Alright- now I am officially, frighteningly, actually, doing ivf. What the hell happened? I have no idea how I got here but on I go.
My protocol didn’t change much due to the switch so in all honesty it isn’t much different. This is actually something I regret about switching in the middle. Even though they don’t care if I have a flock of follicles for my iuis they do try to slow them down a bit so it doesn’t get too out of hand so for ½ of the time I have been on stims they have been trying to make sure I don’t get too over-stimulated – what I learned is that you can’t really catch up. The 6-8 strong follicles I have this month cannot and will not wait for me to make even more. I hear other peoples statistics, “15 egg, 10 fert, 8 embies, 2 transferred, 1 or 2 frozen”, etc. and I get really worried I have less follicles than they even have embryos. I think that if I had started differently from the beginning I would have had a better turnout and thus made better use of my “discounted” ivf.
The night prior I take my hcg trigger so that my eggs are mature. I have been doing shots for 10 months by then and feel pretty confident…until they showed me how. They made such a big deal about how some people wind up injecting the saline rather than the drug, and to make sure I use every drop! I was so nervous… by the time I went to mix it I was shaking. If I screwed it up I would have no eggs and would have wasted all that money. When I tell you that I got every…..last….drop….. I did. It was absurd the lengths I went to to totally drain the vial. I think about it now and laugh but there was no laughing then – I even had gotten my poor husband in a totally tizzy about getting every last drop. Methinks it was also an accumulation of stress about the next day but I didn’t see that then either.
Suddenly the day arrives that we have to drive the 2.5 hours to the clinic for the procedure. I think I forgot to mention this important tidbit.. to get the grant I have to go to the branch of the clinic that has been open longer than mine. There needs to be 3-5 years of statistics for the clinic to qualify and my branch has only been open for a year and a half or so. So.. off we go at 4-flipping-am. I am so keyed up I drive. Otherwise I think I’d go nutty. Due to the fact that I am being put under shortly I am not allowed to eat or drink anything. If you knew me you’d know how awful it is for me not to drink anything. I ALWAYS have a beverage with me.. always. So it was a loooong dry ride.
We get there and it is obviously a clinic that has been open longer than mine. For one, I had to wait for than 5 minutes for them to take me in which at my office is the longest I ever wait (and yes, I do know I am spoiled). And two, it doesn’t look like it just fell out of a pottery barn catalog. My clinic is very soothing and pretty. Nothing ever out of place, comfy leather couches, and a great chair that I will take home with me one of these times.
It is funny, even though I have never been there most of the staff knows my name and my husband’s name. Nice and weird at the same time. Off I go.. they send me to try to pee which I do about 100 times a day (all that water you know) but because I am nervous I can’t. GGGrrr. So I go and put on my little ugly gown, booties and hat- man I look HOT! Let’s make a baby- oh wait – I won’t actually be here for that part.
Alright, so under I go, cracking jokes the whole time. I wake up and I am alone except for a nurse- I tell the nurse that my left side really hurts for some reason and maybe she should tell the doctor before they start? She laughs as she informs me that it is already done and that is why my left side hurts. Oh- duh!
Here is my favorite part…. They bring my husband in to see me before he goes to do his part – alone and without needles – so I say good bye and good luck, and then remember that I had just read something that says a man’s sperm is much more vigorous after watching porn- kind of a survival of the fittest or one-upman ship or something- so as he is on the way out the door I (not as quietly as I thought) shout “THINK PORN”. I see the shocked expression on the nurses face and hear the laughter in the hallway. Um, yeah… waaaaayy louder than the speaking voice I thought I used. I am sure they know me a the porn woman or something.
Well, they only got 4 eggs in the end. Not nearly as many as I was hoping for. This goes back to the regret that we didn’t start out the cycle as an ivf so we could have been more aggressive – who knows how many I would have had – during the stimming we even had a couple of days where I took only Lupron because I was reacting so fast. The “what ifs” will really kill you if you let them.
On the way back home in the car I believe I sang and sang and sang to my poor husband. Usually I have a pretty decent voice- that day was the exception- even I could tell I wasn’t on pitch but I felt so “relaxed” I could have cared less-
Since we only had 4 eggs I knew it would be a three day transfer and just held my breath (once I was done singing) until the next day. Well three of the four fertilized and looked good. I’ll take 75%. In my mind the alleviates my worst fear- that my eggs were hard-boiled and ruined. If I had that good of a fertilization rate and they said all looks good than I must be ok. A HUGE sigh of relief and hope flood through me that someday I might actually get my take home baby.
Bright and freaking early (again) we are on the road.. this time we will come home pregnant – sort of. I am afraid to take my valium too early so I am holding on to it and, of course, this time there is no wait once we arrive at all. I take it as fast as I could and just willed it to start working. Apparently they were swamped with retrievals and transfers that day so I ended up in an odd procedure room underneath a huge x-ray machine I assume is the for the hsg testing- not very comfortable and more than a little intimidating.
Dr. K comes in.. says hi..blah blah.. whatever..get to the good stuff.. he says all the blasts look very good and he is going to put all three in. My husband almost fell over at the thought of triplets and needed to be talked off the ledge with the very important fact that the chance of triplets is incredibly low – ok.. back on track.
So Dr. K is getting everything ready. I am in the stirrups and he has the drape up so high I am in full view to the world.. then he leaves and goes to get my embies..and leaves the door open…did I mention that I am facing the door? Yeah- luckily almost all of my modesty was sucked away after the first year of thrice weekly vaginal ultrasounds.
The rest of the transfer is pretty standard. Nothing exciting to report. The only annoying thing is my husband. We have gone through over a dozen iuis at this point and I always ask him to talk to me about anything while they are inserting the speculum and catheter – you would think that he has gotten the hang of this right? Um… sorry to say.. but no. I keep asking (actually begging) him to talk about something so I can focus on his voice instead of the pain I know is coming and so I can try to relax but all he does is oh so freaking quietly ask me questions. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DO NOT WANT TO TALK RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is what he is there for.. I even try to give him a list of topics and he doesn’t talk, just prompted question after freaking question. (My next transfer will be hopefully in 2-3 weeks and I am going to call him right now and tell him to think of a list of topics now to TALK to me about.. not ask if I think we should replace the furnace this year.)
Ok— so other than THAT- which I am obviously more annoyed about than I thought I was – it was pretty uneventful. After the transfer and before I am allowed to get up the doctor comes over and holds my hand and my husbands hands and places them all on my stomach and tells me to believe or something to that effect. Oddly enough I found that to be more intimate than when he had his head between my legs a few minutes earlier.
So I go home..with the picture of my little embies…and wait.