We officially received the “green light” today to begin our IVF stimulation medication. I’m so excited to begin and know that if I have more time to research one more thing I’ll officially freak myself out from moving forward. So let’s bring it!
If you recall, this part of the IVF cycle is often referred to as “stimming,” since you are stimulating the ovaries via self-injected fertility hormones to grow and produce multiple follicles (each follicle contains an egg). This part of the process begins on the second day of your menstrual period. The chain of events goes like this:
- Day 1 of your period you call your clinic to let them know your cycle has started.
- Day 2 of your period you go into your clinic for early morning “baseline” blood work and vaginal ultrasound. The results of your baselines will determine the exact dosage of drugs that you will begin that evening.
Since today is “Day 2” for me, I woke up early this morning in the pitch dark and took the 6:15am ferry into Manhattan for my “baselines.” Standing on our windy pier in the complete dark as the city stood silently sleeping before me was a unique experience, as I’m usually fast asleep during these hours.
I arrived and the lobby was full of women, but I was seen very quickly. First I met with the Director of Consents & Financing. She had me sign my consent forms and we reviewed all of the costs that will be incurred over the next few weeks. I was absolutely floored by the way each procedure is broken out as its own individual charge. I assumed that the bloodwork and ultrasounds would be lumped into the overall “IVF cost” and had no idea we’d be charged for every prick of the vein and every vial of blood taken. Again, the costs associated with this undertaking simply take my breath away.
I then proceeded to get my bloodwork done and was lucky enough to get Nurse V. (one of my favorites and the most experienced one, as she’s been there the longest). We talked a bit about the egg retrieval process and going under the “twilight” anesthesia – which is by far my biggest fear about IVF. To my utmost shock, she told me that you’re only out for about 10-15 minutes! Wha? I thought it was more like a 30-minute procedure and 1-hour of being under sedation. But not so! She made me feel so much more relaxed about it. I can do anything for 15minutes!
Then I got my ultrasound done, which I usually think is pretty insignificant, but I was crampy and it was early and the Dr. was a bit rough. I was visibly tensing up on the medical table and she looked at me and said, “Oh honey, you better get ready for A LOT more of these!”
Yeah, well hopefully not with you.
To be fair, all of the doctors and medical staff at my clinic are wonderfully professional, knowledgable, and personable. I just found her to be particularly rough this morning and a bit annoying: She was performing my ultrasound with a student resident who was shadowing her and she commented on how you could see that my colon was “irritated” because I must have drunk some coffee this morning. And, Okay, I DID just drink a small coffee, but seriously? I’m. Lying. Right. Here. The attending resident was like, “hmmm, wow! so interesting!” and they both gazed at the image of my colon on the screen. Just way too much for 730am in the morning!
Anyway, the ultrasound was probably the worst part of my morning, but all in all, everything went smoothly.
I’m lucky to have a pretty flexible work schedule on Friday, so after a few hours in the office I left early to go home and take an afternoon nap. I awoke to my phone ringing and it was the nurse from my clinic who called to give me my baseline stats (all very middle of the road “normal”) and also give us the official GREEN LIGHT to move forward with our first round of IVF! Whoo Hoo! Now bring on the shots – just not the fun kind, unfortunately :-(.