The Shaky Start of Cycle 17

After having made it through last month, I was ready to put things behind me and move on to our next cycle. It was to be another double IUI cycle, assisted by Letrozole and a trigger shot. My period started, I went in for an ultrasound, and started the letrozole on day 3 – thankful that day 5 fell on a Saturday, so my migraine day would be on a weekend and I wouldn’t need to use a vacation day for the headache. The nurse sent in my prescription for my trigger shot, and advised me I would have two this cycle. She then scheduled me to come back on day 13 for my ultrasound to see if my eggs were ready to trigger.

This made me nervous, since I’ve been ready to trigger anywhere between day 11 and day 14. But I’d asked for an earlier scan the prior two months and had to come back in a second time because I wasn’t quite ready to trigger. So I figured it would be fine. So I went home, started my letrozole, and waited for my shots to arrive.

Let’s talk about the shots for a minute. Previously, I’d been using Novarel. It came as powder in a vial that I had to mix when ready, and Robert (or someone else) needed to inject it into my rear. This is the only trigger shot that I’ve every used. This time, however, I was prescribed Ovidrel, which is a pre-filled syringe that you inject into your stomach. I was excited about this because it meant I could inject myself if I required the shot in the middle of the day, and I didn’t have to mess with mixing the shot. But it was different, and I was curious why. So I intended to ask the nurse about it when I went in for my Day 13 scan.

Now, leading up to the trigger shot, they have you start using your Ovuquick ovulation tests on day 10. The very first time I used these kits was during my clomid challenge test and they came back positive every single day I used them. I believe that this was actually a reaction that I had to the clomid, because my next cycle (back on letrozole) I didn’t have a single positive the entire cycle. Which brings us back to this cycle. I started testing on day 10, knowing it would likely be negative. But by day 11 I was really starting to feel my ovaries, and I suspected that I was probably getting close to ovulation.

Sure enough, I tested on Day 12 and I had a big fat positive. REALLY positive. So positive that the majority of the dye went to the test line, and the reference line was really pale. Knowing that there was no point in stressing over it, I called the clinic to let them know and ask if I should come in for my ultrasound that day. At this point, I will admit that I was a little flustered because we had company and were hosting a get together at our house in a few hours and I was behind on getting dinner in the oven and having everything ready.

Ultimately, the nurse told me to take my shots when I got off the phone and we would be in the next morning for an IUI.

Well, shit. I did not get an ultrasound, so I didn’t know how many eggs I had this cycle. I was on a new trigger shot and didn’t get the chance to ask why they changed. And I had no idea how to administer the shot. Thankfully, the internet exists and other fertility clinics and pharmacies post “how to” videos for giving injections.

However, that left us in the unfortunate situation of having an ideally timed set of IUIs. So after some discussion, Robert and I decided that even though we had company it was probably best to sneak upstairs for an afternoon delight as a precaution. So, up we went. With my new shots, a video on how to give them queued up, and some embarrassment.

I managed to give myself the shots, but it was not the most pleasant thing I’ve ever done. I am pretty confident that I could never become a drug addict. But I got it done. And, I’m a bit relieved, since if we require additional cycles I know that I can administer the shot(s) to myself. Afterwards we participated in a little natural insemination, and had an IUI on Easter Sunday (with 40 million sperm this round).

As for the Ovidrel, I’m definitely having stronger side effects from the medication. My boobs are killing me and I have some really wicked nausea. In addition, I’ve had a relatively upset stomach for the past two days. It’s possible that I may have a mild case of OHSS – but I’m not having any levels of pain that concern me. I’ll mention it to the nurse the next time I’m in the office. I don’t know if my reaction is because I had a higher dose, or from the medication itself. I’m not entirely sure how the dose of Ovidrel vs. the dose of Noravel compare since they are measured in different units and the internet seems to be largely failing me on finding this information. All I know is that I had two shots instead of one.

I am a little disappointed/upset that I didn’t trust my gut and indicate that I felt day 13 was too late. I won’t make that mistake a second time. I really hope that we didn’t blow this cycle by either inseminating too early, because we didn’t do the scan and trusted that the kit didn’t provide a false positive – or by missing the window and triggering at the wrong time. My ovaries definitely hurt yesterday and were sore, which is consistent with my other trigger cycles. But they’ve also been more tender in some of the other cycles as well.

Robert and I intend to go ahead and do a few more afternoon delights over this week, just to be sure we didn’t miss it. But as of right now we are technically into our two week wait. I really hope this cycle isn’t a waste because of timing.

In other (somewhat good) news, my most recent bloodwork from my appointment with the hematologist came back and there are some improvements. My white blood cell counts is just barely high – but significantly down from my stay in the hospital – so hopefully it continues to drop and get back to where it was when I had my February labs done. But, in more exciting news, my High Sensitivity CRP is starting to drop. It went from 17 to 32 back down to 17 (in Feb) and was 12.5 on Friday!

This is exciting because it means that one of two things is potentially happening: the tooth infection has been present for awhile and is the cause of my issues or the Plaquenil that I started back at the end of February is starting to work and is bringing my inflammation down. Either option is positive though, as my inflammation has been suspected of causing complications with my attempts to conceive. So despite the reason that I’m getting better, I’m happy to be finally be seeing some results on this front.

So, I suppose, all things considered things could be worse. I’m not trilled with the way that this cycle started, but I’m also not quite ready to write it off, since it’s quite possible that we caught my ovulation in time. I guess we will find out in two weeks, on May 4th, when I can take a pregnancy test.


One thought on “The Shaky Start of Cycle 17

  1. So, this is a tangent, but here’s a blog I came across. This woman actually tested fertility monitors for 6 months, and she is using them to avoid pregnancy, and so, not exactly what you are doing, however, her comparison of 4 methods of ovulation prediction is thorough.

    Anyway, based on her testing, it looks like this is potentially a useful device, since it seems fairly accurate for prediction.

    Eh, anyway, may or may not help, but I wish you all the best. I’m glad the effects from your infection are subsiding. Be well 🙂

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