I’ve been on estradiol (generic Estrace) for just over a week now. The first three days I swallowed a tiny blue oval pill containing 2mg of oestrogen in the evening. On the Monday, I added a morning dose, bringing the total dosage up to 4mg. On Thursday, I increased the dosage again by adding a second pill in the evening, for a total of 6mg. And so it will continue, increasing the dosage every 3 days until I am at a whopping 10mg in the middle of this week.
Thursday was a pretty busy day. I got pricked multiple ways — blood drawn to check my vitamin D levels (they were a smidge low over the summer, so this is me being anal); acupuncture (mmmm); and a flu shot (bah!). By evening I had a splitting headache and vile (bile?) nausea. I took a paracetamol but it didn’t do anything.
Friday I had my second ultrasound which showed my uterine lining is at 4mm. I got the sense that I’m not responding as well as the team would like, so it’s very possible that I will have to do injectables during the Real Thing in January. Between that and the side effects, it was recommended that I take the oestrogen as a pessary (that’s a vaginal suppository, Americans — suppository in the UK is specific to your bum!). These pills were not designed to be taken vaginally so it’s been fun, nimbly squirreling them up my hoo-ha twice a day (tip: balance the pill between your fingertip and fingernail) and leaving fabulous blue stains in my (yes, they’re black!) undies.
Result? I haven’t had a headache or any nausea since! We’ll see how my third ultrasound goes on Friday. If my lining isn’t where it needs to be then nothing more will happen this cycle, but the protocol will be further adjusted when we’re doing the Real Thing.
Immediately after Friday’s ultrasound, we had our mandatory psychological assessment with a therapist specialising in third party reproduction. The meeting isn’t to judge whether or not you’re ready to be parents; rather, it’s to see how you feel about sharing the story of your child’s genetic origins with them and to help you figure out how best to do that. DH and I very much see it as a process of telling rather than a sit-own one-off conversation, which the therapist was pleased with. We also touched upon how we might deal with people (friends, family members) who might disagree with our choice. The meeting went very well. She actually made a point of telling DH and me that we are “exceptional” in the way we’ve supported each other, processed our reality, thought about the consequences for the child/ren. It feels good to be ahead of the curve for once!
That was the final step in terms of being cleared for DEIVF. From here, the therapist will write a letter to our clinic stating that we are mentally fit to proceed. The only other paperwork that needs to be completed now is the legal agreement. We met with a lawyer on Tuesday to give her a sense of our wishes for contact with Nellie and the future contact between her and our offspring. Our lawyer will get in touch with our clinic who will help Nellie choose a lawyer. We’ve already paid all the legal fees (ours, as well as Nellie’s) and should get the first draft agreement in the next few days. We will review it, whereupon it will be sent to Nellie’s lawyer who will go over it with her. Once it’s returned to us, assuming there are no changes, we will sign it. From there, our lawyer will forward it to Nellie’s, and she will sign. Once we all have copies and the clinic has received the letter of legal clearance — which, among other things, states that we have all signed a document that Nellie relinquishes all parental rights and that we won’t come after her for financial support for the child/ren — we will be able to exchange contact information with Nellie and maybe figure out a way to meet.
It’s been a big week of developments, that’s for sure. Still hoping the lump in my breast is nothing, but looking forward to getting peace of mind.