Egg Retrieval Race Report and 6 Ways Fertility is Like IRONMAN

Saturday night was the night before some of the biggest races of the year -Augusta, Chattanooga, Lake Lanier, Berlin and more. I was nervous, tense, and ready to push fast forward on the weekend. It felt like the night before my IRONMAN!


But while many of my athletes and friends from Atlanta Tri Club, Energy Lab, the Scott Rigsby Foundation, etc were tackling their “A” races of the season, I was tackling my own race, egg retrieval round #2!


Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the fertility race actually mimics many of the aspects of prepping for a triathlon. Here are just a few ways I jotted down:


The thing that’s unique about this race is that there is so much about the process that’s involuntary. I can only indirectly affect what my body will do, how it will respond.


In the first round of egg retrieval, I had a DNF. I only had three viable eggs and none of them ended up mature. That was a blow and I was looking at turning around and going through another retrieval cycle immediately. The silver lining about being a poor responder is that I think I escaped some of the negative side effects that go along with the process.


For this second try, my RE upped the doses on some of my meds significantly. I also added the suggested supplements in “It Starts With an Egg”  I was a slow starter again. On my first scan on Day 7 I had less follicles and they were growing even more slowly than before.  Every day thereafter that I went in, I was excpecting for them to just outright cancel my cycle. Not wanting to have the same failure as last time, my Dr. said if I didn’t respond significantly better, than we wouldn’t make it all the way to egg retrieval.


On Day 10, things started turning around. On Day 7, I only had two measurable eggs maturing, by Day 11 I had 7 with an 8th even potentially coming into play. I also finally found out what ‘being hormonal’ actually refers to. Before I thought that was sort of a catchall excuse for bad behavior. Not so! I was hoping for the possibility of a fresh transfer but it wasn’t possible with the timing of things. They wanted to push it as late as possibly to avoid the outcome of last time. Finally on Friday the 22nd, they said to go ahead and trigger for a Sunday retrieval.


I never dreamed that I would miss Augusta over this, but at the same time, it’s the first rule of fertility treatments that thing always happen on the most inconvenient day possible. Fortunately, everyone was very understanding about my absence. Trust me I was tracking right up to the point of my Fentanyl nap (anesthesia), then again on the way home


For the first retrieval I was awoken with the news that they got nothing. I was a little fearful about this round’s outcome. But low and behold seven eggs were retrieved! I was still a holding my breath a little bit for the news from this morning. This morning they called to say that of the seven, five were mature, and four fertilized overnight!


They have a long way to go but I’m happy at least that things are headed in the right direction! John and I are very thankful for all the support from family and friends along the way. Now crossing our fingers and praying that some survive to blast stage on day 5 before freezing.



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