Last week was an interesting point in our TTC Journey. We had three doctor visits, took new drugs, finished some drugs, saw great things, and learned all about some great next steps.
I'll start from Tuesday.
Going into the office on Tuesday I was coming off of a weekend of taking 3 drugs in a total of 4 shots daily and I was ready to see the progress it generated. The ultrasound revealed that follicles were popping up, but there weren't a whole lot because my cycle had not completely gone away at that point. My blood work came back great and I was taken off of one of the drugs, the dosage of one was reduced, and the dosage of the third was increased. Either way I was happy that I was down to three shots instead of the four.
Thursday's appointment -
Again, I had to give blood, which came back looking great. That day's ultrasound revealed that I had 8 growing follicles in my right ovary, and 7 in my left ovary. I was amazed. Some were small and some were medium sized. She told me that some of those would never mature to size, some would, and I would likely produce others.
Saturday's appointment -
By Saturday I was feeling Full, like literally. My belly felt like it weighed 10 pounds just by itself. As usual, I walked in and had to give blood and then went into my ultrasound. This time the nurse was much quieter. Both Mr. RFA and I were looking at the screen and I saw tons of dark spots - follicles. I couldn't believe that all of those things were inside of me, hopefully producing eggs. After about 5 minutes she confirmed that there were several new follicles. In fact there were 13 on the right side and 20 on the left side. Yes, you read that right, I had 33 follicles floating about. She said that several had already reached maturity and she wasn't quite sure what the doctor would have us do at this point because we were about 3 to 4 days ahead of schedule.
The doctor reviewed all the images and determined that I had some great follicles so instead of hoping the smaller ones would mature, and risking losing the good ones, he wanted us to prepare for egg retrieval. So, I was told to stop all my stimulation medication, and to take a Trigger shot (HCG) at 8:30pm on Saturday. On a side note, my husband had to administer the HCG shot to me because it goes into the muscle of my backside. He did a great job, after I felt the initial pinch, I didn't feel a thing. HCG is the drug that tells the eggs to release from the follicles or as you probably know it, to ovulate. Once the drug is given, the eggs will release in exactly 36 hours. Because we are doing IVF and the doctor needs those eggs, my retrieval had to be scheduled for 34 1/2 hours. The doctor wants the eggs to be right on the cusp of releasing, but he will be there to get them before they do. Isn't science amazing?? I think so.
I was as giddy as a little kid at Christmas. It's been real from the time I heard the words IVF, but on Saturday I felt I reached a new level of "real."
Yesterday was a milestone day. We got to the hospital at about 5:45am, both sleepy but too excited to yawn, lol. When we arrived no one was in the reproductive department, so I started to panic. I gave no credit to the fact that we were 15 minutes early. Finally at 6am someone opened the door and introduced themselves. From there I got weighed, undressed, dressed in the hospital gown, hairnet, socks and booties, placed in a bed, and wrapped in a warm blanket (it felt so good, like it had come out of the oven). I was getting slightly nervous and anxious, but still remaining excited.
Finally they put the IV in my hand....the one that would give me the drugs to go under. While still waiting in my recovery room before the procedure the embryologist came in to talk to us. He was an absolute hoot and had us laughing my butt off. Although he wouldn't be apart of the procedure, we felt so good knowing he was going to take care of our future embryos.
The Anesthesiologist then arrived. He was nice and very specific about what he was going to do. He said, you will fall asleep quickly and wake up quickly. He also told me that I would likely be groggy for the remainder of the day.
Then came our great Reproductive Endocrinologist. We both really like him. He has been with us since the beginning.
Finally, at 7am on the dot I gave Mr. RFA a kiss and I was taken to the operating room. The last thing I remember is the Anesthesiologist putting the oxygen tubes in my nose. Next thing I know I was half awake feeling terrible cramping pains. I was in and out, but I remember the Embryologist coming to get Mr. RFA for his sample. After an hour we headed home where I slept on and off for the rest of the day.
Here is how Wikipedia describes the egg retrieval process: Under ultrasound guidance, the operator inserts a needle through the vaginal wall and into an ovarian follicle, taking care not to injure organs located between the vaginal wall and the ovary. The other end of the needle is attached to a suction device. Once the follicle is entered, suction is gently applied to aspirate follicular fluid and with it, hopefully, cellular material including the oocyte. The follicular fluid is delivered to a technician in the IVF laboratory to identify and quantify the ova. Next, other follicles are aspirated. Once the ovarian follicles have been aspirated on one ovary, the needle is withdrawn, and the procedure repeated on the other ovary. It is not unusual to remove 20 oocytes as women are generally hyperstimulated in advance of this procedure. After completion, the needle is withdrawn, and hemostasis is achieved. The procedure usually lasts from 20–60 minutes.
Oh...before we left the hospital the embryologist had already determined the number of retrieved eggs from my 33 follicles. There were a total of 12. We were told that was a great number to start with. So, yesterday afternoon, he put each egg in a dish along with 30,000 - 50,000 sperm so they could have a fertilization party. This morning he will determine which fertilized and which look the most promising. It's unlikely that all 12 will end up as viable embryos, but it should be about half of that. Every couple is different.
Today's call will also tell us when we go back for the transfer of embryos into my uterus. It will either be Thursday - a 3 day transfer or Saturday - a 5 day transfer. I'm really hoping for the 5 day because waiting a couple days more really reveals how viable they are. Either way, this week my future babies will go into my uterus in search for a nice spot to implant!
AHHHH, I'm so stinking excited. Every moment I think about it, I do a happy dance. I am just so happy and I feel so blessed that we were able to go through this process. I am so excited about the possibility of becoming a mommy to more kids. And, I'm excited about making my husband a biological dad.
I'll probably blog about it before next Tuesday just because I can't see how I'll contain myself after the transfer. Like I said before, we are keeping it secret from everyone except my daughter, so I really need an outlet to discuss.
Yay, yay, yay...happy dance, yay!!