Cheers, dear readers,
I hope that you are enjoying our blog posts thus far, as we work to help reduce both the silence and the stigma around the conversation of infertility. Receiving the diagnosis of being infertile while trying to create a family can be shocking, devastating and make couples have a feeling of hopelessness. Our goal here is to provide support, answers to questions about what to expect and guide patients through the process of receiving treatment. We also aim to shine a light on misunderstandings and confusion around the topic, to help create more awareness.
Last I left you on our chronological journey of infertility, Eric and I were in the middle of our hormone-induced IVF cycle. He had just worked up the courage to give me my “ovulation trigger shot” in my bum. Our adrenaline was pumping, but we needed to force ourselves to get to sleep so we would be rested up for the big day tomorrow – egg retrieval. Surprisingly, I was nervous and excited, but I was not THAT scared to have the procedure. I don’t know why. I think that I was mostly trying not to think about it, or over-analyze the process and if it would be painful or not. Giving birth seemed MUCH more painful, and that was the ultimate goal for this crazy journey, right? Giving birth to a healthy child – so this procedure should be a walk in the park by comparison.
We woke up well before the alarm, staring at the ceiling and trying to act “normal.” Hahaha! It was hard to remember what “normal” felt like. But on the positive side, our hopes were high. Last we heard we were hoping for anywhere from 6-10 follicles. I hoped the result after all of this was on the high side! To help explain, follicles contain the eggs. Sometimes you can have a follicle without an egg inside, or sometimes the eggs won’t be good quality. Thus there is no guarantee how many eggs you will end up with after retrieval.
We got to the waiting room early, as everything had to be timed PERFECTLY from the trigger injection shot to the egg retrieval. No room for tardiness today. We sat there with heightened awareness of everything that was going on, not really talking that much, except some excited little whispers. I felt like I had a sign on my head that said, “this woman is full of eggs and we’re popping them out today!” Definitely a strange moment.
They called us back. Yikes! Time to prepare for the operating room. Eric came back with me while I got in the hospital gown, laid down on the bed, and they worked on getting the IV in. They were having ALOT of trouble getting the IV to go in where they wanted. I started to panic that we were losing time. What if the eggs burst while they were messing with this IV? They had to call in the head nurse to get it inserted. She opted for the hand on my other arm. Finally success, with just a bit of pain. I was getting groggy from the anesthesia, and they eventually brought me into the operating (Eric was not allowed back there). There was a buzz around the sterile looking room. I met the embryologist and several nurses, as they prepared me for egg retrieval. Eventually the dear doctor came in. He goes in with a needle (something that I prefer not to think about) and they retrieve the eggs from the ovaries using a suction type of instrument – a process called egg aspiration. The concept makes me squirm, but there it is.
The next thing I remember, I woke up in a different room, and Eric was sitting beside me holding my hand. It was so comforting to have him there by my side, smiling at me. The whole procedure had taken less than 30 minutes. I had to wait for about an hour until they would release me. I was not in much pain, but was just really loopy and glad that the procedure was over. Eventually, we were told that they only retrieved five good eggs, as the other three were no good. Overall, that was somewhat disappointing, but hey, five is five, right? We tried to continue to keep our hopes up. We had to.
The next step was to wait and see how many eggs would fertilize…
Eric hooked us up with that part. 🙂
Please join me next week to hear more about my personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.
This post is also available in: Arabic