Starting a family and creating new life is such an amazing and magical thing to be a part of. There are countless priceless moments captured in photograph of couples discovering the sex of their expected baby, telling family members they are pregnant, and of course the pregnancy itself. While I didn’t have a pro photographer to hire, I wanted to capture some of the moments we experienced so far in our first IVF/ ICSI cycle. I ended up with many photos involving needles, but its accurate as there happen to be a lot of needles involved in the process.
These are the hands of my amazing husband. He administered every injection (two per day). His hands were one of the first things I noticed about him when we met. They are both strong and gentle, and forever willing to help a person in need.
Unless you have gone through the process, you would not likely know much about IVF. One of the main questions I find myself answering is what the purpose of the injections are. The very basic answer is that the injections tell your body to do two things. One set of injections tells your body to shut down its natural hormonal cycle so the medication can do its job. The second tells your ovaries to work overtime and grow as many egg follicles to maturity at once instead if the normal one, sometimes two every month.
With a little icing I actually didn’t feel the needles at all, but the fluid burned, and into the second week my belly was more sensitive and it did end up hurting a bit more and more.
Pregnyl is the final one-time injection just two days prior to egg retrieval. This one did rather hurt and left a nice pink welt for a few days! But I love the glass bottles. To me they looked so pretty I almost couldn’t wait to crack ’em open.
Egg retrieval day arrived and well…I won’t lie to you, it was pretty rough. If you have the option to have full anesthesia for this, DO IT. Ok it wasn’t that bad, you CAN handle it, and its certainly much easier than child birth. That said the valium mixture I was giving to “make me feel drunk”, only worked in the sense that I was puking within 6 minutes or so. I could also barely sit as it was injected just above each bum cheek by two nurses simultaneously. They counted down for it too…they don’t warn you because IT HURTS LIKE HELL. Next time, I will be skipping that. I will spare you the gory details of the rest.
We had 8 mature eggs in the end, and all were successfully fertilized via ICSI. They all miraculously survived until day 3 where we had one transferred into my uterus. The rest were monitored for a few more days and in the end we lost 3, but 4 were frozen for future transfers if this month is not successful. In the Netherlands, due to my age, I am only allowed one fertilized egg transferred at a time, which is actually our preference. So before you ask, no we will not likely end up with twins unless they are naturally occurring identical ones.
…and now we wait. We keep ourselves busy, stay healthy, get rest, and pray for the outcome that is meant for us.