I’m a serial IVF’er. I started this blog partly for therapy but mostly to share my experiences.
My husband and I got together when we were both 31. We met through a sports club and being fit and healthy never thought for a moment we would struggle to conceive. We didn’t actively start trying until 4 years later, which in hindsight was a mistake!
I wasn’t having regular periods and eventually convinced my GP to take me seriously and got diagnosed with PCO (polycystic ovaries) due to the cysts on my ovaries, fortunately I didn’t have the syndrome. Referral for IVF on the NHS followed surprisingly quickly. Further tests revealed my husband had lazy swimmers. For someone so active this was a whole new level of fertility irony (little did we know how much more was to follow).
2013: IVF no 1. My ovaries had a field day producing a mammoth 33 eggs 26 of which were mature and 16 fertilised. Initial elation gave way to disappointment as the numbers dropped. On transfer day I had a miserable 2 poor quality blastocysts to transfer. I ended up with severe OHSS, I had a drain in my side for 5 days. I was gobsmacked when the pregnancy test was positive. Being a natural pessimist I convinced myself it was a chemical pregnancy and sure enough I was right. A week later the pregnancy test was negative.
2014: IVF no 2. Private clinic this time and a mild protocol. 1 top quality hatching blast transferred and 3 excellent blasts frozen. A positive test both bloods and urine gave me a lot of hope. But the pregnancy test didn’t get darker so I requested a quantitative blood test. The HCG was low and I had another chemical pregnancy.
2014: FET no 1. 2 embryos didn’t make it. The 3rd was 80% recovered. It didn’t work. I wasn’t surprised.
2014: IVF no 3. Immune drugs added. It worked. But I had a miscarriage at 8.5 weeks (due to a chromosome problem) and had to have an ERPC. Dark days.
2015: IVF no 4. We decided to do PGS testing. They were all abnormal. No transfer. More dark days. Considering donor eggs. But first 1 last try with my own.
2015: IVF no 5. PGS. 1 normal embryo transferred on day 6. Scratch, clexane, intralipids and steriods. BFN – WTF. Am I the unluckiest woman ever?
2015: IVF no 6. PGS. No normal embryos. Onto donor eggs.
2016: IVF no 7. Donor eggs. 29 mature, 24 fertilised. 11 blasts PGS tested. 3 normal (2 good quality, 1 poor quality). 2 good quality blasts (one hatching) transferred. Scratch, clexane and intralipids. Positive pregnancy test with strong HCG results. Ultrasound 1 at 6+4 = 1 embryo with heartbeat measuring slightly small. Ultrasound 2 at 7+4 = missed miscarriage. Totally devastated. No answers.
2017: IVF no 8. Donor eggs. 10 eggs, 7 fertilised, 2 blasts PGS tested. 2 normal. FET cancelled twice (first time because of thyroid, second time because of lining breaking down). Scratch, clexane, intralipids, steroids, thyroxine. Positive pregnancy test with high HCG results. Bleeding at 7 weeks – scan reveals twins.
Why a life without peas? Well I’ve read everything I can lay my hands on about fertility and a while back I read that peas can stop you conceiving. I’m not usually one to take on board such things but for some reason I’ve been unable to eat peas since. I love peas! What stupid things have you done in the name of fertility?
Oh, and some non IVF things about me (life doesn’t always revolve around IVF right?): I run (a lot, it’s my meditation and my joy); I love baking and reading (sometimes at the same time); I like shopping and holidays (who doesn’t?); I have great friends (seriously my support network is phenomenal); I want a cat (and a baby but that goes without saying I think!); I eat too much chocolate (um, yeah well I have to balance out all the running); I have a full on job which I enjoy most of the time; I’m generally a happy person, though as the failed attempts mount up it’s getting harder to stay that way!