Monday, 7 April 2014

A day by day guide to IVF - After retrieval

Before retrieval, you started to slow down, you felt heavier and more bloated and you just wanted to sit. Tip - pregnancy will be much the same, times 10.

After retrieval ladies feel various things. Some were overstimulated and are really swollen and watching for OHSS. I felt pretty good, although taking it easy, resting, but not bed-rest, were in order for the first 24 hours. Then it slowly started to improve.

Day 2 - feeling better, but taking it easy. I spent most of the day with my feet up, but got up and moved around about every hour. Drinking water and gatorade constantly and then having to pee all the time helps with that.

Day 3 - felt even better, but should have taken it easy. I spent a little too much time on my feet, so I was extra tired and a little sore, but nothing a good rest and tylenol couldn't fix.

Day 4 - feeling almost back to normal, with one exception - accidental twisting. this is the point at which I have to be careful when sitting up, rolling over, or accidentally reaching across my body for something. I don't know exactly what's going on inside, but it feels like the swelling went down leaving my ovaries unsupported all of a sudden. So no sudden moves. I have to remember that... Also, progesterone is really kicking in, and symptoms are fatigue and boobs feel bigger (but not sore). Luckily my embryos are still safely tucked in the lab, so I have no illusions of "pregnancy symptoms"

Day 5 - transfer day is an exciting day, and since the news was good this time, it was psychologically a feel very good day. Physically, it's still a "no sudden moves" and progesterone-fuelled (which is a misnomer, because what I lack is fuel) day. I can barely stay awake long enough to take my 10pm dose.

Day 6 - 8 - more of the same. On the bright side, if you can call it that, my daily test strips are stark white now, so now I just have to keep peeing until the strip turns pink again. All the cramping is on both ovaries, no where else. Despite not watching what I eat for the past week (and on activity restrictions), my weight is remarkably stable.

Day 9 - Woke up at 5am for unknown reasons, and was ready for a nap at noon. This was a problem as I had a lot of work to do, all of which involved sitting quietly, reading, and writing. Not the best day. On top of the extreme fatigue I had a heavy feeling in my uterus, and my first ever charley horse!

Day 10 - Also woke up at 5am, but managed to fall back asleep so the day wasn't as bad as yesterday. Heavy feeling, cramps continue. I'm pretty sure that on my first (failed) cycle that I was feeling "better" by now, not worse, so this fills me with optimism.

Day 11 - Woke up at 4am! Headache since 10pm last night. Tried to nap at 11am, but no luck.

Day 12 - Feeling like my ovaries have healed. Pretty sure I felt this way on day 9 during the first cycle, so that's my estimate 9+ days for ovaries to heal. Obviously it will depend on how stimulated you were (I retrieved 13 and 14 on my two cycles), and if the cycle is successful, the hcg from pregnancy will complicate matters.

Day 13 - 14  - Despite progesterone, I always start bleeding. I asked my nurse about it - it doesn't mean it isn't working, some women's bodies don't need the progesterone drop to begin. As if progesterone suppositories weren't gross enough... My clinic schedules a blood pregnancy test on day 18, but I always call when I start bleeding to put myself out of my misery (ok, so it is misery either way, but at least I can stop the progesterone). A home pregnancy test is likely to be accurate by this point, but my my estimates as many as 10% will still be false negatives - keep hope alive, ladies!

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