So much of IVF is unknown. There is only so much in your control.
We were able to do Audrey’s egg collection earlier this week. It all looked good but we really just had to wait to see what would happen. Yes you can do scanning and blood work to try predict the outcomes and even make an educated guess at how many you will get... but until you actually do it, there is no way to know how many mature eggs you will get, or what quality they will be.
It’s the same with so much of this process. The ovarian stimulation. The uterine preparation. The egg collection. The egg fertilisation and development. The embryo transfer.
All of these things are delicate. And sometimes it is all down to pure chance. You can do everything to weigh the odds in your favour, but at the end of the day, you never know exactly what is going to happen.
That’s what I find the hardest about all of this. The unknown. I am a problem solver. I like to control situations. And with this, you just have to be extremely patient and hope that it goes the way you want it to.
The Day of Egg Collection:
The egg collection is a procedure where a long needle is inserted into the ovarian follicles and the fluid which contains the eggs is aspirated. It is done under sedation or sometimes they totally knock you out. Usually the partner is not allowed into the operating theatre (unlike the embryo transfer where you can have your partner with you.)
You aren’t allowed to eat or drink anything from 12 midnight the night before.
We arrived at 8.30 and Audrey spoke to one of the doctors. Then we were brought into a small private room where she got into a hospital gown and then they came to put the IV into her arm. After that, they brought her into the operating room. It’s a very quick procedure. Ava and I went upstairs to the cafe to get a muffin and by the time we came back to the room, she was back in the bed, totally knocked out. Ava didn’t know what to think, she kept looking at me as if to say ‘why is MomMom not getting up!?’
About 10 minutes later Audrey was waking up. I have to say I love the silliness of watching someone wake up from anesthesia! After giving her some pain killers, food and checking her blood pressure, we were able to leave. We drove back to the apartment and Audrey got into bed. I’d insisted on getting something to help her sleep and we were given a very nice little blue pill which definitely did the trick. She was asleep till 5pm that night. Still sore, but happy with the result of the collection.
It’s totally normal to be bloated and sore. The best thing to do is rest and use lots of ice packs on your tummy. We’ve also been using our dōTERRA essential oils (I don't have my full collection with me, but we’ve been using Clary Sage and Lavender for the pain and swelling.) Nice food and good movies go a long way too. Chocolate and ice cream are a necessity.
The waiting game begins...
Within an hour of the collection we were told that they had retrieved 10 eggs. A few hours later they confirmed that all 10 eggs were mature and ready for fertilisation. The following day we got the news that 7 of the embryos had fertilised and were looking promising. A day later we still had 7 embryos and even got to see a very cool video of them dividing in the Embryoscope. It’s absolutely crazy to be able to see what could potentially be your baby at it’s very first hours. Isn’t science cool?
By today, day 3, it’s all still looking great. We still have 7 embryos in the Embryoscope. Although it won’t be until day 5 that they carefully look back on the development of each one from the moment of fertilization. Based on this we will know the quality of each. It’s not just about the finished product, but how they evolved.
Using this technology allows them to see if there was any unusual development which may not be detected in the final embryo.
It’s amazing being offered the use of this cutting edge technology.
So for now, we wait. Our little ‘embryo babies’ are hopefully growing like crazy and getting ready for Monday, which will be the big day for us. Keep your fingers crossed and send some baby dust our way!