December 05, 2015

OHSS & first beta update

So after confirming that I had a good case of OHSS percolating, I went up to the treatment center late yesterday for the "fluid aspiration" procedure. It's done the same way as the egg retrieval, turns out: a big needle through the ol' vaginal wall once again, but instead of going into the ovary to get eggs, it's going into all the pockets around my ovaries to suck out the collected fluid. They had me nearly sitting up for the procedure this time (I mean, also still legs splayed and thank god still knocked out) so that the fluid up around my diaphragm and lungs would basically trickle down via gravity as space opened up.

The good news is the procedure offers INSTANT relief. As soon as I started waking up I could tell my abdomen was flatter and I could breathe far more easily. And since they took out nearly TWO LITERS of fluid - that's like 4 pounds!! - it's easy to see why the relief was so sudden and pronounced.

The bad news is the procedure is treating a symptom only: there is no guarantee this will not keep happening or even get worse. Especially since... drumroll... they did my first beta with my morning's blood work, and it came back at 223.

That means we're pregnant!

I mean, obviously this is still RULL RULL early, it doesn't mean we're out of the woods by any means, but still pretty exciting :)

However, it confirms that I'm definitely not out of the woods on the OHSS front either, since the pregnancy hormones will continue to agitate the situation over the coming weeks, should I remain pregnant.

So for now that means keep on with the Gatorade, make sure I'm getting a lot of lean protein, which apparently helps patch up the holey veins, and take it as easy as possible.

(Apparently the clinical term for when the veins get leaky like this is "fenestrated," which my doctor described as going from a normal window to a screen window. I immediately knew what he meant though, because I will always and forever remember the definition of the word due to the Defenestration of Prague. Did anyone else learn about that in highschool history, or just my weird class?)

Anyway. I also need to start blood thinners, since my bloodwork came back "pretty high" (he told me what exactly was high, but they were words I'd never heard before so I definitely do not remember them) - but basically as the blood leaks its fluid out, it becomes thicker and "sludgier" which puts it at higher risk for clots. And the way to administer the blood thinner? Injections!! For 8 to 10 weeks! So I'm back to stabbing myself in the stomach daily for the next 3 months! Yaaaaaaaaay!

All in all I certainly wish I was not going through this, BUT I feel oddly lucky, because a lot of my symptoms are in what many online sources classify as the "severe" bucket - the difficulty breathing, dehydrated enough to be at risk for clots (at the treatment center yesterday I went through both a "concentrated" IV bag as well as a normal "big bag" of IV fluids - then came home and drank 2 Gatorades and all the broth (and ate all the protein-rich kidney beans!) from a can of soup - and still did not pee for nearly 12 hours). But I have not retained a truly dramatic amount of fluid - some people put on like 20+ lbs during this - and so far I'm not at the hospitalization level, which most severe cases require. So what I'm saying is things could definitely be worse.

And, first beta was good! So it's hard being TOO mad, knowing the cause :)


  1. Congratulations, mama! Sorry you're dealing with all this, but yay! and huzzah! for percolating a baby.

  2. Ooh! Congrats! I'm glad you got some relief too, and I certainly hope it's not temporary!

  3. I'm glad they could help--that is a lot of fluid! I hope you feel better and better. Hang in there!

  4. Yay!!! Now GO AWAY OHSS!

  5. Congratulations! So exciting! I'm sorry about the OHSS, obviously, but still, the cause is such good news!

  6. Grrr my comment from this weekend didn't post- but how weird that the previous comments on this page are somehow from May, June, and July? That's so amazing that the previous commenters were able to read this post MONTHS in advance! ;-)

    YAY for 223! That's a great beta (and around the same beta number that I had with Izzy). Keep chugging that Gatorade so that you can stay out of the hospital!

  7. Oooo yay!! Congrats!!!! I hope your OHSS doesn't get up to that many pounds! YIKES!!!

  8. as someone who is currently in full blown OHSS this post has been incredibly helpful! you have put words to how I've been feeling the last SIX DAYS(!) and though I haven't had the needle yet at least know what to expect when my RE decides to free my body from its fluid. Thank you for posting!

  9. Awesome blog. This is soo me right now. I had 28 retrieved and been battling mild ohss. Currently no fluids but very much bloated. I got a call from the centre today. I have 15 day 3 embies growing. My transfer is for day 5(2days from now) hopefully I have some good quality to freeze for future cycle. Ur blog gives me much hope really. Thanks for takin out time to write this.