IVF round 1 : 3. The first IVF appointment.

Posted by Rose in Infertility, My Personal Journey on 16-02-2013

Jul 22, 2011
We sit and wait for the doctor – who’s probably 10 years my junior – to be ready for us.  I ask the through-looker nurse, ‘Izvinite,’ and pause since she’s looking down at her papers. Before I could finish my question she motions towards the bathroom, ‘Izvolite’, without so much as a glance. Meh. I go pee and I’m happy. Not really – I’m cramping and anxious, but at least I don’t have to pee, too.The doctor sees us and says she’ll do a sonogram – love those when I have my period – it’s not the first one I’ve had. She looks around with her magic seeing wand and finds my ovaries, both looking fine and dandy. She re-confirms that my hormones all look fine and normal. She says that she’s going to start me on the lowest dose of Menapur, a follicle stimulating drug (that’s actually made from the uterine lining of post-menopausal women…I believe…interesting – but how do they get so many of those? Is there a post-menopausal uterine lining warehouse somewhere? Sounds pretty Mengele to me. Something to research later).  After the follicle stimulation, they’ll suppress my natural hormones so I don’t have a spontaneous ovultion – that would really suck.

The Menopur is an injection, and although I did Follistim injections when we tried the natural cycle back in November 2010, I was anxious about this injection. After all, this is Serbia, and I was sure they wouldn’t have a nifty ‘pen’ that would allow me to just dial a pre-mixed dose and inject. Nope.  One vial of saline or some watery liquid, 2 vials of powder which is the menopur. Insert needle into saline, extract, retract, insert into menopur 1, inject, shake, extract, retract, rinse and repeat. THEN the easy part – injecting my belly with the needle.

So between 6-8pm, starting tuesday and ending Friday night, I was instructed to do this injection. The nurse explained how to mix it, and we were happy. Not really, it was 40 degrees C and we were both anxious and tired and still had to go meet Kuma L to get some papers for mama because of her fall, because now she’d need to go on a new medical leave, just a half a day after she’d returned…

The driver knew of our plan, and zipped us over to the pharmacy, with the help of the chick-in-the-box that announced when to turn. We went in, without a ‘recipe’ but with the instructions from the doctor, and they retrieved the meds and the price. 42k dinars. Now I know that’s alot, but I don’t really have a good grasp of the conversion rates. I always turn to Gordon and ask, ‘How much is that?’ which really should annoy him, because he has to calculate it just as I would. For some reason I think that because it’s his native currency he can do it faster.

So naturally this pharmacy doesn’t have a machine to run a credit card. We planned on using our bank card to pay for this and the IVF, and signed papers at the bank so that the borders and credit limit wouldn’t be an issue. Would have been super had they taken credit cards. So now we’re off to find an ATM, which she says is right across the street, and it was.

Stepping up to an atm here is always a little nerve-wracking for me.  Will it eat my card? It’s like ordering at the drive through…you don’t really know when you pull up what you’re gonna pull away with, regardless of your intentions. (or how much money you have. A lot of times the machine is out of money (yes, even the ones inside the bank). Sometimes it just doesn’t like you (American paranoia). We managed to get 20k, but when we tried for another 20 we were denied. We figured the machine was out of money, or close to it, so we tried 3k. No dice. Must be the machine. So we traipsed down the street to find another ATM (all with the pressure of a cab waiting on us, not to mention Kuma L., who was standing outside their workplace waiting for us to arrive). We found another ATm that still told us no. we managed to get another 2k and we went back to the Apoteka with what we had. We knew it would at least buy us enough to get us through until Friday night.  We planned on getting more Saturday when we returned.

So off we went with our little baggie of follicle stimulating powder, and found our driver. Darko. Dinsko. Dudio. I don’t know his name now. Something with a D, I’m sure. He’s not really thrilled about running us around Belgrade (again – last trip we made several stops, including one so we could buy a fan that’s not allowed to blow directly on us or we’ll die an awful, painful, wrteched death). Gordon passed him an extra 500 dinars for his trouble, and I sat quietly trying to figure out ‘how much is that’, since it would be kind of rude to ask out loud, even if Dudio didn’t understand me. Then I’m figuring it’s like $8…and then I think, erm. woot? It’s a strange country. I’m sure Gordon did the right thing, and I’m sure the guy’s hesitation wasn’t because he was thinking about being insulted, but wondering how to politely accept this ticket for an extra carton of cigarettes, which I just realized he barely smoked on that trip – likely because we weren’t with mama, who can smoke the best of them under the table (and I’ll leave that in english because that would be way so potentially rude in serbian).

I actually do love my mother in law. She just drives me a little crazy most of the time, and a lot crazy some of the time.

we met Kuma L. and made a pretty quick sweep there getting the papers and heading out of Belgrade, just around rush hour. We sat holding hands in the back seat, with the air going because Gordon asked the driver to put it on to keep these medicines cool, and he held them dangling from the back seat in front of the little air vent that pointed at us from behind the arm rest between the front seats.  It was really blazing hot outside, so it was tricky keeping them cool,  but I think we managed pretty well. As soon as we got home, after I kissed the ground (kidding) I rushed to the fridge to put them inside.

Mama was doing good. The neighbor cooked us some stuffed peppers, and we were happy. Not really, we were exhausted and sweaty and dirty, but we were finished running… and we know that we might be pregnant next week.Yes, next week. Doc said that I would take this injection, come back Saturday morning to have my estradial measured to see that the drugs are working right. If not, they’ll increase the dose. Then we go back on Tuesday for another blood test (?) and sonogram to check out those follicles that are growing… wow. I just realized that if this goes well, as I’m writing this I have the beginnings of what will be our baby(ies).

I had to pause for a minute and think about that.

After Tuesday, depending on the size of the follicle(s), she said she expects we’d go back on Thursday or so for them to retrieve the eggs, and then return at the end of the week (Saturday I’m thinking) for it/them to be returned.

I think that means we’d have a May baby(ies). Maybe April. April is a pretty name.

Names. We have some. We figured we should pick 3 boy and 3 girls names, just in case. We have Kayla, Aleksandra, Anika, Anja (okay 4), and – well the boys are still rough sketches at the moment, but we have Aleksandar and gosh another name that escapes me now.

Have to admit I am getting tired…

So after we got home, showered and ate, we prepared for the injection. Gordon was so nervous – which he chalks up to all his medical history. I guess I haven’t had many or at least, not many bad ones (pu pu pu).

Gordon couldn’t manage to pop off the top of the saline mix, so he got a knife and we sterelized the blade that he used to open it. We got 2 types of needles in our goody bag, ones that were big and fat and ones that were short and skinny. we should have used the big fat ones to do all the mixing, but didn’t realize it until later – when I barely managed to get the needle to go in my belly. I did manage to get it in, after quite a bit of coercing. Not enough to make my husband faint, thankfully.

Mmmmmm my delicious husband just brought me some delicious Noisette Milka. Gosh, I’m in heaven.

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