My husband and I started to try to have
a baby at the end of 2001. We were unsuccessful and
visited a fertility specialist two years later. It turned
out that my husband had a low sperm count, low motility
& so on (possibly due to testicular cancer).
We were told our only chances of having a baby were
insemination with donor
fertilization, or adoption. We decided to find out
about in-vitro fertilization. I was most scared about
doing the shots, but I finally decided I could do it.
We got everything in order for the June 2004 cycle.
Everything went as planned at first. The doctor retrieved
22 eggs from me, and I went home from the egg retrieval
feeling ok. I had something to eat and went to lie down.
Only a few short hours later, I became nauseous. I thought
it was from the antibiotic I had to take to prevent
infection. But then I began vomiting. Again and again.
My urine output also declined. I stayed in bed for 2
days until it was time to go back in for the transfer.
When the doctor came in the room, he took one look at
me and said, "We're not doing the transfer today.
I was so let down that I began to cry. I had gone
through so much and now we couldn't go through with
it. The doctor told us that we had 11 embryos. He said
we could freeze them and use them later.
They gave me intraveous fluids and I vomited twice
in the office. Then they sent me home. The next day
things were no better. I was still vomiting, still felt
sick, and still wasn't urinating normally. I called
the doctor's office and they sent me to the hospital
for fluids. They sent me home with the iv still in and
told me to come back the next day for fluids again.
But I was still very sick so that night at 11:00 p.m.
I went to the emergency room. I had a form of ovarian
hyperstimluation, although my doctor said that usually
happens after they do the transfer.
I was admitted to the hospital, and I spent the next
couple days in misery. I couldn't eat a thing and still
wasn't urinating normally.
My infertility doctor was not in-network for the insurance
I have, so he was waiting to get a call from the doctors
at the hospital. When he finally did (at my husband's
insistance), he determined I needed my abdomen drained.
It was huge. I gained about 20 pounds from all the fluid!
After they drained my abdomen (which was an awful experience),
I felt better almost immediately. The next day I was
released from the hospital. I spent 5 days there.
Then I started to fill with fluid again. I was told
it could take 2 weeks for it to go down. It was awful.
I was so uncomfortable and so worried about the strange
things happening to my body. I somehow made it through
but continued to suffer from uncontrollable anxiety
and other health problems. I not only got back to my
normal weight but dropped 20 pounds.
My ob/gyn and I ended up deciding that surrogacy
was the best option for us if we wanted to use our frozen
We sent an email explaining our situation to my sister-in-law,
and she said almost immediately that she thought she'd
be able to act as our surrogate. We met with her and
her husband and gave them the information that we had.
She decided to go ahead with it, so we scheduled the
January 2005 cycle. They implanted two embryos and then
we waited! We were so nervous. She took several home
pregnancy tests before the blood tests and they were
positive! We were very excited but still had to wait
for the blood tests to confirm. Well, they came back
positive too, and now we are expecting a baby girl in
We couldn't be more thrilled and thankful, but I want
to warn people who are thinking about in-vitro fertilization:
Ovarian hyperstimulation happens to 5% of women who
go through in-vitro. I didn't think about the fact that
that's 5 out of every 100 patients, and at my clinic,
that is at least 2 patients a year. I didn't even think
about those risks. I thought that couldn't happen to
me. I didn't realize that it had happened at my clinic.
I would NEVER do it again if I could do it over. I just
want people to make sure they ask their doctor lots
of questions about this risk, find out what your blood
test levels are during stimulation, and find out what
levels indicate a greater risk (although the cause is
unknown, apparently there are certain people at greater
risk and blood test results during stimulation could
indicate greater risk).
*For more information about Ovarian hyperstimulation
syndrome, see this page (external link): OHSS
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.