I’m sitting writing this on the eve of my egg retrieval. My ‘trigger shot‘ was last night at 11pm. It’s wild to think that after so much time waiting to see what the IVF part of the journey would be like I am finally nearing the end of it. Right now I am filled with a lot of feelings – I’m equal parts nervous, excited, and bloated. Okay… more like 25% nervous, 25% excited, and 50% bloated.
While I know the next part is out of our hands, it’s been hard for us not to feel a little anxious about how things will turn out. It’s hard not to internally hope for a certain number of mature eggs during the retrieval. I know that fixating on a number isn’t healthy. So far my follicle count is high (around 30), which suggests we may end up with a large number of eggs, but like everything else in a fertility journey there are no guarantees. It’s also difficult not to compare myself to other IVF journeys I have seen online. I think comparison is a normal thing, but it’s also a great way to set yourself up to be disappointed.
I know we’ve done the best we can and that we have an excellent team at CReATe that is ready to do the rest. Overall I am feeling hopeful, and I know that the nerves I feel now probably won’t go away until we bring our baby home.
Ovarian hyperstimulation risk
I had been informed prior to beginning my IVF cycle that I would be monitored closely for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, something my doctor felt I might be at an elevated risk of developing. After speaking to my nurse about my excessive bloating, it was suggested that I go onto a high-salt, high-protein, low potassium diet until a few days post-retrieval in order to reduce bloat and make me feel more comfortable. Items on the suggested menu have included cheeseburgers and chips, and as a good patient I have dutifully complied.
Zane suggested that I close out this blog post by offering practical advice about IVF, but I don’t think I’m the right person to do that. There are women (warriors!) who have done multiple rounds of IVF and who know this process inside and out. I’ve been incredibly lucky to draw on the advice of many of these women, some who I know in real life and others who I’ve connected with in patient resource groups online. If you are going into IVF for the first time I strongly suggest searching for a patient group associated with your clinic on Facebook and connecting with other people there. This community is warmer, more welcoming, and more resilient than you could ever imagine.