Faith · infertility · IVF · Reformation Sunday

Reformation Monday – Egg Retrieval

A Mighty Fortress is Our God!  Tuesday is a big day for Lutherans around the world as it is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  (On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church doors in Wittenberg, Germany.  This later started a reformation from the Catholic Church and led to Lutheranism and other Protestant faiths that exist today).  It’s a pretty big day.  In fact, I would bet all the money we spend on IVF that if you attended a Lutheran church service this morning, you heard the organist playing “A Might Fortress” with every ounce of power that organ could muster.

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How I feel today while waiting to get these 40+ follicles out of me!

Tomorrow happens to be a big day for us.   We are officially scheduled for Egg Retrieval surgery bright and early on Monday morning.   The last appointment has been had.  The last injection (for now) has been given.  I’ve got what feels like a gazillion eggs and I’m ready for that anesthesia so I can stop feeling like an ever growing Violet Beauregarde post Everlasting Gobbstopper.

The procedure tomorrow will take about 30-40 minutes I guess.  It’s pretty amazing, really.  The RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) will use a sort of needle-like-vaccuum to carefully puncture each individual fluid-filled follicle before slowly sucking out all of the contents of the follicle into a collection container.  Once this process is complete with all follicles, the fluid (hopefully containing lots of eggs!) will be put under a microscope to locate each individual egg for ICSI Fertilization.

(Here’s a neat video I watched a month or so ago on the process, brought to you by the TODAY Show.  TODAY Show Live IVF )

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By the time I wake up from the anesthesia, I’ll know exactly how many eggs were harvested, and of those eggs how many were deemed “mature.”  By Reformation Tuesday I will get a phone call “report” telling me how many eggs have officially “fertilized,” and then it’s a bit of a waiting game.  If there are more than 8 fertilized eggs, I’ll plan for a Saturday Transfer.  If there are less, I’ll receive updates on the number of remaining Morulas/Blastocysts (depending on how many hours old they are) to make sure that enough make it to transfer day.

My fears at this point of the game are creeping up on me.

This is so timed out.  What if we get a flat tire/accident on the interstate getting down to the clinic tomorrow and are late?

What if all of my follicles just contain fluid and no eggs?

What if they get a bunch of eggs, but none are mature enough to fertilize?

What if a bunch fertilize, but are not strong enough to make it to Day 5 Blasts for transfer?

Today I turn to good ol’ Marty for counsel and support.

AMightFortressIsOurGod

“The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child and wife,
Let these all be gone,
They yet have nothing won;
The Kingdom our remaineth.

In Martin Luther’s fourth verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God, we are reminded that Earthly things are of minimal importance.  Well really they are of no importance.  Should everything Earthly be taken from us, God is by our side.  He has fought the battle for us, and has won us eternal life with Him.  Sure, “goods, fame, children, spouse” are all important here on this Earth, but as they say, “You can’t take it with you.”

Would I be hard-core BUMMED if any of those fears came true tomorrow?  YOU BET!  But keeping things in perspective is crucial.  Remembering what is most important is key.  And that is my faith in Jesus Christ.  images-2

Back in the day, Martin Luther sat under a tree that got struck BY LIGHTNING.  To say this “jump started” his future as a reformer is not only ironic, but likely true.  History tells us that this single incident was the catalyst that lead to the reformation of the Catholic Church.  I’m sure being under a tree struck my lightning was far from what ‘Ol Marty considered fun.  I’m sure it was a bit scary, and overall was generally uncomfortable.  But in the end he made a large impact on those around him (both then and still today) by standing up for what he believed in.  While my going through IVF is not nearly as impactful as ML’s Reformation, I can certainly understand his feelings of “not-fun, scared,” and, “uncomfortable.”  I hope this blog reaches others who are going through IVF or general hardships in life and serves as a reminder of what is really important.  Keep the Faith.  The battle has already been won.

Strength for today, and bright hope for TOMORROW!

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