Trigger Time! 

Tonight I did my hCG trigger shot at 9:30pm. Actually, our friend and neighbor who is a nurse ended up giving it to me! I did this same injection throughout our Letrozole cycles, but due to the importance of this injection I figured I’d phone a friend for some assistance. Giving yourself intramuscular injections with a inch a half long needle isn’t easy. So, I figured I’d ask and know that it was getting done the right way, rather than me getting super nervous and worrying about hitting a vein, etc. This was my final IVF injection and injection #58!!

Timing is very important when it comes to this injection because ovulation will occur 36 hours after. It is at exactly 36 hours later that my egg retrieval will take place to get all those mature eggs out!! So, Monday morning at 9:30am is our scheduled egg retrieval!

 I was instructed to inject a 1/2 dose (5,000 iu rather than 10,000 iu) of Novarel. After reading in our in vitro handbook, it seems that women who are at higher risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) are to inject a lesser dose of hCG to hopefully avoid OHSS. OHSS is a condition that occurs with the use of stimulation medications to induce the growth of many follicles. Mild cases of OHSS include having soreness and swelling in the ovaries. There are more severe cases as well that can lead to stroke or even death. Click here for more details regarding Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. I read that drinking lots of water and staying hydrated can help, so I have been sure to get plenty of fluids since I started stimulation medications and will continue to do so these next few days! 

Our egg retrieval was scheduled after today’s ultrasound which showed continued follicle growth. Along with the follicle growth has come some discomfort! My tummy is feeling tight and I have felt pretty “wore out” in general today. Happy it is the weekend so I am able to relax and getting excited for our upcoming egg retrieval!! I will be sure to update on Monday with how our egg retrieval goes! Wish us luck!!

Lots of change!

Today we had an ultrasound and estrogen level blood test at our fertility clinic. After Tuesday’s appointment showing so few follicles I was a little nervous about today’s appointment.

To my surprise, there were 25 total follicles!! 14 of those measured over 10mm! Feeling much more confident and hopeful in this process than I was on Tuesday. (I am unsure if more follicles have developed or if follicles were missed at my last appointment at our local clinic?!)

I have been feeling some discomfort and  bloating, but nothing horrible. The pain got me thinking, though, how big are my ovaries?! Currently, my right ovary has 14 follicles and my left ovary has 11. Apparently, the size of a mature follicle (which most of mine aren’t quite there yet) is about the size of a grape! Seems so big!! So I can just envision my ovaries as two big clumps of grapes. I also read that likely your ovaries will become the size if baseballs during IVF stimulation (usually they are about the size of an almond). So needless to say, it’s no wonder I’m feeling a little tender by my ovaries!

Above is an image from YouTube of a stimulated ovary to give you an idea of what they look like during an ultrasound.(I should have snapped a picture of mine today, but it didn’t even cross my mind!) Each follicle is counted and measured during the follicle study ultrasounds.

Today was my hubby’s first time coming to a follicle study ultrasound.He mostly came to help with the driving (it was an early morning leaving home at 4am to reach our fertility clinic by 7am). But, I think he was pretty amazed watching the ultrasound and getting to record the sizes of all of the follicles on a chart for the doctor. It was just nice having him along to see what this step of the IVF process is all about! 

Next, I will be continuing my medications at all of the same doses and will have another (and hopefully last) ultrasound this Saturday! Getting excited for our soon approaching egg retrieval!!

Ultrasound #3 Update

This morning I had my 3rd ultrasound and estrogen level blood test. Today there were 5 follicles in my right ovary that measured over 10mm. The largest was 17mm and the others were 10-12mm. My left ovary seems to be slacking a bit and only has 2 follicles over 10mm.Both in the 10-12mm range.There was also 1 smaller follicle on that side that measured at about 9mm. At my ultrasounds they only count and measure follicles that are over 10mm, so today there were 7 that were large enough.

After leaving my appointment I was excited knowing that the follicles are continuing to grow. But… then I got to thinking about how few follicles I have. Many IVF cycles seem to end up with 15+ eggs and right now we might get 7 or 8 at the most. I feel like the more follicles you have, the more eggs are harvested and the greater the success rates. So, after some tears and worrying, I’ve decided it is what it is! I just need to focus on remaining hopeful.Our doctor wants me to continue the same medication regimen (2.5iu Leuprolide Acetate and 150iu Gonal F in the morning and 150iu Menopur in the evening). I will have another ultrasound on Thursday. Currently, all of our ultrasounds have been preformed at a local clinic  (about 45 minutes from our home) but Thursday’s will be done at our fertility clinic  (about 2.5 hours from our home). I’m happy to have our fertility clinic preforming our next (and possibly last) ultrasound just to make sure everything looks good for our upcoming retreival! Wish us luck! Praying the follicles continue to grow and maybe a couple more will appear! 

The Start of Follicle Growth

On Friday, I had another ultrasound and a blood test to check my Estrogen levels. I am happy to report that my right ovary had 3 small follicles and many tiny follicles growing and the left ovary had 2 small follicles and many tiny ones. So, after 2.5 days of stimulation medication follicles are starting to form!!

There were some changes to my medication regimen. I’m now doing the Gonal F injection just in the mornings (150iu) and my dose of Leuprolide Acetate has been decreased to 2.5iu in the mornings. I am also now starting Menopur (150iu) in the evenings. I am so thankful for my medication calendar for keeping track of these injections and their doses. 

Along with follicle growth, I am also starting to feel some of the side effects from these medications. Nothing horrible, but there has been a bit of discomfort. Friday, during the day I seemed to be extra emotional  (I think I cried 3 times over super small things). Also Friday night and yesterday I had a horrible headache and almost felt dizzy at times. I also felt kind of achy and just overall felt exhausted. Thankful these feelings are happening on the weekend and not during the work week. Hopefully today will be better as well! 

After hearing about the benefits of Pom (pomegranate) juice I decided to pick some up for myself! Pom juice is supposed to help thicken your uterine lining making it a suitable environment for an embryo to attach. I’m not sure if it will help, but what can it hurt?!

This morning I did an injection count…so far I’ve done 35 injections these last couple of weeks! It should only be about 8-10 days until our egg retrieval! Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!

Starting Stimulation Medications

Tuesday I had a blood estrogen level and an ultrasound. Great news! The down regulation medications did their job and I was given the okay to start “stimming” (using the stimulation medicines to produce follicles)!!!

I was sure to bring my lucky ladybug from my sock buddy to Tuesday’s appointment. The ladybug will be accompanying me to all upcoming appointments. A little luck never hurts!!

Currently, my injections include a lower dose of Leuprolide Acetate (5iu at 7am) and 150iu Gonal F both at 7am and 7pm. Hopefully we will see some little follicles forming at tomorrow’s ultrasound!!

Prayer…

As a child, prayers were always said before bed. The same prayer in fact (and a pretty common one) “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. The angels watch me through the night and wake me to the morning light. Amen.”

As I have grown older, I would say my prayers have changed. I am sure there have been times where I didn’t do much praying, and other times that I have prayed much more than just before bed.

Through our journey of infertility, both my husband and I have done our fair share of prayer it seems. Many of my prayers have included basically begging God for a child. I feel that God does meet the desires of our hearts, so was getting pretty good at consistently asking for a child.

After talking with a doctor that I had seen for some heartburn issues, my prayers changed. We had a nice conversation about stress and how it affects your body. Somehow, we ended up on the topic of prayer. She said that God will meet  your needs, so that’s all you need to ask him in prayer. To me, this meant that I was going about prayer all wrong. I was focusing it on my “needs,” yes, but I was also being a little demanding and day in and day out my prayers were the same. “Dear Lord, can you please make this cycle work for us. All we want is a child of our own.”  All along, my prayer had been focused on one thing. A Baby.

Now, I have changed my focus. I haven’t asked God for a baby in a while. I rather have decided that God knows what I need. I still have been praying, in fact maybe more than ever. I feel good after asking God for help or thanking him for what I have. Much better than I did after making demanding prayers. It feels good to pray for others that are also struggling with infertility. It feels good to pray for my husband that he can also have strength through this IVF cycle. It just feels good…

Also, while I was researching things about IVF on Pinterest, I came across a blog called ‘Amateur Nester’ that shared “31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.”  Each day has a different topic and you read a bible verse and pray for that topic. Last night my husband and I prayed for “Comfort.” We are still working on praying out loud with one another. We have found these last couple of nights that we are almost better at spending time praying on our own after reading the bible verse and talking about it afterwards. My husband shared that he prayed for me to have comfort with my injections. I also prayed for comfort with my shots and for comfort for my husband since I know that this is not easy on him (even though it seems like I am the one having to take all the meds and do the injections). He still has worries and stress too. I’m hopeful that praying together will help make our relationship even stronger and just to talk each night and know that we are there for one another before bed is the best. If  you haven’t tried praying with your spouse, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. Seeing the things that they ask for in prayer and sharing your prayers is sure to bring you closer and reduce stress in your life.

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I marked each day in my Bible– so I have the topic and can read the Bible verse for that day. Can’t wait to continue through these 31 days of prayer while we continue on our IVF journey.

Getting these Injections Figured Out

Today was my third day of Leuprolide Acetate injections!! I’m definitely getting this figured out. It’s not my most favorite part of the day, but I know that all these shots will be worth it in the end. So far, I’ve discovered a few techniques that work better than others. 

1 ) Don’t be nervous. These needles for subcutaneous injection are small (especially compared to the huge needles I’ve used for my hCG Trigger shots in the past). They also don’t hurt too bad– worse than a mosquito bite– maybe more like a little bee sting!

2) It has worked best for me to sit on the floor pretzel-legged when I give the injection. A couple I’ve done sitting (in the car or on the edge of the bed) and those ones seemed to leave the largest red dots afterwards. 

3) I also think the amount of skin that I pinch makes it easier to insert the needle. When I sit I get those rolls on my tummy (yes, I just said rolls– plural) and I feel like the smaller pinch of skin/fat that easier the needle inserts. A couple times I grabbed a larger section and it made it that much harder to get that needle through he skin. (It’s truly amazing how strong our skin is…you really have to push to puncture the skin!)

4) This medication seems to have a burning sensation following the injection. I think the burning is a little less when injecting the medication more slowly. Also, I have a rice filled heat pack that heated up last night to help with the burning sensation.

5) Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t miss an injection and be prepared to plan ahead. I have alarms set for both 6:50am and 6:50pm so I make sure to do my injections on time. Also, if you know you are going to be out of the house, make sure to pack all of your supplies in your purse so you will be ready! 

So, if you will be enduring Leuprolide Acetate injections, I’d highly recommend these tips! I’ll keep you posted on other tips I come across with my upcoming stimulation injections.

So far I’ve done 3 days of injections (6 injections total)… only about 20 or 21 days until egg retreival!!

Fun Package Delivery!

Earlier this week, I shared about my Sock Buddy. We both sent our packages to each other this week and I received my package from her today!!

It was so fun to receive a surprise package on the mail! I Expected to receive some socks– but she also sent some other really sweet things!


Her encouraging words in the card and the sweet hope ornament brought tears to my eyes! She also sent some really good smelling bubble bath and bath salts. I see lots of baths in my future (especially if I’m feeling any discomfort once I start my stimulation injections). And of course she sent some crazy rainbow socks for good luck and to keep my feet warm!! (I had to try them on right away!!)


I am so thankful for such a thoughtful friend! It has been so fun getting to know each other. I can’t wait to continue to support each other through this journey and beyond.

For those of you that are experiencing infertility or going through IVF I highly recommend finding a sock buddy. I connected with my sock buddy through a Facebook group for individuals going through infertility. So happy to have someone to chat with that is going through the same procedures, injections, etc. and it’s super fun to send eachother little packages of encouragement throughout infertility treatments!

Sock Buddy!

This week I finished up my care package for my sock buddy. A sock buddy is someone else who is going through similar fertility treatments at the same time as you. In my case, my sock buddy is also doing IVF in September. So why is it called a sock buddy?! — Well, Chinese medicine states in short that warm feet = a warm uturus. So, by wearing socks you are keeping your uturus warm and ready for a baby to grow. Many women around the world that are experiencing infertility will seek out a “sock buddy” to exchange support, knowledge, items for relaxation and of course socks! 

My sock buddy lives in North Carolina, so practically on the other side of the country! It has been great getting to know her and sharing our stories of infertility with one another. It’s also been great to be able to chat about our worries and concerns about our upcoming IVF cycles. It’s like we are each other’s personal cheerleaders! I’m sure as we get closer to our retreival and transfer dates we will have even more to share and compare.

Here is her package!

I included the following: 2 pairs of socks (1 pair with pugs– because she loves pugs, and 1 pair with rainbow colors because she also has experienced miscarriage and is hoping for a rainbow baby), a bath bomb set from Basin White (with a rainbow bar of soap that was so fitting), tea (for relaxing), a yummy smelling candle, some chocolates and chapstick from Melaleuca.

I’m so excited for her to get her package!! I will also share when I receive my package from her! It sounds like we are both getting them sent off this week! So fun!!

Ready… Set…

Go!!!!

We are officially ready to start our IVF cycle! Here was our pre-IVF checklist!

-Sonohystorgram (showed everything looks healthy and ready)

-Blood testing (everything came back as “normal” and healthy for both my husband and I)

-Injection course (completed and I feel much more confident about my upcoming daily injections)

-Sperm Cyopreservation  (back up sample stored in case we need it on egg retrieval day)

-Finances in line and IVF paid for

-Medications arrived! (A HUGE box that was a little daunting, but all the medications were in there and I can totally do this!!!)

As of right now, I am excited to start our IVF cycle. I feel prepared and so ready! Currently, I am starting medications to down regulate (this means my ovaries will be quiet and our Dr. will have a baseline level of hormones to start with). Currently, to achieve down regulation I am starting a pill (Norethindrone) and will start Luprolide Acetate (an injection) in 1.5 weeks!
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers as we embark on this journey!!