It was a bit of a whirlwind of a weekend going back and forth about whether or not to go through with the egg collection. I found another study that reflects my situation pretty closely, focused on older women and those with DOR issues. The study found dramatically higher pregnancy rates when the trigger shot was done with lead follicles in the 16-18mm range instead of 19-20.5mm. The pregnancy rates were almost 5 times higher (42% vs 8%), for women below 43 with similar DOR issues (such as high FSH and low AMH). The interesting part is that both groups had a similar percentage of ‘high quality’ blastocysts that resulted in such different pregnancy rates.
Of course this completely freaked me out because my lead follicle was even larger than the higher category in this comparison by the time we triggered. We kept going back and forth, one minute it felt like we were in so deep we should keep going, the next we were ready to pull the plug, get back whatever refund we could and try again with an earlier trigger. It was exhausting, and I yet I barely got any sleep! Talk about being stressed about being stressed! I feel like I also began to disconnect from my body and sending positive thoughts to my follicles/eggs.
We also talked to my parents. They were encouraging us not to give up now and even offered to help us pay for another round if this doesn’t work. At first I wasn’t sure how much this would change how we felt, but for me, it definitely made it easier to lean towards seeing it through. The financial side is so major. After I thought about it a bit more it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. So we decided we would most likely go for it.
I had barely even thought about the reality of the egg collection. Last time it was pretty traumatic. I knew it would be different, because I wouldn’t be completely knocked out and paralyzed but I didn’t really know what else to expect. Obviously we would be going into it with very different expectations, knowing the most we would get would be 2 eggs. So I had my last snack (I was told not to eat past midnight- don’t worry I didn’t stay up that late!). I decided to take the first prednisone, which my Dr had said I could start the day of trigger, but we were not ready for that, plus there were only 5 pills instead of 6. I looked at my old schedules and I took them 6 days with the last day on transfer day. I always took them at night in preparation for my previous transfers, but looking at the bottle here it said to take it in the morning and that it could cause insomnia. Though I really wanted a good night of sleep, I went ahead and took it. At 5am I started to regret that choice!
During the couple of hours I tried to get back to sleep, I started going back and forth again. I thought about what we could do when we arrived: ask about the exact refund we would get if we didn’t continue, and if they could do a scan to check the follicle sizes one more time, and talking to my Dr. about the article linked above (that I emailed her in the middle of the night before!). Then I asked myself if any of the above would actually change our minds again and swing us back to cancelling. The answer was probably not?
I was told to drink only water sips until 7:30, then nothing except for 2 panadol (I only had tylenol, which I thought were the same but I guess are different), then we were meant to arrive at 9 for the egg collection at 9:30am, exactly 36 hours after the trigger shot. So, we quickly dropped off my daughter at kindy and headed over to the clinic. We were running a few minutes behind so I ran in while my husband parked. When I got up there after the slowest elevator ride ever, I asked about the financial side, but they couldn’t really give me an answer and by then the nurse was getting anxious to get things started! My Dr. came in and she hadn’t seen the paper yet, but we talked a bit about the results. She even offered to do a scan to see how the follicles looked without me asking! She measured them at 23-24 for the largest and 20mm for the other. She still thought it was worth going forward. At this point we didn’t have much time to delay things! Overall, I felt a lot less nervous, less naive, probably less hopeful and more realistic. Honestly, I didn’t have that much time to really think about everything.
My Dr. put in the IV line herself (much better job than for the intralipids!), then got ready for the collection. We went across the hall to the same room I’d done my scans in wearing a lovely hospital gown and they quickly got me set up on the bed, made sure I was comfortable, began draping me with various things and then they injected a pain killer, then the drugs to make me feel ‘different!’ The first dose didn’t do it, but the second definitely did! I was somewhat aware of what was going on and I was listening but I was mostly just laying there with my eyes closed! And my husband got to watch it all! I don’t actually remember how we got back into the recovery room but they brought me water and cookies (not gluten free but my husband enjoyed them!). I think I started feeling normal more quickly than I expected, or maybe it was a time warp from the drugs! At any rate, I felt about a million times better than waking up from the retrieval last time. No crying at all!
To sum up, she got both eggs! They will call in the morning to let us know about fertilization and some instructions for a transfer (if they think we’ll make it that far). Lets hope so, trying to stay positive! I’ve been feeling pretty good, just tired. Definitely a bit sensitive and some bleeding, but ok. I was starving when we left the hospital so we went out to lunch, then home where I put on my favorite movie and napped through most of it on the couch! Then had a relaxing afternoon playing with our daughter, well I mostly relaxed in our new hammock :-). Depending on how the call goes I’ll start to think more about the transfer. Now I just have to decide about taking the prednisone again tonight…
This is the only photo that’s not me looking like a total zombie! Here are my shark socks again! Yes I washed them :-).