IVF UPDATE: Earthworm Jim, Bloated Belly, & Anxiety


PCOS OvaryIs it weird that I am sharing my ovary with the world!? Like… HELLO! Welcome to the inner workings of Heather. Well, once you start doing IVF and you have a doctor looking at your ovaries everyday it seems like NBD. So – if you haven’t seen an ovary before, specifically a PCOS ovary… here ya go!

This week is a big week in the Stammen house. We are just days away from our egg retrieval via IVF. If you read my blog, you’ll know the last time we tried this in September my cycle was cancelled the day before retrieval because I had suppressed LH levels. We took a few weeks off and jumped right back in our journey to create the miraculous baby Stammen.

I’m due to take my trigger shots tonight (lupron and HCG) and my booster tomorrow morning. Currently, everything looks great and I am scheduled for my retrieval Sunday morning. Since we did this already in September, I definitely knew what to expect this time around. Although a lot of it is the same (timed shots and doctor visits) I have had some other unpleasant side effects this time. My belly, in specific, feels like someone has punched the heck out of it and left a trail of bruises. I also get super full after eating a bite of food because my ovaries are so swollen and filled with follicles (those black circles you see above). When you go through IVF, the goal is to create as many follicles as possible (which turn into eggs). The more eggs the better the chance of creating a healthy embryo which will lead to a healthy pregnancy. I’m also banned from working out due to the fear my ovaries could twist… The amount of pent up energy I have right now is REAL!

On Tuesday, Nick came to my evening ultrasound appointment. He’s been such a trooper and so supportive through this whole process. It also helps that he is hilarious. After seeing my ultrasound he said “That’s looks like Earthworm Jim”. Bewildered I gave him a “huh” expression. He went on to tell me he played this video game when he was in elementary school called Earthworm Jim. In one of the levels this little earthworm jumps around underground swinging from ledge to ledge. Apparently – this underground level looks like my polycystic ovaries… oh how a man’s mind works! Needless to say – he’s totally right! Too funny…

So besides the bloated feeling I’m feeling pretty good! I’m trying to stay as optimistic as possible but to be honest my anxiety is kind of elevating everyday. It’s probably a mixture of not being able to work out and the fear that this isn’t going to work again. I know I should remain positive, but last time I was so positive and the cancellation came out of left field. I just keep thinking about what’s next if this doesn’t work… Obviously I’m trying not to get too ahead but in the sake of transparency it’s a real concern and something that is on my mind all day. I have my final blood test tomorrow to check my hormones and it’s critical that they all rise rapidly over night.

Anyway – I hope that I have GREAT news to share next week and that we have some baby Stammen embryos stored away for our transfer in a few weeks. Have a great weekend!