So, my period decided to be even more of a jerk and elected not to show up when it was expected, and because of this, I was not able to start my stims on Sunday as planned. I had an ultrasound and appointment on Monday, where the nurses and Dr. Cass were both disheartened that I had not started yet. My lining was 11mm thick, which was apparently indicative that my period should have been starting at any minute. They scheduled me for a follow-up appointment for today (5/18/16), in the event that I did not get my period on Monday or Tuesday. Monday came and went, still no luck. Tuesday, I started to see some spotting but I did not want to trust that my body was finally getting its act together. In fact, on Tuesday evening I was complaining to Dean that “of course after four years of diligently tracking my cycle, NOW it decides not to cooperate”. About five minutes later – I had to eat my words. FINALLY, my period started – cramps and all. Lovely.
That leads us to this morning. I called the RE’s office at 7AM to ask them if they still wanted me to come in for my 8AM appointment, or was I okay to begin my stims. Dr. Cass still wanted me to come in to be assessed, so we came in for the appointment as planned. Our nurse asked me if I had gotten my period and I excitedly answered her, “YES!” She smiled and said, “Okay, go ahead and disrobe from the waist down.” I stood there for a second and I must have had a concerned look on my face, and she said, “We aren’t squeamish here, we’re used to it!” I made some joke that I cant remember (I do this when I am nervous or uncomfortable) and the nurse put down an extra padded sheet on the exam table before leaving the room. I joked to Dean that it looked like a puppy pee-pad.
Soon after, Dr. Cass came in and performed the ultrasound for me. (Not a super comfortable experience when you have menstrual cramps, in case anyone was wondering.) My lining measured less than it was before (10.6mm) and Dr. Cass confirmed that I was ready to begin my stims TODAY. She also told me that she knew I was going to start soon, and that’s why she sort of evaded my question of “what if it doesn’t show up before my Wednesday appointment?” Sneaky doctors are sneaky.
Cue my mixed emotions of, “YAY FINALLY, WE GET TO PROCEED!” and, “Oh god, doing injections.” I will have an appointment on Friday the 20th for bloodwork, and then Sunday the 22nd I will have an ultrasound and more bloodwork. They will be monitoring a number of things, but primarily they are keeping an eye on how many follicles I am developing, my uterine lining, how the follicles are maturing, and where my hormone levels are. They are also checking to ensure I do not end up hyperstimulated.
As we were checking out, several of my nurses at their stations asked, “Did you get your period?!” And they were all so happy that I had started. My own little menstrual cheerleaders. One of our nurses, Patti, even said, “we knew it was a just matter of time, you just had to be patient!”. I expressed how frustrating it was, and how I had years of data showing how regular my cycle is. Patti smiled and told me that, “It never arrives when we want it to. We see that all the time.” I know that to be true, but when it happens to you, you cant help but want to punch your pituitary gland and say, “get it together, you dick.”
Since they wanted me to begin my stims, I needed to run home to do the Menopur shot since that one has to be done in the AM. I am really proud to say that from the second we got home, Dean and I enacted the most amazing teamwork. We hit this weird, very natural rhythm. I disinfected our counter in the kitchen, he laid out the necessary supplies. I read him the instructions on how to prepare the shot, and he followed them step by step. Now, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t frustration between us about ‘wait, what do I need to do now?’ Thankfully, there are pictures on the medication handout to help figure everything out step by step. As I previously mentioned, Menopur is the more complicated injection to put together. It took us about 15 minutes start to finish to clean, arrange, mix, and then actually complete the injection. For the curious, here is a Youtube video of how to mix the Menopur, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-JJKHTE5QQ. I am on 1 cc of this medication. It will go much faster the second time around, because now we know how to handle it. Dean asked me if I wanted him to do the injection. I thought about it for a second, and then told him ‘no, I will do it’. I think I needed to prove to myself that I could do it myself. I stood there for a second and tried to interpret what a ’90 degree angle’ looks like when you are injecting, and then just decided to just go for it. I was shocked at how easy the needle went in. Once I got to that point, I was completely okay pushing the plunger and doing the injection. I followed the advice of my friends in the infertility sub, and injected the Menopur slowly. It definitely burned a little bit, but after 15 minutes that went away. Now that it’s over, I am completely confident that I can do my injections. Tonight I will take the Gonal-F, but that shot is a no brainer. All you have to do is attach a needle and click the wheel to the desired dose and then inject. Much, much easier.
I have 8 total days of stims, and will make sure to keep updating about our progress when I have my ultrasound this Sunday.
Thank you to everyone that reads this, and has supported us in any way, shape, or form over the past few years. This entire process would not be possible without you.