Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ivf update: egg retrieval complete!


Update time! But first, thank you all so much for your supportive and loving comments, texts, emails and messages. You are the BEST people. I mean it, you guys kick ass! I was overwhelmed with gratitude by your response to my last post, whether from strangers wishing us well to people I had known for years confiding about their own struggles with infertility. While reading your comments here, as well as on Instagram and Facebook, I broke down and cried for the first time since beginning this process. Up until that point, I had tried to remain stoic. Your kindness and compassion opened up an entire floodgate of emotions. A friend joked it was the hormones and they may have been a contributing factor, but I also think it was because my silence over our hidden struggle was finally broken. There's so much silence with infertility; talking about it openly and freely has been liberating and therapeutic. No one should suffer in silence. No matter what the issue.

So let's talk...

Since my last post, I completed the remainder of the hormone injections (23 in total!) and last Thursday we had the egg retrieval. I was excited, nervous & anxious as all heck the morning of the procedure. Let me preface this by saying IVF is not for the faint hearted and your ladybits are not your own after a while. See evidence here. Thankfully, Scott was there to allay my fears and make me laugh. Seeing him in scrubs made my day especially! 

After changing into my peek-a-bum gown, Heather, one of the fantastic nurses at the clinic, gave me an Ativan to calm my nerves, hooked me to an IV with antibiotics and then led us into the procedure room. I felt a bit of pain during the procedure so they gave me additional pain meds and then, poof! everything was awesome. The retrieval took about 30 minutes because I had 27 follicles. Even when it comes to IVF, I'm an overachiever (; 

Once it was over, I went into the recovery area for about 90 minutes where I ate snacks and chatted with Scotty and Heather. At least that's what Scott tells me, I don't have any recollection of that conversation which is probably for the best. On our way home, I started to feel a bit woozy and ended up throwing up on our lawn and then three more times inside (this time I made it to the bathroom). I was also very sore, like I had done hundreds and hundreds of crunches. In reality, I have no clue what that actually feels like, har har. After taking an extra strength Tylenol, I crawled into bed and remained there in a coma-like state until later that night when I woke up craving bbq t-bone steak with blue cheese crumbles. In total, it took me four days to recover from the egg retrieval and its accompanying cramps, soreness and bloating. It pains me to say this, but sweatpants were my best pal during those days, along with my bubu bag


Egg retrieval was an interesting procedure to say the least. Interesting as in your girl was a drugged up loopy mess (see exhibit A. above). Oh, the things I said! Scott remembered them ALL. Here are a few for your reading pleasure:
  • I sang/rapped 2Pac's Baby Don't Cry, specifically this line: "Even when the road is hard, never give up. Baby don't cry." 
  • I named two particularly painful eggs after politicians I'm not particularly fond of: Harper and Prentice.
  • I told the entire medical team, nurses Carrie and Megan, embryologist Ryan and Dr. Motan, that I loved them. Because that's how we do.
  • When Dr. Motan left the room at the end of the procedure, I hollered, "Peace out, Motan!"

In the end, Dr. Motan was able to retrieve 21 eggs! Not bad for a geriatric patient. From those 21 eggs, 18 were mature and 16 fertilized. Yesterday we received the most wonderful news from Ryan: all 16 of our embryos made it to the blastocyst stage! We're so happy and relieved. Now, we'll wait for my body to return to a balanced state and a few cycles from now I'll start prepping for a frozen egg transfer. Our journey is only just beginning. {Backstory: because I was showing symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and had extremely high levels of estrogen, Dr. Motan decided it was best to do a freeze all, which means they freeze all retrieved eggs and do a transfer at a later date. When the nurse first told me, I burst into tears. Rationally, I knew it was the right thing to do, but my heart just wasn't quite there yet. After leaving the clinic, I talked it out with Scott and a few girlfriends, went to HomeSense in search of a rug, ate a DQ cookie dough blizzard and had a good night's sleep. By the next morning, I had made peace with it.}
You will get there when you are meant to get there and not one moment sooner. So relax, breathe and be patient. -- Mandy Hale
I'm going to take the next little while to take care of myself and prepare for the transfer -- exercise, acupuncture, volunteering, cooking, spending time with friends and family and continuing to blog about and Instagram the things that make me happy: fashion, style, interior design and decor, and food, of course, lots and lots of food. My life isn't just about trying to have a baby. And thankfully it never has been. There's so much I want to do, see & make. Plus, I have a 40th birthday to celebrate this Saturday! And that means cake. 

To anyone else going through this process, I wish you mountains of luck and a happy ending. Hang in there! And remember, you are stronger than you think. If you need someone to talk to, email me: dajanaf@yahoo.com. I'm here for you! xoxo

P.S. There are two Facebook support groups I highly recommend: IVF Support Canada and IVF Support, the international version consisting of women from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, where British ladies sometimes pepper their sentences with words like fortnight and stone, to describe their weight. Cool ass language aside, both forums have been a godsend to me these past few weeks. I'm with my people (which is the way I felt when I went to my first NDP meeting, haha) and the women participating in both groups are strong, open, lovely and brilliant. If forums are more your thing, this one's helpful. Familiarize yourself with this handy abbreviation guide first. Best of luck! I'm rooting for you.

48 comments:

  1. Lots of love and positive energy traveling up Hwy 2 to you and Scott!

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    1. Thank you Megan! We're feeling your love and energy, lady! <3

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  2. You are an overacheiver with the eggs!!!!!! That was a great haul. And 16 made it to the next stage? Amazing!!! I hope this is just the beginning of all the happy news for you!

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    1. I hope this is just the beginning of the happy news too, Janice. Thanks lady!

      P.S. Once a nerd, always a nerd (;

      P.S.S. My fave boy name is Luka! That's how it's spelled in Croatia.

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  3. What a journey you are on!! Amazing. You will get there, and I know you are helping so many others -- so be PROUD of that! ... and, oh yeah... sometimes sweatpants are your best friend after the Kiddo is born too... sorry to say. :p much love! <3

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    1. It's a pretty crazy journey, isn't it Jen? But then again what's life without some major-pee-your-pants-from-the-excitement adventures? Thanks for being my cheerleader and for setting me straight about the sweatpants, haha (; xoxo

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  4. Thank you for sharing your journey. We wish you all the love and success in IVF to you and Scotty. Your beautiful humor is always refreshing and we'll always have yummy eats for you!♡

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    1. Thank you for the awesome support, Mandy! And Cory too (: You're such a sweetheart and your donuts make me so happy! xoxo

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  5. You, my friend, are amazing. I know so many people have read your words and cried knowing that they aren't alone. I look forward to the good things in store for you. Your body is doing amazing work. I'm in awe. ❤️

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    1. Wow Kacie! Thank you for your kind words. You sure know how to make a hormonally imbalanced lady feel good (;

      I sincerely hope this post has helped at least one person feel not so alone. Although my intent was always to help others, sharing our journey has been therapeutic for me as well. Funny how things work out in the end. xoxo

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  6. What an amazing (albeit painfully diificult) birthday gift. Way to go girl!! I'm in awe of your fortitude and good spirits (and know that you don't always have to be strong and cheerful, 'cause you're amazing any way!)

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    1. Do you know what I love about you Sarah? You use words like fortitude (yay!) and you've always had my back since day one. Thank you for being supportive, lovely and sweet. I can't wait to meet you in person one day! xoxo

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  7. D, you are courageous and selfless for sharing about your journey! SO excited for you and your 16 fertilized eggs and can't wait to hear the next update! Wishing you peace, sunny days, and many delicious treats (:

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    1. You're such a sweet soul, Hannah! Thank you for your support and kind words. We're excited for what the future holds too. Now I just need some of your delicious treats (;

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  8. Glad that it's all looking good! You are like a chicken...producing all those eggs! Fingers crossed the next stage is a success as well! Hugs to you!

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    1. Thanks so much, B! You know, I've never been compared to a chicken before, but I'll take it! (:

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  9. 16 blastocysts?!?! You rock!! Sending you peace and lots of love. I was reliving my IVF experience!!! Definitely not for the weak. We have three embryos frozen and they transferred two. One of those two became June and she's perfect!!! Good luck!!!

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    1. I love hearing about IVF success stories J! And June's story is my favourite one. Every time I see her sweet face in my Facebook or IG feed, I smile (: Thank you for being so open about your own journey. It makes me feel supported and not so alone but most importantly, it gives me HOPE! xoxo

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  10. Just reading this after leaving a novel on your IG post. (Sorry!!) ;) I cannot tell you how great it is that you froze all... When I mentioned my situation was like a Grey's Anatomy episode it's because that very thing happened to me and I almost lost not only my daughter but myself. I hyper-stimulated and they almost had to perform a d & c to save me. I went from 110 to 150 in 3 days from water build up and they were tapping my stomach with a straw like tube into a liter bottle if you can image just so I could breath and to take pressure off my heart. A girl had died a few days before me at John's Hopkins and they weren't going to let that happen to me. I was worse though but after several days my levels leveled out and they realized I was going to be ok. My body let go of 1 of 2 embryos (it obviously wasn't meant to be from day 1) but our little Emma held on and after that... Everything went great.

    So happy they know more nowadays. They now leave eggs in longet to the Blasocyst stage after my situation and a few others around that same time period. They used to think rushing the eggs back into their natural state was best for the embryos but they have since realized that it's more than that. They need to have gotten to the Blasocyst stage to be healthy enough to really attach to the wall and hold on and my eggs for whatever reason took longer than most in the Petri dish to multiply and get to that level. They even told me after a few days that the embryos didn't look the best (really fragmented edges etc) but they wanted to try and see. Amazingly that's when I got pregnant. :)

    You are so cute and have the best sense of humor. You will have the cutest family ever one day... I truly believe it! Hugs to you and stay strong. xoxo :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your own story, Kristy! You must have been so scared throughout that entire ordeal. Especially knowing another woman had died from hyper-stimulation. I'm so happy you made it through and that you have your sweet Emma. Best ending ever!! <3

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    2. Thanks so much! :) Hugs to you and just know that all will work out in the end... xoxo

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  11. Quite the adventure you two are on!! So glad you are still being you through and through :) love you to bits and am crossing everything that this works out xo

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    1. Haha, I could never stop being me even through all this craziness E! Being silly is what's going to get me through this. Especially since I can't drink. Haha (; Thanks so much for your support lady. Means a lot to me. xoxo

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  12. This post made me smile - "peace out motan"! haha
    I think it's so great you are sharing your journey - I know so many women who go through this in silence and sharing your experience is brave and encouraging for others going through this
    Sending you love and positivity!
    Xo,Diana

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    1. I'm soaking up all the love and positivity I can get! Thanks for your support, D. Looking forward to the day the two Diana's meet in person. Get ready for a biiig hug when that happens (:

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  13. I love that Scott thought enough to jot down your bon mots while you were drugged up ;) Girl - 16 embryos is huuuuuge! Congratulations on making it through this first stage with flying colours. Now the big decision is do you transfer one or two? Sending you good and happy vibes over the next few weeks. xo.

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    1. Thanks for your support and encouragement, Jen! I'm glad Scott remembered my bon mots too. He also took video. The next time you and I meet up, let's drink fancy drinks and nibble on French pastries while watching a bunch of my eggs swimming around in fluid under a microscope. Or not, haha (;

      P.S. Two!!

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  14. "peace out, motan!". You are the best. I'm so happy for you and Scott and am sending you so much love for the next step of your journey!

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    1. Thank you C! You've been such an amazing support to me throughout this journey. Love you! xoxo

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  15. Lovely lady, you are a ROCK STAR!!!! Big love to you, your hubby, and all 16 of your blastocysts!!! And Happy Big 4 0!!

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    1. Aw, thanks B! I'm super excited for what my 40s may bring. xoxo

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  16. You are so funny! I love the recaps from scott of what you said - LOVE IT. Can't wait for the video of you rapping Baby don't cry to your baby xoxoxo Enjoy your birthday (woot!!) and associated treats (both for getting through this stage and your birthday --- carte blanche)!

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    1. You should see the video Scott took, Heather! It's filled with many more golden nuggets of fun from my high-as-a-kite mouth, haha. Thanks so much for the birthday carte blanche. I took you up on that offer. Big time! xoxo

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  17. You are the best! I giggled at "Peace out Motan!" Sending you so much love and good vibes on this journey. All the hugs and kisses too!

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    1. Thank you so much, Morgan! Appreciate your support, love and good vibes. I must say, I laughed and laughed when Scott recounted all the funny things I said. I'm glad he was there with me to take it all in. He's a good dude. xoxo

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  18. How much do I love that you wrote this??? You seriously rule - how awesome that through it all you and Scott can keep your humour and perspective. You are a strong lady. I am sending all positive vibes your way - I have a good feeling!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I love and appreciate that you took the time to read this novel of a blog post. Truth be told, I don't alway feel strong (and I've had some rough days) but I'm trying my best to get through IVF with humour and levity. So far, so good. The nurse told Scott that I was her most entertaining patient ever. YAY!

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  19. I just wrote a long comment here...went to publish and now it's gone. Ah...such great luck. Anywhooooo...glad I popped over. Now I can hold your hand virtually. Love to you, big time. Vanessa from Vermont (greenmountainmomma) ❤️

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    1. Hi V! I'm so glad you popped over too. It means a lot to me. Especially since you're one of the most sincere people I know on Instagram. <3

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  20. I'm finally sitting down to read this post & your previous one (wanted to give it my full focus & attention you so rightly deserve). Absolutely floored by your stoic demeanor, sense of humor (giggle snort), & heartfelt candidness. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We effing love you. Wishing I could personally bring you DQ cookie dough Blizzards & well, just hug the crap out of you.

    peace out love,
    xoxo

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  21. Thanks for taking the time to read my epic novel! And for your kind words, dude. You bringing me a DQ cookie dough blizzard and hugging the crap out of me would make my year, N! I know one day we'll meet and maybe I'll even have a child with me. Wouldn't that be so awesome?! xoxo

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  22. Please note that the week of infertility is also an opportunity to present the results of a national survey on infertility based on a panel of 700 couples aged 25 to 45 years. Created at the initiative of the SMR, the week of infertility will also be the occasion for debates, round tables, exhibitions and couples testimonials about this social evil not yet recognized as a disease in Morocco.

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  23. I have not disclosed to any of my family members that iam going through this process and i dont have anyone to talk to ..... feeling very nervous .... i told my husband that the changes of the succesful IVF is 0nly 35 % and he said that dont worry we will be in that 35 % :) ... pls do share some stories which are about successful IVF ... cause right now reading the negative outcome is making me very nervous. .

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  24. This is my 3rd IVF I am waiting for the result tomorrow has no symptoms of pregnancy it feels like anther BFN!! Every cycle goes perfect from the beginning but in the end there is no implementations……..

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  25. The procedure of IVF egg donation is one which carries with it a lot of hope and goodwill. The risks to the egg donor are negliable. The time and effort spent taking fertility drugs and in harvesting your eggs will offer someone the opportunity to alter their life forever. IVF treatment

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  26. Love from Nigeria... My wishes are with you Daj... Hope to talk to you sometimes...

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  27. After eight to 12 days of taking the medicine, an injection (trigger) is given to assist with the final maturation of the egg and loosening of the egg from the follicular wall. The patient must visit the clinic for the egg retrieval process, which takes place 34 to 36 hours after the trigger is given. The retrieval process is a day care procedure that is performed with ultrasound guidance under sedation. Once retrieved, the eggs are processed by an embryologist in the ART laboratory.

    Medicover Fertility is known as one of the best IVF centres in India. The fact that every five hours, a Medicover baby is born worldwide speaks volumes about its glowing credentials, stellar services and top-notch infrastructure.

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  28. I want to use this means to let the world know that all hope is not lost Getting pregnant after having tubes clamped and burned, I know IVF and Reversal could help but it way too cost, i couldn't afford it either and i so desire to add another baby to my family been trying for 5 years, not until i came across Dr.AGBAZARA TEMPLE, who cast a pregnancy/Fertility spell for me and i got pregnant.l hope that women out there who are going through the same fears and worries l went through in GETTING PREGNANT , will find your contact and be happy like me as i drop it here on this site, and solution will come to them as they contact you. Thank you and God bless you to reach him email via:
    ( agbazara@gmail.com )

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