“Oh. They didn’t tell you” were not the words I imagined hearding from my doctor after the egg retrieval. Yesterday did not go how I pictured at all.
I woke up with Alex really excited and nervous. When I went back into the room I put on the hospitals gown and tried stuffing my feet into the slippers they provide. Apparently I have big feet or Koreans have very small feet because I had to shuffle them wherever I went. The nurse gave me a couple shots in the rear and when I was told to lay down so they could put my IV in, again, my body was too long so I was scrunched up with my feet hanging over the edge and my head not lying down. I’m sure I was a sight to see. The nurses tried and couldn’t get the needle into my veins so after 5 tries, they put it into my arm. After this I was a sweaty mess as I’m still petrified of needles and veins.
I walked into the room where the retrieval would be done and they started working on me. I thought I was supposed to be asleep for all of it but they started before my meds kicked in. They kept trying to tell me to close my eyes and sleep but I was not comfortable and was wide awake for a few minutes. Thankfully, I eventually fell asleep. After that, I woke up and was wheeled to a station next to another patient. I was in immediate pain and uncomfortable (again, the bed was too small for my long body and my too large feet were freezing cold since the too small slippers didn’t fit my feet and were on the floor). A wave of homesickness and sadness washed over me, I wanted Alex to be there with me. I was in pain and I didn’t know how to ask for help- there was only one nurse who spoke English. I started crying and the sweet patient next to me spoke English and asked the nurses to help me. I told them I was in pain and they said ok they would ask the doctor if they could give me some pain medicine. 40 or so minutes passed by. I was wide awake and so uncomfortable while all the other patients were sleeping. I felt like such a baby but I knew something was wrong. The nurse came back and said the doctor finally got back to her and she gave me another shot for the pain. I was hoping that it could have been given through the IV because I was so ready to be done with needles! About 5-10 minutes after the shot was administered I felt some relief. I got up, was given one last shot and instructions to go speak to the doctor with my husband.
I was so happy to see Alex and felt better just seeing him. Next we found the nurse who usually ushers me from place to place. this time she just told us to wait outside the doctors office. We waited longer than we ever have before at the clinic then we were told it was our turn to go into the room.
The doctor looked tired and asked how I was doing. I answered “better, still a little sore” then she said “Oh. They didn’t tell you?” I was thinking tell me what? What happened that no one wants to tell us? Then she told me the news. We had no eggs to retrieve. Not even one. I started crying and couldn’t stop. I remember her saying it wasn’t our fault, that she was so sorry and it wont happen next time and that she felt so bad. She mentioned empty follicle syndrome, and said our next egg retrieval will be free as will this one. Alex asked a couple questions, if I’ll still have OHSS and she said yes, and a few others I can’t remember. All I could do was cry, I was/ still am heart broken. The term “empty follicle syndrome” is misleading because all my follicles did have eggs, but the trigger shot was either not properly timed or we had a faulty trigger shot and my body didn’t respond like it should have by maturing the eggs so that they could be retrieved. I think maybe why I was in so much pain was because my ovaries had to be so vigorously flushed when the doctor was trying to release the eggs. I imagine how frustrating it would have been for the doctor also, to have no mature eggs to retrieve and so many follicles to check.
I’m not sure what we will do next, if I want to try IVF again. The whole experience has been pretty traumatic. The doctor said there is no reason why it should happen again with a different protocal of medication and monitoring, but I just don’t want to even think about the whole process again right now. I do know a few things for sure: that I am so blessed beyond what I deserve, especially when it comes to my caring husband who has been so great every step of the way and that God is good all the time, even when things don’t go as I hoped. Thank you all for your prayers and advice! I so appreciate them all!