IVF Journey – The Start
December 21st, 2017. We had been waiting over 4 months for this day. We were fairly certain our journey to starting a family would need medical intervention, after not using contraception for 5 years and never conceiving was kind of a give away to that conclusion. But what path exactly did we need to go down? What did an IVF specialist think of our medical results from our tests so far? And what lingers in the back of every persons mind going through something ike this, or similar, what if it doesn’t work?
I was extremely nervous, which showed in my body because (TMI) I hadn’t yet ovulated, and through this appointment I found out my hormoanes are heavily effected by my stress levels. So looking back on it, I’m not surprised at all that I literally ovulated the day after this appointment.
Our doctor is lovely, very gentle and a little old school. She wrote everything down on paper because she doesn’t really like computers that much, and then enters it all in later. I felt really relaxed with her, and because I’m such an emotional type of person, having someone with a good “bed side mannor” was really important to me.
Once we were in her office and gave her a brief description of our history, she asked us a series of questions to do with our health and lifestyle (do you smoke, how often do you drink, etc…). I told her about my cycles and how they are really painful and regular (as in I get 1 every month), but not exact to the days (ie: one month will be 27 days, the next could be 30). Along with the test results from my HyCoSy (the scan to see if my tubes were blocked), she diagnosed me with Multifolicular ovaries. Which means each month my ovaries produce multiple folicles (or eggs) that don’t all mature properly, and my stress levels effect this (hence me ovulating the day after this appointment – being anxious about it made me ovulate late). She couldn’t give a definitive answer on whether this was effecting our fertility or not, she said it was unlikely, but it was actually comforting to know why I get painful periods and why I’m not exactly regular. So for me, that was a personal positive out of the appointment.
This appointent was our first consultation, but heres a tip, if you are heading down this road, ask your GP to run any test they can and have all those results to take to your IVF specialist. Our GP sent us both for all tests he could send us for, my egg count, ovulation, to see if my fallopian tubes were block and Adam had his sperm tested. This meant she didn’t have to book us to run any further testing before coming up with the best plan for us. So our first consultation turned into our second appointment, all in one, saving us a couple of hundred dollars.
Our doctor gave us our options for treatment. Option one, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI or assisted insemination): by taking blood tests, they see when you are most fertile and inseminate the sperm on your peak ovulation day, and then let the egg and sperm naturally do its thing. This comes at an extra cost of almost $2,000, and considering our medical tests all came back as normal, she would only let us do this for one round as it only increases your chances by 15%. Option two, IVF: harvest my eggs, take Adam’s sperm, let them divide into an embryo and insert the embryo back. Option two is what we decided to go with. And after the doctor gave us some time to make our decision, she actually affirmed it by saying it was the decision she would have made herself had she been in our position. Doctors don’t often offer up their personal opinion (as opposed to a scientific one) so it made us feel especially reassured. IVF meant our chances would be higher and it would also give us the ability to find out how our eggs and sperm interact with each other, potentially giving us answers to why we haven’t conceived yet… answers that other procedures wouldn’t provide.
So last Monday, we picked up all my drugs and had a “teach session” on how to inject myself with the different needles. That was really overwhelming, and a lot of this feels so overwhelming because it’s not just factual information, all our emotions are tied into this. Plus I was also really jetlagged as we landed from our 3 week USA holiday 2 days earlier.
Now what? Now I wait until day 1 or day 2 of my next period and then go in for a blood test. My hormone levels need to be at the right level for me to start my drugs. If the results say my hormones have dropped too low, then I have to wait until my next cycle and try again that next month. So right now it’s just about waiting. And it’s hard to be patient, it’s hard to give it over to God, it’s hard to release control. Because even though this is science, it is still not a sure thing, I’m not guaranteed a baby. And that is scary, but I live a life intertwined with my heavenly Father, and He’s got my back no matter what the outcome.
If you’re the praying type, I’d appreciate prayers for a healthy baby within the first round of IVF and that peace would fill our home and our marriage.
I’ll continue to bring you along this journey, as I really strongly feel God wants me to share as I move through this. If you want to see more real time updates, follow me over on Instagram.