When starting IVF I thought it would be a simple case of complete step 1, step 2 and step 3 and ta da here are your embryos.
What I've learned is that like all of our bodies are different on the outside, they are also different on the inside. When it comes to faking your body into a hyper fertile state, there are so many variables and each fertility specialist has a different approach and drug regime to try and get you to reach an appropriate level of hyper fertility.
In addition to following the prescribed drug regime, there is a stack of monitoring. Monitoring involves blood tests and ultra sounds to ensure hormones are increasing appropriately and that the all important follicles are developing.
My daily injection is going fine, as it turns out I'm a professional. The monitoring is showing that each ovary is developing 5 or 6 follicles of about equal size. This is really good news. The follicles need to be developed to certain size for the eggs that come out of them to be mature. My doctor said that my body is doing exactly as it is supposed to do and wishes all his patients were as well behaved.
Some women have the case where early monitoring shows they don't have enough follicles, so their injection medication level is increased - however this can lead to follicles that develop late, and therefore are not mature by the time eggs are harvested.
I keep doing what I'm doing. I'm injecting at just after 7am and getting blood tests and scans as instructed. Finally my doctor tells me my follicles are all the right size and it time to do the 'trigger' shot.
The trigger shot is the hormone that tells your body OVULATE. Apparently after this shot it takes about 37 hours to ovulate. Therefore, about 36 hours after you do this final injection it is important that you are having the eggs harvested from the follicle.
The doctor tells me I'm booked for a 2pm egg pick up on Wednesday, this means that at 1am on Tuesday morning I need to wake up and give myself an injection. Clearly this timing thing is a little confusing. The doctor tells me, that is like Monday night you need set the alarm - it is really important that I get the timing right.
Given my policy on anything that will increase my chances of IVF success is on the to do list, I was awake at 12.45 am on Tuesday prepping the injection (that this time isn't in one of the easy to administer epipens). Once I administer the injection I'm straight back to sleep.
The next two days are great. No drugs at all. After 4+ weeks of nasal sprays and 2+ weeks of daily injections a two day drug break is a luxury. The break also means the business end of the IVF cycle is around the corner.