It feels so weird to type the title of this blog but so much has happened between February and now! We moved forward with our third and final egg retrieval this month and are overjoyed with the results. It was almost identical to our February cycle meaning our protocol didn’t change at all and Shawn was still my early morning nurse. One thing that did change from the start, we found out we maxed out on our lifetime maximum for fertility medication through my corporate benefits. So the day before I started meds, we were hit with an extra $5,000+ cost we did not budget for. We would make it work.
What was majorly different this cycle were our results. If you read the last blog post, you know that we decided to proceed with one last retrieval cycle as we wanted 4 embyros to send for PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) and after our February cycle, we had 3. On March 1st, I started back on all of my meds for the final cycle. After 4 days of being on the stimulating medications, we had our first follicle check up. I was not where I wanted to be. We had 5-6 good follicles and one giant follicle that would have been post-mature by the time we went to retrieval. I was discouraged. I remember calling Shawn (for the second time in days) in hysterics wanting to just call off the cycle. Was this worth it all? Was I putting my body through all of this for nothing? Thankfully he was able to talk me down off the ledge. He reminded me I had been in this position before and that we still ended up with great results. We kept on our path and continued moving forward. A few days later we had another scan and while the numbers were slightly improved, I was still a little bummed. Based on my calculations (and don’t ever ask me for “egg math” tips, I’m TERRIBLE) I figured we’d have a cycle that compared with our very first cycle in 2017 and if that was the case, we’d still end up with another 2 embryos. On March 9th, we pulled the final trigger and had our FINAL EGG RETRIEVAL on March 11th.
If I said this wasn’t the hardest of all my cycles, I’d be lying. The side effects reallllly got to me this time. I was in maternity gear again early on and I was tired and miserable. I think I cried a lot more and definitely ate everything I could get my hands on. I tried to keep up with my exercises but after 6 days of stims found it almost impossible to even walk. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I remember coming in and out of sedation after the procedure and hearing the number 17 tossed around a lot. When I finally came to, Shawn was outside putting money in the parking meter and the nurse came to see me. I asked her how many eggs we got and then made her repeat it more than once. 17. It was really. We got 17 eggs. I was FLOORED. For a cycle where I had so little hope, we got the best results. Of our 17 eggs, 14 were mature and 12 fertilized with ICSI. Then began the 5 day waiting game (or in our case, 15 days of worrying). By day 3, 11 of our embabies were still growing strong and on day 6 we received the most wonderful news of all – we had 7 embryos that were biopsied and frozen. WE ONLY WANTED ONE. Together with their 3 brothers and sisters from February, our 10 precious embabies were sent off for PGS. I would also be lying if I said I was completely patient waiting for those results. We were told it would take 10-12 days to receive the report back and by day 7, I was a basket case. Again, Shawn (and many others) did a fantastic job of talking me off ledges and yesterday we received the best news we’ve had all year: of the 10 embryos that were sent off for testing, Shawn and I are the proud parents of 7 PGS normal embabies. It brought tears to my eyes and saying it out loud didn’t, and still doesn’t, even feel real. Our baby is in there somewhere and I truly and strongly believe, for the first time in a very very long time, our baby will be coming home with us soon. We still have a long road ahead. We aren’t entirely sure when we’ll transfer but are definitely taking some time off to enjoy some travels and my big 35th birthday!
Lucky number 7. Our 7 wonders. We are incredibly blessed.