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Starting My IVF Cycle, and Beginning the Rest of Our Lives

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

After three years, multiple IVF cycles, a devastating miscarriage, and countless setbacks …. Aela’s road to motherhood has been anything but easy. Follow her story on Babble and don’t miss the latest chapter in her journey below.

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I’m so hesitant to write this, because I don’t want to “jinx” anything — but I’m on Day 12 of my IVF cycle, and everything has been perfect so far! That’s right. Perfect.

I take my trigger shot this evening, and my egg retrieval procedure is scheduled for 36 hours afterward.

The protocol for my fertility medications has been easy to follow, and mostly side-effect free. In fact, the most difficult aspect has been the constant appointments for blood work and ultrasounds. Since I live on an island that doesn’t have a fertility center on it, these appointments require me to take a 45-minute ferry boat, then a 50-minute drive to the satellite clinic. But, with everything else going so well, I’m feeling pretty lucky that this is the “worst” of it.

I started taking Follistim and Menopur on Day 2, saw 29 follicles at my ultrasound on Day 6 (which also happened to be my 37th birthday, so I was super excited to get such great news, what with my advanced maternal age, and all).

My reproductive endocrinologist added Cetrotide into my fertility cocktail on Day 8. Those injections bruised my stomach, but it’s not so bad.

Other than that, my only other side effects have been mild headaches, increased tiredness, and some bloating. I’ve been really lucky that the meds haven’t affected my moods much — definitely not like that one cycle that included Lupron; that was awful, and I swore off Lupron after that. But I did agree to use Lupron in this cycle as my trigger shot. Because I suffered from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) at my last IVF cycle, using Lupron as my trigger for this cycle should help prevent OHSS. And I feel fine about taking just one shot of it.

At my ultrasound appointment today, I had 21 follicles that were “the right size” for my egg retrieval. There’s been a good amount of pressure in my lower abdomen, and today I got to see why: My ovaries were touching! They are both so large from all the follicles, that they’re actually touching each other. It was wild to see.

Of those 21, we’ll be lucky if we get a dozen eggs that fertilize. We’ve decided to transfer just one this time. Since no one was ever able to explain why I lost my twins at 17 weeks when my water broke, we decided it’s better to play it safe and try not to get pregnant with twins again.

Within five to seven days from now, I’ll have an “embaby” inside of me that — God and science willing — will attach to my nicely thickened uterine lining. And I’ll finally be pregnant.

Our dream of starting a family will finally be coming true.

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