28 August 2012

Finally Finished

Once you start on the Menopur injections IVF suddenly picks up speed. The last two weeks have simply flown by, which has made a welcome change.


After 19 days of Buserelin injections, we went back to the Women’s Hospital for a scan to see if I was ready for the next stage. It was a relief to be told we could start the ten days of Menopur injections. The Menopur injections were better than the Buserelin as they didn’t burn and itch (but I had to continue taking the Buserelin too). Originally the sister wasn’t going to have me back till we’d finished them, but I was a bit concerned that If anything went wrong I wouldn’t notice (as I proved with the ectopic pregnancy). She thought that as my Anti-Mullerian Hormone reading was so low I wouldn’t have anything to worry about but she booked me in for a scan on the seventh day of injections anyway.

This scan turned out to be something of a mixed blessing, while my results weren’t good I’m really grateful that I got an early warning that I wasn’t responding well to the Menopur. They hope to retrieve about 14 eggs but I had only one small follicle on the right side and two small follicles on the left. The bad part of the scan was that I seem to have found a melodramatic sister. She said that she didn’t think they’d be ready by day ten, so I’d probably need more injections...but if they still didn’t get up to 17mm they’d have to cancel my egg collection. Within the space of 10 minutes I went from nothing really being wrong to the possibility they’d cancel my treatment completely! Luckily when we reached the final scan on day ten, I had two 16mm follicles and a 13mm follicle on the right and a 13mm one on the left. We were given another two days of Menopur injections and were booked in for the egg collection.

I’d been quite worried about the Gonasi injection, which is the very last one. It stops the growth of the eggs and prepares them for collection. Originally I’d been told the needle would have to go in the stomach, which I find especially traumatic, but luckily even that one could be given in the thigh.

Exactly thirty-six hours later I was preparing for the egg collection. The worst bit of the collection was definitely the canular. Though I’ve found ways to cope with the daily injections it hasn’t actually helped my needle phobia. I gave the poor anaesthetist quite a shock when I had an anxiety attack, but once they squeezed the anaesthetic into the canular, I was unconscious within seconds. When I woke up it was all over and I didn’t feel any discomfort.

They were able to collect four eggs in the end, though only two fertilised. Because I only had two embryos, they felt they’d be able to easily identify the best by day three - rather than waiting till the blastocyst stage on day five. On Saturday morning we returned to the hospital to have one of our embryos implanted. They normally hope that by day three the embryos will have split into six cells, but when we arrived we discovered our best embryo only had four cells and the other just two. Because the second one was quite poor, they decided it would be better to implant both.

While implantation was painless, it was pretty weird. By this point I was used to lying back in the stirrups with a simple sheet for modesty. But this time once I settled back on the examination table it was raised four feet in the air. It’s very unsettling to have your legs spread at everyone’s eye level! I just kept reminding myself this was something they do every day, and once the procedure started there were other things to keep me distracted. Despite my worries, the transfer was completely painless all I felt was a slight tugging. The whole procedure only took about ten minutes and then we were up and out of the hospital.

Emotionally I’ve been all over the place. We’ve had such poor results from the IVF that we’re not sure we’ll go through another cycle. Since that first scan where the nurse suggested our treatment could be cancelled, I’ve just wanted to run. Pick up and start over somewhere new, desperate to find a new future and happiness.

As soon as we finished the embryo transfer I felt overwhelmed with negativity and stress. I think I’d been getting through the process simply by putting one foot in front of the other, and now that we’ve finished all the stress and anxiety had nowhere to go. So I don’t know what we’re going to do or where our lives are headed, but now all we can do is wait.


This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.