Jul 3, 2011

Side Effects and Timing

Every medication and drug has a long list of side effects. Even common drugs like Tylenol have a list of side effects. So you know fertility drugs are going to have an even longer list and more intense side effects if Tylenol has a long list. I rarely get any side effects from drugs or medications, but these fertility pills and shots were a different story. At first the Femara just caused hot flashes and night sweats. Day two brought on severe back pain only on one side. It was almost unbearable. Tylenol just dulled the pain. Then came pain on the other side of my back, leg and arm pain, headache, more hot flashes, night sweats, joint and muscle pain, sleeplessness, tiredness, and a few others I'll leave off here. And the last night of the pills I had to add a shot of Follistim. I thought it was going to be a doozy of a night of side effects, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Just really tired. And over the course of the three days of shots it wasn't bad except sudden jarring pain in the abdomen that would go away. So over all not too bad for side effects. Although a few times I was wondering what the heck I was doing to my body. Thank goodness I didn't have any of the "call the doctor right away" rare side effects. Those are actually kind of scary such as numbness of arm or leg, one sided weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting to name a few.

So the timing of my cycle proved to be interesting also. The ultrasound to see if my eggs were ready for the Ovidrel shot so they can release ended up being on Sunday, July 3rd which meant the IUI might be on Monday, July 4th. If the eggs were ready, we would need to have the frozen sample for the IUI, but we wouldn't know that until Sunday. And we didn't realize all of these timing issues until Friday, July 1st. So I rushed to call the cryobank to find out when and if they were open over the holiday weekend. Not only were they not going to be open on July 4th but they are never open on weekends. And they usually need 24 hours to get a frozen sample ready for pick-up. I was calling them on the day I needed pick up late in the morning. But they made it happen and I picked up the liquid nitrogen canister filled frozen sample on Friday afternoon. It's good until next Friday in the event we don't use it on Monday after all, we would have a few more days depending on my eggs and hormone levels.

Timing can be a tricky deal when it comes to eggs and hormones and insemination. This morning we went for the ultrasound. And not only were we pleasantly surprised but Dr. K was also really excited to see I had quite a few mature eggs. There were two eggs on the right side (the tried and true, always dependable side) which were 16.9mm and 16.3mm. And the left side had a very mature egg at 17.8mm. They like the eggs to be at least 17mm in size. And my uterine lining aka endometrium was 9.1mm thick which was way above where they like it to be. He said it was prime makings for fertilization and implantation. But we had to go have lab tests done to see if my estrogen and progesterone levels were high enough. So we drove up to St. David's Main Hospital north of downtown Austin to give some blood. If the levels were good, the plan was for Roger to give me the Ovidrel shot tonight after midnight to give the eggs a little more time to grow. They grow about 2mm a day. Then we would do the IUI Tuesday morning. Which turned out to be good since it wouldn't alter our 4th of July plans with family.

But Dr. K just called us and told us my estrogen levels were really low. They would like them to be near 400 or higher since there are three mature eggs about 150 each. But it was at 125. The progesterone was good. So the new plan now is to do one more shot of Follistim tonight then have another ultrasound and blood tests tomorrow morning at 10:15am. If the estrogen is higher we'll do the IUI Wednesday morning. If it's really high, there's a better chance for all three eggs. If it's just slightly higher that means there's only a chance for one egg. But we'll do the IUI anyway and see if fertilization and implantation occurs. If it doesn't happen this cycle then we'll know a little more information for next time. And my next cycle should be around the week when the chemo drugs will be out of Roger's system.

Tomorrow's ultrasound and blood tests will most likely affect all our plans for Independence Day, but we were prepared for them to get messed up anyway. And it would be worth it if we got pregnant. So any prayers for test results and timing would be awesome. Thanks so much! ~ Holly

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