Saturday, July 23, 2016

IVF Cycle #1- Embryo transfer and the two-week wait

Five days after the egg retrieval, we found our way back in the familiar IVF operating unit. I started to drink water on my way in as directed and by the time I had been checked in, I was bursting at the seams! Supposedly, they had the most patients ever that day and the doctor was running over an hour late. This hour turned into two and I had enough time to empty and refill my bladder three times before the transfer! The transfer was painless and easy, much like a pap smear. A very caring and motherly nurse explained everything step by step to me. As the doctor was inserting the embryo she told me not to move and I don't think I have ever been so still in my life! It was over in 15 minutes and we were given pictures of the embryo and the embryo inside my uterus. It was a very surreal experience. 
Our embryo!

My clinic does not require any amount of bed rest. I took it easy that afternoon but did go to my acupuncture appointment that same day. Although, it was probably the least relaxing acupuncture session yet! I was lightheaded from not eating lunch yet and my head was spinning with too many thoughts! I took it easy the following day as well. Thus began the two-week wait...

This two week wait was very hard. My mind was spinning with thoughts about if it worked or didn't. I battled back and forth between taking a pregnancy test or not. However, after five days I caved and decided I wanted to know the outcome with my husband by my side instead of at work with a phone call. I took a test on the night of day 5 (after hours of googling home pregnancy tests after IVF) and it was positive! Faint, but positive! I took two more that week and all were positive. This made the week leading up to my pregnancy test so much more bearable! It was also nice to have one week that only my husband and I knew about the news before telling our parents. I had three HCG blood tests that all showed doubling and now begins the more dreaded three week wait until our first ultrasound!

I am having mixed emotions this time. I am obviously thrilled that it was successful, but I still can't quite believe its real. I am having some pregnancy symptoms such as heart burn and fatigue and I began to feel a little nauseous this week. However, I know that I am guarding myself from becoming too excited yet. I am hopeful that this will change as time goes on..

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

IVF Cycle #1- Week 2 of stimulation and Egg Retrieval

Week one of my first IVF cycle went by quickly and uneventfully. However, week two was more challenging:

Cycle day 7: This day I went in for my first monitoring appointment. I had blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. They said everything looked good and I had 6 follicles on the right and 3 on the left. They had me add in the Centrocide at this point and decrease my Gonal-f from 150 to 112.5

Cycle day 8-10: For the next three days I continued with morning ultrasounds and blood work. They kept my Gonal-F at 112.5 and on day 10 I had 10 follicles on the right and 6 on the left. I was feeling OK, but becoming really tired from all the early morning injections and appointments.

Cycle day 10: On day 10 I was told to trigger at 9.30 pm with Lupron and HCG. I was unnecessarily anxious for the HCG trigger, which was my only intramuscular injection all cycle. However, it didn't hurt at all. In fact all of the IVF injections hurt way less than my weekly Enbrel injections.

At this point in the cycle, I was feeling quite bloated and wore only elastic band pants or skirts for the rest of the week!

Egg Retrieval: We left our house around 7am for our egg retrieval in order to arrive the required 1.5 hours early. Once at the hospital the nurse checked me in and began gathering my medical history. At this point they left my husband in the waiting room for him to be called to produce his sample. However, my husband and I were texting back and forth and after a 30 minute wait still no one had come to get him. This was frustrating as I was anxious and would have appreciated if he had been able to stay with me. Finally, I asked where he was and one of the nurses went and got him and assured us they would find him when he had to produce his sample. I walked into the OR independently, they got me settled on the table and then begin giving me the anesthesia and that's the last thing I remembered. I woke up and my abdomen was really crampy and sore with sharp pains. The nurse gave me one dose of pain medication which took the edge off but I was still quite sore, so she gave me one more 1/2 dose before I left. They had collected 22 eggs which was great!

Retrieval recovery: I spent the rest of the day at home sleeping and resting. The next day I was still sore and my lower back was really achy. I went to acupuncture but that was all I had the energy for. On the second day after my retrieval, I felt less achy but I became very nauseous in the morning after taking my Estrace pills and felt nauseous on and off the rest of the day. I made sure to drink lots of water and gatorade during this recovery and my bloating decreased little by little. I also had to take a pill called cabergoline to decrease my risk of OHSS due to the high number of egg retrieval. Fortunately, by the third day post egg-retrieval, I felt much better and more like myself! We learned that we had 18 eggs fertilized! I was so thankful to know that we will probably have some embryos to freeze. It made me feel less stressed about our fresh transfer having to work, knowing that we have back-up!

Today in just a few hours is my embryo transfer! I am nervous and excited! It's strange to think there will be an embryo inside of me this afternoon! I have acupuncture tonight at 6pm and then I plan to just rest and take it easy tomorrow and return to work on Thursday! Fingers crossed for success!