Wow, I can't believe how much has happened... but at the same time, not much is different :/
I apologize for the lack of updates... things happened quickly, time got away from me, and I was feeling like poopy. Here's how it all went down:
I ended up going to Dallas a few days early because my E2 was rising so quickly and I was having to go in so much. At my first ultrasound, I had tons of little follies measuring between 10-14, some smaller, and my E2 had gone up to 2000. The doctor decreased my Follistim for that night, and told me not to take it the following night. The next ultrasound showed about 20+ follies on each ovary measuring between 13-18mm, some smaller, and my E2 was at 5000!!! So I got to trigger a day early, and Patrick had to rush up a day early.
The last few days before ER was pretty uncomfortable. I was definitely very aware of my ovaries and very ready to get this over with. Wednesday morning we had to be at the clinic at 8:30, and my retrieval was scheduled for 9:30. We got there on time, but there was awful traffic and a few accidents, so my doctor was running behind. Finally, they came and got me, took me to the ER room, and strapped me into those nifty full-leg stirrups. The anesthesiologist (who was hilarious) put the oxygen tube in my nose, the embryologist came in to introduce himself, and the nurses were bustling about getting everything ready. I started to get a bit nervous/anxious. The last thing I remember is my doctor coming in and saying, "Okay, is everyone ready?"
Then I woke up back in my little recovery room, Patrick sitting next to me. I was really woozy and out of it, but I came to my senses pretty quickly. My doctor came in and told us that they were able to retrieve 26 eggs, and that everything went great, but that he thought that it would be a good idea for us to go ahead and freeze everything this cycle because he was really worried about OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) since my estrogen was so high. He said that even if I didn't get OHSS, the high estrogen makes for a hostile environment for the embryos, anyways. I was pretty upset, but I trust that my doctor knows what's best and I want my embies to have the best shot possible to become babies.
After ER I felt much better than I expected. I had hardly any pain, only a bit of spotting, and only a hint of bloating. We had rented a hotel room close to the clinic for the night after ER, and I laid up in bed watching movies and snacking while Patrick and my brother (who came with Patrick to drive me home after ET) went to get us all lunch. I inhaled my food, then my brother went back to my sister's apartment, Patrick took a nap, and I watched more movies. That night, my brother came back and him and Patrick went to get dinner. One of the nurses called me to check in and she was surprised that I was doing so well she said that the doctor would call me the next day with the decision of whether or not we would be transferring this cycle or moving to an FET.
The next morning Patrick took me back to my sister's, then he had to head back to Houston. He had planned to stay with me through the weekend, but since he had to come a day early and could only miss two days of work, he had to go back. So my brother and I plopped ourselves on my sister's couch while I downed Gatorade and salty snacks like it was going out of style. I kept checking my phone, waiting for the doctor to call with my fertilization report and so I could tell them how great I was feeling and that I felt okay to go ahead with the transfer. I had expected to feel like hell warmed over the day after ER, but I felt no worse than the last days leading up to retrieval, so I was certain that everything was going to be fine.
Around 2pm the embryologist called. Out of my 26 eggs, 23 were mature. As part of the study, they froze 11 eggs and fertilized 12 with ICSI. Out of the 12 ICSIed, 6 fertilized normally, 1 fertilized abnormally, and 5 did not fertilize. Then came what I didn't want to hear. "Since we are not transferring this cycle, we did not unfreeze the other eggs, and all six embryos were frozen this morning."
What? I don't have a chance to argue my case? They froze them already?
I had wanted to ask why only 6 out of 12 eggs had fertilized even though they had used ICSI, which normally yields a much higher fertilization rate since the eggs are individually injected with a sperm, but my mind went blank and all I could manage was: "The embryos are already frozen?"
He explained that the embryos are much more hearty at this stage and that they handle the freeze/thaw cycle much better. I think he could tell that I was a bit taken aback by the news so he put me through to the nurse to explain to me what was going on. She told me that my doctor felt that my estrogen was just way too high to support a transfer and pregnancy at this point and that once my new cycle started, we would move into FET right away. Until then, I needed to start Heparin shots to counteract the increased clotting factor of super high estrogen and prevent blood clots.
I just wanted to go home. There was no point in staying in Dallas if we weren't going to transfer. I told my brother to pack up and that we would be heading out as soon as possible. My sister was sad when I called to tell her we were leaving since she had looked forward to spending the weekend with us, and I felt bad to just bail on her, but I just wanted to be back home.
The ride to Houston was uncomfortable, but not horrible. My brother drove to my mom's house and I only had to do the 45 minute drive from my mom's house to home. Patrick had gone to pick up my Heparin prescription and had food waiting for me. The dogs were so excited to see me I thought their butts would fall off from how much they were wiggling! It was a constant battle to keep them from jumping on me or trying to lay down on top of me, especially when I had the heating pad on my belly, but I quickly perfected my blocking technique.
Well, let me just say that... Heparin shots SUCK! During my stims I only bruised once or twice, and those bruises were tiny. Every single one of my Heparin shots bruised!! The shots on the right side weren't too horrible, but every shot on my left side was huge!! I had to do a 1 ml shot every 12 hours so I was doing left side in the morning, right side in the evening. I switched to see if it was only the morning shot that bruised, but it didn't make a difference, so I eventually had to start only doing them on the right side because there wasn't any room on the left that wasn't bruised.
On Sunday I was pretty upset that we had cancelled transfer. Sunday would have been my transfer day and I wasn't experiencing what they had been worried about. I was bloated, yes, but it wasn't that bad. I did feel worse on Sunday than the days before, but we had had friends over on Saturday so I figured I had over-done it and was just sore so I spent the day on the couch with the heating pad. That night, I got mildly nauseous while I was getting everything ready for my Heparin shot, but once I sat back down I was fine. Monday morning I woke up and I was very bloated. I took the dogs out and after standing up for less than 5 minutes, waiting for them to do their thing, I had to run to the bathroom because I was certain I was going to vomit. As soon as I was crouched down, the nausea began to subside, but it came back once I stood back up. I barely got my shot done before I was running (more like shuffling quickly) for the bathroom again to dry-heave for ten minutes.
When my stomach settled, I weighed myself and I was up about 5 pounds from before transfer, which isn't too bad, but I was sure that I had gained most of that the night before. My whole day was spent on the couch, interrupted only by the briefest of trips to the bathroom or to get something to eat. Standing made me insanely nauseous, so I had to limit my time upright. When Patrick got home he was concerned and told me to call my doctor, but I told him I couldn't imagine it getting worse.
Tuesday was even worse.
I was beyond bloated and when I weighed myself I had gained another 3 pounds from the day before. The skin on my tummy was itching from it stretching so much and my ribcage was hurting from the pressure of the fluid in my belly. If I took a deep breath, I would get stabbing pains in my ribs and the bottom of my lungs. I had to be nearly fully reclined so the fluid could spread along my whole torso, otherwise it felt like my stomach was going to pull apart, and I would get immediately nauseous. I texted the nurse from the clinic and asked at what point I should be concerned. The doctor called me a while later, concerned. He asked me some questions, and my answers must have been good because he told me that I didn't need to do anything yet, and that I should start feeling better within the next few days. He said that if I was really uncomfortable, I could go to my gyno or RE in Houston and ask them to drain the fluid, but if I got any worse, that I needed to go to the ER. I was really uncomfortable, but didn't want to have a giant needle stuck into my abdomen if I didn't have to, so I decided to see what happened. I decided that I was very happy that we didn't do the transfer!
Luckily, Wednesday was better. I was still very bloated, but I could stand without getting nauseous so that was a big improvement to me. I probably shouldn't have, but I went to work. I had already missed a week and a half and I couldn't reschedule my clients again. I'm very glad that I only scheduled a half day for my first day back, so it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, the added pressure of the fluid on my tummy from standing the whole day, all my bruises that had been fading re-bruised and got bigger. Thursday had me feeling a little better still, but my bruises got a little worse. Then came Friday.
Friday morning I woke up having to pee worse than I ever had before in my life! I barely made it to the bathroom. But I felt AMAZING! Nearly all my bloating was gone. My pain was gone! Just like that, I was better. It felt as if the clouds had parted and angels were singing down to me. Overnight my body had said "Hey, there is fluid in your abdomen. Let me just take care of that for you." The difference left me nearly euphoric.
On Sunday I started my period. I had never been so happy to start before! Knowing that we have little embabies out there, just waiting to come back to momma, is an amazing feeling. I was extremely disappointed when they cancelled my transfer, but I'm incredibly thankful that my doctor did what he knew would be best. I didn't want to be in my body after the retrieval, why would an embryo want to stay in there? I'm soooooo looking forward to my FET, and grateful that my body is going to be the perfect, welcoming home for my little babies, instead of the bloated, stressed, raging hormonal mess that it was just a week ago.
I feel good about this.
Thank you, God, for giving me what I needed, not what I wanted. I trust in You, and I know that one day, You will give me what I want AND need. Until then, please grant me the patience to wait.