We’re doing this. We really are. We may even be on the same page.

H and I spent the afternoon discussing what to do, now? Were we both sure we wanted to do IVF? This summer? Starting next cycle, if possible?

Sample dialogue:

May: YES PLEASE RIGHT NOW THANK YOU! NO MORE PERIODS THAN STRICTLY NECESSARY FOR MAY, WHO IS GETTING PTSD ABOUT THEM!
H: Well, yes, of course, let me get my calendar, how will this work with dates, umm, so let me see, we’d be doing egg-retrieval when exactly?
May: WHO THE FUCK CARES YES PLEASE RIGHT NOW THANK YOU!
H: And you need to sort out your smear test (Pap test to you transAtlanteans), and an AMH test – wait, the Riverside will do that… oh, it says here you need a chlamydia test, can you get that at the GP’s? And if there’s a delay in getting results, how will that affect the start of the cycle?
May: WHO THE FUCK CARES IF WE START IN JUNE OR JULY THIS SUMMER PLEASE RIGHT NOW THANK YOU.
H: Well, if egg-collection is too close to the August Bank-Holiday we won’t be able to do CGH as recommended by Dr George as the lab will be shut for a week…
May: WHO THE FUCK CARES no, wait, arse.
H: Hmm.
May: I’ve been playing telephone tennis with the GP practice nurse about this smear for a week. What if I can’t get it done this week? Then it’s my period and it’ll have to wait for a fortnight and then the results take two weeks, or, in not-NHS-speak, four weeks.
H: So, wait, if we start cycling in July… How long did Dr George say you’d need to be on GnRH agonists?
May: How about we ask Riverside?
H: Let me count on my fingers.
May: HOW ABOUT WE ASK RIVERSIDE?
H: September’s not a good time to cycle for you, is it, what with it being busy at work?
May: WHO THE FUCK CARES HOW ABOUT WE ASK RIVERSIDE?
H: I’m not sure September is good for me, either.
May: WHO THE FUCK CARES WE’LL MAKE IT WORK WILL YOU PLEASE LEAVE THE CALENDAR ALONE WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW I’LL RESPOND TO THE DRUGS ANYWAY IT COULD TAKE SIX WEEKS OR TWELVE OR WHATEVER.
H: October might be better than September, though.
May: I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE ANOTHER PERIOD IF I CAN POSSIBLY HELP IT OH MY GOD H.

And so on.

So, I shall spend every free second tomorrow dialling and re-dialling this practice nurse until she jolly well answers and speaks to me and if I can’t get a smear this week I’ll cry and use emotional blackmail also must ask about Rubella immunity and chlamydia, and meanwhile, H has written Riverside a very coherent and polite email setting out all of the above plus a delicate reminder to Dr George that ‘May’s Quality Of Life’™ is Not Very Good™, so can we not be ridiculous sticklers about things the NHS is responsible for please? Or something. (The phrase ‘ridiculous sticklers’ was not used (I mean, I’ve had a course of the antibiotics used to treat potential chlamydia recently anyway, and H and I are faithful to each other (well, I am (have we all watched House?)) and I had a Rubella vaccination when I was twelve (do they wear off?))).

[Pause, while I recount the parentheses to check they all match up].

As for LIT, which we were planning to do in June, well, Dr Fourth Opinion’s clinic has still, still, not got back to us about when exactly we’ll be doing that, which fact alone is MAJORLY GETTING ON MY TITS.

And, Dr George is not very pro-LIT. He doesn’t think there’s any evidence for it working, and if it did, there should be by now.

I was all, ‘Huh. OK,’ about that, as I wasn’t particularly pro in the first place, but was prepared to do it as side-effects are minimal and H found the hypothesis interesting and possibly even convincing. H, who found the hypothesis interesting and possibly convincing, was a little more, I think, gobsmacked? by this, but I can’t get a clear answer out of him about it. He agrees, however, we needn’t do it this cycle, and revisit it if this cycle tanks abysmally or ends in miscarriage. This decision may well have been brought on by Dr Fourth Opinion’s clinic’s non-communicativeness as much as anything. Dear clinics we are throwing our life-savings at, as a general rule, do not be difficult about communication. Thank you.

So, what Dr George recommended, was Intralipids, progesterone support (this, by the way, is a fucking ranty post for another day, involving The Professor. Remind me to get back to you on that), and steroids (prednisone, I presume), alongside a long down-regulation cycle to suppress the endometriosis a bit, using either Synarel or Buserelin (I can’t remember which) rather than the Pill, because I get migraines.

Huh. I used to get migraines about once every three years when I was on the Pill. And now I get them once every two months or so, on my own natural home-grown hormones. Yo no comprendo.

I must now eat salad and take Metformin (and that’s another post. SORRY).

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24 responses to “We’re doing this. We really are. We may even be on the same page.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Ah, now that’s a mindset I recognise. Let me see if I still have those whirly knives stashed away; they will fit your chariot wheels, I suspect. You are quite right to doubt over-precise timings: I did a 3-week go-right-around-the-airport-again-and-realign-to-runway on buserelin once.
    Keep on keeping on. Crack the bullhide whip that used to keep Satsuma in line if necessary!

  • Sheila

    Is Dr George not giving you any clexane / fragmin in your protocol? Fingers crossed that your take off slot come around very quickly!

    • May

      Oh golly, I forgot about the clexane. Yes, you’re right, we’re doing clexane as well. NEEDLES! W00T!

      • Hairy Farmer Family

        Bruising spectacular but needles-in-stomach much better than they sound. Well, they’re not GOOD, obvs, but they’re a long way off excruciating.

        • May

          Don’t tell H that! I was so planning on playing the Fragile Flower With Added Needles card!

          • Hairy Farmer Family

            DAMN. The needles ARE LIKE HOSE PIPES, H! Actually, just show him the bruising, that’ll do it all by itself. Even John sucked air past his teeth…

          • Dora

            Late commenting, but the bruises are so intense, that one of the REs at my clinic recoiled and said, “Oh!” when I folded back my waistband when I went in for my beta. Looked way worse that it felt. But I did better injecting the tops of my thighs.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    And re-reading, if the NHS can’t manage a smear test in under a week, I give up on life.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    Lengthy comment eaten. #argh

    Rough summary:

    - LET’S DO THIS THING.
    - you are quite right to set calendar down; have been driving myself to distraction over implications of possible permutations of response and outcome of present cycle vis-a-vis planne trip, but really what am I going to do, call it off?
    - as I understand it, those of us with aura on the side of our migraines are in the higher-risk group for stroke when in the pill. Perhaps it’s that? (Otoh, no one told me to avoid pregnancy, and lord know that raises estrogen levels nicely….)

  • thalia

    Use buserelin, synarel is AWFUL, makes your throat feel horrible.
    Set the FUCKING calendar down and just make everyone do it as fast as poss. No more faffing.
    Hence – smear test – if NHS cannot get act together, show up at a private clinic who will do it on the spot. I will give you names. It will cost less than £120. I will pay.

  • a

    Calendar, HA! On the day we did egg retrieval, we had to reschedule my husband’s flight back to work, because the growing of the eggs was taking too damned long. So, even if you work it all out in a calendar, life will reschedule you as it wishes anyway.

    Much luck in getting your appointments – can you make a list of things you need as you’re constantly redialing, so you can get them all in one (or two) appointments?

  • Amy P

    I thought Dr George said weight wasn’t a thing? Of course, you may like salad and Metformin anyway…

    Yes, put the calendar down! ‘Cept maybe for the avoiding-bank-holiday bit.

    *boing*

  • persnickety

    Oh my Synarel. That’s the nasal spray? That was the cycle I decided that needles were fine, needles were good, if I never had to use that stuff again. And I stick to that.

    It makes your throat taste horrible, if you have sinus/nasal drip issues, it makes it all worse. Thankfully it was also involved in my worst cycle ever, so will never be suggested again.

    And yes clexane- bruise city. Make sure you get it with the pointy needles and inject sloooooowly The nosy pharmacist asked me what it was for, and snotted that it was for people with heart issues. If I have a prescription from a Dr, it is not the pharmacists job to question. That caused a few rants around the place.

  • Jenny F. Scientist, PhD

    Set the calendar on FIRE!

    Rubella vaccinations, per se, do not wear off, but immunity wanes with age, so the question is usually more if you still have a sufficient antibody titre and therefore are protected from getting rubella while pregnant; if not, generally a booster is given. Some people in fact have insufficient response to the vaccine and need more than one dose.

    While I am a huge proponent of publicly funded healthcare systems, they *could* bloody well call you back, no? And especially if you are, in fact, paying them huge, privately-funded sums of money to bloody well call you back. Among other things.

    Metformin to maybe… decrease miscarriage risk in persons who may have PCOS-like endocrine situations? Or just for fun?

    Also, I think of House every time I lie to a doctor about something. It happens more frequently than one might imagine. Usually they’re being annoying/unscientific and I don’t want to deal with it.

  • Rachel

    Hooray! Hooray! So very glad to hear progress has been made. And yes, bother the calendar. When we were doing this all long-distance, we had any number of last minute flights to play with and we just went for it, including a notorious exit-from-ER-straight-to-airport to catch domestic flight prior to storm which would have resulted in missed connection to international flight. And still worth it.

  • Amy

    Wheeeeee! I’ve nothing helpful to add other than that what Jenny said above. I was surprised when they tested me that I was not immune to rubella, but I had to get another booster. So glad this is moving forward for you, and I hope that it goes as easily and successfully as possible for you!

  • Blanche

    Phew. I say get things started and let the chips fall with the scheduling. Also, here’s me yelling at the nurse: PICK UP THE SODDING PHONE ALREADY AND LET MAY SCHEDULE A SMEAR! Sending the best of wishes your way that is it, and you can be done with all this planning and plotting of how to get pregnant, skip any worries about staying pregnant, and move straight into the planning and plotting of setting up nursery for baby.

  • Betty M

    Ahh buserilin. I remember the days….or rather weeks. The diary needs to go in the bin. You just need to start and then go with the flow. Each cycle I did I reacted differently and not in accord with the average as per the clinic paperwork. And as is the way of these things the key days will invariably clash with the important unmissable meeting of the year etc. regardless of your planning. Any aspirin in your protocol or are they sticking with clexane only. And do tell re the progesterone and the Professor. I expect I know what she said mind. Anyway I’m glad everything is still go,go,go.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck the calendar! Well obviously you need to take care of the prerequisites, but you just can’t predict all the moving parts, and time is of the essence.

    I can actually volunteer useful information! I just saw my GP and mentioned I’d had, unusually, two or three visual migraines in the past year. Because I don’t get the classic headache afterwards, she wasn’t too worried, but if I did she would’ve had me go off estrogen-based birth control, because there’s an increased risk of stroke. So it’s not that birth control is supposed to affect migraine frequency, it’s that migraine + birth control = risk.

  • Womb For Improvement

    Intralipids
    Progesterone support
    Steroids
    Buserelin
    A long down-regulation cycle

    Check, check, check, check and check. This is exactly what I had too obvs. not necessarily the same thing is right for everyone but I have a lot of confidence in Dr George. Very, very best of luck.

    And I echo the others. Screw the calendar things will drift and not conform to expected sates anyway, just go for it.

    • Sheila

      I had Synarel but otherwise the exact same protocol (steroids, clexane, ILs, progesterone) resulted in two successful pregnancies for me. Here’s hoping May…..

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