I have reached the peak of withstanding the bloating, and the peak of nauseousness. It’s day 13 of IVF and I’m due to drive to Littleton for my daily blood draw and ultrasound. I started my day early, so I could get this over with. I made it to the office, waddled inside, checked in and took a seat in the waiting room. My favorite nurse came out of the room where blood draws took place, and called my name. We began to visit and she asked how I was doing. I told her I was up to 47 follicles. She looked at me and her mouth fell open. She said, “you poor thing!” She then told me how fortunate I was, and she began telling me about some women who only had one egg on their retrieval day. She was so positive and sweet, and then she said, “but that’s all you need, ONE!” I agreed with her wholeheartedly, and it really put my fortunate, misfortune in perspective. Although my body was reaching it’s limit…I was extremely blessed for the outcome.
Finally, my doctors told me I had reached the end of this process. Tomorrow would be surgery day!!!
I left the doctor’s office and ran a few errands to prepare for surgery day. I went to Target and picked up some bread, peanut butter, honey, soup, saltines, gatorade, and propel water. I was told that I had a high probability of experiencing OHSS after my egg retrieval, due to the number of follicles I had. In short, it is your body’s reaction to the surgery and can cause severe bloating and pain (see – Fertility Akro’s (decoder) – for more on this). I also purchased some cute headbands for surgery day, since I wasn’t allowed to wear contacts, makeup, perfume, or deodorant…at least my hair could make me feel girly. I picked up a prescription I was supposed to take leading up to surgery to prevent OHSS…and as the day went on I was feeling more and more nauseous and sick to my stomach.
Rick came home and we went to dinner for a plain potato and some broccoli for me, that was the only thing that sounded remotely appetizing. Although I was feeling awful, this was one of the most special dinners Rick and I had during our marriage. A random dinner at the local steakhouse turned into a pivotal moment in our marriage. We began discussing how fortunate we were that my body was responding so well to the medication. Rick began telling me that he had been thinking and praying about the embryo’s we may not use. He said he felt that God put US on this journey for a very specific reason. We were prepared financially for this endeavor, and we were strong enough to get through it with the love and support of our families. Rick and I couldn’t help but think that this was our opportunity to do something that would impact another person’s life in a powerful way. We made the decision to donate the embryo’s, if we had any to spare, that we did not transfer. It was one of those instances in a marriage that bonds you strengthens your connection to a deeper level.
We watched a movie that night, and I ate a sandwich right before bed. I was told to eat something filling since I wouldn’t be able to eat until after surgery. It was difficult to go to relax my mind and sleep that night. I couldn’t get comfortable because everything hurt and felt puffy. While I tossed and turned, Rick told me, “babe, I love you. I’m so proud of you.”
It’s all I needed…I drifted off to sleep.
Below are some images of what the follicle growth looks like. These images show follicles for women with PCOS, which normally equates to many, many follicles. The dark circles indicate the follicles, and these are what are measured during ultrasounds. They need to reach a certain size before egg retrieval day. In my case 16 mm was the magic number.