So, I don’t normally share my blogs this early on but since I have had a lot of you ask how I am and what I was in hospital for, so I thought I better share my experience. Enlarged ovaries.
Some great news for me is that my blogs have been seen by over 15,000 people with lots of people subscribing and I am now writing and sharing my blogs with Monash IVF and other people and women experiencing infertility. My aim is to raise awareness and so far I am doing that.
A couple of weeks ago I started another full stim cycle. Yes that’s right. Another round of injections and more hormones. This is my 4th stimmed cycle and I am not sure how much more I can endure so we decided to throw everything at this cycle.
Again I started prepping- Melatonin, CoQ10, weekly Accupuncture appointments and also prednisolone. This time instead of Gonal F (a follicle stimulating hormone we inject) which I have injected the last 3 cycles we used Menopur. Which is the same but also helps with egg quality. So again I start the Menopur for a few days to get those follicles growing to create lots of eggs, then a few days later start Orgalutran which prevents premature ovulation in order for my body to keep creating healthy eggs ready for my trigger injection followed by 36hours later my egg pick up. After 11 days of stims it was time to pull the trigger. I had 15 follicles at my scan and they ranged in size of 11-16mm. Remembering a ‘normal’ month you would only produce 1 maybe 2 eggs, I had possibly 14 in there.
The day before my trigger I could hardly walk. I was in so much pain and so bloated. The day after my trigger it got worse, and the day of my egg pick up it was unbearable. Deep down I knew I could possibly have OHSS. My Accupuncture lady mentioned to me I was very bloated and she was worried.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome- this is excessesive stimulation of your ovaries and for women taking fertility hormones can be a mild case and managed at home to very severe and requires hospitalisation. Fluid leaks out of the follicles and they say this causes the extreme pain and discomfort. My case of enlarged ovaries affects many women. OHSS can still come later on if/when I fall pregnant.
So I had my egg pick up- 17 eggs collected, 10 mature, 8 fertilised! Great result! This cycle is still ongoing so I will focus on OHSS and enlarged ovaries and update you on my progress later. But I pray, beg and hope that just one of these precious embryo’s is my miracle rainbow baby.
When I woke up from my egg pick up the pain started. The nurses at short street were amazing and I was settled with lots of pain relief. Lots and lots! When I arrived home I was ok and then all of a sudden I tried to get up and couldn’t move. I was dragging myself across our bedroom floor to get to the bathroom to try and release some of the pressure that was building up in my tummy, I couldn’t get to the toilet. I phoned Max and he raced home, and drove me straight to the hospital. There I stayed for 2 days. The drive to the hospital felt like an eternity. I just kept crying in pain and couldn’t sit still. Every little bump, rock, and gravel in the road I felt. It was a piercing pain a pain I have never felt in my life. I couldn’t breathe, move, talk, or go to the toilet. It just all hurt.
Once in the hospital I was made comfortable agin with more pain relief. I had 100mcg of Fentanyl, 10mg of Oxycodone, 10mg Morphine, Panadeine Forte, and panadol and none of that was even touching the sides. It hurt to walk, move, talk, laugh, and I felt like I just wanted to bury my head and pop my belly so the pressure would release. For the first time in 2 years I actually felt sorry for myself. It is a pain that I can’t even describe. I’ve been told child birth is excruciating well maybe I’ve witnessed second hand what it’s like. I couldn’t get comfortable, my belly ached no matter what I did, I was nauseous, I felt badly constipated but I wasn’t and I had the worst headache that wouldn’t disappear. After 2 days at Pindara I decided with Kee (my specialist) to try and manage it at home with pain relief, so I came home and since then I’ve been taking it very easy. Mother’s Day dinner was nice to leave the house! Mind you I had 10mg of Endone on board! The nurses at Pindara where so amazing and I thank them so much for taking such good care of me while I was at my most vulnerable stage.
My ovaries hurt, it hurts to walk still, it hurts to do a wee because I feel like I have pressure around my stomach and it hurts to laugh. It just hurts! The pain and discomfort is real! This is infertility.
Sometimes I look at this journey and think how much more can my body handle? I threw everything at this cycle and I guess my body said F you! But I am still here to tell the story so I see that as a win.
When I was in hospital my Mum said to me. “While I want you to have your own baby, I also want my baby”. I cried. I didn’t realise until I sat back and thought about it how much I have actually put my body through in the last 2 years with only (maybe) a maximum of a 3 month gap break. It’s not normal for this to happen, will it affect me further down the track.. I am not sure… But my Mums words really rang home!
HOW MUCH MORE CAN I POSSIBLY HANDLE?!? My body already hates me! Should I give up on my desires to have a child and just focus on my own health and wellbeing? Maybe I’m not meant to be a Mum? So much has run through my mind in the last 4 days. Maybe my body needs a long break to re group, re gather, focus and try again.
They say 3-5% of women undertaking IVF suffer from OHSS and 1-2% are hospitalised. Again I fit that category (story of my life) just like I’m 1/6 who has infertility! It will probably take me 1-6 weeks to recover properly from OHSS and knowing my luck I’ll be in discomfort and bloated for the 6 weeks!
As I have said before this journey is pushing me to my limits emotionally, mentally and physically. I never realised how strong and resilient I actually am. Sometimes I beat myself up and I always think the worst when in actual fact I should be proud of how far I’ve come, how strong I am and how much my body and mind can handle. This journey is not for the weak or faint hearted.
So my journey is still continuing.
While I have precious little embryos growing is amazing! We will decide weather we freeze all or will do a fresh transfer. Cycle 2 I was borderline OHSS and my left ovary when I had my transfer was 3 times it’s normal size and I was not in this amount of pain. So if that was last time it will be interesting to know when I have my ultrasound the size of my ovaries this time. I feel every bit of pain.
IVF has thrown me so many curve balls but I continue to back up and try and throw it back. So again I will will fight on. I guess while Kee has 100% faith in me and my body I have 100% faith in his judgements. That man knows his stuff and he cares for me.
Kee is a great man. The best fertility specialist going around. This is the first time I have actually mentioned his name in a blog. I was going to keep that part of my journey private, I’m not sure why when I am so open about the rest of my journey but I think maybe to protect him. But from now on he is going to be referred to as Kee. Kee Ong is with Monash IVF on the Gold Coast. Since starting with him in January 2016 my cycles have got better each time, I have faith in myself and what my body is capable of and most importantly I have faith in his clinical judgement. I have NEVER come across a specialist who solely dedicates his time to each and every single one of his patients. He not only cares for my well being but that of Max’s also. It takes a truly special person to throw their whole heart and soul into their job to help other women achieve their dream when he has a wife and a young family at home also. For this I am forever grateful and thank my lucky stars each and every single day that we listened to Lyndal (a lady who Max has known forever) and who also happens to be our embryologist and baby maker, and went and sought a second opinion. Thankyou Lyndy and Thankyou Kee. I can’t forget my nurse Charlotte. She has been so amazing to me and supported me from start to now on this journey. Monash have some great people there and they are starting to feel like my family.
So my journey is ongoing and going and going….. for how much longer God only knows.
My pain will not disappear any time soon 😦 and my bloat will stay!
At least I’m not back at square one.
I’m happy I still have embryos from this cycle.
I’m not sure of my journey in the immediate future just yet.
While I am still in pain I have a great nurse at home in Max. Pain is uncomfortable but I’m alive. Health is wealth.
And I will this time ask those that read my blog to please please please pray that this cycle, lucky cycle number 4, and one of those 8 embryos will be our miracle rainbow baby. 🙏🏻