There’s a knot growing in the pit of my stomach. It’s the eve of our paperwork appointment for IVF cycle two. Tomorrow we’ll be setting foot in the clinic for the first time in over five months. The first time since the blood test that confirmed the end of round one.
I’ve felt a bit off-kilter for the last few days. The excitement and anticipation of starting treatment again has waned. In its place, anxiety is raising its ugly head. Will it work? Have I done enough this time? Will we still have viable embryos by day five?
So many “what ifs” are swirling around my mind; I miss the innocence of being an IVF newbie. The reality of what’s on the line this time is almost suffocating. Planning this cycle around our upcoming wedding, around work. All the while still factoring in the COVID implications. And not to mention the financial impact that we’re now facing.
Reduce stress, they say. But how do you do that when it’s the treatment itself that is causing the stress?
Tomorrow, I am only signing paperwork and figuring out rough starting dates. Yet, as I type, my chest is becoming tighter. The thought of starting it all again inducing a panic.
At the side of me, Simon is snoring away, deep in sleep. I wonder if he faces the same inner torment. If he does, he certainly doesn’t show it. It’s really difficult, processing things in different ways. Am I over thinking things, being irrationally anxious? Probably so. Is he really indifferent to the situation? Probably not.
Preparing For IVF Cycle Two
I reflect upon everything that’s gone since our last round. I’ve had a HSG that showed no adhesions that could impact implantation, removing one irrational fear. My thyroid levels are in check with daily medication. I have been taking additional supplements – specifically COQ-10 and a higher dose of vitamin D. This is in attempt to have better egg quality. Simon has also been taking COQ-10. We’re hopeful this will lead to better embryo quality this time around. More viable embryos by day 5, better quality, embryos to freeze. Really, we’ll take any improvement on last time.
We’ve been trying to minimise our risk of catching COVID. We’re both triple jabbed. But having both been struck down with it a couple of months prior to our last cycle of IVF, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if it hindered our chances. While nothing is conclusive, some studies seem to suggest that there’s an impact on sperm quality – and possibly even on egg quality. Touch wood, so far we’ve avoided Omicron.
And we’ve agreed to follow a different protocol this time around. Different medications throughout, with the possibility of lowering the dosage so as not to stimulate too quickly. Extra progesterone to hopefully assist implantation.
When Is Enough Really Enough?
While I know that we’re doing everything in our power to bring about a more positive outcome this time, I’m acutely aware that it still might not be enough. Having not even quite started our second round yet, I’m already questioning how much more of this we, and particularly I, can do.
So far, four out of our seven years together have been dominated by trying to conceive. When we get married in a few weeks time, we’ll be jumping straight into a cycle to start our married life. But I’m not sure how long I’m willing to let it dictate our lives for beyond this cycle. At what point do we have to make peace? At what point do we start to pursue other routes into parenthood?
For now, I’m going to stop my ramblings and try and get some sleep. Tomorrow is another big day on this journey. If you’ve managed to make sense of this drip feed of my late night thoughts, thanks for sticking with me!