Alrighty peeps we have good news to share, Sunday is the official day of our embryo transfer!! Whoop whoop!! We won't know until Saturday what time we will head up to Maple Grove but needless to say we are nervous and excited. The goal was to get to a five day transfer as it increases our chances of getting pregnant. The embryos are typically in the morula or blastocyst stage of development by day five. Our first go around our embryos didn't make it to this stage and we ended up having a day three transfer where they did Assisted Zona Hatching on the shell of the embryo. Basically they poke a small hole in the side of the embryo to help with continued development and implantation.
We currently don't know how our embryos are doing and won't know until before the transfer when we meet with the embryologist. If you remember we have five eggs but it doesn't mean that all five eggs where successfully fertilized. We are assuming that our embryos are doing well in order to get us to the day five transfer, otherwise if they weren't we would be going in sooner. We are considering this good news and that God is taking care of our five babies. The plan is to transfer two embryos and freeze the remaining if we have some to freeze. Yes we know twins will be a lot of work but we are praying that both of those embryos will take. Clearly we will be happy if only one takes but we know that whatever happens is in God's hands. Ryan and I talked about how the words, "be not afraid" occurs in the bible 365 times, one for each day of the year. Its scary to think of our transfer not working and going through all the emotions of yet anther failed IVF attempt but we will try our best going into Sunday with not being afraid and trusting that God is there for us. He really has given me a sense of peace through this process. Ive been way more calm this go around then last, Ive had less pain and less worry also. Not going to lie our first attempts with our IVF I felt like a crazy person, and had zero trust for my doctors. I think you know when something doesn't feel right and with Mayo it never felt right. I just was so in the zone of wanting to get pregnant to see that we should have left Mayo along time ago. I haven't had one moment where I haven't trusted our current doctor. Thats a pretty good feeling.
As of today Im feeling ok, still have some discomfort and pressure in my uterus and ovaries and Im hoping that by Sunday that will be next to nothing. My appetite is up and down and I'm trying to push the fluids as best as I can. I would love if the weather would clear up so I can get out and do some walking. We will be sure to post about how our embryo transfer went, in the mean time please continue the prayers and positive thoughts for us! Can't wait for Sunday and may our embryos be ever in our favor!
On Sunday night at 11 pm I gave myself the HCG injection, thirty six hours later we headed up to Maple Grove to have my eggs retrieved. The nurse took us back and we got prepped for the procedure. I put my stylish hospital gown, robe and oh so lovely blue booties on. They gave me valium right away to get me relaxed. They then took my vitals and a nurse made her way in to get my IV inserted. We can't say enough good things abut all of the nurses at the Midwest Center for Reproductive Health. Truly this place makes you feel like you are apart of a family. One of the nurses was telling us, that they get so invested with each family that the day of pregnancy tests they are just as excited and just as upset with whatever the outcome is. With my crappy veins I was nervous about how well putting my IV in would go but the nurse did a flawless job and I had zero pain. Dr. Corfman came in and went over the procedure it self and soon enough I had two nurses walking me down to the surgical room.
They got me up on the bed and one nurse was there to administer my anesthesia and the other nurse was there to collect the fluid and eggs that comes out of my follicles. Dr. Corfman's goal is to use as little anesthesia as possible, so Im slightly sedated but fully awake. They also wait to administer it at the right time. Dr. Corfman does a water bath to clean off my lady parts inside and out. That was the weirdest feeling ever and then after that it was time to go in with the ultrasound and needle to retrieve the eggs. Basically a needle is passed through the top of the vagina under ultrasound guidance to get to the ovary and follicles. The fluid in the follicles is aspirated through the needle and the eggs detach from the follicle wall and are sucked out of the ovary. The nurse collects the fluid and eggs and then they got passed through a small window that goes directly to the lab. The lab then looks at the eggs and eventually they inject Ryan's sperm directly into my eggs. I was able to watch the procedure on the ultrasound screen next to me and then also on a different screen to see the eggs as the lab is looking at them. The anesthesia made me feel dizzy and sleepy so I pretty much just kept my eyes closed and the anesthesia nurse and Dr. Corfman both walked me through what they were doing. The feeling of the needle going into my follicles was interesting using two to three jabs and it went in. Some mild cramping but overall the pain was minimal and they only had to use the least amount of anesthesia possible. The retrieval itself took five minutes and they were able to retrieve five eggs. Afterwards Dr. Corfman did a trial transfer where he placed the catheter in my uterus to make sure that everything will go smoothly for the actually transfer. I warned the doctors before hand about how I don't do well with anesthesia, I usually get pretty sick coming out of it. They sat me up and gave me some time before they moved me to the chair that would bring me to post op. As I sat there all three of them place their hands on me and we sat in silence for a few minutes. I felt as if they were praying on me, not sure if they were or not but I took that time to just thank God for a smooth procedure and prayed that he would take care for our eggs and future embryos. I cried coming out of the anesthesia which is also very typical of me but I was so thankful for Dr. Corfman and his staff. Everything from start to now almost finish has gone so smoothly and so painless. Completely different then our experience with Mayo Clinic.
They wheeled me back to post op where Ryan was waiting. He actually got to watch the ultrasound as they were retrieving my eggs. They gave me some food to try and eat since I hadn't eaten anything since the night before. I was very nauseas and felt really crappy. Even after two doses of Zolfran my nauseas wouldn't go away. They took my vitals often and at one point my blood pressure was 85/55. My blood pressure is usually pretty low but that made the nurses a little nervous I think. I got to the point where I just wanted to go home and they wheeled my down to the pickup. The car ride home was the worse car ride of my life. Every bump and turn made me want to hurl even more and eventually over the Lafayette Bridge I lost my cookies. As soon as we got home I made it to the bathroom just in time to do it again. Ryan made me some toast which I forced myself to eat and then I tried to rest. I had some mild cramping last night and slept just ok. This morning Im pretty uncomfortable. I have a lot of pressure, some mild cramping and plenty of aches. Ate only some of my breakfast this morning so I'm still feeling off, just happy to not be throwing up. I plan to relax and take it easy the next few days. We will know more today when our embryo transfer will be. Im slightly nervous since we only have five eggs. Each egg will have Ryan's sperm put into them, but it doesn't mean that all will fertilize. But God has a plan. Ryan and I laid in bed last night and talked about how our five babies are growing as we speak. How cool is that!
Ryan took some photos of the procedure. The large dark circles are my follicles and we will be posting a short video on our Instagram account and Facebook where you can actually see the needle going into my follicles and aspirating the fluid and eggs out of them. We will have another blog post tomorrow on what we find out today. So stay tuned. Again thank you of all the love, prayers and support. They mean so much to Ryan and I.
Yesterday Ryan and I ventured out to do a few errands down in Rochester and I decided to wear real pants. Real pants that is as in jeans. Ive been living in either my leggings or baggy sweats since my ovaries are pretty enlarged and I didn't fully realize how swollen they actually are until I put jeans on. Let me tell you the struggle was real. How can one pair of jeans cause so much pain and discomfort? Needless to say Im uncomfortable and it seems to heighten as the day goes on and at night while I should be sleeping. Not only are my ovaries enlarged but because of this they are pushing on my bladder and digestive system making that a whole other situation which I will leave out the details on that. So besides the struggle with pants we have good and exciting news!!
I left the house this morning at 6:45 am for another ultrasound and blood draw and we found out that my egg retrieval will be on Tuesday!! We check in at 10 am and by Wednesday we will know when the embryo transfer will be. Tonight I will take the trigger injection or also know as the HCG injection. This is an extremely time sensitive injection and I will be giving it to myself at 11 pm tonight. Im currently done taking my stimulation injections and tomorrow will start doxycycline twice a day for a few days. This afternoon Ryan and I had to make an emergency run to Walgreens to purchase the right size needle for my injection tonight. My mail order pharmacy never sent me one and luckily I looked this afternoon instead of 10:45 tonight otherwise we could have been in trouble.
Ryan and I are very excited and its been hard to not think about how our life could potentially be changed forever in the next few days. Im slightly nervous for the egg retrieval just because this doctor doesn't use anesthesia, he believes that it is hard on the eggs. I will have medication to make me relaxed but I will be fully awake and present during the procedure. With Mayo clinic I was completely put out and had a lot of pain that day that lead well into the next couple days. I trust this doctor so I know everything will go smoothly. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but there is just something about pain in your uterus that sucks big time. This week will really go quick and so much will transpire over these next few days. We will be sure to post on Tuesday or Wednesday with how the procedure went and when the transfer will be. My follicles are growing like weeds and my uterine lining is still in prime condition. Please continue the prayers for us and that the egg retrieval goes smoothly. Once the eggs are out of me they will use the best ones and then inject Ryan's sperm directly into them. We are hoping to get our embryos to a day five transfer. Day five transfer usually has a higher percentage of sticking versus a day three. But whatever happens will happen. Day five transfer just means that the embryos have been dividing and growing more. Game day is almost here!! Stay tuned...
Alrighty peeps another vaginal ultrasound and blood draw went down this morning. Luckily my drive was a bit smoother today and I didn't have to deal with a ton a maniacs like I did on Wednesday. The nurse and I are getting to know each other pretty well, she's getting to know me more then I would probably like, legs up in the stir-ups and all, but I love how she always compliments my uterine lining with adjectives like beautiful and gorgeous and then proceeds to tell me how good of a job I'm doing on my progress. She definitely makes me feel like I'm not screwing this whole process up. My arm is starting to look like a drug dealer from the blood draws, that is thanks to crappy veins and bruising easy. Props to my nurse though who has successfully drawn my blood on the first attempt each time. With Mayo clinic it never failed I got poked in both arms sometimes three times just to get a blood draw on me.
I have four big follicles that are progressing well. They measure them and want them to at least be a 15 and mine are measuring above that. I also have many smaller follicles right now that are measuring below a 15. The nurse said to be prepared because I could potentially have my eggs retrieved this weekend but that all would depend on my blood work, or I could be back up Sunday for another ultrasound and blood draw. I left feeling the, excuse my language, but holy shit this is happening kind of moment. I called Ryan and told him and said I would know by lunch time what the plan was. With in minutes I had tears in my eyes and felt incredibly scared. So much is riding on this round with IVF. Game time is fast approaching and I could soon be finding out that Im going to be a mom, that Ryan and I would be parents. Crazy!! I went to crossfit and got in my version of the 17.5 open workout, remember I'm on restriction but can still work out, thank baby Jesus for that!! It felt good to move, sweat, and focus on something other then IVF. After crossfit I phoned in to my voicemail system and found out that I will head back up Sunday morning for my 8:15 appointment for another ultrasound and blood draw. By lunch time on Sunday I will know what the game plan is, but potentially could be doing my trigger injection either Sunday night or Monday night. That means my egg retrieval would happen either Tuesday or Wednesday!! Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
So for those of you praying for us, pray for my follicles, that they continue to grow and be strong and healthy. Pray that we will have enough eggs to be able to have embryos to freeze and pray that everything this next week goes smoothly. The obvious, pray we get pregnant on the fresh embryo transfer and pray that God gives Ryan and I the strength to deal with whatever the outcome may be. I had a patient the other day who follows the blog and she said to me how much she admires that I'm choosing to be so vulnerable and put myself out there when it comes to this process. She said she never realized how much it takes for some people to get pregnant. She was able to get pregnant pretty easily and she said how easy it is to take that for granted. My hopes for blogging about this process is to hopefully help someone who may be going through the same thing. To let them know that they aren't alone and talking about infertility is ok. I have had more people come up to me and say that they are praying for us and that they are hear to support Ryan and I. It is such a good feeling to know that people care and that people are routing for us. I have been blessed to build a new friendship with a gal I have never met who is also going through IVF, please say a prayer for Becky. Her and I are pretty much on the same time frame with our IVF so its been fun swapping stories with each other. Ive also been seeing a new chiropractor. Dr. Ryan and his wife Dr. Kaitlin are awesome, I can't say enough about them. Even though they are just my chiropractors they give me a lot of peace and make me feel really calm. Happy people are contagious and the two times a week Ive been seeing them I always feel really good. They are a positive light in my day when I need it most, same goes for all my crossift peeps, the support from crossfit family has been tremendous! Look for another update on Sunday other then that enjoy your weekend!
I snapped a photo of my ultrasound, my right ovary, the large black circles you see are a couple of the follicles, the yellow dotted line is the nurse measuring my follicle. The second photo is a picture of my beautiful, gorgeous thick uterine lining, just incase everyone wanted to know what that looks like. Hormones keep doing your job!!
I ventured through the cities this morning for my ultrasound and blood draw. Props to all the people who commute in the cities, I don't know how you do it. I hate driving to work and thats a 20 minute commute so driving through the cities plus being overly hormonal and uncomfortable makes it even more fun. My ovaries are busing making follicles and things are progressing well. My uterine lining is looking awesome and I just got my orders to toss in another injection called Menopur tonight. Starting tomorrow I will be doing three injections, one in the morning and two at night. The third injection I will start is called Ganirelix Acetate. This injection essential shuts off my brain to my uterus so I don't ovulate and so they don't have to worry so much about hyperstimulating my ovaries. I will head back up on Friday morning for another ultrasound and blood draw and get my directions for dosages and next appointment shortly after that.
Over all things are going well, Id be lying if I said my mood swings haven't been up and down. I can already tell my ovaries have enlarged and my discomfort level is getting higher each day. During this process my ovaries can get to be the size of oranges or even grapefruits. Essentially it feels like my pelvic region is full of air, very bloated and tends to feel just achy in general. Sometimes I'll get mild sharp pains in my ovaries, almost like some one is stabbing a little knife into them. Let me tell you fun times are being had. I start to feel slightly lonely during this time. Ryan can't really do anything to help and its all on me. Im the host for these future babies so you start to worry about screwing up the dosage on your injections or doing something wrong that will hurt your ovaries or potentially mess up your egg retrieval day. All those little fears I guess would say are normal though. Sadly Im a seasoned pro at this whole process already so I know what to expect on all of this, but I still worry. Its a good feeling though knowing that when I leave the doctors office I have complete faith in him and his staff. I figured for my stress of having to drive through the craziness this morning and the wonderful feeling of my ovaries making eggs I deserved a donut from the best bakery around. I swung in to Hi Quality Bakery in Cannon Falls and picked up a couple donuts for Ryan and I because well donuts make everything better, right?!?!
Friday I ventured to see Dr. Corfman for my baseline ultrasound. I was telling Ryan it literally took me longer to undress and dress myself then to have my ultrasound. Hour and twenty minute drive one way, for literally a five minute appointment, but worth it to have the comfort of Dr. Corfman and his staff. This appointment was to make sure my uterine lining was nice and thin and that my ovaries didn't have any cysts. Im happy to report my baby making parts all looked well. This morning I started my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), this is to stimulate my ovaries to produce more eggs. I will be doing this injection morning and night for probably a week and a half, maybe less maybe more. I will head back up on Wednesday for another ultrasound and blood draw. Shortly after that appointment I will get my instructions on increasing my dosage of my FSH and starting another injection called Menopur. After this appointment I will be going up every 2-3 days for ultrasounds and blood draws. This week I only work a couple days and then have some time off. Im looking forward to having the down time to just relax and get some stuff done around the house. I also think it will do well for my emotions to have some time off of work. Needless to say I think my emotions have been a rollercoaster the last few days. Im not sure how Ryan can put up with me and my mood swings but like any good man, he just goes with the flow.
Ryan and I talked about how our nerves have really kicked in now. Yes we are excited but the fears from our last journey with IVF have started in. Its hard to stay positive and not be worried when our first experience was so so awful. We know that God is in control and that whatever happens will be His will but its still hard to not be scared. We love our doctor and feel that we are in very good hands so that brings us some peace. Ive been able to have a pen pal buddy on Instagram who is also going through IVF and is just a couple days ahead of us in their IVF cycle . Having the comfort of a friend going through the exact same thing at the exact same time is very comforting. Please continue the prayers for us. We appreciate every single prayer, text and email that we have received. Please pray that our hearts have some peace in this process and that we can really let go the pain of our first journey with IVF. Its such a silly thing holding on to pain, it does you know good, it only makes things worse, then why do we hold on to the difficult times? Part of me feels like I'm waiting for God to just do his thing, to take away these feelings Ryan and I both have. But then I think maybe God is waiting for me, waiting for us to come to him. Waiting for us to fully let go of the struggle and just focus on him. I would say I pray on a regular basis but lately I find it difficult to pray for this family that we want so badly. Im not sure why, God knows the desires of my heart but maybe its just hard to pray because Im really scared of the pain and sadness we could potentially endure again. As Ryan puts it why does everything we do in life have to be such struggle. I can't answer that but all I know is God has a plan even when it is a struggle.