Let’s do this thing.
First, a fun fact*: An enzyme in pineapple could help an embryo implant into the uterus. I’ve been eating pineapple like it’s my job.
*I’m using “fact” quite liberally here. I mostly find this bit of information fascinating, and I happen to like pineapple (at least for now).
My acupuncturist recommended that I come in for a treatment 24 hours prior to my embryo transfer. As I lay down on the table, she explains the points she’ll hit to get my blood flowing well to my uterus in advance of tomorrow’s “big day.”
Before she leaves me with a dozen needles sticking out of various points on my legs, hands and tummy, she tells me to visualize what will happen tomorrow. Picture a perfect embryo entering a warm home and finding a nice, cozy spot to implant. If I’d thought about it too much, it might seem silly to picture this in my mind, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Then before she closes the door to the room, she says to picture what is to come in the months ahead. A healthy, growing bump; a happy mama to be. Visualize what I could look like in four, five months as the leaves turn. A Thanksgiving with a big, full belly (and lots of pie just for me… mmm… pie). Then picture laboring my child and holding him or her in my arms for the first time. The moment my husband sees his son or daughter. The hair color. The tiny but strong grip on my finger.
Imagining my child was very difficult for me to do. After three and a half years of waiting and two miscarriages, I don’t allow myself to picture a future with a baby with blonde hair (my husband’s) and green eyes (mine). It’s simply too painful to fathom that being real anymore.
As I lay there, I imagined my brain knocking down walls. I allowed myself to inch closer to visualizing this little person – half me, half my husband.
I left the room after my treatment very definitively wanting to take a picture tomorrow of me, my husband and our IVF nurse. If this is successful, I’ll hang that photo in the nursery in some months of the people that made my dreams come true.
If tomorrow doesn’t take, I’ll be glad to have a photo of us filled with hope for that little blondie with the green eyes, even if we have to wait longer.
I am basically a human farm animal.
My IVF cocktail of Lupron, Follistim and Menopur worked so well that, even though the growing took the full 12 nights, my doctors were able to retrieve 23 eggs from my incredibly swollen ovaries. The last few injections had become uncomfortable, for sure, but I was anticipating that the discomfort would subside not long after the retrieval procedure.
While getting 23 eggs was incredibly successful by any measure, the discomfort was really just beginning. Apparently it’s pretty uncommon, but the days following my retrieval were very painful. Aside from the normal bloating going into it, the bloating became worse and was accompanied by shooting pains in my lower abdomen basically any time I moved. My retrieval was on Friday, and by Saturday night — feeling worse than I had the previous day (shout out to my anesthesia for keeping me fairly out of it!) — I emailed my nurse to say “the good news is that the lab called and said we have THIRTEEN embryos that have fertilized and appear normal, but the bad news is I feel like someone tried to gut me like a fish, but failed.”
I’m not a religious person, but IVF nurses are angels and should be carried around by stunning shirtless men (or women, if they prefer) while being fed grapes. I’ve only known my IVF nurse for about six weeks but I trust her more than I do some of my own family members. She is, no lie, one of the best people I’ve ever met, and regardless of what happens next, I am so grateful for her help and encouragement in my life. Thank you.
After spending the weekend almost exclusively in bed with varying degrees of pain, I was called back to the doctor today to ensure that nothing was wrong, since it’s abnormal to still be experiencing discomfort several days after retrieval. The very straight forward doc that I’ve seen only once before checked me out, while noting that I am not one of those annoying patients that complains about everything. With help of the ultrasound, he said that my left ovary was “enormous,” and would most certainly be the cause of most of the discomfort. I also had some fluid behind my uterus, but not enough to cause for concern. Non-medically speaking this means that my ovary is saying, “WTF did you do to me?!” and is seriously pissed. Not that I blame her.
In much more positive news, I am the very lucky winner of TWELVE “good” embryos! #13 is lagging behind a bit, but still of the “fair” camp. Despite leading with what a crappy retrieval experience I’ve had physically, I am thrilled that, if I had any desire to, I could make a football team with these little guys (or girls). While I don’t have any intention of creating a family of Duggars, it makes me feel quite positive that the embryologist will have lots of squirmy cell clusters from which to choose the best one. YAY 12!!
My transfer is scheduled for Wednesday. To be continued…
Last night, I woke up four times to pee. I’m a light sleeper with a small bladder, but that’s a lot even for me. “Increased urination at night” is a pretty common side effect of Lupron, apparently. As is fatigue, which the struggle is very real right now. I’ve also started to bruise a bit at the injection sites on my tummy. Totally expected, of course. I joked with my mother, who is visiting us next week, that my stomach will look like a Rorschach test by then.
When a giant, heavy box arrives at your front door at 9am on a Saturday morning, you want it to be a present. At least I do. Instead, it’s a box packed tight with syringes, injectable medications and alcohol wipes. I can hope that the sharp objects and hormones will bring me closer to the present I actually want. (Hint: a baby)
Youcandothis. Youcandothis. Youcandothis.