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It’s in the Details

by Constance Latimore

I’m detail-oriented and a lifelong learner. Seeking resources to help inform me of my interests is a way of life. God made me that way. Considering the amount of information I consumed during my egg freezing journey, I know God made no mistakes in my design, nor did he make a mistake in the way He designed you. He also gives us the grace we need to achieve the things He intended. This is likely the reason one person willingly endures something, while another would counter.

If you believe Psalm 139 like I do, you know that your design was intentional.

Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (New International Version)

It’s actually amazing to witness the many functions God designed the human body to perform. For instance, a female is born with a lifetime of immature eggs in her ovaries. Each month after puberty, natural hormones cause some eggs to mature. Those mature eggs are released into the uterus during a series of hormonal changes, known as the ovulation cycle. If left unfertilized, they break down and shed from your body during your menstrual cycle.

To ensure that you understand the correlation between ovulation and egg retrieval, the eggs are retrieved while they wait in the uterus to be fertilized. This explains the extreme bloating and heaviness I felt in my uterus the day before egg retrieval. My movements were slower and I was surprised by the difference one day made. Getting to that phase required me to undergo 10 days of injections to prepare for egg retrieval. While I don’t particularly like injections, 5 years of allergy shots prepared me to endure them.

Day 1: My injection period was pretty uneventful. I hadn’t eaten much during the first day. I’m not sure if I experienced loss of appetite naturally or was it an adrenaline rush. Regardless of the reason, I made a mental note to be more intentional about eating and maintaining a healthy diet for the remainder of the process.

Day 2-9: I felt slightly fatigued. I started most days with a cup of hot water infused with orange and lemon slices. My injection site was not sore from the initial round of shots. I was pleased and relieved, considering I had more days to go. I didn’t experience any adverse reactions to the injections. The process, as a whole, seemed to get easier as the days progressed. So much so that I questioned if it was normal to give yourself 3 shots a day and not feel any tenderness. After speaking with the nurse, she reminded me that everyone’s body is different. Varying levels of tolerance and discomfort cause different reactions in women. My lack of reaction was just as normal as someone else’s physical response to the same procedure.

Day 10: My fertility specialist administered an ultrasound and measured a sampling of my larger follicles. They ranged from 11 to 16 millimeters(mm) in diameter. The desired size before retrieval is approximately 18mm. To be exact, 18-20mm is a preferred range. I still had 1 more day before retrieval and my eggs could continue to grow during the wait. The rate of growth may be 1- 3mm per day. Knowing this, I felt confident that my eggs would reach maturity by the anticipated retrieval date.

Being intentional about the timing of my injections was recommended. However, there were stricter guidelines for my last one. For example, the last injection was a trigger shot. I was advised to administer it at 9:45pm, Wednesday before my Friday retrieval date. The next morning, I had an appointment for bloodwork at 9:45am to ensure the trigger shot was effective. Friday morning was the grand finale, retrieval day and commonly scheduled for 9:45am.

I found it difficult to sleep comfortably the night before retrieval. I tossed and turned throughout the night. My bladder felt full. I later realized that the “feeling” was the weight of my eggs creating a heaviness on my bladder. One of my friends likened my discomfort to sleep changes experienced during pregnancy. Anxiety, excitement, fluctuating hormones and abdominal cramps are some of the known contributing factors to sleep discomfort. While I’ve never experienced a pregnancy, it’s easy to identify the similarities.

The following morning, retrieval day, I could barely walk down the stairs in my home. By then, I had 3 friends and my sister in town to ensure I didn’t journey alone. It was not included in my plans to have them there, but the fact that they were there made a world of difference. One helped me down the stairs while another gathered my personal belongings. My sister drove us to the facility and another friend accompanied me in the waiting room. They were all excitedly waiting to hear my results. For someone who felt she could or should do it all on her own, the presence of people who you love and genuinely love you can make a daunting task seem mellow.

I’m grateful to be supported by such women. I will share more details, including the results of retrieval day, soon. Prepare to get an inside look at how my support group banded together to provide for me, though I had no idea how much I would need them.

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