Today we begin IVF

It’s a new year and with that we have made the decision to start IVF this month. It’s all a bit scary but also exciting as the odds of getting pregnant this way are increased.

We weren’t sure it would be possible as the earliest appointment we could get with the specialist was day 2 of my cycle. Luckily for us our doctor usually starts treatment in an IVF cycle on day 3 so we just scraped in. I was so relieved when we were told that we wouldn’t have to wait another 4 weeks to start. Our doctor explained that I would start injections of Gonal-F and would need to inject into my belly at the same time every morning. This drug stimulates my ovaries to produce multiple eggs, hopefully 6-10. For someone of my age, injections of about 200IU (0.35ml) are given but she has instructed me to take injections of 450IU (0.75ml). This is due to my very low AMH levels, to quote her, “I think we have an uphill battle here”. She said she is just worried that with a lower dose of Gonal-F, I wouldn’t produce enough eggs worthy of retrieval. If I only have 1 or 2 eggs then they won’t go ahead with the ‘egg pickup’ and surgery will be cancelled. On the flip side if I happen to react too strongly to the drugs and produce 30 eggs then IVF will have to be cancelled also. So it’s a bit frustrating. Being on a higher dose of Gonal-F increases the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and I’m so scared of getting that. Hopefully our doctor knows what she is doing.

Before we left the appointment she said she just needed to do a quick scan to check that my ovaries were empty and that my last ovulation didn’t leave anything behind that could cause issues this month. An internal scan… while I have my period. She was very insistent that this sort of thing doesn’t bother her and that she does it all the time but I couldn’t help but feel very uneasy and uncomfortable about it. I wasn’t completely naive to the fact that I was going to be put in a lot of awkward and vulnerable situations when we started this baby making thing but I couldn’t help but die a little during this scan. She did it super quick though and the scan showed nothing hanging around in ovaries so we are good to go ahead with this IVF cycle. We were given a little cooler bag full of drugs and needles to use between now and next Monday.

On Sunday night I need to start the nightly injections of Orgalutran. It’s only 0.5ml but she warned me that the needle is quite blunt so it might hurt a bit more than the other ones. This is to stop my body from ovulating early. We go back to see her on Monday and I’ll get another scan to see how the eggs are growing. If there aren’t many she will up the dosage of Gonal-F but if there are too many she will have to cancel. If it looks perfect then I stay on the same dosage and continue to take the injections morning and night until surgery is scheduled for egg retrieval. The day before surgery I will need to inject the ‘trigger shot’ which brings on ovulation. I’m a little nervous about the surgery as I’m told they have to pierce through the vaginal wall but I know I’ll be completely under anaesthetic so won’t feel anything.

I also made an appointment for earlier the same day with the QFG nurses so we could get all the information on the risks, costs and drugs involved as well as how to actually do the injections. She gave us a little demonstration on how to inject and then had me practice with an empty needle on a piece of rubber.

The first needle this morning was easy and didn’t hurt at all though it has left a little round bruise on my stomach. At the end of the 2 weeks my belly is going to be spotted both brown, green and blue bruise dots.

I just got back from Medicare after registering Candice and I for the Medicare Family Safety Net. Given that we were just told of all the costs involved and then also getting an invoice from QFG for $7860 (this doesn’t include our doctor or hospital fees) we want to make sure we are registered. I’m so grateful for our health care system. It will bring that figure down to about $4000.

So that’s were we are up to at the moment. Will post again after the scan scan next Monday 🙂

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