As each day got closer to our IVF procedure I was beginning to feel worse. My ovaries were so overstimulated from the fertility drugs that I looked about three months pregnant. I could hardly walk because it was so painful. There was so much pressure inside my abdomen making it impossible to get comfortable.
The day finally came for me to go in for my egg retrieval. I don’t remember the exact number that was retrieved but I believe it was twenty-nine eggs! I was so excited about that because previously when I had done this they were only able to retrieve seven. In my mind twenty-nine was more than plenty to ensure that I was going to get pregnant and have some to freeze for a third child.
Things were looking good!
The plan was that we were going to head home and return in five days to have the embryo transfer. In the meantime they would be working in the lab to fertilize my eggs and see which ones started to develop into good looking embryos. On the drive home I became very lightheaded and ill. I wanted to just go home so we kept pressing on with the drive. I needed to see Jayden and let him know that I was OK because I had been gone so much for this procedure. The next day I was getting worse and after talking to the doctor it was decided that I get back to Omaha quickly. My abdomen was still filling with fluid, and I was developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which needed to be monitored closely. I don’t remember much about this other than I just did not feel good and was ready for this to have a happy ending with a pregnancy. I wasn’t scared, maybe a little frustrated, but I was still determined to stay focused on the end goal.
Five days later I was feeling somewhat better and it was time for our embryo transfer. We had a decision to make that day and it wasn’t going to be an easy one. We needed to decide how many embryos we were going to transfer. This was not a pleasant conversation, and I still don’t like to think about this part. I wanted to do three, just like the last time. Our doctor was not willing to do that; at best she only wanted to transfer two, but was pushing for only one. She was confident that I was going to get pregnant this round because the embryos looked so good and she wasn’t comfortable with doing more than two because of the high probability I would get pregnant with multiples. I mentioned previously that this topic was not a good one for Jeff and me.
I didn’t care about multiples. He did.
It was a long argument that ended with one embryo being transferred. I was mad and angry, but I knew I had to change my attitude quickly because I needed happy positive energy around me. I had to focus on taking it easy, relaxing, and certainly not stressing out if this was going to work and end in pregnancy.
I took time off of work to concentrate on resting and taking it easy just like I had done previously with our first procedure. It was harder to rest this time because I had a child at home to take care of, but I did my best. I was happy and positive that this was going to work. I wouldn’t let myself think otherwise. I would look for any teeny tiny sign that might indicate that I was pregnant. I knew it was too early to really notice anything, but I was desperately searching for signs.
When the day finally came for me to get my blood drawn to see if I was pregnant I was almost sick with nerves. Jeff had to work that day because he had missed so much previously but I told him it was OK, and would call with the good news in a little while! I went to have my blood drawn, came back home and waited with Jayden for the phone call. I tried to keep as much as I could private from him. All he knew at the time was that Mom and Dad wanted to have another baby and that I had to do a special surgery to make that happen. He didn’t know that in a few moments we were going to find out if he was going to be a big brother or not.
The phone rang and I can still remember where exactly I was standing in our kitchen when I answered. All I remember him saying is “I’m sorry Shannon.” My knees went weak, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I have no idea what I did or didn’t say next. I just remember telling him “Thank You, and I will call you when we are ready to try again.” I don’t know how long I laid on the floor sobbing, but I do know that was the beginning of a heartache that has never quite healed.