7 Week Ultrasound/ How Many Babies???

We are already 7 weeks!!!??? That’s awesome!!! We had to wait three weeks from the time we found out we we’re pregnant, and now we’re considered seven weeks along! I love it! Once the embryo transfer was done, we were considered two weeks along.

We decided to have Destynee go with us to the ultrasound, so she could see what we were talking about. She has been so excited about getting a lil’ brother or sister. I called Alice to make sure she was okay with her coming.

As we all anxiously waited in the room for the doctor, I started to wonder how I would feel if there was only one. With all the time, effort, energy, money & emotions put into the whole process, we were really looking forward to twins. It felt like we deserved it. (I know that sounds ungrateful, but I’m being honest.)

Here comes the vaginal ultrasound, cuz we were only seven weeks. Poor baby mamma 😦 As the doctor searched around for the anticipated result, all of our hearts were beating out of our chest…….. Finally…. we heard a heart beat!!! We all just sat there in bliss, listening to such a sweet sound. Before I could even explain to my three year old what was going on, the precious sound was gone…….I think we all stopped breathing for a second.
The picture was still on, but the sound had been turned off. (I think because they don’t want to disturb such a tiny fetus.)

There it was, a picture of ONE healthy baby!!! It looked more like a fuzzy peanut. The doctor searched for a second…….There was only one.
I was kinda confused. It didn’t make sense??? I was so sure we would have twins… Everyone was so sure…

The Egg Retrieval

The day had come! My little eggs (follicles) would be taken out of me.

The egg retrieval is typically done right in the office as a very simple procedure. A needle is passed through the top of the vagina under ultrasound guidance to get to the ovary and follicles. The fluid in the follicles is aspirated (drawn-up) through the needle and the eggs detach from the follicle wall and are sucked out of the ovary. The fluid with the eggs is passed to the IVF lab where the eggs are identified, rinsed in culture media, and placed in small culture drops in plastic dishes. The dishes with the eggs are then kept in specialized IVF incubators under carefully controlled environmental conditions. Sperm is mixed with the eggs about 4 hours after the egg aspiration, and then it begins to fertilize.

Because of the concern with how my heart would do during the procedure and the risk of bleeding, I had it performed at the hospital in the operating room. Once again, there was cardiologist, cardiac anesthesiologist, several nurses, and my fertility doctor who was the one performing the retrieval. I was completely put out so they could monitor my heart and be able to control the pace-maker/defibrillator (ICD).
My biggest concern was the survival of my precious little eggs.

And once again, Gordon could not be there with me…….But of course, he was waiting for my return.

Previously Gordon had given sperm that they could freeze so they would have back-up, it was required. Obviously fresh is better, so off he went.. While I was in the OR, Gordon went over to the infertility center to give them fresh, healthy sperm.

I was sent home the same day to recover. Ouch!!! And so sick from the anesthesia and pain pills.

Please Let The Third Time Be The Charm?!?!?

Third week of injections, and again the dreaded vaginal ultrasound….

The first ultrasound showed no response..I was devastated.. The doctor reassured me that they had done the ultrasound earlier than normal to watch for signs of overstimulation with the new medication. I was relieved, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away…

The next ultrasound, I had three good eggs (follicles), and several with good potential…Because this was the final try, I didn’t seem to stress as much. I focused on putting it ALL in God’s hand. I tried to be okay with not getting pregnant at all. It took alot of effort, and wasn’t easy. It took a constant reminder, on my part, to stay peaceful………….

The next day, the ultrasound showed two more, and the biggest eggs had a little room to still be in the safe range. It started feeling like a repeated, bad dream. Very familiar……..I again focused on remaining calm and peaceful.

The anticipation was grualling…Breathe Jess, breathe……

The fourth day, the three biggest eggs were reaching the point of no return………Two more eggs barely made it within the acceptable range. I had seven large eggs…Today was the deciding day, because one more day would cause the three biggest eggs to become not viable (not usable)……………

It was now time to test my estrogen levels to see how many eggs were actually mature……….Labs again and we were sent home to wait for the word……………………………………………….

1,433 was my Estradiol (estrogen) count and the second important number of the day. This meant that if the minimum of 200 were in each egg, then there could be seven mature eggs! If any of the eggs had more in them, then as few as three egg could be mature……..Quite a wide range…How could we ever know?………

Every day felt like a decade…….

High Hopes/IS IT A Possibility?

So now I had seven eggs (follicles) that were big enough to use, but the doctors needed to check and see if they were all mature.

Estradiol (estrogen) is the primary sex hormone of childbearing women. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles. Labs were done right away to check my estrogen levels. Each mature egg has 200-600, but should have at least 200.

The results took a few hours to get in, so home we went to wait it out……….I tried not to think about it. It was driving me crazy!

The nurse called me a few hours later…….My estrogen levels were only 1180, which meant that five eggs might be mature. Also, if some of the eggs were carrying more than 200 each in them, then some of the five may or may not be mature…??????????

I couldn’t believe we were going through this again. So Fucking stressful!!!!

This was a familiar and extremely uncomfortable place……….

Grow Eggs Grow

Here we were again, our second cycle and in the third week of fertility injections. Again, Alice’s ultrasound showed a very healthy, ready uterus.

My first ultrasound, showed four almost ready eggs, and a few more that had potential. The results were better than the first cycle, but again, the doctors expected more from the amount of medication they had me on. Better’s good, and we’ll take it!

The next day, and another vaginal ultrasound. There was only one more ready egg. The doctors wanted to give it a few more days.

The next day, there wasn’t much change, and the fourth day, it showed two more. The doctors were very optimistic that they thought they could use my eggs this time. They were pleased with seven, and said they had been successful before with only seven.

Gordon kept telling me, “We only need ONE embryo to survive, babe.” He was very supportive, but it was so scary risking all that money. I knew we didn’t have the money to do the process over if none of the eggs survived….

Loving My Ovaries

As my ovaries returned back to normal size, I could still feel that they weren’t strong. It was like they were begging me for help…I didn’t know what they needed, but I had recognized a pattern that I tend to do with my body. When something doesn’t work perfectly, I unconsciously generate negetive thoughts and feelings towards it. I am becoming more aware of it, and I’m wanting to love my body for what it does do for me.

As I recognized and became conscious of the negetive energy I was sending my ovaries, (because I thought they failed me), I immediately knew that I needed to change what I was doing, thinking, & feeling. I began appreciating them for going thru what they did, and for being strong enough to go thru it again. I sent them lots of love and gratitude.

I instantly noticed a difference in how I felt, and how my poor little ovaries felt.

By this time, I didn’t have a whole lot of time before we could start another cycle of medications. Alice and I had been on birth control again for about a month and a half. I had another vaginal ultrasound to see if my ovaries were ready and back to thier normal size, so we could start the fertility injections again.

My ovaries felt fragile, but according to the doctors, I was ready. I was anxious to start again, in hopes that this would be it. I was very excited to get my surrogate mother pregnant.

Quieting My Ovaries/Can We Do This Again?

The doctors immediately put both Alice and I back on birth control pills. I was very nervous to go back on birth control pills, I didn’t know what feeling unstable would do to me…I never wanted to feel like that again, especially while I was in the middle of such an important and delicate process.

They gave me another medication to calm and quiet my ovaries. My LARGE ovaries needed a long rest before starting again. They were hurting!

Here we were again, waiting, waiting, waiting!
I didn’t know how much longer Alice would want to wait, and how many times she was willing to try. Starting another cycle, meant three more weeks of shots, which she wasn’t a fan of.

The ultrasounds that we had, were not the simple over the belly ultrasounds…No, No, they were VAGINAL ultrasounds, everytime. The continual invasion of personal space, wait, no, more than personal space, private space was almost more than I could handle.

I felt an infection coming on after about 2 weeks of when the vaginal ultrasounds first started. I felt like a few of the doctors weren’t very cautious when it came to infection risk, some didn’t even wear gloves, and most were not very gentle either. By the end of it, I was on just about everything to try and get rid of not only a yeast infection, but an allergic reaction from some gel that they used. I was so miserable:(

It was a dreaded process to have to go through again. All of it!

Every week felt like an eternity, and more that that, I still had my doubts about whether I even COULD produce enough healthy eggs.