IVF: Fertilization Rollercoaster

No one warned me after my egg retrieval that the floor could instantly disappear from under my feet with one little phone call. It’s the emotional part of this journey that many people on the outside of IVF have no idea exists. It’s horrible and, in my opinion, it hurts more than any needle, drug, or retrieval procedure that you could subject yourself to. roller-coaster

On egg retrieval day I was in physical discomfort, but I had my Tylenol and my head was calm because they retrieved 13 glorious eggs! I was told the average is 12, so *fist pump* I was finally ahead of the infertility curve. I was happy. I had overachieved. I didn’t realize the lightness I was feeling that day until the heaviness landed on me the next.

The best way to describe the embryologist’s phone call…it is most like when the boy you desperately like calls you for a first date. Your heart skips a beat and your stomach flip-flops with butterflies and everything else going on in that moment gets really quiet. My hands even shook a little as I answered the phone with uncomfortable optimism.

I don’t remember if it was a woman or man on the other end, all I remember was them saying, “only one egg was mature”.  In an instant, my baker’s dozen vanished, and I was left with one. One. Poof! My brain quickly calculated, there will be nothing to freeze. Everything comes down to this one chance; if our one little egg even makes it over the next few days.

My head spun as my husband sat quietly beside me waiting for me to get off the phone and tell him the report. Now it wasn’t all bad, there was a ray of hope on the phone, the embryologist further explained that one of the immature eggs had matured in the lab overnight. So…now there was two. From there, they said goodbye and left me with the heaviness of waiting 24 hours for the next report.

I calmly told my husband the news and then I broke down with crocodile tears and heavy sobs. A minute ago I was riding high with 13 eggs and now the floor was gone and I was left with two. It felt like I cried for hours, but I know it was only for a short while. Within those moments I mourned my lost future chances and reminded myself (with the help of my husband) that the process wasn’t over yet. We had one solid fertilized egg and we had another mature egg that they were going to try fertilizing later that day.

To say it was a long day is an understatement. My husband dropped everything for me that day and insisted that we go for a drive to the mountains. Going for a drive to the mountains is one of my favorite things to do on a sunny day…and I often don’t get to do it. It helped calm my mind, it helped me mourn my loss, and it made me love my husband more. He was there for me and knew exactly what I needed to do in that moment.

The next day, the call came again…my hands shook, my stomach flip-flopped and I learned that there was more good news. There were actually three more eggs that matured in the lab during the day and they were able to get two more fertilized. I now had three! So, I went from 13 to one, to two, to three! I had my prayers answered that there was enough there for me to breath as we waited for a day three transfer date.

15 thoughts on “IVF: Fertilization Rollercoaster

  1. I found your blog exactly a year to the date of this post. I’ve reread all your posts, in awe and feeling a bit of sisterhood. You’re one tremendous writer and person!

    I’m assuming since it’s been a year, if you wanted to update the blog or continue writing, you would. So just wanted to wish you all the best. (and if you’re writing somewhere else and want to, drop the new address!) 🙂

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh, this is just how much the drugs are whacking me out. I could have sworn the year on this post was 2014. So… forget what I just wrote! (or delete it!)
    Crossing all fingers and toes for you. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am… I’m in the “waiting to hear how my embryos are doing” phone-call stage.

    My fingers and toes are crossed for you. Congrats on three embies! And they sound pretty magical to me… I’ve never heard of anyone having more continue to grow after the initial count. What an incredible surprise and settling too. Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

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