Amber And Leah’s Parenting Journey: Moving On To IVF

Moving On To IVF

Leah and Amber decide it’s now time to begin IVF.

Four years since getting pregnant the first time, we have begun our first and very hopefully last IVF cycle. As I write this Amber is in surgery having all of her little eggs removed after exhaustingly growing them for the last month.

What was involved for this cycle? I will tell you it is very different to when we got pregnant the first time, in the comfort of our own home. It is even a lot more involved than the previous IUI attempts we have had.

Our IVF cycle did not just start today. In November 2011 we had to come into Concept and meet our coordinator ‘Bec’ and she explained the whole process to us. We were a little overwhelmed and left with a bundle of information to read at home. We explained we were going on a holiday and we would call on day one of Amber’s period when we were ready to start and they said they would tell us what the next step would be on the phone.

Once we decided what cycle we were doing we called them up on day one. They said all we had to do next was wait until day 21 and that’s when we needed to start the Synarel nasal spray. While waiting for day 21 we went into concept to collect the spray and Amber was instructed on how to use it.

On February 11 2012 Amber started the nasal spray. She was told she needed to administer 2 sprays in each nostril both morning and night. That was easy peasy! Well for the first week or so… Then Amber explained it just felt like spraying chlorine up her nose each day! Thankfully on the 18th she was able to decrease to one spray in each nostril each morning and night.

I had to drive into Concept one day after softball to collect the Puregon injections that Amber needed to start the next day. The staff are always so friendly and even though it is not for me they always explain it fully and are always very supportive to the partner as well as the patient.

On the 26th February 2012 – almost 4 years exactly to the day of getting pregnant for the first time, Amber started her Puregon injections. This is a self-administered needle, much like you would find a diabetic would have for their insulin. This needed to be done once a day at the same time. This meant Amber had to set an alarm and during the week had to run into the staff room to administer. She had to work up the courage to inject herself every day, it’s a task that plays with your mind a little!

Amber had blood a test on day 8 of the injections. This was to check her blood levels to ensure the medication was helping to ‘super ovulate’ which would mean she would produce multiple eggs ready for retrieval.

On the 5th March 2012 Amber and I’m woke up early on the public holiday morning to drive into Concept for an internal ultra sound. This was the first time I was able to go in with her to an ultra sound as there was no work. They checked her ovaries and could detect around 8 follicles in the right side and after a lot of pushing the doctor said it was too difficult to see the left side. We also went for a blood test to keep an eye on the levels.

When we rang for the results they said it was all looking well and they would like to have Amber come in again on the 7th for another blood test and ultra sound. The doctor explained he could see around 18-20 follicles, however they were all in various sizes so was unsure how many we’re good for retrieval. Before Amber left they said egg retrieval would be soon and loaded her up with some more medication and instructions on what to do next.

She was told to now stop the nasal spray and injections and to give herself an injection of Ovidrel, another self-administered injection. This one had to be done specifically at 8pm to trigger ovulation. This meant 36 hours after this trigger they would perform the egg retrieval. The injection had to be done at work as we had a long staff meeting that night. Amber also had to take Doxycycline (an antibiotic) with dinner that night to rid herself of any germs and to help fight any infections.

On the 8th March all Amber was instructed to do was take another Doxycycline and come into Concept the next day (Friday the 9th March) at 7am. The next morning we arrived nice and early, the lovely admissions nurse explained the procedure for the day. We were then taken upstairs – new ground for us. We had never been upstairs before but we could explain the entire ground floor to you if you wanted.

We talked with the lovely staff upstairs that also explained the procedure again and went through the normal questions people face with any surgery, allergies etc. Before we knew it Amber was kitted up in her backless gown, booties and hat and it was time for me to leave as our wonderful Dr Williams had arrived.

I went for a walk knowing Amber was getting into surgery and was hoping there would be a good amount of eggs to fertilize. I started writing this blog and was called upstairs about half way through and have been sitting with Amber since.

The other nurse that had been caring for Amber since her surgery went through all of the discharge papers and we then had to wait for the Embryologist. A young lady came in and explained to us that they managed to retrieve 16 eggs. They were then going to put the sperm in with it and see how many fertilize. She said that 16 was a fantastic amount of eggs and we should be very happy with that.

The sperm and egg would be together to fertilize and they would be pick the strongest to be put in at either day 3 or 5, depending on how strong they are. She answered any questions we had and then walked us out.

We are now home and I have sat and written this blog in 4 different locations (3 of them at Concept) Amber is resting and I have to head to work soon. Now we just have to wait and see how many of Amber’s eggs would now fertilize.

Next time we will reveal our IVF results!