The IVF Roller Coaster

 

roller coaster

We made it!  We are in the Two Week Wait window!  Technically, we have been in the TWW since our egg retrieval. Man, has this been a roller coaster of emotions!  I forget how basically after we trigger how quickly everything progresses and sort of lost track of time.   So let’s catch up!

Trigger Time and Tornadoes

So we triggered on the 24th at 9:45pm.  That night was absolute insanity.  Hubby and I are a part of Worship Team at church and Wednesday nights are our rehearsals. During rehearsal, we could hear rain falling hard and what even sounded like hail at times.  As we finished, we ended with prayer which is the norm.  Right as we began to pray, everyone’s phones began sounding and we realize we were in the middle of a tornado warning.  We collected our things, (the guys gathered their precious instruments) and we made our way to the basement.  After a few minutes and a break in the rain we all decided to try to get home.  According to the news, rotation had been spotted to the east of where we were about the time we had started to pray but it had passed now.  Hubby and I get home and turned on the news and were informed there was another round of storms that had just produced 90mph west of us headed in our direction.  They tracked it and announced the approximate time it would hit our town…9:45pm.  OF COURSE! There was no way we were going to be late on this trigger. (It has to be precise so there are eggs to retrieve at the right time.) I had a lunch bag to put my medications in and a flashlight and told Hubby it doesn’t matter what’s going on at 9:45pm, we’re doing this.  Lucky for us, the storm had weakened by the time it hit us and we were able to trigger without being in the basement!

Thursday was nice because we didn’t have to do any injections! It was a nice break!

Retrieval Day

Friday was Egg Retrieval Day! I hardly slept at all I was so nervous.  We had to be at the hospital at 7am to be admitted.  We got there, checked in and they walked us back to the all-too-familiar Reproductive Center where they perform the retrievals, transfers, etc.

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Hubby and I before I went in to surgery

We were greeted by two of the nicest nurses I have possibly ever had.  They walked me to my room gave me a “fashionable” gown to wear and bright yellow socks.  We went through my med history and they got an IV started.  Surprisingly, even after not eating for almost 12 hours, the nurse was able to get my IV on the first stick and I didn’t even bleed all over like I did last time.  I spoke with the anesthesiologist and signed all of the necessary forms.  When it was time, I said goodbye to Hubby and they rolled me in to the OR.  They got everything prepped, started me on oxygen and began to give me drugs to make me groggy.  All sounds around me intensified and it felt like I was in a tube. I remember telling the nurses how trippy it was.  I also told the anesthesia nurse how I didn’t like being strapped down last time and she said she would wait until I was out before tightening any of the restraints.

Next thing I knew, I woke up back in the room we started in.  My left side hurt considerably more than I remember from my last egg retrieval and I was still groggy.  They gave me some meds and I asked for Hubby.  post4He came in and told me we got 21 eggs! That was great news, however, I was more concerned about telling him about a dream I just had involving our favorite restaurant, Ryan Gosling and Hubby’s profession.  Lucky for me, Hubby caught it on video.  If you want a good laugh, check it out here! After a few more doses of pain meds, Hubby took me home and I went to sleep.  I had way more nausea this go around and was quite uncomfortable.  Little did I know, I hadn’t even”seen” uncomfortable yet.

Day 1 Embryo Report

I went back to work that Saturday. Since my job is 99% sitting, I figured I would be doing the equivalent at home, I might as well save a sick day.  I did pretty well I would say, just a little sore.  I received a call shortly after arriving to work with our Day 1 Embryologist Report.  Out of 21 eggs only 11 were mature.  This means there were 10 eggs that just didn’t grow quick enough and we weren’t able to use.   My clinic uses a process called ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) which is where they inject a single sperm into the egg instead of just putting them in the general location and letting them “seek it out”.

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21 quickly became 6

We found out of the 11, only 6 were fertilized using ICSI.  They also explained my egg quality wasn’t that great (no surprise) and they were unsure if they were would continue to grow.  At first I was disappointed to learn out of 21 eggs we only had 6 to work with.  I was worried they wouldn’t progress and we would be left with nothing, not even to transfer.  We would have to wait until Monday, Day 3, for our next report.

That night, Hubby played in a band with some of our friends at an annual block party.  I tried sitting for most of it but between eating too much, no pain meds and the bloating really beginning, by the end I was feeling extra crummy.

Sunday and Monday were the worst for me.  See, your body has worked so hard to not ovulate early, create these follicles and then create these eggs.  Then, all of a sudden the eggs are gone and your body is like “WTH?” It tries to fill those follicles back up but it’s just fluid.  Well, I had 21 holes to fill and boy, did I feel it.  When you were a kid, (or adult, no judgement), did you ever push out your stomach like a basketball as a joke?  That’s what it was like but involuntary and constant.  No relief for multiple days. It was awful.  Luckily, I finally felt some alleviation by Tuesday evening, just before our transfer!  I forgot how bad post-retrieval felt!

Day 3 Embryo Report

I received a call Monday around 9am.  I started to panic because they normally call between 7:30am and 8:30am.  I had started to convince myself there weren’t any that made it this far and they were going to call to tell me we wouldn’t be able to transfer.  I must have prayed for the full 30 minutes from 8:30am to 9am and then I received the call.  All 6 were still growing and at appropriate stages for Day 3.  There were a couple that were lagging behind a little and we had some minor fragmentation in the 2 advanced embryos, but they were growing! We wouldn’t receive another report until we went in for the transfer.

Transfer Day

Hubby had to have a last minute Lithotripsy on Tuesday to break up a large kidney stone.  Yeah, in the midst of us doing all of our IVF treatments, he’s been dealing with passing 5 kidney stones this month! Great fun at our house!

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My waiting room posse and my trusty water bottle

Since he had to have this procedure done, he was unable to drive for 24 hours.  Luckily, one of our best friends agreed to drive us both to my transfer.  Thanks Nikky!  At 8:30am, I was instructed to take a Valium and drink water.

Don’t worry, I learned my lesson and didn’t even drink 32oz this time. We were to arrive at the clinic at 9am, about the same time my Valium kicked in.  Just like last time, I woke up at 7am and I basically stared at my phone with the fear they would call and tell me the embryos didn’t make it.  When we got there, I felt a sense of relief knowing I hadn’t received such a call.

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My pair of lucky socks from last year’s World Series!

After waiting in the lobby for a few minutes, we were escorted into a dimly-lit room with calming music playing.  We waited for the Embryologist to come in and give us the news.  She came in and handed us the picture of 2 embryos and said we had one BB blastocyst and one early BB blast. I was ecstatic!  Last time we only had fair quality early blast that couldn’t really even be graded.  BB is about the second best grade you can get on embies!  We told her we were wanting to transfer two this time.  Long story short, as quick as 1, 2, 3…they were transferred! It was so neat for Hubby and I to watch these two tiny dots taking their place on the ultrasound screen.

Afterwards, we went and walked around a shopping center and I bought some coloring books to help me relax.  We went to eat lunch at one of our favorite BBQ restaurants that is close to where we were and we don’t get to eat at very often.   When we were done, we went home, I ate some pineapple (including the core) and lounged the rest of the day.

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Here they are! Aren’t they cute?

Our clinic says to take it easy (no strenuous exercise) for one day but the 2nd is up to us.  I had heard that it is actually good to be somewhat active to create blood flow.  Yesterday, which was Day 2, I had a training class for work so I sat most of the day with occasional breaks so I was still pretty stationary for most of it.

Frozen

On my way to training on Thursday morning, I found myself talking/praying/praising God out loud for everything that we had experienced the day before and this entire cycle.  postShortly after I said “Amen”, my phone rang.  It was our Embryologist calling to tell us if any of the remaining embryos qualified to be frozen.  This was it.  This was one of our biggest goals, (aside from getting pregnant of course), of this entire cycle!  I remember saying “Here we go!” as I slid Answer Call across the screen.  Two made it!  She explained they weren’t the best quality but they are extremely picky about which ones are chosen to be preserved but they were just borderline over so they could be frozen!  She also said because of the quality if and when we decide to do a frozen embryo transfer, we may want to thaw and transfer both at the same time.  So right now, we have two sitting on ice! Brrrr.

Which brings us to today! I’m doing pretty well.  I’m wearing jeans again! Yay!  Never thought I would be this happy about pants!  In all honesty, I’m feeling more confident and positive about this time rather than our last cycle.  Hopefully, for good reason!  I finished some steroids and a Z-pack they had me on to help prep my body and I’m glad because I was having to get up every 2 hours to go to the bathroom at night. Here’s hoping the next time I go that frequently, will be because there’s a tiny human pushing on my bladder!

So, what now?

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Meanwhile, Lola is on Bulldog Incubation Duty

Our next appointment isn’t until September 8th when they will do a blood test, also known as a “beta” (Beta hCG).  This basically tells us if embryo(s) implanted.  If positive, I will go in at least two more times for the same test.  If the numbers are at least doubling, that means things are growing! After positive betas, they will schedule an ultrasound and look for a heartbeat.  If a heartbeat is found, it will be then I would be considered pregnant.  It’s important to be reminded that just because I have a positive beta, doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet.

When we go in Thursday the 8th, we will receive the results shortly after.  This cycle I’m doing things a little differently.  I’m going to take a home pregnancy test  starting Sunday or Monday and continue to take them daily.  Sometimes it will be negative about 5 days after the transfer and then you may get a positive a few days later as your hCG levels rise.  Our clinic doesn’t recommend testing because sometimes it can be negative and you still have a positive blood test, (your hCG levels may not be high enough to detect), and some people get discouraged.  I didn’t test last time.  This time, if I were to wait until the blood test, I would be hit with the results at work, and while good or bad, I’m not sure my co-workers want to deal with that hot mess.  So, Hubby and I are going to the lake for the weekend to relax and get away. I’ll start testing while we are there so I can be prepared for Thursday.

With that said, I may or may not post results until later.  I appreciate everyone who has followed our journey and supported us but this is going to be, single-handedly, the toughest part of our cycle.  I ask that you don’t inquire what are results are and if I seem to go “silent” on social media next week, please respect that although it may be good news or it may be bad news, this is time for us to plan for whatever may be in our future.  When we are ready to share, we will.  I promise.

Until then, prayers and positive thoughts please for a favorable outcome.  Prayers for comfort and understanding if the outcome is less than favorable.  My faith hinges on knowing God is a providing God and everything is in His hands.

Until next time,

J

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The IVF Roller Coaster

  1. Pingback: Hurry up and wait… | The Last Key

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