My apologies for the poor sound quality -- I don't know what happened with the upload. May be best to put on your headphones to be able to hear it better. Again, sorry!
First off, I just want to note that there are two different blog posts here today with two different videos. For some reason, YouTube only allows 10 minutes per video so I had to upload two separate files from the same night. Please excuse the editing.
Yesterday was a bright and sunny day in the Bench household. It wasn't only because both John and I only had to work until 11 a.m. and 12 noon, respectively, but also because we are moving right along with our in-vitro process as planned.
The entire day, I was so antsy at work, and being there for only 3 hours, it sure seemed like 10. Noon came and I burst excitedly through the door, called John, and was excited to find out that he was already home. Upon getting home, my wonderful husband was already getting all of our meds ready, putting ice packs and organizing them into the cooler that one of our fancy schmancy pharmacies provided us. We soon headed off to PRC for our appointment.
We didn't wait long in the lobby when one of the nurses who I hadn't met before led us through a door on the first floor of the building and told me that they needed to take some blood. They need to take this test to check the estradiol level in my blood. Estradiol (pronounced es-truh-dial) is a type of estrogen naturally produced by the ovaries and is secreted in the follicles that grow in the ovaries. The amount of estradiol in a woman's blood changes from day to day as her monthly menstruation cycle progresses. A blood test is used to measure the estradiol or E2 level. The resulit gives fertility doctors a baseline to track how well my body will be responding to the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) injections such has Menopur and Gonal-F, which I was scheduled to start yesterday. After that, John and I waited in an ultrasound room so Dr. Salem could give me a vaginal ultrasound to check for any other cysts or abnormallities in my uterus. When all was done, the nurse told me that they would call me later on in the day to let me know if my E2 level was good and I was clear to begin the Menopur and Gonal-F that evening.
We then went upstairs into an office next to June's where the nurse went over the next set of hormones I would be taking. I will continue to take Lupron, but from that point, only 5 units daily instead of the 10 units I had been doing thus far. She explained the new daily protocol as follows:
- 5 cc's of Lupron every morning
- 1 Medrol (pill) and 1 baby aspirin with breakfast or lunch.
- 1 prenatal pill
- 150 cc's of Gonal-F in the evening, sometime between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- 1 powder container of Menopur mixed with 100 cc's of sodium chloride (see video) in the evening, sometime between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
See videos attached.
Afterwards, John and I stopped by Target to get some organizer containers for all our syringes and meds, then by Kaiser to obtain the last of the test results that PRC (and the State) require(s) for anyone doing IVF (they needed us to do blood tests for HIV/HTLV 2, Hepatitis, and Chlamydia/Gonorrhea). After some finagling by John, we got the test results from Dr. Martinez's nurse, and we were on our way. I faxed the test results to June immediately after getting home and the best part was getting the rest of the day to run around and just get to hang out with John. I am so lucky to have him.
So far I have already seen and experienced side effects from all the medication. Since late last week, I noticed that I got regular headaches (usually in the afternoon) and muscle pains. The bruising from the Lupron shots has not been as bad as before. I've gotten some pretty funny bruises from them but aside from the small marks left by the needle, there hasn't been too bad of bruising in these last few days. I've also been pretty emotional lately -- and I don't mean like in the unstable 16-year-old kind of way -- I mean like crying at the drop of a hat at intensely stupid things. I had been reading these discussion boards with women talking about crying at things like the wrong kind of sandwich, and remember thinking how dumb they were, and how I was not going to be like them (largely because I do NOT like crying), and here I am, crying because John's car overheated on the 14 Freeway (while, by the way, I was at work all the way in Orange County), or because we were short on stamps at work for me to send out budget packets. It was ridiculous. Luckily, having read those bulletins, it was only a matter of time before I stepped back and took a breath to recompose myself. I've also been doing these breathing exercises that John's aunt told me about and they have actually really helped.
What's been difficult to deal with are the headaches and muscle pains. I don't think they are caused by lack of sleep because another thing I've noticed is just complete tiredness all the time, so both John and I have made it a point to go to bed very early every night. The headaches are pretty regular and honestly hurt so bad that they feel debilitating. Of course, this makes me want to cry because of so much self-pity, and the crying (or the holding back of tears) causes the headache to worsen. It's an absolutely vicious cycle.
I have asked John to start doing a nightly novena with me. I want us to start praying together regularly and religiously every evening as we have a very big common goal and request of God. I want to know that we are covering all our bases in preparation for our child/ren -- physical, financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Whether you believe in God or not, I think that one cannot and should not challenge anyone else's faith because it is simply that: faith. There is no tangible proof -- a picture, a place -- of God or his existence, but we pray because faith is hope. We hope and believe that whoever it is listening to us, whether it is God or simply the universe, that they will know what we want, help us find a way to achieve it, or at the very least, keep us hopeful and positive, even just enough to keep us sane enough to get through the next step. My faith tells me that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, that creating this/these life/lives is worth believing in and it's a part of my faith that I hang on to with all my strength. Sometimes, all we have to do is to swallow that pill of pride and simply just ASK.
"If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will: and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7-8