Tag Archives: ivf scan

26 February 2014

Archie and I originally had a booking appointment scheduled for Monday but we found ourselves in hospital over the weekend. The combination of OHSS nausea and 'morning', (all day!), sickness eventually took it's toll and after 4 days of struggling to drink it became apparent that I would need some assistance. When we arrived at Accident and Emergency my blood pressure and blood sugar were so low that they wouldn't let me go to the toilet on my own in case I staged an unsupervised collapse. They were pretty unfamiliar with OHSS but the prominent lump that is now my right ovary was sufficiently compelling to warrant calling a specialist down from gynaecology who referred me to the relevant ward in a different hospital. Unfortunately, since I'd been plugged into a catheter and an IV, (and because it's hospital policy), I needed to be transferred by ambulance - this was unfortunate because ambulances are in particularly high demand at the weekend. So, at 2.30am, after 11 hours on a trolley, I was wheeled up to a surgical ward to try and get a few hours sleep - the ambulance didn't become available until 9.30am 12 & 1/2hrs after it had been ordered and 17 & 1/2hrs after I'd arrived. Believe it or not, I am actually a massive fan of the NHS - I don't want to see it privatised; I would like it to be more efficient but I understand that this can only derive from better funding and a genuine commitment from the government to improve rather than marginalise the service. Imagine the plethora of jobs that could be created if we were to refurbish our hospitals with all the up to date administrative/medical equipment, facilities and staff they really need. Anyway, I think all the doctors and nurses expected me to create a massive stink about being kept waiting for so long - which, of course, I didn't - people who are subject to externally imposed parameters can only manoeuvre to the best of their ability within those limitations. I only mention this because I wish that the same open-minded understanding was a two way street. When the specialist asked where we'd had IVF and I explained that it had been in Croatia she was midway through pulling a sourpuss face when I intervened with; 'We actually looked at having IVF here and at that point we were advised that because of my Anti-Mullerian Hormone, (AMH), levels and my weight I was high risk for OHSS and, since only seven eggs were stimulated, it would have been difficult to give me fewer hormones and successfully harvest any. I would prefer to be unwell and pregnant than in perfect health and relentlessly barren because health and safety regulations prevent me from making the choice to take that risk. I understand that, because I am ill, I am costing the tax payer money but a) we are that tax payer and b) we have saved the tax payer the price of an expensive procedure and the associated drugs, so any cost incurred by having to rehydrate me with saline solution and glucose is comparatively minimal and no more than our due. The chances of getting OHSS are around 5% - it has to happen to someone and, according to the British doctors we saw, it was always likely to happen to me.' She looked at me, rearranged her face somewhat and said 'Yes, it could have happened anywhere. Croatia's a lovely country. Did you get to see much of it?' Don't mess with the dehydrated pregnant woman or she'll break out the unadulterated honesty - #toosicktosufferfoolsgladly#.

After 36hrs of intravenous fluid I was feeling a lot better but I wasn't discharged in time to attend our booking appointment. I was horribly disappointed because I had done nothing but worry about the well-being of the embryos and I was desperate for a little reassurance. As luck would have it though they decided not to release me without scanning my ovaries - and good fortune timed the procedure to coincide with a visit from Archie, so he was there to hold my hand while I waited for them to focus in on each little gestational sac. We held our breath while she searched for heartbeats - I had been so sick that we were terrified that one or both embryos might have suffered - but after some considerable manoeuvring two little heartbeats were confirmed. My ovaries were still engorged and the dreaded 'bed rest' was invoked for the foreseeable future but I was so happy to see our embryos and be discharged that I would have agreed to anything. We have to go back in a week for further assessment.

It has taken me two days to write this post because I am having to compose it between waves of nausea akin to seasickness - I honestly don't ever remember feeling quite so unwell. I knew the nausea would return when they removed the drip but I was hoping that the rest-bite would be enough to see me through until it eased of it's own accord. That hope now fluctuates between seemingly tenuous and laughably futile depending on the time of day - but so far I am hanging on in there. (I wouldn't however recommend any well meaning 'it'll all be worth it in the end' platitudes - the sickness is sufficiently nauseating without being chivvied to choke on the bright side!)