Despite the pain I was in (see the last part of my story) I desperately wanted to take my pregnancy test and so that morning I took two, the one from the clinic and a digital one I had bought. Both were positive and my husband and I were delighted, the IVF had worked!
However, I then had to rush to the clinic to be scanned in order that they could diagnose what I was already pretty sure of: I had OHSS. The scan showed large amounts of “free fluid” which is water around the abdomen, lungs, spleen and liver. Basically everywhere inside me looked like it was full of water! I was told this was moderate OHSS and I would be admitted straight into hospital as an emergency.
On the ward I was told to increase my fluid intake, which to me sounded silly: didn’t I already have too much fluid? I asked about this and they said it was the only way to get my body to process the free fluid out of my system, and if I wasn’t able to drink and eventually pass the water myself I’d have to be put on a drip and catheter, and perhaps have my abdomen drained. I set about drinking as much as I could, at least 3 litres of water that first day.
The following day I still felt just as sore but noted that I was actually passing more water, which was a good sign, and I carried on drinking as much as I could. I was given protein through a drip, as my levels were low and this would also help me process the fluids. This was given to me twice, and slowly I began feeling a little better, but still very sore and swollen. I was asked by other patients in the hospital how far along I was, and when I said four weeks they were stunned and most said I looked four months pregnant at least. In fact now, sitting here writing this at 38 weeks pregnant, I honestly don’t think I was as big at six months as I was when I was in that hospital.
After four days I was allowed home, however I had to go back to the clinic a few days later and make sure the fluids had decreased, which they had. I also saw my baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound, which was amazing.
The after effects of my OHSS were that my ovaries stayed very large, and I remained bloated due to this, until around 20 weeks or so, but I had no other ill effects following it throughout my pregnancy. I was told at my 20 week scan that my ovaries had shrunk enough that they were no longer a concern so rest assured, if this happens to you, they do go down, just slowly.
As I mentioned I am now 38 weeks pregnant, so the final part of my story, in a few weeks’ time, will be my birth story. My baby is breech and due to be delivered by C Section at 39 weeks. Please look out for this final part, and I really hope that by relating this tale it has given hope to others out there who are going through the same journey as me. It’s different for everyone and I know how lucky I am that IVF worked the first time. I believe IVF is an amazing technology and I hope it can bring joy to many others like me in the future.