Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's FET Month...Egg Retrieval Recap

Today marks CD3 of the FET cycle and on MAY 21 WE WILL BE TRANSFERRING ONE OF OUR EMBRYOS!!  Talk about excited y'all...I could pee my pants but I only have this pair and that would be awkward...so instead I'll share this meme showing exactly how excited I am for May 21!

This protocol started with three weeks of birth control, then a hormone stimulation cycle, followed by the egg retrieval. We did not do a fresh transfer, instead we opted to freeze all embryos that made it to day five and hold off a cycle to do a frozen transfer.  Dr. Mark believes that a frozen transfer gives my body time to return to normal after the hormone stimulation and gives us a better chance for that embryo to stick!  Let's pray that protocol works for us!

Now, let's talk about that Egg Retrieval! 

The night before egg retrieval I vowed to go to sleep early so I would be rested before we made the trek 1.5 hours away.  I already knew that stimming had gone well and there were at least 15 mature follicles but I couldn't shake the fear that I would wake up to someone telling me they collected no eggs.  I probably slept about two hours, I was just too wired for what was about to happen and even my prayers for peace buzzed in my ears.  I was thirsty, probably because I was cut off from food and drink at 10pm the night before, which felt like a lifetime ago.  I wanted water so bad but they said NOT EVEN A SIP!  I held fast to my promise not to quench my thirst though there were a few times that morning I eyed the dog's water bowl in envy.

Getting ready was easy, as you're not allowed to wear makeup to the egg retrieval and I would be wearing a fancy hair net so there was no sense in brushing my hair.  For a makeup junkie like me, it was a little weird to be out and about without my trusty mascara or brows on point.  We hit the road at 4:30 to make sure we were there on time...besides I was already wide awake in anticipation.

We arrived at the lab and I was gifted a sip of water and two Tylenol.  I thought I would pass out from the sheer joy of tasting that little swiggle of water!  I then changed into what I call the retrieval rags.  Y'all, this is not pretty.  Blue hair net, drab hospital gown, and blue net footies, no you can't tie the back, you gotta leave your booty in the breeze!

"I'm SO FANCY...You already know!"  Yea, no.  It wasn't so fancy and I will be sure that when I give birth I provide my own hospital gown y'all OKAYYYY!  

They gave me my IV, ouch, and taped it on my arm with what can only be described as surgical duct tape.  I wondered how it would come off later and how much of my skin would be going with it when the time came.  She said it would feel like a band-aid but I don't think I've ever felt a band-aid with such power behind it.  I'm pretty sure she also waxed my arm when she removed it, there won't be any hair there for a lifetime.  

While we waited for Dr. Mark and the Anesthesiologist to arrive, Hubby was sent to provide a sample and I waited awkwardly making small talk with the nurse who had strapped me to a heart monitor.  She asked if I worked out and I almost laughed so hard the monitor came off.  Apparently I have a runners heart rate.  I told her I broke my foot checking the mail and that was still the extent of my "exercise" so I must have just lucked out with the heart rate.

I met the anesthesiologist, Dr. Cole, who looked about 12 years old...that is really going to work for her later in life!  I was like, is this for real?  Is this child going to give me anesthesia?  How OLD do I feel right now?  Just before we shipped me off for retrieval, Dr. Mark swooped in to check out my attire for the day and make sure my hair didn't look better than his.  It did, my hair always looks better...even in the hair net.  I can rock a hair net y'all!

Speaking of rocking, how awesome are these socks from Woven Pear?  They say Ahoy Matey on the bottom!!  Too bad I was delirious and wore them backwards, so they said Matey Ahoy!

These socks came in my FertileBox Journey collection, and I have to say you MUST GET TO Woven Pear for some fancy socks that are thick and comfy.  They even have a SOCK BOX subscription where you get three pairs of socks a month delivered.  Y'all...they really ARE so fancy!!  I already know!

If you don't know how I feel about FertileBox, check out THIS POST to get an idea of the amazing goodness!  FertileBox is just a wonderful company that ships to you a TTC Care package brimming with love and baby dust!  Get over there and see what collection she has in stock!  They sell out fast!

So, socks on, hair netted, booty in the breeze, I made my way into the egg retrieval procedure room where the temperature was a cool 40° or at least it felt like it with my attire!  They got me a blanket, a real blanket, not the old paper sheet of shame!  Dr. Cole said this will feel cool...as she was sedating me, Dr. Mark said I was lucky I was going to be asleep for this...and I faded out right then.  The next time I opened my eyes, my hubby was sitting next to me and I was asking the one question we all ask post-egg retrieval.  HOW MANY DID WE GET?!

And we got 14 eggs!  I was overjoyed!  Out of 15 follicles they retrieved 14 eggs!  I was so relieved!  Too bad that was only step one.  You see, when it comes to collecting and fertilizing eggs, there are many steps and each step runs the risk of losing one or more of the eggs.

First, you have to grow the follicles and I grew 15 follicles. 
Next they retrieve the eggs, and I got 14 eggs out of 15 follicles.  
Then they have to fertilize the eggs, of the 14 remaining eggs, 13 of them fertilized.
Next, they have to divide and grow, we lost two that stopped dividing, so we were down to 11.  
The now fertilized embryos must continue to divide until day 5 when they are able to freeze. 
On day 5 we had 4 embryos frozen. 
On day 6 we had 2 more embryos frozen. 

So out of 14 eggs, we had 6 of them make it to freeze.  

Wouldn't it be nice if that were all?  

It's not, the next step is the thaw for the FET...and yes, another chance to lose an embryo.

This is a journey y'all and much like Oregon Trail, there is a chance at every corner to lose an embryo.  But I won't focus on the losses along the way or dwell on what could have been or what might have happened, I must continue moving forward and be thankful that 6 embryos made it to freeze.  And I am SO THANKFUL for that!  

In my next post I will be discussing the week post egg retrieval and the things they don't tell you!  I think it will definitely be a good read for an upcoming egg retrieval, sort of a "what you really need to know" post!  Thanks for reading and following our journey to Little Bun!  

My hubby, gotta love him, took a few snaps with me after I woke up the first time...I don't remember any of these photos....thanks babe...



  1. My first egg retrieval was a breeze! My second...wow, it was horrible! It was HELL! Can you believe our second doctor does retrieval without anesthesia!?! I was awake the entire time, felt EVERY single thing...the days following were even worse...I went into ovarian hyper-stimulation afterwards and girl...worst thing EVER. I had a terrible experience. I'm so glad things went well and you guys have 6 embabies! Praying the thawing process goes well!

    PS - I wish we lived closer! I love your energy and personality...you are awesome!

    1. Oh my gosh I can't believe that Lily, what a nightmare! I hate that you had such a terrible experience with it. The week post-transfer was NOT fun and I learned a lot of things I didn't learn from the nurse! I will be posting that!

  2. 6 is a great number!! Granted I know it'll now depend on the thaw but that's a great start! So excited for your transfer and to find out the results. I have only done one retrieval and everything went smoothly and recovery was just fine, I'm thankful for that for sure! We did a fresh transfer but I'm interested to know how an FET goes since at some point we'll back for our remaining frozen ones.

    1. I know just the thought of the thaw is overwhelming and already I've got reservations about it. I spend a lot of time beating myself up with potential negatives!

  3. okay the post retrieval photos are awesome! haha. So excited for you girl. What a BIG month

    1. LOL I was so surprised when I saw them and asked when they were taken because I had no recollection of them! Hubby laughed! It's a big exciting month and I'm glad you're along for the ride!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Heather these were in a FertileBox but I am now stocking up on WovenPear socks! So fun!

  5. Awesomeness! I'm glad you have 6 to work with! I would love to know how you were feeling pre egg retrieval.

    1. Tedi, pre-egg retrieval I felt like a sausage! I was bloated and it was uncomfortable to really sit down "properly" I did a lot of leaning back LOL. My emotions were on high alert and a commercial could bring tears to my eyes. I don't think I do well with hormones LOL.

      My ovaries were really swollen...even this week at my FET checkup my right ovary is STILL swollen and it's been WEEKS since the retrieval. They said it can take some time to get them back to normal.