IVF UPDATE: Retrieval, Embryos, & Next Steps

LH blood level IVFHello from the doctors chair! Pretty cool picture above my head right!? 🙂 This was taken two days prior to our IVF retrieval. Although I am clearly goofing around in this picture, my insides were flipping, turning, and very worried. I had gotten to this exact stage for our first planned retrieval when my LH and progesterone levels came back too suppressed to retrieve any eggs.

This time, however…. it worked!!! My RN texted me later that day with the happy news that everything looked great and that my retrieval was all set for Sunday at 9:30. I honestly cried. I was sitting in my mom’s car on our way to pick out tile for the new house when I got the text. I read it five times before telling my Mom and husband that everything looked great and we were able to move forward. I don’t know if I was overwhelmed or relieved, but the tears came flowing. It’s been a long year…

Come Sunday, I was so ready for the procedure. My doctor’s staff told me it would be really easy and quick so I didn’t think too much about the whole process – I just knew I was ready to have my eggs retrieved so I could start feeling less bloated from all the meds.

IVF retrieval day

So here’s a quick snap shot of how Sunday morning went. We jumped in the car at 7:45 AM and drove 50 minutes to Joliet. Once there, we waited around for about 20 – 30 minutes before I went into a room and changed into a back open night gown. The anesthesiologist came in, gave me some paper work to sign, and pretty soon I was being taken to the retrieval room. In the name of being transparent I’ll be completely honest and tell you how uncomfortable this process made me. So, usually when you have surgery or are put under you are on a bed of some sort. Well, since the doctor would need full frontal access, they put me to sleep in a gynecologist examination chair. I was so uncomfortable and kind of embarrassed so I was just hoping that the anesthesia would kick in ASAP. About 30 minutes later, I woke up… that’s all I remember.

Dr. Springer told me that they were able to retrieve 10 eggs and that it was a good number. They made me eat some gold fish and drink a juice box (lordy I haven’t had either of those in years) and then I wobbled to the car and passed out on our drive home. I was in some pretty good pain so when I got home I fell back asleep for 3 hours. I felt so much better when I woke up but it was a short lived feeling. Over the next week I was SUPER bloated and sore. Essentially to perform a retrieval,  your doctor uses a needle to go through your ovary and enter your follicles. So you would have to imagine how sensitive your pelvis would feel after that. By Friday I was feeling so much better and attempted my first workout in two weeks. Ugh – it was seriously the hardest workout ever. It’s like my body completely forgot all the work we had done together over the last three years. I’ve forced myself to go everyday since and I’m finally feeling good.

post ivf retrieval

So, after the retrieval, I got a call the next day from my RN telling me the outcomes of the eggs. She let me know that 10 mature eggs were retrieved but only 5 turned into embryos. I had to wait all the way until Monday of this week to learn that only 2 made it to freeze. I felt very let down. When my doctor called Monday, of course… I cried again. It’s so weird – I NEVER CRY… I think I am just completely exhausted. We were hoping for way more than 2 embryos so that we could transfer more but that’s not how it worked out. The good news is that both embryos are of excellent quality and my doc thinks we should have a good chance when we go to transfer one. More than likely, we will have to do another retrieval at some point… but I don’t even want to talk about that yet.

This week I started my transfer medicine cycle with estrogen and estrogen patches. We’re still some time out from the big day but it’s in sight.

I want to thank every single person who has prayed for me and Nick and who has reached out to us. We are truly surrounded with such a great group of friends and family. I wanted to post right after the retrieval but I had such anxiety about the eggs turning into embryos that I waited until this week. I’m still digesting the “numbers” and “science” behind this whole process and trying to fall on my faith more than anything. As I am always reminded, God doesn’t care about numbers or odds…

So that’s it as of right now! I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to get a workout or two in this week!!

-DBB