This will be a quick update because I wanted to get a few thoughts down since I’ve started my injections but I am also a walking zombie tonight!

I just got in from the most lovely, emotional and beautiful wedding this evening! I had a great time and was support by the most thoughtful, hardworking team of of SIX i could ever ask for! Y’all, just check out these sneaks!

I am so proud of the Jake’s and check out their sweet frenchies, Apollo and Persephone! I am definitely one worn out photog, but my heart is so full. I definitely cried at this wedding, and I don’t think it was the hormones.

Today also marks day two of injections and day one of stims! Yesterday my sweet friend Kim came and helped me learn to give myself shots and I successfully stabbed myself in the tummy rolls! Yesterday, day one of shots was the first day of down reg drugs (drugs to keep my follicles from gladiator style fighting themselves – an analogy courtesy of Dr. Brezina). I am on Lupron and I give that shot twice a day, 12 hours apart. Today, day two of injections, i added my stimulation drugs (drugs to encourage my eggs to all grow and develop at the same rate). From this point forward, my walnut sized ovaries will work overtime to grow to the size of grape fruits so the doctors can harvest as many eggs as possible on retrieval day. So, pray for me! So now, at night I will add one shot of Menopur (I’m taking two vials) and Gonal-F (I’m taking 225 units from a multi dose pen). You read that right. FOUR shots a day!! So far I’ve only taken six shots but i already feel like a pin cushion. The most common side effects are headaches and constipation. Oh boy! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’ve had a bit of a dull headache all day today, but nothing intolerable and as far as the other thing, everything is moving along just fine in that region for now, I’ll be sure to keep you updated though! Other common symptoms are bloating (walnuts to grapefruits, seems fitting!) and cramping so the heating pad will be my best friend. Staying hydrated will be paramount to mitigating most of these side effects and I’ve done a pretty good job only because of all of you. The constant reminders to drink water and wash my hands have been so helpful and appreciated so keep it up!!

Most serious side effects that would constitute a medical emergency include Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) where your ovaries rapidly retain fluid from there abnormal growth rate and Ovarian Torsion, a painful condition where your ovaries twist and cut off their own blood supply. Both are rare, about 5% of women experience these things during an IVF cycle, but there is a risk. This is why I will be closely monitored during my cycle to help mitigate this possibility and my meds could be adjusted mid treatment.

Overall, the remainder of the week since i returned from DC has been good. I have been so very busy and won’t have a chance to slow back down til I’m back at Walter Reed Monday, which i am seriously looking forward to. I miss naps. But i am glad for the opportunity i have had to be able to fulfill all of my previous engagements, photo shoots, conferences and work even with the last minute admittance into the current IVF cycle. And i am seriously enjoying the cuddle time with the fur babies before i have to leave them for so long next week, i already miss them so very much.

I will update you again when i get back to DC and until then i plan on resting, taking some photos of my favorite people and finally investing in me. I have run myself so ragged to make sure i have gotten everyone taken care of before i knew i would have to take a big step back to ensure i have done everything possible to be successful in our endeavor. I can’t thank everyone enough for being so understanding of my need to take care of Katie in the next several weeks. I know it will be hard for me, and this is one of the many reasons i so miss Tim, he is always the best at insisting that “yes” is not always the right answer.

Now, time for sleep and for the first time in months, i don’t even have to set an alarm!! I hope i can actually take advantage of this long lost freedom!

Til Monday,

❤ Katie


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