Reflection on My First IVF Cycle

I can breathe again. My first IVF cycle has officially been completed. I do feel pretty fortunate that it went relatively smoothly and I can’t believe it’s over already. It certainly is not an endeavor for the faint-hearted. You are on edge constantly and the whole process is incredibly unpredictable. I feel physically (from all the early mornings, sleepless nights, and vials of blood drawn) and emotionally drained at this point and literally slept half the day away today.

Luckily I only had a few bumps during the month. Not like the couple in “Friends From College” on Netflix – I watched episode 4 on the day I did my trigger shot and I definitely recommend it for a good laugh and some stress relief! I had the delays in getting the whole cycle started, the sudden appearance of a cyst that raised my E2 level resulting in another delay, and the egg retrieval procedure wasn’t a walk in the park. Apparently my ovaries are high up so the retrieval was difficult and painful despite the twilight sedation I was under. Two nurses had to push HARD on my torso to help the doctor retrieve the eggs from my ovaries. Of course, I am still a bit sore and it has been a week already. And I found out I do not react well to Fentanyl. I was completely out of it afterwards and both of my eyelids swelled up. Thankfully S came to pick me up after the procedure and was an angel in preparing a couple of meals for me that lasted through the week.

This past week has been the most nerve-wracking week of them all (I’m sure fellow IVFers can certainly attest to this!). My anxiety was at its peak levels when waiting for the phone call from the clinic every morning (sometime between 8:00-10:00) to see what the latest lab update was.

Day 1 – 7 mature eggs had been retrieved, 4 eggs fertilized

Day 2 – 4 embryos divided

Day 3 – 3 embryos divided again, there was hope that the 4th one would catch up

Day 4 – 4 good quality embryos developing normally

Day 5 – only 2 embryos were good enough to make it to freeze (the clinic only freezes good quality day 5 blastocysts)

Day 6 – other 2 embryos did become blastocysts but were of poor quality and I was told that they would have implanted but would not have any further fetal development

I am very disappointed that I wasn’t able to produce more eggs so I had low numbers (hard to take when you read online about all these other women older than me who had such high numbers!) but I also know that I should be very grateful that I have two strong little snow babies right now waiting for me. I just have to continue with trying to maintain this positive energy and hopefully I will have one of them nestled securely in me soon.

Now that my embryos are ready and waiting, it is time to put the finishing touches on a healthy home for them. I will be having my 5th and final surgery in less than two weeks. I am really hoping that this hysteroscopy will be successfull in removing many fibroids and boost my chances of pregnancy up from the current 50%. I wish I knew when I will be able to do my FET after this procedure. Maybe after a month or two?

I can’t believe I have made it up to this point! After all of these miserable years, I am so close to possibly having a baby! I am trying to stifle my excitement as you never know. But hard to keep it from bubbling up inside because I never thought I would be here! And on my own too! Other than S and my therapist, I haven’t told another soul about my two embryos yet. It is so hard to keep it a secret. I might….might…tell one of my good friends. And I know I will have a hard time not telling my mom. I guess we’ll see how long I can keep this good news to myself…

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