Sunday, August 14, 2011

IVF Part 2

After my ER, I was sore and a bit tired so Tim took me home to rest. Unfortunately, I had some work that I needed to get done that afternoon so I only rested for a few hours and then I headed to the lab. Tim insisted on driving me and he stayed with me while I set up for an experiment the next day. After a couple hours, I'd had enough and we headed back home.

The following morning I got the first of several phone calls from the doctor in the lab. He called to let me know that ALL 5 eggs fertilized! We had 5 little babies growing! I was over the moon. After only getting 5 eggs to start, it was wonderful to see that we had 5 little embryos. The decision was to do a 3 day transfer which would be on a Sunday.

Between the ER and the embryo transfer (ET), I focused on drinking my Gatorade to prevent too much fluid retention and drinking 1/5 of a pineapple (including the core) every night as a smoothie. This is supposed to help with implantation.

On the day of the ET, I was instructed to drink 20 oz of water 1 hour prior to my appointment. Honestly, I was more upset about this than the thought of having someone stick a very large needle through my vagina. My bladder is small and my uterus and ovaries are swollen and sore so having a full bladder after the ER was even more painful than the average full-bladder discomfort. I decided to cheat a little and I only drank 18 oz of water before we left for the transfer. It wasn't much, but it felt like a victory to me.

We get to the clinic a few minutes before our scheduled ET time to find the door locked without any sign of people. My bladder and I were not happy. I was already feeling the urge to pee and the fact that this most likely meant there would be a delay served to escalate my urgency. But we waited anyway and the doors were finally unlocked about 10 minutes after our scheduled appointment.

Come to find out, we were not the first people on the schedule so we had to wait even longer while I struggled to contain my bladder. We were taken back to a room (another one with a little window to the lab) where I got undressed and waited for the doctor. The nurse came in several times to tell me that he would be a little while and she could see the discomfort on my face. She asked if I thought I could pee just a little to help with the pressure. At first I wasn't sure I could do it, but after another 5 minutes, I thought I might die if I had to sit there any longer and I went for it. I'm actually pretty proud of myself. I managed to pee only about 2 ounces and keep the rest in. Not an easy feat!

The doctor eventually came in and told us how the embryos looked. On the day of the transfer, we had only 4 remaining embryos, one didn't make it. Of those 4, one was the highest grade (1/5), 2 were 2nd highest (2/5), and one was just OK (3/5). He recommended that we transfer 2 embryos to maximize our chances of success without having too much of a risk of high order multiples. We agreed.

The doctor from the lab came in with our embryos in a catheter and asked me to verify my identity and my decision to transfer 2 embryos.

The embryo transfer was similar to an IUI with one big catch. It is done with an ultrasound on the outside looking in at the uterus and pushing on a very full bladder. It hurt. A LOT. I cried and let me tell you, I haven't cried for any other procedure I have had in over 2 1/2 years of TTC and IF treatments. It is crazy to think that the transfer hurt more than the retrieval. It was quick once he was able to find my cervix, but it hurt. And then I started cramping while dealing with a super-full bladder. THEN, the doctor tells me that I need to lay there for 10 minutes before I can get up and pee. This induced further tears while I laid, curled up in a ball and Tim stroked my hair. Tim played a few songs on the iPod to try and make me feel better and it really helped to pass the time. Once I could pee, I felt a bit better and we were out the door as quickly as I could hobble.

For the next 2 days, I was on bed rest. This meant that I could only get up to go to the bathroom and the rest of my time was spent on the couch. I spent those days watching the entire Harry Potter series and playing on the computer. It's funny, at first I thought it would be nice to chill out on the couch and watch movies all weekend, but something changes when you are told you HAVE to stay on the couch. Suddenly, you realize that the last place you want to be is on the couch.

By the second afternoon I really wanted to get up and do something. It took a little convincing, but I eventually got Tim to let me make a pie. I had some graham crackers and some sugar-free, fat-free pudding mix and I thought that would be nice and simple. Yeah....not so much. LOL

I made the crust just fine and then used the directions on the box to make the pie filling, but being the culinary genius that I am, I decided to get fancy and add mint extract to the filling. Oh yeah, and I couldn't be bothered to measure the mint. I just poured a little bit in. Oops. In the end, I made a chocolate toothpaste pie that was completely inedible. It was clear at that moment that I needed to go back to the couch.

At this point, there is nothing left to do, but wait. Beta was scheduled for 2 weeks from the date of the retrieval.

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