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Thursday, July 7, 2011

A day in the life of a woman undergoing IVF treatment (a glimpse into why IF treatment makes women crazy)

Lying in bed last night I was thinking about what a crazy day I had yesterday and what a crazy process IVF treatment is. So I thought I'd recap it here both because I find it hilarious (we have to laugh about it or go insane, right?!?) and to paint a picture for those of you who have either not done IVF treatment (you lucky dogs you!) and those of you about to (to have some sense of what to expect).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011:
9:00AM: arrive at imagining center for 9:15 appt for transvaginal ultrasound to measure uterine lining. Am informed that in addition to transvaginal u/s, they will also measure my uterine using a pelvic u/s so I need to have a full bladder. Which I don't have. So I need to sit in the waiting room chucking water until I feel as though I really need to pee.

10:00AM: After chugging water (luckily I brought my Kindle with me and am totally addicted to the Hunger Games series so I had some entertainment. Also luckily I cancelled my morning meetings just in case the appointments didn't go smoothly--because I've learned that things related to IVF treatment rarely go smoothly), my bladder is sufficiently full for the pelvic u/s. During which the ultrasound tech asks "has anyone ever told you you have fibroids?". Fibroids?!? What?!? Something else wrong with me?!? Is this what has contributed to my IF? And more importantly, will it affect FET/implantation/pregnancy/birth?!?!? I calmly ask "Could they be new -- from all the meds I'm on?". No. There's evidence of calcification which suggests they've been there awhile. So I'm going to assume that the many many doc's that have now seen the inside of my uterus all think these little fibroids have nothing to do with anything or I'd have heard about them by now. Because everyone and their brother who's ever seen my uterus comments on how my uterus is retroverted. So surely someone would have mentioned these little fibriods if important right? At least that's what I tell my self so I don't totally freak out on this poor tech.

Time for the transvaginal u/s. And I'll warn you now -- ***TMI ALERT***
To do one of these, they stick what looks like a very large dildo into your whoo-haa. And I mean very large. Not super comfortable. Whenever I've had them done by an RE, they lube that baby up so that it's dripping wet to help with insertion. But I've decided to go to an imaging lab, not an RE's office becasue my local RE is very cold to me now that I've left him for CCRM. And the imagining lab guy is very nice, has experience with IF treatment etc. But what the imagining center doesn't have is lube. So I get to insert that big bad dildo-like thing in me totally dry. Fun times.

As I posted yesterday, the tech informs me that my uterine lining looks good. He sees no reason to not proceed with the FET next Wed.

10:45AM: I arrive at LapCorp for blood work. Thanks to the Humger Games, I'm entertained while I wait. And again thankful I cancelled my morning meetings, as my morning is quickly flying by.
I'm once again stuck with something. This time it's a needle in the arm. And although she wears a glove on the hand holding the needle, she doesn't the other one. She swabs my inner elbow with alcohol to disinfect. Then taps my vein with THE UN-GLOVED HAND! I had someone do this to me last year for IV treatment stuff and ended up with a nasty infection. So now I'm worried that I'm going to get another infection that could affect the embryo's ability to implant. Thank you very much LapCorp. If you're going to touch a sterile surface, WEAR GLOVES. What's wrong with these people?!?

11:30AM: Back home. I leave a voicemail for my CCRM nurse to confirm that I was supposed to change my estrogen patches. It wasn't on the calendar and every other day I need to change them is on the calendar. I assume I'm supposed to because I change them every other day. This is one of those days, but it's not listed. So I call -- better safe than sorry. But we can't reach our nurses directly so we have to leave a message then wait for them to call back.

Feeling very bloated and nauseaus. So I eat lunch and relax some waiting for the nausea to go away. It doesn't. And I can't get any work done. So since my day is half over anyway, I declare a day off from work. One of the perks of my job. So I finish the first book of the Hunger Games series and download the second book. Seriously. Addicted to this series.

My nurse calls me back. Yes I was supposed to change my patches.

My nurse calls again. She informs me she's already received my blood work which is amazingly fast and impressive. That's definitely one point for LabCorp! The bad news, as posted yesterday, low estrogen so I'll probably need to start taking estrace. Either vaginally or orally she'll have to check with Dr. S to find out which. She also informs me that something else missing from my calendar is that I'll need to get my progesterone tested (which means another blood draw) on 7/11.

5:55PM: My nurse calls again. They got the u/s results (which the u/s guy told me they wouldn't get for 24 hours, so Go Imaging Center!). My lining is 8. They like it over 8 so I'm right on the cusp. Dr. S is prescribing estrace -- vaginally. She'll call the Rx into my local Walgreens.

6:00PM-ish: I get a call from Freedom Fertility Pharmacy. My nurse called in my Rx for the endrometrin I'll need to start taking Friday. The first time she called it in my insurance denied it. But they were wrong to. So I asked my nurse to call it in again hoping that with the new plan year starting this month that my insurance would cover it as they are supposed to. Freedom was calling to confirm the order, schedule the delivery (because someone has to sign for it. They won't leave endometrin because it'll melt if left outside), and warn me my insurance may not cover it since they denied it last time. it's scheduled to be delivered Friday. But I have a meeting Friday so I can't guarantee I'll be home when it comes. And I don't want it delivered to my work because I don't want everyone at work to know I'm undergoing IF treatment. So it needs to go to DH's work.

DH is hungry. The thought of cooking makes me even more nauseous. So we order me jalapeno cheese bread from nearby pizza joint as that's the only thing that doesn't make me want to puke. DH enjoys a calzone.

I call Walgreens to check status of my Rx. They have no record of having received it. They ask me to call back as it's possible CCRM left the Rx on their voicemail which they haven't checked in a while.

8:45PM: Call Walgreens back. Turns out they are confused about the Rx because the dose suggests oral pill but the instructions are to take vaginally. They called CCRM but, shockingly (she says sarcastically, because what doctor's office in the world is open this late) they are closed for the day. So they won't fill the Rx until they speak to CCRM. I get super upset because I'd like to start working on increasing my estradoil ASAP and can't believe the stupid pharmacy didn't check their voicemail until I called them to make them do it so they checked too late to call CCRM with any questions about the Rx. So I have a big long frustrated cry. Luckily DH is there and super supportive and holds me while I cry it out.
Also luckily -- I have estrace at home. I have it from my terminated IVF back in November. I know the dose is the same from my conversation with the Walgreens woman. I check with Dr. Google that the little blue pills can be inserted vaginally (because they seriously are just tablet-type pills. They don't look like something that'll dissolve in your whoo-haa). Dr. Google confirms that they can be taken either orally or vaginally. Awesome. I have my pills. I don't need stupid Walgreens. I can take care of this myself.

The nausea is even worse, probably worsened by my emotional outburst over Walgreens' stupidity. I run to the bathroom and let's just say there was some unpleasantness that ensued.

Time for my lupron shot. DH administers into my lower abdomen. This is the third time something's been inserted into me today (u/s dildo, blood draw needle, lupron needle).

11:00PM: The unpleasantness has stopped and we're exhausted. We head to bedroom. I balance the little blue pill on my finger and stick it as far up my whoo-haa as I can. I'll now get to start doing this 2x per day -- once at night and once in the morning. Awesome.

Thus endeth yet another day of IVF treatment.


  1. Goodness! That's what I have to look forward to? It is so nervewracking to go through IVF. I hope that today was much less stressful!

  2. Sadly yes TurtleMama -- hold on tight -- you're in for a bumpy ride! Although hopefully the amount we have to struggle for our babies will make them all the more precious to us when we finally have them :)

  3. Love it--this is so realistic! I also hate, hate the dildo cam and if someone wanted to put that in me dry--they might lose a hand. Fibroids??? Why wouldn't anyone mention this to you. I would ask the doc at CCRM.

    You're almost there..keep strong.

  4. Oh, and I also love the hunger games series. Can't wait for the movies.

  5. Yeah, seriously w/ the fibriods? (rolling eyes)

    That post reminds me how easy it is to go bat crazy during all of that crap. Getting pregnant can very easily be a full time job!

    Hang in there!