IVF: "I was absolutely heartbroken the first time it didn’t work" – RTE.ie

Posted: November 24, 2020 at 9:58 pm

Rachel Scanlon's lucky toilet came through for her not once, but twice.What you dont have a lucky toilet? Maybe Rachels story will convince you to reconsider.

On TuesdaysRyan Tubridy Show, Rachelwhos beenthrough IVF an extraordinary thirteen times started by telling Ryanthat before deciding on going down the road of IVF, she and her partner Kevin had experienced a lot ofdisappointment:

"We had a lot of miscarriages. And a lot of early miscarriages and a lot of later miscarriages. But, yes, we had a lot and so, we sought treatment."

Ryan asked Rachel to give an outline of what the IVF process involves and she madesomethings clear at the start: its a long process and different womenhave different experiences.

Different clinicstreat people differently and every womans body is different. So, no two women will have the exact same IVF experience.There are different protocols involved and Rachel found herself, more than once,on a protocol where she downregulated.

"Your body is kind ofsupressedinto a menopause-like state.And I suppose its to allow the clinic to take over and to take over the regulation of your body and so you stopproducingeggs so that the drugs can takeover andproduce the eggs for you."

The menopause-like stateprobablylasts for a couple of weeks, Rachelcontinued,beforehormone injections begin. The injections are intended to produce follicles which will eventually produce eggs. She was injecting herself every evening and sometimes more than once a dayand she was scanned regularly to ensure that the hormones are overor under-stimulating follicle production.

Pumping your body full of hormones has other effects besides follicle production, though:"Your moods are up and down, youre all over the placeI mean, youre hard to live with. Its difficult. And youre bloated as well.Your stomach is bloated. You actually look like youre pregnant because your ovaries are just bulging. Youre just a hot mess, really."

Thats one way of putting it.Of course, the long, gruelling, expensiveprocess is worth it when you get a baby at the end of it. But when you dont,when the process doesnt work at all, it can be extremely disheartening.

"Looking back, one of the hardest periods for me was when that first IVF didnt work."

Rachel reckons she was naive in the beginning because she had so much hopeinvested in that first attempt, only for it to fail:

"You eventually get to a pointwhere youre taking a test. My first time, I didnt even get to take the test, my period just arrived, like nothing had happened. Like we hadnt spent all this money, like I hadnt taken all these injections. I was absolutely heartbroken the first time it didnt work."

That first time wasjust the start of a six-year IVFjourney, that took in thirteen proceduresin four clinicsacrossthreecountriesand eventually resulted in two joyouspositivetests in that lucky toilet,in a cafcalled Wilde and Green in Milltown, Dublin,two years apart.

Little Eve and hersisterErin are thetwo happy endings toRachel and Kevinsjourney.

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IVF: "I was absolutely heartbroken the first time it didn't work" - RTE.ie

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