First scan of this frozen embryo transfer cycle was last Thursday and everything was fine. All quiet on the ovarian front, no cysts and a nice thin lining of 2.something mm (above 8mm or so is good for implantation, apparently).
I was to ease off on the nasal spray to one sniff, three times a day and start on the Estrofem pills, two a day for the first three days and three a day thereafter. Estrofem comes in one of those circular dispensers you sometimes get for the contraceptive pill and it seems kind of excessive to be twisting across three days of the week every morning and downing a trio of pills. My stomach has been acting up since the weekend, unusually, and I wonder if it’s related. Just looked up the patient information leaflet online and nausea and abdominal pain are common side effects. As is weight gain, which I, like anyone who has been on fertility drugs for a while, could really do without from yet another new source. I also feel as if I’m getting mouth ulcers and I wonder is that to do with the nasal spray or the buildup of drugs in general. I really have to start drinking more water, not just saying that but actually doing it. All still feels easier on the body than injecting stims.
Fellow SMC-to-be N rang me the week before last in a panic. She had arrived early at the clinic for IUI #6 to be told there had been a mix-up with her sperm order, meaning they had received only two lots instead of three. So there was no sperm waiting for her.
G, the embryologist, had what sounded like a rummage around their fridges and came up with some leftover goods, which just happened to be from my original donor, who after my three IUIs (and getting me chemically knocked up on the first one) wasn’t available when it came to my IVF. N was very stressed, as she was being forced to make a decision in 10 or 15 minutes based on a quick read-through of his profile information in a meeting room. She rang me and said she was wondering how she was going to explain to a potential child later on how she had picked his/her donor: “Well, they had a look in the fridge and this was all they had. He was leftover sperm. But I had a gun against my head.” Reading his profile, she wasn’t happy about his picture (what I thought was just a cute lost milk tooth, she thought was a weird mouth) and at the fact that he was changing direction in his 40s and didn’t have his life together yet. She also felt he was too old.
I’m not here to tell N’s story. The reason I mention this is that I was amazed at how protective and defensive I felt about my donor, especially considering that he is now an ex-donor and that I have tried not to get emotionally attached to my donors until I know there’s a reason to be.
It has to be said that we’re not exactly spoiled for choice on the extended-profile donor front. I looked online that day and there were only 12 identifiable, extended-profile donors on the Cryos list, many of whom wouldn’t be available anyway, so the choice is always going to be fairly restricted, with or without a gun to your head. I did understand, though, that being rushed into a decision like that isn’t fair on anyone, you or child. Most women agonise over these profiles for ages before choosing the donor who appeals to them for whatever mix of reasons.
So, G had another rummage in the vaults (what must their fridges look like?) and found some more leftover sperm that just happened to be from N’s second original choice, which saved the day. N showed me the donor’s baby photo when we met up a day or two later and I remembered it from my own selection process. In fact, I think the photo was one of the reasons I rejected him in the first place. Which made me laugh – as in choosing a partner, I guess we all place importance on different, random things and have fairly complicated and sometimes inexplicable selection processes that even we ourselves don’t fully understand.
Anyway, she got the sixth cycle for free, which was only fair after all that stress. And the straw got to see the light of day and do what it does best, try to make a baby.
My FET cycle scans continue to be free, as we haven’t made it to transfer yet because of the OHSS, which is excellent. Second free scan on Thursday.