You just never know what’s going to happen with IVF. One day you have 6 follicles growing and then…BAM… two days later you have 11! And that’s what happened to me. Three years ago I had 8 follicles at egg retrieval, so this is an increase for me. I must say I’m shocked that some of my small follicles caught up to the larger ones, especially with my low AMH results. I’m actually feeling pretty proud of my ovaries at this point, which is a cool feeling since infertility is usually marked with body-related disappointment. My egg retrieval (ER) is scheduled for Wednesday the 7th. I won’t get to find out how many eggs were actually retrieved, how many were mature, or how many fertilized until a day after ER. That might not sound like a big deal to most people, but anyone waiting on ER news knows that a day of waiting can seem like a month.
Playing with predictions, I expect to get about one egg per follicle, so that’s 11 eggs. I may cry with joy if I get 11 eggs. Seriously. My clinic shoots for 10-12 follicles because they find that amount is a sweet spot for developing mature eggs. Some women produce a lot more follicles than this. I’m talking about upwards of 30! But the problem with that is usually the quality is compromised. I suppose the body only has the resources to produce so many mature eggs at once. Of course, some women are successfully able to produce many more high quality eggs than 10-12, but it really is a balancing act. Quality versus quantity. To potentially be in that sweet spot is exciting and so very unexpected for someone dealing with diminished ovarian reserve.
While the jury is still out on what we will actually get at ER, I’m considering my progress so far a success. I’ve administered the trigger shot per instructions and now I’m just biding my time until ER tomorrow. The trigger shot always makes me a teensy bit nervous. This shot (typically made up of the same HCG that a woman’s body produces when she’s pregnant) causes the eggs to begin their final stage of maturation and prepare for ovulation. The doctor has to gather the eggs from the follicles prior to ovulation, so this is all carefully timed. Rarely, some women ovulate before ER which, as you may guess, puts a big wrench in the IVF process.
As I sit here typing, I can feel those familiar ovulation pangs in my ovaries. Not all women notice those, but I’ve gotten pretty in tune with it after all this trying to conceive. I’m reminding myself that these sensations can actually happen before, during, or after a normal ovulation, so what I’m feeling is my body gearing up for tomorrow’s main event. But it is a scary thought. So I’m trying to relax, have faith and trust, and think positive thoughts as I wait for tomorrow. And I’m trying to not ovulate in the mean time. Cheers to happy egg harvesting!