In Vitro Fertilization: The good, bad, and just all out amazing process
After three years of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, our doctor recommended that we try In Vitro Fertilization. This process is commonly known as IVF. Female’s eggs are removed from her ovaries and mixed with sperm in a lab. Embryos are then transferred into your uterus then after, you pray that you’re pregnant.
Being 33 and having to do IVF hurt my pride and my emotions more than anything hurt. The feeling of being a mom meant everything to me. I placed my career and education first then the time came where I was ready but I couldn’t, well naturally that is. Looking back at my life I wondered where had I failed trying to find answers. I wanted to know what did I do wrong or what happened along the way. Either way, I soon realized that anything is possible even if you need help to get there.
Our first time going through the IVF process was in Hawaii. I found out I had an ovulation disorder with uterine fibroid and ovarian cysts; which were surgically removed before both of my IVF procedures to lessen the chance of miscarriage. There were some other issues so we knew this was our only chance.
Step 1: The fertility medications to stimulate egg production. A trans-vaginal ultrasound is used to examine the ovaries, and blood test samples are taken to check hormone levels.
Step 2: Eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure that uses ultrasound imaging.
Step 3: The sperm sample maybe not so much fun but he is officially my sperm donor haha!!
Step 4: In a process called insemination, the sperm and eggs are mixed together and stored in a laboratory dish to encourage fertilization. After the insemination process we found out that we had 9 fertilized embryos. That was such a shocker and relief. Now all we have to do is transfer.
Step 5: The embryos are usually transferred into the woman’s uterus three to five days following egg retrieval and fertilization.
The embryo transfer procedure is a critically important procedure. No matter how good the IVF laboratory culture environment is the physician can ruin everything with a carelessly performed embryo transfer. The entire IVF cycle depends on delicate placement of the embryos at the proper location near the middle of the endometrial cavity – with minimal trauma and manipulation.
With that information we used two embryos the first time. About 9-11 days after the transfer, we did a blood test to find out if I was pregnant. If embryo implantation has occurred, HCG hormone will be detectable in my blood. We got the call after anxiously waiting saying we were pregnant. It was an amazing feeling and we will never forget that day.
We decided to do it again right away since it was a better chance for a successful transfer. After arriving to Texas we transferred our embryos from Hawaii and got with the best fertility clinic we could find in the area to start the process. This time the process was so much easier but still emotional because you knew all the pros, cons, risks and possible outcomes. We transplanted two embryos once again and the both were successful. Our HCG hormones results were so high; they thought we were having triplets.
This entire process was emotionally draining and expensive. Each day you would anticipate that next injection in your butt. This was not just some small needle heading your way it was like horse needle. Hormones were being pumped into your body that had my emotions going in all different directions. In the end it was worth every single bit of it. The fact that we went from no kids and thinking we would never have kids to 3 kids in 2 years has been absolutely mind-blowing.
This process has no discrimination and it doesn’t judge. This process has created hope and opportunity for having the family life I’ve always wanted. Even though there were risks and possible failed attempts it didn’t matter because that’s always a chance in anything you want in life. Now the only question left unanswered, is what to do with the other 5 embryos?