Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Infertility: The IVF Process Part I

Have you ever known anyone who has gone through IVF? In late 2010 when we made a decision with our doctor to move forward with IVF as our next best infertility treatment, I was largely unaware of what to expect. While I'm traveling Down Under I thought I'd post some excerpts from my IVF Journal. The process was nothing like what we thought, but ultimately we achieved our goal and are beyond grateful for this experience. 
Egg Retrieval 3/26/2011 
After weeks of hormone injections and ultrasounds my eggs were finally ready to be “harvested.” It’s funny, the words you will use relating the infertility process. Words like Hamster Egg Penetration. Hungry? Anyway, we are hoping the Easter Bunny comes early this year. The egg retrieval was scheduled for Saturday March 26th at 7:30 am. Brad and I were very much excited. Seems we’ve talked about nothing else for weeks. Brad has been giving my ovaries little pep talks every night before bed. Sometimes they make me laugh, and sometimes they make me a bit weepy. He has been very sweet to give me lots of hugs, lots of kisses, lots of love. (And also lots of patience; bless his sweetheart soul). We’ve grown closer together in indescribable ways. Very few people knew we were at this stage of IVF. We chose to keep it quiet and somewhat private. 
A potential pregnancy was becoming more of a reality than ever before. Strangely, I was completely at peace. I felt ready and calm. But mostly just ready for the next phase of life. Brad gave me a blessing the night before which was tender and reassuring. I knew it was in the Lord’s hands and that we were being guided ever so gently. Everything felt right. Saturday morning at the house felt like Christmas morning, only better, and we were giddy as could be. LET’S GO MAKE A BABY! I could hardly stand it. I couldn’t believe we had made it this far. We are so close. At the clinic I undressed as instructed and Brad helped me into a hospital gown. A cool sensation flooded my left arm as the nurse started an IV. She needed to remind me to keep breathing, big deep breaths. The Dr. came in and poured over my chart once again, gave us an opportunity to ask questions and then sign something, who even knows what at this point. Probably along the lines of if I die today, it’s not his fault.
We moved to the retrieval room and the nurse situated me in a giant chair with stirrups. I’ve seen so many stirrups these past 5 years. I am the Stirrup Queen. Brad kissed me good luck and was whisked away to do his part. It does take two to make a baby, you know. It’s easy to forget that because all the focus so far has been on me and my body. The nurse said I would start to feel woozy, and I did. I remember hearing Dr. H’s voice and feeling some strong, uncomfortable pressure down below, but really, nothing else. In what seemed like 10 seconds, Brad was hovering over me attempting to awaken his sleeping beauty. I was having none of that and continued to doze for nearly an hour. Although I do remember hearing him say “you did so good, hun.”
When I finally began to stir Brad was there with smiles and apple juice. I could barely find the muscle strength to put my lips around the straw let alone suck and swallow. Apparently I was a bit delirious. I told the nurse that I loooooove the stirrrrrrrrrups, asked her if I had to go to church on Sunday, and thanked her repeatedly for being so so so so nice. I got the giggles - bad - while Brad was helping me get dressed. Everything was extraordinarily funny. My socks? Hilarious. Standing up? Hilarious. Anything Brad said? Super. Duper. Funny. Dare I say I thoroughly enjoyed that medicinal cocktail? 
We were at home by 9:30 am and Brad tucked me straight into bed where I was dead to the world for another 4 hours. Truly, that was the best sleep I’ve ever had. When I woke up I called for Brad and he helped me to the bathroom and then the living room couch, because I wanted to be near him. I was ready to be awake and I could actually think clearly to answer text messages coherently. I felt sore, swollen and crampy but the intense joy within me overshadowed all of that. It was a perfect weekend to lay low and watch 80’s classics such as Top Gun, Back to the Future, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Brad always gets teary during Top Gun and has to get up and walk around so I don’t notice. I love him. I want to have a baby with him.
Forty-eight hours later on Monday morning I received an update from the IVF lab that 13 eggs in total were retrieved, 6 were mature, and all 6 had fertilized. That was the best news! I couldn’t wait to email Brad. He was, of course, thrilled as well. After that I had a very hard time concentrating at work and couldn’t think of anything else. We are so close. Not only that, but we have 6 babies! Brad said, “That’s way more than any of our friends have!”

Not that anyone is counting ;)
10.20.2010 Our first of *many* trips to the IVF Clinic
My counter was littered with drug paraphernalia for months!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Madsen said...

LOVE that you are sharing this. Keep em coming!!!