IVF Take Two (or 7 depending on how you’re counting)

Yesterday was egg retrieval day for our IVF #2. I had requested a single room because when I was hospitalized for my hysteroscopy/endometrial biopsy last month I ended up sharing a room with a woman who was having a D&C post-miscarriage after trying to get pregnant for a year. My heart went out to her and I was touched that her parents and husband were with her the entire day for support. It really made me wish I had my parents close by for hugs, support, and the delicious comfort food they were so good at providing when I lived close to home. There are definite advantages to living in a beautiful foreign country, but living over 5000 miles away from my family is definitely not one of them. I’ve been feeling extremely fragile over the past couple weeks as with every treatment cycle and I after my last hospital experience I decided it would be healthier for me to have my own space and request a single room for this retrieval. Much to my dismay, when I got to the hospital the nurse showed me to my itty-bitty shared room. Apparently there were lots of surgeries planned and no single rooms to be had. I huffed and puffed and grumbled to my husband, but eventually conceded to settling in and putting on the oh so flattering open-backed gown. When I met my roommate post-retrieval, I felt a bit embarrassed for all of my huffing and puffing earlier. She was an absolutely lovely, fellow blogger who had just had her retrieval as well. It was wonderful chatting with her and added an extra-positive note to the day. I hope our paths will cross again soon, hopefully under different circumstances.

My prep for egg retrieval was a tad bit rocky. While waiting outside the OR in the corridor on the gurney, the head nurse came by twice and literally yelled at the surgeon performing the retrievals to pick up the pace because he had three more retrievals to do and they needed the OR for a gastrointestinal surgery asap. I can assure you this is not the most reassuring thing to hear just before your turn is up. Once in the OR, the anesthesiologist had a bit of a battle with my veins. My median nerve was caught in the crossfire sending a massive electric shock down my arm and leaving me with a numb thumb as a little egg retrieval souvenir. From then on out the retrieval seemed to go pretty well. I woke up from the anesthesia smoothly, I didn’t have too much abdominal cramping/pain, I had a fabulous roommate, I got to leave the hospital before 2 p.m. (an all time early record), and got to go on a date with my husband to the Banff Mountain Film Festival (a fun event I look forward to each year).

We ended up getting 9 eggs (all 9 were mature and were fertilized using IMSI, 5 were still growing strong this morning with 1 straggler), which is good but a bit less than I was hoping for based on my scans (I can’t help but think about that screaming nurse). My RE’s strategy this time around was to aim for fewer eggs in the hope of producing better embryos, so 9 eggs verses 29 seems to be along the lines of what she was aiming for. In a way I’m happy that my RE decided to try something different for this cycle, but this strategy has made me a bit uneasy from the get-go for two mains reasons. The first is that that the embryos from our last cycle developed really well and the biologist was very happy with them. The second being that the biologist and some of my lab results suggested that issues with my uterine receptivity might be more of the culprit than our embryo quality, which I’m hoping to write more about soon. I’m trying to stay positive and to trust my RE, although from the way I’m writing you have probably deciphered that I’m not succeeding well at that task. I do have to say that one major advantage of having less eggs retrieved is that I was able to trigger with HCG (ovitrelle) rather than a GnRH agonist (decapeptyl), without significantly increasing the risk of hyperstimulation (knock on wood).

The next two weeks are going to be extremely long, but I’m trying my darndest to take it one day at a time and to stay positive. It is a beautiful day out, so I’m going to go do a little gardening on our minuscule balcony and try to send lots of sunny, positive, growing energy to our little embryos.

Kokopelli is a reminder of home and also a Native American fertility deity. I’ve decided to bring him on board this time around to help out our slacker stork.


13 thoughts on “IVF Take Two (or 7 depending on how you’re counting)

  1. For my first IVF I had over 20 eggs, and it was a disaster. Second we had a bit less, and was a bit less of a disaster. Third, we 8-9 I think and it didn’t work but worked a lot better. I really think the body works much better when the drugs are not excessively high. I also had similar fertilisation rates (ICSI). I hope you end up with a few beautiful embies!!
    I understand you miss your family. I’m only 1 thousand Km away but it’s already way too much for me.
    Hoping to hear good news soon!! xx
    PS: love the Kokopelli!


    • Thanks! The distance is definitely challenging at times, but thankfully staying in touch seems easier than it did ten years ago thanks to things like Skype. But virtual hugs won’t every be quite as good as really hugs. I’m sending my little embryos telepathic hugs and hoping for some healthy little embryos on Monday.


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