In March this year we met with our Fertility Specialist (FS) and were advised that our 1st ICSI IVF cycle could start the day of my next period.
We were so excited! I was due on Easter Saturday so the countdown began……. We spoke to the Patient Liason Officer about payment options and then to the nurses to discuss how to administer the medication, then we met with the counsellor and ticked off the final little box.
Finally we were ready to begin!
My period came two days early, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to get it – Ladies you will understand this.
The first step was to take the “pill” for a month to control the amount of estrogen my body was producing. Then on Tuesday 21st April I started Synarel Nasal Spray (A.K.A – The Devil!)
I kept a diary of how I felt while taking Synarel and to say that I was a psycho bitch is an understatement!
Day 1-3, I just had a headache , I guess that’s expected when you’re spraying chemicals up your nose twice a day everyday.
Day 4 , I started feeling depressed. I had to call in sick to work and I just lay in bed the whole day staring blankly out the window of my bedroom until it got dark and I realised I hadn’t eaten all day. The headache continued
Day 5, I was highly emotional, my head felt fuzzy and I was short of breath
Day 6, my hands were shaking and I had a throbbing headache
Day 7, really was the worst of it all. I woke up overly emotional, agitated with a massive headache. By 11am I had thrown my phone because a website wouldn’t load and almost punched the screen of my $2500 computer. I then ran into our bedroom and cried uncontrollably for 30 mins solid. Over a fucking website that wouldn’t load!!!!! I finally realised that I wasn’t myself and it hit me when my husband held my face and said “if it’s getting too much , we can stop”
I pulled myself together and realised I needed to keep as calm as possible if I’m gonna get through this process.
Thankfully when I stopped the pill (Day 8 of Synarel) the side effects subsided and I only had a mild headache just after spraying.
On Monday 4th May I was booked for a scan with my FS and he advised that the spray had worked and we were ready to begin the injections!!!!
I would need to inject myself every morning – this continued for 9 days
I had organised with work to take 3 weeks of annual leave during this time as my doctor was concerned I may experience Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and end up in hospital to manage the pain
My stomach was bruised and swollen and I felt like a pin cushion but I had to remind myself that it was all worth it!
After 2 follow up scans and a “trigger” injection on Wednesday 13th May to tell my body to stop growing eggs. I was booked for surgery on Friday 15th May at 9:20am to retrieve my eggs and fertilise them and the pointy end of the IVF process to begin. Finally no more medicine!
We had to pinch ourselves as we couldn’t believe we were finally here!
I didn’t sleep the night before the procedure. I was so scared I would sleep in that I didn’t sleep at all. We had to be at the hospital at 8am for Adam to “wank in a cup” as he refers to it. My surgery was booked for 9:20am sharp! The trigger injection I took on Wednesday at 8:20pm had to be done exactly 37 hours before the retrieval – they say this is the timing that they have found works best. It’s all very technical so we just did as we were told.
The procedure went well. I was awake within half an hour and walked out of recovery within the hour.
Although I had grown lots of follicles (20+), our FS advised that my left ovary had been damaged in my laparoscopic surgery I had in December 2014 and as such it hadn’t produced any eggs/responded to injections.
They got 6 eggs all up. Not what we were expecting but a good result considering we were only working with 1 ovary.
My left ovary has fused to my pelvic wall and will likely be removed if I am to have another laparoscopy.
On Saturday 16th May whilst eating lunch we got the call to say that of the 6 eggs collected, 5 were mature enough to be suitable for IVF and of the 5 insemenated – 4 had fertilised.
This was fantastic news! We got a follow up call on Monday 18th to say the 4 were going strong! I cried I was so relieved!
The sun was shining so brightly when I got the calls and I prayed that my dad would watch over them and keep them nice and warm and protect them.
Wednesday 20th May! Embryo Transfer Day!
We arrive early for our appointment and wait to be called in by our specialist. The procedure is over in 5 mins and involves what I can only describe as a plastic “duck bill” similar to that used in a Pap test and a catheter to insert our little embryo into my uterus.
Seeing our little embryo up on the screen made it so real.
I actually felt love for something smaller than a speck of dust.
This was potentially our child and I wanted to protect it. They ask you in initial counselling how you feel about an embryo. I didn’t know how to answer the question then but seeing it with my own eyes and knowing that an embryo is half me and half my husband made it impossible not to feel something. It may be a bunch of cells and invisible to the human eye unless magnified but it’s the closest thing to a child that we have right now and the only feeling in my heart is love.
We then made an appointment with the nurses and were told to come in next Sunday 31st May for a blood test to confirm if it had taken. We were given Crinone which I have to insert (Use your imagination) before bed each night. It contains progesterone to help stimulate the hormones my body would produce in the event of a natural conception.
Of our 4 fertilised embryos , 3 had made it to day 5. 1 was transferred and 2 would be frozen for future cycles.
We went out for dinner to our favourite restaurant to celebrate!
I cut out all caffeine, started to eat clean food and make sure I was drinking lots of water and resting and keeping calm.
The two week wait began!
My boobs were heavy and sore from the day of transfer through until Monday night when all of a sudden they were back to normal.
I had heard that breast tenderness was a very common sign of early pregnancy so when that pain went away I was secretly devastated but tried not to over think it.
This morning though our biggest fear was confirmed – our IVF cycle had failed
I woke up and I was bleeding – my heart sank.
I called my nursing team who could only say “I’m so sorry!” When I heard those words I couldn’t stop the tears.
We went the chemist and bought a sensitive home pregnancy test and confirmed what I already knew – Negative
My husband and I just sat holding each other with tears running down our faces.
No words can describe the pain our hearts right now. The emotional pain is greater than any physical pain I’ve ever experienced.
The only thing keeping me from crawling into a ball right now is the 2 little frosties (frozen embryos) that we have which there is still hope for.
It’s one thing to not fall pregnant naturally but another to have a failed IVF cycle. We spent $12000 and still no baby!
We have tried for almost 18 months for a baby. We first discussed IVF 6 months ago but it took 4 months to get an appointment.
We have already rearranged our spare room to make way for a cot. We know what pram we want and have teddies and bibs that I couldn’t not buy when i saw them.
I think we will wait a few months before we try again as I want to give my body a rest and don’t know that I could handle a back to back negative if it failed.
The silver lining is we can go Overseas for our wedding anniversary after all!
Thank you to everyone who has provided us with love and support over the last few months.
We will try and keep our chins up and keep positive thoughts through this journey.
This certainly isn’t the end of the road. This is just the beginning and it’s going to be worth every minute. When it’s meant to be – it will be