Why Me? Now What? (A Personal Journey Through Infertility)

Monday, June 12, 2006

24 Hours in Recovery

It has been officially 24 hours since I returned home yesterday from my IVF Egg Transfer. I was SO scared when we walked into the back halls of the clinic... this was uncharted territory! These last 8 months visiting the clinic, I had assumed this door was a linen closet, but low and behold, it led to a whole other realm!!!

A nurse sat me down in a lazy boy recliner, and proceeded to give me a bit of a rundown on what would be happening... she knew I was nervous and wanted me to know as much as possible about what the day held, so that I could ingest it all. She was very patient, and answered all my questions... I'm sure they were delusional, but I'm also sure it wasn't the first time they had heard them! She gave me a heating pad for my arm, so that it would be easier for the IV to be administered. I was most worried about the pain, having read horror stories of women that screamed in anguish... since clinics in Canada rarely put you out entirely, I would be awake for the entire procedure... something that terrified me.

After reassuring me that a narcotic would be administered through the IV and make me feel wonderfully fuzzy, I shuffled into the operating room leaving my hubby to head down the hall for his all important duty.

The process was painful. So painful in fact that they had to administer a second dose of pain killer... which relieved the pain near the end. Dr. Greene kept apologizing, but I knew it was all for a good cause, and tried to just grin and bare it. Over and over he warned me that he was preparing for another puncture through my vaginal wall.. the method used for extracting the eggs from the follicles. An embryologst came and went from the room taking with her the harvested jewels and I watched on the TV overhead as she extracted the eggs from the fluid and tissue that accompanied them in the vials in which they were collected. I could hear her counting out the eggs as she placed them in their safe and temporary home... but stopped listening at 24...

As I was wheeled out to the recovery room, I was blurry and sore... and SO grateful for to see Mike sitting there with a juice box of apple juice and 2 tylenol! Haha... the nurse must have warned him and set him up with the props that made him look like a hero.

We sat there... or rather Mike sat there, and I lay there on the bed rolled out next to the window, and talked about trivial things, waiting for the embryologist to come out and talk with us about how she felt it went. Moments later, she appeared next to us with a chart in her hand. She was pleased with how it went, and amazed that we successfully retrieved 27 eggs. Of the 27, 15 were mature, 8 looked promising to get a bit bigger, and 5 were so little they weren't to optimistic for anything. She said based on these facts, and the rest of my chart, she gave us a 75% chance that we would get pregnant from one of the embryos that hopefully would come from this cycle. 75%... that's was really great... wasn't it? I mean, I HAD to take that as great results. There were of course, like every other step in this journey, some disheartening news to accompany the good... apparently, due to the number of eggs retrieved, they were worried about OHSS . If I didn't combat the potential symptoms, I would be facing some tough news on Wednesday. She gave us three scenarios:

1) Any of the embryos that survived, would be frozen and held until I was in better shape to accept them back into my body. Something that came with inherent risks of the embryos not thawing properly, and potentially resulting in negative results down the line. Not to mention that this would delay this whole journey even longer.

2) Come back on Wednesday, and transfer back only 1 good looking embryo, rather than the two we had planned on placing... thus reducing the risk of OHSS becoming full blown after implantation.

3) Get the OHSS under control by drinking a ton of water and keeping the blood flow moving by getting up and walking around every day, and then come back on Wednesday and transfer back 2 embryos as scheduled.

Oh God... I hope we can move forward, why is it there always seems to be a question at the end of each chapter?

After 2 hours of resting my body in the clinic, we packed up and headed home. At first I thought I felt relatively normal, but as the pain killers slowly left my body, the pain became unbearable. I was having a fair amount of bleeding from the punctures, and the swelling around my abdomen seemed to come on almost instantly. I knew this wasn't good, and tried as I might to drink as much water and gatorade as possible... if this was the one thing I could do, damn it... I would do it to the best of my ability!

I think by about 10pm my body finally gave up in exhaustion, and as I lay there stiff in bed afraid to move in fear of the stabbing pain that accompanied every shift; I fell asleep hoping that this morning would bring a bit of solace.

It seemed like moments after waking, that the phone rang next to my bedside table. It didn't hurt as much as I twisted over to pick up... a relief in itself! It was the embryologist! Although they said I should expect to hear back from them sometime between 9 and 12 this morning, as I glanced at the clock I noticed it was barely 8:30am. This surely couldn't be a good sign. Had none of my precious cargo lasted through the night? I was so scared as he started talking...he wanted to know how I was doing, apparently my file had been highlighted with the ordeal at egg retrieval, and he was amazed I didn't kick the knife out of Dr. Greene's hands after all those pokes. I told him I was feeling better today, after all, I HAD managed to get through the night without popping more Tylenol right? After making small talk about making sure I rested he got to the good stuff... how those eggs were doing. 11... 11 had made it to fertilization and were looking good as of this morning. 11???? What happened to the other 16? Apparently there were another 8 that had been re-introduced to Mike's sperm... in hopes they would make friends this morning, but as of last night, they weren't playing nice and it was looking doubtful that they would mate and make babies. So I was looking at holding onto hope for those 11 little embryos. He said that this was considered a great success... that most women get about 12 eggs at retrieval, with only about 1/2 making it through fertilization.... so I have to remain positive. He couldn't tell me what grade they would likely be, but said that by tomorrow he would have a better idea. At that time, he said he would give me the Egg Transfer timing for Wednesday, so it looked as though we were going ahead!

Just 2 days... c'mon embies... hang in there. These 11 little guys are my hope... my dream... and my potential babies. There's nothing more to do except wait and pray... both of which I will be doing alot of over the next 2 days... in between pounding back Gatorade.


  • OMG, what a horrible ER experience! I can't imagine going through that awake. Yikes, I wonder how many times they punctured me? I always assumed it was one puncture. I really hope your 11 embies make it! Good Luck, and thanks for the message on my blog..it really means a lot to me.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 4:31 PM  

  • COngrats on the 11! I can't wait to hear how they're doing! I hope you're feeling better today.

    By Blogger Shannon O., at 8:07 AM  

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