Friday, August 19, 2011

My OHSS Story - Part I

Over this past month we toyed a lot with the idea of whether or not to proceed with our infertility treatments or take a break.  Readers may remember this dilemma.  At one point, we thought what is the point of going through all of the injections only to find out that I am hyperstim and all our hard work and financial investment ultimately results in a canceled cycle?  At other points, we thought how can we take a break to make decisions of where to go next without ever experiencing the next step--the injections?  What if I don't even respond to the injections and we don't know that going into the break?  In the end, we decided to go ahead with this cycle.

We jumped in, anxious, nervous, but hopeful that we would successfully get this scary ordeal of our first injectable cycle under our belts.  And so it began.  As I stated earlier, it began in this very bed--the bed where most of the shots were administered by my nerve racked husband.  A nightly ritual that began with tears and screaming itself, I soon learned extreme measure that would slightly ease my fears:

  • #1  Be sure to have taken out contacts and changed to glasses for the night before shot time rolls around.  Why?  simple--when shots time ultimately descended upon us, I could slip my glasses off, rendering me practically blind.  Without the ability to actually see the needle, my nerves subsided a bit.
  • #2  Put pillows over head.  Hug another pillow at chest. 
  • #3  Listen to upbeat music loudly through ipod as injection is administered.
Yes, my nightly ritual was surrounded in fear and nerves only overcome by these ridiculous measures.  How I marvel at all you out there who just do it.  I cannot.  The girl who once thought herself so tough  transformed into a mere toddler.  I felt as though I should get a sucker and a sticker after each ordeal, but I never did.  Instead, I buried myself in my husband's arm, soaking up the love that he let flow so freely.  I felt his kisses on my forehead and felt us just hold each other forever.  Hubs did not enjoy our evening ritual either--often saying he felt so bad for hurting me, apologizing profusely that we were doing this, and getting very near to tears himself several times.  

After receiving five days of Clomid and three Gonal-F shots, we thought we might be done.  But, my ultrasound seemed to reveal the need for more shots.  Another pen was prescribed and ordered.  After two more injections, I had another check-up and then it was decision time.  There was one mature follicle and three or so close.  We could either go with this one or do another injection in hopes more would come forward.  We did another shot, thinking nothing of it.  The next check-up revealed three mature follicles and five follicles that were close to mature, meaning that three follicles would release eggs and the other five may or may not.  My E2 level was through the roof.  "The highest they had ever seen," reported my fertility nurse.  (Actual, mind-blowing number to come after I get records on Monday.)  

Excited by the outcome that we had always been led to believe was a good one, we eagerly administered the Ovidrel trigger shot in order to release the eggs and got down to business in the bedroom.  But business was not good.  Already hyperstimulated after the last shot, or possibly even prior, my belly had already began showing signs of increased activity--my entire abdomen just felt so...busy.  Little did I realize, it was also overcrowded with many more swelling follicles, making our little bout of lovemaking quite short and sweet, not to mention uncomfortable and extremely painful.  But the goods were deposited and supposedly began their swim to the prize that awaited. 

Our first cycle where I had actually responded to any meds whatsoever and ovulated!  Even though we had originally thought of this as a cycle to get one under our belts, we had become so hopeful!  There was no doubt in my mind that this was working!  I could feel it.  Boy, could I feel it!  We knew, as with any fertility treatment, we were still rolling the dice and betting on odds, but the odds were good.  Nothing was overly risky.  We were never led to believe so.  I was hyperstimulated, yes, but I was well monitored and it seemed as though this sort of thing happened at the clinic all the time.  

By Thursday morning, I was increasingly uncomfortable.  We went in bright eyed eyed before the clinic even opened to complete our first IUI.  In the stark and oh so romantic and erotic small exam room, hubs released the boys, which were quickly washed and measured.  The result--impeccable.  Millions of tiny, forward swimming sperm ready for their ultimate pilgrimage to Mecca--yes the Mecca is my eggs!  The actual insemination was quick and painless.  Our fertility nurse gave us her good luck wishes before heading out.  But before she left I explained how uncomfortable I had been over the last 24 hours.  She assured me this was very normal.  I persisted, saying, "It is just so painful inside right now that I have to walk very slowly and every time I step, it hurts."  She again assured me that this is completely normal in my situation and left my husband and I to lay and sit respectively in the room waiting for the magic to happen.  

After 30 minutes in the inclined position, hubs pulled me up.  We kissed, shared a long hug, and stared at each other with hopeful eyes.  We had gotten through it.  We had gotten through it all--the pills and the emotional rollercoaster they launch you on, the shots and the fears and suffering they bring each night.  Even this pain, would undoubtedly subside soon.  We had done it, gotten through it all together, hand in hand.  Now the only thing to do was to sit back, relax, and wait to see if I conceived.  

Not so fast . . .


10 comments:

Heather said...

I'm feeling weepy today (after saying goodbye to my mom), and really felt your pain through all those injections. Just wanted to send you some love and hugs.

Poekitten said...

I too am a toddler when it comes to shots. I always want to do what I did when I was little...run against the wall with my arms behind me and slide down to sit on the floor while shaking my head no!

Kristin said...

Oh man, that sounds totally miserable. I'm so sorry you went through this.

ICLW #19

MoonNStarMommy said...

Ugh :( I'm almost afraid of what happens next ... hyperstim is the worst... utterly miserable :(

Happy ICLW from #86 :D

myjourney7283 said...

Yikes! Doesn't sound fun. Glad you have a routine down to help ease the anxiety a little.

Happy ICLW! I'm #51 :)

bean dreams said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I am still getting over this ordeal and will be pouring more of my heart out. Somehow, it is hard to get there emotionally right now, but it will come.

My journey - tried to leave message on your blog, but it won't let me because I'm not on wordpress. So, maybe you'll get this... I'm excited to follow your fertility diet challenge! I'm thinking about doing something similar too for PCOS reasons. I also like the idea of saying something you're grateful for everyday. It is so easy to forget when you're going through tough times. Excited to start following you!

Sarah said...

Here from ICLW

I am sorry to hear that things did not go well.

those shots are the most horrible things!!!

ICLW
#75

DJ said...

Quite a cliffhanger! I am so sorry you had to go through that - I am a total wimp about needles and my husband is a total wimp in general so I'm not sure how we would handle it. Hang in there and be strong...

AP said...

I can't even watch when I have blood drawn. I don't know how you did that. Looking forward to Part 2!
AP

donordiva.com said...

To be honest I was surprised how easy the shots were for me. I don't miss them though.

I can't believe the RN thought nothing of those pains...seriously they deal with this stuff all the time.

ICLW #23

Friday, August 19, 2011

My OHSS Story - Part I

Over this past month we toyed a lot with the idea of whether or not to proceed with our infertility treatments or take a break.  Readers may remember this dilemma.  At one point, we thought what is the point of going through all of the injections only to find out that I am hyperstim and all our hard work and financial investment ultimately results in a canceled cycle?  At other points, we thought how can we take a break to make decisions of where to go next without ever experiencing the next step--the injections?  What if I don't even respond to the injections and we don't know that going into the break?  In the end, we decided to go ahead with this cycle.

We jumped in, anxious, nervous, but hopeful that we would successfully get this scary ordeal of our first injectable cycle under our belts.  And so it began.  As I stated earlier, it began in this very bed--the bed where most of the shots were administered by my nerve racked husband.  A nightly ritual that began with tears and screaming itself, I soon learned extreme measure that would slightly ease my fears:

  • #1  Be sure to have taken out contacts and changed to glasses for the night before shot time rolls around.  Why?  simple--when shots time ultimately descended upon us, I could slip my glasses off, rendering me practically blind.  Without the ability to actually see the needle, my nerves subsided a bit.
  • #2  Put pillows over head.  Hug another pillow at chest. 
  • #3  Listen to upbeat music loudly through ipod as injection is administered.
Yes, my nightly ritual was surrounded in fear and nerves only overcome by these ridiculous measures.  How I marvel at all you out there who just do it.  I cannot.  The girl who once thought herself so tough  transformed into a mere toddler.  I felt as though I should get a sucker and a sticker after each ordeal, but I never did.  Instead, I buried myself in my husband's arm, soaking up the love that he let flow so freely.  I felt his kisses on my forehead and felt us just hold each other forever.  Hubs did not enjoy our evening ritual either--often saying he felt so bad for hurting me, apologizing profusely that we were doing this, and getting very near to tears himself several times.  

After receiving five days of Clomid and three Gonal-F shots, we thought we might be done.  But, my ultrasound seemed to reveal the need for more shots.  Another pen was prescribed and ordered.  After two more injections, I had another check-up and then it was decision time.  There was one mature follicle and three or so close.  We could either go with this one or do another injection in hopes more would come forward.  We did another shot, thinking nothing of it.  The next check-up revealed three mature follicles and five follicles that were close to mature, meaning that three follicles would release eggs and the other five may or may not.  My E2 level was through the roof.  "The highest they had ever seen," reported my fertility nurse.  (Actual, mind-blowing number to come after I get records on Monday.)  

Excited by the outcome that we had always been led to believe was a good one, we eagerly administered the Ovidrel trigger shot in order to release the eggs and got down to business in the bedroom.  But business was not good.  Already hyperstimulated after the last shot, or possibly even prior, my belly had already began showing signs of increased activity--my entire abdomen just felt so...busy.  Little did I realize, it was also overcrowded with many more swelling follicles, making our little bout of lovemaking quite short and sweet, not to mention uncomfortable and extremely painful.  But the goods were deposited and supposedly began their swim to the prize that awaited. 

Our first cycle where I had actually responded to any meds whatsoever and ovulated!  Even though we had originally thought of this as a cycle to get one under our belts, we had become so hopeful!  There was no doubt in my mind that this was working!  I could feel it.  Boy, could I feel it!  We knew, as with any fertility treatment, we were still rolling the dice and betting on odds, but the odds were good.  Nothing was overly risky.  We were never led to believe so.  I was hyperstimulated, yes, but I was well monitored and it seemed as though this sort of thing happened at the clinic all the time.  

By Thursday morning, I was increasingly uncomfortable.  We went in bright eyed eyed before the clinic even opened to complete our first IUI.  In the stark and oh so romantic and erotic small exam room, hubs released the boys, which were quickly washed and measured.  The result--impeccable.  Millions of tiny, forward swimming sperm ready for their ultimate pilgrimage to Mecca--yes the Mecca is my eggs!  The actual insemination was quick and painless.  Our fertility nurse gave us her good luck wishes before heading out.  But before she left I explained how uncomfortable I had been over the last 24 hours.  She assured me this was very normal.  I persisted, saying, "It is just so painful inside right now that I have to walk very slowly and every time I step, it hurts."  She again assured me that this is completely normal in my situation and left my husband and I to lay and sit respectively in the room waiting for the magic to happen.  

After 30 minutes in the inclined position, hubs pulled me up.  We kissed, shared a long hug, and stared at each other with hopeful eyes.  We had gotten through it.  We had gotten through it all--the pills and the emotional rollercoaster they launch you on, the shots and the fears and suffering they bring each night.  Even this pain, would undoubtedly subside soon.  We had done it, gotten through it all together, hand in hand.  Now the only thing to do was to sit back, relax, and wait to see if I conceived.  

Not so fast . . .


10 comments:

Heather said...

I'm feeling weepy today (after saying goodbye to my mom), and really felt your pain through all those injections. Just wanted to send you some love and hugs.

Poekitten said...

I too am a toddler when it comes to shots. I always want to do what I did when I was little...run against the wall with my arms behind me and slide down to sit on the floor while shaking my head no!

Kristin said...

Oh man, that sounds totally miserable. I'm so sorry you went through this.

ICLW #19

MoonNStarMommy said...

Ugh :( I'm almost afraid of what happens next ... hyperstim is the worst... utterly miserable :(

Happy ICLW from #86 :D

myjourney7283 said...

Yikes! Doesn't sound fun. Glad you have a routine down to help ease the anxiety a little.

Happy ICLW! I'm #51 :)

bean dreams said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I am still getting over this ordeal and will be pouring more of my heart out. Somehow, it is hard to get there emotionally right now, but it will come.

My journey - tried to leave message on your blog, but it won't let me because I'm not on wordpress. So, maybe you'll get this... I'm excited to follow your fertility diet challenge! I'm thinking about doing something similar too for PCOS reasons. I also like the idea of saying something you're grateful for everyday. It is so easy to forget when you're going through tough times. Excited to start following you!

Sarah said...

Here from ICLW

I am sorry to hear that things did not go well.

those shots are the most horrible things!!!

ICLW
#75

DJ said...

Quite a cliffhanger! I am so sorry you had to go through that - I am a total wimp about needles and my husband is a total wimp in general so I'm not sure how we would handle it. Hang in there and be strong...

AP said...

I can't even watch when I have blood drawn. I don't know how you did that. Looking forward to Part 2!
AP

donordiva.com said...

To be honest I was surprised how easy the shots were for me. I don't miss them though.

I can't believe the RN thought nothing of those pains...seriously they deal with this stuff all the time.

ICLW #23