Tuesday, December 6, 2016

IVF #2 --Egg Retrieval

So we knew we would be moving the summer of 2015 back to Idaho Falls and so we decided to do another egg retrieval in hopes of getting enough embryos to freeze so we wouldn't have to drive back to Spokane to do a retrieval. (there is way more monitoring in retrievals sometimes you're going in daily to check follicle size, etc.) We had paid for 3 tries meaning up to 3 retrievals and 3 transfers or until a live birth was achieved within an 18 month period. So we were ready to move forward to stimulating my ovaries and getting those eggs out. Hoping for more than 3 like the previous cycle. Which we were down to only 2 frozen embryos since the one we transferred ended in miscarriage. 

Here are the meds we used in this cycle (the same as the first egg retrieval cycle with an addition of a couple):

Follistim: this medication contains follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and is used to help stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is usually used in combination with another hormone (hCG) to bring about the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)
Microdose HCG:   or low dose HCG is used for ovarian stimulation during IVF it helps,the smaller follies to grow...sort of tricks them into thinking it is trigger time.
Ganirelix: Sex hormone suppressor: It can prevent premature ovulation in women undergoing infertility treatment.
Lupron: new twist on the antagonist ovarian stimulation protocol for IVF called the "Lupron trigger protocol" or GnRH agonist trigger protocol has recently been used by some fertility specialists to completely eliminate the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. (OHSS):
Doxycycline; Antibiotics It can treat and prevent infections
Cabergoline: It can lower high levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood. 
Heparin: blood thinner to prevent clots

5/17  Last day of birth control
5/18  Labs indicate ovaries are suppressed
5/20-5/24 Period
5/21  Labs and u/s
5/22-5/24 Follistim 150 iu, Low HCG 10 units (both are shots in abdomen)
5/22 Neal to take doxycycline
5/25 Labs and u/s
5/25-5/27 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units
5/27 Labs and u/s
5/27-5/28 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units, Ganirelix (all 3 shots in abdomen)
5/29 Labs and u/s
5/29-5/30  Follistim 100iu, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
5/31 Labs and u/s No Follistim, NO Low HCG, Ganirelix,  Lupron Trigger shot 80 units @ 11:30PM, Have intercourse with condom
6/1 Labs   Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 11:30 AM

6/2 RETRIEVAL DAY -- Neal dropped off semen sample in morning -- 22 Eggs retrieved 21 eggs mature and placed in petri dish with Neal's sperm (which looks similar to image below)
6/3 Day 1- 16 of the 21 Eggs fertilized
6/5 Day 3- 14 eggs still growing
6/7 Day 5- 10 Frozen embryos 4 others still growing
6/8 Day 6 - 2 more embryos frozen

My estrogen was too high and I overstimulated (OHSS) so again we did a freeze all to transfer later. 

Now that's just a little run down but now some extra details. As you can see it's busy and every single day you have to remember your meds or are travelling to the doctor for labs and u/s. It's a bit stressful and you're hoping your body responds like it should.

The stimulation drugs are all shots given in your tummy and My Hubster really is the greatest, he squeezes that pooch of mine and sticks it right in like a pro. So on some days I was doing 3 shots a day in my abdomen. It was sore, it was bruised, and I felt like a pin cushion. As I started getting more follicles and they were getting bigger I felt bloated, and looked like I was pregnant and was a quite a bit miserable.

This is an image of what an ovary looks like when it's ready for retrieval x 2 ovaries

On Retrieval Day you don't wear anything with a scent, so deodorant, etc. is out. They took me back and I put on my gown and hair net and socks and they hooked up my IV. They had me walk into the sterilized room, get up on the bed and then they push the anesthesia juice into the IV and I was out.

6/2 Day of transfer Dr. Robins gave me some type of IV after the transfer I think it was creatine (don't remember the name specifically I had just come out of anesthesia) in addition to lots of fluids to help with the hyperstimulation. He said one of my ovaries was hiding so he wasn't able to drain it all and that would cause even more hyperstimulation. I was so miserable and bloated and hurt. I threw up after my transfer and a couple times at home. My sweet parents came up to help us with Grayson and they were a saving grace. Don't know what I would've done without them. Heart bursts with gratitude for them. 
6/3 Hard time breathing again sharp shooting pains up my shoulders and my whole back, laid in bed all day trying not to throw up, nauseated, bloated, had heating packs on my abdomen and back to help the pain. Tylenol wouldn't even touch the pain. 
6/4 Still super sick, hurting every where, so bloated my stomach won't even indent when pushed on, pretty sure I was gaining weight extremely fast which they told me to watch for with overstimulation. Called nurse, she said to come in next day to do a paracentisis to drain the fluid to help relieve pressure. Also started me on Heparin shots to prevent blood clots and cabergoline to help reduce hormone levels. 
6/5 Neal and I went to the clinic early that morning and I had 1200 units of fluid drained by paracentisis. I remember them pumping it out of me and it hurt worse than I expected but probably in part because I had just had needles all over my ovaries and uterus.  It took longer than expected and Neal had to go to work so my dad came to their office and picked me up and sat with me. I felt a tiny and I mean tiny bit better after being drained of fluid. I had gained 30 pounds in less than a week from this over stimulation.
6/8 Was told to continue cabergoline for one more week and heparin for additional 4 weeks and that once I started my period I would begin to feel much better.
6/13-6/17 Period

I looked 5 months pregnant and still felt bloated for at least a month. Looked bloated even longer Wore PJS and big shirts to feel more comfortable and not put pressure on abdomen. It was awful and hellish and I hate thinking about it. I PROMISED MYSELF I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER RETRIEVAL AGAIN! (I can say that now since we have 11 embryos still frozen) Thank goodness for those little embabies.

Next up FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) #2 


  1. The truest, purest love of a mother and father. All that you go through is so incredible. My heart is bursting with love and admiration for your willingness and selfless sacrifice to get your children here. May Gods blessings be poured out to you this year in your next round of IVF. Xoxoxo

  2. Such a sacrifice you go through. My heart aches that isn't just easy peasy for you. Some things in life aren't fair and don't make sense. Jesus' love does tho. Love and prayers always.