Wednesday, 11 September 2013

I don't like Mondays

I never once imagined writing this post.

What I thought of be writing about today was how we had our final scan at the Nuffield before finishing stimulation. I thought I'd be writing about all the follicles we saw and how exciting it was. How we rushed home with the trigger shot to get it into the fridge as soon as possible. How we anxiously awaited the phone call to confirm when to administer it and then hurried to book a hotel for the following night and started organising what we needed to take with us.

That's not what happened.

It all started so well. We went for the scan and saw loads and loads of follicles. I'd been getting a pain in my right side with every step and the scan showed why. I'd got at least twenty-seven on that side including a 19mm one! The nurse gave up counting the left side because there were so many.

I'd been told to stop my jabs because we should be ready for egg collection on Wednesday so it looked like we were going to be all ready to go.

Then we got the first blow. Due to my high number of follicles I was hyper stimulating so we'd probably have to freeze all of (any) embryos we got to give my body a chance to recover before we moved on to a frozen transfer a few months down the line.

Mr Click was a bit more surprised at this than me because he'd forgotten this warning at the beginning. I thought 'that's okay, at least we'll know that we've got embryos to use'. Sure, that would've made things a bit tricky with actually getting them transferred because of the winter weather, but at least we'd know they were there.

Talking about it on the way home we decided that this would be for the best, after all, we wanted me to be healthy and able to produce the best possible environment for our baby-to-be. It was a set back, but not a huge one.

After our scan I had another vial of blood taken and then our nurse, L, went over what we needed to do in preparation for the op. I was elated, even with the strong likelihood of having to do a 'freeze all' I couldn't help but feel excited at the prospect of moving on to the next stage. We went through the fact I couldn't eat or drink from midnight the night before, how I couldn't wear make up or perfume, what Mr Click would need to do. We'd already looked up the hotel we'd stop in so we discussed that too.

All we had to do was wait for the call to let us know when to administer the trigger shot. We got it and then had to dash off for home because it needed to be put in a fridge until I had to take it. I'd planned a leisurely lunch and a spot of shopping for the afternoon but we cancelled that immediately in favour of heading home as quickly as we could.

I spent the whole time freaking out, panicking that Mr Click would warm it up too much by holding the bag it was in on his lap or something.

I needn't have bothered.

We were just getting off the boat when the call came and my heart sank the minute I answered it and heard 'I'm afraid it's not good news'.

Our cycle was cancelled.

Even just typing it out like that makes me feel crushed.

My estrogen levels were too high so my ovaries were hyper stimulated. If we carried on to egg collection and I administered the trigger I could get really really sick with OHSS.

I stood there on the boat taking this call and just felt everything sort of crash down around me. All the trips, all the early starts, all the holidays I used from work, all the pills, all the injections, all the side effects, all the discomfort I'd felt over that last weekend; I told myself it would all be worth it in the end. And this was it, the end, and it didn't feel worth it at all.

The hospital were lovely. Our doctor phoned once we had a chance to get home and L phoned again later in the evening to check we were doing okay. I wanted so badly to be angry with them, but I couldn't. They didn't do anything wrong, it was just my body finding new and unusual ways to disappoint me.

Dr L chatted to me on the phone for a good while, making sure I understood the exact reason why we needed to cancel it. Ironically I can't have unprotected sex until I get a bleed because there could potentially be a lot of eggs floating around and we can't risk anything happening there. All I can say is good luck to them negotiating my twisted, scarred Fallopian tubes!

There's a different, short protocol that we could try next time. I think this mythical 'next time' is probably the worst part of it all. People keep on mentioning it to try and help us feel better, but it just hurts all the more.

We live on a Scottish island which means transport to the hospital requires not only two trains and a taxi, but also a ferry. In the winter months (or rather between around October and March, so part of autumn and spring as well) the ferries can be unpredictable due to windy weather. That basically rules our a huge chunk of the year when we can't plan any sort of treatment.

We need to wait roughly two months before we could try again which would take us into November. I used to commute to university every day and I've done travel in bad weather, I've had to leave early because the boats are being cancelled, I've had to make emergency arrangements to sleep on people's floors. Now I have a job and a labrador, it's not that easy any more. Calling Uni because I can't get off the island is one thing, what if we had to cancel the next cycle because we can't get to a crucial appointment?

Although the earliest we could try again would be November, the earliest we can realistically try again would be March. Come April we'll be two years on the NHS waiting list, what if we start another cycle privately and then get the go ahead to do the NHS one? I doubt whether they would hold our slot on the NHS until we were ready for it.

Right now I'm torn and I really don't know where we go next. I really hate the vibe I got from the other hospital; dirty toilets, staff who don't know where things are, dismissive attitudes when you call for information or support. They might be having a multimillion pound refurb at the moment but they need to make some changes at a really fundamental level too. I love how clean and welcoming the Nuffield was, I like that when Dr L phoned she immediately talked us through what could be done differently to help us get a result in the future; it felt like the staff were sharing in our disappointment with us. If I write out a list of pros and cons, the Nuffield is going to win every time.

But what am I supposed to do in the meantime? It's been a really long four years, another seven months might as well be a lifetime.


  1. I am so sorry. I have no words but know my heart goes out to you.

    1. Thank you. At least we know we can have another shot next year.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. Hopefully next time will be more successful.

  3. Hi there, just started following you. Did you have another go at IVF this year?


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