It has been a long week to say the least. After my egg retrieval I didn’t have the best experience. I was under educated about the possibility of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), and I actually thought once I got to the trigger I was out of the woods. Little did I know the HCG trigger shot itself is what really can send you into hyper stimulation. I immediately felt worse the morning after waking up from my trigger shot, I just thought it was my uncomfortable ovaries full of follicles and that I would feel immensely better after retrieval. Wrong. When I woke up from the retrieval I was told I was at risk because I had 26 eggs retrieved and my estrogen was already high. The next few days were miserable. I couldn’t lay down, I could hardly walk because it felt like all my insides especially my uterus was going to fall out. Honestly as I’m writing this is all feels like such a blur now. I went back to the doc the day after retrieval because I was so uncomfortable. They did a scan and my ovaries were a little enlarged and I had some fluid built up in my abdomen but at that point the doc still wasn’t concerned medically. He gave me pain medicine as they should have the day of retrieval but for some reason my nurse told me no… I wasn’t too happy considering I could’ve been more comfortable the previous 24 hours had she done that. The following morning I threw up which made me feel even worse like my insides and ovaries had been rattled around even more which made it more uncomfortable to lay down or get into ANY position that didn’t hurt. I was pushing the fluids (gatorade) and trying to eat, but seriously how can you eat anything when you already look 5 months pregnant from bloating and fluid. My stomach felt like it was the size of a pea. I would eat a bite and my stomach said done but I was still starving. The next night I woke up around 4am and threw up again from horrible pain in my left side. We called the clinic and they had me come in Sunday morning for another scan. My right ovary looked okay, my left ovary had fluid in it and more fluid in my abdomen. The most uncomfortable part was when the doc pushed on my left side which didn’t hurt, but then he let go and I just about jumped off the table it hurt so bad. He said that is a sign of fluid in the ovary. At that point I had mild hyper stimulation, but the doc thought it was intensified and much worse because of my endmoetriosis. My estrogen levels are still high at this point and the endometriosis is killer right now. I feel it on my back, my bowels, it’s on my ovaries, bladder, abdomen, etc. So the OHSS is highly intensified by my endometriosis. The doc felt proceeding with the transfer would still be in my best interested because the endo will be suppressed once I’m pregnant.
For those of you unfamiliar with OHSS, it can happen after retrieval or it can develop in early pregnancy (after IVF). Once the transfer is done and the embryos (if implanted) start producing HCG, the HCG makes the OHSS symptoms even worse which can last weeks into the pregnancy. I knew we still had a few days before transfer so I thought, okay we will see how I do and go from there. The next day I was having intense cramping, and I mean intense. Nothing I’ve ever experienced before, not like period cramps. I thought great, what now? I had them a few more times over the next 2 days, they would hit me out of the blue and take my breath away.
The morning of the transfer I woke up anxious. I laid in bed praying God would help us make the right decision whether to proceed today or to freeze and wait till next month. I prayed that no matter how badly I wanted it now that God would help me make the right decision for my body whether it would be to wait or to move forward with the transfer. I prayed He would give the doctor wisdom to know whether it would be safe medically or not and that I would just have peace over the decision. The morning of the transfer was honestly the best I had felt all week, yay! My dear sweet mother in law came up to help us out during the week since I was unable to do anything the past few days. Our house was a disaster. While we went to our appointment for the transfer she cleaned our house, did all our laundry, washed dishes, and so much more. I can’t tell you how much stress this took off my plate. She even made us dinner, meals to freeze, and went to the store for us!
First we were handed a picture of our baby embryos! Yes these pictures are just a mass of cells, but these cells are our children. Isn’t it amazing to think all life begins this way? Mind blown. It was an overwhelming moment. The embryologist explained the embryos and how they looked, and what she was looking for. Pretty neat that these are the first “pictures” we have of our children. We got to our appointment and they gave me a valium to help relax me and boy I was happy about that. I was an emotional mess from being so tired, hormonal, and drained so the valium didn’t knock me off my feet but it just took the butterflies away and helped me to be calm. We were then taken into the room where the transfer would happen. The doc did another scan to check my ovaries and it showed they are both enlarged and I do still have fluid in my abdomen, meaning I am mildly hyper stimulated. He explained what we already knew…if I get pregnant even though I’m feeling better now, my OHSS symptoms could return and be worse. He said medically it will be ok, you will just be uncomfortable and I am not concerned enough to not proceed with the transfer, but he left the ultimate decision up to us. We had prayed and felt that if everything medically checked out at transfer and we were at peace with it we would transfer. So we said lets do it!
The most uncomfortable part of the procedure was having to have a full bladder. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to control it and all I could think was how humiliating THAT would be. We got to watch the ultrasound screen where the catheter with our two embryos were placed into my uterus. A little bright white spot appeared on the screen and he said that’s where they are! The embryologist took the catheter back and checked under the microscope and said “all clear” which lets the doctor know that the embryos successfully cleared the catheter and made it to the uterus! All done!!
I had to lay there for a bit before I could get up to finally pee, ahhhh. Once I rested for a little while we were good to go! It was quite simple. We left there feeling somewhat in awe of the fact I officially have 2 of our embryos in my uterus. I know that my OHSS symptoms might come back with a vengeance especially if I get pregnant with twins, but it is something I decided I would just have to deal with if it comes to it. I’m trying to only focus on how I feel each day and now how I’m going to feel tomorrow. Right now I’m praying these two babies implant and hold on tight. I was on bed rest for 24 hours after the transfer and now I’m feeling almost normal for the first time in a week! I’m still taking it easy as instructed, but it’s nice to be moving around be able to walk without having to hold my uterus in place.
This has been a challenging journey, but in my hardest moments I remind myself it’s worth fighting for. I’m SO thankful for my husband. He’s waited on me hand and foot, rubbed my back, prayed with me and for me, encouraged me, and reassured me that it will all be okay. I couldn’t go through this without him ❤
We had 26 eggs, 22 mature, 18 fertilized, and 9 made it to freeze. We are happy with that number because I will never have to go through the IVF process and retrieval again! I don’t know how some of you ladies do this multiple times. Although I think the experience would have been immensely different for me had I not developed mild OHSS with endometriosis.
I will be anxiously awaiting our first beta HCG next friday the 22nd! Hang on tight and get comfy my little babies 🙂
Sorry it’s been so long since I updated, and thank you to ALL of you who have been praying for us through this process.