Let the games begin!

We got the call this morning that a Day 3 transfer was in our future. Sure we would have loved a Day 5, but since I have advanced maternal age at the ripe old age of 35 1/2 (HA!), the clinic’s protocol is to go with a Day 3 transfer if there aren’t five 6-cell embryos. I had four 8-cell and two that were 5-cell. So, I just missed the cut-off. Oh well. Lucky for us, we had some choice this time. We were also part of a new study that takes pictures and video of the embryos growing, and gives a recommendation as to the healthiest ones in the batch. So with some choice and some added information, we decided to return two, grade 1 embryos to their homeland. The winners were embryo A and embryo E. From here on out, they will be referred to as Arturo and Eva. My dad thinks this is a little wacky, but I figure I should start talking to the kids as they settle in for a lengthy lease.

We did have lots of conversation about how many embryos to put back in. We are fortunate to have a doctor whom we not only respect but we also trust. He suggested two so we’d hopefully have more to freeze. Why waste a good one if all three took, was his theory. I like that. We would also be prepared (if you can be) for twins. Triplets, no way.

I saw my acupuncturist directly after my visit and have been instructed to eat pineapple daily until Sunday, and chicken once a day until my pregnancy test. I spent lots of time on the couch, watched some bad tv, napped, and otherwise told Arturo and Eva to enjoy the new location.

As I think back to my last cycle and the two week wait, I have vowed to do some things differently. I know that as my blood test date approaches (7/23) I will get anxious and crazy, but I’m hopeful some changes along the way will help me cope with the uncertainty.

1. I will not google. Well, I’ll google things like yelp reviews and stupid baseball stats and funny videos, but nothing fertility related.

2. I will do my best to embrace any and all symptoms I experience. I already have some mild and wacky cramping from the high dosage of progesterone I’m on (all confirmed normal by my doc), but bloating and boob soreness and anything else will just be part of the experience and not a sign of something bad or good.

3. I will meditate for one hour each day. I made myself a playlist comprised of some really great music my yoga teachers play. I listened to it prior to retrieval and during the transfer, and it really soothed my nerves. I have a space all set out for my meditation, some embryos to focus on, and some baby dreams to have!

4. I will practice gratitude daily. In each of my yoga classes when the teacher asks us to set an intention I say the same thing: gratitude in my thoughts, gratitude from my lips, gratitude in my heart. I have said this in every class I’ve attended since joining the local studio, and gratitude is something I strongly believe in. Regardless of what life throws us all, we must be grateful for what we have. Especially during this period of uncertainty and wait, it is gratitude that will lighten my burden. I realize I sound like a complete hippie nut job, but I’m ok with that.

For my first act of gratitude, I want to thank all of the ladies who read this blog and cheer me on. As I told my husband this morning …. if I only had the women in my real life (both colleagues and friends) you would think having a baby was as easy as getting dressed. So, it was on-line and among strangers that I learned that I was not alone. This is a gift I can never thank you enough for.

More to come. Eva and Arturo say hello!

dfb

Egg report

Well, I am home, feeling good, and breathing a slight sigh of relief. They retrieved 13 eggs. Holy shit! I actually started to cry when the nurse told me. 13! 13! One more time: 13! This is ten more than IVF #1. Of course, we know nothing of the quality, but I have to believe that working with a larger number will only help our efforts to become parents. Let’s hope.

As is typical, we’ll get a fertilization report early tomorrow morning. For now, I am going to nap on the couch, snuggle with my husband, and otherwise relax.

Thanks for all the support. I felt it this morning.

dfb

Grapes In My Belly

My final pre-retrieval ultrasound went well. My lining has been glorious. My ovaries have been working hard. My blood work is on target. I now know all of the nurses at the clinic … and there are many. I’ve also seen my acupuncturist four times this week. I now have his cell phone number. It’s funny how IVF will bring strangers into your family as they all hope, we all hope, that our efforts will result in a baby.

So here are the gritty details: the doctor is hoping for eight eggs. There’s a chance it could be ten, but eight would be fabulous. Last time around I had four follicles and one was empty, so that gave us three eggs. Not good. This time we have way more follicles. It’s just that only 8-10 will be ready. There are some stragglers who won’t make it. (Did you know a ready-to-go follicle is the size of a grape?) I know that we have done everything we can to make this successful. My body is rested, a little heavier (ugh), a little more hormonally balanced. I have been at ease with everything in the process and am ready for what comes next. But, right now I am currently waffling back and forth between feeling great about how much better this cycle has been and feeling awful as we move out of the honeymoon phase and into the waiting phase of this process. I even bagged out of a BBQ today so I could stay home and watch RomComs all afternoon. I know I’m also remembering the last IVF and what happened after retrieval. I don’t want to focus on that, but it’s hard to forget such an intense emotional experience. So my goal for the next few days is to use that experience to drive me forward. To help me keep things in perspective. To remind me that life is good, and will be good.

I have my dorky meditation CD ready to go. I’ve got great books on my Kindle. Tickets to a ballgame tomorrow. Some dinner with friends. Plenty of small things to keep me busy.

Trigger comes at 8 P.M. It’s go time.

dfb

Imagination Cul-de-sac

I am not crazy, but today I heard something profound. It didn’t come in yoga or in some great piece of literature. Rather, it came from a 45 second clip I heard on NPR. Some musician was talking about the power of the imagination and how we can imagine the path before us. The problem with most of us, he said, is that we’re in an imagination cul-de-sac. This got me thinking. I don’t believe that everything I want is out there. I’m not pessimistic; I’m just a pragmatist. I also don’t believe I can “call in” everything I want if I focus hard enough. I’m not lazy; I just know that bad shit does happen to good people … like me and all the other infertile girls I know. So why did this idea of an imagination cul-de-sac strike a cord? Well, I think it did because I’ve been in an infertility cul-de-sac for more than two years. And I’m ready to break out. I know that this desire to break out comes with some risk. My breakout might include kids or it might not. Both options come with their own pros and cons, but, regardless, I’m just tired of where I am. I’ve put a lot of things on hold for our baby-making efforts. We’ve put a lot of time and energy and money into it, too, and we’re ready to move. (Not to go all English teacher on my readers, but this is what James Joyce focused most of his work: stuckness.) We’re ready to be somewhere else. Aren’t you?

Here’s to a new road map, a new street, a new neighborhood. Here’s to a road that doesn’t involve a turnaround or a dead end. Here’s to the certainty that anything, everything is better than being stuck in the land of if. Here’s to using the word when.

dfb

 

Patience

Image

My dad took this shot on a recent vacation to Easter Island. There is something about this picture — the color, the statues, the thought of my dad waiting for hours for the right light — that I love. When my dad was younger he went to Greece and Israel one summer. He saw all of the amazing historical sights and took some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen. And we’re talking film camera, no digital zoom, no photoshop. He loved to capture the light as it played with the buildings and, like Ansel Adams, he would often times wait at one spot for hours just to get the right light for the shot. Not much has changed in my dad’s desire to wait for the right time. Sure the camera is digital and the zoom is too, but his patience continues to pay off.

We have decided to push back our next IVF cycle one month. Patience, I hear my dad telling me. Have patience to wait for the right time. This month was the right time until the doctor charted out the beginning of shots and ultrasounds and blood work. Right smack at the start of it all is my brother-in-law’s wedding and a 4-day camping trip with students. Neither make taking meds or getting blood drawn or focusing on making a baby very easy. So while I was at first frustrated with the delay, I was actually freed by the decision once we told our doctor. We will now be fully on summer break for a June cycle. There will be no obstacles. No work. No nothing. And we can put ourselves into this cycle fully and completely and that’s the best feeling I’ve had about IVF in months.

Guns N Roses got it right. My dad did too. All we need is just a little patience …

dfb