So, back to the shots and pills. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the IVF fertility process, you're about to be initiated. ***WARNING*** If you're afraid of needles, then please skip on to the next post.
Today, we are exactly eight weeks and one day into our triplet pregnancy. If you go back nine weeks, that's when the IVF magic began. I had to give Meg shots of a drug called Lupron each morning for the six days leading up to the beginning of her menstrual cycle. After a "Lupron evaluation," we had to change our daily shot routine to include Gonal F and Menopur. This became our nightly routine--two shots before bedtime, alternating sides of her stomach every other night. The Gonal F usually went pretty smoothly, but the Menopur BURNED, or so I'm told.
The purpose of all these shots was to make Meg's ovaries produce more eggs than they normally do--which is usually one per month guys. At this point, Meg had to go in for daily monitoring appointments each morning before work so they could measure the size of her follicles (which hold the eggs). Once they reached their ideal size, I had to give Meg an enormous intramuscular "trigger" shot on her backside in the middle of the night. The "trigger" shot does exactly as it sounds by letting her ovaries know that it's time to release all of the eggs she's worked so hard produce.
Exactly 36 hours later, the egg retrieval is scheduled. It's considered minor surgery and, as such, they knocked Meg out for the procedure. Below, is a shot of our anesthesiologist hooking Meg up to an IV.
They retrieve the eggs by inserting a needle, not through her stomach, into both ovaries right at the time when they're releasing the eggs where, normally, one egg would be getting ready to go on its first and only date with the sperm that beat out the other 20 million contenders.
I can almost imagine it now...an egg enters the fallopian tube on one end, hoping to meet its mate in a warm embrace as it travels towards the uterus. But, instead, it finds itself surrounded by other competitive eggs and (insert sucking sound here) they're all suddenly swallowed up into a syringe and placed in a petri dish with only the top 10% of the most deserving sperm. With all of the eggs and all of the sperm in one place, I imagine a scene occurring, probably similar to one-minute dating...
"So, what do you do for a living?" Next.
Or, "How much money do you make? Next.
Or, more importantly, "Do you see children in your future? BINGO!
For us, we began with 14 eggs. Only 10 fertilized. After five days, we had four "grade A" embryos. Since this was our second round with IVF, it was suggested that we try with two embryos (the first time, we did one). The other two are being Cryo-preserved. With two embryos, SGFC's statistics told us that we had a 60% chance of getting pregnant, a 43% chance of having twins, and 1% chance of having triplets. By now, you know that we Won the Lottery, Hit the Jackpot, etc.
We officially found out that Meg was pregnant on Tuesday, 3/1/11, and went in for her first ultrasound on Wednesday, 3/16/11, a day that I will never forget. Here's Meg patiently waiting for the ultrasound magic wand.
Part of the fun of actually being pregnant includes more shots and pills. In Meg's case, it's shots of Progesterone (pic below) and a non-oral pill, Endometrin. If you're interested in understanding why you need extra Progesterone when you're already pregnant, click here.
The area gets cleaned with an alcohol swab and then the Progesterone gets injected with this needle.
Honestly, it's not that bad. Take a look at Meg's face, below. I promise that she's hiding from the flash, not the pain of the needle.
Finally, after the price of admission into Club IVF, you get to have your picture taken by your photographically-obsessed husband for the next seven months, while be asked to hold up a sign that shows how uncomfortable you must be becoming with each passing week. Maybe it's just me, but this is one sexy pregnant lady!