Bedside manner, or lack thereof, really makes a difference.
Ultrasound #4 was at 10am today with yet another nurse I have never seen before. I actually can’t remember her full name, as she didn’t exactly light up the room with chat, but I remember it started with M. For Mute, or Morose perhaps. They must have a bunch of people on holiday, or maybe there’s been a lot of change since my IUI in January, as many of the staff walking around I don’t recognise. No Dr L on any of my scans sadly. Maybe she just does IUI patients.
We were in one of the rooms in which the scanner isn’t attached to a large screen on the wall, so I couldn’t see what was going on, which is fine when they talk you through it. However, after some small chat initiated by me, including my mentioning I had about 11 and nine follicles on Wednesday, M didn’t say a word at all while she scanned the lining and both ovaries. Not a word. Just the clicking and beeping of her measuring the follicles. And me watching the fluorescents on the ceiling.
They seem to spend a lot more time on the IVF scans than on the IUI scans, I guess because they need a total count and measurements for every single follicle on each side, whereas in IUI you just need to know that a few lead follicles are ready to roll. Fine if the nurse talks you through it but kind of torturous if not. Maybe M just isn’t into multitasking.
It felt like at least 10 minutes of silence until I broke it by asking how things were looking. “Good.” And then broke it again by asking if we had many above 15mm (below which it’s less likely there’s an egg in there). “Yes.” I gave up trying.
When I was dressed again, M said we were ready to go with egg retrieval on Monday. While she went off to book me in, I had a sneaky look at the screen and got the low-down by non-human means:
- Left ovary: nine follicles. Eight above cut-off size. Largest 18mm.
- Right ovary: 11 follicles. Eleven above cut-off size. Largest 20mm.
- Total: 20 follicles. Nineteen above cut-off size.
So happy days, looking good. And according to the screen an endometrium of 8.9mm and quality “TP”, whatever that means (hazarding a guess at triple-layered).
M came back and seemed to warm up somewhat. Maybe it was the thought of me being given the Flagyl suppository that cheered her up. Retrieval is booked for 8.45am on Monday and I need to arrive an hour before. As well as the Flagyl, I’m to bring two of the Solpadol to take on arrival. No other meds at all to be taken on Monday morning, including folic acid. Pubic area to be shaved to lower risk of infection – between that and the suppository, I think we can definitively say my last shred of dignity will definitely be used up on Monday. And no perfumes or lotions to be used while showering on Monday morning.
Meds-wise, Gonal F, Luveris and Buserelin today as before. Tomorrow just the Buserelin (omitting the third sniff) and Gonal F, and then the Pregnyl trigger, 10,000 units, at 9.15pm (which will mean mixing one vial of solution with two powders). And I start Bymycin antiobiotics, morning and evening with food, on Sunday. No food and drink after midnight on Sunday and no heavy meals late in the day.
We took hormonal bloods to make sure everything is as it should be; results to arrive this afternoon.
M mentioned that I should take it easy at the weekend. She explained that my ovaries have never before been so loaded with such large follicles, so I’m to avoid heavy exercise, running up the stairs etc (I think I’ve already run up the stairs since coming home). I’ve been out on the bike the last few nights so I’ll give that a rest now. I was glad she said this, as I’ve been feeling a little abdominal pressure for the last few days and it makes perfect sense that the ovaries are a bit packed. Plus, my nipples are sore – this must be the breast tenderness that everyone talks about in PMT, which I never get.
My brother will collect me at around 10am on Monday, so that’s all sorted.
Postscript: the clinic just rang, and as my estradiol levels are a little elevated (12,000, when they should be below 10,000), I’m to trigger with only 5,000 Pregynl (one pack) instead of 10,000. This is to prevent hyperstimulation. Fingers crossed.