Sunday, November 24, 2013

Aliens & OHSS

Alrighty. So as you know, I had my ER on Friday. It was kind of intense.  Maybe that was because I have never had a surgery of any sort before (besides wisdom teeth), or maybe it was because it was kind of intense.  

When they took me into the OR and laid me down, it felt like I had been abducted by aliens. 
There were at least 6 masked/gowned people in the room and all of them pounced on me the second I laid down: the anesthesiologist was adjusting my head, the nurse was putting my arms in the right place, someone was changing my gown, two different people had ahold of each leg and were forcing them up and into stirrups, someone was putting the oxygen mask over my face, someone else was asking me questions...I had no friggin clue what was going on.  As the Propofol (aka: Michael Jackson juice) started to seep into my veins I remember responding to the questions of my first and last name, my birthdate, and just as I was starting to answer why I was there my brain just shut off. The next thing I remember was waking up in complete confusion of where I was and what the hell was happening.  They wheeled me out of the OR into the recovery room and the alien abduction was over (but apparently not before the anal probe was complete since I found out from Hubs later that they shoved a tylenol suppository up my bum. Awesome.).

It took me about 1.5 hrs to recover although it felt like 30 mins because I was high on Percocet for the majority of it; it was lovely. At first I was in pain but the drugs kicked in quickly and then it just morphed to soreness.  I was lucky not to have any nausea and once the embryologist came over to tell us they retrieved 2 dozen eggs we signed some paperwork and were allowed to go home. It was a long ass day.  

The nurse had told us to be there by 9:15am ("and do NOT be late") and since that meant we'd need to drive into downtown Boston during rush hour, we left really early. Once we parked we actually dozed in the car for 30 mins then went in and found out that there was a miscommunication somewhere because we weren't supposed to be there until 9:45 and oops, we were actually pushed off another 20 mins on top of that.  We spent a lot of time waiting that morning.  After prepping and getting the IV (which was in my arm, not my hand - hooray!), I finally went in at 11:00, the procedure took about 45 mins and then after the recovery time and drive home we didn't get home to our poor little pee-filled pup until after 3pm.

I have been sore and bloated ever since.  There really hasn't been pain per se but I'm super uncomfortable with pressure and cramping, diarrhea, and a constant feeling of constipation from enlarged ovaries pushing on my colon; all from Ovarian HyperStimulation Syndrome (OHSS). You can read about it HERE.   The biggest risk factors for OHSS are: young age (check!), lots of follicles (check!), and high estradiol level (check!). At the hospital just before I went into the OR, the doctor came to speak with me and said that she thought it was likely we would need to do an embryo freeze-all because she could "almost guarantee [I'd] have complications from OHSS afterwards" and OHSS gets worse with pregnancy so it would be risky to do a transfer right now.  The only thing she wanted to see first was the number of eggs retrieved.  She said the absolute cut off was 25 - if they got 25 eggs or more I would definitely be having a freeze-all and then a FET in January (I would have to get a period, go on BCPs, then take estrogen until my lining was ready for transfer).  Luckily, they retrieved 24 eggs.  I was under the cutoff but they were still skeptical and said I need to be vigilant about my symptoms and make sure I rest a lot and remain as hydrated as possible. I have been chugging Gatorade, Powerade and water like it's my job and have become a constant fixture on the couch with my heating pad. I'm not sure it's working though...I really hate to admit it but I am not feeling any better :-(

In the meantime, a 3DT has been scheduled for tomorrow at 2:15pm and as long as I'm feeling okay and I don't get the call saying it will be pushed off until Wed for a 5DT, the plan will be to transfer 1 embryo tomorrow.  As badly as I want to be pregnant, because of the OHSS I don't know if I should go ahead with transferring tomorrow!  The whole point of this is to get pregnant but if I do, the extra hCG is going to make me feel even worse for many weeks and the holidays will be an absolute nightmare.  My hope is that the transfer will be pushed to Wed to give me a couple more days to get better and hopefully I'll feel more confident at that point in doing a fresh transfer. I'm thinking that it is likely the transfer could be pushed to Wed since I have 14 fertilized eggs - at least a few of them should be in good shape and growing well, right?! (please please please)  If not though and the 3DT remains the plan for tomorrow I'm not positive if I'll pull the trigger or not... I said that to Hubs and he is obviously disappointed.  He was so thrilled when the doc said we wouldn't be forced to do a freeze-all but he also isn't the one who has to deal with feeling like this.  I don't want to disappoint him but even more, I don't want to make the wrong decision just to make him happy and then really regret it.

Yuck. This should be an extremely exciting time and instead I'm feeling crappy physically AND mentally.  I hate that I'm unsure if this is the right thing to do or not.


  1. I'm sorry you're fighting off what sounds like a nasty case of OHSS. I hope you get pushed to a 5dt so you have more time to heal up (and also so that your embies are in great shape!!). I'm sure a freeze all would be so disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things, you're on your way regardless & you have to take care of yourself first. FX for you always!!

  2. Gosh what a tough decision. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with the OHSS. I'm glad that you had a great retrieval so that you have some options. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you're healing quickly and/or get moved to a 5dt!

  3. I'm sorry about the OHSS, it sounds very unpleasant :( I hope you feel better soon!! I hate that in IF there rarely seems to be a clear answer. Like Cici, said, you are well on your way, one way or another! I am keeping everything crossed for you!! <3