Monday, August 4, 2014

The IVF Process

The IVF process is MIND BLOWING to me. It was amazing watching the steps of life being created right before me. Some people doing IVF is "playing God" but I think IVF is an amazing process and if someone needs a little help getting their babies created then they should go for it! It was worth all 100+ injections. In this blog post I am going to write about the whole process of IVF (for my journaling purposes).

Before the process started I had to order all my meds from a specialty pharmacy. They were then shipped to me. This was half of the shipment and you may say I was a bit overwhelmed.

My doctor also had me on lots and lots of vitamins

March 7-April 6
Take birth control pills every day. I was quite confused when they told me I would have to go back on the pill for a month. Aren't we trying to get me pregnant, not prevent it??! After all the medications and hormones I had been on before they wanted to give my body a rest and let my hormones level out.

April 10
My period started and we can really get down to business now.
The crazy schedule I have to follow
April 11
Baseline appointment where I had an ultrasound and uterine measurement. They wanted to make sure that their were no cysts or anything to inhabit us from proceeding with IVF. After my ultrasound they gave me the go ahead to start my injections. I started out with the gonal-f and menopur, 2 injections for the first 5 days. These two medications help me to produce more eggs than normal. When a woman ovulates one egg is released. But by taking these medications they are hoping that I will produce more than one egg. These injections are not bad. I was really nervous about doing IVF because of all the injections. But with the subcutaneous injections they go into the belly and the needle is only a 1/2 inch long. I still had to have Nathan give me the injections though :) I also start baby aspirin that works as a blood thinner to prevent a miscarriage.

April 16
Ultrasound and blood draw, with the blood draw they check my estradiol and LH. These numbers will tell us how close I am to ovulating. At this ultrasound we see that I have about 20 follicles (eggs). To prevent me from ovulating my doctor puts me on a third injections called ganirelix.

April 18
Ultrasound and blood draw. Everything is still looking good, still have about 20 follicles ripening. I continue the injections.

April 20
Last ultrasound and blood draw before the retrieval. Numbers and everything are still looking good. Today I do not take the gonal-f or menopur. I continue the ganirelix. I add a lupron injection that night. The lupron is what triggers ovulations. It has to be done in a 5 minute window at 10:30 PM.

April 21
The next lupon injection has to be given 12 hours from the last one, so at 10:30 AM. Nathan is at work and cannot give me the injection so I have to give myself this one and it has to be done in that 5 minute window. I remember calling Nathan freaking out and thinking I couldn't do it. It had to be done in that short time window or the process would be ruined. Nathan reminded me why we are doing this and that it will be worth it. I finally sucked it up and gave myself the injection. I was so proud of myself!

April 22
RETRIEVAL! This is where the process really blows my mind. I am not allowed to eat or drink that morning. I go in and meet with the doctor and nurse and go over what is going to happen. Nathan came along for support (and because I am not allowed to drive with the drugs I'll be on). They put some kind of drug that knocks me out into my IV (I can't remember which drug it was). I am out for about a half hour. During that half hour the doctor goes into me down below with a large needle and retrieves all the eggs from my ovaries. Thank goodness I was knocked out, I don't think anyone would like a big ol needle stuck in down there. Of the 20 follicles the doctor was able to retrieve 18 eggs. I remember waking up from the procedure and feeling pretty woozy. I was put on bed rest for 3 days. My ovaries were quite enlarged it hurt to sit or walk around. Now it's the waiting game. We wait to see how many of the eggs will be fertilized. We could do a 3 day transfer or a 5 day transfer. If the embryos are still looking good at 3 days we will do a 5 day transfer. But if the embryos start fracturing or not looking great then we will do a 3 day transfer.

April 25
Today would be a 3 day transfer if we end up doing it. I wait for a call from the embryologist to hear how many of our eggs fertilized. We get the call and the embryologist say our embryos are looking great. Of the 18 eggs retrieved, 13 were mature. Of the 13 mature 8 were fertilized. And of the 8 fertilized 5 of them were looking awesome. I felt really good about those numbers. We knew we wanted to transfer two embryos and it would be awesome if we had an extra 3 to freeze for future transfers. We schedule a day 5 transfer.

April 27
We meet with the doctor before the transfer and find out that of the 5 embryos that were looking good 2 days ago that only 3 of them are still looking good. We decide to transfer 2 of them and freeze the other. For the transfer you have to have a completely full bladder. I am talking to full that you feel like you are going to pee your pants, and that is exactly how I felt. Not only will you have a full bladder but you will have a technician pushing down on your bladder with an ultrasound probe. Then there is the doctor who is going up down there with a catheter that contains my two precious embryos. The ultrasound is to make sure that the catheter is going exactly where in needs to go to make sure the embryos are put exactly where then need to be. Then after he has injected the embryos I have to sit there for another 15 minutes, and as soon as those 15 minutes were up I ran to the bathroom.  I had never had to pee so badly in my life. Now the REAL waiting game begins.

My twins, isn't it crazy that I have a picture of my babies as cells??!

Now I start the progesterone, this is the injection I was fearing the most. An 1 1/2 in needle that has to go into my back hip every day from weeks 2-10. But like I've said before, every injection was worth it!

 I easily filled up one of these sharps needle dispose containers.
To find out the rest of the story click here!


  1. WOW. I knew there were injections but I had no idea it was that many/lasted that long! You are brave and amazing! wow.

  2. Oh my gosh that is such a crazy and and wonderful process! I am so happy for you Ali! And after all of that (including injections I could NEVER handle) you DEFINITELY deserve those adorable babies coming your way! Love you!