Christmas and New Year’s are over, I am healed from the OHSS and egg collection surgery, and we’re eager to keep on going!

But what comes next exactly?

If I wouldn’t have gotten sick, they would have done a ‘fresh transfer’ of an embryo a few days after the egg collection surgery, and I might have been 1.5 months pregnant by now. I’m not, which feels fine most of the time, but sometimes it still hits me what could have been. I know it was naive to hope for it to go that perfectly, but of course we had hoped for exactly that – all the luck in the world…

All of our embryos were frozen instead and now it’s all about getting my body healthy and ready to be a good home for one of them. Once I am, and at the right point of my cycle, then they’ll defrost one of the embryos (I can’t help but imagine them doing this in a microwave!) and put it back.

This means that we need more appointments, more trips into London, and more money.

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It’s the last morning in our London hotel.

We have to check out in an hour, our bags are mostly packed, but first we’re waiting for a call. Our ten fertilised eggs have had several days to grow by now, and we’ll know how they’ve been getting on.

I am nervous. These little zygotes-growing-into-embryos are our only chance now, and I want them to do well.

The phone rings, and the embryologist talks quickly but I hear the words ‘one frozen’. I’m immediately both glad – we really were hoping for at least one that was good enough to freeze – and concerned, did they all do that badly we have only one left?

But then I listen on and realise they froze the one embryo already because it was top quality. The other nine are all still there and still growing!

It’s wonderful news to leave London on. Now we know for certain that we will get our try in a few months!

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After the egg collection, most of my focus is on recovering.

I have to inject myself twice a day all over again, and I’ve come to the point that I absolutely HATE it.

I’m still in pain from the surgery so anything on top that feels like a lot to bear. It’s even worse because I thought I was done with the needles, but now I’m not and the blood thinners really hurt when I inject them and leave massive bruises, I’m just done.

I’m also terrible at staying in bed all day. Especially because we’re in a small hotel room, I get cabin fever easily and insist on going out, even though it’s cold and horrible outside and every step I take hurts. I am not in the sanest of mindsets!

Because of the OHSS I am not getting an embryo at the end of this, and that’s really starting to sink in now. I don’t want to go home, still sore, still sick, and have nothing to show for it.

Luckily I have nice painkillers, and I do sleep at night. Every day it gets a little easier to dress myself, to bend over, to walk.

After being nauseous for so many days, my appetite is starting to come back as well. We eat a lot of grapes and crackers and cheese. We watch Netflix from the hotel bed.  

And… We get an update on our eggs!

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We have to cross London in rush hour and I am still feeling terrible, so we leave well on time.

In the tube station each train car is packed, so much so that we can’t even squeeze in the first three trains that stop. I feel unsteady on my legs, but try not to worry. We HAVE to get there. Egg collection isn’t optional!

In the fourth train that stops we press on, into the mass of people. I hold on to a rail on the ceiling.  Jo juggles a backpack with constantly checking on me, making sure I don’t either faint or throw up. A few stops down a seat opens up, and I sink into it gratefully.

I don’t feel like I’m on my way to a surgery. It feels important sure, I’m nervous, I’m nauseous, I can feel the swelling of my stomach uncomfortably pull my muscles – it’s like doing sit-ups in reverse this growing eggs business. But I don’t feel ready to be sedated and have someone take these out of me.

Jo and I take bets on how many eggs will be collected today. I say eleven, which is optimistic. Jo bets on a more sensible eight and suggests that the winner gets to nickname our first frozen embryo. We come up with silly names for a bunch of them, laughing a little.

We make it to the Raynes Park Create clinic.

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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.

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