Blog 4: Start van een nieuw traject; IVF!
Blog 4: Start of a new journey; IVF!

In my last blog I concluded with the news that our IUI process is over. After seven IUI treatments I was ready for the next step, but I was also disappointed that another step was necessary to make our greatest wish come true. Even though I am getting quite exhausted, we decided to go ahead with IVF 1 at once. The biggest reason for this was our wedding on June 19, 2019, which we were really looking forward to and how nice would it be if I could just before the wedding would end up pregnant anyway.

On April 4, 2019, our IVF intake was ready.

What does IVF entail: What is different with IVF than IUI is that fertilization takes place outside the woman's body. IVF is also called test tube fertilization, I don't think this is a nice name, but it is what it is. With IVF, the man's sperm cell and the woman's egg cell are brought together in a laboratory under the right conditions, resulting in fertilization of the egg cell takes place. The fertilized egg is then implanted into the woman in the hope that a pregnancy will occur.

During the intake you will be explained exactly what IVF entails and that IVF does not guarantee a pregnancy. What particularly struck me during the intake is that there are many couples who suffer from fertility problems. During the intake you will meet several couples who are in
are in the same boat.
In principle, little changes for me in terms of injecting hormones. With IUI you are not allowed to have more than two growing follicles, with IVF the more the better. This has to do with the fact that fertilization with IVF takes place outside the body, so if you have several good follicles, multiple fertilizations can occur that can lead to good embryos that
can be frozen for a possible next attempt.

Because my last IUI fitted in well with a new cycle, we were able to start our IVF process quite quickly.

On April 11 I had a first ultrasound to check whether I had any cysts, fortunately this was not the case and the injection of Gonal-F could start again. I was allowed to continue with the highest dose of the last IUI. In the meantime, the spraying had become a routine, this time
I started again with full courage and high expectations, because the chance that IVF will succeed is much greater, right?

April 18: new ultrasound. We will continue with hormone injections to develop even more follicles.
April 22: full of expectations I went for another ultrasound, unfortunately we have to continue until April 24.
April 24: will this be the last ultrasound before the puncture?
There are almost 2 follicles left that they want to give 1 extra support, so one more day and back again tomorrow.
April 25: Yes, we can finally make an appointment for our first IVF puncture. First put the ovitrelle 36 hours before the puncture and then Saturday April 28 will be our first IVF attempt.

April 28: finally the day of our first IVF puncture. We had to report at 8 am and the puncture would take place at 8:30. I was quite nervous but also relieved that we finally had the puncture. I am prepared for the puncture and given an anesthetic through the IV, you are conscious but you feel like nothing is good about the puncture.

How does egg puncture work: The doctor inserts a duckbill and cleans the vagina with water. After removing the duckbill, the ultrasound head is inserted. The doctor then uses a needle guide to insert a hollow needle through the wall of the vagina to reach the ovary and puncture and suck out the follicles. All follicles are punctured and emptied and the follicle fluid is collected in tubes by the analyst. After the puncture, the analyst takes the tubes containing the follicular fluid to the laboratory.

The puncture went well for me and was over in no time. Because our hospital, St Antonius, does not have its own IVF lab, my husband had to take my eggs in a special cabinet to the UMC hospital in Utrecht. About a 15 minute drive. In the meantime I was taken to the recovery room. My husband had to collect his sperm at the UMC because the sperm must be as fresh as possible. Because my husband had to go to the other hospital, it seemed to take a very long time before he came back. He also had to wait there for the results of the puncture. After about 2 hours my husband came back and was able to tell me that there were four matured eggs. It felt a bit like a downer, but I thought, come on, we only need one good one. Then I was allowed to go home, because I felt good. I had little trouble, a little period cramping pain, but that was normal. I did have to take Utrogestan from the moment the puncture took place.

What is Utrogestan:
Utrogestan are tablets that you insert vaginally, three times a day. Utrogestan supports the uterine lining and ensures better blood flow to the uterine lining. This is important for possible implantation.

Once home, those long waiting days begin. I think the longest waiting days we have ever had. We would be called after three days to find out whether fertilization had taken place in the laboratory and when a transfer would possibly take place. Because our fertilization takes place in the UMC lab, I would receive a call from the UMC and not from our own doctor. Three days seemed like weeks and I was not enjoying it! Why are those days so long?

May 1; my phone rings early, but this is the number of St Antonius and not the UMC. I immediately knew this was not good news. Something I did not take into account is that fertilization cannot take place with IVF. This only happens in very few cases, but of course this had to happen to us again. None of the eggs fertilized, all for nothing!

I had many questions, but I was also inconsolable. Why are we not given it? The doctor wanted to schedule an appointment to answer our questions face to face, when I could calmly accept this news.

This day was horrible and thinking about it brings tears to my eyes again. Had I had too much hope? Did I have too many expectations of the IVF process? Probably, but now I was brought back down to earth.

May 7; our appointment with the doctor who treated us. The days felt slow to me and I lived in a kind of daze. I was so sad and had no hope anymore. Our conversation was enlightening on one level, but on the other it was not. They cannot find out the reason why there was no fertilization. They call it pure bad luck . The doctor did give us new hope.

We want to switch to ICSI. I was a bit upset by this, because ICSI is really the very last hope that gives you a chance to have your own child. But of course we don't give up. Together with the doctor, we decided to wait a while with the ICSI process, because something very nice was coming up: our wedding and then our honeymoon. So I couldn't be at all the ultrasounds and of course you can't control your cycle.
We decided to wait until my cycle started again after our honeymoon.
No matter how difficult it is and how much I wanted to get married while pregnant, I am now going to take my mind off things and focus on our wonderful day.

June 19: I call it BEST DAY EVER . What a great day. Day full of love! Finally married to the love of my life. I finally like myself MRS. Call Kivits.

With my girls from Kletskouz!

June 21: We are going on our honeymoon to Sardinia and have decided to enjoy it to the fullest. We want to start a new journey with full energy and celebrate extensively that we are now MR&MRS.

Would you like to know how our ICSI process went and whether our months of rest did us any good? Then read this in my next blog.

If you have any questions or are experiencing the same issue, please post them under the blog or send us a message and we will put you in touch with Stephanie.

Love Stephanie

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