After years of infertility and IVF, we've finally seen light from the other side. I knew it could happen, but certainly didn't think it would be us ... our new life with twins. Gulp.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
At least I’m not throwing up.
* * *
Mom called last night, just so we could do the routine we’ve been perfecting over the past week. “Guess what?” I say to her.
“What?” she replies, with innocence.
“I’m pregnant!” I say, enthusiastically.
She responds with shock and surprise, along with a healthy dose of delight and joy.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
We're crossing a busy street, and SIL and I have jumped ahead in front of J. He's back on the corner as we're braving the traffic, when he yells "Hey you four, be careful crossing the street!"
It doesn't sound funny till we stop and realize what he said. Yes, the two of us are really four (or five or six, only the coochie-cam will tell).
We spent the whole weekend referring to the two of us as the "four of us," and on occasion, the five or six of us. We were hoping that passers-by would overhear and think us psychotic, perhaps overrun with multiple personalities, but alas, noone seemed to notice. But the three (or five or six or seven) of us got a real kick out of it.
I'm in absolute agony waiting for this darn ultrasound. I thought it was to happen this week, but no.......not until next Thursday. Progesterone refills arrived this morning, so I'll keep on keeping on. (By the way, the mail-order pharmacy I'm using is awesome! I called in the refill last night at 6 p.m., and 10 a.m. this morning I had my meds. Many states away, too!)
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I don’t know how it feels to be on the other side … to announce a pregnancy, unknowing that the person I’m directing my news at is experiencing infertility. There are so many of us out there, I’m sure it will happen. Actually, I take that back … it has happened. Another young woman in my group at church is having difficulty, at what level, I’m not sure. She congratulated me earlier this week, and I could see the wistfulness that I know so well. I still feel it myself. She said she was going to really start in on treatment now, and without asking for details, I told her I’d be happy to help in any way I could.
I’ve talked a lot to others about our issues, with the hopes that people would talk back. Infertility simply isn’t a subject most people are comfortable discussing. But it should be okay … just like talking about any other medical condition that may be central in your life. It requires as much treatment, or more, than many other diseases, and becomes so central in life, so emotional, as well as physical. There shouldn’t be shame, there shouldn’t be bashfulness. So many women have reached out to me, both infertiles and regular folks. I hope, with all my heart, that I can be as helpful to just one woman out there.
I have many sisters-in-law. Numbers One & Two don’t have problems conceiving and all, but Number Three and I share some similar circumstances. She’s done a few IVFs, many years ago, and has one child. I think she might do another soon.
SIL Number One just told me how hard it was to knock on SIL Number Three’s door and announce her second pregnancy. How she cried and cried when sharing her good news. I wonder if it got easier when she had her third and fourth? This is a woman who I’ve always thought to be so strong and infallible, and the fact that making this announcement to an infertile was hard for her, shows me a whole different side. She also told me that SIL Number Two was very, very nervous about how to tell me of her recent pregnancy. We haven’t really talked about it, but I did send her a note, telling her how pleased I was for her, but too excuse me for a bit, because good news can hurt, too.
I wonder, how will I feel when people assume that I got pregnant like most everyone else? You know, the easy way? Will I shout out “People! This was the product of careful calculation, measured dosages, and exacting timing; not of a bottle of wine under the stars!” ? Will I exhibit Tourette’s like symptoms, blurting out rapid fire statements? “IVF!” “Bad Sperm!” “Petri Dish!”
Women are comfortable asking about the details of conception, when they ask “Were you trying long?” I hope that I won’t cower and cave in, that can answer honestly and with enough information to perhaps open people’s eyes to what I, and so many women and men, deal with.
Where is this going, you may wonder?
I feel weird about being pregnant. I feel odd that I got so lucky. Because much of it is luck, I feel. Did I pay my dues? Why me and not some other deserving person whose been after this elusive goal so much longer? As has been discussed over here, I feel some “survivor’s guilt.” I’ve never felt shameful about our infertility, although I know J. has.
But I feel a little bit of shame, in this community, that IVF worked. I’m feeling caught in a limbo of sorts … where do I belong?
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Privacy is obvious ... there are three (or more) people in the bedroom. In the beginning, that Third Wheel may be a book, as you casually consult the chapter on properly timed sex for maximum fertility. As you continue to try, and fail, that Third becomes some ovulation predictor sticks. Not a crazy intrusion, but you have to pay attention to it and it influences your relationship in it's own way. The Third morphs into a computerized fertility monitor, and you report to it with daily diligence, waiting for the little black egg (or "the olive" as we call it) to pop up and instruct your sexual life.
The Third eventually turns into a human being, and you've opened yourself up to instruction, criticism, analysis, physical examination and more. It may be your regular OB/GYN, who will probably brush you up on the finer points of ovulation and baby-making, but if you've followed those first steps, you're pretty well versed. The Third magically becomes a specialist, and now there is a whole crew of doctors, nurses, and office staff in bed with you and the man.
It's at this point that privacy is thrown right out the window. Your early optimism maintains the excitement for your visits and treatments. A few pills and instructions on when to have sex don't seem that bad. You finally get to the point where you feel like you need The Third's permission to have sex. He tells you when, where, how. Eventually, sex isn't even involved in the baby-making process, just drugs, catheters, surgeries, and stirrups.
You're planning your wardrobe according to office visits (a skirt and slip-on shoes makes the whole process so much simpler), and The Third has become an integral part of your closet, your career, your marriage, and your entire life.
We totally renovated our house a few years ago, and were crazy enough to live here while construction was going on. During that year, I felt like the architect, the contractor, the carpenters, and the rest of the subs were a part of my family. At any given time - I could be tromping down the hall to the shower, or making my way to work - there they were. They overheard our private conversations, and were privey to our comings and goings. They were in my life all the time, and I've come to feel pretty similar (but in a more, ahhmm, private, way) about my RE.
Spontaneity has left the building, along with it's good friend Privacy. Baby-making sex is on a schedule, and at certain times, even just-for-fun sex must be regulated. You want to go on a vacation, or for a quick weekend getaway? Well, let me check. I may be ovulating and have to go in for the IUI at a day's notice. Friends call and want to meet out at local bar for a night of debauchery? Sorry, no can do ... gonadatropins are my cocktail of choice these days. Folks invite you over for an impromptu dinner party? Well, my RSVP is contingent on whether I know you well enough to keep my big old syringe of PIO in your fridge without too many questions.
For as long as I've been even contemplating the idea of having kids, I've thought about being able to surprise J with the happy news. We would be hoping it would happen eventually, but never really knowing how or when. Maybe I would do a test, find out about a pregnancy, and maybe even keep the secret to myself for a few days (or a few hours). I'd pick a time and place that he wouldn't expect. He'd be so taken by surprise, he'd be speechless. We would keep our little secret just to ourselves for a few weeks or months, and be able to shock our family and friends, who wouldn't have even realized we were trying.
Those scenarios haven't been in my head for so, so, long. Instead, we both spent a paranoid, uptight day, waiting for the magic phone call. We weren't joyous, we were short with each other, we made a contingency plan for what we would do if it was negative (note: it involved the hot tub neither of us have used for the better part of a year, and a refrigerator full of beer).
We waited for the message that I'd asked the nurse to leave on my cell phone. We sat closely on the couch, our arms and legs intertwined, as we set the phone on the table with the utmost reverence. Our faces were set in stone as we listened to the first message, as the nurse told us she had the results, please call her as soon as possible, and nothing more. We fumbled and mumbled to each other as we accepted that it was over. We nervously realized that there was another message on the phone. I expected it to be the nurse, calling again to remind me that there was no longer a need to continue with the PIO shots.
With baited breath, we pressed "play" to listen to the remaining message. We were silent and shaking as she reported that they were about to close the office, but wanted us to know that the test was positive, quite positive.
We clenched each other. We laughed and smiled. And then we cried.
Today I bought a pregnancy test. I've seen so many negatives, I can't even count, but suffice it to say, many a trashcans were filled up with discarded tests and discarded dreams. I want some of the spontaneity that regular people get. I want a momentary burst of surprise and delight, of unexpected joy. I beamed proudly when the screen read quite clearly "Pregnant".
I walked downstairs, with my hand hidden behind my back, and said to J, "Hey, guess what, sweetie?"
He replied, barely tearing his eyes from the television. "What?"
I jumped in front of him ... "You won't believe it ... you're going to be so surprised. I'm pregnant!"
He grinned, and we both laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.
And then, of course, he bugged me about wasting money on a pregnancy test. If only he knew how much they cost ...
So we take her to the bed, and she proceeds to give birth in the same position that people do ... legs up, etc. She meows and grunts, pants and groans, and finally ... it's a baby! A human baby!
Sensing that something is wrong, I pull the baby out, probably a little to forcefully. So forcefully, in fact, that the umbilical cord rips away from the mother (who, don't forget, is my little seven-pound cat).
But the baby is fine, and he's remarkably adult-looking. I don't find it odd that my feline friend gave birth to a human child.
The scene again becomes foggy. It's later. I go in to check on my kitty and her baby, and alas! The circumstances have changed. She's now with her litter of tan and white puppies. Because, of course, cats give birth to puppies.
I haven't been sleeping well ... can you tell? For the past few nights, I've been waking up at 3, at 5, for no reason. I'm not tired, but I still want to go back to sleep. And I do.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Today's beta was 677, so more than doubled.
As I went to the clinic this morning, I entered not with a heavy heart as usual, not with dread and sad anticipation, but with optimism and joy.
When the nurse asked what test I was there for, I got to report "Second beta, ma'am!" And the other doctor came in while I was having blood drawn and said with a sly grin, "Aaah...second beta. Very nice numbers" and congratulated me. On the way out, I spotted Dr. Pleasant, and in his not-too-excited, not-too-sad, very-middle-of-the-road way, he smiled, congratulated me and said he'd see me soon. And he even made the follow up call this evening to remind me that I need to continue the PIO shots.
As if I could forget. I'll admit that I was starting to feel quite proud of myself. I've given myself sixteen or so of those injections, and have been so pleased with the lack of pain or problem. Well, sister, let me tell you, those days are over. My hips have accumulated a connect-the-dot pattern of pinpricks, and the general soreness makes me feel like my hips are five times wider than they actually are. I feel like I'm going to run out of spots to puncture.
But life is good, so I'll keep it to myself.
Monday, October 17, 2005
With the cautious optimism of a fertility patient/IVFer who knows that things often go wrong, I'm saying YAY!
I can't believe we're this lucky. Why would this work on our first go? Because all the previous drug cycles and IUIs didn't, I suppose. It makes sense, I suppose, as all the problems seemed to be with the sperms and not the eggs. And those problems were bypassed by IVF and ICSI. So that makes sense.
But knowing that this is a numbers game, a game of chance, a potential percentage, a shot in the dark, or what have you, it shouldn't have worked.
Who am I to argue??
Next beta is Wednesday, with fingers crossed.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
I will not pee on a stick.
I will not pee on a stick.
I will not pee on a stick.
I will not pee on a stick.
I will not pee on a stick.
Actually, I don't think I will. You don't have to convince me. This whole cycle has been so darn, well, medical, and I'm going to finish it up that way. I've been really good about not letting my emotions get the best of me (with the exception of kissing the framed picture of the little blobs), and damnit, I'm sticking to it.
Beta is Monday.
I've scheduled my day so that it's super-busy. Dentist first thing. Next to the clinic to get my blood drawn. Lunch with a friend. A meeting in the late afternoon. So there are just a few hours of mid-day time to kill. For those of you who may be wondering, I don't live a life of leisure, I just don't work on Mondays. Not that there's anything wrong with the LoL, I'm hoping for one soon.
The one bump in the road is the doctor's schedule. For some reason, of which I was not privy to, all of the doctors will be out of the office on Monday. A conference or perhaps a fabulous IVF-research cruise to the Caribbean? So, who will call me? When will they call me? Will they have to do a ship-to-shore call to deliver my news? Or will a nurse be given the privlege of my tears or my shouts of delight? It's my first time, people, so I have no idea.
J. and I spent Friday afternoon together, as we both had a half-day. It was so wonderful, and much needed. We walked to a nearby shopping area, spent a few hours searching for fall clothes for him, then stopped at our local chocolate/candy store for some goodies.
We headed home, jumped in the car, and went to the movies. Had a delightful time with all the blue-hairs at the matinee, while we enjoyed our contraband candy. We hit our favorite Mexican dive with a friend and his new girl (yes, we approved), then hit a martini bar to meet up with another friend. Of course, I was sorely lacking on the martini part, but a sip of J's was just enough to satisfy. And then home for the 10 p.m. shot in the rear, and another movie in the basement.
For some unspoken reason, that day was so important to the both of us. We laughed like we haven't in so long, had conversations that didn't revolve around babies or IVF, talked like friends, goofed around, held hands, and kissed a lot.
The reason, as I know realize: It was our last day together before the Big Answer. (I'm at work today, and he's out of town on Sunday). Our last day before our lives change with a new addition. Or the last day before sadness, sadness, and persistence. Either way, our last day.
Friday, October 14, 2005
J. and I have not been secretive about our trials and tribulations, but certainly don't go shouting it from the rooftops to the passers-by. It's private, but to those we know and trust, we share what's going on in our lives, and this is currently a big part of our lives.
Our religion is the same way. We don't shout out about it, but people who know us know what we believe. And we're pretty involved in our church. We both sing in a choir, I have a great group of young women that meet, and J. helps out with the teenage group. We've been at this church for five years ... it's where we chose to get married, and stayed. We've made some wonderful friends, and feel good when we're there, and when we're with people there.
I talked a little bit before about how a few people at church know about our infertility situation. The group of women I'm in knows about it, and they've all been so supportive. I let her know about our retrieval, and She asked if she could share it with a few of the clergy and staff, and of course I agreed. The more people putting positive vibes, whether in the form of prayer or good thoughts, have to have some effect on the universe, and hopefully on the outcome.
We showed up at an event on Thursday night, and I was overwhelmed. Throughout the course of a very long evening, I had so many people coming up to me offering their good wishes, their prayers, their hopes for us. They were all people that I'm comfortable with them knowing, but it's something that's hard for me to bring up in conversation. She made that easier for us, let us skip the awkwardness, yet allowed us to share in the blessings that come with knowledge.
So many friends, men included, spoke up to us, said they knew what was going on and wanted this so much for us. No one gave any assvice, they knew not to go there. We smiled about it, spoke seriously, even laughed and giggled as someone blessed the "fruit of my womb."
We wrapped up the evening with the most wonderful sense of grace. Since then, I've felt so at peace. If this works, there are so many people who will celebrate with us, as She said. And if it doesn't, there is a whole group who will grieve and cry along with us, and help us to press on again.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
- Remove the progesterone from the fridge, and lay out with other supplies (needles, alcohol pad, sharps container) in the location where you'll administer the shot. I like the bathroom with a counter and mirror.
- Place middle finger on your hipbone, and stretch your thumb back to encircle your hip. This is the spot. Circle it with a pen if you like. I like pink marker.
- Grab your favorite bag of frozen vegetables (I seem to favor sliced carrots), and secure them in the waistband of your pants, with the pressure on the injection site.
- While your bum is on the cooling cycle (allow 10-15 minutes for this), load up your progesterone, switch out to a new needle, and set the whole apparatus in the room where you"ll be injecting.
- Walk away. From a purly psychological standpoint, I find that staring at the offending needle just impedes my progress and brings my nerves to a dizzying high.
- Spend a few minutes straightening up, feeding the cats, or working on a distracting task. Take care that the circle spot is getting plenty frozen. It may be uncomfortable, but is sooo worth it in the end.
- Return to The Room, and run the syringe under hot water for a few moments.
- Pull down your pants, and swab with alcohol. Turn so that appropriate butt cheek is facing the mirror. Twist backwards.
- Using your left thumb, stretch down the skin just south of the the circle
- With the needle in your right hand (assuming you're a righty like me), take a deep breath, and quickly plunge it into your skin. Aim for the bullseye.
- Exhale. You're almost finished.
- Depress plunger. It goes much slower than your other injections.
- Once the juice is all all out, just leave it in for a second. Pull straight out. Press tissue on spot to absorb any blood.
In addition to achieving the functional goal of delivering life-nourishing nutrients to the potential child within, administering this shot to yourself does have additional benefits. For micro-managing control freaks like me, it preserves my sense of independence and power in a totally out-of-my-hands situation, and is a real ego boost.
When confronted by a Smug Fertile, chatting on and on about her "Ooops" pregnancy, you can remind yourself that while she would flee with terror at the mere prospect of sticking a huge needle straight into her tucas, you did it just fine, and with a smile on your face, and the expertise of a surgeon.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Oh, dear IF Blogging Ladies, I'm so sad. It seems like emotions go up and down on a whim, and as J puts it so eloquently, he's not sure I can handle it.
Well, of course I can handle it. But this whole process of trying to have a child, while a long one, is dependent on a series of short steps, one at a time. Finish one task, move on to the next. And the next, and the next. One day at a time, J says. Start each new phase of your quest with a blank slate, says one of my favorite IF guru-authors.
But I am a planner. I like to know my schedule, both immediate and long term. I utilize the daily calendar on my Palm and log in daily to-do lists, but you bet I print out the six-month-at-a-glance pages at the same time. To check my progress. To make contingency plans. To find time for the things I want to do (although it doesn't seem like much of that lately).
So it was with hopeful anticipation that I phoned Dr. Pleasant's office for news on my three remaining embryos. If they made it to blastocysts, they would be frozen. None of the buggers made it.
"This isn't really unusual," Dr. P says. "That's why we transferred the healthiest three." Dr. Pleasant with no undertone of hope, or of disappointment in his voice.
"Focus on the positive ... have hope ... have faith." These are the words from my dear, sweet husband when I approach him with tears. "It doesn't matter what happened to those three ... we have these three." Where does his hope, his faith come from, I ask?
I've had hope. I've had faith. Faith in God, faith in science, faith in my body, faith in fate, faith in patience. And every single month for the past two and a half years, faith has smirked and said "Nope, none for you."
Perhaps faith will pull through, and next Tuesday I will receive the news I've been dying for.
Or she'll deliver a swift kick to the ass, and I'll be back to square one. No backup plan with a few blob-sicles waiting to find a home inside my body. We will not pass go, we will not get to draw a bonus card, but we will be sent back to the beginning of the game board, and have to start all over again with the entire cycle.
Could I be more of a pessimist? Yes, I think I could. Because I also possess a great amount of hope. I finally read past the IVF chapters in my IF books, to the "Pregnant after Infertility" chapters. I carry the framed pictures of my three blobs around the house with me. I talk to it, and touch it carefully. Yep, I even kissed it. I leaf through the baby and pregnancy magazines that litter my house. I watch "Birth Day" and "A Baby Story" with anticipation.
Hope is there. She's just afraid to show her face, lest she be told to go back home.
Inconceivable. The show. I watched two episodes and am not hooked, but still morbidly curious. Since I was confined to my bed, I checked in on Friday, but it wasn't on. I checked NBC's schedule for this week, and it's not on again. Any news? Was it cancelled? Would I be sad about that? Not really.
I have taken custody of the right butt cheek, and J. gets custody of the left. He's not the greatest at the PIO injections, and I suspect he hit my tailbone two days ago, so I'm claiming rights to the side I can reach. I found some great info on message boards about how to give it to yourself, but my own way just worked...I think it depends on your body, quite honestly. I'll post more later.
I made a delicious dinner tonight, if I do say so myself. J said so, as well, but I wonder if he was just pumping my ego a bit. A butternut squash soup, and a portobello stacked salad. I'm not going to post recipes, but if anyone's interested, I'm happy to share the details. It was deeelish!
If you made it this far ... thanks for reading. I'm feeling almost as emotional, sensitive and generally-whacked-out as I was when on all the suppression/stim drugs earlier. But not quite.
It's in these times of uncertainty and rollercoaster emotions that you sometimes need to take a break to give props where props are deserved (or will make yourself feel good).
I've given myself three of the progesterone shots, on my own. It's something I was convinced I couldn't do, but I did. Yay for me.
It's finally feeling like fall (how's that for a tongue twister?), and I was so excited to wake up and dress in a sweater and jeans. I've spent the past three hours on the front porch, people-watching and reading a wonderful story.
I've got all the goodies for a butternut squash soup recipe that I found in Cooking Light (one of my favorite magazines), and am excited to make a real meal tonight, for the first time in what seems like forever.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Thursday afternoon we transferred three embryos, and I am scared to death.
On the one hand, I am full of hopeful anticipation. We've done everything right, I'm healthy, only 30, the transfer went well, I'm doing all the PIO shots, we want this so badly ... why wouldn't it work?
Then Mrs. Pessimist rears her ugly head to play devil's advocate, as she is wont to do quite frequently. You know the statistics. You know it's all numbers and chance. You're probably mentally and physically stable enough to go through this again ... and again. Your life has been really good so far. Why would this work?
They say the transfer went well. We had six fertilized embryos, and although we'd previously discussed transferring two, once the time came, Dr. Pleasant encouraged us to transfer three. Which makes me think that everything wasn't so great.
Once they brought in the picture of the three best (graded 3+, 3-, and 2+), I just puddled. Dr. P told us they rated them 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. In consulting my own personal fertility library, I see that most clinics rate in the reverse order, with 1 being the best. Anywho, he said they rarely see a 5, so our little globs of cells were right average.
And although he "hates anecdotal stories," he proceeded to tell me that their most recently pregnant patient got pregnant with a Grade 1 embryo.
After making the decision to go with three, doctor and nurses did all the prep work (you know, the glamorous stuff - stirrups, speculum, etc) and called for the embryos. Cue drum roll.
Fulling expecting yet another masked figure to arrive bearing a syringe of the goods, I was flabbergasted when the female (very nice that the newest stranger in the room was a woman) embryologist wheeled in an incubator. Like what you put a newborn baby in. The irony was not lost on me, but filled me with hope.
After asking me to repeat my full name, she let J. look through the microscope at the blobs. I eagerly asked him to tell me what they looked like ... details, please! "They're real small," he says. When pushed for more info, I got "Like I said, they're real small. Not much to see."
The transfer itself was much like an IUI, but performed with many more spectators and much more care. I kept the photo of the three blobs on my chest, with my Chinese jade necklace resting on top. My father gave it to me years ago, for luck, as I embarked on a long trip.
Thus, I've spent practically every moment since Thursday afternoon in my bedroom, laying around. This is my first venture from the bedroom, and it feels nice to actually see out the window. My time in bed is probably excessive, but once you've gone this far, why take chances.
In another consultation with my personal fertility library, I read that implantation after a Day 3 transfer usually takes place 48-72 hours after transfer. Which would be now.
So I'm moving slowly with care, gazing longingly at my blob's first, and perhaps only, pictures; resting my hand on my belly, trying to send "stick" vibes to those within.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I had a wonderful conversation yesterday with a relative who had also gone through IVF, years ago. She kind-of knew what was going on, but not the specifics. It was so nice to chat with her, and have someone to commiserate with. I also spoke with an acquaintance who will be undergoing a retrieval in a few months. Alternatly, it was nice to be able to provide a little advice and offer of help, if needed.
We did the first PIO shot last night, and voila! It wasn't horrible. It wasn't even bad. (I better watch it, I may be jinxing myself). There are a few times when I'm going to have to give it to myself, so I'm trying to get all psyched up about it.
One day at a time ... One step at a time ... I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but it's hard. All I can think about is that we might not have enough embryos to freeze. And then I'll have to go through this again.
I need to focus on *now* and think positive thoughts for the transfer tomorrow. Im trying to come up with a talisman or visual or object or something I can hang onto tomorrow, to keep my thoughts focused and positive during the transfer. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Slow motion: Your friend winds up for his big strike ... arm back and fully extended ... swings forward with bowling ball in hand ... and somehow it slips. The 12 pound ball flys through the air, and somehow connects squarely with your belly.
That's about how I felt all yesterday afternoon, curled in my bed in the fetal position, making love to my heating pad.
But all in all, the egg retrieval wasn't that bad.
We arrived at 8:15 yesterday morning, and after the requisite questions and answers from the nurses, the paperwork, and the pep talks back and forth between J & I, then I met my new best friend: Frank, the anesthesiologist.
A wonderful, father-like man, he put my fears at ease. The IV was in the crook of my left arm, and it was probably the most painful injection-type procedure I've ever had, but it wasn't that awful! He then gave me a "sample" dose of the meds to make sure I would react okay to them, which I did. Kind of like a glass of wine. A happy feeling. He told me that I wouldn't be receiving general anesthesia, but a "concious sedation" and that I'd be pretty out of it.
Dr. Pleasant came in and went over the basics of the procedure with us. Then Frank returned and gave me the big dose of drugs. I was determined to use the breathing exersises I'd been practicing to calm me. Breathe in -2-3-4-5 Breathe out -2-3-4-5. Yea right.
I started crying a little bit as they wheeled me out of my room down the hall. I remember entering the procedure room, and that is was more "sterile" feeling, but nothing like an operating room. I was shocked when they attached the big, blue stirrips to the table. I had been under the impression they'd be using the regular ones like in the exam room, but no ma'am, these were the big huge labor & delivery ones. Spread eagle. Big time. Thank goodness one of the nurses draped a small sheet over me, just for the time before the procedure.
I remember scooting down on the table, too far, not enough, back, forward. I remember making a concious effort to not look around the room for fear of seeing the needle that I dreaded so much. I never even saw my doctor. Boom. I was out like a light.
Someone shook my shoulder, repeating my name. "Okay," I said. "I'm ready, let's get started."
J. laughed at me, as I looked around and saw we were back in the recovery room. Frank walked in to check and see how I was doing, and I promptly told him how much I loved him. Bless you, Frank.
Nine mature eggs. We'd seen twelve on the ultrasound last Saturday. I was kind of disappointed, but it fell into the 5-15 range that Dr. Pleasant was hoping for.
I spent the afternoon and evening in bed, laying on my side, which is the only position that was really comfortable. Oh, yea, the little white pills helped too.
I just spoke to Dr. Pleasant. Six eggs fertilized. Only six. "Six is a tricky number," he says. Typically, this is when they'd freeze any extra embryos. But with six, they don't want to do that now, just in case the rest don't make it.
Thursday morning, we'll transfer two or three, depending on how they look. And if there are any left, they'll be frozen.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
So, retreival is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, at 8:15. Dr. Pleasant did call me back quite quickly, which is nice. What is not nice is that I was in the produce section of my grocery store, and interpreting his questions and trying to answer them, all while ensconced in a large metal building that doesn't favor cell phone reception. Picture me, yelling (while hiding behind a large rack of nuts) "You want to know what? When the last time we had sex was? Oh, yea, it was yesterday, right before we saw you!"
That's all set, and I'm really looking forward to meeting the anesthesiologist. And becoming his friend.
So am I a total bitch? Today J's sister called to tell us she is pregnant. With her second. The day before our egg retreival. For our first baby. For which we've been trying for more than two years.
Perhaps you couldn't see the genuine happiness I felt, what with my tears and hysterical ranting. Of course I'm pleased for them. I'm insanely jealous. I'm mad at the world because life just isn't fair.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Do you know where your RE is?
Well, I don't, and he's supposed to call me by 5 for instructions to either (1) trigger or (2) continue Follistim/Lupron and come in for another US/bloodwork tomorrow morning.
He said, yesterday, that if I didn't hear from him by five, to look him up and call him at home, if need be. I can't believe he actually meant that. Did he?
It's 5 p.m., and I think he's on the golf course.
Well, maybe not the golf course, but clearly in the pursuit of something sporting. Needless to say, the wife seemed perplexed that one of his patients was calling him at home on a Saturday evening, especially since he wasn't there.
But now I, the lucky infertile that I am, am in posession of both his home number *and* his cell phone numbers.
I am also in posession of his assurance that we will indeed do the retrieval on Monday, and instructions to call him back by 8:30 (only if I haven't heard from him yet, of course) to discuss the exact time and details.
This better work, or he can expect years and years of my nasty 3 a.m. calls and annoying hangups!
I dressed for work, and took off to the hospital's blood lab. The requisite unpleasantness was somewhat tempered by the fact that I actually met someone nice in the waiting room. It's been discussed many times in IF blogland, the fact that some women just won't talk, let alone smile in the RE's office.
She looked at my paperwork, and said "Oh, we're here for the same thing." We chatted for a few minutes before the bloodletting, and determined we were headed to the same office for our ultrasounds. I had a bit of time to kill between appointments, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and hit the grocery store for some lunchtime goodies.
Imagine my delight when I exited my car at the office, and she was waiting for me outside. So very nice. A few years older than me, and an IVF veteran, she put my mind at ease about the egg retrieval, but made me even more nervous about the PIO shot!
We were the first two patients of the day, and the doctor (one of my favorites!) was running late, so we had even more time to chat before we were taken back to our respectable rooms.
I'd hoped she was in the waiting room when I finished, but she's already taken off. So, M.P., if you're out there, shoot me a note! It was a really nice surprise to meet such a nice person in such an unlikely place.
From the coochie-cam front, all was well. A few increases from yesterday, but still 3 on the left and 9 on the right. There was one 21, lots of 18, and a few smaller. Lining was at 8.5-ish.
Dr. Super-Duper-Nice was a little less forceful with the wanding, which was much appreciated, since I'd downed a Grande Decaf Skim Latte while waiting for him to arrive. He invited me into his office for some chit-chat, which was nice since (1) I'm not his patient, and (2) Dr. Pleasant never really wants to chat much.
Dr. S-D-N said that he expects the retrieval will happen on Monday, but the call is up to Dr. Pleasant. And I should expect that call by 5 p.m. tonight.
Which is lovely, because I'd like to know whether I should inform the v. nice couple at whose house we'll be having dinner tonight, that J & I will need a bit of privacy for our Hot-n-Heavy HCG Injection!
Ohhhhh..the nerves are jittery right now. It's actually going to happen.