Origami Star Instructions: IVF Journey Guidance
© Laura Solt, Department of Medical Education
Cut 4 strips of paper each measuring 1 inch by 18 inches, use a ruler for precision
Grow follicles each measuring 17-18 millimeters, use Gonal F 150 unit injections twice daily for optimal growth
Fold each strip of paper in half, press hard crease in middle, it is okay if the ends are not lined up perfectly
Night before egg retrieval, husband gives Novarel trigger shot, it is okay if you bleed at injection site, this is normal
Fold strips down one across the other tucking the last strip inside the square to ensure stability
Retrieve 14 eggs, 5 of good quality, fertilize 3 embryos, have free fluid in uterus, decide to freeze embryos to ensure success
Turn over folded paper, fold bottom left strip into a 90 degree angle toward the left, fold in half lengthwise and tuck into opposite crease
Wait until next menstrual cycle, start Lupron injections 20 units once daily to stop all hormone production
Repeat until all strips have small triangles and are tucked inside one another
Schedule implantation date. Start taking estradiol pill 2 times a day to grow uterine lining. When this doesn’t work, increase to 3 times a day
Fold bottom left strip into a 90 degree angle toward the left, fold in half lengthwise and tuck into opposite crease, this will create a point in your star.
Thaw and grow frozen embryos. Hope to grow each embryo to 6-8 cells.
One does not grow, 1 grows to 2 cells, 1 grows to 4 cells. Pray for a miracle, implant the 2 embryos
Repeat until all strips, on all sides, have their own point in the star, set the star on a flat surface to make for easy work.
Continue estradiol pills 3 times a day, husband gives progesterone in oil injections, 1 unit twice a day. Lay on bed or sofa to make for minimal pain with injections
Star is complete, cut paper strips to meet at each point and hide blemishes.
After 2 week wait, receive call from doctor that IVF failed.
Wear a smile to hide the heartache.
A remarkable juxtaposition of making stories – origami star creation and unsuccessful In Vitro Fertilization. The ordinary paired with the extra-ordinary. Blemishes we heal with extra paper, deep pain we routinely cover with smiles. Tension between a technical skill and the step by step of an infinitely complex magic.