Hello friends and family,
Oh boy, do I have a fabulous update for you! My husband and I are the proud parents of 6 frozen embryos!! That’s right – the IVF treatment was successful! We got the phone call Wednesday morning from the hospital lab, and we are totally elated. It’s been an emotional ride full of uncertainty and hope. I truly believe that I was working with the best possible doctors for my situation, and everything went way better than expected. However, there are still some things that are unexplained and could be considered miraculous. Here is a recollection of my final moments of IVF and the retrieval procedure …
I could barely sleep the night before the egg retrieval, I was so nervous! Not about the procedure itself (I’ve already gone through major surgery so this was nothin’) but I was nervous about the results. If I only produced 3 or 4 eggs, how many of those would actually be mature, and then how many of the mature eggs would successfully be fertilized into embryos?? Like I said in my last entry, I had achieved the bare minimum of egg production to go forward with the retrieval at all. For the first time in my journey, I was feeling worried and losing a little hope. I decided to prepare myself for the worst and accept that there’s a likely chance that I would fall in the ‘Failure’ category of the IVF statistic. This was not a good feeling, but it was only fair to myself to be realistic. I was so touched to see friends post about me on Facebook, asking people to please pray for me and keep me in their good thoughts. I felt like I needed them more than ever!
My husband and I arrived at OHSU at 7:00am Tuesday morning, and I was prepped by a super sweet nurse and wonderful anesthesiologist. She explained that instead of being put to sleep, I was to be heavily sedated so that I could still talk and function during the retrieval procedure but wouldn’t be able to feel any pain. I was happy to hear this because that meant that I could be interactive when the actual retrieval was happening. As soon as I was prepped in the retrieval chair and injected with the anesthetic, I was feeling good. Really good. And my husband got to sit right by my side the whole time.
My fertility doctor came in and said she was hoping to retrieve 2 or 3 mature eggs. The retrieval began, and I was deep in La La Land when I finally heard the first announcement:
“We got one egg!” said the technician through a little window that connected the retrieval room to the lab next door.
The eggs were being vacuumed straight from ovaries into a petri dish on the other side of the wall – crazy, right? We all whooped for joy. Then we got the announcement of two eggs, then three. I think I went to sleep for a few minutes then came back into conciousness. The next thing I heard from my doctor was:
“Wow! We have nine eggs!”
9 eggs?? Where did this come from? I couldn’t tell if I was hallucinating or if that’s really what I heard. The next thing I knew, the doctor was cleaning up, told us congratulations and left the room. We were done!! The nurse and anesthesiologist had to stay with me to make sure I safely came out of La La Land. Boy, that was a hoot. We quickly got into a debate about the TV show ‘Dance Moms’ and talking about weddings, since I work in the industry. I don’t remember too much about the conversations, but I do remember a lot of candid laughter. Laughter really is the best medicine, so it was nice to be laughing when coming back to reality. My husband and I really appreciated how great the staff was.
I was in pain the rest of the day, and slept for about 8 hours after the procedure. Once in a while I would wake up and think to myself, “9 eggs! 9 eggs!”. After my long nap I was excited to spread the news of our surprising egg retrieval. Having 9 eggs instead of 3 created a much great chance at successfully creating embryos.
The next 24 hours were going to brutal. Thats how long my husband and I had to wait to hear the results of the fertilization process. I, again, prepared for the worst case scenario and expected the phone call at the end of the work day. But, the embryo tech called at 10:00am Wednesday morning!
“So,” He explained, “First I am going to tell you how the process works. You see, we have to evaluate the wall of each follicle to determine maturity and blah blah blah, blah blah …” He started to sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown. Just tell me how if you were able to make any embryos!!
I was shocked to hear that 8 of 9 eggs were fully mature, and the 9th egg actually matured in the petri dish while the lab techs were fertilizing the other 8. They were able to fertilize all 9 eggs, successfully creating 6 embryos. The 75% success rate is right on target.
My husband and I were so overjoyed that we were speechless! It was exactly what I was secretly wishing for. 6 little miracle eggs. I don’t know where they came from, but I feel so blessed for the outcome. Spreading the news to my family and friends was the most exciting part of all. Everyone was rooting for us.
Sigh of relief. It worked!! I look back on this wild experience, and even though I was hesitant to go through it, I am so glad I did. I have learned a lot about myself, and I met amazing people who change peoples’ lives for a living. I also realize that the ironic thing about my IVF journey is I was absolutely convinced I was going against faith and Mother Nature by letting science manipulate my body with artificial hormones and drugs. It was comforting to know that whether the treatment worked or not, statistics were to blame versus Karma and good juju. I didn’t feel like I was leaving the outcome to chance, prayer, a good attitude, or anything like that. However, my doctors do not have a scientific explanation for the 6 mystery eggs that popped out of no where. I’m all for logical explanations, but this is just bizarre! We’re all stumped as to how six mature eggs could be missed on the last ultra sounds. It’s like they literally appeared out of thin air, and coincidentally in time for my retrieval and were coincidentally ready to be fertilized. And if it weren’t for the six miracle eggs, the fertilization process could have coincidently been a complete failure.
That is, if you believe in coincidences. I guess there is some one out “there” watching over me!
Thanks again to everyone who supported us throughout this process. I definitely attribute the success to you. 🙂