After a long and emotionally exhausting weekend, I still don’t really know what to think, but several things have changed. On Sunday we finally told the in-laws we were trying for a baby. Till now we’ve kept quiet as we didn’t want people asking us about it all the time, but if we decide to try IVF we aren’t sure it’s something we can face alone.
Though we might be pleasantly surprised, I strongly suspect that IVF will be pure and utter hell. First off I have severe needle anxiety, which doesn’t get better, no matter how many injections I’ve had. IVF requires at 12-22 days of injections, plus the possibility of daily blood tests. I can only imagine what state I might be in after weeks of phobic stress. Added to that, the second round of injections will likely be Oestrogen. In the past, normal birth control pills have turned me into a gibbering mess, so again I can only imagine what a week’s worth of hormone injections will result in. Then after the stress of the needles and the Oestrogen possibly kicking off my anxiety and depression...they want me to go into hospital to harvest the eggs. Finally though we have some good news, because of the specific quirks of my needle phobia it’s only applies to going through skin. Because they should be going up through the vagina wall to collect the eggs it doesn’t bother me. Well, it does bother me any more than it would bother most people to have a doctor stuffing a medical tool up their bits. I’m actually more worried about the canular that goes in my arm for the sedation. I might be lucky though; my depression has always surfaced as a self destructive streak, so I may be quite happy to go into hospital. I’ve been known to schedule mole removals when depressed, as it’s a socially acceptable form of cutting. (Unfortunately the depression has usually gone by the time I reach the top of the NHS waiting lists!) Then two or three days after egg harvesting I’d expect to go back in for the first attempt at implantation. Finally, I have no idea how my Fibromyalgia may affect any of this process. None of these worries deter me necessarily, but I can’t help but think that would be a horrible strain on any marriage. Trying to face it alone and in silence seems completely mad, so we told his family.
We’ve also decided to change hospitals. Originally we were under the impression Mr Goldfish was being referred for tests so we chose a hospital near his work. While there may be some more tests, we’re now fairly certain IVF ICSI is our only option. I’ve looked at the hospital reviews online at the HFEA website (Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority) and while you really can’t compare the numbers there are some key differences. Liverpool Women’s is open an extra day on the Saturday, which I’ve read can help when trying to implant an embryo. They also do more than 3 times as many procedures, something like 1394 to 426 at the other hospital! Hopefully this might mean shorter waiting lists, but also more experience with awkward sods like me.
I think I’m going to go through with it, but the sheer number of tests terrifies me. I’ve had so many bad experiences with doctors; I don’t go on my own any more, but I’m afraid that my husband won’t be able to get enough time off. My mother-in-law has offered to come along if needed, but she’s working too.
Anyways, there’s not much we can do now until we get the consultation, but I doubt I'll be able to stop thinking about it.