Ladies, I’ve said it before but I don’t know how you all sneak away from work and then traipse back to your offices after IVF appointments and deal with colleagues/customers/annoying random people while all the information and to-do lists swirl in your heads. Kudos again to you all. I was really, really glad to get back to my home office today and digest everything in peace.
I collected the meds before the first scan/hormonal bloods this morning and was taken unawares by the assortment of drugs that awaited me. In the bag were my old friends Gonal F (to stimulate follicle growth – three boxes this time instead of one), Cetrotide (one of those pesky injections that needs to be mixed before you take it), folic acid (a much higher dose than my usual one from Boots) and Crinone progesterone gel (vaginal pessary for use after the procedure). There was also:
- Luveris (10 boxes –needs to be mixed, I notice)
- Pregynl (to trigger ovulation before egg retrieval – also needs to be mixed)
- Solpadol (painkiller, for egg retrieval, I am guessing)
- Bymycin (antibiotic capsules)
- One quite threatening looking Flagyl suppository (another antibiotic, used to treat infections following surgery – will be administered while I sleep, bye bye last shred of dignity)
- Estrofem tablets (four boxes, no idea what these are for but they’re used after egg retrieval)
Plus the usual alcohol swabs, a bag of syringes and two packs of different-sized needles. I said no to Vitamin B, as it was making my fingers and toes numb in a scary way last time.
So when Doctor O blithely said back in March that I’d take a Buserelin nasal spray initially, followed by Gonal F again at 225 for two days and then 150 daily, what he actually meant was that I would be taking Luveris 75 at the same time as the Gonal F, also to stimulate follicle growth, while continuing with the nasal spray pretty much until egg retrieval to keep my system from going into hyperdrive, plus ingesting a random assortment of meds during and after egg collection. Harrumph.
I headed to the clinic with my bag of meds and my first vaginal ultrasound of this round was done by the nurse who accompanied the lovely Dr L on my first ever scan back in July last year, Nurse T. I like T a lot and the banter is usually good with her. However, today she was doing her final practical exam under observation, so she was a lot more formal than usual. Once I had undressed and we were ready to go, a silent man came and watched while she did her bit, studiously keeping his back to me and staring at the screen. She was hurting me a bit with the magic wand at one stage (“Sorry for the pressure”) but I kept stumm. Hopefully me and the mini-follicles have done our bit to help her graduate.
All seemed to be down-regulated okay and the lining was as it should be, so pending results of the hormonal blood test, due this afternoon, it’s looking good to go with stims starting tomorrow to get this show on the road.
A different nurse, P, talked me through the meds afterwards. I asked why they didn’t do this for IUI and she said they do, but you have to book that appointment yourself – “Did no one tell you?”. Nope. It’s actually quite handy having done the IUI, as we didn’t have to go through the meds I’ve used before, and the prospect of mixing the Luveris tomorrow and the Pregnyl when the time comes isn’t as daunting as it might have been otherwise (a nice chirpy nurse explains how to mix Luveris here). Nurse P gave me a different chart to tick meds off on, so I guess I’ll have to ditch my nice A4 table. Or use both just to rock the system.
Oh, and I was mistaken: cycle day 1 starts tomorrow with the stims, not from today (have corrected this on previous posts).
I never thought I’d be anxious to start taking these drugs but I’m looking forward to getting started and to seeing how things pan out this time. I forked out another €6,260 today for the sperm, blastocyst phase (keeping the fertilised embryos for five days before transfer, instead of three), Eeva test and IVF scans and bloods, so the stakes are getting higher.
But so too are the chances of success.