Last night I went to bed feeling pretty awful. For one, I have a wicked cold. But I also went to bed feeling stressed. Brian's fever had gone up again - to 104. It came back down - and he went back to sleep - but I found myself awake with worry much of the night about leaving him today.
But, you can't really stop the IVF train once you hit the egg retrieval stage. I mean, you *could*...but we sure didn't want to scrap it all and start from scratch. So I got out of bed before the sun, snuck into Brian's room, gave him an Ibuprofen suppository, whispered him back to sleep and got myself ready to go.
Turns out all my worrying was pointless. Miss Sara (the great) reported that he was a little more snuggly than normal, but otherwise fine! The three of them had fun making a fort...
...and they even delivered a home made card under my bedroom door once I got home. If you're wondering, I totally get how lucky I am.
So...here's the scoop on this morning's fertility procedure before I fall back to sleep. (So groggy!) After the normal signing of 142 consent forms (a slight exaggeration), I was prepped for the procedure. The nurse had some concerns about my blood pressure, which was high, but we blamed it on stress and my cold.
After kissing Ed goodbye, they wheeled me in to the procedure room. Just as I was in the middle of a fascinating story - they knocked me out with anesthetic. What happened next was wild. I saw them. The anesthesiologist and the nurse. They were in my kitchen. I was sitting at the island - and Gavin was on the stool next to me, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich by himself. I looked at them and suddenly thought, "Why don't I have pants on?" but strangely enough - I didn't care. Then it dawned on me. Something went wrong. They were coming to my house to pick me up and bring me back because they left an egg...or an egg retriever...inside of me. Then something else dawned on me. Gavin is sitting next to me eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!
Soon the scene became clearer. The anesthesiologist and the nurse were still standing in front of me - but we were in recovery. And as soon as I realized that Gavin wasn't really eating that sandwich...sitting at the island...I started to cry. Wow. What a trip. Luckily Ed walked in at the moment I lost it, hugged it out of me and it was all captured on film. Flashdance shoulder and all.
They were able to retrieve eleven eggs. Two more than last time! This doesn't mean that eleven will fertilize. That would be great - but we aren't expecting that. What happens next? Well, they are planning to use two different methods to fertilize the eggs.
Half (or so) will be fertilized the standard way. Ed will have to chase me around the petri dish and we'll all hope I don't use this time to be 'coy' and resist his advances. It does cause his sperm to do a little extra work.
The other group of eggs will be fertilized with a procedure called ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection). The egg is held in place with a bit of suction while one single sperm is injected into the egg with a needle. It's amazing what they can do. Why are they doing this? Just to give us more of a "shot" at this, so to speak.
The embryologist will call tomorrow with what they call a "Fert report" where they'll tell us the number of eggs that successfully fertilized overnight. Here is a diagram of what will happen over the next five days as they monitor the fertilized eggs in their lab.
Once our fertilized egg (or eggs) reach the Blastocyst stage, they will be ready for transfer. Right before that, though, they will take small biopsies of each and send them away for genetic testing. Although I'm anxious to get the report tomorrow telling me the number of successfully fertilized eggs...I also have a strange peace about it all. I don't know how to explain it - I just feel that things are going to work out the way they are supposed to. Whether that is what I've been dreaming of or not - I'm kind of okay with any outcome. Shocking, eh?
Unfortunately, there was one more issue before we left. My pesky blood pressure. They were concerned that it remained high from the time we got there - through my time under anesthesia - to the time we were leaving. The whole ride home I was on the phone with my primary doctor and my OB. I'm now on a low dose of Procardia three times a day and need to see my primary on Friday. I also have to monitor my pressures at home three times a day. The nurse had a good point - that I should work to get my blood pressure under control before the embryo transfer. I wouldn't want my pressure to somehow trigger a miscarriage.
So now I'm home and in bed. From my experience, the real discomfort (not that what I'm feeling isn't real, trust me) comes the day after the retrieval. Today I've been very crampy and very woozy...and suffering from this cold and cough. Luckily, the boys have been in great hands. I'm on the second floor...Miss Sara was on the first floor with them...and Ed was working from his basement office.
I will keep you posted on the progress of these eleven eggs! If you follow me on Facebook, I'll post the Fertilization Report when I get it. Thank you, as always, for your incredible support. For me...and for my little family, too.