“Every new born child is a miracle, but for a thousand reasons Grace Catherine Harris is more miraculous than most. Her journey from the ether to life has been longer and harder fought than most. While she lay frozen in a test tube, I lay frozen in a hospital bed. We were both in a stupor of sorts, mine was induced by the same hormones that brought her to life. I had Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a condition that affects roughly one in twelve women who have IVF.

In actual fact, OHSS affects every woman that has IVF. Every IVF patient experiences the symptoms to some degree, but for the most part they are only a passing discomfort. The process of superovulation, or producing as many ripe follicles as possible, is a fine balance between not producing enough and producing far too many. OHSS occurs when the patient is either far too sensitive, or the dose of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) far too high and as a result far too many follicles are produced. For me, it was probably a little of both. After three or four days of extreme nausea and bloating, I could no longer even drink water. All the fluids in my body were floating in between cells and circulatory systems. My stomach was stretched so much that the skin hurt, and my lungs were full and squishing with this mystery fluid.

That’s one week of the eight year journey that my husband and I went on to conceive our little daughter, Grace. But that’s history now. “

*Reposted from my old blog which no longer exists.

The post script to this entry is that after a very traumatic IVF experience, many embryos were frozen and stored for us in November 2004. Grace was one of the first two thawed. Now, in August 2008, we are trying again. In 15 – 18 days time, one of those embryos will be thawed out and carefully placed in my (artifically prepared) womb. Once again, we will be asking God for a miracle. It’s far easier to believe for it, though, when you’ve seen God do an amazing miracle already.