Nicola’s Story Part 4
Having suffered a perforated uterus during a simple in-and-out operation to stretch her cervix, Nicola is now getting ready to try the next natural step on the way to fertility: IVF.
Sat in my Doctors surgery, I ask him what happens now. The hospital I had been attending had basically told me there was nothing else they could do for me. He mentions IVF and warns me there could be a waiting list. Not only that, but also my PCT (Primary Care Trust) only gives one fresh cycle and one frozen cycle (if you are lucky enough to get enough embryos to freeze from your fresh cycle) on the NHS.
Trying to stay positive, I say, “It’s OK. It will work the first time.” A referral is sent to another hospital and the waiting game begins again. In the meantime, I am being supported by a great community of Women on a forum I am a member of. Several Women in exactly the same boat as me, encouraging each other and holding each others’ virtual hands.
There was so much heartache on there. Women having to give birth to their sleeping angels, so late in their pregnancy because they hadn’t been strong enough to survive. Women trying to conceive for years just to be able to hold their own bundle of joy in their arms and then, on the funny side, the Women just starting out, showing their impatience already in their first month of TTC. “Can’t believe I’m not pregnant this month. We did the deed on the correct day AND I’m sure my boobs hurt.” I’m allowed to laugh with these Women because believe me, I was them once!
My appointment arrived and with some surprising news. I could see them in six months to discuss starting IVF. Woohoo! Give me a baby! Straight on the forum I went, asking every question under the sun. I was now like an IVF info machine. If you wanted to phone-a-friend on the subject, then I was it!
The hospital looked nice (well, as nice as hospitals could) and I didn’t feel nervous about what was about to be spoken about. The consultant was friendly and I didn’t feel like I was just their next victim walking through the door. After an in-depth chat and lots of form filling, it was mentioned that I had ‘unexplained infertility’. In other words, they didn’t know how the hell we couldn’t conceive. On the plus side though, we could start treatment in about six months. So nine months after that I get my baby, right? Hmmm, doesn’t quite work like that.
Oh my goodness, my head is banging! What on earth is this pain? I can’t even bend down without feeling like I’m going to stay down. Down regging was a bitch. There was no other explanation for it. I had been given all my drugs and it was a bit daunting. This drug makes your cycle do what we want it to do and then this drug makes your ovaries produce LOTS of eggs and then this drug triggers them so we can stick a needle in your ovaries and suck them out and then force them to mate with your Husband’s sperm in a dish and this bullet-type pessary is to keep the (hopefully) embedded embryo in place when we put it back inside you.
This is what my Husband heard and he didn’t like this procedure at all. He is a Christian man and believes that this whole baby-making malarkey should be natural, what God intended. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working out like that and we needed a helping hand. He saw his Wife having to stick a needle in her stomach every night and inject herself with something that shuts down what her body should be doing naturally.
For me though, surprisingly, it was no big deal. I had an auto-injector pen, which required me to fill the syringe up with the required amount of medicine (let’s just call it that to keep things simple), pop it inside the pen, put that on my belly, push the button and then it injects me with the medicine.
During this time I had to go to the Hospital and have a few scans with the dildo-cam again. I was always amazed by these scans. On the first one you could see a very thin dark area in my womb, which was the blood from my period still waiting to make its way out. On the next one, all that had gone and you could see the lining of my womb getting thicker, either getting ready for my next period or, if I was lucky, getting ready to be a comfy home for the embryo to snuggle down in.
I was told I was ready for my second daily injection and this was the one that was going to stimulate my ovaries to produce more follicles than they should be doing naturally. I am completely useless with days/hours/minutes etc, so you will have to excuse me, but I had to do this for a good week whilst still having regular scans. Not only were they measuring the thickness of my lining, but now also how many follicles I was producing.
What some people don’t realise is your IVF cycle can go wrong at any point along the way. With each scan you have, you walk out of there thanking God that you have managed to reach the next stage. If my body over produced follicles, then my cycle would be terminated and I would be on the waiting game again. Luckily, this time my body was playing ball and I was producing a healthy amount of follicles.
Then the time came for my trigger shot. This had to be done at an exact time of the evening and could not be later. The reason for this was I had to be in theatre 36 hours after and it was all based around this trigger shot. 9pm came and I was posed and ready with my auto injector. Bang on 9pm, in it went. The next day was complete bliss. It was an injection-free day and, even though, I had this feeling I should be doing something, it was nice not to be doing anything.
Parts 5 and 6 will be up on the blog next Tuesday and Thursday.