I am not usually one who takes things at face value, nor am I someone who generally will “take someone’s word for it.” So while the RE gave me a quick run down of what to expect from an injectable cycle, I didn’t just say, “Sounds good to me” and then go on my merry way. Well I did, but that wasn’t all I did.
The first thing I did was text a girlfriend of mine who’s been through the whole infertility gambit numerous times; incidentally, she’s the one to whom I dedicated my blog! I wanted to know what an injectable cycle was REALLY like. How hard would it be to inject my belly every single day with a needle, and how badly would the pain be? What side effects could I expect to have? Did it turn her into a crazy person? I wanted to know it all.
Now, I’ve been on the TTC “Crazy Train” long enough to know that not all medications will affect different people in the same exact way. That being said, most medications tend to have side effects that are pretty similar across the board. Hence, why I wanted my girlfriend’s perspective. But I didn’t stop my research with her; I also delved into the depths of the almighty Internet. Blogs (like this one) and forums are a woman’s best friend when she’s TTC. They allow you to obtain real-time info from other women in relatively close situations.
Countdown To Pregnancy is by far my favorite pre-pregnancy site; you can create your free account by clicking here and start connecting with real live hopeful moms to be!! (Not that I’m advertising for them or anything!!)
As far as the Follistim was concerned, the side effect that troubled me most was definitely the nausea (if I didn’t eat prior to the injection), and some mild/moderate bloating. The best side effect of the FSH injections was that my boobs got a little bigger and it put my Rosacea into remission!
Now. As far as the Ovidrel hCG trigger shot is concerned – Holy BLOATING, Batman! This is freaking insane!! I mean, there’s bloating and there’s bloating. And this is the latter! We’ll put it this way … guess who had to bust out her leftover maternity pants today?! And it wasn’t just that they were more comfortable to wear, although that was certainly true. I really looked pregnant; so I decided that I’d let everyone out in public think I was preggers, rather than just fat!
As you can see from the look on my face, I’m not amused! And there was so much gas pressure that I felt as if I was one good fart away from blowing myself to the Moon! *sigh* The things we put ourselves through to have babies, huh?
One of the cooler parts to the whole Ovidrel injection is that I finally get to “test out my trigger” like I’ve seen so many other women get to do. Since Ovidrel is nothing but pure hCG, for several days after you receive the injection you will come up positive on a pregnancy test; that is why the instructions on the inserts inside pregnancy test boxes always tell you that using any medications containing hCG could result in receiving a “false BFP.” So what does that mean exactly? It’s simple: regardless of what medication you take, if it is only given once (not every so many hours to keep the levels in your bloodstream at a constant level), the medication in your bloodstream will naturally be metabolized out of your body by your metabolic system. Which means that each day the concentration of that particular medicine flowing through your bloodstream will become less and less until the body has rid itself of it completely. This is exactly what happens with the hCG in Ovidrel. It will eventually metabolize out of your bloodstream (allowing you to receive a BFN on a pregnancy test), but it takes some time. But how will you know when it’s gone? And if you can’t be 100% sure it’s gone, how will you know if you’ll get an accurate result when you POAS? Easy! You “test out your trigger!”
Many women (like me who are POAS-aholics), will purchase cheap pregnancy test strips from eBay or Amazon, and begin testing from either O-day or 1 DPO. They will continue to test at least once a day, watching the color of the test line fade from darker to lighter. The object of the game is to have one of two things happen while you’re testing out your trigger. 1) The test line will fade away over the week to 10 days after your trigger shot is given until it disappears, and then it will begin to fade the other direction again, going from lighter to darker as the levels of hCG rise in your bloodstream once pregnancy is achieved, or 2) the test line will be in the process of disappearing, and before it goes completely away it will again begin to darken as hormone levels rise from a successful pregnancy. That’s it. That’s the goal. And by testing out your trigger, you will know if what you’re looking at is a true BFP or not, because you can easily compare it to yesterday’s test and the day before’s, etc.
But that doesn’t always happen. For some unlucky women the test line will completely disappear and stay gone. The Follistim and Ovidrel injections don’t always work. IUIs don’t always work. Hell, even IVFs don’t always work, and they have the highest price tag of the whole mess! But we have hope. And we continue to hope. And to be honest, given my history, it very well may be a fool’s hope. But I am a faithful woman, and I choose to believe that it will work! Only God knows the true answer to the “Will this work” question, and last I checked – I don’t always get His memos!