Before I start I have to say, if you are going through IVF or do so in the future please [try] NOT to read my story and compare. I did this and it’s not the move haha. Everyones circumstances are soo different and it is SO easy to think “oh my gosh I thought I had similar issues as her and my cycle went soo differently.” I am only continuing to share this because reading others stories did help me when I wasn’t comparing but using it as a way to connect with women who have done this.
So with that, lets catch up on whats been going on since my last post in June. We started the IVF retrieval cycle in July and retrieved in late August. The cliff notes of a retrieval cycle are below for those who are maybe not as familiar – not trying to mansplane 😉
- birth control for ~2 week to regulate
- ~10 days of shots (mine were 1 in the morning and 1 at night and then 1 in the morning and 2 at night)
- lots of check-ins to make sure everything is going smoothly – aka that your body is filling up with eggs. Sounds so weird but thats what happens you are bloated and full of lots and lots of eggs
- retrieval date is determined and you do a trigger shot
- retrieval where they go in and get all the eggs and fertilize the viable eggs to make a embryo
- they watch the viable embryos to ensure they are going through the process correctly (not all of them do) but the ones that do turn into blastocyst. You get those results about a 5ish days from your retrieval.
Mike did all of my shots for a few reasons but the number 1 reason I would recommend having your partner do them is it makes them an active participant in the experience. You are truly in it together. When it comes to things I did that helped consult your dr. because no shit I am not one and if I have learned anything it is that people have lots of opinions on what is right and wrong during this process. I found icing my stomach prior to the shots helped significantly!! I did not have a lot of side effects from the meds outside of the insane bloating and fatigue. Y’all the bloating towards the end is next level, I looked like I was pregnant and was waddling around the days leading up to the retrieval. The retrieval itself was not terrible, they knock you out for a bit, tell you how many eggs they retrieved and then you’re on your marry way. The recovery was not amazing but nothing bed, Advil, a heating pad and miralax can’t help ;). From there you either do a fresh implantation or freeze the embryos that made it to blast and have them genetically tested and then implant the embryos that “pass” genetic testing. We decided to genetically test which takes 2 weeks – the worst waiting game ever.
The numbers get cut at each step and it’s wild. You could have 100 eggs retrieved but only 40 are fertilized and then only 10 make it to blast and only 5 pass genetic testing (those are completely made up ridiculously high numbers). Our results were not what we were expecting or hoped for which obviously sucked big time to hear.
Cue Mama Mia Here We Go Again……because we wen’t right into a second retrieval which happened in October.
This round went a lot better – thank goodness!! Why? Honestly who the heck knows. People and my Dr. say that every month it is different eggs. So I say Octobers eggs were more eager hahah. This is also the part that people have a lot of opinions on, what to do, what not to do, what supplements to take etc. One of my delays in writing this blog post is because of this topic and not knowing how to approach it. When I first started this “journey” (eye roll) I did not find comfort in reading forums or joining support groups, I found it in chatting with people on IG and listening to my doctor. Every time I started doing research I got more stressed and overwhelmed and for me that was the move. A great example of this is one night I was deep in a gals IG highlights who shared her detailed IVF journey and she said something about how she doesn’t take Advil anymore because you’re not suppose to. I started bawling crying because I had been taking Advil when I needed it. I happened to have an apt at the clinic the next day and I asked my nurse about taking Advil and she said it was fine during the retrieval process but we will discuss it for during transfer. There are a so many different views and choosing which is right for you is so important. If is going knee deep in reddit – great you go girl.
After getting the news that our first round was mainly unsuccessful I started doing more research and asking peers questions and the overwhelming answer was “you have to be your own advocate” which pissed me off and still kind of does. Why? Because for so much of life, mine at least, you are taught and told by doctors “don’t get on the internet”, “we will tell you what to do and not to do” and “again, don’t google this”….so I didn’t! I had the mindset “my dr. will tell me if I need to not be taking x med or not have too much caffeine or take these supplements, not work out, work out, etc” and sadly in my experience they didn’t…..unless I asked. I worry typing that because I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the clinic but have heard this theme from many people – that you have to be your own advocate and do your own research. But who is right? Sally Sue on facebook? There is probably someone reading this thinking I am naive or some other rude word but I have already called myself that and that is another reason I worried writing this. So be your own advocate, ask the questions and do what makes YOU feel comfortable because Sally Sue on the internet saying she doesn’t do/take X anymore during her retrieval cycle may be what her doctor told her OR it is something she has control over that is helping her mentally and emotionally deal with this process. Both reasons are of course fine but doesn’t automatically mean you have do it to. Another good example, it is widely known it is normally okay to keep up your normal exercise routine when pregnant but not to add anything crazy in. For me, when I was 6 weeks pregnant I went to pilates, told the instructor I was pregnant and did lighter ab work – I barely did the work out and cried when I left….working out early in pregnancy is not for me but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone else – it just something emotionally I can’t do.
Okay rant over. We are now prepping for a transfer, which involves more shots and estrogen – moody mc moody over here. All the fingers and toes and anything else you can cross are currently crossed! Next update will probably be in another few months – hopefully with good news!
p.s I never thought these posts would have a shapable section BUT I got this caddy for all my meds and it has been amazing for keeping everything together and organized.