The truth about IVF

I’m now 11dp5dt and everything is still very much the same as yesterday.  I haven’t tested today but not had any signs that it’s gone wrong yet and still holding out to test on 14dp5dt as my official test date.  It will then be another 2 week wait for the 7 weeks scan…it’s all waiting!  So I wanted to use this opportunity, whilst I’m in the midst of a cycle, to hopefully tell you some truths about IVF.

As I mentioned before, I got really scared when I heard we would have to do IVF as I had reacted quite badly to the pill and the morning after pill previously and had also heard some very scary stories about IVF.

  1. You know nothing about IVF until you go through it – this is my first truth!
    Before I started IVF I thought I knew what it was about, but I really didn’t! I hadn’t a clue.  I had heard stories from the media or acquaintances who has been through it and who said ‘you go mad’ on the drugs, or injecting yourself is just awful etc.  It made me SO scared before I started and could have easily put me off altogether to be honest.  But you will never understand the enormity of IVF until you do it, and also the many myths that accompany it.  Please don’t listen to anyone else, it’s not that bad.  Especially don’t read into everything on the internet as it seems only people with negative experiences ever write anything (and that’s what I’m trying to change!).
  2. IVF drugs are nothing like the pill or morning after pill
    I have realised there’s absolutely no correlation between not suiting the pill and IVF treatment or actually pregnancy hormones for that matter! I went on the pill when I was younger and on one that I took, actually felt quite suicidal.  I quickly came off that.  I also took the morning after pill a couple of times in my life and have had very bad anxiety attacks after each.  With this in mind, you can see why I was petrified of the IVF hormones!  Well, I have had absolutely no reaction to the hormones given to me in IVF.  The only reaction I’ve had was when I came off the hormones the first time as I think my body went into a bit of shock.  I have had friends who have reacted to the hormones with IVF but haven’t had reactions with the pill.  It’s all very odd.  Also, having no reaction to the hormones used in IVF does not mean you won’t react to pregnancy hormones judging by my mood today!
  3. Injections don’t hurt (unless they’re Clexane)
    I watched a really good film the other day called ‘One Last Shot’ on Netflix all about a couple’s journey with IVF.  It was brilliantly shot and really did show the truth about the experience of IVF.  The only thing that annoyed me was all the faces and noises pulled when the lady was doing her injections! THEY DON’T HURT! Stop making people scared of injecting themselves.  The needles used are small and you inject subcutaneously, so into fat basically!  The only exception to this is the progesterone injections they seem to do in America that we don’t do over here – they look hideous with a big needle and into muscle, and the Clexane injections I’m doing at the moment that are quite hard to get into the skin as the needle is bigger, it feels like a bee has stung you afterwards for about 5 mins and leaves some crappy bruises!
  4. You can still live a normal life
    I’ve managed to continue working whilst doing most of the IVF process.  I’ve continued to do yoga and get on with life basically whilst down regging and stimming.  The only time I’ve changed my life is post transfer where I usually take a few days off work, mainly because I find work stressful and frustrating – not a good combo for when you’re trying to be relaxed.  Actually this time, I went straight to a hen do after transfer and didn’t really rest except on the long train ride!
  5. Sometimes it doesn’t work!
    People don’t tell you this! When you start IVF it’s usually after a long time of trying to get pregnant without success, so you think IVF is the last resort and often the answer to your prayers.  Well it’s not always! I have a friend who’s IVF worked first time and that’s amazing, but I think she might be the only one I’ve heard of! Be prepared for a long journey.  I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but no one was realistic with me and it was hard and quite shocking to me when it didn’t work the first time.
  6. Sometimes it does…
    I still can’t get excited this time.  I keep thinking maybe I will once I get past my clinic’s official test date on Thursday (17th May), or maybe after the first scan, or maybe after the 12 week scan, or maybe at 20 weeks.  Who knows.  It’s so easy to cloud this whole experience with what ifs and thinking negatively.  I now need to teach myself how to be more positive!

Endometrial Scratch

So after what can only be described as a quite depressing start to my blogs, I have decided to be more me – someone who is usually quite upbeat, love to have fun and being inappropriate – particularly at times when you really should not (think churches, lectures, meetings – you get the gist)! I love getting into those situations where it’s so ridiculously not funny, it becomes the funniest thing that has ever happened where I am trying to stifle laughter and it keeps escaping through weird snorts and coughs with watering eyes and being barely able to breathe.  I think that might be the best feeling in the world!  I often get like this, and have managed (thank god) to bounce back to my normal self after 3 weeks of hell and sadness.

I haven’t actually updated you as to our next cycle and how it is decided we proceed – I will cover this in another blog very soon as it’s already started and want to update as I go.  What I can say though is there is a new Consultant at our clinic who has taken over our care, and he is HOT! And for this reason I will not disclose which clinic we are at or even the area of the country!

He’s a very professional man, and the feeling is certainly not mutual as he is mainly trying to get me pregnant with my husband’s and my own children.  But it is bloody awkward to be lying legs akimbo with a hot man basically the same age as you doing some quite hideous procedures to you! And last Thursday was no different.

Thursday was a day I was very much dreading.  I had been told 3 weeks ago after our last chemical pregnancy that they would like to try the endometrial scratch to see whether that may help with implantation this time round.  Even the name sounds rank.  Why can’t they call it ‘endometrial caress’ hm that sounds weird.  How about ‘endometrial nudge’?!  I would not be scared of an endometrial nudge! But SCRATCH! Are you effing kidding me.  I’m quite glad I didn’t look up until afterwards what is used to ‘scratch’ you.  It’s more like those extendable branch cutters you use in the garden.  They nip away at your uterus for about 20 seconds…look it up on youtube if you’re bored at lunch/a sadist.

I did want to write a blog to tell you what it’s like and say it’s all fine and not to listen to other blogs or people on FertilityFriend or Baby Centre, but I can’t I’m afraid.  I arrived at the clinic and weirdly was not scared or apprehensive.  I took paracetamol and ibuprofen an hour before as advised.  I then went into the holding room where I got changed for the procedure and was spoken to by the nurse.  Then my nerves did kick in.

The nurse came and sat down to talk me through the procedure.  She said there will be the doctor and a nurse there to BREATHE ME THROUGH THE PROCEDURE. A what now?! To help me breathe?! Is it breath or breathe ? I’ve thought about this too much, they both look weird. Anyway, I was expecting it to be a little uncomfortable, but not like labour!  She did reassure me it was very quick but not very nice.  I burst into tears.  I feel a little bit done with all this prodding and having to lie in the most ridiculously non lady-like positions with strangers doing horrible things to my bits!  And it felt like enough was enough at that point.  Especially when blokes just get to go and wank in a room and get on with their lives!

So I was lead in to the room where the fit doctor was waiting to scratch me up.  I sat at the end of the bed with my head in my hands and declared I was very unexcited about this whole thing, and I might just not do IVF and be a rich childless couple (we’re not rich but I think we might be one day if not paying for uni fees and school uniforms).  However, I lay back and got on with it anyway.  I must say the doctor was good at being very quick and getting it over and done with.  He said that some people feel nothing and others hit the roof – guess which one I was.

It really is very quick and I did breathe/breath through it.  But eff my life! The pain was insane.  Like the worst ever ever period pain – the type that makes you puke your brains out and feel faint.  It was over after 20 seconds and I just lay there in shock and pain for another minute.  They make you stay lying down for that time in case you do puke or faint.  And then that was it.  I walked out, got dressed and it was done!

So if you are going in for an endo scratch and you’re worried – well I probably haven’t helped.  But I would say – you might be one of the lucky ones who feels nothing, or just think about the fact it will be over before it’s even begun and 5 mins later you won’t feel a thing!  The picture at the top of this blog is a true representation of what happens.