In at the deep end
Our first IVF cycle using donor eggs began on the 10th July 2016.
On this day, my cycle was officially linked with our egg donor’s. We might not know each other but we were walking hand-in-hand now.
While our donor was starting her ovarian stimulation medications, I had the somewhat lesser burden of responsibility in getting my endometrium prepared and ready for our embryo transfer. While she was on a cocktail of hormones, some of which would require her to inject herself, I only had to take some estradiol tablets with a low dose of corticosteroids and aspirin.
The main events of the next 30 days were expected to unfold as follows:
I should start my withdrawl bleed after ending the pill, which will also mark the first day of our IVF cycle.
Scan scheduled to check endometrial thickness. It needs to be at least 7mm thick (preferably more) and trilaminar (three-layered) in appearance by Embryo Transfer day.
Egg Retrieval (from donor) is scheduled for today. We will find out how many mature eggs we will have.
Daniel will give his fresh sperm sample.
The eggs will be mixed with David’s sperm.
I will have another scan to see if my endometrium is thickening as desired.
We find out how many eggs have successfully fertilised.
Embryo Transfer could take place today (if we opt for Day 3 transfer).
Embryo Transfer could take place today (if we opt for Day 5 (blastocyst) transfer).
Time to see if it has worked – Pregnancy Test Day.
Day 1 of this IVF cycle was scheduled for the 10th July. In the event my period appeared a day earlier so I was told to take one Estradiol tablet immediately and begin the protocol as arranged, the following day.
On Day 9 I had a scan to check how my endometrium was maturing. I sent the results immediately to the clinic in Prague and they got back to say that while it appeared trilaminar as desired, it did not measure as thick as they had hoped (only 0.58cm). They instructed me to up my estradiol, from two 2mg tablets a day, to three.
Day 11. We flew out to Prague.
It is now Day 12, Thursday 21st July, and our first physical visit to our IVF clinic is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
David has been asked to arrive at 9am to give his sample, and I have an appointment at 1pm for my third endometrial scan. David’s appointment is the closest we will ever physically get to our egg donor, as she will have to be in the clinic at the same time, having her egg retrieval procedure. There are so many thoughts going through my head about her. Is she okay with all the injections? I don’t want it to have been too uncomfortable an experience for her. I know the internal scans are not pleasant, and the egg retrieval procedure is not the most fun you can have on a bed either.
I bought a card today, with just a simple message on the front “PODĚKOVÁNÍ”. It means Thank You in Czech. This evening I wrote the following message:
To our wonderful Egg-Donor,
We both want to let you know how much your gift means to us. We have no children, although we have had six miscarriages and one failed IVF attempt. Doctors believe that the reason is down to my eggs – they are not good enough.
We will never forget you. Even if this does not work, the fact that one woman is willing to help another stranger like this makes me hopeful. If it does work, please know that this child (or children) will be loved, and raised to be a good person (or people!)
We both wish you every possible happiness and a wonderful, blessed life.
Thursday 21st July 2016.
Not the most eloquent or even grammatically correct note I have ever written, but 100% sincere.
I plan to give it to the clinic tomorrow and ask them to give it to our donor. I have left the envelope unsealed so that they can read it and check for any identifying remarks, in case this is a consideration for them. I just want to say Thank You to this woman.
I will be going to the clinic tomorrow morning with David to wait while his gives his sample. I will be watching every woman walking in and out of the place.
I would like to think that I might just at least have seen her, even though I can never meet her.
Here are some links and articles related to this post:
- Dede H; Dilbaz S; Demir B; Çınar Ö; Dede S; Göktolga Ü. The effect of endometrial thickness and pattern onpregnancy outcome in IVF/ICSI cycles. Platinum Global Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences. February 2015, 001-006.