After starting IVF I realized quickly that this would not be an easy feat. My body began to quickly go through changes that, although I was warned, I was not prepared for. I knew I had to get through two steps: retrieval and transfer. The plan was to do a frozen transfer because with training camp swiftly approaching I didn't want my husband to miss any aspect of the process.
After my first injection I thought that it would get easier unfortunately it didn't. As you approach retrieval the injections increase and so does the pill dosage. Getting to a successful retrieval had 2 requirements, my ovaries had to double in size and I had to stimulate the growth of as many eggs as possible in a very short period of time. For 2 weeks I had AM and PM injections, ultrasounds every other day, and blood work every other day. With each ultrasound and blood work scan, my dosage was modified to avoid a serious condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which causes enlarged ovaries and fluid build up in abdominal cavity.
For most women this is a scary process because despite stimulation your body's natural triggers determine how many eggs reach maturity. Some women go through the process several times and the retrieval is unsuccessful. I was truly blessed because on my first attempt I had several follicles and over a dozen eggs that were fertilized. Although we opted for a frozen transfer, we had to prepare for a fresh transfer depending on the survival rate of the fertilized eggs. There is a 3-5 day period in which the fertilized eggs grow. I received daily updates on my Petri dish babies. Each day I patiently waited for the call from the embryologist. On day 5, as I celebrated my grandmother's 79th birthday, I received the best call that you could ask for, I had "5 beautiful embryos." My husband and I immediately thanked God for our blessing because we knew we were one step closer to becoming parents.
Unlike most IVF frozen transfers, we scheduled our transfer beyond the normal waiting period. As my transfer date approached several questions went through my mind. Was I ready? Would I be a good mother? If it didn't work, would I be willing to go through the process again? As I waited, I went back and forth about whether I would change my date. Then I realized that you're never really ready for motherhood. There's nothing that can prepare you for such a life changing event. So I prayed and asked God for comfort and peace because I refused to allow fear to conquer me.
Getting to the transfer date equals a medical stimulation of pregnancy. The injections essentially trick your body into believing you're going through the normal process of getting pregnant. So your hormones are going crazy and you have absolutely no control.
On the day of my transfer I woke up and the first thing I said to my husband was "I'm getting pregnant today!" I believed with all my heart that my first attempt would be my last attempt. Before we walked into the facility we sat in the car and prayed. We prayed over our little embryos and over my body. We went inside and prepped for the transfer. My doctor's entire staff came down to give us their well wishes and crazy suggestions about how both embryos should split and result in quads. They were joking of course but I knew it was a possibility. The team rolled me into the operating room with my husband by my side. As he held my hand the transfer was made! We knew that the only thing we could do now was have faith that it was successful.
To be continued...
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq. - Attorney, Business Manager for Professional Athletes, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Seminole & Mother to 3 Rambunctious Dogs