Scroll down below for the – Phase 2: Stimulation!
This is not a bag filled with freshly baked croissants from The Cliff Bakery after a visit to Holder’s Market…no no no!
My friend, this brown paper bag is filled with more Buserelin syringes plus new syringes for the new meds, mixing needles and other needles slightly bigger than the Buserelin needles (those used for insulin shots), as well as the new hormone…drum roll…curtain call…welcome – MERIONAL! This new hormone is another daily injection used to stimulate my ovaries to produce multiple follicles during one cycle. Basically this gets me ready to produce many eggs in one go!
On Friday I paid a visit to the Barbados Fertility Centre to meet with the lovely Nurse Anna for my ultrasound scan. This scan would let them know how my ovaries are looking. They were big and round and wide like…
It’s as if they were saying – “We’re so ready to carry all 20 of your eggs!!!!” *bounce*
Hopefully I produce up to 20. If my only chance at having babies were through the eggs that I freeze, if I make up to 20 eggs it increases my chance of having up to two children in the future. Unfortunately this is not always the case for some women and they have to take another round but the Barbados Fertility Centre has a very high success rate with lovely stories of new mothers winning at this process! Anyway, I digress, and we will go into that more in another post.
So, I have the Merional and I literally had a mini session like Merional 101 followed by a practical exam to make sure I carry out this process the correct way when I’m at home. Remember in an earlier post I felt “Like ah boss!” almost as if I was a nurse in a past life?
So here’s how my life is set up for the next 10-12 days:
I have to draw the fluid up this massive needle which is the mixing needle. THEN, i flip off the covers of the 3 vials carrying the hormone. When the fluid hits the hormone it dissolves instantly and it’s mixed. I then draw that mix and push into the second vial, mix that and keep going to the third one. When I draw the final mix I then switch needles to the little orange one. The orange needle is what I’m using to give myself the shot. This one stings a lot more…
So now my dosage of Buserelin has decreased to 30 units in the morning and I’m on the Merional at night. Apparently the side effects are more “enjoyable” and are meant to kick in within 3 days. My libido will be boosted…through the roof apparently.
I can’t work out super hard, but I CAN indeed work out and I should take it easy all the while carrying on with my day as I would usually do. There will be some tiredness and I will get bloated at some point, but this is all part of this experience. During week 2 of the Buserelin I had some great days and also some really low depressing days, I felt very heavy with a hot flash or two but Merional will bring some balance back.
Next week I’m back at the BFC for blood tests and to assess my ovarian response. This is when I’ll know if they need to increase or decrease the fertility medication. A few things to note:
“At birth, a woman is born with all of the eggs she will make in her lifetime.”
“The success of egg freezing depends on the quality of the eggs. Generally, younger women have higher quality eggs than women who are older, and the egg quality declines as a woman ages. For this reason, egg freezing tends to be more successful in women who have their eggs frozen at a younger age.”
“More than half of women younger than 38 years who freeze between 15-20 eggs are predicted to have a resulting live birth, and freezing more eggs at your younger ages improves chances further.”
A big thank you to Marsha Layne of Barbados Today for showing her support of the blog and “Hey Vajayjay” in her article – Today’s Woman, check it out!
Or what we call down regulating. The Buserelin places me in a mini menopausal state. Yea…mini menopause…temporarily. All the while I’m on the birth control as well. This process, “Down Regging” turns off my ovaries for a period of time and makes sure that I’m not producing any eggs right now. After this process then I start the stimulating medication which prepares my ovaries to produce a number of eggs, but we’re not there yet, so let’s focus on Week 1 – “Down Regging”. I have to continue this process for the next 2 weeks.
My morning routine looks like this – a cotton wool, rubbing alcohol, the injection and the vial of Buserelin. Not the makeup bag.
Ok here’s a break down of my week just as I wrote it in my diary:
- Took the shot and some bumps showed up. I thought it was a rash but later I learned that this was common. It itched a little bit but because the shot is localized it was only in that one spot. Five minutes later the itching stopped and the bumps went away.
- I got a headache but my nurse warned me that this would happen.
- In the afternoon I was extremely emotional. I cried a couple times.
- I felt groggy and foggy.
- I felt dizzy.
- Day one sucked!
- Administered the shot like a boss! I used the word “administered” that means I’m feeling good.
- I’m still feeling like a boss!
- 5:18 pm – still no major side effects.
- Today is a good day!
- The shot hurt a little today but I think I’m getting the hang of this. Maybe I was a nurse in another life.
- I got the dull headache later in the day but I took 2 Panadols and I was good to go!
- No mood swings! YES!
- The shot stung. I’m tired today.
- I got a headache and I took the Panadol.
- I feel sad today. Why am I sad today?
- My boobs look quite…plump! Looking like a round B – success!
- Sooooo…this was me when R.Kelly’s “Bump and Grind” came on during a playlist. Full tears! I don’t know. I seriously am trying to control this.
- This was not the best day.
- I don’t think I did the shot right today. It bled a little but I was told that if that happened, it’s ok. It wasn’t horrible. I really don’t feel like doing these anymore, but whatever. It’s in! It stung. Meh!
- Today is also the day of my last pill. As in, today is the day I MUST stop taking the pill and now I must await a period within 2-4 days, but I have to continue the Buserelin
- Dull headache today. I took the Panadol.
- Very tired.
- Tonight I had some joint pain for a while. I then decided to Google – Buserelin and Joint Pain. Apparently sometimes muscle and joint pain can be a side effect. Anyway, I took 2 Panadols and they kicked in about 45 minutes later. Thank God! Time to sleep.
- My brain said, “No!” I just didn’t want to do the shot. I guess I’m not yet used to this. I need to work on accepting the process a little more. “Suck it up Trace!”
- I took the shot.
- I felt drained today.
- I’m feeling very miserable but I think I’m masking it well because I have meetings today.
Day 7: – TODAY!
- I did not want to wake up because it’s Saturday morning. Anyway, I’m up!
- Administered the shot this morning – LIKE AH BOSS!
- I also hummed the “Jaws” theme as I inserted the needle and somehow it stung a lot less. That’s it, maybe I need a film score in my head every time I do this.
That’s it for my first week! It was quite the roller coaster emotionally but I’m learning to manage it. I also have the most supportive boyfriend and I’m very grateful. He’s a patient soul. Hopefully with Week 2 not much changes and I’ll know what to expect.
I’ll be visiting my doctor at the Fertility Centre next week once I see a period and it will be time for the Ultrasound Scan to ensure my ovaries are ready for the stimulating drug regime. Once I’m ready I will start the new meds and also continue with the Buserelin but I will be decreasing the dosage.
I also want to say thanks to everyone who’s read this blog so far, who mentioned it when they saw me, who gave a word of encouragement or even shared your own personal story. I really appreciate you all and the support.
Something to think about…
You may wish to consider Egg Freezing if you:
- Have not yet met the father of your future children and having children in this context is important to you.
- Are in a committed relationship, but not ready for children.
- Are focusing on your career goals/education.
- Have had unexpected life changes.
- Are facing a fertility-threatening illness.
- Are simply not ready.
I woke up Sunday morning like…
“Why am I doing THIS?”
“I don’t want to do this…”
“Tracy just suck it up and do it!”
Anyway, I promised myself I’d do it at 8:00 a.m. My alarm rang at 7:00 a.m. and I sat at the edge of the bed and looked at the bag of syringes.
Then I was back down with the pillow over my face.
“No, I’m not doing it.”
I’m so dramatic! So at 7:55 am I finally decided to get up out of bed. I opened the bag of syringes, popped off the top and the bottom, pulled down to 50 units, stuck the syringe into the vile of Buserelin, pushed it down and pulled back up 50 units, pulled out the syringe, looked at it and put it back on the table…
“No, I’m not doing it.”
Then I talked myself back into it, went to the freezer and placed a block of ice on my leg, ya’ know the fatty area *side eye*. The ice stayed on my leg for about 60 seconds and then I was ready to go…
“No, I’m not doing this.”
“Who does this?”
After all of this drama the numbness wore off and I went for another block of ice. The ice stayed on my leg for another 60 seconds, the area was numb and then…in it went! Honestly it didn’t hurt at all. I only felt the sting as I was inserting the Buserelin and when I pulled out the injection.
“Not so bad Trace.” As I pat myself on the back.
About 30 seconds after it started to itch and some little bumps showed up. Obviously I went to google before e-mailing my nurse (ridiculous I know). The good thing is that there are many forums with women doing the same thing that I’m doing. Apparently the itch happens to some of us and reactions vary. Some women get absolutely no reaction. I chose to leave it and not scratch it. In about 5 minute the itching stopped. It’s still a little sore but not so bad. I’m ready for Day 2. HAHAHHAHA! No I’m not, but I’ll do it anyway.
Look out for a video post later this week. I’ll show you my process in taking one of these Buserelin shots and I’ll update you at the end of Week 1. Thanks for joining me on this journey.
Tracy, why are you freezing your eggs and why are you making it so public?
First of all… it’s my choice and I’m certainly not the first to go public about doing with this. But, here’s a little back story…
It all started with my show, “Hey Vajayjay”, where we did a session on Egg Freezing with Dr. Juliette Skinner of the Barbados Fertility Centre…I had this brilliant idea: “Use me! Pick me! Choose me!” I will freeze my eggs and be an example for other women who are curious about this particular choice. We casually agreed in the room, “Why not” and made an appointment at the fertility centre. Now those who know me already know that when I get an idea in my head it MUST come to fruition, but after a couple conversations with friends and family I became slightly discouraged. I didn’t develop the cheer team I expected. Some responses were: “But you have so much time”, “You’re so young”, “Trust God” and “It’s SO expensive!” (this was a reasonable response but we will leave that for another post).
I received a call from the Fertility Centre and they were excited to get going. I, however, was extremely torn, and I thought maybe I was making a mistake…maybe it’s a waste of time… maybe I should wait…They gave me some time to make my decision. In that time I realized that this decision needed to be more than a demo for “Hey Vajayjay”, I needed to be doing this for me and no one else.
On a very random note, I was hosting a show called “The Insider” with powerhouse CEO, Connie Young Smith. This interview had nothing to do with family or babies or fertility but all about her journey from the bottom to the top, and work life balance. If you’ve met Connie before you’d know she’s bold, straight up, a bad ass and “no f**ks given” kind of person. Her energy is infectious, and it’s hard to not be influenced by her power and confidence. Somehow, during that interview it clicked! I felt and knew that freezing my eggs was something I needed to do and truly wanted to do for me, for a few reasons:
- I was married for 8 years
- We tried for a baby at some point but it didn’t work out. There were no complications on either side. It just wasn’t the correct timing.
- I’m divorced 4 years
Now the baby issue and my view on this – *promise not to clutch your pearls* but I was never “fussy” on the idea that I MUST have children. If I don’t have a child I will have a happy life, and if I do, I believe the same is true and I’ve always believed this. What I mean is, I don’t feel like more of a woman because I could, or less of one if I couldn’t. I do love the idea of mothering and nurturing a child whether through birth, adoption or just being a nurturing influence on the children very close to me. What I love about egg freezing is that it gives me the power of choice. It gives me an option.
I like the idea of egg freezing for the following reasons:
1. Takes the pressure off where the biological clock is concerned.
2. It gives me an option.
3. It gives me time.
4. Allows me to have the option to help another mother-to- be via egg donation.
So…I have my Buserelin shots, and I took the first one on Sunday August 14th and I was scared…