It’s been a while since I wrote a post about what was happening fertility wise (or not as the case may be) I’ve not really felt like sharing every step of this journey, 1, because that would be rather boring and 2, because it’s hard enough dealing with it day by day, as well as writing it all down. It becomes a bit all consuming, the ever disappointing cycle so it’s good to not constantly be putting fingers to keyboard, writing about it as well. My last post back in April was about my husband and I having made the decision to start IVF. A lot has happened since then, lots of clinic appointments and so, so many injections. I’ve made a diary of sorts, talking about everything to date. This isn’t my usual post, it’s a little more erratic but hopefully conveys the crazy few weeks I’ve had.
25th April – We’ve chosen the Woking Nuffield clinic, and met with our Consultant today. We both really liked him. He was straight talking but with real empathy and appreciation of the money we’ll be spending. He really believes that because I’ve had a natural child already that we have high chances of this working. I came away feeling positive and hopeful. However some words later in the day from my husband about us needing to think about how many rounds we’ll do, and what if this doesn’t work has left me feeling incredibly worried. I’ve started thinking too far ahead. Too many what if’s and maybe’s scenarios. I suddenly feel like I can’t cope.
4th May – Today we had our ‘Implications Meeting’. Which is a two and a half hour (!!) meeting with a nurse before you start taking your drugs and hopefully progress onto IVF, where they literally walk you through the process step by step. The nurse started talking about the monthly cycle, what IVF is, she talked about the drugs I’ll be taking, showed us how to inject and talked me through egg collection (EC), for which you’re put under a general anaesthetic. I was completely fine up until this point but this really made everything hit home and I burst into tears. I’m scared about having a general and the reality is I never saw us at this point, I really thought we’d have another baby by now. I left with a foggy, pounding headache. What the nurse said has hit home how stressful the month I’m having treatment will be. There is no let up. It’s scan after scan, with constant worries in-between. How will I react to the drugs? Will I get to egg collection? How many eggs will they get? Will they get any! Will the eggs develop? Will we have any to freeze? Then there’s the dreaded two week wait, which is always horrific but this time will be even more so because, you know, £5,000! I’m feeling less positive and more ‘crapping my pants’ now.
10th -14th May – We had a few days away in Suffolk which were incredibly stressful! Not the relaxing break we’d hoped for. Olivia was a nightmare, wrong house location, poor choices of things to do, why does this happen!? I want to scream and stamp my feet and shout that ‘It’s so unfair!’ On a more positive note, Me and the husband did have another chat about how many rounds we’d do, and a possible three rounds is what we’re thinking. That made me feel better. Oh and I got a suntan, so swings and roundabouts and all that.
I’ve been doing meditation a few times a week since we’ve come back from holiday, I’m eating really well, no caffeine no alcohol and I’m thinking positive thoughts. THIS WILL WORK.
20th May – Treatment is tentatively due to start next week and I literally can’t get these crazy thoughts out of my head. I want my period to come so treatment can begin, but I also don’t, because obviously I want to be pregnant! I know it’s coming though because I’ve got my standard pains. ARGH! My head is swimming. I still didn’t think we’d get to this point and I still can’t believe it’s happening.
23rd May – Urgh my period came, gutted. But this time round we are doing something proactive about it now so at least that’s something. I went for a scan at the clinic, was shown how to do the injections again and collected my little bag of drugs. I’m on Menopur and Cetrotide, then something called Pregnyl and some Cyclogest. Basically it’s injection-tastic.
23rd-28th May – The first two injections went fine (although my husband drew the needle out incredibly sloooowly for the first one, which for the record, STUNG LIKE HELL!!) I haven’t had any big side-effects as of yet. I’ve felt a little queasy with some mild headaches, but nothing else, touch wood.
29th May – Hmm, I think the drugs are kicking in. My hormones are suddenly a bit all over the shop today, I’ve been on the verge of tears and am incredibly ANGRY for no apparent reason. It didn’t help that I had a stress filled weekend staying with the husbands family, I shouldn’t have gone in hindsight (next round, be more selfish) Olivia was awful, didn’t sleep and I felt incredibly low.
30th May – Right Emma, onwards and upwards. I’m focusing on the next steps and possible egg collection and a week of being ZEN. Injections have been really easy. Injecting like a pro.
31st May – I went into the clinic to have a scan. Despite only two follicles really reacting (bugger) the nurse thinks I’m ready to come in for EC on Friday, so in two days time rather than on the following Monday as initially thought. I feel weirdly excited about this. I have to go home and wait for a phone call to give me the green light .
We’ve been thrown a massive curve ball. I spoke to a nurse and basically one of the Consultants (not ours) has looked at my file and on account of me only having two good follicles (having not responded well to the drugs I took) he’s recommended that I DON’T go for EC. I’m in shock. This wasn’t something I foresaw happening. I was offered another treatment called IUI or to do nothing. I have NO idea what to do but we have to make a decision today. Cue an afternoon of phone calls back and forth, trying to get hold of the nurse I spoke again, to and do a conference call with my husband. I frantically googled in the meantime (possibly bad in hindsight) and saw lots of positive stories by women who still went for/pushed for EC despite only having two follicles, what do I do? My husband and I eventually had a conference call with the Manager at the clinic, and she explained everything amazingly well. The long and the short was that they wouldn’t let me go to EC at this stage. To have minor surgery, which essentially is what EC is, for just two follicles quite simply wasn’t worth the risk in their eyes. Something could go wrong, or I could go through all the effort only to get one or no eggs. She also said given the money we’d be paying, again it wasn’t worth it. Had I perhaps had three or four follicles, then they would’ve have let me proceed. I felt put at ease by what she said, and we decided to go for IUI because we were already in ‘the system’ as it were. I’m feeling gutted but at the same time happy that our clinic has made this call for us, explaining everything really well, and I’m trying to be positive, given the situation!
2nd June – Typically I had a horrendous nights sleep the night before IUI. Me and the husband had to be up super early to get him to the clinic for 7.30, then I was needed back again at 9am. The treatment itself took 5/6 minutes and I listened to a meditation script while they carried it out. They show you the sperm sample beforehand with your names written on it, and it’s safe to say that I checked-and re-checked them about 30 times. I even got up to check it again when then nurse put the vial down on the side. IUI is a bit like having a smear, they put that clamp like thing in and there’s some poking about and before you know it, it’s done. Voila! You don’t have to remain horizontal afterwards, although there’s a crazy internal need to do so. I went to my mums and just chilled that afternoon.
Post treatment, I’ve been listening to loads of meditation scripts, eating pineapple and kiwi fruit like a crazy person (why not try every old wives tale) and basically carrying on as normal.
8th June – S**t, some spotting has started. It’s not like my normal period though so I spend all my time reading chat forums (WHY EMMA WHY!!!) and reading stories and symptoms. I call the clinic and speak to a nurse who says it’s probably my period, but that I still need to do a pregnancy test (that they supplied) on 19th June to be sure. I convince myself in the meantime that it’s just spotting and that I’m definitely pregnant. My cervix hasn’t dropped which is a really good sign I think.
19th June – Unsurprisingly, the test is negative. Gutted. That small part of me really believed that this might have worked. I feel so stupid for thinking that and for reading all those forums. I ring the clinic and speak to a nurse to relay this information. I asked her about the weird spotting I had and the fact that my cervix hadn’t dropped. Sadly the nurse tells me these are side effects from the drugs that I was taking. I weep.
10th July – We met with our Consultant again, who was great. He relayed again the reasons for the decision around not letting me go to EC, apparently had I been doing a free NHS round they would have let me proceed but as we are paying for this ourselves, money was a big factor in the decision. It’s nice to know you’re not being ripped off in these situations! So next steps will be putting me on the highest dose of Menopur possible and hoping this kicks my follicles into touch.
We’ve got a holiday to France soon so on the plus side, not being pregnant means that I can eat all cheese and drink all the wine, positive thinking and all that. Of course I’d rather not be doing either but I have to accept the situation for what it is. Once the holiday is over I’ll be back on the good diet, no caffeine or alcohol wagon, ready for, hopefully a complete round of IVF at the end of the summer. I suppose at least going into this a second time, I’ll be more prepared for exactly what’s to come. I really hadn’t realised how all consuming it would be and this time round, because I’ll be on a higher drug dose, the side-effects will be worse (sorry in advance husband) I also acknowledge that I need to be more selfish and do what’s right for me at the time of treatment. Here’s hoping that it’s second time lucky.