I cannot post another blog without telling everyone – commenters, followers, friends and family that have checked on me or sent me encouraging texts and the other half of my heart – how much your thoughts, prayers, well wishes and checking in has meant to me. I have cried A LOT in the last few days and because of all of you they have gone from tears of grief to tears of overwhelming love, emotion and elation. It has been an amazing roller coaster and I am still in shock that I have gotten to the fulcrum of the IVF portion of mine and Tim’s journey. While i think i am pretty good with words, i can’t really find the right ones to express how i truly feel tonight. The following blog post will be my attempt to encapsulate the last 12 hours and i already know i will not do it justice. Before i try, let me just take a minute to say this:
T H A N K Y O U
One day i may be able to pay back all of the goodness that has been shown to me, i am so grateful for every bit of it.
This morning, bright and early (as usual for all my Walter Reed experiences) I woke up with my Aunt Paula to get ready for the big retrieval. As you all know, i was terrified. All of the worries about this procedure had been weighing on my heart so heavily up to this point. I was so very nervous. I was admitted to the hospital and the operating recovery room. Nurses, doctors, andrologists, embryologists and anesthesiologists all came by my bed to give me their rundown, grab my signature and give me a chance to ask all my questions. They let me voice my concerns and helped me to understand what was about to happen and the steps after that. I changed into my gown and my lucky socks (and nothing else) and tried to calm my nerves.
As i tried to take my mind off the freight train coming my way, all of your comments from Facebook and this blog started coming through to me at the most divine time. I tried my best to keep it together until i read Tim’s comment. I cried like a little baby. I miss him so much and him not being here for this has been immeasurably difficult. But, he has done everything in his power to be there for me in the most important ways. Just as i read his comment, they came to get me to wheel me back to the OR and i was able to truly feel like his heart was there with me.
Honestly, the most nerve wracking part of this whole experience was absolutely having to be completely awake, moving myself from the gurney to the operating table of my own volition and the having my legs strapped into stirrups with about 10 people in the room all waiting on me RIGHT before the anesthesiologist said “you may feel some sunshine in your iv!” Just like that, i was out. 40 minutes later, i was coming to just as they parked my gurney back into the recovery room. As soon as i came to, saw the nurse hooking me up, I had a full on come apart. I cried my eyes out, again, as i tried to apologize to the nurse. I wish i could have explained to her what was going through my mind. I couldn’t believe i did it. I couldn’t believe it was over. I was so relieved that i was back. I was so grateful i wasn’t vomiting. I was astonished i had accomplished a large portion the most important goal I’ve ever undertaken in my life. I was overwhelmed by all of the things so many people had come together to help me and Tim with to get to this point. Instead of verbalizing all of those things, all of the gratitude finally exploded from my eyes, it was all i could do. I composed myself a bit until she came back to tell me the results.
Despite all the worry about when to trigger and the state of my ovaries, the doctors retrieved SEVENTEEN eggs. I don’t know how many were mature, how their quality is or any other info about them yet, but my body created the beginning of 17 lives over the last eight days. Today was the first day outside of my body (hence the “day 1” on my board) and i feel so connected to them. Every day from this point forward i will learn more and more information about them and i will share it with you here. After my surgery, the embryologist fertilized each viable egg through ICSI. Tomorrow, i will get a full report about how many were mature and how many successfully fertilized. We should expect to see a pretty dramatic drop in the numbers from retrieval to fertilization and another drop from fertilization to day three but i am elated that i have such a wonderful number to start with.
Sweet relief. When the nurse told me, i cried again.
Once i was fully awake, the doctor came by to debrief me. He said he was very pleased with the number, that i did great during the surgery and also that i am still not out of the woods for OHSS. My estrogen value was 5900 and that i would need to be monitored very closely for signs of hyper stimulation. He was comfortable proceeding forward with a day five transfer contingent upon my OHSS status and that i should be very careful to take it easy, hydrate and rest til transfer day. On day three i will receive another report about how my embabies are doing and they will receive a grade. He was very clear that if i had symptoms of OHSS all of my embryos would be frozen and no transfer would take place. He explained that my risk for developing hyperemesis gravadarum was quite high if i was to become pregnant while i was hyper stimulated. He also prescribed me a drug to help lower my prolactin levels and mitigate my risk of OHSS. I was also given my three month supply of progesterone which i will start tomorrow morning.
All in all, i am on cloud nine. I am very sore and i have to walk around with a bit of a shuffle for now but i couldn’t be happier. I almost can’t sleep because i am so excited to get that call tomorrow. But i know i need the rest. I have a couple more days of recovery and i need my body in tip top shape to hopefully receive one of best embabies made today. It’s been a great day to decompress from all of the things and i am in the best company.
I love that April, Taylor and Aunt Paula have jumped in with two feet to help me with every little thing. I know that it eases Tim’s mind so much that i have such a great support system so close to me for this.
Now, my heating pad and pillows are calling my name!