So round 2 was going to be a breeze, we knew what to expect, we knew the drills, we’d taken off the rose-tinted glasses and learnt from round one and knew to take every day as it comes knowing that every day the outcome will change, we are now completely in control of having no control! As well as the hormones, pah … they won’t be a problem!
Unfortunately as I found myself bursting into tears in response to a poor friend who had just said “hello” whilst I was shopping yesterday for the 4th time already that morning I am ready to admit there is nothing breezy about doing a second round of IVF.
After the first round was cancelled due to poor response, with just one follicle, we expected to be back on the waiting list and hopefully in business by the end of the summer, however before the end of May we had our protocol (the medications dosages and timings) for a new round and after a little mini-moon to Cornwall we were back at the baby making clinic having our baseline appointment to check that everything is how it should be, a thin womb lining and sleepy ovaries with very little going on … Check!
Then the routine began, morning injection to prevent me ovulating (ha, if only … I haven’t for many years, I would be surprised if I did now!) then 2 injections of the high dose of Menapor, the drug that stimulates my ovaries to grow the follicles, these are the little grow bags that hopefully contain the all-important eggs!
Then Monday we were back in the hot seat, well an examination bed, with stirrups ready to receive a fond and intimate acquaintance … The dildo cam (*DC)
Deep breath, here we go again, half anticipation, half fear … With a track record of nothing at this stage in the last unsuccessful round then any black dot (that’s what follicles look like, little black dots!) of any size would be a positive … “Beep, beep, beep beep” … My eyes meet Mr H’s who knows what that sound means, it’s the follicle finder, every beep is a measurement and unless I was mistaken, there was a few … Five to be exact, five tiny, wonderful, exciting, perfect black dots … “That will do pig” we’ll take that, a rush of happiness flooded over us both, but before we get carried away working out due dates and baby names, practicality and experience kicks in and we are back in the room, back at the beginning of a journey that we know has these ups and downs.
So that was Monday and after the little emotional breakdown on my friend yesterday, me, Mr H & my hormones were back in the waiting room eager to see how our 5 little follies have progressed. The minute Yvonne (one of the super nurses!) called us through I could feel the eyes welling again and having the last few days started to become a little more sensitive and enlarged in certain areas I knew today’s encounter with *DC was going to be slightly more up close, personal and uncomfortable … !! Resisting the urge of clamping shut my legs, the expression lie back and “think of England” came to mind … “Beep beep, beep … ” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 follicles present and correct and growing (slow and steady!) but then Beep, beep 6, 7 … 7 follicles (I won’t get too excited!) 7 FOLLICLES … !!! After the scan was done and Mr H has passed me back my “bottom half” that as always he’s neatly folded (one of the little things that he does that makes him a huge part of the process in which he feels helpless!) we sit down with Yvonne “don’t be surprised if you carry on with the stims over the weekend and it’s a rescan on Monday” … To be honest right now we have heads in the clouds that have 7 follicles floating by! We compare where we were this time on our 1st round where we had the 1, but as I may have said a few times things change every day, however in that room at that time things are looking good and walking into the corridor we see another lovely familiar (super nurse) face of Roz who also has been with us from the start and my emotions yet again get the better of me and running up to her, I throw my arms around her … And I have a little moment … These wonderful ladies, these super special nurses, the ones that not only care for their patients, but also patients in a highly emotional and hormonal state spend their days on the same rollercoaster as us, they feel all the ups and downs we do, they go through every scan, blood test result and hopes and fears as we do, they are as much a part of this journey as we are, every moment you spend with them you feel completely cared for, you feel you are with friends (very intimate friends!!) that want to do all that they can to make this little miracle happen … And I, we, cannot think of anyone else we’d want to make our baby with. (That’s just a percent of my gushing emotions at the moment!)
So it’s Thursday afternoon and that’s where we’re up to … I’m eating 6 eggs a day (maybe not pleasant for Mr H, but you have to eat eggs to grow eggs!) having regular acupuncture (which I attribute entirely to keeping me at some level of sanity!) my ovaries now feel like I’m carrying round bowling balls hence my new John Wayne walk and slow and cautious sit downs. I think most would agree now that I am best avoided in case of awkward spontaneous crying, every time I cough or sneeze I need to wee, Mr H has adorned a constant intrepid expression around me, like someone about to wrestle a crocodile (although continues to brave it and hold my hand!) and the phrase “what will be” is our new motto, disguising our excitable fear of whether or not this time will work.
I keep saying to everyone that I couldn’t imagine going through this process with anyone else and maybe sometimes I wonder if that’s why we are, as through all the downs, the tears, the blunt needle injections (it took us a while to realise that’s why it hurt so much!), the spontaneous abduction of my personality and the new and wonderful bodily functions when I think about any moment of the journey so far and being able to share it with such an amazing man it just makes me smile, as for every down there is an upside, especially when we have so much love and encouragement from those around us, whether friends and family that we see often or those we haven’t seen since school, or even those who we know by association that have messaged us their own personal experiences, all of which give us hope and make us realise how lucky we are with what we already have.
Right so now it’s time to go eat some more eggs, drink a pint of milk, wave a hot stick over my tummy and meditate and get a good nights sleep to grow some follicles and see what tomorrow brings …