Well that’s what it felt like at least. I’d done the three cycles I’d signed up for, this is the last — well the only — frozen embryo in storage. I’d already mentally decided that if this one didn’t work, it was time for a rethink. That although I didn’t feel done, I had to look at other options beyond my clinic. Seek second and third opinions, work out where I went from here. So in a way, whether or not it worked this time, it slightly felt like the end of an era.
Or, as anyone who’s ever had to wait to find out if they’re pregnant will know: the best way to basically stop time. Two weeks? TWO WEEKS? It’s bloody interminable. And they say the best thing to do is distract yourself. So I did. I went skiing.
I know, I know, but chill the fuck out. I didn’t do anything hardcore, but this was a trip that had been in the diary for months. It was a group trip for a friend’s birthday that was going to include a load of kids and non-skiers and so I knew I could pootle around. I looked into all the advice — eat as you would if you were pregnant, avoid saunas, hot tubs, lifting heavy stuff, and anything that’s going to count as hardcore exercise. Continue reading
I was so much more emotional about the embryo transfer than I expected to be. I guess it’s because it’s a whole year since the last one and when I think what I’ve been through in that year, and how hopeful and optimistic and excited I was this time last year, it’s hard not to feel that even getting to this point is a culmination of so many things, and yet that there is so much further to go.
I didn’t know the consultant or the nurse, but they were both so lovely, as I lay on a bed with my legs in stirrups and tears pouring down my face. Continue reading
So Saturday eventually rolled around and with it another egg retrieval procedure. My sixth. I’m almost blasé about them now. I kind of love the sedation (although after the last time I made sure to let the anaesthetist know that it would be just good manners to make sure I stayed sedated until after all digits and instruments had been removed from every orifice.)
It was a natural cycle and, despite my late night Cetrotide, it didn’t seem to interfere with the Ovitrelle, because they managed to retrieve one good-looking egg, which of course is cause for celebration because one is better than none. But in this game nothing is really cause for celebration. Or everything is. Because there are so many hurdles. And you have to clear all of them, in succession, to get to where you want to be. Continue reading
Sorry — I sort of wrote two posts at the same time — which means there’s bits of information in both but maybe not the whole picture. So as you might have gathered from the previous post a) I’m not done and b) I have a plan, so here’s a few more details on that…
The minute there was a plan, that made me feel so much better because, as you may recall, that is the sort of person I am. My consultant basically said that I shouldn’t feel Continue reading
So I got the results of the ERA test… and they were normal. Basically my endometrium was receptive on the standard day. I’m not one of the 25 per cent of women who should have their embryo transferred before or after the standard day. And I don’t need to pay £1200 to have another test to narrow down the window of receptivity. Which should make me feel delighted. But weirdly left me feeling rather flat.
I guess I was hoping that this was going to give me The Answer. This was going to tell me Continue reading
After the biopsy, I was talking to the nurse and I asked whether endometrial scratching was similar. (For those that don’t know — and really, why should you? I certainly didn’t until I embarked on this “journey” — said ironically, OBVS. Also said ironically — an endometrial scratch is a procedure that appears to have some validity in improving IVF outcomes. It is, as it sounds, deliberately scratching the endometrium, or womb lining, which seems to cause an inflammatory response that leads the body to produce various chemicals which may make the endometrium more receptive to an embryo.
Although confusingly it doesn’t help everyone, in fact Continue reading
I rather feel like I’ve bigged up this Plan so I hope you’re not disappointed by it. Basically, The Plan came about when I went to see my consultant to have the post-unsuccessful IVF debrief — or the “what the fuck went wrong chat” as I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it called on other blogs.
Anyway, I sat in front of my consultant and said, “So, we had one grade 1 embryo and it failed to implant. And I understand that there may be many reasons for this, but what can we do minimise the likelihood of these being reasons why the same thing doesn’t happen again?”
And that was when she told me about Continue reading
I realised that in my last post I rather glossed over that crucially important point when they actually put the one good embryo inside me. Which, rather like my not spending much time thinking about the actual donor, is a little bit weird when you think about it. But then I think my reactions to so many parts of this process are weird — they definitely seem weird to other people.
Various friends asked if I wanted them to come with me for the embryo transfer. I didn’t. Continue reading
Rather as I predicted, in my own head at least, little victories are often followed by little disappointments. Three days after the eggs were fertilised, only one was suitable quality for being transferred. It was a good embryo, they told me, eight-cells, grade 1 — they don’t get better than that, they told me. But the others, ah yes, the others — 3-cell, 5-cell and 6-cell with a lot of fragmentation.
I don’t really know what any of that actually means, apart from Continue reading