Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still on track

CD 11 -- had another monitoring appointment (ultrasound + bloodwork) this morning.

Still tracking 5 follicles. Three in a row are 14.7, 13.5 and 13. Another one on that side is around 10. The other side has a 12. So still pretty close in size, which is good -- the 10 may not keep up, but it could potentially have an egg inside at this point, so we'll keep our fingers crossed. There may be another small one tucked in there, but couldn't tell for sure.

Lining is in good shape at 10.6.

Estradiol is 848, LH is 4.0 and progesterone is 0.2. I took my first Ganirelix this morning and will continue with stims through Monday night. Tuesday morning I go in for another appointment which will determine if I take stims in the morning, but the trigger shot will definitely be Tuesday night, for a Thursday retrieval.

Slept horribly last night. None of my medications are supposed to cause that (and only the Parlodel which treats the elevated prolactin is new to this cycle). So I'm thinking I'll use Tylenol PM tonight to make sure I get some rest.

Definitely feeling somewhat swollen in my abdomen. I can't imagine (and will never know) what it feels like when people have 25-30 follicles growing like this.

Really glad we continue to be on track, and no follicles have disappeared. Makes for a lot of similar blog posts, but I'll take that. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Steady as she goes

CD 9 according to my clinic, second monitoring appointment.

All five follies are still there, 3 are lined up in a neat row, measuring 11mm each. There's another one at 9mm on that side. On the other side, the one follicle is 10mm. So they're still tightly clustered sizewise, which gives us a good chance of growing them together.

Lining is up to 9.2. It's a little higher than usual for me at this point, but no complaints.

My bloodwork after the last monitoring appointment showed estradiol at 130, progesterone at 0.1, and LH at <1, but my prolactin was slightly elevated at 31. So now I'm on a pill -- half a pill is inserted vaginally at bedtime each night. Joy!

My TH1:TH2 came back normal as well! Despite this, and the normal NK levels, my doc is still recommending doing an Intralipid infusion with egg retrieval, and then again after a positive beta. He feels that the immune system naturally tries to go back to its "normal" level (in my case, normal = elevated) and he'd like to stay ahead of it instead of trying to play catch up.

My bloodwork today came back great. Estradiol is at 440-something, progesterone is 0.2, LH is 2-something.

Next monitoring appointment is Sunday morning. They want me to bring my Ganirelix, since there's some chance I'll take it that morning (and then Monday and Tuesday mornings). Not sure if they will have me do the hCG trigger the night of the last Ganirelix shot (since those are in the morning), or if it'll be the next day. But we're looking at a Thursday or Friday retrieval.

I'm happy things continue to look good. It's our first time on this protocol, but it does look like my body prefers it to the Lupron (and my emotions definitely prefer it to the Lupron).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Looking good so far

Had my ultrasound this morning. I thought it was CD 8, but they consider the first day of stims CD 2, so according to my clinic it's CD 7. Not that it really matters...

My right ovary shows 4 follicles, all 7mm. My left ovary shows 1 follicle, also 7mm. There might be another one -- couldn't tell for sure. My doc now thinks that maybe there isn't an endometrioma -- that the corpus luteum that's resolving is showing up that way. But he'll aspirate that area at egg retrieval and see if there's blood inside or not. But he wasn't concerned.

So 5 follicles, all measuring 7mm, is quite good for me. Normally I have some that are ahead, and some that are smaller. Of course some could disappear by the next ultrasound, but so far so good.

And in other good news, my NK cell levels came back completely normal. I'll find tomorrow about my TH1:TH2 levels.

Lining, which is never a problem for me (I have to be good at *something*), is about 6.9mm -- normal for this point in the cycle.

I continue with all my meds and go back in on Friday morning. I'll take three days of Ganirelix, which could start Friday, but might start later, then trigger the next day, so the earliest retrieval would be Wednesday November 3.

Overall my meds have been easier to handle (although I had a meltdown last night, feeling stressed and 'in the weeds'). But it's really nice not being on Lupron -- previous cycles I'd end up crying every night before going to sleep. I'm feeling a little swollen, but otherwise no physical side effects.

Here's hoping all the follicles stick around and grow in unison for Friday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

And we're off!

CD3. Just finished my morning shots: 225IU of Gonal F and 75IU of Menopur. (Also taking Cipro and dexamethasone now.)

Ultrasound yesterday was interesting -- the Ganirelix brought on AF so early in my luteal phase that we could see the corpus luteum of my last cycle's follicle still resolving itself (looked like honeycomb). Apparently I also have an endometrioma on that ovary, which I hadn't been told about (I think they noticed it during retrieval last time but forgot to tell me. :P)

I was told that as long as my bloodwork came back showing my progesterone was low, I'd be able to start stims today. I got the call in the mid afternoon with my numbers: estradiol at 193 (expected because of the estrogen priming) and progesterone at 0.2.

I had half of my immunology bloodwork done yesterday, and will go back in on Monday for the TH1:TH2 part (they should have had me in earlier this week to do it all at once but someone goofed.) And Wednesday I'll go in for ultrasound + bloodwork (estradiol, progesterone, LH). That should be an interesting appointment -- I'll have done 5 full days of stims with this new protocol, so it'll be the first time we see how I'm doing on it.

I'm also interested to see what side effects I have with just Gonal F + Menopur. I was on Lupron the other two times we did this, and I know that's what made me weepy every night (poor husband!)

So now we sit and wait (and inject ourself twice daily. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wish it were all that easy

And not a day after I post about waiting for AF, she showed up this morning. Which if my ovulation timing was right gives me a record short luteal phase of... 5-6 days? Weird. I'm normally a 12 day girl. Maybe Ganirelix + estrogen does do something to make my period come more quickly. Will have to ask my doc. Anyone have experience with that combo for an estrogen priming cycle?

At any rate, I'm going in tomorrow for bloodwork and a Day 2 ultrasound and I'll get my cycle calendar.

I wish this would all be so easy...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I'm just waiting for AF to show. Started my estrogen on Saturday, did my 3 shots of Ganirelix (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday), and now we wait for AF.

Based on the cycle calendar my clinic had sent, it looked like I could expect AF on Thursday the 20th. However, when I talked with the nurse, I realized that wasn't based on anything other than a typical 28 day cycle. (I figured this out when I asked how the estrogen + Ganirelix makes my period start, and they said it didn't.... *sigh*) They know I have a long luteal phase -- in fact they asked me to call on Day 15 if I hadn't had an LH surge (ha!).

I ended up ovulating around October 15/16 (Day 21/22). So I can really expect AF around October 27. But then we start the Gonal-F + Menopur.

I'm hopeful that the estrogen priming will make a difference. I do think the Lupron (probably aided by the Menopur) oversuppressed me, so this should have a much better chance of giving me more eggs to work with.

Ganirelix, by the way, is pretty easy. The medication didn't sting, and there are few side effects. I do get head aches after taking it, but only the first day's was bad.

It's been a weird cycle. Being told "do NOT get pregnant" always feels topsy-turvy. And somehow the IVF cycle still feels far away, even though I'll be going in for a Day 2 ultrasound and bloodwork in the next 10 days.

I hate the turnaround time between [failed cycles | miscarriages | surgery recovery times | etc.] It would be easier if you could just do IVF cycle after IVF cycle without recovery cycles in between. Exhausting, but you'd learn so much faster what works. (I know there are lots of physical reasons why resting cycles are important, I'm just impatient. :)

So, no news, really, just tapping my fingers over here waiting to get things started.