*Long post alert*
The last post was me elated about us making it another year as husband and wife. At that time(literally), I was halfway through an IVF cycle… hormonal, crampy and only going from my bed to doctor’s appts. Despite some temporary discomfort, we survived.
Oh! And I made it to the beach! That was my anniversary plan for this year, a day late because I felt like 💩 the day of, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Ok, back to the IVF journey.
The topic of babies has been an ongoing one for us. To have or not to have. How long to wait once he comes home? How much time will my clock allow me to put it off if we don’t decide to get busy right away? Sometimes we were both on the same page and sometimes it didn’t even feel like we were in the same book, but we landed in a positive place. Now we speak of our baby girl with pure certainty.
Initially, everything was solely going to be based on old fashioned sex and missed periods lmao. For the most part, it still will be, freezing eggs is just a back up option. Once I learned that the job I had at the time offered some of the best reproductive insurance in the state, I mentioned the idea of freezing eggs to my husband and he was 99% on board. His initial thought was that I didn’t think his swimmers would be able to get the job done on their own. Once I explained to him that freezing eggs was more about preserving MY fertility, than underestimating his, he got a grip and fell in line.
This was all pre-covid so I was able to make an appt for a consultation just to see what the process entailed, and have a baseline exam. Husband made SURE to call in at my appt time so that he could ask his questions, (him: “Can we aim for twins?” me:😳🤦🏾♀️) and get some insight on what the entire process would include. Because science says my body is at its peak time for conception right now at the age of 35, my doctor recommended that I get the ball rolling, since fertility is said to decrease by 10% each year after a woman’s 35th birthday (no pressure, but HELLA pressure).
We sat through about 35-40 minutes of a biology lesson from the doctor who was excellent by the way. Dr. Hessler at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science (IRMS). She explained the body’s natural process and informed us on how the injections that I’d have to give myself would work to ensure optimal mature egg production for freezing. Eggs, genetic testing, hormones, follicules etc we’re definitely professionals now lol. The cost wouldn’t be astronomical since my insurance covered pretty much everything except copays and some of the cost of the medications I’d need. And even with that, it only ran us about $1000 for everything, including the post retrieval meds. Compared to out of pocket costs for ivf and fertility treatment, this was amazing. I just needed to get past the thought of giving myself injections; it was lowkey giving me anxiety, but once I got the lesson on how to do it, I was pretty confident.
By the time I was ready, covid had us all on lockdown. Thankfully, we got my baseline bloodwork done at my consultation appt so the doctor was able to make sure my body was doing what it needed to on its own. That was never a worry for me, but having uterine fibroids I did want to know if they would be agitated by the excess hormones I’d have to take. These were concerns I was able to address with Dr. Hessler via virtual appt. And in the end, there were no issues, just a bit more discomfort after my procedure since they had to maneuver around the fibroids some, to retrieve the eggs.
According to the timeline we agreed on, the doctor felt that we should aim to get the cycle done before September, since that was the halfway mark to my 36th birthday. It still worked out for us since general surgeries and other medical services were being allowed by the time the summer was ending. So we arranged to start during my August cycle and we were as ready as we’d ever be.
Just some background info (for those who might be considering IVF, or just wanting to know). I was instructed to contact the office on the 1st day of my period. From there, I had to come in for bloodwork and an ultrasound and given instructions on how to use the injection pen. The injections are self administered (some insurances will allow you to have someone come do it for you), for 8-10 nights depending on how many and how quickly your body produces the eggs.
In my case, I did the entire 10 nights. There are 3 different injection meds in total; 1 taken nights 1-10, one added for nights 5-10 and the last one, called a trigger shot which pretty much makes you ovulate. Within 36 hours of the trigger shot, the retrieval takes place. There’s also daily monitoring. Yes, daily….like EVERY morning I had to get up first thing for bloodwork and an ultrasound. The appointment was never more than 10-15 minutes and the first 5 days were a breeze. But once I started the 2nd injection is when shit got real. Me every morning after day 5….
Just imagine whatever PMS symptoms you regularly have, on steroids. The discomfort was off and on, but rest and a my handy dandy heating pad got me through. Husband made sure to call each morning so he could be “present” for whatever was going on, and even though we’d prefer him AT my side, it definitely helped to have him there in the capacity he could be, especially on the mornings I felt like a fat zombie. Luckily, I already had some vacation time scheduled so a good portion of the 10 days, I was able to be home and not bothered with work. But by day 10, I was back on the clock, just trying to stay calm and not walk too fast because my uterus felt like it was 30lbs.
Fast forward to the day of the retrieval, I had to have a ride there and back since I would be given anesthesia. S/o to my squad for making sure I was taken care of throughout the whole process, Ki on transpo and injection standby lol, Trina with the daily check-ins and Jas came through with my recovery meal once I got back home #teamworkbaby. I truly TRULY appreciate my folks that don’t mind standing in the gap for instances like this when my husband would be the one to call on. We both do. It means everything and definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. In the end, the actual retrieval procedure took about 20 minutes (at least that’s what the doctor told me); I just remember walking to the OR with the doctor, laying down and then waking up crying(don’t ask me why) and still sore. I was informed that the pain would subside within a few days as my ovaries returned to their normal size.
The doctor’s office called to check on me afterwards, as well as to make sure I understood how to take my post retrieval meds. They also let me know that 14 eggs were retrieved, and of those, 8 were mature enough to freeze. At this point I could do more cycles(one lady told me she on her 4th…uhm no ma’am) to have a larger pool of eggs, but we don’t think it’s necessary.
Now, the wait fror husband continues minus some of the extra “what ifs?” In the end, we may not even have to use them. But knowing they’re there if we do need them takes a lot of worry off of my shoulders about bringing my little woot de woot into the world. Having the option to plan and prepare for motherhood is also heartwarming. I don’t personally know anybody that PLANNED to be parents, sex was being had, niggas ended up pregnant and went from there. So having this under our “control” when so many other things aren’t, adds another ray of sunshine to the light at the end of this tunnel. And we’re both excited to be doing it OUR way.
I’m excited for my own parenting journey, and probably moreso for husband’s. He’s not a 1st time dad, but he didn’t have the ideal entry to fatherhood so this will be new and exciting for both of us. I know he’s overjoyed to have the chance to be present and hands-on from the very beginning. And I’m looking forward to being pampered and coddled as we await baby girl’s arrival. And once she’s here, I 100% expect to become a 3rd wheel in their little love bubble.
I’m ok with it though❤