Yesterday's IVF Orientation was a whirlwind. The first thing they did was a baseline ultrasound on my uterus and ovaries. My uterus lining was thin, but my doctor (another Dr. T, not Dr. T the acupuncurist) said that was to be expected at this time in my cycle. She also said they look at the surface of the uterus at this time for polyps or uneven texture; my uterus showed a smooth surface. Noteably, yesterday was CD11 and I noticed some breakthrough spotting. Apparently this can happen on your first cycle of birth control pills.
Then, she looked at my ovaries. She said they looked good and saw approximately 13 antral follicles on my right ovary and 11 antral follicles on my left ovary. Apparently the average for my age is 10-15 on each side so I am right on track. I actually expected more follicles, due to the PCOS, but I'm not complaining.
Afterwards, I was escorted by Nurse D (who by the way is the best nurse ever) into a small meeting room where she would go over the procedure and answer my billions of questions. Turns out that Nurse D and I share the same birthday! I liked her right off. First she walked me through what would happen in the IVF, step by step. Then, we went over an estimated calendar of dates. We talked about the medications, and what might be covered by my private insurance. She showed me how to notify the nursing staff of my daily status while doing the stims, and lastly we went over the consent forms and other legal stuff.
One issue that came up was that Dr. T believes our chances of success are good enough that we should only transfer back one embryo, and she noted this in our chart. D and I want to transfer back two, because not only does that give us a better success rate, but also, we'd love twins. Dr. T wasn't available to discuss this in detail so I sent her an email. I'll let you know how she responds.
Then, it came time for the "practice" injection. I knew it was coming and I wasn't scared (much). I was even a little excited if you can believe it. Nurse D showed me how to draw up the medication, mix it in the syringe, put on the needle, etc. I pinched a bit of belly skin and braced myself. And then I just started laughing uncontrollably. You know how you have a mental barrier against inflicting pain on yourself? You know how you can't really hit or slap yourself with any kind of serious force? Well that feeling made it really hard for me to put that needle in. It was quite funny to me (hence the laughing), how mentally I wanted to do it but physically there was a such a strong, almost magnetic force stopping me. I must have had that skin pinched for close to 10 minutes and when I finally got the needle in I think I was so numb from the pinching that I didn't even feel it! It was easy. The needle was so small (not much bigger than an acupuncture needle) that I barely felt it. I can definitely do this!
I asked Nurse D to level with me. I said I wanted her to tell me what kind of chances she thought we have of success, knowing what she knows about our case. She said "I don't sugar-coat things. I would never tell someone that they have a great chance of success when they don't - I think it's mean. You have a great chance. Of course there are no guarantees in anything, but we feel that you and D have the odds well in your favour and Dr. T and I are really cheering for you guys." That made me feel great. I really believed that she was telling the truth. She also said, "I think you have to go into this process with optimism and confidence." And that, my friends, is just what I'm going to try to do.
OK so my calendar looks something like this:
-Last birth control pill and start nasal spray on November 11
[Update: Nasal spray will start on November 4]
-Expect period sometime around November 11-18
-The fun begins shortly thereafter
The timing of everything depends entirely on 1) how fast my period begins after the birth control pills are stopped and 2) how long it takes my ovaries to stimulate to the desired amount/size.
We figured out that the earliest possible date for egg retrieval would be November 25, and the latest possible date would be December 4. So basically, it will happen sometime in this window; and the transfer would be either 3 or 5 days after the egg retrieval (fingers crossed for 5!!).
I'm still reeling from the experience. I have so much to do to get ready and it really is coming up fast. I learned so much yesterday, but probably the biggest thing I took away from the experience was that it's REAL and it's HAPPENING.