Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Glass half full

So, egg collection was today. I've had a few operations in my time, so all pretty much normal.

On the good side, I have 8 eggs which were good enough to fertilise. Hopefully enough will get to blasto stage to get us pregnant this time.

On the bad side, one of my fucking ovaries is inaccessible. At some point between now and the last fresh egg collection - during which I've had an ectopic and a caesarian - it appears to have become fused onto a scar and moved further up than it normally would be.

This means that the surgeon couldn't get at it without going through the side of my womb and a bit too close to an artery.

Of all the things I've read about happening and experienced myself during IVF, this wasn't one of them. So even someone who has spent a lot of time in the trenches can still be surprised.

The Boy has a chunky wooden elephant jigsaw. Every piece is numbered, and slots together. Sometimes the Boy jams one piece into another in a way that doesn't quite fit, so comes up, waves a trunk and a leg jammed together at me and shouts, "Fix it!".

We have lost a couple of pieces of the jigsaw in the big box of Duplo, which is currently topped with bits of marble run, Peppa Pig, bits of plastic Cbeebies crap and just other random things shoved together.

It feels like my reproductive system is like the elephant, except some bits are beyond a grown up patiently and gently pulling the pieces that have gone awry apart and putting them together in the right order. I'm not about to get the missing bits back.

On the outside, things are loosely in place by the skin around my stomach, which has itself become increasingly loose, ill fitting and elephantine with each round of surgery.

I could apparently get a laparoscopy to check out why the prodigal ovary is merrily dancing around further up my abdomen, but if I manage to have another child from the eggs we got in this cycle then I think I'll be quitting when I'm still, moderately, ahead.

Then I'm going to have a tummy tuck. Or stuff all the toys beneath the folds of skin while I glug wine on the sofa.

Anyway, 8 eggs at this stage is not so far - I just need to keep everything crossed they get to day 5 and go in the freezer. Then I have other stuff on...

Saturday, 18 April 2015

It's been a while

I hadn't meant to not blog for this length of time - I just got caught up with a whole load of other things.

Also, I started our next IVF cycle. I'd almost gotten superstitious about not dwelling on this one as much as the first set of cycles, and while I'd meant to write about it, I was worried about ending up being as completely neurotic this time around as I was during the worst times of the last.

We also decided to freeze everything. A couple of things came up at work and I remembered after I'd started how much it took out of me, plus I wanted to go on holiday and have a beer, so we decided it would be best to put things on ice. Also, and to be perfectly honest, I missed out so much stuff the first time round I quite enjoyed being able to make a decision to put things on hold and get on with the rest of my life for a bit, rather than everything else coming second to IVF.

So, we started downregging and then stims. Apart from a couple of bouts of stomach upsets, everything was fine.

Until a couple of days ago with the stims.

The clinic - who, I must say, are the most commercialised I've had so far - had pointed out I had a high AMH and that I'd produced a lot of eggs in my last fresh cycle, and said they'd avoid trying to overstimulate this time.

So I got my meds, began injecting, and soon began to get thumping headaches, dizzy spells and just generally felt like my brain was scrambled eggs. Ten days later, which was yesterday, I pitched up for my first scan.

The nurse said "Oh, it might be a good thing you decided to freeze everything."

It turns out I have more than 28 follicles. Ok, they might not all have eggs, but it's probably not a surprise I'm not feeling too great. If you produce more than 20 eggs clinics here freeze everything to stop you getting OHSS.

Today, I got up, tried to walk to a volunteer event I wanted to go to, which was meant to be a good thing for my job and which I was looking forward to. Then I started feeling sick five minutes after leaving the house and had to get my husband to pick me up. And I've spent the sunniest day of the year stuck inside feeling pukey and exhausted.

I know i'm really lucky having had one child so far, and I'm lucky being able to afford a second round. And I know people out there don't get a great response during the stimming phase - including one of my friends - and that they'd cheerfully swap for a good response and a bit of discomfort.

So, while I'm definitely at the less shitty end of the "things that can go wrong during IVF"  scale, I wish it was all more reliable, easier and more straightforward for everyone.