The Journey Continues…

We came home from the appointment with the nurse at EFREC. I had so much information buzzing around in my head. I was so overwhelmed.

I turned to my other half and asked him (dead serious) do we even really want a baby?? He just looked at me….shocked. Then told me he wasn’t going to answer that. He was right, his response made me laugh. I sat down, processed the plethora of information I had been given and done some reading online. I do not like surprises or not knowing what is going on. After reading looots of journals etc. I felt a bit more relaxed.

I just had to wait now.

In my wait I also realised due to all my last minute appointments I really should let my boss know. I had a meeting with her and went through all the time I would need and what was going on. She was so supportive and said to just let her know what I needed! I also had to let someone in the team know. Going out to people’s houses and the different kind of visits we have, it would be difficult to ensure on my own that throughout treatment I didn’t end up in smoky houses or doing too much heavy lifting, without seeming like I was just being lazy. Again nothing but amazing support which put me at ease.

Then came the being sneaky and allocating the visits. I jumped on the chance as often as I could. People generally just let me get on with it. I was as fair as I could be without sending myself to the smoky houses. I felt awful. I got so worried and paranoid people would think I was skiving. It got me in a right state some nights. I was dreading having the procedure and having to avoid heavy lifting altogether!!!! No one (to my face) batted an eye!

I felt awful.

If this was me just waiting to start what the hell kinda nightmare am I going to be on the hormone injections 🙈

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Friday 20th July….my period started. I phoned at 7.30am and left a voicemail. I hadn’t heard by noon so I called and left another. Then I made my other half call and he spoke to someone who told him to tell me to calm down they would call me in the afternoon.

That afternoon I got a callback. An appointment was made for me to go see the nurses on Monday at 10am. I called Steven and let him know. He promised even though it wasn’t essential he would come with me so I wasn’t going it alone.

I. Was. Terrified.

Another EFREC appointment

We got there. I was expecting to start on microgynon for a few weeks as part of the Down regulation. I was expecting another delightful internal ultrasound and a ‘mock transfer’.

Arrived, straight in for the internal ultrasound. Joy. Then straight on to the mock transfer. So this is very like a smear. The speculum is inserted and adjusted, a catheter is then passed through your cervix into the womb. All the while a nurse has an ultrasound probe pressed into your belly so they can make sure they have the catheter in the right place.

The mock transfer was done with an empty bladder. For the real thing the bladder has to be full. I have to say it was not pleasant. Not even a little. I had an empty bladder and felt like I was going to pee myself, plus the catheter going in is none too comfy either!

Good news though all looked good. They didn’t foresee any problems for the real thing so everyone was happy.

We then changed rooms. I had my weight checked (BMI still under 30) and a BP Check. My BP was up a little. They didn’t want to risk starting me on microgynon. I was confused. Did this mean I wasn’t starting treatment!?!?

The Dr said no the timeline won’t change much. Instead of being on the pill for a few weeks then starting injections. All was OK I just didn’t need that step in the process.

My rough timeline starting at my next period was…..

Day 1: Contact EFREC on the first day of your period (which we call day 1) to organise a scan for that or the following day.

Day 2: At the scan they will count the number of follicles and a baseline blood sample for measurement of oestrogen (E2) and usually luteinising hormone (LH) is usually taken.  On day 2 you begin the stimulation injections.

Day 6: Ultrasound scan and blood test.  If your oestrogen levels are starting to rise, this is an indication that follicles are starting to grow.  Most patients begin to take the blocker injection on this day.  This taken at the same time as the stimulation injections in essentially the same way, but the purpose is to prevent the natural LH surge, which might otherwise cause premature release of the developing eggs.

Day 8:  Ultrasound scan and blood test.  You continue to take the stimulations and blocker.  The dose of stims is under continual review as blood test and scan results are considered.

Day 10:  Ultrasound scan and blood test.  Continue to take the stimulation and blocker.  A preliminary decision about when to trigger ovulation is considered.

Day 12:  This is the typical day for the trigger injection.  You will be given a time to take the trigger injection.  Your egg collection will normally be arranged for around 36 hours after the trigger injection and so you will also be given a specific time for the egg collection.  Typically the trigger will be in the evening and the egg collection in the morning two days later.  The trigger itself consists of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and induces the final stages of follicular maturation and ovulation.  On the day of the trigger you take the stimulation and blocker for the last time.

Day 13: On the day before egg collection you shouldn’t eat after midnight and shouldn’t drink after 2 am.

Day 14:  Egg collection takes place around 36 hours after the trigger injection.  The egg collection procedure requires only light sedation, not as strong as a general anaesthetic, however you will probably not be aware of the procedure taking place.  You can expect to be in hospital for about 4 hours and need someone to take you home afterwards.

Day 15: A fertilisation check is made the next morning and the resulting embryos are carefully cultured.

After egg collection your progesterone level will be supplemented by vaginal pessaries every night until at least your pregnancy test 2 weeks after transfer.  

EFREC will keep you informed on the progress of your embryos, which will develop for 2-5 days in the laboratory under very strictly controlled conditions, prior to transfer.

Day 17 – 19: Transferring the embryos back into the uterus is a simple procedure, similar to a cervical smear test.  Any extra suitable, good quality embryos are usually frozen at this time if that is your wish.

Day 26: Pregnancy testing should be commenced approximately two weeks after the embryo transfer, but you must wait at least 2 weeks after the trigger.

It took me a while to get my head around all of this information! It’s a lot to take on board. Even though I wasn’t having to go through down reg I felt like I’d been set back a bit because essentially nothing was happening til my next period. Nothing was going to happen for another month!
In actuality, my timeline remained almost identical. The only thing was i was to go through my natural cycle rather than have the pill followed by a forced bleed.

During that month I wished the weeks away.

I started acupuncture.

I stepped up my calorie intake on the Cambridge Weight Plan.

I waited…..

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