As you most likely saw from my Instagram stories, this whole IVF process has been a lot. Through it all, I felt pretty positive… but then came the egg retrieval and after that, I felt crushed.
Leading up to the egg retrieval I got very stressed out, only because three days before my surgery Jacob started throwing up. Having been around him, I figured I was next which would mean my egg retrieval would have to be canceled. Having a stomach virus would be high risk because you have to get put under anesthesia for the retrieval and they don’t want to risk you throwing up. So for three straight days, I had extreme anxiety. I sanitized my entire house… literally every doorknob, chair, appliance, etc. you name, it was cleaned.
I found myself pacing around the house because Jacob was upstairs throwing up and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. Keep in mind I have a phobia of throwup so anytime someone does throw up I get extremely anxious right off the bat. So basically I was having mini panic attacks every time I heard Jacob throw up upstairs. My main concern was staying healthy so that I could do my egg retrieval successfully.
Egg Retrieval Surgery
Luckily, I managed to evade the stomach virus that Jacob had and was able to go through with my surgery. My surgery was at 1:00 pm but I had to be in the office by 12:30 pm to get prepped. I made Jacob wear a mask and keep his distance just in case.
I got in the surgery room and put my gown on. I made sure I had some nice fuzzy socks on so that I didn’t wake up cold from surgery. The anesthesiologist came in and he legit reminded me of Dirty John. If you have heard the podcast or watched the TV series on Netflix then you will know what I am talking about. He was kind of cocky like Dirty John, but he was nice as well.
My anesthesiologist told me that he was going to give me an IV and then we would start surgery soon after. I gave him the warning that I was super squeamish and had bad luck with IVs in the past, but he proceeded to tell me that he was, “good with needles” and I didn’t have to worry. Honestly, he was right! He gave me a lidocaine shot in my vein which numbed the area and then he gave me the IV. Super simple and easy and I didn’t even get nauseous. A few minutes after I got the IV I felt really good. All my anxiety was gone immediately. He gave me something in my IV to relax me before the surgery started and it was so nice haha.
After about 5 minutes of relaxing, he told Jacob to leave the room and then the doctor came in. Then we were ready to start. I put my legs in those lovely holsters and then my anesthesiologist put the sleepy meds in my IV. I remember asking if I was going to need to count down, and then nothing. Completely blacked out. It was awesome haha, I don’t know about you… but I kind of love getting anesthesia!
Egg Retrieval Results
It only felt like 5 minutes passed, and I was awake again. The second my eyes opened, my anesthesiologist got me off the bed and started walking me down the hall to the recovery room. I remember waking up in pain. Lower stomach pain like someone was pushing hard on my stomach. It wasn’t too bad, but I could definitely feel it. I was still so out of it though! When I was walking down the hall to recovery, I felt like I was in the twilight zone.
When I got into the recovery room, they immediately put a hot pad on my stomach. Then Jacob walked in and hung out with me. I had the hardest time getting my eyes to open, I wasn’t really loopy, just extremely tired.
After about 10-15 minutes the doctor walked in and sat across from us. He didn’t look super happy, he kind of looked disappointed. He then said, “We got 9 eggs.” I responded, “what?” and he repeated himself again. I had to ask him again because I thought I must have not heard him right. Nine eggs? That can’t be right. I had to hold back the tears because I was so confused, frustrated and disappointed.
He told us that he wasn’t quite sure why the number was so low because we were expecting at least 20 eggs. He said it could have been a few things, not enough medication to stimulate the follicle/ egg growth or unexplained infertility. Unexplained mainly because all of my labs and everything looked normal and healthy and that is why there isn’t an explanation. However, I think it might have been that I needed a higher dosage of medication. I felt yucky during IVF but not to the point where I felt like I was dying or in so much pain like many other women explain it to be like.
From all of the IVF groups I am a part of, most women say that they feel sick and extremely bloated and just ready for it to be over. When I went through it I definitely didn’t feel great, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was bloated but it wasn’t extreme like I was told it would be. Which makes me think that I didn’t get enough medication for stimulation.
The doctor then left the recovery room and I got dressed again. We got to the car and I started crying my eyes out. I just felt so defeated. Like everything I went through was for nothing. All the shots, blood draws, and time spent – for nothing. At least that was my mindset for the next few days after the retrieval.
You may think 9 eggs is a high number, but keep in mind that number usually drops by half every day. Naturally, that is just what happens and since we were going to do genetic testing, I knew that we would be very lucky just to get one healthy embryo. So that is why I was so upset after my egg retrieval.
Like you saw on Instagram, I was a mess. I recorded my thoughts the day after surgery and I could not hold it together. I experienced the physical pain of IVF, but after the surgery, I was experiencing the mental pain.
The day after my surgery they called me with an update from the lab. Out of the nine eggs we had, two of them died. Then out of the seven that were now left, five got fertilized by Jacob’s sperm. Now we had to wait to see if the five eggs would make it to the embryo stage. This is usually a five-day wait. The next five days waiting for results was brutal. So much anxiety and worry.
Day five I got the call from the lab. The doctor said that one embryo made it to day five, My heart completely sunk. But then he said there were two more that could potentially make it, they were just growing a little bit slower. So he said he would call me tomorrow to let me know if they were still growing.
The next day, they called and said that another embryo had made it, and one more was still growing so they were going to wait and see if it made it. Luckily, the next day I got the call that the third embryo had made it. So we had three potential babies! However, now the embryos were being sent off to genetic testing. In this testing, they would look for many different genetic disorders and see if any of the embryos were healthy for a transfer. I was told it would be about two weeks before I would get my results.
This was the hardest part. Waiting for the genetic testing results. Not knowing whether we even had a baby to transfer for pregnancy based on what these results would tell us. After a week I called the lab and the receptionist said they would have my results the following week. I was seriously counting down the days because I just needed to know!
I called the next week since my results should have been ready, but the receptionist said my results were not here yet. She said that they have had a high volume of testing to do and that my results would take another week. I was so frustrated because now I had another week of anxiety.
Then, I called one week later… which was Wednesday of this week 3/18 and the lady on the phone said my results were now ready. I was so nervous! Then she told me the doctor at the lab was in a meeting and he could call me after to give me the results. At this point, my anxiety was through the roof! Keep in mind this was earlier this week. I was at home, working on my laptop because of the corona quarantine. We also had an earthquake earlier in the day, so this was a major day of anxiety and stress haha.
About an hour later, Jacob was out getting gas and he called me. The doctor was on the other line and Jacob was going to conference me in, and my heart was pounding. Then the doctor said, “you have one embryo that is 100% healthy and good for a transfer.” I was overjoyed! I honestly thought we may not get an embryo to transfer, so this was amazing news. As soon as we hung up with the doctor I cried. I have never been so happy and thankful for this one little embryo.
So now you are all caught up! This is exactly where I am at with this IVF process today. We have one beautiful little baby in the freezer ready to go! However, with all of this COVID-19 virus stuff going around, we don’t know when we will get pregnant. For now, it is kind of a waiting game, waiting to see how long it takes for this stuff to blow over. Also, keep in mind just because we have an embryo doesn’t mean it will result in pregnancy. That is the hope but we can never be certain.
Regardless, I am so excited and happy that we have one little embryo. We are also deciding to wait to find out the gender of the embryo. Doing genetic testing allows the lab to determine the gender, but I decided that we didn’t want to know. So my clinic will keep the gender a secret until I tell them otherwise!
Since my first pregnancy was so difficult and out of wed-lock, I never really got to celebrate it or honestly be too happy about it in the beginning. So this time I am going to celebrate every day and every single part of it. So we will be doing all the things, including a gender reveal!
Anyways, thanks for reading and supporting me through all of this! The support has made this process so much easier! I am SO thankful! I love you all, and stay safe!
If you want to see videos of my IVF journey, click HERE and check out my Instagram highlight “IVF”