IVF: Round 1
I'm equally anxious and excited that we've made the decision to start our first round of IVF.
Initially it felt like an odd choice, something that wasn't suitable for us giving that we can get pregnant. But after a lot of lockdown research we decided this is the best next step for us.
Last week we had all the tests, checks and scans done at Create Fertility in Bristol. We donned our best face masks (we were known as 'the matching face mask couple' in the clinic - good strong start) and had to go in separately due to government guidelines, of course. I had my baseline scan where my eggs were counted, tubes were checked and the shape of my womb was inspected (for the hundredth time). All ok. Both Chris and I have had karotype blood tests to check for any abnormal chromosomes either of us may be carrying. We had the last two fetus tested for chromosome abnormalities (the most common cause of miscarriages), and both came back normal, so I'm pretty sure our results aren't going to throw up any issues.
We've been advised to go for a Mild IVF cycle where I'll be on a lower doses of hormones compared to a conventional IVF cycle. The idea is to gently stimulate my eggs to mature, meaning they will (hopefully) be of good quality. Although the mild stimulation means we might not get as many eggs as we would do on a conventional IVF cycle, but hopefully the one(s) we do get will be of the best possible quality. If all goes well after egg collection, we then have to deicide if we'd like to do the Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) on our embryo. This screens the chromosomal make-up of the embryo, which could help to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Fascinating stuff, right?
Due to the 'unique anatomy' I've got going on down there, we will need to do a trial embryo transfer to make sure we're popping the little guy/gal in the best possible place in my heart-shape womb.
Then, we cross our fingers and hope our embryo loves its new home, wants to stay, and nestles down for the next 9 months.
It's exciting because it feels like a positive next step. We've encountered so many dead ends in the past few years where we thought we were making progress, but instead were forced to turn around and start again. I'm incredibly anxious that this is going to be another one of those start/stop situations. And this time we've got the added pressure of paying (a lot of money, how the hell do people afford this?!) for something that could easily all go wrong. It's a big risk, and the chances of it paying off feel slim. But we're going to give it our best shot. Come on good eggs!