Yeah, I’m proud – I’ve been scared of needles most of my life, and I just gave myself my first fertility shot!
Not only was this moment a huge stepping stone against a fear, it marked the beginning of our final step to becoming parents. I will give myself this particular medicine via injections each day for 14 days, which will shut down my ovaries. Let me explain..
In order to retrieve lots of good, fertile eggs, my body needs to know to produce them. Otherwise, our bodies only prepare one or two (normally) eggs each month. So, we are going to shut off my ovaries (hello, menopause!) for two weeks, and then essentially shock them back with jumper cables. That is, if jumper cables were in the form of another two weeks worth of injections.
My ovaries will rev back up into overdrive and get lots of precious eggs ready to be retrieved. Technically, we don’t need “lots” of eggs, as only one will be implanted in our gestational carrier. However, we are playing this game as if odds were against us (imagine that!). If I break it down for you like a good elementary school teacher would, here’s the mathematical/statistical facts:
– Say they retrieve 25 eggs from me (which is about twice the normal amount, but likely for me because my ovaries are healthy).
– 1/3 of these eggs will most likely not be chromosomally complete or “ideal” (even though I love them all..) so now I only have about 16 viable eggs.
– Then we go on to the fertilization phase. About another 1/3 of the viable eggs will not fertilize due to various reasons. This leaves about 10 eggs that are now fertilized.
– Only half (yes, half!) of these eggs will go on to divide and grow into healthy embryos. That is 5, my friends! 5 healthy, viable embryos to pick from and freeze the rest.
I can’t imagine how women who go through all of this and only retrieve a few eggs must feel. I’ve never understood what a delicate balance getting pregnant is – and how perfect the timing and chemistry must be! No wonder perfectly healthy people can try for months or years without getting pregnant “unexplained”. I have scientists “aligning the stars” for me in this case, but to all my fertile friends out there – have faith!!