It’s been a few weeks since my last post. Thank you to everyone who has stopped me and said a kind word and for your prayers and well wishes. You are all part of a wonderful support system for hubby and I and we truly appreciate you all as we begin our next chapter.
If you’ve been following our story then you know DH and I are onto the next step in our fertility journey; IVF. Earlier this year we were referred to the Regional Fertility Program (RFP) in Calgary. Thankfully our wait wasn’t too long, less than 3 months and we were headed up to Calgary for our initial appointments.
I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from these new doctors but I have met some women in town here who have all used or are currently using the Regional Fertility Program. Every one of them have had nothing but wonderful things to say. They answered all of my questions and eased my concerns and helped bring back my confidence that this would happen for our family. One thing I have heard over and over is how RFP really knows what they are doing.
Boy were these ladies right. I’ve been able to tell that since our first appointments. Since we are from out-of-town, they set up all of our initial appointments and consultations over the course of two days so we wouldn’t have to go back and forth. In early April we started with a mandatory information session on a Thursday night where for about 2 hours we sat with 40 or so other couples and listened to one of the doctors, a nurse, a pharmacist and the psychologist that all work at RFP. They went into great detail exactly what is involved with IVF, the risks, effects of medications, the experience we will go through and even touched base on psychological concerns that some couples deal with. DH and I had done months of research going into this so a lot of the information was repetitive to what we already knew but some was very informative and I found seeing it all there laid out in front of me instilled a sense of confidence in the clinic.
The next morning we headed back into the clinic for some prescreening tests and to meet with our doctor. Before they accept you fully for IVF you each will have a list full of tests; blood work, SHG, semen analysis, etc. Some we did before coming but others we had to do there. DH had a semen analysis after which I had an ultrasound of my uterus and to count my antral follicles (part of how they measure your egg supply).
After our tests we got to meet up with our new doctor and discuss all our results and which form of IVF would be best for us. Turns out our new doctor is also known as Dr. P! Dr. P went over our results with us; DH had great numbers, as did I, my PCOS and having anovulatory cycles gave me a higher egg supply. Talking with Dr. P and listening to her describe our potential success rate was the first time in over two years that I finally felt things were going our way. 60-80%. That’s the potential success rate she gave us of getting pregnant by IVF. A 60-80% chance that I will become pregnant before my 30th birthday this year. 60-80% chance that everything I have hoped for in the past two years will finally come true for us. For the first time since I found out I had PCOS I felt like this was really going to happen. No more wishful hoping. Actual statistics based on science, on facts.
Dr. P asked how we were feeling about all the information and if we needed time to discuss when we might want to be added to the IVF waitlist. DH and I looked at each other and without discussing both knew we wanted on that list asap. So as of that afternoon we went on the list and Dr. P even got us ahead of the game by doing a trial transfer on me and measuring the length of my uterus so when the day comes to do an embryo transfer she is fully prepared.
Before we could leave we met with the psychologist to have a quick discussion about how we are supporting each other and coping with the stresses of infertility. We also met with a nurse who went over some our upcoming protocol and the last two test I had to have done before we could start IVF. We would be put on an Antagonist IVF timeline which basically had me start birth control on my next menstrual cycle and continue on it each month until the month of our treatment. Since I do not get menstrual cycles currently, Dr. P also prescribed me something to start that night so I could get my period and start the birth control the following week.
Just before the Easter long weekend I started my birth control, the first step in our IVF treatment. Over the following month I completed my last two tests and then shortly after my period in mid May, I was called and offered treatment on our next cycle. I was told to continue the meds I was on but add in some ASA and to continue taking all the pills daily.
This Thursday I have one final baseline ultrasound to check my ovaries and uterus and if everything is satisfactory then next week once I start my period, I will begin needles and sometime by the end of June I will have a scheduled egg retrieval and then hopefully an embryo transfer.
It is still hard to believe that treatment is finally here! I know many things could go wrong; I could not develop any follicles, maybe the eggs don’t mature or fertilize, maybe I develop OHSS and they can’t do the transfer. There are a lot of things that could happen but I am so excited to begin IVF and just know that this is the treatment that will finally grow our family.
Wish us luck!