Hi everyone! I know it’s Christmas Eve and I’m discussing a serious topic, however, I some-what felt inspired to type this, this morning.
So, as some of you guys know… Joe and I went through IVF in January 2020 (which I can’t believe was two years ago now) and sadly wasn’t successful, which I go into detail here. We have been trying on and off for just over five years.
BUT, we are hopeful to try again once I’m fully recovered from my stoma reversal, which should be happening in March, and then we can try again for IVF at the end of the year! I’m unsure if I’m going to share when it will exactly be, but of course my family and close friends will know. Who knows, this time, I may openly share and document each step on Instagram stories as I was so secretive before.
I can’t put into words how thankful I have been for all of your messages, comments, encouragement or tips for what helped you when you when trying to conceive or going through IVF. AND, to hear so many of you are struggling too! Or have shared successful IVF stories with me!
I know this blog post won’t be for everyone but for those of you who are considering IVF or about to go through it… I wanted to share just a few things that helped me or things I wish I would have known.
IVF is an emotional whirlwind, is costly (however, if you have health insurance cover like myself and Joe then even better) and is hugely frustrating!
The very first steps is that you’ll have a consultation and have blood tests, then once all ok and you’ve discussed options, you’ll have scans every other day and do the injections every day at a particular time (ours was 9pm). Usually you do injections for 10 days but we ended up doing injections for two weeks as my follicles weren’t growing to the size they wanted them to grow at, so they also had to increase the liquid dosage. This is to stimulate your ovaries to produce lots of follicles which will hopefully release eggs! So after your follicles are mature, you do a ‘trigger shot’ to trigger ovulation.
After two days, you do egg collection! Egg collection was really straight forward, I was put to sleep (anesthesia) while they collected the follicles. When I woke up from egg collection, I didn’t feel anything but I was slightly uncomfortable, I suppose because I didn’t have many follicles to collect I didn’t feel the pain if say 20 follicles were collected. Only 3 follicles were successful and only one fertilised with the sperm. Which meant I could go ahead with embryo transfer soon after.
I was awake for embryo transfer, it just felt like a smear test, but the lady had trouble putting it in because of my cyst on my right ovary (which I no longer have :-(…). BUT, it went in (as I saw on a screen) and we WERE pregnant… but then when I did a pregnancy test two/three weeks later, I only had one line.
Things to note: you may get bruising from the injections and you may get bloated and feel uncomfortable. And you may feel tired! I felt/had all three. And, there’s obviously no guarantee that you’ll get pregnant.
My advice for egg collection and embryo transfer is book time off work, you NEED to rest and have a duvet day or two. On embryo transfer day, I wasn’t allowed to do ANYTHING! I had to get a taxi home from London as I wasn’t even allowed to walk very far, so consider travel options on your big embryo transfer day.
One thing I wish I knew before going for IVF, was to remove my endo cyst on one of my ovaries, because if I had that endometriosis operation (it would of been my forth one) I may never of had a stoma and lost an ovary. So, if you suffer with cysts on your ovaries, get them removed before going for IVF just to be on the safe side.
Also, now that we have Archie (our pup), I’m going to find an IVF clinic through Bupa, closer to home! It might not be the best one, but we have two more rounds on Joe’s health insurance cover before we need to start forking out thousands. I don’t particularly want to go into London every other day for three weeks again, it was exhausting, so, somewhere in Hertfordshire is ideal.
Those are just a few of the things I wish I’d known going into IVF and for next time… I cannot thank you guys enough for all of the helpful tips and encouragement you have sent my way.
This journey has definitely been one of the hardest ones I have ever gone through, and a LONG one to process and prepare for our next attempt.
There are some great Instagram accounts on infertility that have helped me if you’re interested, infertilityschool, Laura Bradshaw, wild_ride_fertility to name a few…
Thanks for reading! And have a lovely Christmas!