Even though we knew what to expect from IVF the second time around, we were still unprepared for the emotional extremes of the journey.
When we finished all the injections, our scans were looking good. They could see four or five follicles ready for collection. We were quite hopeful, as this was one more follicle than on our first IVF cycle.
Unfortunately on the day of the procedure, they only managed to collect three eggs - one less than last time, and of those only one fertilised. It was devastating, especially as a misunderstanding left us with the impression that the embryo wasn't of very good quality. Suddenly an IVF cycle which had been been so positive turned into a pointless exercise.
Normally they would wait three to five days before implanting the embryos, so they can select the strongest for implantation. But as we had only one egg fertilise, there was no reason to wait. So the next day we returned to the clinic. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that our embryo was actually developing well. Once fertilised the embryologists can measure the growth of the embryo by how many cells there are. By day three they generally hope that an embryo will have eight cells. On our first cycle we had one embryo with four cells and one embryo with just two. So we were delighted to learn this embryo was already six cells on day two!
Once an embryo is implanted all you can do is wait. For the last two weeks I've tried not to think about it, but this is made difficult by the Cyclogest pessaries you take morning and night to keep your progesterone hormone levels high. The daily interruptions are a constant reminder of what you are waiting for.
It also hasn't helped that actually I'm quite hopeful this time around. While I knew immediately that the previous IVF cycle hadn't worked, I've had a nagging suspicion that this time would be successful. As the testing day approached I didn't know how I would cope with a negative result. I dreaded the idea of testing and at the same time I was desperate to finally know the answer.
Yesterday was the day of reckoning:
I suspect it won't feel real till we're past eight and a half weeks (which is when the ectopic pregnancy ruptured), but this time we should get more support. After the ectopic pregnancy the hospital told me to book in with the BEP (Bleeding in Early Pregnancy) Clinic if I got pregnant again. They'll do an early scan and make sure it's not ectopic again. We've also got a 7 week scan with the IVF clinic, at which point they'll hopefully find a heart beat.
For now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.
This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.