It’s been over a week since my last confession. 🙂 First of all I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has reached out thus far after my initial post about IVF. I was able to reconnect with people I haven’t spoken to or seen for many years, which was awesome. We also received a lot of support which we really appreciate. Also, a lot of questions!
So far we’re a bit in to the stimulation stage where they basically pump you up full of hormones to hopefully make your body mature a bunch of eggs instead of just one egg. Right now I’m injecting multiple substances into my body day and night. Also, I have to go in for near daily appointments so they can see how things are coming along starting next week.
The hope in the ‘ideal timeline’ (which I’m finding out more and more means nothing), is that we do the stimulation phase for a week or so more, then egg retrieval a few days after that (which is exactly what it sounds like). Then, as soon as five days after That, I could get implanted with an embryo. Pretty crazy, huh?
What does it feel like right now (working out on hormones)
It feels totally fine unless I try to go hard at something. I feel short of breath and like my heart is going to beat out of my chest if I try to do a max effort. It definitely feels like “bad pain” so I’ll be avoiding that scenario for a minute. I did do a 5k this Saturday before I was on as many drugs. I ran at about a 5 minute pace going downhill and about a 10 minute pace on flats. Essentially walked on the uphills. I wish I had the file as somehow my watch deleted it! Essentially I felt horribly on the uphills and flats and my HR won’t go above about 10 beats below LTHR. But I can still move my legs fast on the downhills and my muscles feel fine. Actually strength training feels great!
This is where I get confused about Lance and others’ use of HcG for doping purposes. If you’re a would be cheater out there I can tell you definitively that HcG makes you feel terrible working out and you won’t improve your performance. It’s said that it’s often used as a masking agent – yeah, I can see that. It basically makes you go slower, effectively masking any other gains you might have achieved by using other PEDs. PS, in case you’re wondering if HcG is really cheating this is what WADA says
Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), luteinizing hormone (LH), and their releasing factors are prohibited for use by men, only. Women prescribed these medications when trying to conceive a child do not need to submit a TUE.
So no need to strip my 2nd AG award from this weekend again. I’m good! 🙂
When did the process start?
It was about 18 months ago that I was in my primary care doctors office getting some standard blood tests to check things like AMH level. Initially it was found that I have endometriosis and so I had surgery for that in January. Then they said to come back in three to six months if I didn’t end up pregnant. To me, post Chattanooga 70.3 was a sort of stopping point at which we would go back and get things rolling. The months ticked by and there was a reason not to go back every month. Finally I realized my 36th birthday is quickly approaching and easily another five or ten years could pass by if we didn’t get things moving.
Are you sad/scared/worried/ etc?
No. I’m having a great time. It’s like I have all this extra energy to turn to creative pursuits now that I’m not self flagellating. Not that self flagellation isn’t fun too. I have seen that a lot of women carry an emotional burden during this process for one having wanted a child for so long, and two, feeling inadequate that they cannot produce one. Of the many things to thank my parents for, I am grateful they never saddled me with the emotional burden of feeling like it was my role or duty to have children. I was free to pursue that only if I wanted to as they never put any expectations on me.
And since they struggled with infertility themselves (I was a happy accident and my brother is adopted) I always assumed I wouldn’t be able to have children anyways. And I also never played with dolls as a kid. I remember for like one second I really wanted an American Girl doll because all my friends have them and my mom reasoned with me that it was unlikely I would just start loving playing with dolls. All those things to say I never had the expectation to have children and my parents never put that expectation on me. But they are excited for me now! Ask me this in a few years assuming things don’t work and see if I feel the same way. But right now at least I feel like I would love to adopt if that’s the way things progress.
Did they tell you to restrict activity?
They basically told me to do what feels comfortable. I have a suspicion that there is a psychological angle to this. If you tell someone they can’t do xyz then they will obsess over doing that. If you tell them to do whatever feels right they usually make the right decision themselves. I can tell you that already it does not feel that great to do certain kinds of exercise.
Are you upset about missing worlds
I’m really excited about Worlds! I can’t wait to cheer everyone on and Kathryn and I are hoping to do some great interviews for Grit and Dirt while we’re there. As an aside if you haven’t checked out our podcast yet, you really should! We have already interviewed some great guests and currently have posted a great conversation with Meredith Atwood. Here’s the direct link to the podcast on itunes if you want to bookmark it for later. And if you aren’t an apple person, you can find it here.
What are the needles like?
As it turns out, the needles are basically a non- issue. Once we get to the intra muscular ones, I’m sure they will be less fun. But for now I’m trying to see how efficient I can get with managing about four injections a day. As in, how quickly can do I them (while still putting safety first, of course).
Have you gained weight?
No, I haven’t gained a single pound. I have read all sorts of horror stories about gaining weight during IVF but so far so good. I did go primal – esque a few weeks before I started this so I think that helps a lot. I say esque because I didn’t put anything off – limits but haven’t been eating any simple carbs really outside of during or immediately after exercise.
Once you do that for a few weeks carrots taste sweet and you crave things like steak and avocado instead of Chick fil a milkshakes. ( I’m really really trying not to evangelize too much about primal but you should check it out). Anyways, it would be hard to gain weight on a diet like that even with weird hormone balance happening. Plus studies show that a low carb higher protein diet is correlated with IVF success rates.