Let’s go get some eggs! (#5)
November 1, 2018 6 CommentsCategory: IVF Journey, Motherhood
Tags: Egg retrieval surgery, Fertility process, IVF, IVF Process, PGS Testing
Finally – retrieval day! My emotions are running high and I am equal parts terrified and excited to be at this stage in the process!
Today is our egg retrieval surgery, where they put you under to surgically remove the eggs from your ovaries with a long, pronged needle. (See below for a better idea of how it happens)
The hormones I have been taking for the past two weeks have increased my egg count so we’re hoping today to retrieve as many eggs as possible. Even though the doctors have been monitoring my follicle count for days, there really is no way of knowing how many eggs they retrieve or the quality of the eggs they’ll get but we do have an idea.
Fingers crossed we get a bunch!!
Later that day…
The surgery itself was easy and straightforward. You’re put under for 15-20 min and the doctor essentially puts a needle up there to extract the eggs from each ovary.
I was elated to wake up from my surgery to learn that they got 12 eggs – 12!!
While that may not be a ton (some people get over 20!), it was a number we were really happy with given our situation. From there, we waited to find out how many were “mature” eggs and then how many were successfully fertilized. SO. MUCH. WAITING.
Following the egg retrieval, I took it easy for a while. I was sore and a bit uncomfortable but the surgery itself wasn’t too bad. I think my body was just exhausted from the weeks of hormones and shots and needed a bit of a rest. I luckily was able to stay in bed that day and the next to rest thanks to Bill and family members who are very close and incredibly helpful.
36 hours after the retrieval, we learned that all of the eggs were mature and 10 had been fertilized. YAY!
Let me tell you – I was waiting for that call on pins and needles, and as soon as they told me, I broke into tears. It was the best news I had heard in a long time. Both Bill and I couldn’t believe it! Even though you want to celebrate these mini victories, you’re also nervous and scared for what’s next since there are so many steps in the process and those fertilized eggs would need to develop into embryos over the next 5-7 days.
Every 2 days from there we received an email update with more news. I was personally surprised by the lack of actual communication and detail we got along the way as the embryos were developing, but at least we got more positive news. At Day 3, all of our embryos were still moving along and by Day 5, 8 had formed into blastocysts (this is the ideal end stage) with the other two still trying to develop.
In the end, we had 8 embryos, which felt surreal. We were so happy. That could be 8 chances to for a baby. But, we weren’t done.
We needed to now send the embryos for PGS testing, which means we had each embryo tested to see if it had all of the normal number of chromosomes. Typically, at my age (32), only 20% of your embryos are supposed to be a abnormal, so many opt to skip this step and go straight to a fresh transfer. Due to my MS and other factors, we opted to do the testing. My doctor warned me that he thought the age / quality of my eggs weren’t as good, so we wanted to make sure the embryos were “normal”. PGS testing, while an extra cost that is not covered by insurance, can eliminate a lot of hardship later on (most miscarriage result from abnormal embryos), and with my MS, we decided it was the best decision for us.
After a grueling two-week wait, we got our results and we were left with 3 healthy embryos. 3 of 8.
First and foremost, we are so grateful to have our 3. I know one of those is our baby. But 3 of 8??? This was shocking but aligned exactly with our doctor’s prognosis for me. My egg quality was severely deteriorated and aged the equivalent of more than 10 years. A part of me couldn’t help but feel so sad and shocked with the results, but more importantly felt so grateful that we did the testing and that we had 3 good quality embryos.
Now, we wait to start a new cycle of meds where we’ll hopefully transfer one of the embryos…
Due to the sensitivity of the topic, these blogs are not being posted in real-time. However, I wanted to share this experience and my continued journey with MS for others who may be struggling or are in a similar position. This problem is relatable for many and something that needs to be vocalized. I know how helpful it can be to learn and hear from others.
November 1, 2018 at 11:15 am
You are in my thoughts & prayers, Angie & Bill. Thank you for sharing your story. It will so be helpful and inspiring to others. Marcia
November 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm
Thank you, Marcia. We really appreciate all the positive thoughts!
November 1, 2018 at 11:17 am
November 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm
Can’t wait hear if it was successful!
November 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm
November 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm
How exciting!! I’m on pins and needles (sorry not funny for us MSer’s..) waiting. I look forward to your weekly updates. You got this girl!!