My IVF Diary 2 – growing the eggs

24 Sep

A retrospective account of my recently completed IVF cycle.

2/8/13 Gonal F 375iu and Orgalutran.

Well the past few days have been uneventful, with the exception of continued light bleeding and feeling grim. It’s fair to say that the increased dose of Gonal F is not agreeing with me and my stomach is very angry. The only way through it is to sleep bolt upright to keep the reflux down, drink gallons of water and chew Gaviscon tablets like smarties.

Despite that I haven’t felt much bubbling or twinging in my ovaries so I’m not expecting a massive response on today’s scan.

Arrived at the clinic at 7.45am, a full 45 mins early. Traffic for once was light due to summer holidays. The sonographer called me in, and I immediately recognised her as the out of hours consultant who took my phone call from Costco car park at the weekend. I also remembered her as the horrible lady who told me my left ovary was awkwardly positioned and they probably wouldn’t collect any eggs from it in my previous cycle.

Thankfully today she was somewhat more courteous.

The scan began and immediately something wasn’t right. I could see a big black blob in my womb. Almost like the yolk sac in early pregnancy. She remained silent, and continued methodically through the scan. She located the right ovary and there were about 2 small but measurable follicles. But after much prodding and searching she didn’t trace the left ovary, which was no doubt nestling up high in it’s awkward position.

Finally she spoke and revealed that the black blob was fluid in my uterus. She asked if I was bleeding and I told her I had been yesterday. She said that she wanted to talk with my consultant and scuttled off upstairs, leaving me in the darkened room wracked with nerves. Why do her scans always leave me such a wreck?

I sat there for what seemed like hours but was actually less than 5 minutes. I was convinced the cycle would be cancelled. However, when she returned she asked me to increase my Gonal f from 300iu to 375 from today and to come back on the Monday for another scan. This increased dosage would immediately require another prescription of the Gonal f just to get me through the weekend, so I skulked off to the chemist to begrudgingly pay a small fortune for one more pen of drugs and made my way home where hubby was ready and waiting to stab me with another 75iu of Gonal f.

5/8/13 – 7/8/13 Gonal f 375iu and Orgalutran/Cetrotide

The weekend dragged by in a fairly monotonous manner. I was expecting that the increased dosage of drugs would make my nausea and unsettled stomach really bad, but strangely the Orgalutran injections seemed to be reducing the side effects of the Gonal f. Result.

I still hadn’t felt much movement in my ovaries, perhaps just the odd sharp twinge and a little bloating, but since I am now convinced that my cycle will be cancelled because of the fluid in my womb I am determined to get a good haul of eggs to freeze for next time.

I arrive at the IVF unit preparing to receive the inevitable news that the fluid in my womb will make embryo transfer impossible and that we are now heading for a frozen embryo cycle another time, but no.

I walked into the scan room to be greeted by a very smiley consultant. We talked through Friday’s results and I explained my expectations. He confirmed that he hoped there had been some change since Friday because things did not look good.

I climbed onto the table, he inserted the ultrasound probe and instantly fluid gone. Hoorah! He then looked over each ovary and counted several measurable follicles. Definite progress.

He was happy with what he saw, and prescribed me another two days of Gonal f and Orgalutran until the next scan on Wednesday.

I limped to the chemist to further exhaust my credit card and pick up my next two days of drugs. I was unimpressed to learn that they had run out of Orgalutran and would instead need to replace it with cetrotide. Unlike Orgalutran’s pre-filled injection needles, the cetrotide requires the mixing of powder and fluid in a glass vial, then the drawing up of the mixed solution into the needle. Once that is done, the top of the needle should be swapped for a finer needle to inject me with.

Unfortunately, when my husband tried it the following morning, the needle contained a massive air bubble that he was unable to remove, but lost half of the solution trying. He ended up injecting me 3 times to release as much of the solution as possible without injecting the air bubble, but I was absolutely paranoid that what he had injected would not be sufficient to suppress ovulation, and that I would release all of my eggs before tomorrow’s scan. I phoned the clinic and eventually, after several hours, the nurse rang back. She advised me not to attempt to inject another dose of cetrotide and said that we should just keep our fingers crossed that what we had injected would be enough. Do you know how much this is costing me? And you want me to cross my fingers?

Thankfully, the next day’s injections were less of an issue and I went to my scan praying that all was as it should be.

By now, the side effects of the drugs were starting to get me down, as was the crippling cost and the strain my ovaries were feeling from being stimulated, so I was desperate for them to give me the go ahead for egg collection as soon as possible and ahead of my son’s birthday party.

But the scan results showed it was not to be just yet, and I was instead sent away with yet another prescription for more Gonal f and cetrotide, and a follow up scan on Friday.

I returned home depressed and emotional, and spent the rest of the morning in tears.

9/8/13 Gonal f 375iu and Cetrotide.

Back to the clinic for what I hope will be my last scan before egg collection. Feeling bloated, uncomfortable and anxious for all to be ready. Tomorrow is my son’s birthday party, and I’m dreading hosting it whilst I feel so awful. I’m paranoid that people will notice my bulging belly, and that I will be too tired and uncomfortable to act the cheery, welcome party.

Arrive in Hammersmith at about 8am as usual to be met by the lovely smiling consultant once again. He welcomes me back and we review my results from the past week before commencing the scan. Once the probe went in, I could immediately see lots of lovely large follicles, and best of all, in both ovaries. The consultant quickly wraps up and confirms that I am ready for egg collection the following Monday. He congratulates me for my achievement in getting this far, and instructs me to wait for an afternoon phone call from the nurse with details of when to inject my Ovitrelle shot to ripen the eggs and when to arrive at the clinic on Monday morning.

I feel a huge wave of relief wash over me and practically skip out into the car park.

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2 Responses to “My IVF Diary 2 – growing the eggs”

  1. Victoria Welton September 29, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    I hope you don’t mind me saying but this is a fascinating read. I know what you are going through must be so hard but this will help so many people. Thinking of you. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

    • ferreroroche123 September 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      No i don’t mind. When you go through ivf you have so many thoughts, feelings, sensations, and the medical profession provides little to help, so i wanted to put my story out there to hopefully help those going through it themselves and those with family and friends going through it.

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