We went to the clinic where a nurse gave us a written guide to the IVF procedure and was able to book us in for our co-ordination appointment the following week. There we would receive our first supply of injections.
I must admit that my feelings were flittering between nervousness, the realisation that IVF treatment was actually going to happen and excitement at being able to start so quickly.
The next step was our co-ordination appointment, which was with several other couples. An IVF nurse talked us through the procedure, as well as demonstrating how to perform the injections correctly. I must admit to having a huge needle phobia so this was the part I was dreading the most. She talked about things that could go wrong, such as not producing enough eggs, no fertilisation occurring or the cycle being stopped. She also described a condition called OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome) which can occur with IVF and gave us information on symptoms to be aware of and what to do if we were concerned at any point. The clinic was lovely; comfortable and friendly with a relaxed atmosphere, and they did put my mind at ease, ensuring everyone understood before each individual couple went and met their own nurse separately.
Our nurse checked we understood everything and we left with a shoulder bag full of needles, and went to pick up our Buserelin, which is the down regulating drug you take to stop your cycles. The next stage was to call when my next cycle started and be given a date to start injecting Buserelin, once per day.
Still in a daze at this point, the appointed date came around quickly, and I filled my first needle, trying to inject it into a fold of fat in my belly, as we had been told to do. I was, and still am, terrified of needles; I pushed the tip against my skin but couldn’t exert enough force to make the tiny needle point break the surface of my skin. I knew I was being pathetic but I just couldn’t do it, so called my husband and fortunately he managed to do it just fine. It didn’t even hurt. We decided there and then that my husband would do my injections for me.
Two weeks later, having diligently been injected each morning and without experiencing any side effects, I went back to the clinic to see whether my body was ready to start the stimming drugs, called Gonal-F. The doctor said that because my uterus lining was very thin and I could collect my Gonal-F the same day.
I would now be injecting two different medicines each day, and would be seen every few days to check how many, and what size, follicles were forming. This was so exciting because, to me, the stimming process of actually producing eggs was the first real step towards pregnancy.
The next part of my story will describe how my body reacted to the Gonal-F and how I felt getting ready for the next stages of treatment which were egg collection and embryo transfer.