Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bloating, Weight Gain, and Ultrasounds

Progression of abdominal swelling:
Left - Stims: Day 6Center - Stims: Day 10Right - Morning of ER
I read that ovaries are normally the size of walnuts, but with IVF can swell up to the size of plums or even small grapefruits! So prior to starting stims, I was preparing myself for the swelling and possible weight gain. (I've read varying accounts on weight gain--some women gained nothing, some gained only 5 lb., others gained closer to 15+ lb.) Today, (the morning of my ER, which I will write about in the next post), I weighed myself and I was up 1.8 lb. I will say that I had a lot less swelling than I was expecting, and my discomfort was pretty manageable (with only a few days of bad headaches at the beginning and a little bit of abdominal "heaviness" towards days 8-10 of stims). I thought I'd post a comparison of my abdomen: Day 6 vs. Day 10 vs. Day 12/ER. I actually looked and felt more bloated on some of the days in the middle of stimming compared to the morning of my ER.

Top: Uterine lining; Bottom: Follicles in my ovary
I also wanted to share some photos from my ultrasound on Day 10 (5.29.16). This entire process has been so interesting and I've learned a lot about my body and what it's capable of doing. 

I've also really surprised myself at how strong I am when I need to be. This first cycle (up to ER) was scary and difficult at times, but it was nothing I couldn't handle and make it through. I've endured endless blood draws and needle pricks, had a ton of invasive ultrasounds; I've gotten over any kind of embarrassment with doctors; I've learned to give myself subcutaneous injections! I've also spent time getting myself healthy--both mentally and physically. I'm surprised that eliminating alcohol and caffeine was as easy as it has been (though I have definitely craved a glass of Malbec here and there!). 

If you are reading this and you are interested in IVF, but are scared of the needles, doctors, and protocol involved--be brave! If I can do this, so can you. In the end, those needle pricks, blood draws, and doctors appointments will (hopefully) be totally worth it. I'm keeping my eye on the prize!

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