In Vitro stands for In Vitro Fertilization, and is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology, used to treat infertility. In an IVF cycle, the doctors take mature eggs, collected from your ovaries, and fertilize them with sperm inside a lab. Then the fertilized eggs, which are now embryos, are implanted in the mom's uterus.
I did all of my fertility test and Artificial Inseminations in Miami, where I live. But after a while I started feeling like the clinic wasn't giving me all of the information nor the attention I needed at the time. My sister in law recommended a doctor she knew in Bogota, Colombia, where she lives, and from the first phone conversation I had with Dr. Madero I knew he was the perfect doctor to help me through my terrible situation.
As I have written in previous posts, I've had two cycles of IVF done. They were both done in Bogota and the procedures were more or less the same. The process starts with your menstrual cycle, so day one is the day you get your period. On the third day of my cycle I started with the hormone injections, which are subcutaneous (applied under the skin), with a small needle injected into your stomach. These injections basically help you develop multiple eggs at the same time. I am not the best with needles so I had my husband inject me every morning.
On day 8 I traveled to Bogota, Colombia with my husband to do the first IVF, the second IVF my parents came along as well. As soon as I arrived I went straight to the doctor's office to do and ultrasound and see how the eggs were growing inside my ovaries. The doctor told me to continue with the home injections and that on the night of day 9 my eggs were going to be ready. So on that night I got another injection that makes you ovulate 36 hours later.
On day 11 I went in for my retrieval, this was the worst day of the cycle. It is a minor surgery with anesthesia, so I was completely asleep. I was very nervous that day, both times, because I don't like anesthesia, I always like to be awake and in control. The procedure lasted about 30 minutes and it took me awhile to get up, recover from the anesthesia and go my hotel. While I was getting my retrieval done my husband had to do his part so we can have his sperm to fertilize my eggs. On that day I started estrogen patches, which are two round patches that I had to stick on each side of my lower abdomen. The rest of the day I felt cramps, so I rested.
The next morning, day 12, I called and they told me they had removed 9 eggs, the first time I did IVF, and 11 eggs the second IVF procedure, we were both very happy with the results. They also told me that I had to go back on day 14 for my transfer.
On day 13 my husband started giving me daily intramuscular progesterone injections. These are very painful because the needle is big and the medication is very thick.
On day 14 I went in for my transfer, which was very easy for me, but for the lab it is the hardest and most crucial procedure. They transferred two embryos to the middle of my uterus with ultrasound guidance, on the first and second time I did IVF. The doctor told me to start taking baby aspirin every day and to continue with my normal activities, except I wasn't allowed to exercise.
After the whole process ended it was time for the long wait, although it was only ten days, it seemed to last forever. On those days I went back to Miami and waited and waited...
10 days after the transfer I did a home pregnancy test, as I could not resist the temptation and could not wait for the doctor to call me, both time they were positive. I had to get 3 blood test, every other day, to see that the pregnancy hormone was growing the way it was supposed to. I had to continue with the progesterone injections for one additional month and then switch to progesterone suppositories for another couple of months, I also had to continue putting on the estrogen patches for a couple of months and had to take baby aspirin for the remainder of the pregnancy.
After my first In Vitro I was pregnant with one baby but unfortunately had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. After my second In Vitro I was pregnant with two babies and had my beautiful twins after 37 weeks of pregnancy.