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My IVF Story

Posted by Dr Fertility on

ivfAt the age 30, following 2 years of trying to get pregnant naturally and testing lots of methods, including ovulation kits, I decided it was time to get myself to the doctor. After a long wait, I was sent for tests and it was discovered that I had a low egg count. Given that my Mum and Grandma went through the menopause at 40, the doctor suggested that I ‘waste no time’ and go straight for IVF (no pressure there then!!).


After waiting for a year and lots more tests for me and my hubby, I found myself at the IVF clinic. It was finally happening! It was with both a mixture of relief and fear that I watched the nurse show me how to inject my stomach with the drugs to stimulate my ovaries (the drugs would stimulate the ovaries to make lots of eggs, which would then be collected and fertilised).


Back at home I now had to wait for day 1 (the first day of my period) to begin the drugs and start the cycle. The first time in a long time I had actually willed my period to arrive!! I looked at the massive pile of drugs that had arrived and took a deep breath. Part of me was happy that I was actually doing something to help things along and part of me felt annoyed that I had to go through all this, whilst all around, women seemed to get knocked up by just looking at a guy.


Anyway, it was time to do my first injection. Sitting there with a needle in hand, it seemed a very strange thing to do to willing stab oneself! I had never been bothered my needles, but doing it myself was another matter. I managed to get a grip, and actually, it wasn’t that bad. This then became the norm, every night after work, going upstairs to be a pin cushion. My stomach became quite sore after a while and there were a few times when I had a bit of a cry. Then I would have some chocolate as a reward, and all was ok again (ice packs on the stomach before and after helped a lot too).


Then the time arrived for the first scan to see how many follicles I had grown (usually there is an egg in each follicle.) This was the first big hurdle, it was possible that I had been through all this pain for nothing, and there would be no follicles at all. Thankfully I had 9 follicles, not loads, but good enough…phew! Some were a bit small though so they wanted to wait a bit longer before they collected them. More waiting. That’s one of the worst things about IVF, the endless waiting.


Back for another scan, and this time the follicles were behaving and were a nice size. Time for the trigger shot (a final injection that preps the body for releasing the eggs ready for collection.) The egg collection was done at the clinic and for some reason I didn’t expect it to be very clinical…it was…as I entered the room it looked like a proper surgery room and I suddenly felt a bit scared. The nurses were amazing though and held my hand whilst I was sedated. The last thing I remember was feeling very drunk and then waking up to be told they had collected 9 eggs. It was a bit sore for that day, but no more than a bad period really.


The worst bit was the waiting…would they fertilise…would all this be for nothing? I was very lucky and we had 8 fertilised (a good rate). More waiting followed as we waited to see if the embryos would survive, and if they did would they be a good quality. Day 3, and a phone call from the clinic…6 were still going and were good quality. The decision was made to carry them on to day 5 (blastocyst stage) the theory being that the rate of survival is better if they can get them to day 5 in the lab before transferring them back. More waiting and after 2 days, which felt like an eternity, it was time for transfer day.


Back to the clinic, and still not knowing if any of my little embies had made it, I drank lots of water and tried not to laugh too hard whilst waiting! So 3 of the embryos were top quality (they just don’t bother with the poor little other ones, who aren’t quite good enough to make the cut.) I made the decision to only have one transferred as the risk of miscarriage in twin pregnancy outweighs the possible success. The remaining two embryos were to be frozen, just in case.


In the transfer room they showed me the little embryo on screen, 5 days old, sat waiting in its little dish. My baby??…it was such a lovely feeling to watch it being transferred (apart from the team of people staring up my vagina and the feeling I might pee at any time!)


I was so scared on the way home, I refused to wee in case my little embie fell out, and got straight on the sofa with my legs up…more waiting…the so called ‘2 week wait’ that lasted an eternity.


2 weeks later and it was test day, then came the devastating ‘not pregnant’ on the test. A result made worse by the fact that the trigger shot makes you feel like you are pregnant, sore boobs, nausea, the whole lot. It was a big blow, but I had 2 more and this was my first try. I recovered from this quite quickly and decided to go ahead with a frozen transfer as soon as possible.


2 months later, and back for another transfer, still very excited on the journey home from the clinic, with embryo on board and determined to be positive, I started the 2 week wait again…


I didn’t have to wait 2 weeks though because 2 days before test day I came on my period, and this time it hit me hard…very hard. I started to think it would never happen for me. I wondered what I had done to deserve this and I felt so low, I decided I wasn’t strong enough to go through this emotional rollercoaster again. I just couldn’t do it.


So, I began to plan my life around not being pregnant, not being a mum. I booked a holiday, bought a mini, applied for a new job. I picked myself up and carried on.


But in the back of mind I knew that there one little frozen embryo still waiting, one last chance to be a mum. It was waiting and I needed to take the chance. So, back I went to the clinic with no hope left, no excitement, just going through the motions, knowing how it would end. (This time I had an endometrial scratch, a new method where the womb lining is scratched before transfer to allow the embryo to attach to fresh tissue.)


This 2 week wait was different, no googling to see if every little thing was a symptom of pregnancy, no testing early, no getting myself excited. I had no symptoms of pregnancy at all.


Test day came and a tiny bit of excitement crept in, I tried to stop myself feeling hopeful but I couldn't. 5am I was up on my own in the bathroom, waiting for a little line…


And there it was…a faint little line…I couldn’t believe it. I sent my hubby out to buy a load of pregnancy tests, and it was confirmed again and again… I WAS PREGNANT!!


9 months on and my amazing, wriggly, gorgeous little boy came into the world. I was a mum and it was the best thing in the world. The day I never expected had arrived. It was all worth it, the tears and the sadness; it was all worth it because my little miracle had arrived.


My advice to anyone thinking about IVF is go for it…don’t underestimate how hard it will be… but keep fighting. Keep your chin up and keep fighting, and I hope your little miracle will happen too.


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