The hard part of IVF treatments has nothing to do with the physical drug-induced exercise you put your body through. The hard part is the waiting between each step and the results.
After retrieval I went through the rollercoaster of getting 13 eggs retrieved to learn the next day that I only had one mature egg initially out the batch. Then by some miracle, several more eggs matured in the lab and my Day 2 egg report shared that there were now three fertilized embryos sitting in the lab waiting for me and my husband for our 12:30pm transfer appointment the next day.
There was still 24 hours to go, but I now had my buffer back. My fear with only one embryo was that in the blink of an eye our journey could come to abrupt stop. With three, I could breathe and could plan the only bit of the process that I could…my pre and post transfer acupuncture treatments. God knows, I love to plan and project manage – so getting these appointments in the book were calming and reassuring that I was doing everything I could to help this process.
The hardest part for me in all this, and my biggest self-realization through fertility challenges, is that I like to be in control. With IVF…EVERYTHING…the whole process…the outcomes…it is all out of your control. Everything is in the hands of the clinic and what the universe decides is our fate. Talk about scary for a control freak!
None the less, my bloated self made it through Day 2 with the help of pre-transfer acupuncture, and my husband’s support. On Day 3 my embryo report was solid…all three were growing strong (1-2cell, 1-4cell, 1-8cell), but my check-in ultrasound that morning meant that I was warned of the risk of OHSS. In my mind, I understood that OHSS could be horrible, but there was no way I could fathom waiting and risk the freeze process with our three embryos either. What if they all didn’t freeze right and what if they didn’t thaw out right…I could be back here empty handed with more time having slipped through our fingers. Yikes! No way! That thought is ten times scarier.
Knowing all the risks, we were cleared for transfer, and by 12:25pm my husband and I were suited up and heading into the transfer room. With legs up in the air, they showed us our cells on the TV screen and then walked them into the room. By 12:32pm we had a screen shot on the ultrasound showing them all sitting in my uterus. It was another surreal experience through IVF. It was a unique and special moment for us and the wave of calm that sets in at that moment is a euphoric high. We made it!
By 1pm, we were sent packing out of the clinic with a few more drugs and a blood test requisition for March 5th. I kissed my husband goodbye and headed for my post transfer acupuncture treatment. It was official the infamous two week wait had begun!