To start off, for those who may be reading who are not in the world of IVF: a little Biology 101 about how follicles work: your ovaries have a certain number of follicles which remains the same throughout your life. In my case, I have twelve. This means that during every cycle, before ovulation, twelve eggs come up to bat and compete to be *the* winning egg who gets to make the trip down one of the fallopian tubes. The body then chooses the dominant egg of the twelve, the "winner," and it is released. The other eleven eggs are so devastated by this that they commit suicide (a term called apoptosis). Thank goodness the human body is able to choose one egg per cycle, or else we'd have litters like dogs and cats.
During my follicle check yesterday, the doctor did an ultrasound and counted *sixteen* follicles. That means the stimulation meds I have been on for almost a week have allowed me to grow four more follicles than usual. This is a very good number, as it means they could get sixteen eggs when they retrieve. He then measured the follicles. Measurements ranged from 9.5mm to 14.6mm. They want all of my follicles to hit 18-20mm for egg retrieval, since the bigger the follicle is, the more likely they will be able to retrieve an egg. My follicles are growing at a rate of about two millimeters a day! So, I will continue as I have been over the weekend and go in on Monday morning for another scan. My nurse has predicted my trigger shot will be done Monday night (more on that later), which means egg retrieval would be Wednesday morning!
Here is a picture of my left ovary with four follicles showing:
Here is a picture of Marc giving blood! Eight vials! For surrogacy, the FDA requires lots and lots of blood to make sure no one is carrying any diseases (I had mine done a couple of weeks ago, as did Jenn and Michael):
(he seems entirely too happy about this, if you ask me!)