“The call could come any time between nine and five”, I was told when I left after my 11 eggs were collected the previous day. The call in question would be to inform me how many, if any, of those precious eggs had successfully fertilised and become embryos. I knew that I would be going out of my mind the longer it took for the news to come through and prayed I would be fortunate and receive my call nearer to nine than five. Luckily, by 9:30 my phone rang and I was told we had six embryos. This was fantastic news! They were still aiming for a day five blastocyst transfer, and would keep me updated if anything changed.
Knowing we had six embryos was such a relief. Of course, only one would be transferred but six meant that there was a good chance of at least one being of a good enough quality by day five, and if there were any extra we could have them frozen in case the cycle was unsuccessful.
On day five we arrived at the clinic to learn that three embryos hadn’t survived, but the remaining three were doing well. Two would be frozen and one, a near perfect blastocyst, would be implanted. We were actually given a photograph of the embryo, which was amazing considering their microscopic size.
Embryo transfer is not painful at all, in fact the worst thing is needing a full bladder. I was not given anaesthetic this time and my husband was allowed in the room with me. On the screen, we could see the embryo actually being put inside me, and I was allowed to go home soon afterwards. I was so paranoid about my little embryo that I sneezed that evening and remember worrying that I might have somehow ruined its chances of implanting!
I would have nine days to wait until I was allowed to take my pregnancy test, though I secretly promised myself I’d take one a day early. I felt fine for the first week but over the few days that followed I unfortunately began feeling unwell but assumed I was just feeling run down following all the stress. I was signed off work by my doctor who said I should rest, but as time went on I felt worse each day; in fact I noticed I was getting more and more bloated and had horrible heartburn. I was drinking a lot of water but noticed I wasn’t passing as much urine as usual. I recognised the signs of OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome) that we were warned to be wary of at our briefing and decided to call the clinic.
I was asked to come in the following morning to be scanned for possible OHSS. That day would be the day before I was due to take my pregnancy test and, before going to the clinic, I decided I would take it. I also bought a digital test so I could take two to be sure.
Would I get the positive I so desperately longed for? Did I have OHSS and if so, how bad was it and what could be done to treat it? Find out next time when I will recount the final stages of my first IVF cycle.