Starting IVF Round 2 feels a bit like Groundhog Day – and not the one where you get to wait to see if the cute little groundhog sees his shadow or not… the one where Bill Murray relives the same day over and over and over and over. Torture.
We have a different level excitement and anticipation than we had going into our first round of IVF. The first time around, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We were so confident that we would be successful, despite the odds. When we were successful and found out I was pregnant, we were over the moon. Unfortunately, this was very short lived, as I was diagnosed with an inevitable miscarriage.
As we start IVF Round 2, almost 10 months after our first, we are hit with so many “what ifs…”. What if we get pregnant again, and have another miscarriage? What if it doesn’t work at all? I have a level of fear that I didn’t have during the first round, and although Hubby won’t say it, I can tell that he does as well.
Making it through the cycle
Although I felt fine throughout the stim portion of the cycle, looking back now, I can see that I was a bit of a mess. This protocol was a bit more difficult physically and hormonally. I was tired, swollen (the IVF bloat is real!) and just cranky in general.
Thankfully, our clinic appointments were relatively uneventful. Per usual, I am a slow grower, so my cycle runs a bit longer than normal. Apparently my ovaries and lining like to take their time!
Leading up to retrieval, we were anticipating anywhere from 13 to 16 eggs. Things were lining up perfectly – my retrieval even fell on a normal day off, so I didn’t have to worry about arranging coverage. I was so relaxed going into retrieval; my IVF coordinator was there, I had the same anesthesiologist that I really like and we didn’t even have any issues getting an IV this time around. It wasn’t until I woke up that I could tell that something was… off. Apparently there was a bit of a panic as soon as they started the procedure. I ovulated early.
I. Ovulated. Early.
How does that happen?? I was on medication specifically to control ovulation so that it was perfectly timed. We did my trigger shot exactly when we were supposed to. We did everything right. Even my bloodwork from my appointment 2 days prior was perfect, with no indication that ovulation was near. Apparently 3% of women on Ganirelix ovulate early. THREE percent. This is not the time that I want to be special and stand out. I want to be normal and boring and predictable. Apparently I was anything but normal or boring or predictable.
The RE was pretty sure that I had just recently begun ovulation, as they were able to retrieve 2 mature eggs and an additional 3 eggs that were already released and flushed from my uterus. We ended up with 5 eggs… just five. Five is a beautiful number, and more than some women get, but we were expecting at least 13. 5 was devastating.
Did I do this?
I spent the next few days repeatedly going over the cycle. Did I do something wrong? Did I miss signs? I had some cramping and pains the day before retrieval – was that ovulation pain? Did one of the supplements I take mess with my meds? I ended up reaching out to my IVF coordinator just for reassurance. I needed to hear that this wasn’t something we caused or that we could have prevented. Of course she told me exactly that; it just happens. It made me feel slightly better…
Recovery was slightly more difficult this time around, too. Maybe this was from them flooding my uterus with fluid to try to salvage any floaters. I was very uncomfortable for about 5 days, felt super bloated and was way more crampy than normal.
Ultimately, we ended up with 2 embryos that made it to day 5. Our plan had been to transfer 3 embabies this round, since we were not successful with previous transfers with 2 embabies. Now we were back to 2 again, with none to freeze in the event we weren’t successful this time around. We were literally putting all of our eggs in one basket 😕
The Two Week Wait
Our beta would have fallen on a holiday, so it was actually pushed out an extra two days. Two long days of waiting… You know I hate to POAS – I think home pregnancy tests are of the devil (confession: this may be because I’ve never had a positive before). Since we were going to have to wait until after Thanksgiving to test, I reluctantly took a home test, just in case. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Where the heck was my second line?!?! I think I already knew I wasn’t pregnant, but that damn pink line… We celebrated another Thanksgiving with friends and family knowing we just had a negative pregnancy test. Knowing we weren’t going to have a wonderful Christmas surprise for the family. Knowing that 2018 wasn’t our year.
I still went in for my beta, just so that my clinic had their confirmation. I messaged our IVF coordinator before I went to the lab to tell her what I already knew. To tell her that it was ok when she called me, because I knew I wasn’t pregnant and I’d be ok. Going to the lab was torture. It was a new tech. When she saw what my lab orders were for, the conversation went like this:
“You want to be pregnant?”
“Yes, I want to be pregnant very much” <holding back tears>
“Well, you just pray, and God will give you the babies. He hold all the babies.”
I cried the entire way home. I text my best friend through tears to tell her what happened, and she was angry for me and sad for me at the same time. She just listened and let me be broken in that moment. When I got home, I cried with my hubby and we sat and watched Hallmark Christmas movies until my IVF coordinator called me and told me what we already knew.
We weren’t pregnant. 2018 wasn’t our year.