May 20, 2021
Well this is the end of Week 3 and I am yet to find the “oh my gosh I am so excited” phase. I really would like this phase to arrive, I have been told by other ladies (young and old) to “sit back and enjoy the journey”, “just relax, it will happen” and my favourite “this is such an exciting time for you!”. Some days I am left just feeling terrified and my over active mind travels down a black hole of questions and frustrations.
Today we saw Judy, our IVF nurse specialist. Judy is lovely. I will say to anyone who will listen, Judy answered many of my questions before I even asked them today. Obviously my questions are ones that MANY other women/couples have. This then left me thinking – WHY IS THIS INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE SOONER!! However, Josh (hubby) and I went to our appointment, me armed with my bright yellow folder holding every single bit of information printed, read and highlighted.
I know that IVF plans are individualised and different for every woman. There are different schedules, drugs, blood tests, ultrasounds and surgery dates….what does not change is information such as, “ice your belly helps” and “yes you can use a heatpack – but remember not to cook your belly”. This may seem like simple information but for a worrier and Type A like me, I need to hear it all right from the get-go so I can prepare my mind and feel ready.
Frustration No 1 we shared with Judy:
“I just need to know when my procedure will be so I can plan my life – why can’t anyone tell me?”
Judy’s answer: No two are alike, your day for egg retrieval depends on a variety of things”. Our ovaries, follicles and response to medication isn’t going to be the same as the next lady who walks in. Judy explained that my OBGYN (Dr. Beata) needs to be totally happy with the size and number of eggs BEFORE we can have surgery. This means a scan on the Friday before the week that all egg retrievals are booked. If my body responds well to the meds and makes big, fat, healthy eggs – surgery could be on the Monday….If there is a little more lovin’ to be had on them (ie more meds) surgery could be as late as the following Friday. Well geeeeeeez……
The other thing Judy clarified was egg collection happens approximately12-14 days after starting the FSH medication or which equates to an embryo transfer around day 19 of a natural 28 day cycle. (I will make another post with all the IVF lingo!)
The real treat Judy offered today was Murphy’s Law….she said that if there is something we were really looking forward to it’s pretty much guaranteed that it will fall on that very day. I am just looking forward to a couple days on the couch catching up on Netflix!
So, to the other ladies out there – be prepared to be very flexible with work around the time of your egg retrieval. I opted to take time off completely but I know not everyone has this opportunity. For my stress levels, my need for organisation and planning, I decided to have no responsibilities (other than teaching classes) for the week while waiting for our surgery date.
“I get really annoyed playing email tag and waiting for responses – is there someone I can just call?”
Judy’s answer: Yes, you can call me and here is my direct number. OH EM GEEEEE – this was music to my ears. I love being able to pick up the phone, hear the ring, and have a chat with someone on the other end. Judy – you truly are amazing.
So to the other ladies, I know it seems hard waiting for that first call from your Nurse Specialist. My phone call (and first contact) came about 1 week after the end of my previous monthly cycle. Once you get this number – save it and hang onto it. If you have the pleasure of working with Judy – she will pick up nearly every time, and if not, ring back very quickly!
Once the worry was out of the way, Judy took us through the medications I would be taking, how to give myself needles and the other equipment I would need. Judy explained that the medication I will be taking medication to stimulate the growth of your follicles … I know, sounds sexy right? The possible side-effects…..feeling tender as those follicles grow, but at least I will know that it’s working! Bloating and discomfort (like when I overeat at FastaPasta on date night!) Judy talked us through the risks and concerns – who knew I needed to write out a mini Will in all of this. It is serious business to decide what you want to happen to your eggs if you don’t survive the surgery! I had never contemplated that till today. All in the name of love Baby! Finally she says the medication might also stimulate anxiety, tension, extreme mood swings and general screeching at anyone who deigns to come too close. I laughed at loud at these – poor Judy didn’t know I already run a business and work as a paediatric OT….those are not side-effects but my regular mood sometimes!!
We also discussed the time frames and how we would proceed over the next month. With every page printed, the daytimer marked and the medication calendar printed….I am feeling ready. I am feeling more in control and maybe, just maybe, getting a little excited for the possibilities.
I am pretty proud to say I have 2 ladies who will be joining me for a FIRST TOWNSVILLE IVF F2F Meet-Up Group!! Both will be going through a procedure at the same time as me so we can share all the little things with one another that our friends, family and partners may not understand.
My recommendations for other women who are at their Week 3 mark and preparing for their medications:
- Read the pamphlets about the medicines. They will help you to understand what they are.
- You will be given a link for online tutorials that talk about the funding / finances, explains the IVF lingo and you WILL receive a copy of your plan when you meet your nurse.
- Prepare yourself a little night-time ritual box and make it a kind and loving experience for yourself. Whether you are administering your own meeds or have someone doing it for you, it is nice to feel pampered around it. I have bought:
- brand new, comfy (baggy) PJ’s. I splurged on a pair that I would not normally by for myself (bonus is I can grow into them when we do achieve pregnancy).
- a cute head-pad for when I need it
- a Mama-To-Be tea blend that I can have every evening, and a nice Green Tea blend for the morning routine
- I have an IVF medication specifically I listen to at night (A GREAT APP)
Hope this has been helpful for you!
Happy Reading. xx A.