Once I got home from Melbourne I had my follow up appointment and much to my FS surprise my body had sorted itself out and it was straight into Cycle#2! I was on a much lower dose of the ovarian stimulation drug (down from 150iu to 100iu) so we hoped we would have a much better result. This time it wasn't so easy on my body - I had a horrible time with the pill which made me feel quite emotional and down and out (not like me at all!) and by the time we reached the point that we had been cancelled last time I was a bit of a nervous wreck! I don't know how one experience on these drugs can differ so much from the next but emotionally I just wasn't as confident as last time. Last cycle I hadn't had any of the side effects from the drugs but this time I had headaches, lethargy, low energy and mood swings (poor hubby!) The only thing I can put that down to is that it was the second time in only a couple of months that my body had been put through this and it still hadn't recovered fully from the last attempt. Maybe it was because by now I knew what can go wrong and I was a bit more on edge. My first blood test for my E2 levels came back right on track - WOOHOO! We were over that hurdle and into new territory which added a bit more excitement to the mix. I got instructions from the nurse sent to me via text message so I wasn't as clued up as to what was actually going on with my levels until we went in for our first scan . . . the first thing my FS stated to me was 'You're a sensitive wee thing aren't you?!' Here I was thinking that everything was textbook perfect when in fact my body had responded in a similar way AGAIN. My E2 levels had risen perfectly and then shot through the roof before steadying out. We could save the cycle but I would need to be coasted. I was a wee bit apprehensive about this as I had heard that when you are coasted sometimes it can lower the egg quality but to be honest, by this time I just wanted to get on with it! I didn't want to cancel again and have to start from scratch for a third time. Coasting (for those of you who don't know) is when they stop all ovarian stimulating drugs and let your body carry on growing the dominant follicles on their own with the hope that the smaller ones will stop growing without the drugs and therefore lower your estrogen levels to a safe level for egg pick up. It's all so complicated as you are at risk of developing something called OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) if you do the trigger shot (the injection that releases the follicles for collection) while your levels are too high and can end up in hospital in severe cases.
Needless to say I was feeling pretty nervous but after being coasted a couple of days we were good to go! My levels hadn't dropped as much as would be ideal but my FS chose to go ahead regardless but warned us that the egg collection wasn't going to be a pleasant experience because he would need to collect all the eggs to lower my risk of OHSS so it would be like having 2 collections at one time . . . GREAT. I had about 11 dominant follicles counted at that first scan and about 13 at the second but I was told early on that even if they collected 15 they could tell from the scan that only half of those would probably be mature so we were told not to get too disappointed if we ended up with less than we initially counted. I was INCREDIBLY nervous about the egg collection because during a public cycle in NZ you are awake for the procedure and just given pain relief drugs but you are aware of everything that is happening. I had heard a few nightmare stories so I was hoping I wouldn't have it too bad - I guess it's a bit like childbirth stories, you have the horror stories but at the same time others have it easy. I hoped I'd have it easy! It didn't sound fun to me but I was excited about getting it over with and finding out how many eggs we had but nervous about the whole prospect. But the day had come and there was no turning back! We were off to egg collection . . .