“I named my embryo ‘Peanut’. A very precious, very longed-for life, that it deserved a name, not a serial number.”
This is the second part of Divya's fertility story. In the first part (click here to read), Divya spoke about a previous miscarriage that led us to look for a private fertility clinic, finding HSFC, and the first part of her treatment which included tests, egg collection and screening. Today’s blog talks about her embryo transfer, the dreaded 2-week wait, and the amazing support she got from our team.
Prior to the embryo transfer, doctors discovered that the womb lining had been slow to develop. “You need a good lining for the embryo to successfully implant. In my case, despite the estrogen tablets and the patches I was having, things were taking their time. Dr Venkat and Tanya reviewed my case, and felt I could benefit from a special wash inside the womb to encourage the lining to grow a little thicker.”
Divya was also prescribed steroids and intralipids to suppress her immune system, and heparin for blood thinning. "If implantation was successful, a blood clot could get stuck in the placenta and cause a miscarriage or implantation failure. The steroids and intralipids had to calm my immune system down. There were lots of appointments, lots of medication.”
On the transfer day, the couple were both nervous and excited. Divya’s husband could not come and be with her, so he walked the dog nearby while Divya had her embryo transfer. “I’d like to think that walking the dog took his mind off the nerves!"
As she stepped into the theatre to have her embryo transfer, Divya decided that her longed-for life should have a name rather than a serial number. She asked if she could name her embryo ‘Peanut’. She tells us, "it was my way of saying, ‘Welcome to the world, we’ve been waiting for you!’”
Divya says that "when my turn came, it was over before I knew it. It was very, very quick. I was always checked on to see if I was o.k."
The two-week wait
“Then came the two-week wait, that many couples would say is the longest two weeks of their lives! We kept ourselves as busy as we could. It was sad we couldn’t see our families at Christmas, because they were so supportive. It was important for me to rest as much as possible - I had to save my strength. We tried to make sure that every day was as normal as possible – although, let's be honest, there is nothing normal about going through a pandemic, or going through IVF during a pandemic!” says Divya.
The supportive team
"The whole team was incredibly supportive,” says Divya. “The nursing team at the clinic – I couldn’t have been in better hands. Adrian was absolutely brilliant teaching me how to use my injections. Rachael was wonderful and very organised in making sure I never ran out of tablets and checked in with me to see how I was getting on with the medications. Margherita is absolutely lovely... they all are!"
did a couple of acupuncture sessions in the run up to the egg collection, and in the aftermath, because I had a lot of stomach upsets and digestive issues because of the endometriosis scars. Divya admits that she had acupuncture before egg collection and in the aftermath which helped with her pain and also eased the stress level. “Because of the scaring due to endometriosis, it was painful. Carys was so kind, and calm, and very patient. She took the time to understand me as a whole, rather than just a case in a isolated moment in time. She really has a wonderful gift for listening to you, and to really empathise with what you are experiencing”.
"It was always nice to just feel like a person, feel like me, chatting to them. It always took my mind off the actual treatment procedures. It’s so important to have that confidence and that bond in a journey like this. To know that you're in safe hands, and you're with a team who cares about you as a person, and not just as a patient, makes a huge difference.”
Dr Venkat, going the extra mile
As part of her journey, Dr Venkat put Divya in touch with Daisy, a former patient also diagnosed with endometriosis, who recently had baby Hope (read Daisy’s story here). Divya says “reading about Daisy’s story on the clinic’s website really got to me, because everything she’s experienced, I experienced 10 years ago. Like Daisy, when I was diagnosed with endometriosis, it was already at a very advanced stage. What was heart-warming and hope-giving to me was that Daisy was able to seek fertility treatment. The fact that she now has baby Hope is inspiring,” Divya says.
To listen to the podcast in a different format, please click below.
*Divya’s stories (part 1 and 3) can be read by clicking the links below.