IVF Journey: Egg Retrieval

This post conveys MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE on my IVF Journey. We got VERY lucky our first round and I know that everyone doesn’t have it this easy. However, treating this as a personal journal entry and for others looking for hopeful stories, I am going to give my honest opinion about this process. 

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My previous post about Injections and Egg Stimulation left off right at time for Egg Retrieval.  If you haven’t read that one, you might want to go back and see all that leads up to the big day: Egg Retrieval!

I will walk you through the schedule and give little anecdotes along the way. As always, bear with me, these things are kind of stream of consciousness as I am looking back on what happened during these crucial days.

So, the two nights before your egg retrieval, you’ll give yourself your final stomach injection which is the Lupron Trigger.  The following morning, you’ll go in for bloodwork to make sure that the trigger was effective.

The night before your retrieval, you can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight. I woke up SO thirsty in the middle of the night that night, but had to power through. Same with the morning of retrieval- brutal, but worth it.

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egg retrieval morning – hello bloating!

On the morning of retrieval, I had to get there an hour early, with sperm sample, but no Johnny. Unfortunately, because of Covid, I had to be by myself for the procedure.  This was by far one of the hardest parts of the entire process.  I had never been *under* or had anesthesia before and I was pretty terrified.  Luckily the nurses and anesthesiologist were super nice, but it wasn’t the same. I really, really wish John could have been there with me. (It doesn’t make sense as to why he could be there for the transfer and not an actual PROCEDURE, but I don’t make the rules.)

So, I waited anxiously until it was time, was taken back to the procedure room and by the time they were asking me for my name and what I was there for, I was out. Next thing I knew, I came to back in the patient room with a cup of ginger ale in hand that I promptly spilled all over myself and the room, lol. I somehow got myself dressed and they wheeled me down in a wheel chair for Johnny to pick me up.  They were able to tell John after the procedure how many eggs they retrieved (24!!!!) and we got home and I proceeded to completely pass out for a few hours.  I missed a call during my nap where my doctor was checking in, again telling me how excited he was that we got 24 eggs.

The following day, our doctor called to let us know that 6 out of the 19 eggs had been fertilized.

(We had to use a more complex version of IVF – which is called IVF with ICSI, which is common with male factor infertility. IVF with ICSI means that they take one sperm and inject it directly into the egg. *mindblowing*)

This low *to us* number of 6 out of 19 was expected, but still a little discouraging, not going to lie.  However, my family and friends and of course Johnny, had faith in our Super Six.  From there we waited another five days to see if they made it to the blastocyst phase. There is SO much waiting during the entire IVF process, and it truly never gets any easier.  Every day we were expecting news would just creeeeeep by as I waited for a call from the doctor.

We ended up having two embryos that made it to the blastocyst stage, which considering we only had six felt like a win! Afterall, you only need one 🙂 From there we opted for the additional PGT-A DNA testing, so at this stage they were sent off.  Then another 10 days to two weeks to wait for the results.  The PGT-A testing is an additional cost, where they test for genetic disorders like down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. This is a personal choice, obviously, but we had come this far and spent so much money already it just seemed like a no brainer to us and an advantage of doing IVF.  Other chromosomal abnormalities can result not only in birth defects but miscarriages, so doing the testing decreases your chances of miscarrying.  Science literally blew my mind at every step of this process.

We were overjoyed to find out that one of our two little blastocysts came back genetically normal.  It seemed like every prayer we had ever prayed had been answered. We could feel the love from all of the prayers of our families and friends.  We waited so long to find the answers about our infertility and we feel very, very lucky that our first cycle resulted in an embryo for implantation.

As always, my inbox and DMs are open if you have any questions at all about this process!

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