I ended up doing 2 more days of stims before my egg retrieval. My doctor wanted to collect as many eggs as possible, so with me having a handful of follicles that were growing but not quite where she wanted them to be, she extended my treatment. This meant, more money! They don’t lie to you when they tell you that the most money is spent on medication! Especially in my case since my insurance only covers the diagnosis and no treatments or meds. Since I was already used to the injections by day 3, this wasn’t as big of a deal to me. My body did start reacting more each day to the many follicles. I had twinges on both sides and I felt like I was going to bust open like a can of biscuits to be honest. I just had to keep the mentality it was only temporary and that it would soon be done and over with.
I did 12 days of stims and triggered on day 13. My trigger shot wasn’t too bad, I felt like the needle was the most intimidating part of it all. At this point I am used to the burning and pokes of the needles, so it was more anticipation of that loooonger needle going into my intramuscular that had me on edge. My husband gave me the trigger at 8pm on the dot and I literally told him just do it! Don’t tell me when it’s going in just go for it when you are ready and I will deal. He did a great job because I did not feel anything at all while he injected me, it was more afterwards when it was done. But to be honest, it was a few mins of burning but a light feeling still. Proof that he did it right, the next day I had my blood drawn and got confirmation that night that everything was where it should be! Next is the egg retrieval….
It’s finally HERE! My egg retrieval day was on Saturday August 18th. The day before, I finally felt relief and was no longer feeling the never ending twinges that I was starting to get day 11 and 12. It was great because I was able to enjoy a good meal and good night of sleep before surgery. My trigger shot was at 8pm Thursday, so my check in time was 6am on Saturday at the surgery center and surgery was at 7am. I felt calm, not nervous at all. I was actually really excited! I got my gown on, got into a nice warm bed and got myself cozy before they put in my IV. The procedure was done at the same surgery center that I had my lap at so I was familiar with the place and staff. 5 star ratings on Newport Beach Surgery Center! They are amazing people!
Surgery lasted about 45 mins and I was in recovery about an hour or less. The anesthesiologist was aware a head of time that I get nauseous from anesthesia so gave me something to help. Once I got home I just wanted to sleep and get warm. I didn’t have much on an appetite that day, just wanted to rest a lot. I didn’t notice much bloat since I was taking Cabergoline and stuck to the instructions to have no water from day 10 of stims until cleared by my doctor. I drank a lot of coconut water but mainly stuck to Gatorade and Vitamin Water. My doctor did warn me that I was going to have mild OHSS because of the amount of eggs I had and went the full 12 days of stims. So I was put on work leave a whole week. She compared the bloating to 6 months pregnant. I wasn’t looking forward to that in public for the obvious reasons so was ready for a week off!
The next day I did get sick from the anesthesia wearing off, but that is normal for me. It wasn’t too bad since there wasn’t really too much in my system to begin with. I did have more pain the day after surgery and Tylenol extra strength was not helping me. I woke up in a cold sweat and had to sit in front of the room fan and also had the AC on 67! My husband was freezing his ass off but I was honest to goodness, sweating. I still had no appetite this day and it continued just about the whole week. I tried to eat crackers, protein bars and a high protein diet since I had read that will help with OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.) I got a call from my doctor the day after retrieval and she okay’d me to switch to Ibuprofen to help with the inflammation as well as using a heat pad for my back and tummy, as both were majorly killing me. I also made the mistake and laid flat, not realizing the post op instructions said NOT to do that. Smart move on my end. Not bloating too much though, just minimal. Day 3 following the retrieval I had some increase in the bloating but it still wasn’t too crazy…. Then came day 4. I must say it still wasn’t the 6 month pregnancy look but there was major a bloat up difference and my back was killing me even more. I was grateful at this point for the write off from work. I was losing sleep from not being able to get comfortable. I opted out on getting an RX for narcotics because I didn’t want to land up getting constipated. To me that seemed to be the one thing I wanted to avoid at all costs. The pain was tolerable overall to be honest, I just had my moments. Day 5 I was still really bloated, but the pain was finally gone. I did experience having to catch my breath a lot days 2-7. I felt like even talking, I was catching my breath after each sentence or two. Day 6 and 7 I felt like I was finally getting back to myself. The bloating went down A LOT on day 7. I ran some errands both days just to get out of the house because I was having major cabin fever. Day 8 and Day 9 felt like I didn’t even go through the week I just had! I woke up feeling good and still took it easy, but I was able to be out and about and took small naps since Monday was back to work for me.
My count. I wanted to save this for last to break it down instead of being all over the place in this post.
The day of the retrieval, they collected 26 eggs. All eggs fertilized that day. The facility that we are using for our embryo storage included Assisted Hatching and ICSI which I can touch up on if anyone isn’t too familiar with these services. My doctor called me the day after the surgery to tell me, all eggs fertilized however, only 7 were “good”. I lost a huge amount of embryos already on day 1. I felt ok with the number, my husband felt like it wasn’t that great of a count. The doctor said that the other embryos were abnormal and had more than 2 chromosomes and they look to only have the 2. She mentioned that these could result in birth defects, miscarriage or even pregnancy cancer. So to her, she looked at it as we got the ones we needed to get out of the way, out of the way. We didn’t opt to do genetic testing. It’s just not something we wanted to do since if we were to get pregnant without IVF, we wouldn’t have the option. Plus, if we had a child that was sick or needed us to do more for them than the average kid, we didn’t care. That’s our kid so why “pick”. My doctor mentioned that they usually go to day 5, however, you can lose more than half of your embryos by this day so let’s see on Day 3 how it looks and take it from there. On Day 3, my embryo count was still 7 and their grade was still really good. She asked what we wanted to do and I honestly had no idea, but I needed to be the one to make the decision. I asked her what she thought was better and mentioned I was scared to go to Day 5 and have none left. I would be more depressed in the end with that outcome instead of taking a chance on Day 3 embryos that I can help fight for! May be a naïve choice but its our choice. My doctor said that since we were not doing the genetic testing that Day 3 was the good choice for us.
I still have to get a hysteroscopy before our transfer and since this doctor puts you on 5 days of bed rest ( 3 strict days, the other 2 are house arrest) I am working on getting my body in tip top shape and my health so once we get this transfer going, I can say I gave it my all! I have to accumulate some time off from work since infertility isn’t a qualified medical leave and I can put my position at work at risk, even the job overall. I think we need a nice healthy mental leave from this for a bit as well. So, we are looking at December or January for the transfer. We will be transferring two embryos and will only transfer 1 time. If it doesn’t work out in our favor we can pray about it, but I think at that point we will have had enough. Again, I am speaking in advance and can never say never!
Please keep us in your prayers and we will keep you in ours!
Where are you at in your journey? Are you doing IVF, a FET soon or thinking of getting into IVF? I would love to hear some feedback or other stories!