If you’re just joining me on my surrogacy journey, I recommend you start here.
Less than 1 week to go and I’ve started new medications. I was instructed to stop my daily injections of Lupron (to stop auto-production of hormones) and to start my Progesterone shots. Progesterone is one of the hormones that Lupron stops, so now I’m getting Progesterone and Estrogen injections to increase the presence of both to ensure a thick uterine lining; Estrogen every three days and Progesterone every day. Which means I am also increasing the number of days per week that I see my mom; now we see each other all 7 days! I’m just not talented enough to reach my lower back/upper buttocks with a syringe and needle to not only inject the hormones but to first draw out the syringe a bit to make sure I hit muscle and not a vein. God bless my mother for administering my daily shots.
Assuming this upcoming embryo transfer works, these injections will continue until at least the 10th week of pregnancy. That’s over 200 needles when you count the needles used to draw the hormones into the syringes AND the needles used to administer them!
The shots aren’t so bad. I ice the area first (we alternate sides each day) so the skin is mostly numb prior to the injection and then use a heating pad after the shot. I barely feel the needle going in and I’ve only bled after one shot! It’s the muscle pain later that’s annoying. Every time I have to sit from a standing position or stand from a sitting position, my little muscles cry out. It’s not a harsh pain, more like when you’re sore after a really hard strength training day at the gym. Except I don’t get 2 or 3 days in between to let my muscles rest. Just as the strongest part of the pain fades, I’m back to injecting on that side.
So far I’m not feeling any major side effects from the hormones. The only thing I’ve noticed is that estrogen seems to have increased my bust a bit. Not a complaint, really, though I am a bit sore there, too. But if I remember correctly from the last cycle, as the transfer date got closer and closer, I felt “heavy” on the inside. I don’t mean I felt fat, I mean that my abdomen felt full. The women in my surrogate support group say they’ve felt that as well, that it’s just from all the hormones making the uterine lining extra thick. I’m a little surprised I’m not feeling that already, seeing as how my lining is already at 11mm. But I’ve only had 1 shot of the Progesterone so far. We’ll see how I feel on Friday.
This Saturday I’ll get to spend some time with the boys and while we won’t be able to attend worship together, at least they’ll be at the transfer on Sunday! Very excited to see them again this weekend!
All’s quiet on the home-front.
I stopped taking my birth control pills last Tuesday (woohoo!). Gone are the headaches in the evening and the nausea in the evenings.
This week my needle usage will increase from 7 to 11! In addition to my daily Lupron shots (which I get to decrease to .5mg), my wonderful mother will be administering Delestrogen in the upper, outer quadrant of my gluteal muscle (yup, top of my butt) every three days, starting tonight. I have to draw the drug into the 1mL syringe with a 18 gauge needle and inject it with an 22 gauge needle. It’s a small amount, only 2mg, but it can be painful. To counter the pain, I usually ice the spot where she’ll inject the hormone until it’s numb and then put a warm compress on it afterward. During my last cycle, this helped tremendously in reducing the pain and lumps that can occur with this injection.
The point of taking the Delestrogen is to increase the thickness of my uterine lining. By forcing me to have a menstrual cycle (dropping the BCP) and then starting me on Delestrogen, my doctor can control how thick my uterine lining will get. The thicker the uterine lining, the stronger the chance that the embryo will “stick” to it and result in a pregnancy. In my surrogacy support group on Facebook, the gals all send “sticky vibes” to each other when they head for the transfer.
Another blood test at the end of this week to monitor my estrogen level and see if I need to increase the amount of Delestrogen I’m taking or if it’s working fine as-is.
Only 3 more weeks!!!
Yesterday was full of action! My legal clearance went through and I got a calendar from the fertility clinic! If all goes according to plan, the embryo transfer date will be mid-January! There will be multiple trips to labs to check out my hormone levels, trips to the clinic to get ultrasounds to make sure I’m “ripening” properly…
And of course, there are these:
Most of that pile is syringes and needles. Good thing I don’t mind needles!
Luckily for me, I love my mom. Because she’s the one who’ll be injecting me with all this stuff!! She’s given shots before so that’s no issue, and we already see each other 6 days out of the week; what’s one more?
And I think my calendar is going to explode! Between the daily shots, the daily pills, the once-every-three-days shots, the changes in dosage, the stopping of pills, the stopping of shots, the labs and ultrasounds…
It’s a good thing they put you on a short bed-rest right after the transfer; this is gonna be an exhausting ride!