I had my IVF class on Saturday at my clinic. There were six other couples/women there. All I have to say is that I am so grateful that I follow my blogs and read my Facebook IVF groups because I almost could have taught that class.
The instructor was awesome and really engaging, but she is a former fertility nurse and now works in neurosurgery at the hospital affiliated with the clinic (we’re at a university). So her information was out of date. She did undergo IVF herself (unsuccessfully) in the ’90s, however, and had some really interesting stories about how things used to be done.
There was another woman there who seemed to know her stuff and really kept pushing for more talk on OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) and what symptoms to look for, what causes it, how does the clinic prevent and address it, what is the rate of OHSS at the clinic, etc. It got kind of derailed and awkward.
One of the couples there seemed like they didn’t know much at all about what they were in for, which maybe is the normal experience, I don’t know. I am a hyper-researcher and planner, so even if I hadn’t needed to wait five months before starting IVF, I think I’d have been cramming to learn what I could before my cycle. It really makes me wonder how people did this before the internet. I mean seriously. If I were diagnosed with DOR back in the ’90s, I guess I’d be at the library taking out medical books and reading studies on microfiche. But my greatest form of education has been through talking to other women and hearing their IVF cycle experiences.
I did learn that my clinic does not recommend any bed rest after transfer and tosses you out ten minutes after they do it, so that’s interesting to know. She talked about what different meds were for and what protocol uses what, and when she told me I’d be using Lupron in my luteal phase (wrong), I questioned that and she realized I was the only one on her sheet with no protocol identified. Then she said my Lupron must be for a trigger (also wrong.) Cue my panic.
Let me rewind. On Thursday I picked up my meds, found there was no Estrace and the meds didn’t look like an antagonist protocol. I emailed my nurse and doctor asking about this and the nurse said, “Oh Betty, I thought the doctor ordered the Estrace for you already. I’ll order it right now.” So I got it on Friday when I needed to start taking it on Saturday.
So now it was Saturday and I am seven days away from my cycle start and I have no idea what I’m doing. In all my online IVF groups, the women doing IVF get calendars and protocols and plans for what to do. I don’t know if I am supposed to take Lupron on CD 2 or do I get scanned first? Is Lupron twice a day? WTF is going on?
Finally yesterday, on CD 23, I got verbal confirmation of my protocol and the plans for this cycle. The nurse told me it’s a micro dose Lupron flare protocol with estrogen priming, which is what I pieced together, but I wanted to be able to set up some kind of calendar of sorts, even if it has to change as we go. She said it doesn’t matter when I start the Lupron and I will be told when to start after my baseline scan and then I will start the Follistim after that. Then retrieval will be 12-14 days after I start the meds (but did she mean Lupron or Follistim?)
This leaves me with a big question mark as to when my husband and I should request time off of work so we’ll just play it by ear as much as we can. I just wish I had a written plan from my clinic.
So that leaves us here, with day 4 of estrogen priming, feeling insanely positive like, “of course this will work!!! Yes!! I am filled with healthy eggs ready to grow!!” And by work, I mean get to retrieval. I just want my follicles to grow so we can retrieve some eggs and try. I know the bar isn’t set very high for my definition of success right now, but after the two IUIs I had this year, I’m willing to take baby steps.
I remember when I had my very first baseline scan, I was like, “Okay fingers crossed I have more than ten antral follicles!” Hah. Hahahahahaha. I had two.