IVF Cycle #1, Part II – Trigger Shot Shit Show

So, I left off right at the trigger shot at the end of my last post. Here’s my description of Part II of the IVF Cycle.

IVF Cycle #1 -Part II: The Trigger Shot Shit Show

The trigger shot ended up being one of THE most stressful parts of the IVF process for us. For anyone who has  actually done IVF, this might seem strange – there is nothing obviously stressful about the trigger.  The nurse gives you idiot-proof directions on how and when to inject, since the timing of the IVF trigger shot needs to be exactly 36 hours before retrieval. Our trigger shot was 11:20 PM on Saturday, and our retrieval was 11:20 AM on Monday morning.

Everything was going swimmingly until the morning of the trigger. The weekend nurse on duty gave us our instructions – which went well all except one tiny detail.  The nurse kept mentioning that we would trigger with two shots: Lupron AND Pregnyl/Novarel.  I had a silent panic attack at this point, because we only had ONE trigger shot at home. I stopped her, and said “We only have a Lupron Trigger in our meds. Should we have Pregnyl?” She repeatedly assured me that some doctors only use Lupron, and that I shouldn’t worry about it.

Fast-forward to 2:00 that afternoon. Alex and I are getting ready to go to a local zoo with our niece, when I get the typical follow-up call from a nurse to go over my meds. She starts to review my trigger protocol with me, and once again mentions that I will be using TWO trigger shots – Pregnyl and Lupron.  Now I start to panic. I tell her I only have Lupron. The nurse keeps asking me if maybe I just missed it in the box (HA HA – really? I’m the crazy person who sits down the minute my meds are delivered, takes inventory, watches how-to videos, and organizes everything on a shelf in my linen closet). Once I get out the invoice from Cigna, and tell her it is not even on the invoice, she starts to believe me.

To make a long story short, everything worked out OK in the end. But in the meantime, I had convinced myself our cycle would be cancelled and that we had gone through the whole difficult process up to this point for nothing. In the end, it was a few hours of stress and uncertainty. Thanks to the nurse on duty, we were able to get some emergency meds from the specialty pharmacy at a fairly local Walgreens. We did have to pay out of pocket, but it was worth it so that we could continue with the cycle. It turns out that Cigna totally screwed up our order, and just left the pregnyl/novarel OUT.  So, I will be filing a claim with them to try and get reimbursed for their mistake (and all the headaches it caused us!).

The Trigger Shot – FINALLY

We had to do our trigger shots in two parts.

11:20 PM, Saturday Night: Two Shots –  Novarel & Lupron.  This should have gone a little smoother than it did. I know I am lucky that my shot wasn’t at 2AM or something. However, I’m an old lady and fall asleep on the couch by 9:30. I should also mention that my cousin’s wedding was the night before. I was tired, man! So, I tried VERY hard to stay up, and Alex assured me that he would wake me up at 10:40  if I fell asleep.  I was so nervous about not injecting on time, I figured that I’d draw up the meds and prep the syringe well ahead of time. I realize now that I was being ridiculous. Well,  I fell asleep, Alex got distracted, and I woke up on my own at 11:00 and FREAKED OUT.  I like to blame what happened next on the great amount of fertility meds I was hopped up on. The shots got mixed & injected on time (by me),  but unfortunately all this was accompanied by the soundtrack of me hyperventilating and crying and yelling at Alex “I don’t have enough TIME! I can’t do this! Why didn’t you wake me up!!”  Yeah, I totally deserve the wife of the year award for that one.

Post-Injection, I calmed down and apologized to Alex. He is the most patient person ever, but even he has his limits. And the scenario above is definitely above and beyond what any husband should have to deal with. But, unfortunately for him, the Trigger Shot Shit Show was not over.

2:30AM- Saturday Night – I wake up with excruciating pains on my lower-right side, by my ovary. Sometimes I get super-sharp pains in this area around my period, but they go away quickly, and I’ve always assumed they are gas pains exacerbated by pre-menstrual hormones or possibly endometriosis. Those pains are  sharp enough to take my breath away for a sec, but they only last about 2-5 seconds.  The pains the night after the trigger shot were even more intense, and instead of lasting a few seconds, they just would not let up. It hurt to move and it hurt to breathe. So, cue me crying (once again) and telling Alex we need to go to the emergency room.  I think I was worried my ovary ruptured or something.  Luckily, Alex kept his calm and googled Lupron side-effects — according to him, sharp pains like the ones I was experiencing are one of them. We put on the TV in our bedroom, Alex broke out the tylenol and heating pad, and we settled in to wait them out. I was up for about two hours, but eventually the pains dissipated enough to convince me that my ovary hadn’t exploded and that I didn’t need to go to the emergency room. In all seriousness, Alex deserves the husband of the year award.

11:20 AM, Sunday Morning: Lupron Trigger #2 – We do a follow-up  lupron trigger shot. Thankfully, this one goes off without a hitch and Sunday remains free of drama.


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