Before we had IVF treatment, I confess I knew very little about it. Even during our initial investigations and drug treatment, I hadn’t read much about what IVF involved. Probably because I hoped we wouldn't have to know, and natural conception would happen by itself.
Missed the first post? The Beginning, Part One
When we were referred to the waiting list, I did then start to buy books and learn about what we would be going through. The Hewitt Centre team gave my husband and I a lot of literature as well, which was really useful for us. I was also fortunate to have some friends who had undergone the treatment and could give me some idea of what to expect.
Our treatment began in early July 2011. We had recently returned from a family holiday to Turkey and we were as ready as we could be, although I was still convincing myself that I would be able to leave all of the injecting to my husband. The nurse who showed us how to inject had other ideas. She highlighted how important it was that I could do it for myself, and she was right, and it was a lot less scary than I imagined.
The first couple of weeks involved injecting medication to 'switch me off' and stop my ovaries working normally (my body had no problem with this given they didn’t work very well anyway). We had a scan to check everything looked as it should and then we moved onto the next set of injections, which were to build me back up again and get my ovaries ready for, fingers crossed, egg collection. We did the injections every night as close to 7pm as we could. That time wasn't prescribed but it helped us to set it, as a time after our working days were done and we had no interruptions (unless you count the evening when some family members and some friends all dropped by just before 7 for a general chat, like an episode of Friends; we had to make our excuses and leave them downstairs while we injected upstairs). We had an injecting kit – a tray for all of our equipment, a sharps bin, and a box with the medicines in. So we were pretty organised. Oh, and we were given a booklet by the nurses to record every injection and sign that we had done it. This was where we allowed ourselves to have a bit of fun. We stopped signing our names and instead signed them as famous people. It did raise a few eye brows when we had our appointments at The Hewitt Centre and we showed them our book.
Once all of the injections were complete, we had the 'big one', the master injection to get my eggs ready for collection and then a day or so later I found myself back at the centre on a table having my eggs collected.
I won't go into the nitty gritty but we ended up in a bit of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation. From the eggs collected, three of them became embryos and when the centre rang to tell us how they were going, one was emerging as a clear winner. The centre asked for more time to let that embryo develop more before they implanted it. Of course we said yes. It was a risk but we trusted them, and I’m so glad we did.
On implantation day, we gowned up and made ourselves look like pie makers complete with funny hats and shoes. And then we saw our embryo. The embryologist showed us on a screen the embryo, who would become our baby. We didn’t know that at the time, we could only dare to hope that would happen. But we felt privileged to have seen that, because people who conceive naturally never get to see their babies as embryos.
Two weeks later – the longest two weeks in the history of our worlds – we found out the treatment had worked. And we were pregnant. And we had a chance now to make that dream come true.
Nine months later, we welcomed our daughter.
Read the next post in the series: The Emotions, Part Three