Recovery and fertilization and a rant.

January 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Posted in IVF #4: I'm STILL doing this? | 17 Comments

IVF #1 was five years ago, so I don’t really have much memory of the actual HEALING process.

I know that I could barely walk between retrieval and transfer, and I was pretty sure that transfer would kill me.

And I remember the night of my burst follicle as one of the worst physical pain nights pretty much EVER.

Either I was a wimp, or the recovery this time isn’t nearly as bad.

I woke up yesterday from the retrieval pretty lucid. Initially the pain rated a 2, maybe a 3, but as I was sitting there, it started to climb up into the “Ow Ow Ow OW OW!” territory.

The nurse added something to my IV, and I felt better immediately.

They prescribed vicodin, which I did take twice, yesterday. Both times I took it yesterday?

It made me nearly puke.

So today I’m on tylenol and walking REALLY slowly. Peeing hurts (from the inside – OW!). Walking hurts, too, but not as much as it hurt before retrieval.

Thus far, recovery is going okay. I’m sore, I’m keeping an eye on potential hyperstimulation symptoms, but otherwise, I’m back to the usual routine.

And after not hearing from my clinic all morning, I took the bull by the horns and called to find out how damn many of those eggs fertilized.

Nineteen.

Which is nearly a 70% fertilization rate.

I know that fertilization rate doesn’t neccessarily correlate to, you know, good QUALITY embryos.

But right now we have 19 embryos.

Here’s where I’m going to lose some of you, I know it.

But.

Good fucking grief.

I didn’t WANT that many. I just wanted 3, maybe 4 good blastocysts.

Honestly? This was the BIGGEST reason I didn’t want to do IVF again in the first place.

It is such a WASTE, creating all this life when we really only want ONE more kid.

And I KNOW I shouldn’t be upset with this result. I know that there are SO many women who WISH that they had this problem. I KNOW it’s a “good” problem to have.

It’s just so… well… wasteful.

And irresponsible.

But yeah. We have 19, and that means it’s likely we’ll make it to a five day transfer.

And I’m going to ignore the fact that, if this DOES work, we’ll have to discard* a number of embryos which might be in the double digits.

One step at a time, I guess.
____________________________________

*And I say discard because we’ve had this discussion before. Embryo donation is not something we’re comfortable with. I would be okay with donating our embryos for scientific research, but from the little I’ve read about it, it’s nearly impossible to coordinate through our clinic. Again, this was one of my big hang ups on doing another IVF cycle and I guess I’m sort of angry at myself that I went ahead with it without really getting comfortable with the possibility that this might happen.

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17 Comments »

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  1. I’m glad you have such a good fert rate. Sounds like recovery is happening slowly – I think your body may take a bit to recover from making all those eggs and then having them forcibly removed!

    I understand what you mean about it *feeling* wasteful, but just like EVERYTHING else in the process, we have NO control over it.

    Anyway, here’s me being optimistic – if you want info on a great place to donate *after* you are successful with this cycle! – I worked with a coordinator at a research insitute local to you. Hopefully your clinic would be able to make it work!

    • Hopeful Mother – that would be great. I’d love that contact information just in case we’d need it! 🙂

  2. That’s a great fertilization report! Huzzah for that! On the other hand, I understand your frustration with waste…maybe the clinic has other resources now than when you first did IVF?

  3. Glad to hear your recovery this time might be easier than last time. And, as envious as I am about your egg producing abilities, I completely understand your feeling of “too many.” It seems like it’s always feast or famine with these treatment cycles. Never just right, only not enough or too much!

  4. Such a double edged sword…you want many so you can get to a five day transfer and have good chances but you also don’t need 400 embryos frozen and you are done family building. It all sucks. I’m sorry.

    I hope that Hopeful Mother can work her magic and you can donate those you don’t need to research. That would be fantastic.

  5. Gosh that’s very impressive. I know how you feel I wanted to use all my embryos too and I did in the end. Can you not freeze the ones you don’t use and eventually transfer them to another clinic who could use them for research?

  6. Wow. You’ll have to forgive my naivete (sorry), but I have never done IVF and I had *no idea* it was that painful. I guess it is surgery, so it makes sense. Ouch. Glad you got good news, though, and I’m really hoping it works!

  7. I can totally understand your feelings about the large number of embryos. As you know, this was the biggest sticking point for me doing IVF as well. I’m really surprised to hear your clinic doesn’t make it easy to donate them to research, given I would think they themselves need embryos for that purpose. But I suspect that with a bit of leg work you can find something that will work for you and allow the embryos to be put to good use.

    I’m really glad it’s looking good for having the 5-day transfer.

  8. Glad the retrieval went well and that you are recovering ok today. Take care of yourself. Drink your Gatorade!

    We ended up with 17 fertilized and 4 blasts (two transferred on day five, two frozen on day 6). And I think all or practically all of the 17 were still going on day three. So while I completely understand your not wanting to end up with loads of embies, it is entirely possible you’ll end up with just the amount you wanted.

    xoxoxo
    T.

  9. Don’t worry TOO MUCH. A lot of times when you come closer to hyperstim, you don’t get as good of survival rates for the embryos.

    That said, you still COULD of course, end up with a ton.

    For reference, my estradiol numbers were always similar to yours this cycle and I tend to over-stim no matter how low my dose is (we constantly try to understim but fail), and I had:

    IVF#3: 16 retrieved, 9 fert, 6 viable (2 trans., 4 frozen) –this was my LEAST aggressive cycle and ironically the one which I had hyperstim actually HAPPEN, though now AWFULLY as in hospitalization or anything.

    IVF#2: 16/21 fert, 5 frozen, 3 transferred

    IVF#1: 18/32 fert, 2 transferred, 6 frozen

    And I don’t know if it has to do with the quality in relation to the over-stim….but I also clearly don’t get many pregnancies and they’re all singles…compared to the amt transferred (plus we never have more than one transfer out of the frozens so a decent amt of those die off too). FWIW.

  10. That is really tough. I remember asking my RE about donating embryos to research. He said that donation for stem cell research was not an option at the time in this state, but they did welcome donated embryos so that they could experiment with new techniques in freezing and thawing. This was at a clinic affiliated with a top medical school, so I’m sure some clinic or research center in your city (of all cities!) would welcome a donation. It sounds like it will take a lot of legwork, though. It seems that a lot of clinics are shying away from getting involved with donation. : (

    But I hope you end up with just the right number. I only did IVF once and didn’t have such a large retrieval, but I remember that the numbers seemed to go down dramatically. 9 eggs retrieved, 8 useable, 6 fertilized, 2 ideal for day 3 transfer, and 0 surviving to blast. (And I’ve always been glad that it worked out that way.)

  11. I think your angst and frustration about lots of embryos is totally valid. We are about three weeks behind you in our cycle but I already think a lot about the “leftover” ones, if we were to get to that. (Yes, I know, cart before the horse, we are a long way still from a successful cycle). Seems so crazy to go from NOT being able to conceive as nature intended all the way to abundance of life giving embryos. Oh, there is so much about IF that just doesn’t make sense.

  12. I’ve been reading so long I’ve forgotten why y’all do IVF. But, we did IVF for male factor and had 15 embies, but only 2 to transfer. So don’t worry about the future! Worry is not your friend right now. Just heal and send good vibes to your waiting womb!

  13. Oh, that all embryos we created were life; they are the potential for life, IMO. We created 63 embryos, transferred those that developed to 3 days or beyond over 7 cycles, and have one living child.

    Nineteen is a dreamy starting point. I know you will get your next child from one of the many blasts you are sure to have and have to freeze.

    Congrats again for having such an awesome bounty.

  14. I was thinking along the same lines as “it is what it is” … this is tricky ground here, but I’m not sure I can equate fertilization with life, especially in a process this delicate, especially given what you know about your own successes. Try to be kind to yourself here; this is such a complicated, emotional process, and it’s impossible to have complete control. *hug*

  15. Well, I’ve heard of people using all sorts of techniques to limit the number of embryos created, from low-stim protocols to egg freezing, but it does mess with the process a bit. Otherwise they’d do it that way all the time! Definitely one thing to think about before going ahead, but that said – you always know exactly what to do with 20/20 hindsight, and you need to see how things turn out before you start worrying how much of what’s where. Sounds like you’ve also got some good leads re: donation to research. So for now I’d say keep breathing and let’s see what happens next!

    Bea

  16. 19…wow…wow…
    I know that you’ll have time to worry etc about the embies they don’t transfer but for now HEAL, REST, GET READY for the next step.

    thinking of you


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