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Marie's story

A Personal IVF Diary

May 9th 1999
Great News!!! Marc has agreed to us getting referred for IVF. I've been wanting to for some time but he has been reluctant as he feels it's somewhat 'unnatural'.

May 10th 1999
I am on cloud nine now. I phoned the hospital and things are moving. We both need to have some blood tests done before the referral letter from our Doctor is sent. I am so excited!!!!

May 11th 1999
Started taking my folic acid today. Went to see my doctor and she says that they cannot assist with the drugs bill. I'm really mad, it's so unfair.

May 13th 1999
My blood tests have all been done now. Marc admitted that he is scared of having his done. Ahh, bless him! Great news from the doctors, they will pay for my drugs now. Phew, what a relief.

June 14th 1999
Phoned Bristol (IVF clinic) today as I thought I should have heard something by now. They gave me my appointment date over the phone. 6th July!!!! That's only 3 weeks away!! I am so excited now! Haven't been able to concentrate on any work all day. Marc is very negative about it all. He has to go for a sperm test and he's not happy about it.

20th June, 1999
Marc and I fell out today. Later when we talked about the IVF he told me that he has told everyone we are doing IVF (I wanted to keep it quiet for now). He also said that he is only prepared to do it once. What do I do if it doesn't work? I can't bear the thought of thinking this could be the end of the road.

21st June, 1999
I've been feeling so down in the dumps today. I feel that I'm having to pin all my hopes on this IVF working. I hope to God it does.

22nd June, 1999
Marc's sperm test today. Thank God that's over! This has been the most stressful day of my life! We drove there in silence, then were summoned to a small room with a settee and a box of girlie mags! Most men prefer to do this on their own but I wanted to be with him. Anyway, he managed it so that's the main thing. Only once more for him.

6th July, 1999
Appointment day!!! We will start the IVF in my August cycle as there is not enough time this month. I had to have an ultrasound scan, which was fine. The consultant explained all the risks of the treatment to us. I really am excited now and just want to get started. I have to wait for them to send me through a planning appointment now, where I will learn all about how to take the drugs, etc.

9th July, 1999
Oh my goodness, I can't believe it! Had a letter from the hospital and we are to start IVF on the 26th of this month!!!!! I have to go for my planning appointment on the 20th and start the sniffing on the 26th. I am ecstatic!

16th July, 1999
Marc and I have been having long discussions over the past few days because we have to decide if we want to have two or three embryos replaced in me. I really want three but Marc wants two. It's such a big decision. Having three embryos is such a risk, triplets would be a nightmare but we might have more chance with three. I think I will ask the nurse for her advice when I go.

July 20th, 1999
Planning appointment. I have got all my dates for everything now. The nurse showed me how to 'sniff' and how to use my auto-injector for injecting. I will be using Gonal-F. We talked about the number of embryos to transfer and she said that there was no evidence to suggest that having three would give us a better chance of success. We have decided on two.
Now I am definitely excited!

26th July, 1999
Started sniffing today. Feels weird! I have to do it every four hours. I have alarms set on my computer at work. Everyone now thinks I have a cold as my nose keeps running! I had to start taking northisterone tablets two days ago as well. We're off!

28th July, 1999
It's only been two days and already I feel really sick. Actually I've been feeling really down today. My period is due so that must be why. I feel like crying but won't let myself as I have no right to feel like this. I should be excited, so why aren't I?

1st August, 1999
Still no period and I feel terrible. I've got a serious headache and fuzzy eyes. My hot flushes are now starting to get bad. Please hurry up and come on.

6th August, 1999
Hooray!!! Finally got my period after days of waiting. If it hadn't started today we would have had to postpone this cycle. It's very bad, heavy and painful but I don't care just as long as we can carry on. Got to have a blood test done in a couple of days to make sure I am down-regulated enough (that the sniffing has got rid of my body's own hormones). Hope it will be alright.

10th August, 1999
I've been really ill today. Sick and very bad headaches. Rang hospital for results of blood test and it is fine to carry on. Start injecting tomorrow. Very worried it will hurt!

11th August, 1999
Did my injection and didn't feel a thing! Can't believe it was so easy. I was going to do it in my leg, but someone suggested it might be better in my stomach. They were right! We went to watch the solar eclipse today. It was kind of spooky and I felt it was significant to me. Please let it work. Still very sick today and headaches. Hopefully once the injections kick in I will feel much better.

18th August, 1999
Have been injecting for 8 days now. My stomach feels huge and I look pregnant! Don't feel sick any more thank goodness. Went for my ultrasound scan today to see if I am ready for egg collection yet. I was very disappointed. Only got 7 follicles on my right side and 3 on my left. My lining was 7mm. I have to go again in 2 days time. I feel like it's going to go wrong.

20th August, 1999
Been getting lots of pain in my stomach the past couple of days. Hopefully a good sign. Went for scan in the morning. Still not ready. My lining is now 8.7mm and my follicles are all less than 11mm in diameter (they need to be 18mm for egg collection). I have to up my dose of Gonal-F from 2 amps per day to 4 amps per day and go back in 3 days time. I'm feeling really down about it all. What if they don't grow and the cycle is cancelled? Just have to hope and pray.

23rd August, 1999
I'm estatic!!!!! My follicles have grown loads over the weekend (obviously why I have felt so uncomfortable) and now measure 16mm. I have 10 follicles on my right side and 4 on my left so I hope there will be enough eggs collected. I'm booked in for my egg collection on the 27th and transfer on 29th. Can't wait. I will finish work tomorrow. I'm using all my holiday and having 3 weeks off. I want to make sure I give my babies the best chance of surviving and don't want to risk overdoing it. Also this way, if the worst happens, and it fails, I will be at home not having to face anyone.

25th August, 1999
Had to go for another scan today just to make sure everything is okay. It's unbelievable, but I now have about 26 follicles in total!!!! How did that happen??? The nurse thinks I will definitely have at least 12 good eggs. I have to take my last sniff at 6.30pm tonight and the Profasi (final injection to mature the eggs) at 9.30pm. This is it! I felt very sad when I left work yesterday. So many people are rooting for me and what if it doesn't work? I will feel like I have let them all down. Anyway, it's out of my hands.

27th August, 1999
EGG COLLECTION DAY! We arrived at the hospital and were shown to our own private room. Had to fill out lots of forms and be weighed and have my blood pressure, etc. taken. Then it was time for Marc to go and do his bit. I went with him as I wanted to make sure it was done so I could relax. It's funny how I worry more about him than myself! Afterwards I was told to get into my gown and walk down to theatre. Marc wasn't allowed to come with me. One minute I was talking to the nurses and the next I was waking up in recovery feeling very sick and sore. My first priority was to find out how many eggs they got and was amazed to hear 16! I was taken back to my room to join Marc and I had to stay there for a few hours before I was allowed home. The drive back from Bristol was horrendous (Friday night!) and I was in a lot of pain and still feeling very sick. Eventually we arrived and I went straight to bed. We were inundated with phone calls from friends and family all night. It's so good to know they care so much. Got to wait two days now until we know if the eggs fertilise or not.

29th August, 1999
Feeling much better today. Been thinking a lot over the past couple of days about my embryos and how they might be developing. We got the phone call from the clinic at 8.55am and out of our 16 eggs, 15 fertilised. Out of those 15 though only 8 were good embryos as the rest were fertilised by more than one sperm (pesky things!) We had to go for the transfer in the afternoon. It was very clinical and not very nice. Marc felt bad about the whole thing and didn't really want to watch. It took only a couple of moments for the catheter containing my babies to be put in place and then they were inside me. Now I'm pregnant!!! Well obviously not really, but that's how I feel. All evening I've been thinking about them and talking to them, asking them to stay with Mummy. I feel different. I feel paranoid about standing up in case they fall out. I've been told they can't but I'm sure they will. I'm going to look after them so well.

30th August, 1999
Still feeling a little sore today. Can't believe I have two little babies inside me. I keep talking to them, it makes them seem more real. Got really sore breasts, must be all those hormones!

2nd September, 1999
Week is passing quickly so far, bet next week won't be so easy. Been feeling a bit strange actually. I've had lots of niggly pains low in my tummy all day but also the dreaded period pains too. Breasts still very sore and my tummy is really bloated. I don't know what to make of all these things: are they signs of pregnancy or am I imagining it all? Maybe it's just wishful thinking.

3rd September, 1999
I've had really bad period pains today and I feel sad.

4th September, 1999
I feel like it's all over now even though nothing has happened yet. I have even cried for my lost babies. We went to Taunton today and when Marc was out of the way I went and brought a present for each of my babies. I need to feel that they are real somehow and that they are still there. I got a small white baby-gro for one and some fluffy socks for the other. I daren't tell Marc as I think he would go mad and tell me not to tempt fate. Hid the presents in a drawer.
We got a letter from the clinic today to say that out of all the spare embryos only 4 are good enough for freezing. We are really disappointed as we thought we'd get more than that.

6th September, 1999
Feeling much better today. I went to see my friend who has twin girls from her second IVF attempt. She made me feel so positive. Not even many period pains today either. Things are looking up!

7th September, 1999
It's all over. I had blood today when I went to the loo. We just can't believe it. It's only 9 days since my transfer. Didn't get any more blood all day but I just know. Bad period pains and feeling really pre-menstrual. We have cried all our tears. Marc is so upset, I've never seen him like this. Just got to wait for my full period now. Why us?

8th September, 1999
I did a HPT (home pregnancy test) this morning and it was negative. I know it's too early but it would have shown up. So now it's final. I don't know what to do any more. I haven't had any more blood all day. Marc and I went to Minehead. I cried most of the time while we were walking around and people must have thought I was mad. Marc has been so good and such a support to me. I realise how much he means to me now. He is talking about trying again when we have the money so I have to try to think positively about that. I never thought he'd give it another chance.

9th September, 1999
I saw my IVF friend again today and she thinks we shouldn't be so hasty in thinking it's over. I've had no more blood or any period pains. Please God let her be right, let my babies be safe inside me.

11th September, 1999
This is it. This is the end of my world. The pain is like nothing I've ever felt before and the blood is so heavy. Someone up there is rubbing my nose in it. At least I don't have to wonder any more, we know for sure this is the end. I can't describe how I feel, even though in my head I knew it was over, in my heart I didn't want to believe it. I thought they were going to make it. My babies are gone and I never got the chance to know them, to see them or to hold them. I don't think I can ever go through this again, I don't think I am strong enough.

Marc and Marie did attempt IVF again, three times. They have since adopted two little girls.

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