* Author Topic: Diary - ICSI/FET Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS  (Read 2874 times)

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Offline Mifster

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My diary prior to ICSI/FET

Diary>Mild PCOS>Endo>Lap>Clomid>ICSI https://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=345458.0

We met with our Consultant at Yorkshire Fertility and it was agreed that we should proceed with ICSI Long Protocol as opposed to IVF as my husband's test results for sperm count and motility were below the normal range. The Consultant gave us the choice of having egg collection/transfer at Fertility Leeds, CARE Fertility Sheffield or CARE Fertility Manchester. We decided Manchester was too far to travel so ruled this clinic out from the get go. In terms of choosing between Sheffield and Leeds, we used the HFEA website to help inform our decision: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/choose-a-clinic/ In the end we opted for Sheffield due to the success rates, patient rating and inspection rating. The next step is to complete all the paperwork before I take the pill for a month in December. I'm told that this will help to control the timing of my cycle so that medication can be issued and taken at the correct times the following month. This means that egg collection and transfer will take place in January 2018. To say we're nervous is an understatement!

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    Offline Mifster

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    So we spent three hours at Pinderfields going through and signing all the paperwork. We really didn't expect it to take so long but there was so much information to absorb; legal implications, treatments available on the NHS, additional treatments at an extra cost, medication, monitoring, time scales, nutrition, exercise, counselling etc. etc. The nurse we met with was marvellous. She had a great sense of humour which lifted the mood - I was like a rabbit in headlights! She took time to ensure that we understood exactly what we'll be undertaking and was happy to answer all of our questions. There were 2 main points we learnt during our appointment which we didn't know before we arrived:

    1. NHS Wakefield CCG offers 4 frozen embryo transfers at no cost following first cycle - which means we need to pray for as many embryos as possible so they can be used later if our first attempt fails.

    2. There are extras that we can pay for such as Blastocyst day 5 transfer, Embryoglue and Embryoscope. Apparently there's research to show that day 5 transfer is more successful so we'll be paying for this. We weren't convinced by the evidence relating to the Embryoglue so have decided not to pay for this. Our understanding is that the Embryoscope would provide more information to the Embryologist so they can select the very best embryos for transfer so we'll also be paying for this as well.

    I was both encouraged and saddened by this. Encouraged that we may get the chance to transfer more embryos if we get them and should we need it and there are steps we can take to improve our chances of success albeit at an extra cost. I was saddened by how unfair the system is. Some CCGs offer no fresh cycles on the NHS. Others up to 3. And what if you can't afford the extras? As if the pain of being unable to conceive isn't enough without having to worry about the financial burden of treatment.

    I'm now waiting for AF to arrive so I can crack on with taking the pill and get my bloods done.     

    Offline Mifster

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    My bloods were done in early Dec 17 and I started taking the pill for the month. Our day 21 appointment landed right between Christmas and New Year. I had a scan and yet again the nurse struggled to find my ovaries and uterus. She had to call a more senior member of staff in, which was a bit disconcerting, who commented that my uterus was 'severely retroverted'. I've heard comments like this before when having scans but not really given it much thought. This time I Googled it, specifically in relation to IVF, and was worried by what I discovered. I'm not sure how reliable the information I found is but it suggested that a retroverted uterus can cause complications and be more painful during egg transfer and that patients should ask the doctor to practice inserting the catheter before transfer. No one has mentioned this to me at any stage.

    We were given the medication for down regulation (Suprecur Busereline) and shown how to inject. It's much easier than I anticipated and the pain is minimal, just stings a bit. I'd worked myself up before hand but managed to summon enough strength to do it first time. My advice to anyone who's nervous is don't over think it and just do it! My husband comes and sits with me every evening at 7.30pm to do the injection. We've become a good team at prepping the kit. I think he likes to get involved so that he feels like he's making a contribution. I'm not sure that I've had any side effects from the medication other than head aches, feeling tired and getting overly emotional. I still can't quite believe that we're doing this. Feels surreal.

    We've been trying to look after ourselves as much as possible now that the wheels are finally in motion. I indulged myself on Christmas day but have cut out all alcohol and caffeine since. We've been trying to eat super healthily and are following the guidance - lots of protein, oily fish, pulses, wholegrains, pint of milk daily etc. Despite this, I seem to have come down with everything going since I started the meds. I've had a cold for over two weeks now and also got the dreaded norovirus so couldn't keep anything down. Just my bloody luck! I don't know what, if any, impact this can have on your body when you're approaching egg transfer but it's a worry for me. Next appointment is this coming Thursday so I need to ask about this and the uterus thing. Hopefully I'll be given the green light for stimming and we can look towards egg transfer.

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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #3 on: 12/01/18, 15:01 »
    So I've been given the go ahead for stimming. During the scan the nurse said all looked well and that my womb lining was 2mm, which is good apparently, as they wanted it to be less than 4mm at this stage. Picked up my next set of medication and can't believe how much there is to remember! I'm sure we'll get into a routine but seeing all the boxes piled up was a bit overwhelming. I've to continue on the Busereline although at a lower dose and start taking Gonal F both via injection. If all goes to plan egg collection should take place wk/c 22nd Jan - eeeeek!!! Prior to that I need to have two scans to assess growth of follicles and assess whether the womb lining is thickening.

    The nurse answered all my questions regarding my retroverted uterus etc. saying that it was very common which was reassuring. She was so lovely and positive. I left feeling hopeful.

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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #4 on: 15/01/18, 13:03 »
    My abdomen feels heavy and I keep getting twinges. I'm also extremely emotional! I could murder a glass of red and family size bar of Galaxy right now but I've managed to resist temptation.

    Struggled with the second injection the last two nights. The first goes in no problem but with the second I'm finding it tricky to pierce the skin. It must be psychological as I use the same kind of needle for both and it doesn't even hurt that much!

    Nerves are also starting to kick in. Is the Gonal F working? Are follicles growing? How many? What if there aren't any!?!?

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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #5 on: 22/01/18, 13:38 »
    As of Friday I had 15 follicles between 10 and 14mm in size. Advised to continue with Buseraline and Gonal F over the weekend then went back for a scan yesterday.  I have now over stimulated! Approx. 50 follicles although some are very small. Still been given the go ahead for Wednesday egg collection but we may have to freeze any embryos as I'm now at risk of OHSS. I've been given extra medication in the form of tablets and another injection to try to prevent this from happening. All the instructions I've been given are a little mind blowing to say the least. I've had to look over them multiple times and put lots of reminders in my mobile phone to make sure I don't miss anything.

    So egg collection is tomorrow - arrgghhh! I'm excited but worried at the same time. We're staying over in Sheffield tonight to avoid the traffic in the morning. I watched some videos on YouTube last night to find out what to expect. It was fascinating but made me nervous about the pain. I hope I can be strong. Wish us luck!

    On a side note, I have been given different information by the unit where I've been having scans and CARE Sheffield which has been a little confusing. The unit told me to take Gonal F last night, CARE told me not to?!? The unit told me that CARE Sheffield opens on weekends - it doesn't! This means we're restricted to a 2 day or 5/6 day transfer only because of when egg collection falls. The unit told me that my husband isn't allowed in during egg collection (which is fine), CARE have told me that he is - bonus! The unit told me that I can't eat from midnight tonight, CARE told me I can have a light breakfast in the morning!?! I also found out from CARE yesterday that I can take a CD to play whilst egg collection is taking place but I don't have enough time to organise one now. We don't have a CD collection anymore just Apple Music and the CDs I can get from the supermarket today aren't really to our taste. I think we're just going to raid my parent's CD collection and hope they will have something half decent ;D I don't want to grumble too much because I have to say that the staff have all been marvellous at both the unit and CARE, it just seems to be a break down in communication somewhere. I do wish I'd known some of these things earlier though so I could prepare and make informed decisions.

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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #6 on: 25/01/18, 12:37 »
    Egg collection done! I can't believe it. We've been talking about it for months and we finally did it yesterday.

    It was harder than I anticipated but all the staff and my husband were amazing. We were given a private room to get ready and the nurse, doctor and embryologist all came to see us before hand to talk us through the procedure. They don't sedate you at CARE Sheffield which came as a bit of a shock. Just a Tamazepan tablet, diclofenac  suppository thing and local anaesthetic injection. The Tamazepan did little for me so they gave me gas and air as I was so uncomfortable. Thank God for gas and air!!!

    11 eggs were collected in total which we're pleased with. The embryologist called this morning to say that 9 were mature and 7 of these fertilised. The doctor said that we can go ahead with transfer after all so that will either be tomorrow or Monday. We're hoping for Monday - this would be a day 5 blastocyst transfer.

    So we wait to see what happens. I'm sore and swollen following egg collection but not in a great deal of pain. I'm currently tucked up in bed watching TV. I've been advised to rest until egg transfer so Netflix and chill it is. I'm lucky that I have a supportive business partner so don't need to worry about work. Just need to make sure that I drink plenty of fluids and eat well over the next few days.


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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #7 on: 31/01/18, 13:13 »
    The embryologist kept us informed over the weekend with updates as to how our embryos were progressing. Initially we had 1 x 10 cells, 2 x 8 cells, 1 x 6 cell, 2 x 5 cells and 1 x 2 cell. She explained that the 5 and 2 cells were unlikely to progress leaving us with 4. 3 had made it to blastocyst stage by Monday so 1 was transferred and the other 2 frozen. We were delighted with this result! Another hurdle we've overcome. We knew we had the goods (egg/sperm), we knew that DH's sperm was capable of fertilising my eggs through ICSI and we now know that our embryos can develop to blast stage.

    The transfer itself was really straightforward. I had very little pain and my retroverted uterus posed no problems at all. The embryologist showed us a time lapse video of our embryo developing to day 5 which was just amazing. I think we have this video because we paid for the embryoscope. We also have a picture of our embryo which made me cry when I saw it. They were tears of pure joy. I can't believe we actually made something so precious! I asked DH if we should name it but we agreed that personalising things at this point may make it more difficult further down line if we don't get our BFP. My parents came round to visit the evening of transfer. I could tell that they were trying not to get too excited because we have a long way to go yet but I could also see how much it meant to them that we've come this far. My sister is 39 and has no intentions of having children so with no other siblings I'm their only hope for a Grandchild. They shed a few tears and even admitted that they've named our embryo Noodle  ;D ^idiot^ I didn't have the heart to tell them that this is something we wanted to avoid!

    We're now on the 2ww. It's mental torture! I'm also really constipated from the progesterone pessaries. It's going to be a long two weeks.

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    7 days post transfer and I'm sooooo nervous. Yorkshire Fertility and CARE Sheffield have both called to check in with me to make sure I'm OK. I have to say the aftercare and support has been great.  I have butterflies in my stomach and I'm constantly on the verge of tears. I don't feel pregnant but then I don't know what being pregnant feels like! I had a vivid dream last night that we got the call and it was a BFP. I hope it's a sign of what's to come. I'm not as constipated or bloated now which is a relief but do keep getting stomach cramps a bit like AF although not as painful and my (.)(.) feel swollen. I'm not tempted to test at home so we'll just have to wait until the blood test on Thursday morning.

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    Diary - ICSI Care Sheffield<Clomid<Lap<Endo<Mild PCOS
    « Reply #9 on: 14/02/18, 14:13 »
    The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions. This process is so cruel.  :'(

    Thursday arrived and we travelled to the Hospital for a blood test. We decided to take ourselves off to the Trafford Centre afterward to keep occupied until the phone call came. My phone rang in the middle of John Lewis lighting section - not ideal! My heart jumped as I heard the nurse's voice. As she spoke I began to wish that we'd decided to go somewhere a little more private to wait. The test was inconclusive! What?!?!? I'd prepared for positive or negative but not inconclusive. She explained that my HCG levels were 59 and they need to be 80 or above to confirm a pregnancy. What now? More waiting. They ideally test after another 48 hours but as this fell over the weekend we had to wait 72 hours. I teared up as I tried to digest the news. We decided to escape to Whitby over the weekend to distract ourselves. Sea air, fish and chips and relaxation. I didn't do much relaxing  ;D ^idiot^  I swung from optimism to despair as I contemplated our fate. I trawled the internet for success stories following low HCG levels. I dared to hope but it wasn't to be.

    Sadly the second test was BFN. I can only compare the sadness which overwhelmed me to grief. I sobbed to the point where I couldn't catch my breath. We spent the day at home reflecting on the outcome. This involved 5 white chocolate cookies, a large bag of crisps and a 3 hour Nanna nap! ;D Now that the dust has settled, we can see the positives in our journey; I responded well to stimming, eggs were collected, eggs fertilised, we got to blasto stage and we have two frozen embies. Furthermore, we're stronger than ever as a couple. We can't change anything so are trying to look to the future.