Our Experience with IVF/ICSI
Needless to say, we (I should say "I" since my husband didn't have to do hardly anything, even though the issue was with HIM not me...the guys get off so easy!) went through the long, emotionally, physically and financially draining process. It takes about 2-3 months to go through IVF. My husband and I were at each other's throats. He didn't want to spend so much to "gamble" on getting pregnant and had pretty much given up. I wanted to at least try one time. It was going to cost us over $14,000. Insurance doesn't even touch anything involving infertility. They look at pregnancy as a luxury. This really bothered my husband and I because there were people all around us that were getting pregnant by "accident" and the costs of their pregnancy were basically nothing. These people weren't planning on having a child, some didn't even want a child at all. How were they getting off so easy when we wanted to child so badly and had to go into debt for it? It doesn't make since.
The process of IVF prepares your body for ovulation, but not a normal ovulation. The doctor basically has his or her "way with your body". They make you reproductive organs go into hyper drive and you become an egg-making factory. This causes a major fluctuation of hormones so you can become quite moody. Your ovaries also become engorged with fluid and can become the size of grapefruits. Exercise at that point or any over excursion, even an unexpected fall could be dangerous because your ovaries could actually be jostled to where they twist and turn inside you. I was told that it is very painful and if it is not fixed immediately by surgery you can die from it! Wow! During the process, in order to make your body do all of these fun things, you have to take many pills, but most importantly injections...daily. You can't go to the doctor every day for a shot, you give it to yourself! I am VERY squeamish when it comes to needles but was fortunate to have a good friend that is a nurse. She gave me a majority of my shots but when the holidays came upon us, she had to teach my husband to do it. He is even more squeamish than me! But he managed and we actually got over our fears. I was even able to give my own shots after awhile.
When it came time to actually retrieve the eggs, the doctor expected to get 10 to 12 eggs from both of my ovaries. Unfortunately, they only got 3. I was heartbroken. This lessened our chances of conceiving dramatically. We hoped for the best and left the hospital with our future in their hands. The lab took over from there. They took three sperm cells from my husband and injected each one directly into each one of my eggs. During this process, one of the eggs died. Now we were down to only 2 chances. The office called the next morning and told us that one of the 2 eggs did not make it over night. Fortunately, the other egg fertilized and we now had 1 embryo. It was our one chance, our one egg, we called it "Nemo" since he was the only egg left. We had 5 days to wait to see if our little Nemo would make it. The lab called us every day to tell us about its progress (how many cells it had developed into). Every morning we waited anxiously by the phone. I always had my husband answer because I didn't want to hear the bad news from a stranger, I would rather hear it from my husband. Luckily, no bad news ever came. Our little Nemo made it to day 5 and we went in for the transfer of our embryo to my uterus. We actually got to see it before they inserted it. They showed it on a computer monitor. It was a bumpy sphere that rolled around on the screen. It was hard to believe that this little speck of dust was going to turn into a full person some day!
After the transfer, we had to wait 8 days for my pregnancy test. It was so hard. I didn't know if I was truly pregnant or not. Questions went through my head: what will I do if I don't get pregnant? What will I do if I get pregnant but miscarry? What if the baby is not healthy? It was so hard to wait. The morning of the test, I went to work right after to keep my mind off of things, but I was on edge. I could cry at the drop of a hat. By 11:00 in the morning, my husband came to my work with the news. We were pregnant! I cried for about an hour while I told everyone the news. Then I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the week!
It was tough, emotional, expensive, and I would do it all over again if I had to. But I don't. I have my son, Xander now. He was born 2 months ago and is now crying in the other room because he just woke up from his nap. The sleepless nights were rough and my husband and I hate it when he cries and we don't know what he wants. But we would not trade ANYTHING in the world for what we have gone through and what we have ended up with. He is amazing to say the least. He has made our family complete and he has filled our hearts with so much joy that we will never look back on our infertility with sadness. That experience made us want our child even more and we appreciate him even more as well. I cannot wait until he is old enough to understand the story of how he came to be. He will know how much he is loved.
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