Panick Attack #2: Too Much of a Good Thing

October 26, 2012

Yesterday was a great day.  I found out I had a hidden $10 Starbucks cards.  My acupuncturist asked me if I wanted to be a guinea pig for the massage therapist he is hiring at no cost to me to evaluate her.  I happily punctured myself with all the injections assuming today would be the trigger shot day.

I feel so naive.  I have been living the last 8 days in shock that I haven't had any real symptoms assuming I was in the clear.  I celebrated the fact that either A.  God is totally blessing me and keeping me from all the hellish stories I hear about.  B.  I'm one of the lucky few who breeze through (finally, yay!). C. My acupuncturist is a miracle worker or D. All of the above.  Somehow, someway in ALL of my obsessing, researching, blog reading, talking, consulting, etc, I missed one IMPORTANT small piece of information:

Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome doesn't "enter" until AFTER egg retrieval.

WOW!!  How the heck did this slip by?  I for some stupid reason assumed it happens before.  I couldn't WAIT till egg retrieval because I figured it was all down hill from there.  No more crazy injections (minus the huge scary one that goes in the butt), no more monitoring, all I would have to do is wait for the egg transfer which feels like and IUI.  Since I've done 8, no big deal, right? WRONG.

Today as I was getting monitored, the RE looked concerned.  He said I'm super responding and that there are a lot of good sturdy eggs but there are a lot of little eggs.  Those are what cause OHSS he says.  I was confused so I said, "will I know if I get OHSS over the next couple days?" He replies, "Oh, you usually don't know if you have it till a few days AFTER egg retrieval."  I cannot explain the shock and horror that filled my mind.  I'm not out of the woods yet...not even that close.  He went on to say that we will have to play it by ear, but there is a good chance they will just choose to FREEZE all my embryos this cycle and do a frozen egg transfer when things calm the freak down. He talked about a clinic in Seattle that automatically does this if the patients estradiol level is over 4,000.  Mine is at 2500 and I still have to stim tonight and tomorrow before they check again Sunday.  He was bracing my for the fact that I might not get my answer (pregnant or not pregant) for much longer than I had hoped for (aka mid November). He said that I might not get a bad case of it but then he looked a me and said, "you are thin, the bloating will hit you pretty hard."

Of course, I jumped on google to see who is at high risk, here's my findings from the mayo clinic:

Factors that increase the risk of developing OHSS include:
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome — a common reproductive disorder that causes irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and unusual appearance of the ovaries on ultrasound examination
  • Large number of follicles
  • Young age
  • Low body weight
  • High or steeply increasing level of estradiol (estrogen) before an HCG shot
  • Migraine headache
Reading through these I realized HOLY (insert choice word here), I am ALL OF THE ABOVE. I have PCOS, I have sooo many follicles, I'm 10 years younger than their average patient, I'm skinny, my estradiol is sky high and I get migraines!!! God help me.

Today has been really emotional for me.  I fill like I'm walking toward my imminent 8-10 days of scary pain and misery.  I am so afraid of throwing up (I know I know, everyone is thinking and you want to be pregnant?? I think I could handle it knowing a child is in me).  Most women experience some form of OHSS (bloating for a few days), but with me being the perfect candidate for it to hit hard, and the doctor trying to warn me about high chance of canceling egg transfer, I'm scared.

To make it worse, after the appointment I went to the pharmacy to pick up my trigger shot (RE is predicting egg retrieval this Tuesday or Wednesday so PLEASE say a prayer).  While she was ringing me up a woman my age came up to her and handed her the red container they give us to put all our sharps in.  I knew it was an IVF patient.  The pharmacist asked her, "Oh thanks (they dispose them there), do you need an empty one?"

I held my breath for the reply.

"No, unfortunately we don't" said the-I-just-put-my-body-mind-soul-through-a-blender-want-to-be-mom.  Then she said, "I'm so sad."  My heart sunk.  Sometimes things just don't seem fair.

I think the hardest thing for me is the loss of control.  I have to go through egg retrieval no turning back.  Although I know God can curb the chances of OHSS, He has felt so distant for so long.  I feel like I'm walking toward "hell" and know I have to walk through it.  I know people have it way worse, but right now, this is my reality. 

At the end of the day, I'm concluding that I will be a good mom.  I will suffer for my child.  I will do anything for my child because of my love for him/her.  This is just one of the things I have to do.  I'll make it out.


  1. I think I'm a little confused. So, b/c of hyperstimulation you're going to wait to do your transfer until next month?
    That is actually a good thing and normal procedures in a lot of clinics. That's actually what we were going to choose to b/c I was told your chances are a lot higher doing that b/c the month gives your body and hormones a chance to calm down and better take the embryo!
    As for the whole rollercoaster that is IVF. I had one friend tell me that I was already WAS a good Mom for making some many sacrifices. That's you too. You're a GREAT Mom already :)

    1. Hi Dee,

      It's all up in the air. There is a good chance they will just freeze everything and have me come back in a month or so if I get really sick from OHSS. If I don't get it too bad, they will do the transfer. Of course I want the transfer now, but I agree, he did say many clinics do this and that sometimes frozen embryos have a better chance.

  2. i had it pretty badly - the brunt of it being after i already knew i was pregnant. so if you have any questions, ask away!!!!!!


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