Egg Harvest Day!

Today is the day! We have been waiting a long time for this opportunity to come and here it is.

Since I will be going under anesthesia, I am not able to have anything for breakfast. So instead, I shower, pack my luggage, and we drive to the clinic around 10:15am for our 10:30am report time.

I am nervous. My stomach feels less bloated today and I fear that the trigger shot already forced ovulation to occur and my eggs flushed out of me.

Oh, the mind games I play.

We are quickly taken back to room 11 where I redress with my blue smock and booties. The bruised vein gets one more prick and the saline begins to drip into my body. It takes an hour before it’s my turn to go into the operating room. At 12 noon, I kiss Hubby goodbye and shuffle into the OR.

It’s cold and the bench I lay on is short, just long enough for my head and torso. I lift my legs into the leg rests and I feel the vulnerability overwhelm me. The nurse straps my legs into the rests and asks me to move down to practically hanging off the edge of the bench.

I mention the chill and Steve, my anesthesiologist, quickly responds with, “let me give you a hot totty to warm you up”. He hooks me up to the ‘goods’ and the nurse flips my blue gown up over my stomach. Complete vulnerability. Pure humiliation.

That was my last thought.

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The IVF process is pretty amazing. We are still in the first part of it all as we need to get the eggs and put the sperm inside and then let the cells grow.

In order to get the eggs, they need to drain the liquid from the follicles. The eggs will come with the liquid into the doctors care. They will pierce the vagina wall and go through the ovaries. I am going into this procedure with just over 20 follicles (that were seen on the monitoring screen).

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8705.jpgI wake up about 12:45 in a drugged haze. I am in and out of coherent thought and I am crying. I’m so happy this part is over and so scared there were no eggs to retrieve. Hubby handles the blubbering sentiments and random thoughts like a champ. I even asked if Hubby could go into the OR and take a picture so we had a memory of it. (not an option).

 

Dr. O’Brien was by my side and shared they were able to harvest 20 eggs from my body!

Oh, what a joy! Great work body, I’m so grateful!

She was very pleased with the outcome and warned me of how sore I would feel. I could already feel the tenderness in my stomach.

Before I am released, I walk up and down the hall with a nurse. I can barely pull my legs out of bed before I feel a shooting pain up my bum.

I comment to the nurse and she says this is a normal pain as my ovaries are so enlarged. I get home and do some googling. This is what I find out:

It’s normal to feel this way since my ovaries were so enlarged that they could be pushing against my rectum.  Apparently, the more eggs they retrieve, the more uncomfortable you feel.  The reason is that they remove the eggs from the follicles, but the follicles still remain inside you and fill up with fluid after the retrieval, hence the bloating and my engorged ovaries.

Today is day 0Retrieval day

After I am released, 4-6 hours following the time of the egg retrieval the embryologist will initiate the fertilization process of the eggs. Fertilization is attempted using one of two methods, standard insemination or ICSI.

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Standard insemination involves placing a required number of washed, motile sperm into the culture drop containing an egg. Although many may decide to do this, modern science has progressed to the ability to insert a single sperm into a single egg.

 

ICSI is a more involved process where the embryologist uses a specialized needle and microscope to catch a single sperm to inject directly into the cytoplasm of the mature egg.

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Once insemination or ICSI occurs the eggs are placed back into the incubator to allow time for fertilization to occur.

We decided to do the ICSI.

 

For the remainder of the evening, I rest and move gingerly, giving my body enough space to heal. We will learn more about how many of the 20 eggs were mature and fertilized tomorrow.

 

 

 

Stuck with Needles

Walking into the cool warmly lit office, I knew I would be able to calm down here. The sign asking clients to take off shoes confirmed… this was a safe space to relax.

Acupuncture Denver was recommended to me by a friend who was trying to conceive and after a couple months of working with Jane at Acupuncture Denver became pregnant. I know that acupuncture won’t be the reason we get pregnant, but I believe it can help a body function well and become realigned.

I had been corresponding with Jane since February through email so to meet her in person was a delight. She took 30 minutes to hear my story. Her questions about PCOS and the various medications I have tried confirmed that she knew a lot of fertility and PCOS.

Then she dropped the bomb.

“I wonder if you have symptoms of PCOS but since no cysts were seen on your ultra sound, you may have something with your hypothyroid. I’d have to see your blood work to confirm.”

Wait… what? I’ve been around and around about this with doctors and I was really happy to know what it is that causes me to be “abnormal”. Not to mention, I was on thyroid medication for a few years and nothing changed, so what is this all about?

Frustrated and perplexed I laid down on the table, face down.

Jane applied the needles along my back and in my legs. My head was full of questions and worry that my doctor is operating on the assumption that I have PCOS, what if I’m not getting pregnant because it’s really something else? And that mass of a cyst that they saw outside of my uterus on the ultra sound, what is that?

No time to worry about this all now as I wanted to pray into the acupuncture treatment and let go of all the concerns of the unknowns.

Later this week, I got an email from Jane who had reviewed my blood work. She confirmed that the numbers do not point towards PCOS. It seems as though my AMH is at a good (but not high like in PCOS) level, my FSH and LH ratio is perfect and my other labs are totally normal too (like androgens). So she’s thinking it might be a mild hypothalamic issue. Jane recommends checking with my doctor for further analysis… so that is what Ill do.

Grateful to have people around me who know the fertility world and what to look for since I sure as heck have no idea what to do!

So what can I do now? Enjoy the journey God has us on…

Not Pregnant, please try again

It is confirmed, no period and not pregnant

I call my OBGYN and share with them the results, expecting them to put me on Provera to induce a period and start the next round of Clomid.

But wait….

“Have you had unprotected sex in the last 10 days?”- asked the nurse.

“Yes, is this a problem?”- I shared

“Well, we can’t prescribe Provera to you until you have cleared 10 days since your last unprotected sex day just to be certain that you are not pregnant.”- stated the nurse.

“Are you KIDDING ME?!” I screamed in my head.

Here we are having to wait additional days already because my body decides it doesn’t want to function correctly with a normal bleed time and NOW we have to wait 10 MORE days because I didn’t know we couldn’t have unprotected sex?  This is just about to kill me (so I think).

“Ok, Ill call again next week.”- I respond calmly.

(Conversation ends)