If you’ve read my last post, you know we are about mid-way through IVF at this point of the story. Retrieval day came and I was anxious. This is the part I was dreading, and not because you get put under, but because I was terrified there would be no good eggs. This was a big step in the process and while I just wanted to know the outcome, I was also terrified to find out.
During retrieval you are put under anesthesia. It’s pretty trippy and I said quite a few things to my mom and other nurses that I have no memory of. The IVF clinic they do retrieval and transfer is located in the hospital basement. So, let’s all travel down into the dungeons to have holes poked into our ovaries and eggs sucked out and put into petri dishes. No big deal.
So that’s basically the process. You are put under and the endocrinologist pokes some holes in your ovaries, through your uterine wall, to get your eggs out. The eggs are then brought upstairs to the lab, where they use a process called ICSI to inject a single sperm directly into the egg. The next day you will find out how many of your eggs were mature and how many fertilized. No pressure little eggs…
Apparently the first thing I asked the doctor after I woke up was “how many did I get?”. When they responded “We’re still counting” I fell back asleep. I mean really, if you can’t tell me how many eggs I’ve got why even stay awake? After several more interesting interactions with nurses and calling my husband a fucker for laughing at the photo of my outfit, I finally started to come back to reality.
Some time after I stopped being loopy in the dungeon IVF center the nurse came in to give me my egg count. The total was 8 eggs. That’s a pretty great number for someone like me so I was very proud of my ovaries. I wish so badly that I had more and that those 8 weren’t such a struggle to get. I wonder all the time if we waited too long to start trying. I wonder how it would have been different if I had been properly diagnosed right away, two years ago. I wonder so many things, but it doesn’t change the cards we have been dealt. Eight eggs are what we got and all we will ever get from IVF.
Now comes another hurdle, waiting. Waiting to find out how many were mature. Waiting to find out how many fertilized. Then waiting again to find out how many would grow into blastocysts and be placed back into my uterus (aka transfer). Waiting, waiting, waiting. This is something I am not so good at. This part was harder for me than all the meds. It was totally out of my hands now and we just had to cross our fingers those little embryos would grow.