The Egg Retrieval Journey during IVF
What is the Egg Retrieval process of In Vitro Fertlization (IVF)?
Egg retrieval is the process whereby a woman’s eggs are removed from her ovaries. These eggs are later mixed with a her partner’s sperm in order to facilitate fertilization. In order for egg retrieval to occur, a woman must first have follicle produc
tion stimulated by particular hormones. Once a number of follicles (potential eggs) are produced, fertility specialists can then remove these eggs from the ovaries in order to attempt fertilization. If fertilization is successful, the embryos will be placed back in to the woman’s uterus.
Thanks to J (name and details were augmented for confidentiality)- the emotional experience of this Retrieval phase during an IFV Cycle is narrated below.
Preparing for egg Retrieval
So, it is Friday, July 10th, 2010. I spent quite a bit of time in the clinic this morning and had the Chief Doc himself examine me to determine the status of my follicles.
Lukewarm news is that I only have 11 follies to work with. More lukewarm news is that they will only be fully ready for the retrieval on Tuesday, not Monday as I thought. All along I was preparing for Monday in my head and thinking at the end of the weekend it will all be over with. And I know it’s only one more day, but something about the mid-week procedure is just too anxiety producing. Well, it is what it is.
I received quite the instruction manual to prepare for Tuesday today. New injectibles (stronger and meaner!), a Trigger shot to be taken on Sunday (2 days prior to retrieval) and the introduction of some oral pills that are meant to release me of any gases! So, this being said, the next few days probably have me in store for being an unusually moody, achy, gassy ball of anxiety! Fun Times…
It’s so hard to capture in words the amazing excitement that takes over me when I think of the possibility of what I am helping to create!! My own embryos. It may very well be that to this time, I have yet to have ever produced an embryo and the thought that this creation could potentially produce my offspring is incredible.
And with this sigh of sheer excitement, my defenses put up their fists sternly in the air—get a hold of yourself! they yell at me, for this may be a disappointment, a façade..
With exception of a small emotional meltdown a few night ago, I have been nothing but optimistic and have worked soo hard on my psyche, my soul, to bring myself to a place of acceptance that this, believe it or not, could be it!
But the pain I felt with my failed IUI’s has sprung my defenses into motion and while I can barely tolerate the premise that this too may fail, they keep me optimistic but grounded.
My silent Prayers have begun. And the closer I get to the time of truth, they rage from within, wanting to break their silence. To soar up to the heavens. May the heavens hear my prayers.
The dreaded Two Week Wait Has Begun
Well, I am proud to say that I am officially a bad ass!!!!! Yes, yes. I, weak, fragile and gentle J., went through an egg retrieval surgery and lived to tell about it.
Tuesday’s retrieval brought with it many scary moments. I was fine until the point I was told to follow the nurse upstairs to the IVF surgical facility and brought into the surgery room. As I prepared to lay me down on the table, lights flickering all around me, the sound of cold machines thumping, the room began to spin and I could feel my heart begin to race insanely. I began to cry. Tears flowed down, shamelessly, and it was real fear that took over me.
Thank God for the amazingly kind and calming anesthesiologist. He walked me through the IV process ever so gently, made sure I knew exactly what he was doing, and most of all, assured me that I would not feel a thing. Well, he was right. The last thing I remember is the Doctor coming into the room and greeting me, telling me this procedure would be easier than drawing blood. Easy for you to say I thought to myself, and the rest was history. I was out cold.
I remember waking up in some room, I can’t tell for certain which room it was; My husband suddenly appeared and on a wheelchair off we went to a recovery room, where I lied down to recoup from the retrieval.
Despite the immense pressure on my bladder and soreness, I was psyched. 19 eggs were retrieved!!!!!!!!! I was told not all would mature, but never the less 19 had been retrieved and will now cultivate in the lab.
That evening I had begun my Progesterone oil shot, antibiotics, progesterone suppositories and my hope. I was to call in the following morning to learn about the fertilization progress of my eggs.
On Wednesday, 7/15, the anxiety was taking over me. I could not wait another second to hear the Doctor’s voice announce the news. 14 of my eggs were fertilized!! What a sigh of relief. For what its worth- we now know, that WE can too Make embryos!!
I was asked to call back again today, Thursday, so that I could be told what decision has been made regarding my transfer date. A bit disappointed, I was now told by the Doctor that it is too soon to tell. I must take tomorrow off as it may be that I will be called in for my egg transfer tomorrow. It is also possible that transfer will take place on Sunday.
Bottom line as per now: 10-12 of my eggies have divided into 4 cells. Their quality is yet unknown as is my embryo transfer date.
To be continued….