Ugh I just found this in my drafts – it’s from about a month ago, sorry about that, but you know, read it, then you’re pretty much up to date…
So, of course it wasn’t that straightforward, like I said, these things never are. Before I left the clinic my consultant sent me for a blood test to test my thyroid levels. Yet another of those things that you never even think about, but apparently your thyroid has to be operating at a certain level to create optimum conditions for pregnancy.
And whaddaya know, mine wasn’t. My blood test showed that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels were at around 5. The top end of normal in the regular population is 4.5 (although other people will say that normal can go up to 10) but crucially if you want to get pregnant with IVF, they want it closer to 2.5. The solution: daily pills of a drug called levothyroxine, which I have to take for three weeks or so and then get tested again to see if it’s doing what it needs to, or if I need a higher dose.
I also need a load of other blood tests, but I don’t really see the point in getting them until I know that my TSH level is where it needs to be (not least because the results are only valid for three months so if I need to spend another two months getting my TSH levels right, it seems silly to have those results sitting around doing nothing.)
Most of the blood tests are for things like HIV, Rubella etc, but one is for something called CMV — Cytomegalovirus — and the results of that blood test dictate who can be your donor. I could explain it all here, but actually this sperm bank does a pretty good job of doing that, so just read that instead. But yes, another thing that you don’t think about if you’re the sort of person who just y’know, has sex with someone to get pregnant rather than going through this ridiculous malarkey.
So, to my mind, there’s no point thinking about looking at donors until I’ve got my CMV result, which I won’t get until my TSH is where it should be.
FFS I hate that I have become one of those people who talks in acronyms. In my defence I think it’s OK if it’s medical stuff (JUST) or stuff like an ironic FML, or a FFS, but if I EVER become someone who starts talking about BFNs (Big Fat Negatives re pregnancy tests), DD (Darling Daughter), DS (come on, you can work that out) or — I almost can’t even bear to write it — all the other shit I see littering fertility forums, like “embies” and “baby dust”, you have permission to take me outside and shoot me. SERIOUSLY.
I digress, but do you really want to hear about all the other stuff? This wasn’t meant to be a diary of my medical shit. So I’ll be brief…
Other things I need to do over the next few months are use ovulating sticks to check I’m actually ovulating — and to get an idea I guess of when certain things happen in my cycle, and take pregnancy vitamins, which I’d actually already been doing for a few weeks before I went to the clinic.
You don’t want to hear about this stuff really, do you? What you probably want to hear about is how making this decision has both simplified and complicated my life, the emotional stuff, the messy stuff, the headfuck stuff – don’t worry that’s coming….
[Update on the TSH thing: three weeks later it was heading the right way, i.e. down, but not far down enough so my consultant upped my dose every other day. Three weeks after that it was lower, but still not quite low enough so she’s upped my dose every day and just told me to take a test the week before my cycle starts. I’ve been using the ovulating sticks — I’m ovulating, yay — and still taking the preg vits. Basically it’s fine. Ready when you are… Which I’m not, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be, but….]