Getting Lucky with IVF
Missed Part 1 of this series? Check it out here
In January 2015 we started IVF for the first time and I was scared. It was intense with multiple daily injections, early morning ultrasounds, and blood tests before work. The only people who knew what we were going through were our parents. Hiding it all from friends and coworkers was hard, almost impossible. The injections weren’t so bad but the daily blood work made my arms tender and bruised, my hormones were on a rollercoaster, and I was bloated and uncomfortable. The Friday before our egg retrieval, I broke down crying in an all-day meeting and my boss sent me home – saying that she knew I was going through something hard. She was right.
The Sunday morning of my egg retrieval was the biggest snow storm of the year. That early morning drive from Milton to ONE Fertility in Burlington was stressful for us both, and not knowing what to expect made us both nervous. After changing into a hospital gown at the clinic, the nurse tried repeatedly to put an IV into my already tender veins. After attempting several times on both arms, and with me in tears, another nurse took over and got it in on the first try – thank goodness. I was to receive Fentanyl (a synthetic opioid that’s very newsworthy these days) to block the pain of the procedure while allowing me to be awake. Egg retrievals are done with a needle being inserted through the walls of the vagina into the ovary and follicles where fluid is aspirated and removed from the ovary. The Fentanyl didn’t work for me (even after repeated doses) and, as you can probably imagine, the experience was incredibly painful. All the doctor could tell me was that in rare cases the drug doesn’t work and I was one of those people – how lucky!
We retrieved 14 eggs and what followed was five days of waiting. Every morning I would receive a phone call at work with an update “This morning you have 10 embryos”, “This morning you have 9 embryos”, etc. Each time I held my breath and hoped they all had survived through another night.
On transfer day we had 7 embryos remaining and I was assured it would be a much easier process than the retrieval. It was, and we actually have an ultrasound photo of the second our little embryo was placed into my uterus. And I crossed all of my fingers and toes hoping it would stick.
One week later (on Valentine’s Day) I woke up incredibly bloated and super uncomfortable. At first I thought it was something I had eaten, but as the day went on we cancelled our plans because I felt so sick, and I suspected something was up. We were warned about a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) – “it’s very rare, don’t worry!” – before the process began and I wondered if that could be it so I made an appointment with the clinic for the following morning… Read More
Have you gone through IVF or had experience with OHSS? How was the procedure for you? Comment below to let me know.