Sunday, February 26, 2012

Retrieving Hope - IVF Update

Near the end of a round of IVF your tired, emotional, sore and all around played out. After days, weeks or even months of hormones your ready for the round to be over, or at least I was.

 Nearing when my retrieval was supposed to be I was growing anxious about what the magical date would be, when would the clinic be retrieving my eggs? Day after day I was told "not yet, come back tomorrow, you're so close". Even though I understood why I had to wait and that the outcome should be better for me, I was feeling the effects of the hormones and felt like I had enough. So again we went back in and thankfully we had waited because we went from 7 viable follicles to 15-20 in one day! That's why you listen to your doctors... Lol

 Having a number to focus in on and knowing that my retrieval would only be 36 hours away, I felt like I could hang on to my emotional sanity a little longer. My month and a half round was definitely wearing me down. Everyone at the clinic was so amazing and supportive thought the whole process, telling me I was doing great, that we were on track and that there was tons of possibility. So we were very positive going in to the clinic for our retrieval appointment.

 As usual we were greeted by big smiles and were brought into the recovery room to get me prepped. While Ryan was off at the lab I was given a wonderfully relaxing shot and prepped to go in. What's neat about your IVF treatment is that you will get to meet most over the Drs. and get to be be a part of an almost communal environment. I cannot say enough how much I adore the staff at the Ottawa Fertility Center or how fantastic my care has been. Oh ya... So I'm dopped up and wrapped in a warmed sheet when Ryan comes back into the room giggling as he can instantly see how "relaxed" I was. We are informed that Dr Haebe will be doing our retrieval and I get brought into the procedure room. Now I've had my share of hospital visits and this room is nothing like you'd imagine, instead of being cold and bright, it was warm, with dim lighting and music on in the background. I got to meet my nurses and embryologist. Everything is explained, more drugs are administered and in comes my Dr. Now you are not in the most comfy position, your very exposed and have a needle that's going to be poked into your ovaries, what could be a uncomfortable situation was made anything but. Every detail was explained to me, the Dr joked about how evil he was for causing me pain and the nurse held my arm and helped me breathe through the worst parts, all my Ryan beside me held my hand. We got to watch the entire procedure on a monitor directly above me and were already in awe when the embryologist counted out our first egg retrieved. Because the embryologist has to sort through fluid etc to count the very tiny eggs they are always behind the Dr, so when we left the room we were at 12 eggs retrieved... An amazing number. After the nurse gets me to my recovery recliner I get wrapped in warm sheets and she goes to get the final count. She comes back in big smiles telling us they had retrieved 18 eggs, Ryan and I couldn't believe it! So much potential, so many eggs. At that moment I knew everything else that I'd been through in my round was to create those 18 eggs, 18 potential babies.

 Waiting to get the call the next day to find out how many fertilized was crazy. We finally got the call and again were amazed. 17 of my eggs matured and 13 fertilizer creating us 13 embryos and giving us a day 5 transfer. With so much incredible potential Ryan and I got this surge of hope and knew this was the closest to our dream we had ever been. We are almost there!

 So what did I learn from this, other than to listen to your Dr? I learnt that when you feel like you are done, your not. When your tired and feel like there is nothing left in the tank, there is. And that sometimes you have to wait longer then you'd like for what you want, but the wait is part of the journey and makes everything else so much sweeter!

 Lotsa Love, Natasha

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Brighter Side - IVF update

When going through something hard on you, emotionally, physically or mentally, it can be easy to forget the brighter side of things! The reasons, the who, how, why or even our attempted outcome. One thing IVF is teaching me is to see the brighter side.
Going through a round of IVF has it fair share of fun side effects, varying by protocol and by the patient. Some only feel mildly different, where as others feel the full range of hormone side effects.
I can attest that when in pain or uncomfortable it is easy to get lost in that and forget why your doing it all. Being nauseous or dealing with migraines, pain or the fact that your ovaries are now the size of small oranges can definitely take its toll, not to mention the emotional roller coaster your on because of the surge of hormones. But when you put in perspective the why, it makes everything else seem small.
The other day after hot flashes, weeks of nausea and migraines, needles and back pain I was feeling done, tired and worn out. Then I had my first ultrasound to monitor my follicle growth and I was amazed. I was smiling from ear to ear and had a renewed sense of why.
Now every two days I go in and get to see my amazing progress, see the follicles growing and definitely feeling the changes. But now it's almost as I appreciate being uncomfortable knowing that it's a good sign, that I'm tired because my body is working over time to produce a lot of eggs. So it still sucks feeling like poop all the time, but it is absolutely worth it.
By the end of this week I will have my retrieval and the magic of IVF and the talent of the amazing staff at The Ottawa Fertility Center will take over and hopefully help me and my hubby get pregnant. We are over the moon excited right now and I have to say our hopes are very high.
Going through anything tough is always made better by the people who you surround yourself with. Those who just rub your back as your sobbing and don't know why, those who help you with your injections, who listen to you, make you laugh, let you vent and try there best to understand. I am lucky enough to have all that and an amazing group, my fellow Win a Baby couples, who understand and have created this great community where IVF is something that is easily shared, compared and taken in together.
So when your going through something tough, share. Talk to someone who can understand or even just let you vent. But in the end try to remember to look for the brighter side, look for something to help bring you through until you yourself are right there with it.
Lotsa Love,