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    T-3 and counting

    So this week-end is when they’ll harvest my eggs. Right now we’re shooting for Saturday, but it could be as early as Friday: it all depends on how well my follicles are progressing. We find out the day of the retrieval tomorrow.

    At my last appointment (yesterday), I had 10 maturing follicles, each measuring b/w 9 to 12 millimeters. By the time we’re done they’re supposed to each be about 18mm. I don’t know about you, but that boggles my mind: I can’t believe that a single egg, which is the size of a pin head requires 18mm of living room. Apparently these suckers like to live large. No wonder I’ve been gaining half a pound of weight a day!

    To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the total number of follicles. There are 10 good ones, and two smaller ones that my RE doubts will mature enough in time for the retrieval. Even she said she was surprised that for my age and diagnosis I had just 10. I was really hoping for 12-15. I’ve had one of my stimulating meds increased twice now, which is why I’m kind of down on the whole thing. I was really hoping my body would respond better. I know that stimulating my ovaries is kind of a guessing game: too little meds and you get nothing, too much and you over-hyper stimulate and bad things happen. However, att the end of the day, it’s an odds game, which is why I was hoping for a few more XX players. Of the eggs that are retrieved not all are mature enough to be fertilized. THEN not all DO fertilize. THEN of those that DO fertilize, some don’t make it past the first day. I’m just worried that there won’t be enough to make it to at least the 3rd day to go back 🙁 I’m told that ultimately the day of the retrieval is when we find out the final egg count because there are some that can’t be seen on the ultrasound. I’d like to think that will be the case so I’m staying hopeful we’ll get at least 12 good ones out there.

    Have I told you about the ultrasound equipment yet? I don’t think I have. Well, you know those little wands that you see in the movies that they rub over pregnant ladies’ bellies? Yeah, that’s not it! This is something that they put literally up where the sun don’t shine. It makes sense since they need to see in there up close and personal, but it’s hard to take seriously a piece of equipment that requires a condom and some lube whenever we meet. I giggle on the inside each time I see it. It’s attached to a camera that shows on a monitor what’s going on inside. It took hubs and me literally 5 ultrasounds to finally make sense of what we’re seeing. Imagine watching a black and white TV after hours where there’s nothing but static. Then the doctor starts talking about and pointing at some black dots. It’s nothing BUT black dots. How they can tell an early follicle from a pixel is beyond me. Now that they’re finally getting bigger, I am starting to develop some comprehension.

    I am definitely starting to feel different though. I don’t know if it’s the meds or some psychosomatic conditions but:

    • my sense of smell is really heightened
    • I feel a nauseous at some weird times of the day
    • my cramps are getting sharper daily
    • I SWEAR I can feel my ovaries when I press down on my lower abdomen and feel something lumpy down there!
    • I feel kinda bloated. Walking, driving over bumps and standing for prolonged periods of time definitely jiggle my insides
    • I’d like to think I’m maintaining a good attitude, but my temper is certainly shorter

    Despite all these things I fell very fortunate so far. I’ve been reading the stories of other people going through IVF and I think I have it pretty easy in comparison. Hopefully this isn’t a “no pain, no gain” scenario, where the rate of success is in direct correlation to the discomfort of the process.
    Its times like this that I like to look back on all the things I’m thankful for:

    • the fact that Hubs and I are on the same page with our treatment and we never had any major disagreements on how far we’re willing to go for a baby
    • a kick ass manager who is supportive of what we’re going through and lets me have the time off for all these appointments and recovery
    • moving to a new clinic which so far, knock on wood, has kept the process pretty stress-free
    • a new medication protocol which calls for short needles for all but one of the meds (the trigger shot)
    • no routine blood drawing. Given my fear of needles, this has been pretty nice.
    • a group of resources (family, friends and Nesties) that support and listen or have gone through this process and answer each one of my tedious questions

    Ok, enough cheesiness.

    What else?

    Oh, yeah – I’ve decided to participate in one of the Stanford studies and donate my immature eggs and embryos that don’t survive for research. About a year and a half ago I really wanted to do this, but decided against it until we have kids. Now I can and am feeling pretty positive about it. I knew that I (personally) wasn’t going to find a cure for cancer, but if I can contribute in even a small “cell” way to the research towards eliminating some terminal or debilitating diseases, I feel like I’ve done my part.

    So that’s my very LOONG entry for today. Here’s hoping that we’ll have a few more eggs pop-up tomorrow!

    3 responses to “T-3 and counting”

    1. Evonne says:

      Wow, I am learning so much about this process. Thanks, Ava for sharing this journey with us. Just know that I am here rooting for you guys!

    2. Kittylove (from thenest) says:

      10 is good. I hope a few more pop up for you though. I know you really want to get 12-15 of them. I am glad you are doing well and not in to much pain. Lucky for you that all your needles so far have been small, I am terified of needles to and can’t imagine being poked daily. Keep us posted on when ER is. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

    3. Katie says:

      Good luck, Ava!! Sounds good so far! After today’s u/s it looks like my retrieval will be Sunday…woo, we’re going to be a day or two apart is all!

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