patient in bed with hospital machines

Ever heard the saying “you wait all day for a bus and then two come at once”? Well, that’s exactly how my life has played out recently. Especially concerning IVF round two.

At Christmas, we were finally added to the waiting list for IVF attempt number two. We were told to expect to hear back with a date for a paperwork appointment in January. Before we knew it, the end of January was upon us and no appointment had come through. Cue me ringing again, expecting to be told that I’d have to wait a bit longer. Surprisingly, the receptionist made an appointment for me there and then, for the 9th February.

More shockingly, she told me that she was sending an invoice which would need to be paid before we attended the paperwork appointment. Luckily, we were in a position to scrape the money together to pay for the cycle.

patient in bed with hospital machines

Paperwork Appointment – Round Two

We attended the appointment and were over the moon to find out that we didn’t have to re-sign most of the documents as they were still valid from our first cycle. With our lives signed away and obligatory STI checks done, we were sent around to the hospital to repeat blood tests. Invariably, we are both terrible to get blood out of! After a couple of attempts, the nurse gave up!

Wedding

At our appointment, I was on cycle day 89! But due to our upcoming wedding, we chose not to do anything there and then. I was told to ring up after the wedding so that I could be prescribed provera to induce a bleed and enable us to schedule the cycle.

To our surprise, 3 days before we were due to get married, aunt flow made an appearance. As per instructions I rang the clinic to explain and was told they were unable to fit me in for a couple of months, so to start taking the pill.

However, half an hour later I received another call from the clinic stating that they’d rather use my natural cycle and would be able to fit me in at another of their clinics, but I’d have to start the cycle the next day. That meant injecting over our wedding weekend.

Round Two: Go Ahead

We decided to go for it. I’d only be on the third day of injections by the wedding so hopefully wouldn’t bloat too much by then. I enlisted the help of a friend to inject me whilst in my dress (enabling me to stick to the schedule of evenly timed injections) and round two had started!

As per the results of our follow up appointment following our first attempt, I was on Goal F instead of Menopur. Despite the change, my scans during the stems phase were similar to those of the first cycle. By the first scan on day 5, I had signs of responding but fewer than 10 follicles. By day 9, there were 46 counted! The largest follicles were still under 20mm though, so I kept injecting over the weekend and was booked for my egg collection on the Tuesday.

Egg Collection and Transfer

Off we went to Manchester for the egg collection. It was a much better experience than my first round at the other clinic. Si was allowed to stay with me and we were in our own private room. I was taken down to theater and woke up back in the room 40 minutes later.

Initially after the procedure, I found that I was more sore than previously but after a while, the pain subsided and I was able to have a cup of tea and a few biscuits before being discharged. 

At risk of OHSS again, I was told to watch for the symptoms and attend an OHSS check up a couple of days later. On the whole, I felt better than after the first round. And at the check up, the Dr wasn’t too concerned. 

In a weird twist, I had exactly the same number of eggs collected as the first round – 19. This time, however, all 19 were mature and all fertilised though 3 were abnormal. We had 16 embryos that we were willing to get to transfer day.

When the day arrived, we travelled to Manchester for transfer having been told that we still had a number of embryos in play but one in particular was more advanced. Unfortunately at the scan, the doctor performing the transfer wasn’t happy with the amount of fluid he could see, nor the size of my ovaries. Due to this, he wouldn’t perform the transfer.

doctor using a microscope

Frozen Embryos

In particular, I was devastated. Last time, we were told that everything looked great. But by transfer we only had one poor quality embryo and nothing to freeze. What if these embryos weren’t good enough to freeze, either?

We had a nervous wait till the following morning to learn how many, if any, of our embryos had made the freeze. I am relieved to say that we were informed that 7 did!! Seven embryos safely in the freezer, waiting for transfers.

So we keep waiting. Shortly, we’ll have a follow up appointment to set the ball rolling on our first FET cycle. And in the meantime, we keep everything crossed!

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