Friday, 1 February 2013

My own harvest festival

Egg collection and after affects round up

Egg collection was on Wednesday 30 January 2013, its now Friday 1 February and I'm spending another day in bed - oh what I'm going through to get a mini-me - but I'd do it all again - in a heartbeat.

So on EC day I was super calm, chilled and if anything not nervous but EXCITED - really excited. This was the day that the Hubster's DNA and my DNA were going to join to make mini-mes - what's not to be excited about?!

I got told off for admitting to taking a sip of water by the embryologist but we were still allowed to go ahead with the procedure. I won't lie to you - it hurt like a MoFo but I was out of it at the same time so I only remember snippets. The Hubster stayed with me throughout, I have vague recollections of him stroking my hair throughout the whole process. I had a heartbeat monitor and not at any point did it increase, it was a nice constant 70bpm, even when I was told to "take a deep breath in" and then I felt a hot, sharp stabbing pain around my womb / ovaries. The hypnotherapy CDs are obviously working - being relaxed and positive is the name of the game so if you are going through IVF yourself, please chill (and if all else fails, listen to The Orb's little fluffy clouds - works every time - you're allowed to take your iPod in with you if need be, if it helps - do it!!!) I know I bled as I felt them clean me up. I don't recall saying this but every time the embryologist said "deep breath in" I said "no pain, no gain." I winced but I wasn't a pansy and I breathed. This was after all one of the most exciting days of my life. What I'm really chuffed that I remembered was seeing MY EGGS on the big fat plasma screen - I am soooooo glad I was with it for that as it was 100% awesome - there were loads of them! Screw the pain - this is so worth it.

Anyhow, in recovery I zonked out and slept on and off for about an hour. I could hear a lady in the neighbouring cubicle crying her eyes out prior to her EC - if my head wasn't as woozy and my legs worked I would've gone in there, given her a big hug and would've tried to change her fear to excitement. I can't see how getting yourself in such a tizz is going to help matters? Anyhow - I hope the sedative helped her chill - it most certainly did me and I felt the after affects of it for the rest of the day.

The long and short of it is: I had far more than 26 follicles by the time the embryologist started having a rummage (my ovaries obviously went into overdrive last weekend), they got 18, yes 18 eggs (woo hoo) and Hubster's swimmers stood up to the test and did us proud. Another embryologist came to see us once I'd come round from the sedative in recovery and told us that at least 9 of my eggs would be fertilised via ICSI and 6 via conventional IVF. As per the most recent swimmer analysis, the Hubster's swimmers were on the cusp of ICSI/IVF so why not treat them like that and do a combo? Brilliant, the staff at King's really are amazing and I am in awe of them. How cool would it be to tell people that you're an embryologist? Far more exciting than saying you work in Marketing - I really wish science had been made a lot more appealing when I was at school as I now find it all fascinating. I'm going to make it my mission to get my mini-me(s) interested in science and with a bit of luck they'll go one to do something as amazing as this.

Anyhow, I digress, do you want to know what the different is between ICSI and IVF? ICSI stands for: Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. This involves injecting a single swimmer directly into the egg to fertilise it - so the swimmer is given a helping hand. Here's a picture to show you the science bit - seriously - these guys are amazing for being able to do this:



Conventional IVF stands for in-vitro fertilisation, this literally means fertilisation in a glass - here's another picture for the science bit:



I am very chuffed that we are having both, the staff at Kings are keen to keep the whole process of baby-making as natural as possible so we have been lucky enough to have the best of both worlds. This however is where my frank honesty of how many eggs and swimmers successfully fertilised ends; I want to keep this private and don't really want the amount of embryos we have currently dividing away out there on the internet (you can understand that hey?) What I can tell you is that we have mini-mes growing in a petri dish and the embryologist called saying "I have amazing news" and it was amazing - lockdown was worth it and I am so excited about everything (despite feeling like a big fat pile of steaming poo). We're booked in for embryo transfer (ET) at 10:30am tomorrow morning (Saturday 2 February 2013). This would be a three day transfer, I'm hoping our little mini-mes stay strong and keep dividing evenly so they can get to blastocyst stage and we can have a five day transfer.

Here's a bit more science: check the image below to see how embryos develop. If you look at the very first embryo picture that has just two small circles in it - these circles represent the DNA from the mother and the father - how cool is that?! I figure that our mini-mes are currently at the eight cell stage, awesome, awesome, awesome. With a bit of luck the progesterone pessaries I'm now on will help one of my mini-mes implant in my nice, think womb - a blastocyst implantation is the aim.



Since my EC I have been feeling rough. The bloating I had with the HCG trigger shot has increased, I look about six months pregnant. It seems I have mild OHSS, it's quite uncomfortable and painful, I've felt queasy and have had some terrible trapped wind! Kings are checking up on me daily, I have a jug I need to pee in and I need to drink at least two litres of water / juice / tea  etc a day, and I need to monitor my pee output. If my output declines rapidly I need to get myself to Kings quick sharp, if I start to feel breathless I need to get to A&E. I feel like crap but I'm still ├╝ber optimistic - it is what it is and it will go soon enough - its just one of those things. I had yesterday off sick and I'm off sick again today - I was supposed to work form home but sitting up at a laptop for long periods of time is very uncomfortable (this post has been written in segments). Kings are calling me daily and they are concerned and keeping a close eye on me but I figure it'll be gone soon enough and I'll have a mini-me inside me :)

So that's it from me today, despite feeling like poo this is quite possibly the most exciting time of my life.

Catch ya later :) x

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