Well that cheeky DG beat me to sharing the good news. On my own pc as well! The nerve!
I rang the clinic first thing this morning and got no answer, 8.30, still no answer. 9am I realise I’ve been ringing the wrong number! Dial again and get straight through, and just as DG walks through the door. I ask for the results of my oestradiol test from Friday, its not good good. 25,000. The number on its own wouldn’t have meant that much if I didn’t already know that that high would be bad. I could have cried there and then, I instantly lost the remains of my sense of humour, and when dh called shortly after to check how I was I fought to stay on top of it all.
The drive down there took a long time, well to me it did. There was no best option really from what we could think. At best I thought the scan would show things weren’t too bad and they’d try coasting and do another blood test (grrrr yucky things) and we’d be left in limbo for a few more days.
We only had to wait a very short while in the waiting room which always helps. My two little monsters try their best at being good but both have the attention span of a goldfish so its shortlived, and they’re usually causing havoc well before we even get to go in.
Mr R drew up a chair at the head end to my left while nice nurse sat the other side and prepared dildocam for go. As she did a quick scan across it was quite clear that my ovaries have filled all of my lower abdomen and are in fact meeting in the middle. Kissing as Mr R put it. You could see all the follicles were now looking pretty big but in my mind this probably wasn’t good. Mr R took his turn with the probe made a few passing comments and then said, ‘There are some good signs and some not good. Yes’
Yes! Yes what!
I looked mildly confused before he said he was happy for us to ahead for egg collection on Wednesday! I told him I could happily jump up and kiss him however, with my legs in stirrups and nothing to cover my modesty other than a thin paper toga, I thought it best to stay put!
Apparently it looks as though there is nothing in there but ovary and follicles, which is a good thing, no other fluid to show signs of a problem. They don’t have to contend with me getting pregnant and the extra issues that would cause. Also helped that my only symptoms are the bloomin uncomfortableness from having ovaries the size of … oh I don’t know, what’s 7cm? A softball? They’re big anyway. I can feel them easily just by pressing my stomach gently, and they go g’dong insdie when I walk. They’re big!
When we asked if all this meant I had PCOS he laughed, and said Yes. (I guess that was funny lol, I think I was still looking confused at this point) Not that it should affect me much but if I want afterwards he will treat the PCOS accordingly. Good to know. This however brought up the question of egg quality, and again he laughed when he looked at my monsters, the fact I have never miscarried, and still managed to get pregnant twice with dh’s swimmer levels.
He didn’t even want to restest my oestradiol levels today. His answer was ‘No I don’t want to know!’. Which to anyone else may sound a little flippant but his point was that I have around 40 follicles with at least 30 of these at around 18-20mm, my levels will be through the roof because of this and knowing them doesn’t really help.
To stay on the safe side he is going to monitor things carefully. I will be back in Saturday to be scanned and if necessary will be brought back in early next week to take out fluid. I will start back on Suprecur the night of egg collection to help bring things down too. Apparently this treatment is a little old school, but it works and they’ll be using it in conjunction with everything else they can do too.
Its going to get worse before it gets better, but hey! Its going to get better and there’s an end in sight!
So tonight is Pregnyl night. 10,000 iu at 11.30pm precisely. We have glass vial breaking and powder mixing to contend with. But, it can’t be that hard can it?
Yes those are our odds that this cycle will continue. 50/50. No better, no worse. It feels like the toss of a coin, and that feels like we’re working on luck, and I’ve never been much of one for good luck.
On both sides the number of follicles have increased, but not too dramatically. The left ovary now measures 4.5 cm and has gone from 12 follicles to 14. Eleven of those have developed to 14-16 mm, while the others are apparently much smaller. On the right at 7 cm (i think it was) things still aren’t looking good. The nurse stopped counting at 20 and got on with measuring the main follicles. A couple had grown right up to almost 18mm, a good handful to 14-16 with a lot of the others being much smaller. The hope is that those at 14-16 mm can be coaxed to nearer 18 over the weekend, whilst dropping the stimulation drugs right down so the smallest ones don’t develop much further.
Bloods were also taken to test my oestradiol levels. They’ll use this in conjunction with a scan on Monday to try and get a clearer overall picture of how things are, and what options they have.
Their issue isn’t whether I go into hyper-stimulation now, although obviously there’s still a risk. Its when I’m given the hcg injection prior to egg collection that thigns could get ugly. And, once this is given, there’s nothing they can do to take it back! Because I am there solely as a donor, they have said they’re not prepared to take any kind of risk and that the hfea is very clear on that side of things too.
Come Monday lunchtime we could be being told egg collection is Wednesday, or we could be being told its all over for now.
I’ve just done tonight’s jabs, or rather dh has while I bury my face against his shoulder, screw my eyes up and breathe deeply. My stimming drugs have been dropped right down to 50iu to try and and slow things down as much as we can without grinding to a halt and compromising egg quality. I’m not finding them any easier, if anything now the outcome is possibly looking bleak, I’m finding them harder.
I’m guessing the drugs, the bloating and my two monsters driving me slightly batty aren’t helping but I’m feeling quite down about everything this evening. I knew when I initially made the offer this was going to be a very big thing for me to do. I have never coped well with needles. My mum’s first question about how the first jabs went was whether I collapsed or not! To carry on right up until the point of egg collection and then being told its not going ahead and in a few months time we will have to start again is pretty unbearable. I would probably even have to continue taking the suprecur jabs for a while now to calm the follicles back down again.
Not saying I wouldn’t do it, that’s not my point, its just that cancelling Monday would be pretty worst case scenario for me. It feels very selfish even to say that, as for dg there is a much bigger picture, and so many other things to contend with even if we are successful in getting a positive pregnancy test, but its just how I feel this evening. One of the worst things I remember from our brush with infertility is the not knowing, and here we are again, in limbo, not knowing.
To be honest I think the hormones are kicking in, and I need a bloody decent night’s sleep, so tomorrow morning I’m likely to feel much more cheerful about everything. But, hey, this is what blogs are for. To let it all out. So I have. And now I shall go to the kitchen and eat cold roast potatoes that I didn’t have room for when I eat my tea earlier as my stomach is fighting for room with my jumbo over-excitable ovaries!
Well my waistline has certainly expanded since yesterday and I’m more uncomfy, but I didn’t explode overnight and its all certainly deal with-able so far. Obviously, I’m really concerned at the prospect of our cycle being cancelled. They did say that was pretty much worst case scenario, but thats always the one you worry about isn’t it?
So, another scan at around midday tomorrow, and possibly a blood test. We both spent yesterday evening traipsing through cyberspace finding info on the management of cycles with a high number of follicles, and there seems to be a lot of evidence that ‘coasting’ may be the way to go. I’m waddling a little already so if they manage to string this out til next next wednesday I’d best go hunting for any remains of my maternity wardrobe!
Hope everyone’s well in blogland. Congrats to Rae!
Excuse the language please but, considering I have only taken 4 days of stims with my total intake of puregon being only 600 iu how many follicles do you think they found on my scan…
wait for it…
(plus possibly a few little ones hiding)
Yep, you read that right. Twelve on the left, 20 on the right with a range between 10 and 14mm.
As fantastic as the prospect of many many eggs is, the clinic are of course concerned about hyper-stimulation. So far I am feeling well and not particularly bloated (up until this evening typically!). They have dropped my dosage to 100iu to rescan on Friday, when they may drop it even further, or even stop it all together and allow the follicles to ‘coast’ for a few days on their own.
Worst case scenario (other than me ending up in hospital) is that the cycle has to be abandoned. Of course, this is the the scenario we are both imagining and worrying about but at this stage they are still confident there is a good chance they can monitor me closely and complete the cycle with a good healthy set of eggs. I have to keep an eye on symptoms, with anything too drastic meaning I have to give them a ring.
So Friday is going to be quite a critical scan. Egg collection could even end up being as early as Monday! But a better outcome will keep us with the original date of Wednesday. We will have both my monsters in tow instead of just the little one as its not a nursery day so things could get interesting anyway.
I’ve just eaten a big tea so now I definitely feel like I’m going to explode. I’m off to the sofa for a lie down before I pop
Well as DG wrote, I have been away. Visiting family over the bank holiday weekend again, and again forgot to take my password for wordpress with me! Not sure I would have had the chance to get anything on here even I had though.
Where do I start then? Well, as I wrote we took our last pill Sunday 29th, and went for our baseline scans Wednesday 2nd May. Neither of us had any bleeding at this point and we were a little concerned this would have a knock-on effect on all our treatment dates.
My scan was first. Everything looking as it should. My lining was very thin but, would be unlikely to build whatever the situation as this is the main effect of having the coil fitted. Both ovaries showed some small follicles ready to develop without looking too hard for them. This has again led them to think I will produce a lot of eggs.
Next up was DG. Her first chance to wear a sexy paper toga! Her lining was thicker than they were happy to start with, but they saw no reason why she wouldn’t start to have a small bleed pretty imminently so booked another scan in for Friday 4th in the hope things would be ready then.
The the drugs came out. A cute little lime green rucksack-full which little E immediately had her eye on. We went through everything step by step, and I tried to listen even though I could feel my stomach turning and my face getting hot. With both dg regularly taking her bloodthinners, and another close friend recently gone through ivf herself I had convinced myself this was something I could face (or I wouldn’t have made the offer in the first place). So, I took in all the information I could to make things easier when the time came.
The nurse left us to discuss the treatment and drug options with MrR, and returned with their decision. If DG, bled in the next 24 hours or so, chances were that the scan would show us fine to start injections on the Friday as planned. And, as they expected me to react very well to stimulation they saw no reason why this would effect the dates we had already planned around. They want to scan me slightly earlier than normal. After 5 days of stims instead of 7. This means the scan tomorrow (Wednesday 9th) still stands.
My drugs are – Suprecur 0.3 ml subcutaneous injections daily (from Fri 4th) and for Stimulation, 150 iu of Puregon daily by subcutaneous injection pen. This is the lowest amount of stimulation they prescribe, and will be reviewed later if they feel it is necessary.
All went well the next day when I woke to a little spotting. As I knew DG had been on exactly the same drugs for the same amount of time there was a good chance she would also start spotting. And, later in the day I was right. Neither of us recalls being so happy over a bit of blood in someone’s knickers!
Her scan the next day meant the first time she had been to the clinic alone. Felt a bit odd for the pair of us I think. Her lining was thinning but wasn’t quite at a level for them to give her the green light on starting her estrogen tablets. They decided I could still start injections that night as planned, and DG would start her tablets Sunday night.
All systems go!
Packing the car to visit family, I repeatedly made sure all my drugs were in the car as I knew DH wouldn’t be impressed if made to drive several hours back down the motorway.
That night at 8 o’clock I started to prepare everything. I was confident I could do what was needed. Charged my puregon pen and dialled up the dose, put my suprecur syringe together and drew up the correct dose. DH and brother-in-law were putting the kids to bed, and all other family members were at the cinema, so I had a few moments of peace to get things done.
I grabbed an inch or two at my middle, held the needle in my hand, and … nothing. My hand wouldn’t move any nearer to my belly. I thought ‘this is daft’ so tried again and just couldn’t do it. I could feel the anxiety starting to rise so put the needle cap back on, put the syringe to one side and waited for dh to come down and give me a bit of support.
He came downstairs, saw I hadn’t got anywhere, so gave me a hug and asked if I was ready to try again. At this point I still wanted to try myself. But, it still wasn’t happening. That was when the tears first started. Only a little, but I was upset I couldn’t do something so simple that HAD to be done. We put the needle down again, and went and made a cup of tea. On return DH offered to give it a try, but each time he tried I would stop him and check something, and twice when he was just moving the needle around to look at it while I explained exactly what he had to do I flinched. And then I really burst into tears. It was full on sobbing time.
I knew I had a problem with needles before any of this started. I have got better over the years, and can go get a blood test on my own without too many nail marks in furniture or threatening to punch anyone. And to DG reading this, don’t worry, I’m a big girl and knew what I was agreeing to, and whatever the outcome I know it is all absolutely worth it. I’m writing this all here so if someone else finds themself in the same situation they know they are not alone. You can get over it, as I’ll explain in a moment but not everybody finds this side of things easy, and its something you need to address if thats the case.
Anyway, back to Friday night. With the kids in bed we decided to drive round Chester looking for a chemist still open to get some EMLA cream (local anaesthetic, or ‘magic’ cream). At this point I wasn’t even sure that would make a difference but it gave us something constructive to do. We first arrived in Sainsbury’s. I was so upset I couldn’t even get the words out. So, when DH asked for me, and the pharmacist replied they had none in stock, I burst into tears again. Yes I truly felt stupid then, crying in the middle of Sainsbury’s! Thankfully she didn’t think I was daft at all as she dislikes needles herself and offered to ring round other chemists to see who had some in stock.
So, off to Asda we go. The guy behind the counter there didn’t actually seem to have a clue what he was talking about but, he had a small tube of EMLA so i didn’t care. He didn’t have the clear dressings that go with it though (in fact he tried to give me some wadding to cover it up that would have just soaked it all up!) so we traipsed round the aisles to find some clingfilm and medical tape. With magic cream in hand, we then also went to find some chocolate and peruse barbecue to take my mind off things.
In the car park outside I slapped on the cream and made my makeshift dressing. It was now 9.15pm , and the cream had to be on for at least an hour. I hadn’t intended for my injections to be quite so late but wer’e a pair of night owls so it wasn’t too much of an issue.
10.15pm we went and hid in sister-in-law’s kitchen. Initially I tried again myself, but wasn’t convinced the area was numb. I could even face slightly pricking the skin to check so DH offered to get a fork. Followed by two minutes of stomach stabbing with said fork! It worked though and I was convince of my stomach’s numbness. Took some deep breaths, and went for dh doing the injections while I held the ‘inch’ i wanted stabbing and looked the other way. The first words that came out of my mouth once the needle had gone in here ‘It didn’t hurt!’. The puregon pen after was equally successful, even though that did still sting after. We had done it!
The following night we had a new challenge. Out for a meal in a large packed restaurant! At nine, I disappeared to the loo to do my cream, and at 10 we snuck off to a thankfully fairly secluded bar area. We got on with things much quicker this time. Best way to do it I think. I definitely stress more over time. Various staff members were giving us funny looks and then pretended they hadn’t seen anything as we walked back to out table. I don’t think they liked to ask! lol. I still felt a little shaky, but we held hands under the table and continued our meal.
DH has repeatedly told me how proud he is of me. Initially sounding like he was congratulating a small child but I know he is sincere. I know when I first explained to him my issues when we first met he didn’t realise how severe it was until he saw things first hand. So being one of the few people that has seen me that upset he knows what a big deal this is for me to do. (Promise its definitely worth it though DG!)
The third night and again things went smoothly. This time we went for a new location. A service station ont he way home, with both little monsters looking on! As T has recently had his school booster jabs he didn’t even ask what I was having an injection for and offered me a strawberry chewit afterwards for being a good brave girl! He got a big hug for that one!
That brings me to the final set of jabs last night. Not so great but again we got through it. I didn’t feel my stomach felt as numb as before but could deal with that. The main issue was that the puregon pen didn’t have enough in the cartridge to finish the dose, so we had to stop, change the cartridge and needle, and do a third jab. I have a time limit to holding back the panic so the added time didn’t help things, and the extra soreness after didn’t cheer me up either. It was done though, another day down! I even momentarily considered a chart on the wall to cross off days. But, I know each jab is one step closer.
So now we just wait until tomorrow and see what my follicles are up to. On the upside I haven’t turned into a raging hormonal monster yet, or a big bloater. I’m sure that fun is yet to come!
Yes, we’ve both taken our last birth control pill. It felt like a historic moment popping the last one out of the pack. I’ve been more than a bit poorly with some kind of tummy bug over the last day or so, so I think the main thing on my mind was making sure I kept it down long enough to get in my system!
Better to be sick now though than in a few days time. That really would be harsh. Wednesday has, of course, turned out to be a really busy day in general. DG and I have to get T to nursery, then travel to the clinic and back with E for our scans and to sort out our drugs, then back in time to pick up T, get him home and changed to take him back out for Taekwondo. He’s been going 4 weeks now, and is the youngest and smallest there, very easily distracted by things around him when he should maybe be listening but he loves it. Then an hour later we have a local Police and Community meeting from 7-9 which dh will have to go to by himself while I feed the kids and get them into bed. Then, and only then, when he returns can we try and find a moment of peace to tackle those first injections.
After lots of umming and ahhing, dh’s employer have decided the two days he is taking off to look after me cannot be compassionate leave, he has to use his leave days. Their reason? Because this is a planned procedure. By their own admission, if he had rung up on the day of EC and said, ‘Sorry, I can’t come into work, my wife is going into hospital for the day and I need to look after her’, they would have given himt he day off without question. Because we have tried to be helpful and keep them informed they don’t want to know. It also came up that this only counts if I am ill, by their understanding there is no provision for him to take leave if one of our children has an accident or is ill! Hmmm, this is a very very large employer in the UK who claim to be supportive and family friendly. I disagree.