I'll sum it up:
- We did the micro flare Lupron protocol. I started Lupron on CD1 and started stims (Menopur and Bravelle) on CD3. Doc added Ganirelex half dose on CD 6 or 7, as soon as the dominant follicle showed up. I was doing 5 injections a day b/c the Lupron was twice daily throughout the cycle. I could teach Courtney Love a few tricks.
- On CD7 doc was ready to convert to IUI. I was only showing one mature follicle, but I've been to this rodeo a few times and I know my body is slow to respond. I told him we were going to CD10 before deciding to do that.
- On CD10 I had 6 follicles, ranging 26 - 14mm, all on my left ovary. My right ovary just refused to play, but that's no surprise since it's the gimpy one. Doc retracted his IUI idea :)
- CD10 I triggered; CD12 was ER. Lining was 8.4mm. Disappointingly, only 2 eggs were after all mature enough for fertilization. One was too big and full of fluid, the other 3 were just too small.
- Both fertilized naturally. On Day 2, which was yesterday, we had two "average" grade embryos - a 3 and a 4 cell. The average rating is due to some cell fragmentation. Doc and the embryologist wanted to go ahead with a Day 2 transfer (they don't like to keep them to morula or blast when there are none to weed out), so yesterday, Mother's Day, we had our average embryos transferred.
- My attitude. I prayed more and worried less.
- I took up a new hobby (Bikram yoga - LOVED it and will miss doing it).
- I went to acupuncture twice a week all during the cycle and two months prior. My acupuncturist is amazing. I am a believer in acupuncture now, especially for the mental benefits.
- Supplements - prenatal of course, fish oil, iron, melatonin, inositol and pyncogenol
- The protocol itself was very different - micro vs long Lupron, Ganirelex started later, Menopur and Bravelle instead of Menour and Follistim. I took Dex with both cyles, no estrogen with this 2nd cycle, and of course progesterone. *Doc gave me the option of supp instead of PIO!
- The money. OMG the money. We spent $20k on our first IVF, including meds. I am not rounding up. Grand total for IVF #2, including meds - about $1,200. Seriously. And that's b/c I hadn't met my deductible yet, otherwise it would've been even less. I swear to God I have not complained about my <insert expletive here> job once since doing this cycle. Ok maybe once, but I smiled while doing it.
- *We made it to transfer! I read forums that attributed better egg quality to the micro flare Lurpon protocol, and this time egg quality was better. Even though only two were mature, doc said they looked good. The last cycle I had only two mature as well, but they were such poor quality that on Day 2 the embryologist told me the embryos barely rated a 3 on a 3 scale and to expect neither one to transfer. I was so nervous yesterday waiting for the embryologist to tell us how they looked before our transfer my pulse came in at 138. They gave me Valium :)
So the images of growing follicles in my head have been replaced by images of growing embryos. It's going to be a loooong 2ww, but for now I am finding a lot of excitement in the What If. What if this is IT? What if our baby (or babies?!) is in there? What if life as we know it is very soon forever changed? What if the pain and torment of the past two and half years could be culminating into the joy and blessing of the rest of our lives?