IVF Round 2: Done with Egg Retrieval.

IVF egg retrieval for round 2 was done 3 weeks ago. And now, we take a break.

Yup... we did not go for an embryo transfer. It was a collective decision that this would be the best for us right now.  A collective decision among hubs, me, our doctor and the embryologist. 

I embraced our 2nd IVF cycle with a lot of hope. A LOT. So much for wanting to be cautiously optimistic. It is hard not to be hopeful given that everything about this cycle was just different. 

We were on the "long cycle", where my ovaries had to be down-regulated so I do not ovulate on my own, something we didn't do during the first cycle. 

This process had to start on day 21 of the previous menstrual cycle. Hence, I had to start injecting myself daily with Lucrin (or Lupron) to bring down my estrogen levels. Once it gets low enough, I was told to start on the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) injections. 

In all my IUI and IVF cycles, I have only known and used one type of FSH , and that was Puregon.

This time, I made the switch to Gonal-F.

Initially, I was like... hmmmm... maybe this will be the power hormone that will give me lots and lots of follies, and this thought was fed further with the actual dosage I was prescribed each day.

450 units a day! That was like trying to get high on FSH.... and let me tell you... my head was literally spinning every single day that I was on it. See my experience with Gonal-F here.

It was so bad that I went into my doctor's office telling him that I was m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e.. and had to split the doses to injecting 2 times a day instead. 

Going to work was a pain and I was a walking time bomb. Or maybe, a landmine. Any wrong step by the people around me will see be explode! And it sure happened a couple of times.

Of course with all that misery, I thought it would be all worth it if there were lots of eggs for the embryologist to culture, so we can get more than one chance to give J a sibling if the first transfer fails.

I was expecting a two digit haul. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Perhaps it's age, or perhaps it's just all within God's plan. Whatever the reason was, I don't deny I was walking in disappointment for some time.

There were only 7 follicles. Seems like a lot? But if you know how IVF works, these 7 will be greatly reduced as we go into retrieval, fertilisation and culturing.

Today, as I type this, we have frozen enough embryos to only have one go at a transfer. And if this transfer does not work, we will need to then go through the whole IVF process again.

Precisely because these frozen embryos are so precious that we decided to spend some time building my beaten body back to health before deciding when we should do the embryo transfer.

It is indeed exhausting, and I can only continue to hope although there are many times I want to just give it all up and get on with my life.