Sunday, 20 March 2016

Weekly Rundown: Hospital Appointment for FET #2

This week saw the beginning of a trio of weeks where I'm not actually spending a full week at work, thanks to a combination of appointments, Easter and sneaky little days off.

Remember last year when I did a whole Frozen Embryo Transfer and got pregnant and didn't tell any of you about it? Well, we're giving it another go and I've decided I'll maybe be a little more forthcoming this time around.

Last Wednesday our appointment finally rolled around and as it wasn't until 2:15pm so the boats meant we either had a few hours to wander around Glasgow, or next to no time to wander around Glasgow. We opted for the former and spent a chunk of the morning looking around the shops.

I was on the hunt for stationery supplies. I've joined the Bullet Journal Pen Pals group on Facebook and have been writing a lot of letters recently. I've already nearly run out the ink in a set of five biros, and although I bought a couple more Staedtler Fineliners while I was in Wales, I'm not sure how long they'll last either; those pens are expensive. So I treated myself to a pretty fountain pen so I can buy refills instead of whole new pens.

I didn't buy all of these on Wednesday, honest!
I may have developed a slight obsession with washi tape and stickers for my planner as well. I treated myself in The Works as well. One of the things people send with their letters little samples of tape. I have quite a lot of choice now for sending along with my letters, plus a lot of funky tapes to use myself as well.

After gorging at the Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet place that we like, it was time to head on up the road to the hospital.

I'd been psyching myself up for this over the last couple of weeks. I'd even made a page in my Bullet Journal with a short list of questions Mr Click and I had for the doctor. We arrived about three-quarters of an hour early but got in before our time, though we saw a different doctor to the one we were scheduled to see.

Dr R. is one of the doctors we've seen at the hospital, but never actually to talk to but he was fantastic. Seriously, the guy is a mind-reader (or the questions Mr Click and I planned to ask are the questions which most couples returning to use a frozen embryo after a miscarriage tend to ask). Within the first ten minutes of getting into the room, he'd answered roughly half the questions on are list, before we'd even asked them.

Here's a rundown of the questions and answers:

Is there anything we should do differently this time?

Not unless we want to. The sad fact is, one in five 'normal' pregnancies end in miscarriage; the majority of these women go on to get pregnant without any problems afterwards. Had my pregnancy with Elsa and Olaf been a normal one, there's a very strong chance that I would've gone on to get pregnant again by this point; obviously we need a little help in that department so the fact that we successfully got pregnant, however briefly, is a good thing because it proves we can get pregnant. Hopefully the miscarriage was one of those one in fives and the next one will stick around.

Dr R. did say that we could push for a blood test to check my clotting factors or take a couple of extra drugs as a precautionary measure. As with any drug, there can be risks associated with it, which is why it's not given as standard. We're still undecided as to whether we'll go ahead with either the test or the drugs but it's nice to know we've got that option.

Is there an alternative to the Cyclogest pessaries?

My biggest issue with both of our previous embryo transfer attempts have been the Cyclogest pessaries I've had to use. As you're having an 'artificial' cycle, your body needs a little help to produce the hormones needed to sustain a pregnancy. One of the important ones is progesterone, which I took in the form of Cyclogest.

And I hated it.

It's a bullet shaped, waxy lozenge which is inserted (either rectally or vaginally, I went with the latter option) twice daily (twelve hours apart). Following insertion you have to lie down for twenty to thirty minutes and when you move afterwards it leaks out a little. None of that was what bothered me though, what bothered me was the spotting.

I don't for one minute believe that the Cyclogest was the reason for the miscarriage, but I found it really stressful. During the first cycle I put the spotting down to normal post-egg retrieval spotting; during the second cycle I knew that it's just what happens when I use Cyclogest. Not only do I have tangled tubes; I have an irritable cervix too.

Asking to change progesterone supplements was probably the thing was the second most nervous about asking during this appointment; the first being whether or not we would be able to go on with another embryo transfer (I was paranoid they would tell us not to bother or that we couldn't for some reason). I was worried that they would tell us we were stuck with what they prescribed and there was no switching.

But there's another option (thankfully I'm not the only person with an irritable cervix)!

Dr R.'s made a note that we'll be using Crinone gel next time. Having since read online, this gets almost as many complaints from users as the Cyclogest does, though I don't know how many of those people have used both. It's definitely a softer alternative and one that I'm glad to have the option to give a go.

When can we start?

When I asked when we could start Dr R.'s response was 'what day of your cycle are you on?' and I knew that was a good sign. I told him, we did the maths and within ten to fourteen days we should be good to start. The first step being to shut down my system with a Prostap injection.

Another reason why I kind of love Dr R. was the fact that when we told him that we felt ready to start again, he said 'you're comfortable with self-injecting?' and then proceeded to elaborate; to save us from coming all the way back just for an injection. He set it up so that we could take the syringe away with us to do ourselves (or at the local health centre if I chicken out; it's a really big needle).

What next?

I don't need any more tests at the moment. The next step is to wait for my period to show up (it'll be late, it always is when I'm waiting for something like this) and then call the hospital. They'll tell me when to give myself the jab and then there'll be another appointment for a scan (and I think my blood tests). I might dig out my diary from last year to see exactly what happens after than.

So, in the meantime, I'm enjoying my last few days of not being menopausal; then, let the moodswings and hot flushes commence!


  1. The very best of luck to you and Mr Click xx

  2. Good luck, hope things work out this time.

  3. I love the washi tapes. I was sent a few from my sister in law when she was cleaning out her crafts closet. I love the journal, I haven't written in a journal in a long time. I am wishing you great success with these new doctors appointments.

    1. I've developed a bit of an addiction to washi tape. When we were shopping yesterday I mysteriously acquired another seven rolls. No idea how that happened.

      I couldn't get by without my Bullet Journal now. It's like my brain in a book!

      And thank you. :-)


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