It’s incredible how much calmer I feel this round of IVF than the last. Both yesterday and today I’ve been surprised by cramping or pulling sensations in my ovaries, and thought I wonder what’s going on there? then remembered I’m on FSH injections. I never imagined IVF would be something I could simply forget about like that. On the bright side, at least while I’m forgetting I’m not stressing. Stress really did my head in with both my previous fresh and frozen cycles.
One thing that has affected me badly is the caffeine withdrawal. Last round of IVF I weaned myself off caffeine slowly over the course of about two weeks. This time I’d completely forgotten about it until CD1 so I had to go cold turkey on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday afternoon I had a thumping headache, and by Thursday I had the shakes and spent the day in an ugly brain fog.
We did our first injection yesterday morning at 6.30am. By that stage, my caffeine withdrawal had well and truly set in. I was bleary eyed from sleep, having just crawled out of bed, and didn’t have my mind in the right place as I stood at the kitchen bench preparing the epi-pen. Doug was on the other side of the kitchen with his back to me, fiddling with the lid of the sharps container. I leaned forward to grab the little vial of Puregon and missed it completely. Time almost seemed to slow down as it rolled carefully off the counter top and smashed on the floor. I sucked in a lungful of cold morning air and held it until it burned my chest. I didn’t move or speak. Just stood there, staring at the clear liquid which had spilled across my white tiles.
“What was that?” Doug asked, turning to me. “Please tell me that was not your medication.”
I looked at him with horror plastered across my face. “It was not my medication.” I repeated dutifully, though we both knew I was lying.
I expected Doug to yell at me or swear loudly or tell me I was an idiot. Instead, he calmly went to the fridge, pulled out a new vial of medication and handed it to me.
“Oh well, accidents happen.” was all he said.
While I prepared the epi-pen with the new vial – which I did not drop – Doug cleaned up the mess on the floor before our dog Arnold could get to it. I can only imagine leaving for work in the morning and saying goodbye to a 2.4kg toy poodle, and then coming home to a standard sized poodle after he licked up the hormones. Arnold in Wonderland.
I will have to call the clinic later in the week and explain to them what happened. Hopefully they’ll be understanding. In Australia the government heavily subsidises IVF and fertility treatment. You pay the same amount for a cycle whether you stim with 75iu for 5 days or 200iu for 15 days. They handed me over thousands of dollars worth of medication earlier in the week without even asking for a deposit. Last IVF I had to go back several times to get more epi-pens. Hopefully it’ll be the same this time and they’ll just give me a replacement vial. Seriously though, this wouldn’t have happened if they’d just let me use Gonal-F instead of Puregon! You don’t have to handle the Gonal-F vial, it’s already loaded in the pen! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Our first scan is booked in for the 18th of July at 8.45am. That’s day 8 of stims and CD9. I’m honestly not anxious about it. The first scan of last cycle when I was stimming with 100iu showed my ovaries hadn’t responded at all. I can’t see why it would be any different this time.
Unfortunately Doug is traveling for work and won’t be attending the scan with me. I was really hoping he would be able to come, mainly to explain to Doctor B that we actually have a small problem. Doug will be traveling much of the latter half of July and it’s extremely likely that he won’t be here on egg pick-up day. That means we’ll need to use a frozen sperm deposit. Doctor B is very against frozen sperm and doesn’t want us to use it. We mentioned to her at our last appointment that we might need to use frozen because Doug would possibly be in Brisbane for work and she flat-out said no and that he’d have to fly home. I’ve done my own research and I’ve found several studies that suggest frozen sperm is just as good as fresh. Besides, it can’t be helped that he has to travel a lot. He works extremely hard and sacrifies a lot so that he can earn such good money, and his salary is paying for our fertility treatment. It’s just one of those things that can’t be avoided I think.
Can you still do IVF or do you need to do ICSI with frozen? We did ICSI last cycle and I’m keen not to do it again. Doug’s morphology problem is only minor and recent studies have shown ICSI increases autism and retardation in embryos. I think the risk outweighs the benefits for us. Does anyone have any experience using frozen sperm for IVF?