Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fertility Update - Follistim, Needles, and Happy Side Effects

Are you ready for more girl words? WARNING WARNING! You are about to enter a female zone. If you need to get all caught up, here is my first post about our family growth and fertility issues. Go ahead...I'll wait...

Are you back now?

Okay, so I got my period on January 30th. On day 3 of my period I went in for an ultrasound, where my doctor took measurements of my ovaries (I had a big cyst on my left one) and pointed out eggs that were naturally forming and maturing, even though they never release and form cysts :( I also got blood work done, where they are monitoring my estrogen and follicle stimulating hormone.

This is the pen. The needles twists on to the end (they are in the pink containers) and then the part at the other end twists up to select the dosage.

I then had to sit down for 45 minutes of education on my medication, called Follistim. She showed me how to load my medications into the pen, attach the needles, set the dosage, and inject myself. It is also important to mention that Troy was home with Avery during this whole appointment. I was shown how to remove the needles and put them in the sharps container. It's actually really, really easy to use.

So on friday I started my injections. I was told to do them in the evenings. Because of Troy's schedule, he was asleep from the time I got home from my appointment (around 11) and was SUPPOSED to sleep until about 8.

Now you wouldn't know it because of my obscene amount of earrings, but I am deathly afraid of needles. I hate getting my blood drawn, getting shots, etc. HATE. But I can tolerate it because I'm not PUNCTURING MY OWN SKIN. I thought I could handle the injections because, y'all, those needles are TINY. Like really, really thin and only an inch long.

So, just like nurse Heather showed me, I loaded up the pen with my medication dosage and attached the needle. I twisted the pen cap up to the right dosage and grabbed a hunk of my right saddle bag and counted to three.

NOPE. I tried again. NOPE. I COULD NOT DO IT! I started shaking. And crying. This is ridiculous. I have given my mom her arthritis shots before and I have give PPD/TB tests to my mom also. WHY can I not inject myself?? The answer is this: I do not want to watch my skin dimple in under the pressure of the needle and then pierce my skin. I just can't. I can't. This is coming from the mom who laughed while her daughter got her blood drawn...

So what did I do? I woke up Troy. My needle was loaded and starting to drip. I walked up to him in bed with a loaded needle and no pants on. So awkward. He was like, "ohhhhh yeah." Then he saw the needle in my hand and he was like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?"

He eventually heave-hoed his butt out of bed and followed me downstairs to give me the shot, not without making fun of me first. He got ready to stick me in the hip and was all "ummmm do you need to clean this? Do I spit on it? What's up?" And I was like "OH NOOOOOOOO I HAVE ALCOHOL WIPES!!!"

From the time I loaded my meds in to this point, it had probably been 10 minutes. I'm seriously pathetic. Anyway, Troy gave me the injection and all was fine.

I took the medication at a 150 (no idea what the dose measurement was) friday, saturday, sunday, and monday night. Tuesday morning, I went in for a follow up ultrasound and blood work. My right ovary had about 10 eggs on it and my left had like 4. My doctor said it was totally normal for 1 side to produce more than the other. Nurse Heather said that she would call me later that day with the results of my blood work and let me know what dosage of my meds to take.

I got home and Troy and I took a cycling class. I know, I can't believe it either. I'm enjoying it, shocking me the most of all :)

Which brings me to the next thing. SIDE EFFECTS. I think that this whole "polycystic ovary" thing is royally messing with my hormones. I mean, I know it is...but really... Okay, I've been taking this medication for 4 days. I seriously feel like a new person. I don't want to say my "baseline mood" is awful...but most days, I would say that my mood dial is set to "bitchy" and on good days on "grumpy." I feel so patient, more relaxed, and just more optimistic in general. It makes me think that I live in a constant state of PMS and that somehow, not ovulating every month is an indication of a hormone imbalance that is causing me to be a bitch. I don't want to say that I am using my hormones as an excuse to be a bitch, but in general, the past 5 days have made me feel like a MILLION DOLLARS. Troy and I have talked about it, and it's definitely something that we are going to ask about later. Or at my next appointment. Like if there is a hormone replacement (that's not an antidepressant) that I can take whenever we are done having kids.

ANYWAY...tangent over.

So Nurse Heather called me back for my blood work results and my FSH levels were through the roof. They told me to back my dosage of meds off from 150 to 75. Troy was like "NOOOOOOOOOO, does this mean you're going to be 50% as happy as you've been the past 5 days??"

I have another follow up on friday morning to look at my ovaries, see how many eggs have fully matured (the goal is 3-5 eggs) and then they will tell me when to take the trigger shot (that makes the eggs actually drop).

So you all can keep praying for us.


Thanks for reading!