No Retreat, No Surrender


Today was the day. I woke up about 5am. I actually felt pretty relaxed and calm. Knowing I was having a General Anaesthetic made a huge difference to me, as I found the procedure so painful last time. Arriving at the clinic, there were 2 ladies ahead of me. The nurses were all lovely , as usual, and the routine was pretty much identical to last time. Blood pressure taken, temperature and a Voltarol suppository. Then change into the gown. The nurse then came to take Tom away with his little pot! It’s a weird feeling when you get separated, and I felt a bit lonely! The anaesthetist came round, who was a lovely chap, just to talk me through the anaesthetic.


I woke up and was immediately nervous. I have been really relaxed the last few days but today was totally different. Thoughts were creeping into my head and I was letting them get to me. I think it might have been because I am not a morning person so I wasn’t really awake enough to be rational. I kept thinking “What if we don’t get any eggs?” “What if I do something wrong?” “What if I give a bad sample?” Before we left I made sure I drank plenty of water and took my Androferti. I kept thinking over and over “Have I done everything right?” “Is there anything I have forgotten?”. Nic seemed to be in a really good place and I tried to not let my anxiety show. I didn’t want to worry her and effect her mood. We only get two rounds of IVF funded by the NHS and it would be very hard if not impossible for us to go private so I was really feeling the pressure. This could be the last chance and if I do something wrong I will have thrown it away for the both of us. After watching Nic suffer for weeks on end, I have one chance to get my bit right. Something that crossed my mind while we were driving was why don’t men give a backup sample? I would imagine that fresh sperm is better that frozen but it would certainly take the pressure off knowing that if something goes wrong there is a plan-B in place.


Once we arrived I tried to keep calm and focus. Everyone was lovely as usual and the nurses came round to explain everything and get all the paperwork done. It wasn’t long before I was taken to the room. The nurse treated me like this was my first time and I didn’t mind though, as I felt being shown everything again was a good move. She showed me the hatch and procedure for dropping off my sample before taking me up to the room. It was a different one from before and the main difference was there was no bed, just a chair. She showed me the sink, the soap and the laminated instruction sheet. Once she left I read the instructions carefully and followed them to the letter. The chair made things a little awkward in terms of getting the angles right and spent a little time trying to figure out exactly how I was going to get my sample in the pot. Once I was happy I had a plan I tried to relax and get in the mood, a very hard thing to do when you have so much pressure and anxiety. I managed to get the job done and was fairly happy with the result. I filled out the final bit of paper work and went to the hatch. When I got back to Nic I told her that all had gone ok but then to my horror I realised I had written the wrong time on the form. The time the sample is produced is really important and I had got the minutes right but for some reason I thought it was an hour later than it actually was. Would this confuse the embryologists? Would they wonder how I had produced time travelling sperm? Would they think these sperm from the future were friend or foe? Would we be hunted down by a T-800? Have I watched too much sci-fi? I informed the nurses and they didn’t seem remotely bothered so I assume this happens a lot. They said they would let the lab know the correct time.


Not long after Tom returned, I was taken away to theatre. It was nice to see some familiar faces and I knew I was in good hands. I was asked my name, date of birth and strapped up to the ECG, BP and Heart rate monitor. Everything was done quite quickly; it was a bit like an F1 pitstop! The anaesthetist put the cannula in my arm with ease for a change, and then just a few minutes later, I felt a cold feeling and then a funny taste in my mouth and then I was asleep!


I sat alone and my anxiety returned. I had this horrible image of Nic returning and being told we didn’t get any eggs. I don’t know why this was plaguing me because all our scans had been pretty positive and we had some good looking follicles. I distracted myself by looking at twitter and finding games on my phone and going to get tea.


I started to wake up as I was being moved and it sounded like the nurses were saying the number 9 a lot. I wasn’t fully with it, so it didn’t occur to me they could be referring to egg number. We got 9. What? 9?! What, me?! 9? I felt elated and completely proud of myself (Could’ve been the drugs!) Thats more than double what we got last time and this time we’re having ICSI. I’m struggling to keep from being over-excited, as I know it’s still unpredictable what will happen next; we learnt that from the last round! But I do feel hopeful and I know we’ve done all we can to make this work.



When they wheeled Nic back round, she was grinning like an idiot and was extremely spaced out. It was clear that she was barely awake. The nurse was very quiet so I had no clue about how well it had gone. The anaesthetist checked on Nic and they took her blood pressure. Once the staff had drifted away Nic started babbling a little. She was talking very quietly and I thought she said “We got nine”


“We got nine eggs”

“Really!? Is that what they said?”




“Yeah, I love general anaesthetic”

“Are you joking? We got nine?!”

I don’t know why I thought Nic would joke about something like this but I was so, so shocked that we got nine eggs I just couldn’t believe it. The nurse confirmed it and tears were welling up in my eyes. This is the best chance we have had and I am so proud of Nic and what she has gone through to get this far.



We both had an afternoon nap and I now feel pretty achy, constipated and still bloated. Hot water bottle, Paracetamol and hope is the plan for this evening! I still can’t believe it and just hope our eggs and sperm are working as a team as much as we have!


Thanks for reading,

Nic and Tom

4 thoughts on “No Retreat, No Surrender

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