Let the tears fall

Dr. O’Brien pushed our egg harvest (retrieval) by two days since my body started off with low estrogen. Typically, day 12 is when we prepare for the trigger shot to force ovulation, but today is another monitoring day.

Hubby comes with me so he can see the beautiful follicles we are growing.

My stomach region is more sensitive and I feel the pressure mounting as I move.

Thankful, I give praises and I know the follicles are growing.

Another prick of my bruised veins and then into the monitoring room.

This is Hubby’s first time to see and I’m excited for him to experience this.

Sure enough, we have pretty black circles and round shapes front and center on the monitor. The right side is showing off with follicles measuring from 14-22mm. The left is still a bit shy with the majority of follicles measuring around 14mm.

Our nurse explains that although women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, they still need to mature. The maturation process happens within the follicles. Mature eggs are said to be in follicles that measure between 18-22mm.

Although we count at least 15 measurable follicles, only 5 of them are mature.

My heart drops.

We will most likely go one more day to give the smaller ones time to grow.

I pray that we go one more day as it seems too early to trigger now.

Tears begin to fill my eyes as I fear we won’t have enough mature eggs to move through the next steps of the process.

I am scared that we have done all of this and we won’t end up with a good harvest.

My emotions take over and I let the tears fall. I know I am on major hormones but these tears seem so raw and real. tears.png

God, what are you doing?

What else can I do to help these to grow?

How can I ensure they are all healthy, vibrant eggs ready to meet their partner in creating a baby?

I can’t do anything more than what I’m already doing.

I feel helpless.

I have no control what my body will do.

Although modern science is incredible to get us to this point, this is where God shows his stuff.

God, I surrender. I am so scared that we have done all this and we won’t end up with a single viable embryo.

Even more scary to me is that we do all this and we end up with one embryo and we miscarry or we have a full-term pregnancy and then we don’t have any additional embryos for later children.

My mind is full of what-if’s and I don’t wanna’s and me, me, me.

During the acupuncture appointment, I rest my mind.

Allowing myself just to be in this space of pity and sorrow.

Sometimes I just have to give myself permission to wallow. It’s easy to push the feelings aside and get into the positive or the ‘all will be well’ mindset, but it doesn’t honor my emotional reaction to information.

Allow me to be sad and scared.

I don’t stay there much longer as Hubby and I talk and we see that this is God’s plan, as are all children.

This journey is not mine to write. I just get to be along for the ride.

The nurse calls and gives us our medication instructions. Increase the Gonal F, keep everything else the same.


God, I trust you. I know that although IVF is a medical process, becoming pregnant and delivering a child is a miraculous gift from you.

May I be open to receive what you have to give.

Gonal F- 175IU
Menopur- 225 IU
Cetrotide- .25mg

Bruising and Increasing Pressure

Day 9- “Good morning”, was said with a prick of the needle into my stomach.

I began taking Cetrotide this morning to help pause my body from going into the ovulation phase and will continue at night with the Gonal F and Menopur to help the follicles grow.

Bright and early this morning, Hubby and I head to Shady Grove to meet with Dr. O’Brien for our consult. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_86ef.jpg

She is a delight and informed us that we are on the right track.

Since my estrogen started off so low (50 on day 4), we are 2 days behind the protocol she originally outlined, making our retrieval 2 days later and therefore disrupting our travel plans back to Colorado.

God, help me be flexible. I’m not doing all of this just to botch it in the end over a change of travel days.

Change of travel days means a change of PTO at work and meetings and scheduled appointments.

Just another sign that I’m too busy during this season.

I relax and embrace that this process is not exact and that my body is responding just as it is supposed to. I keep praying for healthy eggs inside these follicles, regardless of how long it will take to grow them.

Dr. O’Brien has no concerns for what she is seeing and is very pleased with how my body is responding to the medication and process.

Our prayers are with God’s will and modern medicine as we continue this walk of faith into the unknown.

We spend the rest of the day playing tourists in Washington, DC. To the Holocaust Museum and then the Bible Museum. Such an amazing experience to be in the Nation’s capital and living with the freedom to explore history. Hubby continues throughout the city while I return back to Rockville, tired and depleted. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again as my body really is exhausted.

Gonal F- 187.5 IU
Menopur- 225 IU
Cetrotide- .25mg

Day 10–  I return for another prick of the arm for blood work and ultrasound. The follicles are growing (praise God!) and we are looking at a 16mm follicle on the right side as our front-runner. Many on the left are still in the 9mm range though, so we have some growing to do.

I head upstairs for my acupuncture appointment and she focuses only on my kidney today. She explains there are two sides of the energy, like 2 bank accounts, one is checking and one is savings. When the checking runs out, I dip into savings, but I don’t spend enough time replenishing the savings and before I know it I’m in major debt in my body. Today we are going to help rejuvenate the savings side of my kidney. Apparently, the kidney is the part of the body that is feeding my ovaries the blood and protein necessary so they are working overtime right now.

The needles in my stomach ZING as she puts them in.

“Is this because my stomach is so sensitive from all the shots?” I ask.

“No, it’s because these are for your kidney’s and right now they are tired so they are more sensitive.”


I rest under the heat lamp and carry that same posture of quiet and rest into the remainder of my day.

Gonal F- 150 IU
Menopur- 225 IU
Cetrotide- .25mg

Day 11– My bruised vein greets the phlebotomist.

“Which arm would you like?” I ask.

“Either one works for me”. She responds.

How to choose between two bruises? I just have to suck it up and let her prick me again.

The ultrasound was more painful today.

Everything seems more painful today, walking, sitting, bending.

She inserts the ultrasound wand and I feel like she is pushing through tight muscles. The follicles are growing, causing my stomach to feel swollen.

Sure enough, there are eight follicles on my right side, the largest being 20mm and seven on the left with the largest being 14mm. Come on left side!!

I spend the rest of the day relaxing. Reading, writing and grateful there is an NCIS marathon on USA.

Gonal F- 187.5 IU
Menopur- 225 IU
Cetrotide- .25mg

IVF Timeline

1_5Yqfls2QmHfRxDiEmi4eVQ.pngWhat’s the timeline look like for us?

If all goes well… this is what the timing and protocol look like for us. The tricky thing to note is that it all depended upon how my body responds to the medication.

It’s my charge to be as calm and relaxed as possible during this time so my body can do what it needs to do. I already know that stress is a huge factor that causes my body to shut down so I will have to build in space for chill nights and calming days.

I put in red the things I’m doing to help this calming process.

IVF Procedure- Step 1: Egg retrieval

Take birth control- 2 weeks

Baseline ultrasound & blood work- Day after last birth control pill

Day 1: Begin medications- 2 days after baseline ultrasound

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 3: Calming: light workout, acupuncture

Day 4: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: massage

Day 5: Calming: light workout, acupuncture

Day 6: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur
  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 7: Fly to Shady Grove

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, begin Cetrotide

Day 8: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk, acupuncture

Day 9: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk

Day 10: Monitor appointment (potential to increase medication)

  • Medication: Gonal F & Menopur, Cetrotide
  • Calming: walk, acupuncture

Day 11: Monitor appointment & trigger shots and meds

  • Medication: Cetrotide, Lupron & HCG shot
  • Calming: walk

Day 12: Blood work (LH, P4 & HCG) to ensure trigger shot worked

  • Medication: (unsure)

Day 13: Egg retrieval

  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 14: Egg retrieval results/ follow-up appointment

  • Calming: acupuncture

Day 15: Return to Colorado

Day 20-21: Egg/sperm cell growth results- 5-6 days after retrieval

  • Freeze blastocysts that are healthy


Day 30: Receive period

  • Go on birth control until we receive test results

Receive PGS/ chromosome testing results- 3 weeks from egg retrieval

Consult with Doctor O to decide next steps for Step 2: frozen embryo transfer protocol.