I really don't know where to start with this post, so I'll just come straight out with it. We have just completed what will have been our first and only IVF cycle, and I am now two days post embryo transfer. We decided to do it more as a closure thing than anything else. We both felt that if we didn't explore every avenue then we would look back with regrets.
So, at the ripe old age of 43, I went down a road I thought I never would. Our RE was starkly honest about our chances of success - somewhere around 5% I think. I'll write more later about our protocol and false starts along the way, but once we finally got going, my meds were as follows:
Gonal F 300, increased to 450 on CD8 (I think it was CD8) once per day
Luveris once per day
Clexane once per day
Buserilin injections, morning and night
Prednisolone 25mg per day
To be honest at the outset I was only going through the motions. To me it was a box ticking exercise (pardon the pun), one more thing to say we tried. I imagined my ancient ovaries might struggle to make three or four eggs. It turned out that I vastly underestimated them. At my CD7 scan I had 10 follicles, at CD 9, 11 follicles, at CD 12, 14 follicles and at CD13 they thought possibly 15 follicles. Oh my poor aching ovaries, but boy was I proud of them!
My egg collection went really well. The morphine cocktail sent me off into the most blissful sleep I had had in months, and a total of 13 eggs were retrieved. We really could not believe it. 13 eggs from my 43 year old ovaries. The following day we got the call to say that out of 13, 8 were mature, and six fertilised by ICSI. That was last Friday afternoon, and we were told that we would not hear anymore from the clinic until Monday afternoon.
I had intended going back into work that day to clear my desk, but wisely decided against it. Monday seemed to go on forever. I swung between wild optimism and depths of dispair. What if none survived and it was game over? At 4.15pm the call came. At 4 days post retrieval, five out of six of our embryos were still hanging in there. We were to come back to the clinic at 2pm the following day. The embryologist would check our little crop in the morning, but if all was well we would not hear from them.
So no phone call came and off we set for Dublin once more. I struggled with a full bladder, and had to go to the bathroom and start refilling. I got gowned up and we went down to the transfer room. The embryologist came in and told us that although we still had five embryos, two had slowed down in development so we were now down to three. The two best ones were being transferred and if the remaining one still looked good the following day, they would call us to let us know they would freeze. If they didn't call, we could take it that it was not fit for freezing.
Then it was time to get into the stirrups and get these embryos into their new home. It all went easier than I had expected. I didn't have to have my bladder full to bursting which I had been dreading, and the whole procedure didn't last more than five minutes. The doctor and nurses were really lovely and put us at our ease. An hour or so later we were ready for the road home. I reclined the passenger seat, snuggled up under a blanket and got some much needed sleep.
Since then I have been putting the feet up. We didn't get that call from the embryologist, so that means we don't have a backup frozen embryo. But we do have two little blastocysts on board. My mood is all over the place. Today I am extremely weepy, only able to think of how hard it will be when I get a negative test. Other times I allow myself to think it might work. I have to keep reminding myself of how far we have come and how much our expectations have been exceeded so far. So who knows? In ten days time all will be revealed....
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