Yesterday morning Mike and I needed to be at our RE’s office by 8:30. We arrived at 8:22, so for anyone who knows us (or just Mike), this was a big deal! We were early! I felt pretty good. On the drive up, we listened to the Beach Boys: Endless Summer, which was the first cassette I ever bought…and I sang most (all) of the songs to Mike as he drove. After arriving, we signed in and sat in the waiting room for less than a minute before a nurse, Grace, called us back to the IVF Suite. It sounds very fancy, doesn’t it?
The IVF Suite was in a totally different part of the building than we’d been to before. A nurse showed us to our space, area 4, and I was handed a Rubbermaid box with a gown, booties, blue hair cover, and a blanket. I emptied my bladder, which I had (nervously) tried to empty at least 4 times before we left the house. Then we completed the intake paperwork before my IV.
Getting my IV was, in all honesty, the hardest part of yesterday. Jennifer, the nurse who was doing my intake was struggling to find a vein on my left hand/forearm. I told her that the phlebotomist has a hard time finding a vein on my left arm, but my right arm is usually pretty good. She explained that the anesthesia team prefers the IV on my left side, if possible. After Jennifer tried 3 times, she called another nurse over to help. Kristin, nurse #2, said that the vein felt good, “it’s a pipe” was the actual quote…whatever that means. But Kristin couldn’t get the IV in, either. So she called in the nurse anesthetist, Rachel, who tried the left hand, and she, too, failed. So she switched sides and after some poking and moving around, success! She apologized in advance for the bruises I’d probably have when all was said and done. No worries, I told her. No need to apologize. Do whatever it takes to get the IV, put me in twilight, and retrieve those eggs!
Then Mike had to leave to give his sample. So he kissed me goodbye and I waited alone in area 4. Our RE came in about 10 or 15 minutes later to talk with me…asked how I was doing, how’s Mike, are we ready, excited, etc? She said I looked good and she was excited for me. As she exited my area, two nurses swooped right in, started my anesthesia, and escorted me to the operating room. It was quick! It was a well oiled machine. I had no doubts about the care I was receiving.
Jessica and Michelle, two nurses with whom I talk a bunch about scheduling and updates, were in the OR with me. Jessica helped me scooch onto the table and as I was getting in place, Rachel said, “Take two deep breaths and think about your favorite vacation.” Next thing I knew, I was waking up back in area 4.
This is the funny part of yesterday’s story: I woke up and asked where Mike was, to which a nurse told me he’d be in to see me soon. I fell back asleep (for 30 seconds? 4 minutes? An hour?) and when I woke up, I head a nurse saying to someone else (in passing) “Oh, it was bad.” So, in my drugged state, I decided that my retrieval had been bad and Mike was somewhere else finding out first. And I started to cry a little. Then I saw Kristin and asked her if she knew where Mike was…she said she’d go get him and asked if I was ok, to which I said, “I just miss him”. ❤
The nurses thought this was pretty sweet and Grace came in to check on me and offered me a mini can of ginger ale. I had a couple of sips, fell asleep again (I think) and then Mike came in area 4. (Reunited & it feels so good!) In reality, he found me crying and explaining that I missed him…then I told him my fear about “it was bad” and he assured me no one had said anything yet. Then the doctor came in and handed us a small card that said “14 eggs retrieved”. FOURTEEN.
When we met with our RE for our initial IVf consultation, she told us she hopes, on average, to retrieve 10 eggs. And on Friday, Michelle told me the ultrasound made it look like 6 or 7 mature follicles/eggs. But, Dr. Elguero retrieved 14 eggs and we were so excited. It was well beyond what we expected, and even more than we hoped for, I think. We have been beaten down by infertility and years of negative pregnancy tests, and a miscarriage following our one (and only) positive test. So imagine our surprise to hear better than expected results!
After we talked with our doctor a bit (Mike remembers more of this than I do), we were told we’d hear the Fert (Fertilization) Report midday today. Then I finished my mini ginger ale, emptied my bladder one last time, got my IV removed, and was allowed to change and go home. As I shuffled out the door holding Mike’s hand (there’s an exit right from the IVF Suite!), the nurses waved and smiled and someone said, “Now you won’t have to miss him because you’ll be together all day!” It was so cute. We made some calls, Mike drove home, got us some lunch, and then there was much napping on the couch with the heating pad.
Midday came early today! Michelle called at 9am this morning to check in on me…and to tell us that 9 of our eggs fertilized! NINE! A second day of great news! We are ahead of the curve we expected to be following, or that we hoped and aspired to be somewhere near! Mike and I talked a bunch today and we both expected/prepped ourselves for low numbers without sharing that concern with the other. Results have been borderline-to-low with all testing and moreover, Dr. Elguero suspected there might be an egg quantity and/or quality issue. Now we’re (cautiously) hopeful that my eggs are good, they just needed some help! Michelle scheduled our 5 day transfer for Friday, and my acupuncture will immediately follow the transfer.
So now we’re back in limbo, back in the waiting abyss. But, at least we’re in limbo with some positivity, The Office on Netflix, a heating pad, Gatorade, and unexpected joy in our hearts. Right now, we could field a baseball team with our 9 embryos. Statistically, half will make it to Friday…we would be lucky and blessed to have 4 or 5 embryos when all is said and done. And until our transfer on Friday, we’ll continue to hope and pray that our little embryos strengthen and grow! Little embryos…let’s grow!