I am due to start the IVF drugs on Wednesday, so this may be the last alcoholic drink I have in a while. A long time if the IVF works and I’m pregnant.

A couple of things to report in the meantime.

Firstly I read the instruction leaflet that came with the drugs, and the side effects did scare me a bit. As well as the point of them being to bring on a menopause, the possible side effects include mouth ulcers, increased thirst, depression, dizziness, unusual skin sensations, dry eyes, tinnitus, facial hair, facial swelling, confusion, osteoporosis, tumours on the pituitary gland and ovarian cysts. The nurse who gave me them said most people just got a headache and that was easily sorted out with painkillers. My husband says it can’t be all that bad or the drugs wouldn’t be licensed. So lets hope… I am a bit nervous waiting to see how bad it is.

The other thing of note is that one of the complicated things about this process is that you can’t really schedule it. It is all based around how you respond to the drugs. This means they don’t decide when they are going to do any procedures until a day or so before they do them, so that they can be done at the time that will have the best chance of success. It is consequently difficult to plan your life, and particularly your work around it. I know that one day in March I will need to be in hospital all day, and that because I will be sedated I will have to have my husband collect me and bring me home. So we both need to be off work that day, but we have only a vague idea of when this will be. This has already been an issue for both me and my husband at work as we have not known whether we will be able to commit to things that people have asked us to do. My husband has had to say no to something that would have been a really good opportunity for him because he would be away for several days in March, and I have said yes to things on the basis that they were local so I wouldn’t need to be away but knowing I might need to cancel at short notice. Maybe this is less complicated if you tell your work what is going on, but it is a very personal thing to tell people about and we have not even told our families, so why would we want to tell our colleagues? Plus I have been advised by people that have done IVF before that telling lots of people is a bad idea because they all ask you how it’s going and that doesn’t help you with coping – particularly if it doesn’t work.