Ive talked in rather..explicit detail about my experience so far, and I have to admit a lot of it is pretty funny. This, in my opinion is less so but it still has its moments.
I have had oocyte 4 retrievals. One each month since December.
My first was 12/19/2011, where 2 oocytes were retrieved, 1 wasn’t mature enough and was discarded, the other was fertilized on day 2, and according to the embryologist wasn’t of “high” quality. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t ideal either.
The second was 1/16/2012 there were 5 oocytes, 4 of good size, I ovulated the 2 lead ones early from my prodigal right ovary, 2 more were taken from the left side. 1 wasn’t mature and was discarded, the second was frozen on day 2 because the Dr felt like I was so upset by the early ovulation and the loss of the other egg, that he decided to freeze it rather than grow it to blast. The difference in quality of these 2 eggs was quite obvious when the pictures were given to me. The first picture looks like a textbook example of what they dont want, and the second is a textbook image of what they do want. 4 clear cells with no fracturing.
The third was 2/13/2012, a completely non medicated cycle because I was also going to do a transfer a few days later, there was 1 oocyte, I was prepped for the procedure, told that I ovulated the egg early and told to come back on 2/15 for the FET, also known as a Frozen Embryo Transfer
Ive pretty much covered my march retrieval so I wont go down that path again but will instead tell you about my one experience of having an Embryo Transfer.
It was amazing really, you are all naked from the waist down, (not new) they put your embryos up on a big monitor so you can see them kind of wiggling around, they ID you, ID your embryos, you sign your paperwork stating that you know whats being transferred to you and then the Dr inserts a catheter into your cervix. You can see the catheter from the sonogram pictures on a screen right next to your face. He tells you he’s transferring one embryo, then that the second is being transferred, and then you can see them swimming around in the fluid they are inserted with. The Dr. checks the catheter to make sure no embryos are stuck in it, they remove it, and you are given images of your embryos, and led out of the surgery, and onto a recovery kind of bed/chair.
Anyone else in the recovery at that time, is also doing transfers so you might be there with one or two other women. In my case the woman next to me whispered nonstop. She was Japanese so I think she was whispering prayers. She could have been whispering the periodic tables but I assume it was prayers. Who could blame her? I did the same thing.
No matter how religious you are or are not, never in your whole life have you wanted more for those little cells to be happy and flourish in your body. To implant and grow and become your child. I didn’t expect to have such strong feelings about the transfer, but I did, I admit it, I prayed and wished and hoped and the entire experience was somewhere between being super surreal and somewhere on the verge of tears.
Then the dreaded two-week wait.
You are given progesterone tablets, suppositories or shots that must be taken twice a day. Assuming you become pregnant you will take them for the entire 10 weeks, possibly longer before your RE releases you to your ObGyn.
After my transfer I was told to go home, stay pretty much still for a day or three, and then just be careful, no lifting more than 5 pounds, no baths etc. My husband bless his heart, practically had a fit when I tried to push the cart in Target. It was a really funny feeling, who the hell am I kidding, it was a fantastic feeling to be doted on.
For me, somewhere around day 3 after the transfer the progesterone was building in my system, and I started getting nauseated. First I threw up once a day then 3 and 4 times a day, until about day 9 when it finally subsided. I paid attention to every little twinge, every little movement, every little flutter or backache. For whatever reason my back ached a lot.
I was so relieved about finally having completed the first round of IVF that for at least a week I didn’t think about taking a HPT. Then my friend kept asking me every day, “when are you taking one?” , “how come you haven’t taken one yet”. What I didn’t know yet was that it was too early to show up on a HPT. But I finally gave in the night before my Beta because if it was negative I didn’t want to cry in front of the Dr. Id cried enough in front of him and I wanted to be in control of my emotions.
It was negative.
That was on Monday 2/27/2012. By Friday 3/2/2012 shark week had started and so I started the monitoring carousel again. And this blog.
As I said this isn’t for the weak or faint of heart. Its hard, it hurts, and a lot of emotions are involved. Some are constructive and some are not. You get to choose how you want to deal with it, if you want to get discouraged, or beat down. You get to decide how you want to cope.
I am coping by writing it down. It’s not lost on me that this could turn out badly, or that I am really putting myself out there for criticism by documenting my experiences. I choose to face it, to own it. If the day comes when I have to explain to my child, that he/she was made in a petri dish, well, I will jump off that bridge when I get to it.