We got the fertilization report on Friday afternoon. 15 eggs were retrieved, 10 fertilized and of that 10, 6 were considered good quality (3/4 on the grading scale) by Sunday's transfer. 2 were set aside for implantation, 4 frozen, and 3 more are going to be allowed to go to day 5 to see if they reach a freeze-able state. Of the 10 fertilized, only 1 didn't make it.
I have been suffering from a great deal of cramping since Thursday's retrieval. My ovaries have grown very, very large (because of the hyperstimulation) to the point where I can feel them if I put my hand on my stomach. The discomfort before the transfer was sort of like a strong tugging type cramping, what came after was so much more than that.
I went in yesterday for the transfer with a full bladder as instructed. I was given the option of taking a Valium, and decided against it (though I later regretted it) and was changed into a gown and seated in a waiting area where we got to see a cute little picture of the two nine-cell embryos to be transferred. Hubs and I have dubbed them Emma and Emelio the Embryos. We said our goodbyes at the door, and I was taken into the operating/procedure room for the transfer.
They put me on an inclined table (butt above head) and inserted a catheter through which the little embryos were delivered to my uterus. This part wasn't really bad at all, except for the very full bladder which the nurse described as "huge" as she pushed on it with the ultrasound wand.
After the transfer, I had to remain on the inclined table for a half hour. About 5 minutes into it, what I thought was just my really full bladder started bothering me. I tried to meditate, and do breathing exercises, but it wasn't working. By 15 minutes I was in agony, and at 25 minutes they took me off the table. I asked if it was going to be a problem, letting me off 5 minutes early, and the nurse assured me that it wouldn't. I sort of hobbled over to the bathroom, hoping that by emptying my bladder I would feel relief, but even after going, I was in agony. It was like stabbing pains from my hips to my neck, and it seemed to be getting worse and worse by the moment.
The nurses assured me that this level of cramping was normal for someone with such hyperstimulated ovaries, and released me. They advised me to take Extra Strength Tylenol for the pain. Hubs got me in the car, drove to the nearest gas station, and bought me some rapid release Extra Strength Tylenol, which I couldn't get into my body fast enough, but relief just wasn't there.
Honestly, what I felt in that next hour was worse than the height of my labor pains with Peyton, and those were pretty awful (I had been induced with Pitocin and labored for 11 hours) but they at least came and went with contractions. This pain was non stop. Every bump in the road was like a knife going into me. One second into my abdomen, the next into my ovaries, the next into my chest. It was unbearable. I considered having Hubs turn the car around to take me back to the hospital, but the prospect of spending anymore time on the bumpy roads than I already had, was more than I could handle.
It felt as if all the laying inclined back the way I had after the transfer had pushed all the fluid of my whole body into my stomach and chest, and my ovaries were just throbbing. I really cannot emphasize how much pain I was feeling. Breathing made my shoulders hurt. I just had pain everywhere.
I usually have a fairly high tolerance for pain. Even after having just had a c-section with Peyton, I was able to work through the pain the next day to stand at her bedside for hours. Yesterday's pain was too much. It was unbearable and left me too exhausted to even cry. It was like I wanted to cry, I could feel that heat in my eyes, but all of my energy was being used to just keep breathing.
When he got me home, and on the couch, Hubs called the hospital from where we had just come, and spoke with the doctor on call. He explained that I was in a great deal of pain, and asked what I could do for it. She told him more Tylenol. He asked if a heating pad would be okay, and she said she didn't think it would help, but might "comfort" me, so it was okay to do. I hugged the pad, and for the most part placed it up high on my stomach near my ribs, because that was where I had the most pain, just praying that it would help the pain to subside a bit.
20 minutes of heat, and four extra strength Tylenol later, I could breathe again. Of course then I made the mistake of reading about heat and pregnancy (all bad of course) and I spent the next hour worrying that maybe I had screwed something up for the baby(ies) by using the heating pad. Sometimes I feel like no matter what I do I am doomed to somehow screw up any baby I carry... is that a loss thing?
The rest of the night went okay, except for my Progesterone shot, which really hurt like hell. I don't know if it was because of all that happened to my body that day, but it was the most painful of the Progesterone shots so far (this is day 3).
For the remainder of the night I took the Tylenol religiously, and even slept through the night (though I did have this really trippy dream about being a doctor and telling a patient that their child was going to turn into a carrot... don't ask. Must be the hormones.) Today I woke up feeling crampy again, but not as bad as yesterday. The doctor told me that the worst of my Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome symptoms should subside over the next week.
So hopefully little Emma and Emelio the Embryos will find my body a comfy place to be, and set up residence. It was really cool watching them go in. They were like two tiny white dots. I asked the RE why I could see them, when they are only the size of the head of a pin right now, and he told me that what I was seeing was the fluid they are in. I watched them sit against the side of my uterus, and said a little prayer to Peyton to please watch over these babies, and keep them healthy.
Before the transfer, all felt right in the world. It was as if the signs were coming in all around me. Yesterday at mass, the priest gave a homily about Easter being a time of "renewal and new life" and I thought, how fitting, that on a day that signifies new life, these two precious little embryos would be placed inside me. Then, before heading out for the transfer, I read an email from a beautiful friend who wrote:
We just watched "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" to get us in the Easter spirit -- goofy, I know-- and there was a line, "spring is a time of renewal" that made me think of you. :) I think it's really awesome how the IVF lines up with Easter, being a time of rebirth and all.... hope this is the beginning of an incredibly bright future!
So here is to Easter, and Spring, and renewal and rebirth. Here is to Emma and Emelio, who I pray 11 days from now, will be two beautiful little lines on a pregnancy test. If at the end of this all, I have my healthy rainbow baby(ies) to take home, there is no amount of cramping and pain that wouldn't be worth it.