So, today was the day. Egg collection day.
I must have woken up four times in the middle of the night, waiting for my alarm to go off, full of anticipation. Finally it did, 6am Czech time (5am UK time) – ouch.
You’re not supposed to eat or drink before egg collection because of the general anaesthetic, but I had to have a bit of tea. Only a couple of slurps, mind. But I needed something. Otherwise I’d have really struggled to get there.
Once up and dressed, we walked a mile to the clinic from our Airbnb. It was -8C, which I was utterly dreading, but actually it wasn’t too bad. Fresh, yes, but not unbearable. The thermals helped!
We arrived at GENNET 7:20am and waited in reception for 10 minutes before going to the third floor where one of the international co-ordinators met us. We went through paperwork, she gave me a wristband with my name on and a nightgown, and showed me to my room.
Sample number one
My husband was immediately ushered downstairs to do his first sample. I asked the co-ordinator if I’d see him before my procedure, and she said ‘probably’. So I sat in my funny corner room and anxiously waited for who knows what. I tried to read by couldn’t concentrate.
What I remember most at this time was the sound of all the nurses laughing and joking outside. It was quite noisy, and all I wanted to do was sit in peace and quiet. I thought: I wish I got paid to sit around all morning and chat like this. (Probably being a bit unfair here, but just being honest! It was really loud. But at least they like their jobs, I thought.)
Probably about 30 minutes later, my husband was back. He’d done a blood test and his first sample. He’d already been told that there were some live sperm there, but they wanted him to do another, which we’d expected. So far, so good.
He asked me if I’d had my procedure yet. No, I said. Still waiting. I have no idea when it’s going to be, but surely it’ll be soon since they’ve done your sample now? It felt like I’d been waiting forever.
And we’re off…
I reckon it was an hour after I went to my room that the nurse came in to kick off proceedings. ‘We’re ready,’ she said. ‘You just need to use the toilet, and then you can go in.’
The bit I hate the most about egg collection is the cannula – ulgh, it always hurts. But today wasn’t too bad. Once you’re lying there, legs akimbo, cannula in situ, you know there’s no turning back. And so off I went, to the land of nod. (Give me a general over local any day of the week, I can tell you.)
My last thought was: next thing I know, I’ll be lying in my bed and it’ll be done.
So next thing I know, I’m lying on my bed in the room on my own, and it was done.
Sample number two
I was there maybe 20 minutes before my husband came back from sample two (he said it was one of the hardest things he’d ever done, which I did struggle to have sympathy with this, truth be told!) and then we waited to find out the number of eggs retrieved.
I think I’m right in saying the embryologist, doctor, my co-ordinator and the nurse all came into the room at that point. It was quite nice – I liked the fact they were all involved.
The big reveal
They told us we got 13 eggs, which I know is amazing, but I felt a bit disappointed they’d not got the 15 that the sonographer had mentioned. (I know, seriously, I hate me too for being That Person.)
The embryologist then said that, out of the first sample, they’d found one live sperm. I was like: ‘Sorry, what? One?!’ but apparently this is out of a tiny part of the sample, and so they said they should absolutely find more. But they did say it wasn’t good enough for PICSI, MACS or MFSS… again, I was quite disappointed by that, but hey. They’re not miracle workers.
Day four transfer?!
Next surprise. They’re going to do a day four transfer (if we’re lucky to get that far). Not a day five. Because day five falls on a Sunday. And they’re not open Sunday. But who has a day four transfer? I’ve read that clinics don’t like doing them, which really worries me. I’m concerned that they might transfer one that wouldn’t have made it to day five now…
I’m also stressed that they’ll end up freezing a load of day-four crappy quality eggs, which will a) cost us money to freeze, store and have frozen transfers, but more importantly b) will give us false hope and waste valuable months of our time. Why can’t they be like Reprofit and be open on Sunday, or like Jessop’s where they schedule procedures more carefully so this doesn’t happen? 🙁
Not that we’ve ever got any to freeze, mind. I’m probably fretting over nothing.
What will tomorrow bring?
Obviously I’m being a negative ninny, and I should be rejoicing in the fact that I got 13 eggs, my husband successfully did two samples, and there were moving, live sperm (even if it was only one!). I guess I’m just on edge.
All of us just want as many eggs as possible to give us the best chance of this working, right? Because the more eggs you get, the more likely it’ll work. I know people say ‘It only takes one’ (I hate that phrase) and it’s quality over quantity, but we’ve had 12 mature eggs out of two IVFs now, and none of them have worked. If I’d have had 24 eggs, it probably would be a different story. That’s just the reality of it.
So now I’m scared for tomorrow – the next hurdle (how many eggs are mature? how many fertilised? etc…) Those are questions that we will be able to answer soon, I know. But for now, I am relaxing on the sofa watching hours of Netflix, and thankful the worst of the physical stuff is finally done. Just the two weeks of psychological torture to go, eh?
Cazziebee’s final thought
But one final thought to leave you with.
I was sitting in my bed at GENNET today and thinking: ‘Why me? Why do I have to be going through this again?’ You know, woe is me stuff. And then I thought: you are so, so lucky. If it wasn’t for places like GENNET, couples like me and my husband would be childless, and that’d be it.
IVF is amazing, and I count myself lucky today that I get another chance at trying to be a mom today. I just hope 13 is our lucky number 🙂