The Last Retrieval (I swear)

After that baseline US, things moved pretty quickly.  I started on 150u Menopur every morning, and 300u Follistim every evening.  Two injections a day was a welcoming change compared to the 1st and 2nd IVF where I was doing 5-6 injections a day.

Tuesday’s US showed some growth, and that was when we added in the antagonist, called Ganirelix, a daily injection in the stomach area to prevent the follicles from releasing eggs.  At my appointment after the second IVF, my doctor thought that letting the eggs mature more would give them a better chance of fertilization.  He thought maybe my eggs needed to be bigger.

Enter Ganirelix, also known as “OwShitDamnnitThatHurts!”  Seriously, whoever made those needles needs to go back to needle-making school.  One, the needle is much thicker than it needs to be, and two, I get this itchy, red, welty rash from it.  My first night I took it, I put this picture on my Facebook page, and everyone was telling me how the same thing happened to them.  Normally, the needle kind of sinks into my skin.  Maybe initially breaking through my skin hurts, but it then just glides in.  This needle though, the only way I can describe it, is ripping through.  It hurts.. A lot.  I hate this shot.

Luckily, I only had to do it for 5 days.

Thursday’s US showed two follicles that were mature on my right side.  There was the potential for 4 more for a total of six.  My left side was producing nothing.  Funny, because last IVF, all the follicles were on my left side.

That evening driving home from work, I kept feeling these twinges of pain on my right side and started worrying I was ovulating.  The next morning, I was having this discharge, the same as when I would ovulate in the past.  So then I am feeling crushed, feeling like my body failed me yet again, because the whole reason for the Ganirelix was to prevent ovulation.  I called the clinic Friday morning and the nurse said that the discharge is probably from increasing estradiol levels, and normal, and the twinges are just because I have a lot going on in my right side.  She said occasionally ovulation can occur, but the Ganirelix shouldn’t make that happen.

On Saturday, the one Chris came to, we found out I didn‘t ovulate (happy dance) and they had found 5 mature, the biggest being a 30mm and the rest 24-28mm.  I don’t have the best track record for producing a lot of follicles during IVF, and I never have follicles that big.  So this was a good thing for me.  The nurse said I was responding to the Ganirelix just as I should be.

Chris gave me the HCG trigger shot that night at 10:30pm.  I iced the area on my butt until it was numb, threatened Chris with divorce if he hurt me, and he injected me no problem.  The next day, Mother’s Day, he gave me the second trigger shot at 10:30am.

So yesterday, Monday morning, I got up, snapped a terrible family photo:

and we were off to the clinic for our 10:30am retrieval!

We got there at 9:30 and were called back to the room to talk to the nurse, Dr. Casey who was doing the procedure, and the nurse anesthetist.  I changed into my egg-retrieving garb.

Lightening Bolt socks!

Then I kissed Chris goodbye, and went to the IVF suite where I got my IV and my Versed cocktail to make me woozy and giggly.  Then the anesthetist said he was starting the Propofol and I would get warm and go to sleep… and that exactly what happened.

I woke up, and was wheeled to the recovery room to see Chris.

Remember when I said that I only ever post embarrassing pictures of me on the Internet without makeup?

Well, here you go.  Fresh out of la-la land.  You can get the scoop of my recovery in these nice videos below.



More or less, the doctor retrieved 5 eggs.  This is less than the other IVFs, but in the other ones, they had always grabbed immature eggs, and we always wound up with 5-6 mature as it was.  So I am ok with this.

We went home and I slept pretty much all afternoon.  Pain was ok, but every time I would get up to walk, I would have to waddle and hold my stomach.

Now there is nothing left to do, but de-bloat my stomach, take my antibiotic, and wait for the fertilization report Wednesday.  

And there you have it.  My IVF word-dump because I didn’t blog during the week. 

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Melissa Long

Sending you prayers! I hope this is a huge success!!!


Well I'm certainly glad you didn't have to stim long… that looks PAINFUL! I did Cetrotide and that stuff itched something fierce, but I didn't bruise so maybe I should be thankful. Praying you get a good fertilization report! XOXO


I am praying so incredibly hard for you and Chris! I want this SO badly for you two!


I'm sending all kinds of happy, fertile thoughts to your eggs!


Thinking of you, Risa, and sending lots of positive vibes for a great report tomorrow. You deserve it.

Sarah J

So glad this protocol seemed to go smoothly and helped you get more mature eggs! I too will be sending you lots of fertile thoughts this week and hope you get a great fertilization report.

Jenni Moore

Your videos crack me up! I must say, I'm glad my hubby didn't think to do that! The first Ganirelix injection I did literally bounced off my skin. Those needles SUCK! The smart nurse that I am decided to use one of my other syringes b/c those needles were fine. Worked great, until my RE fussed at me saying he was scared I would lose some of the med during transfer to the other syringe. So much for my genius idea! For the remainder of the injections, I literally closed my eyes and jabbed it in. Praying you have 5… Read more »


Sending every fertilize/grow/prepare for implantation vibe I can muster your way. May the fertilization report be awesome, your recovery swift and all the love in the universe be wrapped around your family as you go through this final step. Thinking of you and holding hope by the throat.


Sending lots of positive vibes over for an awesome fertilization report on Wednesday!


Wow time seemed to flu by. Sendings lots of good vibes ur way for an awesome fertilization report.


Sending so many good thoughts your way!! Will be anxiously awaiting an update! 🙂

Baby On Mind

Praying for a great fertilization report for you guys! I was at CRM on Monday too for my 9:45 am ultrasound and blood work appointment. I must have just missed you guys. We are getting ready to leave tomorrow for TN tomorrow for our transfer of adopted embryos. I'll be looking forward to updates from you. Wishing you all the best with your transfer!!


Oh crazy! Yep, we just missed each other! I am wishing you the best of luck for your transfer! I will be looking for updates from YOU as well!


Gah! Yep, they are little beasts. I couldn't actually change needles because mine were pre-filled in this glass syringe. Thank you dear!

Kandie Walker

Praying for a great report!! 🙂


Thinking of you!!! Hugs xoxo


Thinking of you! Hoping for the best of the best news!


Good luck! I hope this works for you!

I hated hated the Ganirelix too! It was THE WORST. Those stupid fat dull needles. We should all get together and write to them about their sucky injections!

Amanda Eisenberg

Only seems fitting that we are both going thru our last retrieval together, after so much of our history has lined up (for good and for (really bad). I had my retrieval this morning, and will be getting my report tomorrow morning 🙂 Fingers crossed for some awesome mature follicles with fantastic fertilization rates 🙂

Ashley Sanderson

Fingers crossed!


Praying so hard for you guys!!! Hoping for a great fertilization report tomorrow!


Everything's crossed for you!


Thinking of you and wishing you well for your fert report!


Good luck and many hopes and wishes for a great report.

I thought maybe I'd gotten a bad bunch of Ganirelix shots when I had them – those needles hurt SO bad and then all the itching! Sounds like it's just that drug…ugh. Sorry you had to go through that.


Hoping this is the magical IVF cycle for you!

Not Pregnant And Pissed!

Oh how I hope those 5 eggs turn into wonderful little blasties!!! I am sending all my good vibes and ju ju your way! Um, your dog is beyond adorable….I may be heading your way to dognap him!!!!


Yes! Let's riot! Those needles are unacceptable!


I know Amanda. It's pretty crazy. Really crazy. We should totally meet up and be best friends forever!


Sending all my bestest for you and your eggs and embryos!