IVF 2: second stims scan update

Went for my second stims scan today. Although I guess in theory it’s the third (as they thought there was no point doing the first based on my previous cycle’s slow response). 

The results are in:

20/04 scan

R: 12, 13, 13 + 2

L: 11, 12, 12, 11 + 4

 

22/04 scan 

R: 15, 14, 14, 12 + 3

L: 18, 15, 12, 12, 11, 10

 

So they’re definitely growing!

They seemed to think this was reasonably good (based on the fact that we have quite low expectations anyway). The question is whether I am going to trigger over the weekend for Monday egg collection or whether they wait for Tuesday, or later. 

The little ones seem to be catching up. Right now there are only three candidates for collection but a Monday collection gives them another few days to grow anyway.

Personally I would be inclined to see if the others catch up, but equally I know it’s quality not quantity. I would be happy just with a few good ones that all fertilise and get to day 5. It would be amazing to have some frosties. But it’s out of my hands. I just have to wait for the call this pm to find out whether the dosage is changing and whether I trigger. 

At the moment I’m blown up like a ball. Slightly less fatigued than yesterday – maybe it’s the intralipids or maybe it’s just it’s still the morning and I’m not yet knackered!

I have an extra prescription for Menopur in case they up my dosage. I went to pick it up and am waiting now. Went through the full palaver with “Do you pay for your prescriptions?”, “Are you pregnant?” (When I handed over the maternity exemption card which means I don’t have to pay.) It was a bit annoying but I know I have called up the prescriptions line and tried to pay, and they told me to use the card until it expires (when PB would have been a year old, so next year). 

In terms of the ethics of having a maternity exemption, the way I see it is this. I’m not pregnant and don’t have a baby (the reason they give you the card for free prescriptions). However I did call up and try to pay for a prepaid prescription card (if you are going to have regular meds you can prepay and it costs less rather than having to pay as a one off each time). They said I couldn’t pay for the card because I already had an exemption. I then told them it had been returned as I had a miscarriage. They sent me a new one and told me I should keep using it, and I checked and double clarified that they understood I didn’t have a baby, and this was their official response. 

So I can either pay nothing for my prescriptions, or I can pay more than normal. The NHS bureaucracy doesn’t care if you have actually had the baby or not. Also I feel like I have suffered a bunch more than the average person who gets pregnant, and I pay high rate tax, but neither of those are reasons really as the NHS is meant to be free for all. 

Anyway… We shall see – I’ll get a call from the nurse later today as they have a meeting where they decide on next steps for everyone. 

Once I’ve picked up my prescription I’m heading to work, and I think I’m going to pick up my laptop and work from home. I’m so tired and I need dog snuggles!

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41 comments

    • Nara

      I hope it is! I don’t know really. I do remember last time that the eggs were stuck at 12ish for a bit which is why I needed extra high doses of stims (375 by the end, eek). I am really hopeful we can get some nice eggs! X

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yes it is good, although it isn’t entirely free. We pay National Insurance which covers the NHS (National Health Service) so it’s kind of like people in the US and elsewhere paying insurance. It’s actually quite a lot, but because it is deducted from our pay checks and it’s mandatory, we don’t notice it so much. So if you’re a higher rate taxpayer (I am) then you pay more than others who aren’t. People who are unemployed or on a low wage don’t pay NI and they receive treatment for free. So in effect I am paying, but I don’t notice it so much as I’ve always paid that proportion of my salary since I started work!

      “As an employee, you pay National Insurance contributions if you earn more than £155 a week. The amount you pay is 12% of your earnings above that limit and up to £827 a week (for 2016-17). The rate drops to 2% of your earnings over that amount.”
      From: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/tax-and-national-insurance-deductions

      Liked by 1 person

      • AKL

        Yes, I know how the NHS works thanks as I lived in London for 10 years 🙂 My point is that it’s so brilliant that you don’t have to pay extra or get special insurance for the IVF. There are many people who don’t even get this chance because they don’t have the financial capacity to self fund. UK is one of the few places where it’s possible to receive IVF treatment through a Public Health Service.

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      • Nara

        Actually UK insurers don’t cover IVF or anything fertility related. So if you want anything not covered by the NHS then you have to go private. I have private health insurance which I pay for and it won’t fund anything fertility related.

        Each CCG (treatment area) has its own rules on eligibility and the number of funded cycles you get on the NHS. I think the most is 3 (in line with NICE guidelines) but some only do 1 (where my sister lives). Also some have weird rules like you can’t get funded if the male partner already has children with an ex, etc. It is quite on and off depending on where you live. If we moved one district across I think our funding criteria would change.

        One thing I would say is I think our private IVF is expensive but possibly not as expensive as private in the US… I’ve heard some eye watering stats for costs there, although I think it depends on the exchange rate. Here it’s maybe £3k-£5k per cycle.

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      • AKL

        Sure. My friend has had both NHS and private IVF treatments in London (NHS was not successful after multiple rounds, private worked first time). Where I am it’s around €8k per full cycle depending on the clinic.

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      • Nara

        I kind of feel like private is more likely to work if you have any non standard needs, as the NHS is very much “get what you’re given”. They don’t have the time/resources to adjust everyone’s plans a lot. That’s great for your friend! Whereabouts are you? I get the idea that treatment in Europe is possibly better!

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      • AKL

        My friend is a doctor and her observation was the NHS was using slightly older processes. E.g. They didn’t give her an anaesthetic when she had her egg collection and this is standard (and highly recommended!!) when private. I think treatment is not necessarily better in Europe but more personal. I feel reading other people’s experiences that they are part of a giant industry. My situation (I’m in a Mediterranean country) means I email my doctor and he sometimes replies in minutes. And I can pop to my clinic before work or even during work because it’s 5-10 mins away from both. I cannot tell you how much stress that reduces.

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      • Nara

        Wow that’s brilliant. Yeah we definitely have older stuff on the NHS. Like the scan we had at the private clinic was light years ahead. Also we only have to down regulate because they have to collect eggs on certain days and can’t work with your cycle. The private clinic works with your cycle and scans every day including weekends so they can be much more responsive. And the NHS is not responsive at all! I email them and rarely get a response. It’s easier for me to go in and ask to see someone. They’re very understaffed but I do get that because they’re publicly funded so don’t have the money like the private ones do. The private clinics are much posher!

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      • AKL

        I only had about 2 scans before my collection. I’m amazed when I hear stories of people having daily scans. I’m impressed but it’s a lot! My clinic is also a place you give birth and that sucks massively. When I had my D&C after miscarriage and was in recovery there was a woman next to me who had just given birth and I found that massively unhelpful for me to listen to her call loved ones and tell them her news. It did accelerate my exit from the clinic though!!

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      • Nara

        Oh that’s awful about the birthing thing. I had to go to the Emergency Gynaecology Unit (at a different hospital) when I had my miscarriage and it’s right next to the neonatal unit. It was AWFUL.

        I think our standard scans is 3 before collection. I had more last time because I was a slow responder. The daily scans are with the private clinic when they do natural or mild IVF (unmedicated or low dose stims) because they need to see how your body is reacting and catch the egg when it’s ready, rather than down regulation, stims and trigger. It actually sounds more appealing to me as long as the clinic is near the office!

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  1. stealingnectar

    I am kind of lost when it comes to IVF but it sounds like things are moving in a great direction! I am also glad you have a free health card…I was happy to hear recently that I could buy a breast pump of my choosing and have 100% covered by Obamacare…and when I asked if I had to have proof of baby, they said no! It was a huge relief for me after all my miscarriage trouble to actually get something useful that I didn’t have to worry about returning awkwardly if bad luck strikes me for a fifth time. American health care generally drinks, but I was thankful for this! After all the money we’ve spent in labor, drugs, and appointments, it was nice to have one thing that wasn’t going to feel like a burn if things go south!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Oh I’m happy for you! Yes I was prepared to have an awkward conversation with the pharmacist but fortunately she didn’t push it. I mean she did push it a bit but maybe went and asked someone as she didn’t mention it again. I do think that they should be sensitive to loss as I don’t want to have to explain it every time. But I guess in this case it was reasonable for her to ask.
      I’m so glad everything is progressing well for you! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. notpregnantinrezza

    That’s sounds look a pretty good result. The process of getting your meds paid for sounds complicated but glad to hear the government pays for them. They just introduced a mandatory copayment in Australia which really added to the costs. Fingers crossed for you that you get a good result on egg collection day! x

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    • Nara

      Oh that sucks. I do think it’s horrible to have to pay for it, so I get that. Although we do pay for it via a different route! I almost think if they didn’t skim 12% of my pay packet, I could fund a few cycles pretty quickly! We have to wait on the NHS. If this doesn’t work then I would probably want to do a private cycle in a couple of months. I’m hoping that isn’t necessary though! X

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Courtney

    You’re showing great progress! I have to think the docs are happy with what they’re seeing!

    Don’t feel bad for a minute about your exemption card. You’ve covered your bases and asked the questions.

    I’m anxious to hear about your call tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks! Nothing yet. I still keep thinking in my head “Ooh I hope I’m just like Courtney!” – I keep thinking of your boys and hoping we have as good an outcome! Or even half as good! 😉

      I have a feeling it will be Tuesday!

      Like

      • Courtney

        So here’s a story for you. I follow a gal, Hungry and Hopeful, and I was following her through all of her difficulties. They did the refund program here that gives you 3 fresh cycles and 3 frozen cycles (or more FETs, I’m not sure), and truly – on her LAST fresh cycle, when the doctors said they thought she’d be getting the refund, she got pregnant with twins. AND – she’s now pregnant with Baby #3 from that same cycle, I believe. It took her, literally, what felt like forever and just as even I was getting worried for her – she landed pregnant with twins. My RE always said that if it’s going to happen with IVF, it will happen within 3 cycles. He was right for her! I hope this one works out for you, and I truly think it will, but remember that they cover 3 cycles for a reason

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Ah thank you for this! It’s great to hear success stories. I would like to think we can do it on this round though… The thought of another round is hard. Although I know all the stats about 3. It would be a big delay for the next one I think, because of waiting lists… Anyway, I’ll try not to think of that now.

        I haven’t heard from the clinic and it’s past 8pm our time, so it looks like my transfer won’t be until maybe Wednesday. The trigger is 36 hours I think and they always tell us over the phone when to do it by 6ish, so the fact I’ve not heard of an increase in dosage or plan to trigger sounds like it might be Wednesday morning instead. Unless they call me over the weekend… But I doubt that would happen, which means it will be at my scan on Monday. All this second guessing is a bit weird!

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  4. EmilyMaine

    As far as I’m concerned you tried to ‘do the right thing” and they sent you a new card so just use the darn thing!! Numbers are looking good. I see a trigger in your not too distant future. Exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha, I am imagining you as a fortune teller now! Yeah I don’t feel too bad about the card thing. I figure I may as well get use out of it and then hopefully it will be a maternity exemption for real!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy M.

    Great news! I’m sure those mid-range ones will catch up over the next couple days! I had one that hit 18 way before the others EVERY TIME I did stims, and they always told me that they wait until there are a few big enough, and if that first big one ruptures or dissolves or whatever it does when it gets too big before the retrieval, then it’s okay because instead of the one big one, we have a good number of other ones to work with. And I wouldn’t worry about using that card…if they insist you still use it, and it’s their money (essentially), then just use it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you! That’s really reassuring. I hope that I get a few that actually get to embryo stage as we only had the one last time.
      I’m feeling alright about the card… It’s not like I didn’t try to tell them!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mamajo23

    That is some great growth. At this point I am always conflicted about stimming longer because I want to hurry up and get the eggs out safely but I also want as many as I can. So glad you are almost at retrieval!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yes, that’s what I think! It only takes one! And I do think stimming is the worst feeling. I think once retrieval is done I’ll feel much better (bodily, perhaps not mentally!).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My Perfect Breakdown

    This is awesome growth, I think. 🙂
    I’m so excited that you are almost at retrieval and things are looking good. I hope you manage to work from home today so you and Dog can get in some extra good snuggles all day long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks! Yes I am hope with the doglet. He’s being a bit overexcited right now but I’m sure he will calm down eventually! 😂

      The nurse usually calls after 5ish I think so I’m sure I’ll get a call in an hour or so.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. flatwhitetogo85

    Good update! It sounds like things are going well. It’s such a long, gruelling process but at least you’re starting off well. Let us know what they decide(d) about triggering. I have everything crossed for you!

    As for the maternity exemption card, from a moral point of view I think you’ve been dealt a pretty shitty card to date when it comes to all things fertility/pregnancy/baby. You’re already having to pay more, and go through more, than most people do. You pay for the NHS like everyone else, then pay for private healthcare (which then doesn’t even cover you!), and then you’re still expected to stick your hand in your pocket for anything fertility-related. You’ve damn well earned the right to get a few drugs for free 🙂 I would also think that from a legal point of view, you asked and were told it’s fine so what more are you supposed to do!?

    x x x

    Liked by 1 person

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