After a lot of thought, prayer, and consideration we have decided to move forward with the process again of continuing to grow our family through IVF. It is not an easy process to go through, not cheap either, but it is the only way that our family can grow at this time. We have used all of the embryos that we collected from our last IVF and will be starting from scratch this second time. We have pondered adoption and feel like it may be part of our future, but it is our desire to try IVF again at this time.
On September 8th of this month I met with my IVF coordinator to discuss our upcoming egg retrieval in October. This is the process when they go in and collect as many eggs that are developed to a specific size. It is a relatively easy procedure, however, the recovery can be a bit long and hard. This is due to the fact that the medications will cause my ovary to enlarge much more than normal, which also causes my ovary to decrease in size slower as well after the egg retrieval. To give you an idea, they typically say that your ovary gets to be about the size of a softball when they are causing that many eggs to grow at the same time.
After the egg retrieval they will do what is called ICSI, what we like to call the “magic” of the process. They insert sperm into each egg and then over the next five days watch the cells grow and grow. We will get a report of how the cells are developing every other day. Once the ICSI has taken place, one cell is formed and by day five there should be a blastocyst which is 200-300 cells.
On day five they will also take a biopsy of each blastocyst to send off for pre-genetic screening. We did not do this last time, but have been highly counseled to do it this time. Our doctors strongly suggest the pre-genetic screening this time because after going into pre-term labor with Emma, we don’t know if I can successfully carry more than one child. Our last IVF transfer, we had our fertility specialist transfer two embryos to increase our chances of a pregnancy; naturally though, by transferring more than one embryo it also means an increased chance for a multiple pregnancy and having more than one baby. So, because transferring more than one embryo is off the table for us, in order to know that we are putting in the best embryo at the time of the transfer, they biopsy each embryo to break it down and see which embryos are the best/most developed to transfer. They say this genetic screening procedure gives us the same chances of getting pregnant as it would if we transferred two embryos like we did with our previous IVF transfers (just costs us some extra dollars to say the least).
So, there you have it. We’re moving forward with IVF again and those are the next steps for us over the coming month or so. This also means that we are going to have increased expenses and bills coming up to pay for these procedures and medications. My sweet sister-in-law is setting up a YouCaring page in our behalf and once that is all set up we will be sure to share it all of you. Please know that we appreciate all of your love and support. Words will never express how grateful we are for each and every one of you.