I am currently in the 4 week waiting period before my IVF cycle starts. As soon as "Aunt Flow" arrives I will go in for more blood work to check my hormone levels which will then determine how much medication I will be taking. Thinking about what I am about to put my body through is a little scary but it's going to be completely worth it once I am holding my baby. I feel completely confident that God is on our side and this is going to work for us. Don't get me wrong, there are days that I feel pretty nervous and wonder if this is going to end up in another miscarriage or what if I don't even get pregnant, but I have to remind myself that this is Satan putting these thoughts in my head. God knows how much we want a child and I truly believe that he will deliver! I've listed some information below regarding the IVF process for those of you who might be curious.
IVF is a four step procedure:
1. Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring: Various medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple
mature follicles (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or superovulation), rather
than the single egg normally developed each month. Follicles are cysts in the
ovaries in which eggs grow to maturity.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is the hormone used to stimulate the
development of multiple eggs containing follicles. FSH is given by daily
injection. The number of days and the dose will vary depending on follicle
development. The response to FSH is monitored by ultrasound and hormone levels.
When the follicles are fully developed, usually after 8 to 10 days, human
chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is given to release the eggs and trigger the final
maturation of the eggs
2. Egg Retrieval: Eggs are retrieved by ultrasound-directed vaginal aspiration of ovarian
follicles performed under narcoleptic analgesia, which is a combination of pain
relievers and sedation. A needle is guided into each follicle in order to
aspirate its contents. The egg along with the surrounding fluid is removed from
the follicle. The fluid is immediately examined under a microscope. The process
is repeated until all the mature follicles have been aspirated.
3. Fertilization: A semen sample is obtained from the male partner and processed using
laboratory techniques to obtain the strongest, most active sperm.
Prepared sperm are placed with one or more eggs in a laboratory dish. After 3
to 5 days, if the eggs have successfully fertilized and are growing normally,
they are transferred to the uterus. Not all eggs will be fertilized and not all
fertilized eggs will continue to grow. In some cases, the embryos may be
transferred as early as 2 days or as late as 6 days after retrieval.
4. Embryo Transfer: Embryo transfer is performed under ultrasound guidance without anesthesia.
The embryos are placed in a catheter for transfer into the uterus.
I will be going through IVF with Genetic Screening (PGS). Our Doctor decided to go this route because we have unexplained miscarriages. PGS permits analysis of the genetics of embryos prior to transfer. In English this means they will be able to test my embryos for genetic abnormalities rather than take the chance of a bad embryo getting implanted resulting in miscarriage....just another precaution. All of this (depending on my body) should take place toward the middle to end of April. I am so ready!