We’re having an IVF baby! We turned to IVF because we were dealing with something called unknown secondary infertility. Meaning, our reproductive endocrinologists (RE) were unable to identify the cause of us 1) getting pregnant and not being able to carry to term 2) not getting pregnant at all – both after having a successful full-term pregnancy. I’m sharing my IVF Process that led to us getting our rainbow baby.
Related: I’m excited to Share Amazing News with You on my 35th Birthday
Related: What I did to Ensure I had a Successful IVF Cycle
First, Birth Control
Our IVF process began in January. IVF cycles begin on the first day of your period. I was placed on birth control from January 31, 2019, through February 11, 2019. This was done to “calm” my ovaries. During this time, there was very little monitoring at the doctor’s office. This meant I didn’t have to wake up early and head to the doctor as I would later do when placed on injectable follicle stimulators (stims). I was on birth control (Alyacen) for a total of 12 days before beginning stims, on February 15, 2019.
Calm Ovaries Mean Stimming Can Begin
The day after my last birth control pill, I began the injectable medications. This went on for 10 days before “triggering” to prepare for the retrieval of my eggs. My egg retrieval took place 36-hours after triggering.
I was prescribed follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) to help my ovaries produce more eggs than what is produced during a normal cycle. The FSH injectable medications included Follistim 900 and Menopur. For the first six (6) days of my IVF cycle, I had to self-administer 225 units of Follistim along with 150 IUs of Menopur. Both were injected subcutaneously into my abdomen. I find these to be the easiest injections to do myself. My husband is squeamish so he didn’t assist with any injections.
On days 7 and 8 of “stimming”, my RE increased my dosage of Menopur from 150 IUs to 225 IUs, while the dosage of Follistim remained the same, and she also added 0.25 mg of Ganirelix into the mix as well. The Ganirelix was injected twice a day. On day 9, my RE again increased my dosage of Menopur from 225 IUs to 300 IUS. My Follistim and Ganirelix dosages remained the same. Day 9 was also my last day of FSH medications, and then I would administer my last dosage of Ganirelix on day 10. Day 11 was the day I finally administered my “trigger” shots. My triggers included a combination of HCG (Pregnyl) and Lupron. The Lupron was given to decrease my chances of developing OHSS as well as improve egg quality.
Below is my IVF Stimulation Cycle Calendar which can give you a better idea of the injectable medications used during my IVF cycle.
Egg Retrieval Day
On day 12, my eggs were retrieved. I was placed under general anesthesia to allow my doctor to abstract the eggs produced during my IVF cycle. My doctor was able to retrieve 25 eggs; 24 (96%) of them were mature, and 22 (88%) fertilized. Of the eggs, fertilized, 50% (11/22) of them made it to the day 5 embryo stage. Allowing me to have 11 embryos frozen. Since I developed a mild case of OHSS, I was unable to do a fresh embryo transfer as planned. Instead, I had to wait until everything calmed down, wait for my period to begin again, and then do a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). I must admit, I was a bit bummed, but according to my RE and research, FETs have higher pregnancy and live birth success rates. She was right! Now, we are expecting our rainbow baby.
Related: I Would Do It Again! My Unmedicated Birth Story
Related Blog Posts on my IVF Process Blog Posts
- Making Baby #2: My Post-Egg Retrieval Experience; Survival Tips
- Making Baby #2: My Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle Protocol
- Making Baby #2: My Frozen Embryo Transfer Experience