Monday, March 23, 2009

Here We Go!

My frozen embryo cycle has finally started. I had to go in for blood work last Friday to make sure my progesterone level was above five, indicating that I’d ovulated. It was 9.8, so I started the daily Lupron shots in alternating thighs on Friday evening. Next week I’ll start estrogen patches. They’re stuck onto the stomach, gradually increasing from one to four over a period of two weeks. At the same time as the patches, I’ll start the daily Lovenox blood thinner shots. My stomach will be a high traffic area….

Then five days before the transfer I add progesterone in oil (PIO) shots in the bum, antibiotics and a steroid drug. The latter two are only for a few days, but the PIO could be for twelve weeks or so, depending on the outcome of the transfer. I made the grave mistake of looking at the needle I’ll be using for the PIO shots – it’s huge. A 1.5” intramuscular needle just like the trigger shot, but it looks much thicker than the one we used for those shots. I’ve never done this by injection before, having opted for suppositories for the other two transfers. But, hopefully not to my great regret, I decided it would be easier to do one shot a day than three messy suppositories with the need to lie down for half an hour for each one.

This cycle involves quite a few doctors’ visits as well. In addition to the usual blood work and endometrial lining checks that'll need to happen a week before the transfer date, I’ll have to have my blood platelets checked three times, four days apart, once I start the Lovenox. We need to make sure I’m absorbing the blood thinner appropriately and that the viscosity of my blood is correct. But the pièce de résistance of all appointments will take place tomorrow with the insertion of a so-called Laminaria, which I understand is some sort of sea algae used to dilate your cervix with for twenty-four hours. It apparently expands with time, similar to those natural bath sponge things, I imagine. Lovely! The Laminaria is intended to widen my cervical opening and make the passage of the transfer catheter easier. As documented in a previous post, this was the problem at my first transfer last March and was the likely cause for the failure of that cycle. I’m not sure how the treatment will last for more than a month, but my doctor in Denver wanted me to do it this week prior to the start of estrogen patches. I’m going to make a wild guess: this will not be a pleasant twenty-four hours. My OB told me he would need to “pack your vagina with other stuff” to keep the Laminaria in place. I can hardly wait.

If all goes well, the transfer of our two embryos will be on Monday, April 27th. We’re very excited with a small side order of terrified.


  1. Wow - I've never heard of the Laminaria stuff (sea algae? really?)but I hope that all goes well for you. Very exciting the transfer will be April 27th - that's not that far away! GL!

  2. Sounds great! Except for the packing poor thing.

    The PIO is not too bad - just don't look while you are getting the shot.

    I am looking forward to your updates!

  3. Good luck with the transfer! I'll be watching out for you next post.

  4. I've heard of the laminaria again...but I'm sorry you have to have one! So, its going to be in there for a while, huh?

    About the shots - I'll be honest, I thought the lovenox was often worse than the pio. The shot itself of the PIO sucks but beware if you haven't done the lovenox before...and have ice ready. It stings when going in...I'd really quickly shoot it into my belly (or have DH do it sometimes) and then grab the ice pack ASAP and cover it. The PIO medicine at least doesn't sting and if you get the right spot for the shot, it isn't bad...though not fun at all. Good luck! So exciting that you are starting!

  5. Yay on getting started JJ! I can't wait to follow your progress!

    Good luck!

  6. Wow, never heard of laminaria! Let us know if it works. Good luck, hang on tight, you're riding is taking off... clickety clack clickey clack... climbing the hill. =)

  7. btw you can now find me at