... Continued from "The Art & Science of Making Our Critter, Part I"
Side note: From the polyp-removal surgery, I actually have pictures of my internal bits. I have real photos of my ovaries, my uterus, some intestine shots, and I even have a picture of the big ol' polyp. If you ever have this chance, tell them you really don't need to see them, cuz there is no way these types of pictures can be pretty. Yech!!! :D Just be glad I didn't scan them in for these blog posts! HA!
I'll give you a run down of an IVF cycle, or at least what mine was like. They started me on birth control pills (BCP) the month before the actual IVF cycle. So for end of April/first of May I was on BCP. On May 13, 2010, I started the hormone shots, beginning with Lupron. This overlaps with BCP for a few days. Then, on May 22, 2010, I add in Gonal-F. This hormone is a follicle stimulator. This is gonna hopefully get me a bunch of eggs ready to go. The thing I disliked most about this part of the cycle is having to get something stuck up my junk every other day while they watch my eggs. I mean, you get used to it, and at the same time you don't. But that's just me. When the eggs are at the desired size, I am then scheduled to take an Ovidrel shot. This has to be timed very well because 36 hours after you take this shot you will ovulate. So, the surgery for removing my eggs from the follicles on my ovaries is scheduled precisely 36 hours after I take this shot. That was June 6, 2010. Thank gawd I was out for this, but the gist of it is, they insert a really long needle through my vaginal wall up to my ovaries and suck out all the follicles they find. I ended up with 20 eggs.
After this egg retrieval procedure, things got a little interesting. I wasn't given any pain meds for after the surgery. We kept telling people, but we never ended up going home with any. Most people just told us it wouldn't be a big deal. Their default prescription for this is Vicodin, and I'm allergic to that. So, this just caused a bit of a mess. We get home, and about an hour after we get there, I'm really starting to feel it. About 10 minutes after that, I'm screaming my bloody head off. And this is coming from someone that has quite the high tolerance for pain. Mike pages out Dr. Silverberg and asks if it's okay to take some Darvocet I had leftover from my polyp surgery. Doctor says go for it. I take that, it helps for maybe 20 minutes (turns out Darvocet was just taken off the market cuz it's WEAK SHIT!). I'm back to screaming again. Poor Mikey. He was probably freaking out, but he was a champ. He pages the doctor back out and the doctor tells us to go to the ER where he has privileges. It's not our closest, but it's 2nd closest. So we head over to North Austin Medical Center. Apparently he called ahead cuz they were ready for us. Plopped me in a wheelchair and rushed me into the back. They examine me and stuff, and pretty quickly pump in some morphine into my IV. It felt nice & woozy & fun, but did absolutely nothing to my pain. I think they eventually found something that would work to quiet me down.
I get a CT of my abdomen area and there is definitely some bleeding going on in there. They admit me to the hospital, and I'm doped up for the next 24 hours. Mike has to force me to stand when I need to pee. The pain then was so excruciating, sometimes I would be crying. But, he would never let me sit back down when I was on my way to standing. Sometimes this whole process of peeing would take 10-15 minutes. I had to pee often too, cuz they were pumping fluids in me. Ugh. Not fond memories. But, if I ever doubted it (which I never have), Mikey takes wicked awesome good care of me. After all that mess, I finally get the OK to leave, so we leave the afternoon after we entered.
Now, back to those 20 eggs. Of those 20 eggs, only 14 were mature enough to attempt fertilization. Apparently this wasn't a great percentage. Of those 14, only 9 successfully fertilized. Of those 9, none of them grew enough to be viable. June 11, 2010 was not a happy day for us. We were somewhat warned of this on June 9, 2010, but it really didn't hit home until we went back in for what was supposed to be my transfer. (Transfer is what they call putting the fertilized eggs back). No viable eggs meant nothing to put back. It was a very sad day. My normal doctor was on vacation, and the other doctor there giving us the news was really bad at it. You could tell she's either young or new or both. Not so great in the bedside manner, where my normal doctor excels. However, the embryologist there was really great. He seemed to think there was still hope. He explained to us that it appeared to him to be both a sperm & egg quality issue, and he was pretty sure one or both of these issues could be dealt with. I really appreciate that the embryologist was there. He was a hope-saver.
And hope we needed... because my doctor was on vacation, we had to wait a whole 11 days to talk to him. It was a seriously difficult time. Absolutely mind warping. When we were finally able to meet up with him on June 22, 2011, he told us he could change how much of the hormones I got next time, and that could solve the quality of the egg issue. Miguel needed to go see his man-bits doctor so they could deal with the quality on his side.
Miguel went to a doc that the fertility doc recommended. He had Mike start taking some drugs and a vitamin drink mix twice a day, and we were on a minimum of a 3-month wait-and-see creeper. Miguel had his followup appointment and things were definitely looking up. I think we ended up waiting another 3-month for more results, and those looked even better. So, we met up with Dr. Silverberg again on December 13, 2010...
TO BE CONTINUED in "The Art & Science of Making Our Critter, Part III"...