How we got here part 4: IVF #2

After finding out about my Robertsonian Balanced Translocation in July 2015 we decided to proceed with our plan of a private cycle in Barcelona in August. We wanted to keep moving so doing it in August meant that we could combine IVF with a relaxing holiday and not miss too much work. Well that was the plan…

The lead up to the start of the cycle wasn’t that relaxing at all: there was a lot of stress at my work which included the sales director wanting me to work through the August break (which NOONE does in Italy) to deliver on a promise that he had made to a client without checking first. Grr…

We also had issues in communicating with our clinic in Barcelona. They took days to respond to my emails and it was difficult to call them which made things difficult, particularly when buying and starting medications.

Despite all this I started the drugs: down regulating from CD21 of the previous cycle with Buserelin nasal spray followed by Gonal F 350 daily from CD3. We also made it from Milan to Barcelona with our medications intact which was kind of torture for me as I was totally panicked about getting them on the plane and keeping them cool in the middle of the extreme European heatwave in years.

We had a shorter stimulation phase this time (11 days in total) but it was definitely worse in terms of side effects. The Buserlin made me depressed for a week and the Gonal F made my ovaries explode as well as giving me waves of nausea for several hours after each injection. This was not ideal when I had to take it every night before going out for dinner on holiday.

After 11 days of this we triggered and waited for egg collection. A couple of days later we were in the swish private hospital with me surrounded by lovely private doctors and nurses feeling optimistic. We had 9 eggs collected and went off on a road trip out of Barcelona up the Costa Brava with our heads held high, the music blaring, the sun shining and hope in our hearts.

Unfortunately our elation was shortlived. We had a large drop out as only 7 eggs proved to be mature and only 2 fertilised. To add to the disappointment I came down with an UTI and ended up having to take antibiotics.

As part of the swish (and expensive) service we were offered what is called an ’embryoscope’ which basically takes photos of our embryos every hour and produces a sort of time lapse video of their development (see photo below). As we were on the road and away from internet access I tried to avoid checking this too often…obviously I failed and ended up racking up huge mobile data roaming costs in the process.


One of embryos looking a bit messy

We continued the mini road trip and tried to remain positive for our two remaining embryos, which were biopsied on the 3rd day. We returned on the 4th day ready to prepare ourselves for possible transfer and waited for what seems years on the 5th for our results…we were finally called to the hospital in the early afternoon…we had been told that the results would be very last minute and that I should be ready with a full bladder in case we do transfer…so we waited with our hearts in our throats…

The lovely doctor we had seen on egg retrieval called us in with a sombre face and we knew at that point it was over. Both embryos had chromosomal issues. Our cycle was a bust.

We flew home to Milan the following day after the most expensive and least enjoyable holiday we’ve ever experienced…