The Harvest: Hurry up and wait.

I’m convinced IVF or fertility treatment in general should be renamed hurry up and wait.  Everything is in between hurry up, get to the lab RIGHT NOW or else; or wait for 4-6 weeks.  Just one end of the spectrum or the other. Wait 100 years to start shots, and then you need to TAKE THEM TONIGHT.  Like, stop yelling at me!

I took my shots for exactly two weeks.  They kept upping my dosage of follistim, and kept the menopur too.  Then I had to add a third shot, cetrotide, in the morning.  That one was to prevent early ovulation while they were still growing my follicles.  Got to be honest, adding a third shot in the morning really threw me for a loop.  For one, I had a routine going and at night there was no rush to get anywhere.  And, also, it just meant three shots in each, and not a lot of rest for the areas I was stabbing.  Here is photo evidence:


Two things to know:

  1. This is just one side of my stomach where I was stabbing.  The other side actually didn’t bruise as bad.
  2. I made Kenny zoom in on it so you couldn’t see any of the belly squish. 🙂

Last Sunday, I went in for labs again, and that day they called saying I would like trigger Monday, but had to go in again the next Morning.  The next morning was also the first day of Orientation Leader training, which I am in charge of. GREAT. I planned for the possibility of being out a day during training for retrieval, which was not ideal at all. But I was ready for that.  I wasn’t ready for bloodwork and ultrasound when I was supposed to be driving people to a ropes course.  Luckily we were able to work it out and have me meet them there.  But, still.  Also, luckily I had a fleeting thought that morning that perhaps I should throw my trigger shot and other meds in a cooler to bring with me.  Since I would be at work until after 9 that night. PHEW. Because I needed them.

They called while I was at lunch with the students to “give me my instructions”.  Every time I got that call I felt like I was in Mission Impossible. So I ended up giving my last shot of follistim in the residence hall bathroom we were doing training in, HOT. Then had to wait until midnight to take the trigger shot which happens a day in advance of the retrieval.

Tuesday that week was kind of nice with no stabbing at all!  I had a BIG dinner at 6:30 because I knew I couldn’t eat again for almost 24 hours.  Then I went in Wednesday morning for the procedure!!  EEEEEK

IVF  Kenny had to go in with me to “do his job”.  Talk about awkward, by the way. We walk in, they scoop him up out of nowhere.  Escort him to, I’m told, a sterile feeling tiny room with…some…”material” and then he’s on his own. And I’m already back in pre-op.  He met me in there soon after, which made me feel better, because I feel bad for any dudes who have to perform under pressure.  Like, this whole thing doesn’t work, if you can’t produce a…sample.  Holy pressure Batman!

We didn’t have to wait too long until I went in.  I was less scared than I thought I would be.  Maybe because I had the hysteroscopy in December and it wasn’t that bad, and I knew this would be similar.  Maybe because I was excited about future prospects, who knows, but I was pretty level headed.  Kenny just started a new job so he left once I went in, and my mom tagged in to be on duty afterwards.

Here goes nothin!


Definite the hottest pic I’ve ever taken.

They actually walked me into the operating room, which was so strange.  Then once I got into the bed, they had me put my feet in stirrups to make sure I wasn’t uncomfortable, then the next thing I know the nice anesthesiologist was holding my head and whispering, and then I woke up somewhere else.  Anesthesia is legit magic.

I was the most confused ever.  But the nurse was nice and got me some ginger ale and animal crackers.  Don’t sleep on animal crackers by the way. My mom was in the waiting room, so she came back and met me, and then once I had my bearings, they had me go to the bathroom, and then I was off.  I was told I would be woozy and lethargic, would have some spotting and some menstrual-like cramps.  They also tell you afterwards how many eggs they got.  I had 9.  Of course I immediately asked, “Is that good?” #AchievementIssues. She laughed, asked my age, and then said yeah that is good your age will usually have 70-80% fertilize.  But my doctor also told me they don’t tell you a goal number, because then (obviously) women freak out if they don’t get to that certain number. Makes sense.  I know people who had way more eggs than that, and some who had fewer.  I kept telling myself, I only need one.  Obviously more is better because options are good.  But still.

Then I got shipped home to rest.  To be honest, I felt fine.  I ate fish and chips with my mom.  My aunt and cousin put together these two adorable rocking chairs I wanted!!  And then I just relaxed a bit.  But actually didn’t have any pain.  TMI moment: But the worst part of it all was that I was constipated for a few days after.  It was legit terrible.  I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before, and I’d rather it didn’t, ever again.  Apparently, that’s a side effect of the anesthesia sometimes, guess its not as magic as I thought!

They called me the next day to tell me that all 9 eggs fertilized…my first immediate thought: I got 100%! #AchievementIssues.  My second thought, fertilization is good, but fertilization was not our issue originally either.  So, now, we wait.

If you were doing a fresh cycle, you would just wait until you get your period, and then on day 3 or 5-ish they would implant the fresh embryo(s).  But for us, we keep waiting. we are doing the PGS, Preimplantation Genetic Screening. They tell you that you will get your period anytime between 2 days and 2 weeks after the retrieval aka The Harvest. So, just a casually huge range.  The testing typically takes 2-3 weeks depending on what they are looking for, etc.  For us they are not looking for a specific genetic predisposition, based on tests neither of us were carrying anything.  But given our losses, they want to make sure any embryo we implant is healthy and without any chromosomal abnormalities.

So, we wait until I get my period this time, and then wait for the results of the testing, and then wait until I get my period the next time, thennnnnn we implant an embryo. Pending there are healthy embryos to implant. *Insert praise emoji here.*

They let the embryos grow until day 5 or 6, (that was today for us) then biopsy them, send cells to the lab for testing, but keep the embryos there frozen.  Then the lab will send back results and we will know which of the frozen embryos are viable.

Appreciate all positive and fertile vibes being sent our way.  Probably won’t have much of an update for a while, but I’ll try to keep posting random topical stuff still!

And now, we wait. 🙂



Do you ever look around in wonder and awe about how dope and inspiring your friends are?  If you don’t, find yourself some new, dope friends. JK…kinda. But, I do that all the time.  My friends are doing some kick ass stuff in all types of areas.  I am constantly impressed by their brains, brawn and beauty.

This post is about one in particular, Ashley Butler, who is running a coaching business called Feel.Fire.Flow. (speaking of fire, how fire is that name though?)  She has been passionate about wellness for some time now, especially having dealt with a multitude of allergy and nutrition issues for quite a long time.  Once she discovered how her nutrition choices helped her feel better, she was able to really shape her life and move forward in a much more positive direction.

She has also dealt with her own struggle with fertility and her journey to motherhood.  She’s been a great support system for me, because as much as it sucks and you never want anyone you know to be in this fertility shit storm, it is nice to have people who understands what you’ve been through or can relate.

After having a bit of a life epiphany, Ashley decided she wanted to pursue a coaching business, and she could tie her experience with nutrition, wellness, and fertility into that business.  I know from just being lucky enough to be her friend that she is an unbelievable listener, gives great advice, and is so incredibly motivating.


She is offering an amazing special where you get your first 50 minute coaching session for free!!!!!  You can sign up to follow her site here and register to get your first free session as well:  I already signed up for mine!

This is a little departure from my typical blog post style, and story telling vibe.  But I also think it is really important for us to help each other, and I know how hard it can be to get past the sadness, get back to finding joy, and feel like myself again after going through these struggles.  So, if there is a way to assist any of us to get to that positive place, then why the heck not, right?

So, go check it out and Feel.Fire.Flow. all over the place!


It’s go time B*tches.

Alright peeps, we are locked and loaded.  Operation stab myself has commenced. Take a look at this sexy spread of drugs…


I opened the ginormous box I got from the pharmacy and was like…


I was put on the pill beforehand for a couple of weeks to suppress everything and make sure we could essentially have it be scheduled.  Went in last Wednesday for my suppression check aka bloodwork and ultrasound, expecting they’d call me and say ok we can start this weekend.  But naaaaaaaay, they called and said ok start tonight. Between 7 and 9pm and I was like wait. Now.  Like, today??!?!?!

I guess I was theoretically ready because I’ve been waiting for this for months at this point.  But I got my stabbing lesson like 2 months ago and even though my brain is usually like a vault for things like this, I got wicked nervous because you do NOT want to EFF this up.  Luckily the pharmacy has the bomb step by step videos which was so relieving while I was doing it.  If you find yourself in a similar sitch, definitely check them out:

The best part of this whole thing is that this was Wednesday 5/31.  We were slated to close on our first house on Thursday, June 1st and move on June 2nd and Kenny start a new job on Tuesday, June 6th.


*So what you’re saying is it’s not normal to buy a house, move into said house, start a new job, and start IVF within a span of 4 days? Oh, ok.  Cool cool cool.*

Anyway, we only do major life changes at the same time.  Marriage, interstate move, and both starting new jobs in one month.  Why not do house, job, and IVF too?  Note.  Don’t do this, it’s insane.  LOL  It’s also arguably the busiest month of the year for my job doing new student orientation, so there’s that.  All jokes aside, if you’re contemplating and thinking about timing, etc., don’t.  Just do it.  Because, there will be no perfect time.  It will never line up just right on a month where you have no plans.  You have no idea how long it will take.  Plus, depending on the type of cycle you are doing, you also may have a waiting period afterwards before you try the implantation piece.  So, listen to Nike. Just do it, if you can.

Given all of this, I had my first set of injections after casually sobbing in the bank due to wire transfer issues for our closing (and that was BEFORE I was full of hormones, great), and amidst a tower of moving boxes, on my brother’s coffee table.  Totally relaxed, stress free setting. *eye roll emoji*

I was sent 4 medications:

Follistim: Used to create multiple follicles so that when you do the retrieval you get as many of those little suckers as you can!
Menopur: Used for follicle stimulation and encourages your ovary to produce eggs. Works with the Follistim.
Cetrotide: Used to prevent premature ovulation.  It’s a weird balance.  They want you to be growing mad eggs, but they don’t want your body to release them because they want to scoop them out themselves.  So this one is working against what your body would do with all the other stuff in your system.
Pregnyl: Used to induce ovulation.  Basically the opposite of Cetrotide.  You wait to use this until right before retrieval.

For the record, these are the most basic, least medical, least official descriptions of these.  They are also specific to my prescriptions, and other people and docs use different things, but you get the idea.

So, since Wednesday I have had to give myself injections of Follistim and Menopur to start.  Follistim is so cool.  It is a pen, similar to an insulin pen if you’ve seen one.  Just dial the dosage you are given, aim, stab, and you’re good.  Menopur on the other hand is a WHOLE THING.  I have to do a double dose, and it has to be mixed by you.  What am I a professional chemist?  This seems like a bad idea.  LOL.  It’s actually not that bad, but definitely intimidating.  One vial of liquid, two vials of powder, then aim, stab, shoot.

Real talk.  I was terrified and held the needle facing me for a minute, while Kenny watched and then was like 1, 2, 3 AHHHH.  Not that bad.  They are subcutaneous injections, meaning a pretty short needle, just getting under the skin.  You can do it on your belly below your belly button, on your upper, outer thigh, or back of your arms.  I went belly, because I could see and reach it well.  Also, I figured it was squishy and it would hurt less.  True story, that’s my brain.  I did try the thigh on the second day, not a fan.  See, I have quads of steel, million years of dance and gymnastics to thank (or hate) for those.  For better or worse, those things are rock solid.  My squishy thigh meat is on the inner thigh, so the upper outer hurt like a beyotch.  So, I’m gonna go ahead and skip that.  Just alternating sides of the tummy for now.

Some people have a friend or signif do the shots.  But I wanted to do it myself for a number of reasons.

  1. Control freak.  Need not be explained.
  2. Practical. What if one day I am by myself and I had him do it before? Then what?  Nah.
  3. Murder.  I didn’t want to want to murder him if he didn’t do it how I wanted it, or if it hurt.  If I hurt myself then whatevski.

I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and got into a routine.  Did it at 9pm every night so I knew I would be home and wouldn’t have to worry about being out and about.  I had to go in Sunday for a check.  After that my estrogen was low so they almost doubled my dose to get that up there.  Then went for another check yesterday, I was told “You have a couple big ones on the left”, cool never thought I would hear that statement. They upped my dose again and added in the cetrotide to start this morning.

Let me tell you.  I did NOT do that one well.  It is similar to the menopur that you have to mix it, but comes with a huge syringe and prefilled with liquid, and the morning rush really threw me off.  I ended up having half the solution still in the bottle, and then had to put it all back in and start over.  Then I gave myself the injection and there was medication still in the syringe!  So I had to put another needle on and do the rest.  Of course, I freaked out and called the doctor.  And good news, I did what they would have told me to do.  But still.  You just don’t want to feel like you did anything to mess this up!

I am scheduled for another check tomorrow morning and we will see where we go from there.  I had to get refills for two of the meds because I ran out due to the high dosages.  Definitely have had moments of feeling really grateful for having insurance the past couple of weeks.  As annoying as it can be going back and forth and dealing with approvals, denials, appeals, etc., nothing is as shitty as if I couldn’t even consider doing this because we didn’t have $40,000. So, talk about #perspective.

I’ve got little bruises all over my belly, and I can’t remember which side I did last, especially since adding the morning shot.  So, I look like a tiny leprechaun has been practicing boxing on my stomach, but in the scheme of things it isn’t as bad as I was anticipating.  The Menopur actually hurts going in, not the needle but the medication itself, but it’s over quick.  Also, for anyone who might be doing this, I’ve been told I have a high tolerance for pain.  ~I got it from my momma.~ So I suggest you plan for the worst, and if it isn’t as bad as you thought, then bonus.

Also, I expected to feel like a total PSYCHO by now with all the hormones.  And I really don’t feel that way.  Usually in orientation season I would be more high strung, and have shorter patience than usual, because it’s my biggest work responsibility and a million moving parts I don’t want to get screwed up.  But I don’t feel psycho at all, I actually feel really calm.  Maybe because I have good vibes about this, and it feels really good to be taking an actual action to help move us in the right direction.  Maybe because we are moved in and settled into this adorable little nugget ranch of our own with this BOMB ASS KITCHEN:


Whatever the reason, I’ll take it.  Because I thought I would be alternating between screaming and sobbing, and so far neither.  I did more crying about the bank about the wire transfer.

So, we’ll see what happens now. I expect within the week I will be going in for retrieval, but you just never know when because they have to monitor you every couple of days to see your status.  I’ll take all your positive vibes sent my way! Here goes nothing!