I’m writing this as living proof that there is hope for all of us to get pregnant, as impossible as it may seem. Hopefully, my story will give you ladies a bit of light and positivity.
Warning: Extremely long post incoming!
DH and I have been trying to get preggers for 5 years. We have gone to 4 gynaecologists, and none of them ever suggested a full set of tests to make sure we don’t have any issues. Instead, they tried all the different kinds of drugs including 9 months of clomid which really ruined my mental and physical state of my body. We didn’t know better then, and even turned to fortune telling, religion, traditional chinese medicine, everything that gave us a bit of hope.
We didn’t know what was the issue but the BFNs every month was really getting to me. I honestly thought that I’m one of those women that could never get a BFP on a HPT, and can only rely on blood tests, which I have done on several occasions and obviously it led to a sad BFN.
Finally, we tried IUI. DH and I took leave and everything just for the procedure, and at the procedure table, the doctor could not get the catheter through my cervix and told me I have a pin-hole cervix, so it wasn’t successful at all. But I found out later from my IVF journey that I actually don’t have a pin-hole cervix and that the gynae previously just doesn’t have the skill.
That was the last straw for us. We went on a trip to Europe and took a break. When we got back, I told DH that we should go to a specialist. He agreed and on our very first appointment with the director of IVF at a local public hospital, we got an array of tests that we were supposed to do before seeing her again to be able to discuss next steps.
That’s when we found out that I have a moderate hydrosalpinx in my left tube. I was devastated when the doctor told us that IVF is the only way.
I have always blamed my stress for all the BFNs we’ve had and I thought of quitting my job to focus on getting pregnant. But thank God that I have the most amazing boss and she let me take sporadic breaks with no specific dates.
So we went on the waiting list for our first IVF treatment. Waited for 3 months and it finally came.
I honestly feel that IVF is an incredible act of love as we signed up for pain to have a bit of chance that normal people already possess to get pregnant. In our case, hydrosalpinx lowers that chance further by about 50%.
Alas, the stims started. Daily painful injections where the liquid stings as it entered. Tapered needles where the tip of the needle is slightly curved, like a torture tool. I’m sure DH felt the pain as he administered them for me. And then there were the painful blood tests.
One thing about me is that I am extremely terrified of needles and my threshold of pain is almost sub zero but this journey has forced me to push many boundaries. In my mind, I kept thinking of the child that we are going to have and I just bit down and overcome them one by one. I am seriously amazed at my progression.
Then the egg retrieval day came. I was already bloating horribly from all the stims but no one told me what was really going to happen. They told me that I’d feel uncomfortable, and that I will have slight bloating and nausea but it will go away.
This is true for the ladies that went for the same procedure after me. When I woke up from the anaesthesia, I could not move and the pain from my ovaries was super intense. 4 ladies who got wheeled out after me had changed and walked out of the recovery area, as if nothing happened. 2 hours passed and I still could not get up and the nurses would not release me until I have passed urine, which was extremely painful.
That was when the nurse told me that they have extracted 26 eggs from me and that I might need to take this really expensive medication to prevent OHSS from happening as I am at high risk for it. OHSS is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. I didn’t think that this OHSS is anything that bad but now that I am in the midst of severe OHSS, I do not wish my worst enemy to get it. It is seriously nothing I have ever encountered.
Eventually, I did pass urine after forcing myself to drink a few cups of milo and I have never felt this level of achievement from such a simple task.
From this point on, the real nightmare started. I could not sleep lying down flat on my back or on my sides because it caused excruciating pain. I have to sleep sitting upright. My back was hunched when I tried to walk. Well, I wouldn’t call it walking. My belly looked like it was 5 months pregnant. Just drinking or eating a little makes me feel really full and tight and my lungs felt like there are at my throat. I was severely constipated and I could not even try as a little pressure down there caused pain. I also could not sleep well at night due to being so uncomfortable. I have gotten OHSS and I didn’t know then.