When they tell you that IVF is time consuming, energy draining, and overwhelming they mean it. I think I’ve experienced every single emotion possible lately. I’ve kept a diary of what happened during the stim and retrieval period. I’m so happy I’ve done this because I always want to remember what I’ve gone through to have a baby!
November 2nd- Baseline ultrasound. Everything looked great. My hormone levels were normal. Given the thumbs up to start injections tomorrow morning. I was feeling super anxious at this moment because I had no idea what to expect from the medications. Would they make me a raging lunatic? Were they painful?
November 3rd- Started 300 Follistim and 1 powder of Menopur. I decided to takes these while I was getting ready for work in the mornings. I didn’t realize that I would be adding an additional 15 minutes to my morning regimen that day. I felt flustered and unorganized that morning so I decided that night I would somehow get organization to the mess I’ve made in our bathroom! The shots were not bad at all. The anticipation is a lot worse than the actual shot. The Menopur does sting a bit after injection. At about 10AM (I take the shots at 6:45) I started getting a horrible headache.
November 4th- Took the same dosage of meds above. I was able to organize my “work” area and it made things so much easier. I just used an old makeup organizer that I had sitting in my closet and it was perfect! I woke up with a headache and it lasted all day. I started feeling some pulls and twinges around my ovaries as well.
November 5th- I noticed this day my headache started to get better but I was definitely way more moody! I had an attitude with my coworker which is not like me at all J I had a blood draw at 8am to check my Estrogen level. They called that afternoon and said it looked great. When I got off the phone with the nurse I started crying over the news of my bloodwork. I was really worried about my estrogen levels because I have PCOS so I’m always testosterone dominant. The news of a good estrogen level made me feel way more hopeful.
November 6-7TH- I didn’t have a headache anymore and overall felt pretty well. I was little worried because I wanted to feel SOMETHING!
November 8th- First follicle check! I was nervous and excited. I love seeing the little black blobs on the screen. We counted 15 follicles. 10 on the left, 5 on the right ovary. For some reason I was expecting more so I felt a little defeated when they told me the number. The nurses assured me that it was great and not to worry. I had a couple dominant follicles so they put me on Ganarelix to prevent me from ovulating. The bigger the follicles the more mature the egg will be so they want them as big as possible without overstimulating. I got home around 2 and took the shot of Ganarelix. It is not as easy as the other injections. The needle isn’t as sharp so you have to push harder to pierce the skin, but once it’s in it isn’t bad.
November 9th- I started feeling a lot more action going on in my ovarian area! My lower back was crampy and felt like my period would be starting. Hoping this was a good feeling to have! Up until this point I didn’t feel like I was being emotional or anything but that changed last night. I was eating a piece of cake and Nate simply asked me if there was going to be more for him. I took it as him calling me a pig and blew up. I went up to our room and cried for a good 30 minutes then realized that I was being a bit overdramatic. When I went back down stairs he immediately hugged me and kissed my forehead… all was forgiven J
November 10th- Follicle check at 8:30 AM. My clinic is about a 30 minute drive so every appointment cuts into my work schedule. I am super blessed to work for a company that allows me to have flexibility. At this check the nurse was really pleased with my progress. I had over 20 follicles and all were looking very promising. I was so excited! Our healthy, beautiful baby has to be in there right?! Ahh!! I was told to take one more dose of injections and come back the next day for an ultrasound. I was extremely crampy and getting really uncomfortable. It felt like growing pains in my lower back, hips, and upper legs.
November 11th- Follicle check at 8:00 AM. My follicles are still looking good, however my E2 level was not as high as they would have thought with the amount of follicles I have. It was only at 950. They instructed me to take another dose of injections and come back the next morning for another ultrasound and bloodwork.
November 12th- Follicle check at 8:45AM. Follicles are large and the nurse said she was pretty sure the doctor would want to trigger me based on the size, but still wasn’t sure due to my E2 levels. My follicles were ranging from 22-17mm and my E2 level was now at 1120. They would let me know that afternoon after the doctor looked at my numbers when they returned from the lab. The wait is killing me and I just want it to be over with. The last couple of days I’ve really been in a funk. I don’t know if I’m sad, worried, depressed, anxious, or all of the above but I just can’t get myself to be happy. It’s really starting to drain the life right out of me. Got the call and triggered at 11PM!
November 13th- Day after the trigger. I could definitely feel a lot of stuff going! I was getting more bloated by the hour.
November 14th- Retrieval Day! We checked in at 10:30 AM. I couldn’t eat or drink anything after 3am the night before so I was really only feeling hungry at that point. I was excited and pretty calm. At 11 the anesthesiologist hooked me up to an IV and I was out. I seriously love the feeling of being put under. I would do it every night if it was safe to! The procedure itself took about 35 minutes. When I was walked back to the recovery room Nate was able to join me there to wait for the doctor. About 10 minutes later my doctor came in to tell me how it went. They retrieved 32 eggs! We knew they wouldn’t all be mature based off of my estrogen levels but I was still surprised by the number. We went home and I lounged around all day. I was a bit crampy but nothing too bad.
November 15th- I woke up pretty crampy and bloated. Nate ran to his parents’ house for a couple hours but I chose to stay home and relax and wait for our fertilization report. They called me around 2 and let me know that out of the 32 retrieved eggs that 17 were mature and 10 of those fertilized correctly. I was a bit disappointed by the number. I was just hoping for as many as possible so the odds were in our favor more. I just keep thinking, we only need 1 to become parents!
November 16th- Today has been absolutely awful. I am so uncomfortable and bloated to the point that I can’t stand up straight. I was told to take some miralax and drink a lot of smart water.
November 17th- Day 3 Assessment! We had a total of 14 end up fertilized and 9 of those were between 6-8 cells. Exactly where they needed to be right now! We were elated!! I was still feeling pretty lousy but not quite as bad. Our neighbors made us some chicken noodle soup and homemade rosemary bread. It really meant so much to me!
November 18 and 19th- Day 5 assessment the 19th. We had 7 embryos that were almost to blastocyst stage which is where they need to be to freeze and perform PGS on it. They informed that they’d give them another day to progress. I was really bummed and felt this was the end of the road for us. Nate was really good at helping me stay optimistic.
November 20th- I was a nervous wreck all day and kept my phone glued to my hip. By the time 5:00 PM hit I figured they weren’t calling me for an update. No news is good news right? I left work and was going to pick up a pizza for dinner when my phone rang. My heart was in my throat. The embryologist let me know that all of my embryos had arrested and quit growing. My world crashed. I thanked him for his call, pulled in to the pizzeria, paid for our pizza and drove home. I didn’t break down until I got home and realized I had to tell Nate once again that I let him down. It was a really hard day.
That’s it. That is my IVF journey. Not what I was hoping for and I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing.
My semi-organized med station
The bloat was unreal! I was so uncomfortable and depressed that I didn't fit into my pants. The mental struggle is very much real when going through IVF.
Waiting for the retrieval. I am so lucky to have this man by my side :)