When deciding to proceed with IVF, I wish there was a manual that prepared me for the emotional ups and downs that come with the process. Yes, there are TONS of support groups and other people who have gone through the process, but I’m telling you NOTHING prepares your heart for the feelings of extreme happiness and sadness associated with the process.
Aaron and I began our first cycle in April. 04 April to be exact because I kept thinking, “What a great way to ring in my birthday with a bunch of shots to the stomach!” We rang in one last weekend in our favorite town of Fredricksburgh, TX and then immediately started the stim cycle. We completed around 80 shots, and continued with bi-weekly ultrasounds to monitor follicle growth and more medicine adjustments. Yes, my stomach looked like a black and blue pincushion by the time it was all said and done.
I remember coming out of one ultrasound feeling so discouraged because we were following all instructions from our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) and while most women produce 8-10 follicles each cycle I had four on one side and three on another. I felt like failure as woman. I started to prepare myself to only have three or four viable eggs at the retrieval. They pushed my retrieval date back a day in order to add another day of medications which made me worry even more.
The day of our egg retrieval, Aaron and I showed up at the hospital with a bag of necessities (lucky socks, water bottle, ear buds) and a bag of narcotics prescribed for my procedure. The doc told me to eat a light breakfast and I regretted it as it ended up in the trash from my stomach not agreeing with the meds! I was taken back to a very warm room and put in the procedure chair. I was awake for my procedure which while was not comfortable was not the most painful thing I have had done. We got to watch the embryologist take our eggs and wash them from a giant TV in the procedure room. It was actually really cool.
After the procedure, the embryologist came in and stated that they collected 11 eggs! 11!! Aaron and I burst into tears! We were so happy! The next day we found out that 7 of those were mature and 5 fertilized. We were still THRILLED with that number. We had four eggs make it to blastocysts which was still amazing to us. In total we had three viable eggs, two which we did a 5 day fresh transfer with and we froze one.
The day of our transfer my mom came with me due to Aaron being in school and not able to attend. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing support system. THANK YOU AGAIN MOM! It was so amazing getting to watch the procedure as it was occurring. That was a high….then there is the two week wait….WHICH SUCKS!
The two week wait is terrible because you over analyze every single twinge, cramp, spotting of blood, beast soreness, EVERYTHING! If I could go back, I would tell myself to just RELAX! I know that is way easier said that done. Checking every symptom online didn’t help anything, nor did taking random home pregnancy tests! I literally was the worst patient and did this even when my RE told me not to! If you are wondering why it is because not only is your body coming off of LOADS of hormones, but home pregnancy tests are only sensitive to the HCG level they are designed for. Example, an “early detection” pregnancy test is going to have a higher sensitivity to HCG than say your dollar store off brand. Due to the timing and changes in your body you could be pregnant and a home test will not show it or could show a false positive. I think this is a sick joke in the IVF world.
I am typing this the night before our HCG blood draw because I am so excited to see what tomorrow brings. While I have prayed and I know I have a TON of people who are also praying for good news, I am leaving this in Gods hands. Until then, I’ll just stay on the high end of my roller coaster of emotion.