HCG injection (human chorionic gonadotropin), which will trigger the ripening eggs to mature.  About 2 days later, they will do the egg retrieval (under conscious sedation), and then the exciting part starts: The birds & the bees will do a little dance in a petri dish, and in three days, the doctors will choose the best two or three embryos to put back.  And two weeks after that, we’ll find out if it worked!

So, it’s all finally happening and we’re getting pretty excited 🙂