This morning I had another monitoring appointment. Blood and ultrasound as usual. My ultrasound tech actually turned the monitor towards me so I could watch, and ask questions, as she measured the follicles, which is pretty cool to see. Little black blobs of varying size and shape all smushed in together inside larger black sacks (my ovaries). I chose to have the blood draw from my right arm again knowing that my retrieval and an IV are in my future. I like to try to give them an unbruised vein on surgery day, for everyone's benefit.
It was in fact my last monitoring appointment. I didn't know that going in, but with my estrogen levels up near 3000 I got the call this afternoon that tonight we "trigger." That means medications shift and I only have 3 more shots to go!
23 down. 3 to go!
Basically, for the last week, thanks to a lovely drug called Cetrotide, my body has been telling my follicles not to release my eggs. So while the other two evening shots have continued to elevate my FSH levels (follicle stimulating hormone) so my body will mature as many eggs as possible, the Cetrotide has been kindly preventing my body from releasing any of them. In a normal cycle eggs will develop in more than one follicle, and on both sides, but only one (and on rare occasions two) will continue to mature until ovulation when the body releases it.
Science. Pretty incredible.
So, tonight, the FSH inducing medications, Menopur and Gonal-f, stop and instead on top of the Cetrotide shot to keep the eggs in, I also take 2 shots to "trigger" the eggs to release an hour later. It's all timed very precisely so that the retrieval surgery happens exactly 36 hours from the time of the trigger injection which is when the body will tell my follicles that they can finally release the eggs.