Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My IVF journey - a first hand account from a patient

This is a guest post . The writer was inspired to pen this after reading Manju's blog at www.myselfishgenes.blogspot.com. She sent this to Manju, and I asked for her permission to reproduce this.

I hope more patients will start documenting their experiences. Not only is this helpful for them ( because it allows them to vent ), it also provides them with a platform to share their hard-earned learning , so they can help other patients, so they do not repeat their mistakes !

It articulates very clearly what infertile patients go through . I do wish all IVF doctors would read it too, so they would be a little more compassionate !

I have deliberately not edited this - it's a very personal first person account. ( English is not her first language, so please overlook the grammatical errors and listen to her heart).



I never share what I feel throughout my ivf journey with anyone. It’s very difficult to express in words...But my experience is not that long and terrific like others. When I read other women experience on Ivf forums, I feel mine is nothing. But the impact of this short learning period is much deeper in my heart. I thought after marriage everybody gets pregnant easily. I never saw a couple struggling for baby at my native place. Never heard of this word IVF...I was completely unknown about these infertility treatments. But six months after marriage I feel that I need a baby. I was thinking why not happening .Started reading on internet how to get pregnant fast ... Waited for one year. As I am 29 and hubby is 36 year old. So I convinced my hubby for regular basic check up. He was not ready for that. I had done ultrasound scan for first time in my life.I felt so awkward .Dr told me that there was a uterine polyp of 1cm.and ovary seems polycystic. I asked my doctor - Is this a reason for not getting pregnant? She said not sure...But it has to be removed. My hubby’s SA test was scheduled but he thought first we will do this procedure ...I think we should have been taken opinion of other doctors also. But my hubby was not involved in this process. I went alone for scan also. He thought that I should wait for a year or so.

Then our doctor told us to try for a baby soon after the procedure then she added it might take one and half year.We tried but unsuccessful .Then I forced my hubby for SA test. His report was also not great. Low motility, morphology .Only 16 million counts. In that abnormal count is more. She said it is sufficient for pregnancy but It will take time.Conceiving naturally with this count is little difficult. She gave lots of medicine to both of us. But after few months we visited her again.That time she suggested us IUI with injection and medicines. Before IUI procedure we found in SA test that my DH’s count was 13 million only after taking so much of vitamin tablet. From that moment my DH skipped all the medicine. That was fine for me.

Her clinic was ok but she didn’t have that proper OT table for procedure. Overall procedure was very uncomfortable and painful for me .That was a first failed IUI cycle. After that we took a 4 months gap. My husband promised me that he will maintained good and healthy lifestyle to improve sperm quality...after reading on internet that some women got positive result in their second or third try of iui I decided to go for second try. Before taking a meds I confirmed twice from DR that my DH count was sufficient for iui. Her answer was yes. But just after the procedure she said that quality and quantity is not good enough for
iui .Then she gave SA report to me. I saw value in that report was same which was mentioned in previous report. I didn’t understand if she knew it before the procedure that this much count was not sufficient then why she made us to spend 20 k for it. It was also a failed cycle. Then I was telling my hubby that we should change our doctor. I searched on internet But I didn’t find any good doctor in Bangalore...Every Dr. Profile had bad review. I was so confused. My DH was not with me in this search operation.He told me whatever u decide I will do it.

My hubby thinks now also that all are fake reports or lack of valid theory and there is no problem in his count. He thinks something is wrong with my uterus acceptance.

And whenever I showed our report to any doctor in Bangalore .They said that there is problem in my hubby’s count. I can be pregnant but not sure .But I don’t want to listen about the problem that he has I want solution because I love him I want a baby from him.

Because of all this I quit my job I thought work pressure was not good in a conceiving stage .I was working with Animation Company in Bangalore...Mine was love marriage but it was arranged by our family .They are not happy from us. We thought everything will be fine when we will have a baby but after this infertility struggle for 4 years without anybody’s support I was so frustrated and I started blaming myself and my hubby. I told him so many times that because of him I am facing this trouble and we married without our parents’ wish that’s because their blessing was not with us. But after talking like this with him I felt bad all the time...He loves me so much  that he never complained about my behaviour and listened silently all my crap words.

After a year we decided to go for an ivf . My hubby supported me in this decision because it was our last option and Doctor was same because my hubby thought that she knew my previous medical history. She established her new clinic very well. When I visited her for first scan she told me that she brought new machine for scan and that detected blood flow towards uterus is very minimal in my case. With her new machine this sentence was also new for me. I was shocked. She told me to do lots of test. She did HSG test (without anaesthesia) and that was unbearable for me .But good news was my both tubes were open.  I read about test meaning on internet. After investigating so much about ivf on net I found that there was some unnecessary test (TB test of uterus that cost 3k). When I asked her about it in my next visit she scolded me literally that Reading on net can cause stress and it reduced chances of getting pregnant. My hubby also thought the same. He supported her thinking and told me to stop reading in front of her. I was quite. She gave so much meds and told us that we had 60 to 70 % chances of conceiving via ivf as my optimal fertility rate and my egg quality was very good. But she was not talking about blood flow towards uterus. In second scan she told me everything is good.  I asked her” how is my uterine blood flow?” She said there is nothing which can cause any problem in pregnancy” and she added stop reading on net and told my hubby to disconnect net connection...Her behaviour was strange. But I was collecting information because all these things and terms were new for me. I should know everything. But my hubby had a faith that she was a brilliant dr. and I should not question her. As she completed her study from London and she had an experience of ivf in Australia.

I was person who scared of injections .I avoided injection so many times in my life .But this time I was happily ready for it. She gave minimal dose of meds because my body is sensitive .That was not minimal for me daily three injection in tummy and that was so painful. After a few days she told me that there was a concern of hyper stimulation in my case because my body was over reacting with minimal meds. She collected 16 eggs and out of that 12 fertilised...embryo quality was also very good (grade A). She was decided to transfer one embryo in same cycle. But we wanted to transfer two to increase the chances. She was not ready for that, but I forced her. After the transfer I was on complete bed rest as she recommended at least for one week. I was so positive and happy in those two weeks. But after two weeks I got negative result. I was shocked and angry also. After taking so much medicines, blood tests and scans how it is possible. On the same day 6 ET was done, out of that no one got positive result. Staff told me this. I thought there was something wrong from doctor’s end.  Dr. told me I had a beautiful 6 frozen embryos so try next time. She didn’t have any sad feeling for me. I cried for 4 days. My hubby was also upset. But I realised he felt bad because he spent more than 2lakh and got nothing.

After a month of gap DR planned for FET. On the ET day we were waiting for our turn. Nobody was informing us what happened. Why she was taking so much time to transfer. She kept us waiting for 5 hours. She said embryos were not enlarging properly...She was not telling the truth. She told us to come on next day. In this treatment I knew timing was very important. I didn’t understand why she kept those embryos for one night. . I knew that vitrification process takes close to 45 minutes to enlarge. She told me on next day that I lost my two embryos while thawing. When we inquired her staff about her embryologist we got to know that she was on leave. My doctor's s husband was a specialist in allergy who thawed my embryos. He was very rude person. He was in charge of medical and embryology department. I was aware of thawing process. Out of ten embryos one might not survive in the thawing process .but two 5 day grade A embryo we lost. We were so angry that time .why didn’t she appointed any other embryologist. When we asked her she said,”it’s a very easy process anybody can do this”. My husband scolded on her .He shouted on other staff also. It was so Irritating and frustrating moment for us. But we controlled our anger because our rest 4 embryos were in that clinic.

Next day I went alone for transfer because my husband was very angry and I didn’t want any more quarrels in clinic. This time she was angry she called me in her cabin and said, “I will pack your embryos, take it and get your transfer done in any other clinic”. I managed that situation anyhow and convinced her for transfer. I was so disappointed I literally cried in front of her. She promised me that if this cycle failed she will give me free ivf cycle because she had soft corner for me. I think that’s because my face looks innocent. This time she transferred two embryos.That ended up in a negative result after so much drama.

We lost faith from this treatment. I told to Doctor that for my last two embryo transfer I was not going to do any blood test this time. After 2 to 3 scan, very less medicine, no blood test and she was ready to transfer 2 embryos. On the day of ET when I asked about the embryo quality she said one was good but other was small. But while telling this she was not looking at me. She was lying. Because I was on OT table for 20 minutes before transfer and she was observing the embryos with her husband. I was able to see her from OT table. I thought again she did something wrong and hiding it from me. At the time of transfer I could see only one embryo on that screen clearly. She didn’t take money from us. That cycle also failed.

But this time I didn’t cry. When I told her about my negative result she sms me that she will give one free ivf cycle. I didn’t reply to that message.

I am looking for new job now. While searching something I saw your blog. I read all the articles. As I am an artist I am little sensitive. I cried. Most of your feeling and thoughts are just like mine. I also love cats. I have three cats at my hometown. After reading your blog I feel guilty about my husband. I tortured him. I insulted him so many times .Because of me he kept himself away from his parents for one year. We haven’t seen my sister in laws’ 2 year baby. We missed all family functions purposely. He scarifies a lot of things. Already he suffered a lot in life. He has three sisters he arranged their marriages and their baby’s first birthdays also. He has so much bank loan. He hasn’t done anything for himself. We leave in rented apartment .I don’t want to trouble him now. He is fond of cars. So instead of wasting money on this I allow him to buy brand new car. His happiness while driving a car is more important than my baby desire. I don’t want to compare happiness with baby from now. I will live each day happily.

Your blog changed my mind completely. When I share my feeling about life and baby with my husband .I can see happiness in his eyes. Because he wants to see me happy. One thing I like about you that your mother understands you. You can share your feelings with her. But in my case I can’t share anything with her...whenever she called me before asking about me she asks about my period and every time she tells me a new name of women who recently got pregnant.


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