I don’t feel any better.
There are some hours, usually in the afternoon or early evening, where I can actually eat something and it all seems less severe. And then the pounding headaches of the evening come back. Mornings are the worst, where I am shaky and nauseous. My body is responding too strongly to the medication, and even though I am injecting a lower dose now, it isn’t easing off.
Jo and I go for the last scan – me trying hard not to pass out on the tube on the way there – already knowing it probably won’t be the best of news.
We’re back in the by now very familiar waiting room at ABC, cautiously sipping some water.
We are seen by a different consultant today, which I don’t like because it’s such an important day!
I lie down on yet another examination bench, and the scan starts. It hurts, today. She measures lining and blood flow, then finds fluid behind my right ovary. This isn’t good, as it’s another sign of Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). She counts my follicles, but gives up at ‘over fifty’.
I get dressed again, and we look at the chart with my follicle measurements. If we’re lucky, the top runners will grow enough by egg collection time. I can’t wait for them all to grow anymore, even though I wish I could. This was the last scan, and I’m out of time, we need to plan the surgery.
All that is left to decide is whether I am healthy enough to have an embryo put back some days after the surgery or not.
They will ring us with the blood results and the decision, so we are sent off without knowing.
It feels like a haze to me. It doesn’t even fully register.
I insist on going to a theatre show. All I can see in front of me is this empty space of a whole afternoon spent sitting by the phone, and I desperately want to fill up that time with something else.
So we do. We get theatre tickets.
Jo is called back into ABC to fix a paperwork error, so I go on ahead to the still empty theatre and sit alone in their plush bar while the staff set up around me. I need to drink 3.5 litres of water per day to help the OHSS, and my ovaries are so swollen I have the bladder size of a fidgety three-year-old, so I drink, get up to pee, then drink again, in a never ending cycle. I’m cold. I’m sore. I’m sick.
I wait for Jo, then for the curtain to rise, and we watch part one of a show we’ve seen and loved before.
There are two intermissions, where we coordinate for me to go pee, and Jo to go outside to check for messages from the clinic.
We don’t get any calls the whole show, which is nerve-wracking. I know from previous experience that I need to hear from them before the clinic closes or otherwise it’s near impossible to track them down, and we NEED to know which medication I have to inject that night and when.
It’s only when we’re outside after the show, right by the theatre, in the cold and noise of a London street, that I get the call.
We’re so sorry, but you just have too many follicles.
We can’t let you go ahead with a fresh transfer.
You need to do a freeze all cycle.
I thank the consultant after she tells me that. I even sound cheery, I don’t know why – it isn’t good news, or what I wanted to hear.
We don’t have time to process it. I need another injection in less than an hour, so we immediately start making our way back to the hotel. Jo tears up a little on the tube. I try to make her laugh. It’s easy, I’m not feeling much of anything.
We get back, I immediately do the injection, and then we order take away and eat on the hotel bed. We focus on booking trains and cancelling hotel rooms. I let everyone know that there will be no transfer, I will be coming home early.
And then at 22:30 exactly, we ‘pull the trigger’ (inject a specific medication that needs to be timed EXACTLY 36 hours before surgery).
The injection stings, sharp like a bite under my skin.
After it, we hug. This was my sixteenth injection. Nine Bemfola, six Cetrotide, and one trigger – Buserelin. I feel like a pincushion, and I won’t be coming home pregnant.
All we can hope for now is a lot of eggs at the surgery, and embryos to freeze.