Today we had our final monitoring appointment.
When we left our clinic on Thursday, doc had canceled our Saturday monitoring appointment because I was a “slow grower”. Not much had changed between our Tuesday appointment and Thursday appointment, all 20-25 of my follicles were still mostly too small to be measured.
NOT the case today.
We’ll backtrack to this weekend for a minute. Saturday I started feeling a bit “uncomfortable”. That was to be expected. Sunday afternoon and evening, “a little uncomfortable” was now “ok this sucks.” Again, to be expected. But I don’t have to like it. Sunday evening/night, I was just one big ball of grump and tired. My gut hurt all over. It hurt to touch (I’m pretty bruised up at this point from all the shots), it hurt to move, it hurt to go over bumps in the road, and I drive a Wrangler. No bueno.
At today’s appointment, Doc asks how I’m feeling and how this weekend was for me.
Well, he says, lets take a look!
As soon as he flips the ultrasound on and gets to the appropriate neighborhood, Nurse says:
WOW. That’s a TON! I’m going to sit down, we’re gonna be in here a while.
They were huge. The ovaries. The follicles. And there were so.many.of.them. As he measured, I started counting on my fingers.
We thought my number had dropped a little between Tuesday and Thursday, but NOPE. The little slow pokes caught up, plus a bonus one! This whole exam was extremely uncomfortable. I was glad when it was over. For a minute.
Doc looked over all the information he’d just rattled out to my nurse and took a deep breath.
From the beginning, our biggest concern was ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. We tried really hard. But you’re there, and its happening.
Well, crap. ok.
OHSS, as defined by the MayoClinic:
Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome may occur after using injectable hormone medications during in vitro fertilization (IVF), a treatment for infertility. Injectable fertility medications stimulate the development of eggs in the ovaries, but it can be difficult to tell exactly how much medication you might need.
Too much of the hormone in your system can lead to ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), where your ovaries become swollen and painful. A small number of women may develop severe OHSS, which can cause rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, vomiting and shortness of breath.
The more you know, folks.
He continues to tell me that my trigger shot tonight will likely make it worse, and that he wants me on additional meds to help control the effects of OHSS. He’s not comfortable proceeding with our current plan of a fresh transfer, 5 days after my retrieval. He wants to freeze everything he gets, and wait a month or so until my ovaries return to a zen place and a normal human person size (they’re fist sized, folks) before he did a frozen embryo transfer (FET).
So, recalculating route:
Our egg retrieval is set for Wednesday morning. I just paused from typing this paragraph so Mister could jam the largest needle that a human has ever made (I may be exaggerating) in to my bum and pump in a bunch of HCG for my trigger shot.
Wednesday, they’ll fertilize my eggs with Mister’s contribution, and for the first time ever, Mister and I will be parents. We’ll let our sweet little blobs grow for 5 days, and the fighters that make it to Day 5 will all go in the freezer until I can get to a healthy place again.
We will be parents. We will be responsible for lives other than our own. We will make decisions that are best for tiny groups of cells living in petri dishes. The responsibility started weighing on both of us today. Its a weird place to be in, to know that we’re making all of these combinations of our DNA, these individuals. These future babies and children and adults that we haven’t met yet, but on Wednesday they’ll be real and exist, and then on Monday we’re putting them in a freezer for at least a month for a couple, years for the others.
I’m in a weird SciFi movie.
We’re bummed about this turn of events, with the the feeling crummy and the extra stress on my body, and the added wait when we’ve already been waiting 3 years. However, I know its the right decision. We picked this doctor because he was of similar heart and spirit. He’s protective of his patients, both the ones he can see in the exam room and the ones he needs a microscope to see. He is a good steward of life, and we want to be good stewards of life, too.
Its a weird world we’re living in, and Wednesday its about to get a lot weirder.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16
While this was a surprise to us, it was not a surprise to God. He knows our children’s birthdays.