Ok, so somehow it's the first of July! Where in the heck the month of June went, I don't know. I've been on Lupron and birth control for the last week. This morning I took my last birth control pill of this process (this rounds out the 6th week of taking those darn things). The Lupron shots haven't been bad. It's basically the equivalent of an insulin needle and the medicine doesn't sting like some of the others do. But man, my life looks SO different this time than the last time we did this! I don't remember feeling so run down and hormonally emotional this early in the process the first time around, but I also hadn't been through what I've been through these last 4 years and I didn't have a 3 year old to chase around! So if you see me zoning out when you see me, just know I'm loopy from Lupron... ;)
July promises to be a major rollercoaster for us. So far I've been really good about keeping myself just busy enough and being purposeful about keeping my mind and heart and adrenaline in a zen place. You all have been SO helpful in that! I am so grateful for the texts and notes and messages encouraging and reminding me of the army we have behind us. Next week I'm looking forward to LOTS of girl time with so many of my ladies and I just know that's God's provision in the midst of this ever more stressful process. The closer we get, the more scary it gets. But I'm so happy that God is answering prayers big and small along the way. He is making His presence and His provisions so real and tangible right now and I know so much of that has to do with the prayers you all have lifted for us and with us. He is "showing up" for us just as He always does and my cup runs over!
So what does July look like for us? Here's our official timeline:
Monday July 2nd: Baseline ultrasound and blood work at OU. This is where they check to make sure the birth control and Lupron have been doing their job and I'm not moving toward ovulation. If I am, it would mean my body is muscling through THREE hormone therapies meant to suppress that process. Not likely, but possible. That's why they ultrasound! Today is also the day we cut the "big check". That part is always a little nerve wracking, but also SO relieving once it's done!
Saturday July 7th: This is our official "start date". What does that mean? That means I reduce the Lupron to 5 iu, and I add Follistim and Menopur to the nightly regimen. That's right, three shots in the belly daily for about 10 days. My Follistim dosage will change as the process progresses and my estrogen level changes and my ovarian follicles begin developing.
Monday July 9th, Wednesday July 11th, and Friday July 13th: These are the appointments I go to every other day to get blood work and ultrasound to see how my ovaries are responding to the hormone therapy. Dr. Hansen will adjust my stim drugs accordingly at each of these appointments to keep my ovaries working on overtime, but also keeping me from overstimulating (which is NOT a good thing).
Monday July 16th: I may or may not have an appointment this day, but I will likely find out on this day when our retrieval will be...
Tuesday July 17th, Wednesday July 18th, or Thursday July 19th: These are possible retrieval dates. On whichever of these dates Dr. Hansen chooses, I will go in early in the morning and be put under general anesthesia while they go in and aspirate the fluid (and hopefully the mature eggs!) from each of my follicles. Last time we had about 20 mature follicles that contained 11 mature eggs. This time we are hoping for a few more (maybe in the 25 follicles, 15 mature eggs range, so you can pray for those numbers specifically!). Then I sleep off the anesthesia!
From there we wait to hear how our embabies are growing! About 24 hours after retrieval I should get a call from my nurse Connie to tell me what we've got and to begin speculating about possible transfer dates. This is all dependent on the retrieval date and the strength of the embryos...
Things you can pray for:
1) My state of mind and heart in the next 2 weeks!
2) Quiet ovaries on Monday!
3) My body's great response to stimulation therapy!
4) 25 follicles and 15 eggs!
5) Strong and beautiful Womack embryos!
6) The two embryos that will be transferred back to my uterus when the time comes!
SO much is on the horizon for us. July is going to be a big, big month! We are excited and scared and hopeful and apprehensive all in one package. But we are SO grateful for your prayers (we feel every single one for REAL!), your support, your sweet words of encouragement, and your love. We will be leaning into you and into our great, great God in the coming weeks!