Day 1. My period was, for the first time ever, 2 days late…go figure. Off we go to collect our drugs from the clinic and on day 2 we start. I was nervous but excited about starting injections and was willing the day away so that I could begin. By the time injection o’clock came round I was too tired to be nervous, and managed to jab myself without any issues. Too easy, and not at all sore! I don’t know what I was worried about. For those not familiar with the IVF process I thought I’d cover off what happens (or at least what happens for me – everyone is different). It’ll serve as documentation for us also because, although this cycle is nowhere near over, I’m already beginning to forget what we’ve been through so far this month. So….
Day 1 – start of period
Day 2 – Antibiotics for both myself and my husband as a precautionary measure against Ureaplasma. Start ‘stims’ (stimulation drugs – in my case Gonal F). This for me is one 150 IU injection each evening for 6+ days and is the drug that will stimulate my ovaries to produce multiple follicles/eggs.
Day 6 – As well as Gonal F (in the evenings), today is the day I start Cetrotide injections. These ones occur every morning and are the ones that stop me from ovulating – the last thing we want is for my body to expel all the lovely eggs that are (hopefully) growing. Dose 0.25mg per day.
Day 8 – Blood test and a scan to monitor progess. This determines whether we keep going with stims or whether we’re ready for the trigger shot. Results ended up showing I needed stims for a couple more days, on we go.
Day 12 – It’s trigger time! I still do my Cetrotide in the morning then anxiously await the call from the clinic to let me know what time to do the trigger injection. This has to be carefully timed as 36 hours later it’s time to collect my wee eggies and that ‘36 hours later’ needs to fit in with the clinics schedule. They finally call and it’s a 10:30pm trigger shot, eek!
Day 14 – Egg collection day. Into the clinic at 10:30am for the procedure. Today is also the day that my husband has to do his bit. The doctor collects the eggs and hands them off to the lab technician who fertilises them with hubby’s swimmers.
Day 17 or 19 – Egg transfer, where (hopefully) they put one back in. The decision on what day this occurs comes down to the number and quality of the embryo/s (providing some fertilised that is – it sometimes happen that no eggs successfully fertilise). If you have lots of good looking embryos (embryos that are dividing and developing as they should) you’ll more than likely have a later transfer so they can choose the best ones. If you don’t have such good ones, or not many, then you’ll probably have an earlier transfer. Although this procedure will occur on day 17 or 19 for me, it’s actually a ‘day 3’ or ‘day 5’ transfer as it’s counted from the day of egg collection – so will be either 3 days after egg collection or 5 days after.
Then we wait….a blood test on day 28 of my cycle will determine whether the treatment has been successful or not. In other words, I’m either pregnant or I’m not.
I thought it would also be good to film the injections throughout this process. Each of the 3 types I have to do is slightly different. If needles make you squeamish I recommend you give the videos a miss. Also, just a reminder, that this is the protocol for me, and the injections shown in this footage is how I was instructed to perform them. If you are also going through this heart-wrenching process and what you do is different then please stick to what you have been told. These videos are a documentation of our journey only and are not intended as an instruction or any such thing to other people.