Egg Maturity at Retrieval

I also posted this at the RESOLVE forums, but figured I would ask the community at large here for help (feel free to respond over there if that is more comfortable for you!):

I am starting a list of questions for my WTF meeting, and one of my biggest questions is about the maturity of eggs retrieved for my first IVF. In total I had 17 eggs retrieved, 7 of which were immature. That just seems like alot to me. There has been no mention of poor egg quality, so I am wondering if anyone else has had so many immature eggs at retrieval and if so, what was the reason you were given? If you cycled again, what did you change and did it bring about more mature eggs?

Right now, my guess is that my dose of meds was bumped up too late. I was at risk of OHSS due to an extremely high antral follicle count, so started out at 75IU Gonal-F and 75IU Menopur for 6 days. I was then bumped up to 150IU Gonal-F and 75IU Menopur for the following 5 days. In all I stimmed for 11 days. Although the day of trigger I was ordered to give myself one final bump of Gonal-F that morning, which was another 150IU. But of course, this is just a guess, so any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ladies!

So What’s Going On?

I’ve had some questions recently as far as where I am and what is going on now. What’s my next move? How do I feel?

Emotionally? I’m a complete trainwreck. I think that’s to be expected. The 2ww post transfer¬†was five times worse then any other 2ww I have ever been through. Why? I think it’s because I knew there were fertilized embryo’s in there. I didn’t have to wonder if egg and sperm met. I knew they did. So at this point it means either something was wrong with both of those embryo’s, or my body just sucks. Reality is, it’s 50/50 which of those is the issue. Being how long it took just to get to that point, and being only human, I want to blame myself. Well, I should say my body, given it wasn’t willful. But, you know, that isn’t how that works. I may not have control over it, but I want to place blame on myself as opposed to it being poor luck or poor biology.

Physically? My bruises from the lovenox have finally faded. It’s a good thing I’m a fat girl and no one would ever see my stomach except Bill, because it looked like I had been beaten across the abdomen. Really hot look, lemme tell ya.

b0b5c673c756d109547635b59b59481bThe next step is already under way. I got my period 2 days after I stopped all medication and I went in for yet another baseline the very next week. Started birth control on the 12th and started lupron this past Friday night. I take my last BCP tomorrow and then wait to get a withdrawl bleed so I can go for another scan. Then I start estrogen multiple times a day in the hopes of artificially preparing my lining to transfer my 2 frozen embryo’s a couple days before Christmas.

 

 

Things No One Talks About Post IVF Failure

341b75e3605d7b1cfdca17c98453cfa7Just a warning, I am sure this will include TMI stuff. It will also contain depressing stuff. Read at your own risk.

So, there is tons of information out there about IVF, about pregnancy post IVF, medication side effects, etc. There doesn’t really seem to be much about what happens when IVF fails. At least, not without really digging it seems. And that shocks me, given it takes the average woman 2.6 rounds of IVF to have success. So without further ado, my list:

  • You will vacillate between extreme anger, sadness, and just plain exhaustion.
  • More then usual it will seem like every single person around you is pregnant.
  • You will question “Why me?” and feel even more broken.
  • Once your period comes, it will hit with a vengeance.
    • Prepare for extreme pain, clots, and bleeding for several days.
      • If you have endo, prepare to be in hell for several days, I was.
  • Once the period commences you will feel like you are being punished.
  • After it is all said and done you will be left feeling empty, broken, and hopeless.
  • Everyone will try and be super cheery and positive, and you will feel like throat punching them.
  • Feel free to grieve the loss. You have every right to. It was a loss.

2WW & Beta

So following the transfer, all you get to do is wait. At this point you are what we in the infertility sphere refer to as PUPO, or pregnant until proven otherwise. My beta was 9 days following my transfer, as if I had conceived naturally that would have been 14 days past ovulation, or the day my period would be due.

Because I am obsessive though, I started testing at home 6 days post 5 day transfer or 6DP5DT. I had already tested myself the day of transfer to verify that my trigger shot was out. Just like with my IUI, the trigger used to bring on ovulation is the same hormone that your body produces when you are pregnant called HCG. So you have to check to see if that is out of your system.

Sadly, I pee’d on sticks 6, 7, and 9dp5dt and they were all negative. So, going into my beta the morning of 9dp5dt I already knew the answer.

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My first IVF failed. I am not pregnant.

I would try to put into words how that feels, but it is truly impossible. I vacillate currently between hating myself and my body and just trying not to sit at home and cry all day.

The only good thing I have in this situation is the fact that we have 2 frozen embryo’s and I can immediately go back on medications to transfer those in about a month and a half. So I have started that process. In the meantime, I am trying my very best to not hate myself. I feel like the largest failure in the world currently, despite the fact that I have no control in this. Reality is I am grieving and it will simply take time. I leave you with 2 ecards that perfectly explain my current emotional state.

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Retrieval & Transfer

InstagramCapture_e6a732e0-bc26-46d2-bb2c-6442b8fd303aSo, 36 hours after my trigger shot Bill and I were sitting in the Syracuse office of CNY, signing all the paperwork and checks and preparing for retrieval. We both worked the 23rd, came home, saw the dogs and then got on the road. We ended up pulling into our hotel in Syracuse at around 1 am. All in all it was a pretty nice drive, despite being super uncomfortable for me.

We woke bright and early and got to CNY. We got there around 8:30 am, knowing we needed to fill out all of the paperwork still and do all of the financial stuff. The clinic itself is very, very nice. After waiting about 20 minutes, we signed everything, wrote the check, and then I got walked back to undress and prep for retrieval. The cool part about retrieval though was that after I was hooked up, Bill got to come in and sit next to me for the procedure. It was also amusing I guess, as when I am nervous/anxious I start to ramble alot, which I guess also translates to me fighting the anesthesia. Bill said I just kept talking past when he thought I should be out. When they started to bring me back out, 20 minutes later, he said I picked up, right where I had left off. The only thing I remember is talking about daydreams with the anesthetist and then waking up asking how many eggs they got.

They collected 17 eggs. Which was far more then I had thought they would get. After about 30-40 minutes of just hanging out, making sure I felt okay, I was cleared to get dressed and leave. From there, we got back on the road to head home. Downside to surgery though was that I hadn’t eaten,¬†so we made a quick stop for lunch in downtown Syracuse at an amazing irish pub called Kitty Hoynes and we were back on the road.

The next day I got the call with my fertilization report. Out of 17 eggs, 10 were mature and 9 had been fertilized with ICSI. From there, the wait was on for day 5 when I would find out how many made it and for there transfer back.

 

For the transfer back we didn’t have the money for a hotel room so what we ended up doing was coming home on the 28th, we took a nap and woke up at 1 am and left to drive to Syracuse. We arrived back at CNY just in time for my 9 am transfer. Once I had been situated back in the transfer room, the Dr doing my transfer came in and gave me the piece of paper that showed how many embryo’s I still had that day. He said, well, there’s a problem, you have too many embryo’s! We looked over the sheet and all 9 were still hanging out. 2 or 3 obviously were not in great shape, but I looked to have at least 4-5 that would be okay.

After that he asked how many we wanted to transfer, 1 or 2, and without question we said 2. Bill and I had already discussed this at length and had decided that twins were a risk we were willing to take. The transfer itself while uncomfortable, wasn’t too bad. Once the 2 embryo’s were deposited back into my uterus I laid there for about 15 minutes and then we were back on the road. We both had to work the next day and were absolutely dead tired, so we hightailed it back home.

From there, all we could do is wait to find out the next day how many we had to freeze and for my test day, November 7th.