Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Curse Of The Speculum

This was my fifth embryo transfer.

I've had good ones - number four was awesome. The doctor was up there like a ferret up a trouser leg filling me full of embryos before I had time to say "Is it in yet?"

And, I'd thought, I'd had bad ones.

I hadn't.

Not until now.

Doctor Number Four was on hand for the transfer but for some reason he gave the task of getting the speculum in place and winching me open to a woman I'd not met before. I have a feeling she was a trainee.

On day one of her training.

It would be churlish to assume she was just being awkward when she ignored my slightly know-it-all advice that I "usually need a longer speculum." Fair enough she wanted to try with the standard length first, and after a few minutes shoving and pushing I was in too much pain to look triumphant as she replaced that one on the tray and reached for the longer one. Even though in my head I was thinking "I fucking told you so" and trying to alternate those thoughts with " and relax ... I'm in a garden... let me open up my lotus flower* to the humming bird of destiny ...."

The longer speculum it turns out was the least of my worries. After the Crinone and Protogest being shoved up there twice daily and the inability to use any kind of lubricant for a embryo transfer should it interfere with the embryo I was dryer than dead dingo's donger (thanks to our antipodean cousins for that simile).

She cranked, shoved, twisted, pushed, really put her back into it.

"Cough!" she'd bark periodically. Then "Relax!" with all the charm and effectiveness of a brutal prison officer.

"So, do you normally find smear tests quite tough?" she panted at one point, by way of conversation. I was close to tears, both trying to relax and at the same time hold in a bladder full of dutifully consumed water, and in the process of holding the husbands hand so tight I was in danger of cutting off circulation to all his fingers.

"No" was all I could squeak back.

Way to make her feel even more inadequate!

Bearing in mind what I've told you about my sex life recently it got to the point when I was starting to wonder whether my hymen had actually grown back and was causing the blockage.

Eventually, after literally twenty minutes of hardcore near-bondage action, Doctor Number Four came to my rescue. He let me slip out of the room and empty my bladder by two cups. Then with a degree of difficulty but not the sweating and shoving of the other woman got me poised to receive the embryo.

Just the one embryo this time.

Let's hope that the inauspicious start doesn't affect the outcome, but on the plus side if it does work I can't imagine labour can be any worse that getting it in there in the first place**.

*Not really the whole lotus flower thing, but I really was trying to think calming thoughts.

** Chill out mothers amongst you, I know that labour will be hundreds of times worse, it is called hyperbole. And I wanted to get in there with that before my comments section fills up with labour tales. 


  1. I thought my first transfer was rough with the speculum.... Until my second. Not only did it take FIVE different speculum options, but each was straight out if the 'warming tray'- or a a fire breathing dragons mouth, I'm not totally sure which. I did get pregnant that time, so I try not to hold it against anyone.... Obviously I'm doing a great job of that :)

  2. Given that the other ones were so good and look what came of them, maybe this is a sign for different things to come for this one! *crosses fingers*

  3. *Crosses legs, crouches, squeezes eyes tight shut, pressed fists protectively to groin area, and topples gently over sideways*

    Nearly as much fun as doing it the DIY at-home way, huh?

    (That was IRONY)

  4. Well, that's one way to go about making it different from past experiences, I suppose. o_0

    Much luck!

  5. I agree with the other ladies. We know that Sod/Murphy/the evil stork gods or whoever else is in charge of all of this is not letting us get at these babies easily, I would be more worried if it had all gone like clockwork. No pain no gain. Fingers crossed my dear.

  6. mhm, aren't trainees supposed to be supervised? And aren't you allowed to say no?
    (have to remember that myself next time I go to my teaching hospital. Say no to the rough ones)

    yay for the embryo! go go go! (at your previous transfer I was convinced the same would happen to me as it did to you. Didn't. Hopefully it will work the other way around, that would be better)

  7. Really hoping that this is the one for you.

  8. I just had the most horrific experience with a fluid ultrasound and had the identical thought about labor and delivery. Hope all goes well this time around!

  9. Best of luck! Sending lots of sticky vibes :o) Adore your blog and your sense of humor.

  10. I have everything crossed for you x

  11. Ugh. I had the same 'no really, I think the longer speculum is better for me, seriously. No seriously, can you listen to me instead of stabbing my vagina repeatedly?' Love the listening caring touch. Good luck though!!

  12. Hoping the rest of the 2ww goes by smoothly with a amazing outcome!

  13. Crap. It never even occurred to me that transfer could be so horrid. I was lucky. Mine was so quick that my husband and I were back sitting on the little Blind Date-type stools being wished luck (it didn't work) before we knew it. I'll bear this in mind for next time though. Keeping everything crossed for you.

  14. Yes, Caroline, OW OW OW. You poor woman, put your feet up. That nurse! What a piece of work. Did you suggest other careers to her, at all? Abattoir assistant springs to mind. That might fit perfectly.

  15. Oh my GOD!!!!!! That sound effin awful! I'm so sorry you went through that but having had yucky transfers that resulted in BFPs I know it can happen!

  16. Ouch - look on the bright side, she didn't do all that and then use a tenaculum on your cervix. Sending love and positive vibes your way honey.

  17. After 4 relatively good transfers, I also had a transfer from hell. It took almost 50 minutes to place the embryo and when I was reading your story I recognized everything about it. But the one thing that makes up for it, is the fact that after 5 years of trying to get pregnant, I am typing this almost 24 weeks along. So my bad start turned out really well! I hope it will for you too! The best of luck!

  18. As someone who found out she had a curved cervix through IVF I know the pain of a botched transfer. IVF 5 we had a d&c two weeks prior - it was so smooth for IVF 6 we actually went with putting me to sleep. Oh man I just want this logo change to womb for improvement - occupied!!

  19. You had me at "up there like a ferret up a trouser leg."

    May this curse of the speculum bring a blessing for the little being currently making itself at home in the erstwhile ferret's nest.

  20. My eyes water at the thought of what you have to go through and I'm ashamed to admit to you what a wet sissy I am.
    The thought of being poked to find my wandering cervix for a smear test is enough to make me queasy...

    Good luck, my womb is rooting for you x

  21. OH! I'm so late to this show. Your posts haven't been showing in my reader until today. UGH! I had a horrific experience like this once. So much so that she bruised my cervix. It was during back to back IUI and it was the first day. The second day the nurse asked what happened as apparently I was black and blue and I feel your pain and I'm so SO sorry you had to feel that pain at all.

    I'm hoping for you and praying for you! Sending all positive things your way!


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