Monday, 21 January 2013

Winter is coming

I got my wisdom teeth removed a couple of years ago after much procrastination.  I hate needles, and I hate needles in my face even more, so it wasn't until they started threatening to cause cavities in the surrounding teeth (due to the difficulty of brushing them so far at the back) that I decided to go ahead and do it.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

As someone who has smoked weed a grand total of twice in my late teens/early 20s, I was a huge drug virgin.  But let me tell you, the stuff they put me on made me totally understand why people become addicts.  DRUGS ARE AWESOME!  I was awake for the entire procedure which involved a large man using clamps to YANK OUT PARTS OF MY FACE and I just.  Didn't.  Care.  I was so chilled out that when I heard the first telltale clink of a tooth hitting the metal pan, I (through a mouthful of blood and cotton) actually said "Cool, done one side already?  Can I see?"  Of course I'm sure it sounded much more like "Goo, dlarh gah soo yaahaaeey?  Caahhishleeee?"  Once I came down I had a new appreciation for mind-numbing substances and hallucinogens.

So I was reasonably excited to see what they would put me on when I arrived at the clinic this morning for my egg retrieval.  Imagine my disappointment when they told me I would just have a little something to "make me loopy" and another something to "make me comfortable".  This didn't sound like it was going to be an awesome trip at all!  And it really wasn't.

Not to scare anyone off (especially you, clinic sista Vanessa!) but I definitely wasn't knocked out for my retrieval.  Nor, for that matter, did I feel particularly loopy.  Or comfortable.  Yeah, definitely not comfortable.  While I'm sure whatever pain meds they gave me must have numbed things, I did feel quite a bit of pinching as they inserted the needle.  And when they were doing the right ovary (which was supposed to be the easy one based on the smaller number of follicles), it apparently kept "rolling around" on them so they had to apply quite a bit of pressure and poking which was distinctly NOT PLEASANT.  I believe it was at that point that my resolve kind of broke and some tears leaked out and I just wanted it all to be over.

And then it was. 

We got 9 eggs.  We'll find out sometime tomorrow how many were mature and how many fertilized.

The other kick in the ass this morning came from my RE shortly before she began the retrieval procedure.  She informed us that my bloodwork yesterday morning (after my HCG trigger) showed slightly elevated progesterone levels.  While they weren't super high and she assured me that this wouldn't affect the quality of the eggs, she recommended against a fresh embryo transfer since it is likely that my lining will be "out of sync" with the embryos and hence compromise the chances of implantation.  It's called Premature Luteinization and the science is here.  Instead, they want to do a "freeze all" and then a frozen embryo transfer (FET) once my body has had a chance to get back to normal.  So now instead of a two week wait, we have a two month one as I await my period from this cycle, have another full unmedicated cycle (where they will yet again do an endo biopsy), and then start a new cycle where they can do an FET probably in March.  Hence my Game of Thrones-inspired blog title.  Winter IS coming, my little (hopefully soon to be) embryos.  At least I'm in good company, right Daryl?

Have I mentioned that my uterus is an asshole?  Because it is.  An uncooperative asshole.

Anyway, I'm not really complaining.  Well, I am, but kind of good-naturedly because at the end of the day I am very happy that we got 9 eggs out of my equally uncooperative ovaries.  And I'm generally feeling good, despite the discomfort of the retrieval.  No bloating or abdominal pain to speak of right now.  I've eaten a bagel and had some coffee and am suffering no real ill effects except for some nappiness, which will be dealt with shortly enough.

And on the positive side, I have already told M that we are going on some sort of beachy vacation as we wait these cycles out.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Well, except my white butt gettin' its tan on. 

28 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh I couldn't even imagine being awake during retrieval! I am sorry to hear you can't go forward with fresh transfer I know that has to be disappointing at the least.

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    1. It is, but nothing a few margaritas can't fix.

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  2. I am sorry to hear that you can't go forward quite yet. But on a positive note, I have heard that some people have much better luck with FET cyces because their bodies are not stressed out from just doign teh retrieval. I am sure that will be the case for you! 9 sound excellent and I will look forward to hearing how they fertilize and mature!! Please post your plans for vacation!!! I reccomend the carribean!

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    1. We are actually thinking Puerto Vallarta. They apparently have good surfing nearby and I have always wanted to learn ever since seeing "Point Break" a jillion years ago. But we will probably do a last minute deal and see what looks best/is cheapest.

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  3. This made me giggle. And then cringe. Maybe I will demand someone knock me out if I find myself in that situation. It's kind of sad that they will get you higher than a kite for ripping a few teeth out, but ripping out 9 eggs from your ovary demands some sort of "suck it up, b*tch" mentality. Sad. You definitely go on that vacation. You guys deserve it. Here from ICLW.

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  4. 9 eggs is awesome! To echo Nogoodeggs, sometimes frozen transfers are more successful, so maybe your asshole uterus is secretly acting on your behalf. It still does change the fact that DELAYS SUCK, but a vacation will be AWESOME!

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    1. Are you suggesting my asshole uterus is maybe a good uterus in disguise? I will have to consider this uncomfortable possibility if we get to FET and it succeeds, I suppose...

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  5. A beachy vacation sounds like a brilliant idea to pass some of the extra time! Congrats on 9 eggs. My fingers are crossed you get an awesome fertilization report. I was completely knocked out for both my wisdom teeth removal and egg retrievals. I was pretty uncomfortable during my endo biopsy so I can imagine an egg retrieval would be much worse. I am very thankful to be knocked out and my anesthesiologist is so awesome I don't even feel him put the IV in.

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    1. See, I was hoping for something in the middle. Not knocked out, but whacked out and hilariously nonsensical would have been nice.

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  6. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Omg I don't even know where to begin - so much information! Firstly, 9 eggs is awesome sauce, so that's great. Secondly, yeah yeah FETs are sometimes better but that frickin' blows about you not getting a fresh transfer. Ugh! To go through all that and then have to sit around and wait for two months just sucks. Although, I will say, this is a PERFECT time to get the hell out of this city and relax on a beach. We are also waiting to see what happens with this cycle before determining when/how/where we can go on vacation.

    Also, you HAVE TOTALLY FREAKED ME OUT about my retrieval! Do you think I can request extra numbing meds?? Your single tear on the operating table makes me so sad... maybe worth giving them some feedback?

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    1. See, this is what I was worried about. I actually hesitated to post this because I didn't want you to worry. I am thinking it just has something to do with my response to numbing meds. For instance, first they gave me an Ativan to calm me down and while it made my heart stop racing for a bit, I was far from the "buzzed" the nurse told me I would be. Then for the numbing, whenever I get dental work done they always have to jab me twice and wait a bit longer than usual for the drugs to do their work. So I'm thinking maybe my tolerance is high? They knew what was going on as I kind of "mmmpphhed" a few times in response to whatever they were doing, and they offered me more drugs but by the time I was getting ready to say yes please it was all over. I think the tears were more a release of all the emotion building up to this huge event, which now isn't even going ahead as planned. Please PLEASE don't worry.

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    2. Oy... yeah, I'm actually kind of creeped out by the Ativan they dole out at our clinic. I freakin' HATE that drug, it makes my body all sluggish while my mind continues to panic, so I'm worried I'll be desperate for more pain relief but unable to properly communicate this. Aaaanyway, don't worry, you didn't make me any more terrified than I already was! :)

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  7. Wow. That is weird that you weren't knocked out. I can understand your frustration about things being delayed. If it's any consolation, at my clinic they said they now usually prefer to do frozen transfers. They said that their freezing process has been improved and now they have better success rates with frozen. This is because the uterine environment is not polluted (my word) from all of the stims.

    PS) Yeah for warm climates! I was trying to talk hubs into something warm but wasn't successful.

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    1. Yeah, my RE got into a conversation about this with the nurses after breaking the news to me. She said apparently some clinics are looking at freezing everything and doing no fresh transfers at all. Apparently the highest success rates are with donor eggs, and while a lot of that is obviously due to the awesome egg quality, they are starting to wonder if the "uncontaminated" uterine environment isn't a bigger factor than they first thought.

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  8. Oh that must be so frustrating to learn you have to wait 2 months before the transfer! Well let's just hope that you get some good quality embabies out of it and the wait will be worth it!

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    1. Yeah, I need to stop jumping ahead of myself first and just wait for the fertilization report and hope something (someone?) makes it to five days for freezing.

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  9. Aramis!!! What the eff, sister: you and I are on the same freaking path. Seriously, I just got the news today that we'll go ahead and do a retrieval on Wednesday, but like you, we will be freezing whatever we get. And in fact, the reasoning was explained to me in almost identical terms, which makes me think that your RE and mine attended the same conference.

    And congrats on the 9 eggs. I think that's excellent for anybody with DOR. Based on today's scan and comparing it with what happened with our last IVF, we have 8 follicles in the "lead" group, but last time only 2/3 of the leaders actually gave us any eggs. So it's realistic to look at 5 or 6, and maybe we could be optimistic and get 8.

    (See me sharing numbers? Eh? Eh? DOR ladies gotta stick together.)

    Oh, and sorry you were awake. That blows. I wonder why they do it that way. I relish the blissful nap...

    Anyway. Let's cheer each other on through the wait for transfer?

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    1. 5 or 6 is not too shabby, my friend, not too shabby at all! I've been reading a lot on slow stimming and lower egg numbers and how you in fact may end up with higher quality eggs than if you blast out a baker's dozen, so I have my fingers crossed for that for you.

      But seriously, WTF is up with our progesterone? It's like our uteruses (uteri??) are cranky teens who are on the phone with each other planning how to ruin our lives. I'm taking away its phone privileges.

      Yeah, I was hoping for a blissful nap too. I had one this afternoon, at least. Cheering each other on through the wait sounds great to me! Good luck on Wednesday.

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    2. Oh and forgot to say that this whole early-rising progesterone thing may in fact be yet another lovely indicator of low ovarian reserve, since it tends to be observed more in women with our particular issue. Something to do with the tendency to develop a lead follie and all. They haven't figured out the hows and whys yet. Just another shitty little feather in our crap cap!

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    3. Well darn it. I did blast out whatever it is we'll be getting - I've only had six full days of stims (6.5 if you count this morning). Gah.

      Interesting thing about the early-rising progesterone stuff. Say, are you looking into genetic testing at all, to see if the embryos are viable? I have a call into my RE to ask if that's worth the money, if it would at all tell us anything re: whether my egg quality is already so shot that we should just start scraping pennies together for a donor cycle...

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    4. We haven't, but only because we haven't even MADE any embryos yet. My RE said that wouldn't be something we'd do unless we had a few miscarriages and at some point they were trying to pin down a chromosomal issue.

      I'm sure your eggs will be good quality, they were last time!

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  10. you are my personal hero..awake during and ER i am speechless...and that takes alot trust me! go with the frozen transfer and get yourself back in the mean time. you will be here and so will all of us cheering you on!

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    1. You know, the word "hero" gets thrown around a lot these days. It's good that at least some people know how to use it properly. ;-)

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  11. You were AWAKE?! Ovaries of steel, I tell you.

    The waiting sucks big time, but I LOVE your vacation plans. Wish I'd thought of that!

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  12. That's great news! I love DOR success stories. Congrats to you and my fingers are crossed that you'll get good news from the fertilization report.

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  13. My jaw dropped when I read that you were.awake.during.retrieval. That is insane. Oh the stories you will tell your children some day. And I know you want things to happen now, but success rates really are much better on FETs vs. fresh cycles. This could all be setting you up for the best case scenario.

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  14. Ok, so far we are weirdly similar. First of all, my doctor didn't require being knocked out but "strongly recommended it." The night before my egg retrieval I spent a good 3 hours Googling egg retrieval + no anesthesia and when I encountered the word "barbaric," I turned to my DH and said "Sorry darlin, please get out the checkbook." It seems like everyone gets the anesthesia!

    I tip my hat to you for being awake for that. Fo real.


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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!