Do any of you remember that song from Top Gun? It was a brilliant Kenny Loggins song called Danger Zone. Check it out and you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I'm in the zone. Not in a bad way, but whenever you have a container like the one above (that's my lovely sharps container with a little photo editing for effect) you have to ask yourself, what the hell is going on? I have a container full of biohazardous material in my house. Men in white suits are going to tent my house and take crazy readings a la E.T. I should be wearing gloves and a mask, for sure. But no. This is just the life of a needle addicted infertile trying to jack up her system and get pregnant.
My baseline ultrasound went swimmingly. Nice! I've been on daily Lupron and Follistim for two days now. I can hear my ovaries working overtime. And they are. I am no Follistim lightweight. I need shitloads of the stuff to make my vintage ovaries produce. And produce they will. They must. My acupuncturist reminded me: it is not the quantity rather the quality. Of course, but more than four eggs would be nice. Really nice. The best part of this entire cycle has been the lack of ass shots. Last cycle everything went into my high haunch/hip area. Not this time. All shots are in my new layer of stomach fat thanks to my lack of running or any real cardio in six months. At least that weight is good for something, right. But sub-cutaneous shots are a dream. My hubby feels a little left out, so I let him draw up the meds and help me push the Follistim trigger. It's too cute.
Other than these exciting and hazardous events, life is peachy. It's summer. My dog is adorable. My hubby is a champ. And I'm going to get pregnant.
Next doctor's visit is on Sunday. Will check on my hardworking ovaries and adjust meds as needed. Fun times.
Took my Hcg test and it was 1. As I told a friend … it wasn’t 1 million or 1 thousand. It was just 1. Here’s a little secret, I peed on a stick the morning of the test and knew it would come up negative. Made it a little easier to manage the day seeing as my doctor never got in touch with us. What, you ask? That’s right — apparently she doesn’t take faxes on Saturday, so she didn’t know the results until I called her at 7:30 P.M. Is she is a crazy bitch or is she just into torturing people? We think a little bit of both. Alas, there’s nothing we can do except crack open a bottle of wine, enjoy an injection-free morning, and look forward. And look forward we will do.
But, hindsight being 20/20, we have had some thoughts about our process. Firstly, failure was never an option for us. We never thought about it. We never thought IVF wouldn’t work. We thought once we got my eggs and my hubby’s sperm together, the rest would take care of itself. Secondly, because we never expected to fail, we never asked some key questions. Namely: what is the average number of cycles a woman goes through before conceiving? Nationally it’s three. Some women go through IVF more than 8 or 10 times. Some go through it only once. We all go through it for different reasons, but we would have gone in with a different mindset it we had asked about the national average. Of course it’s an average, but looking at three cycles (cost and emotional toll included) is different than expecting only one. Thirdly, at certain points along the way we needed to demand better care. This is not to say our doctor didn’t work to her best ability or the hospital to its, but there were some moments when our doctor treated us like a problem, like infertility, and not a couple dealing with a tough and very personal issue. Friend of ours who went through IVF thought we’d have a different experience because we went to a private doctor not a teaching clinic. Not so. Apparently jaded (at times asshole) fertility docs are everywhere.
Now — what to do next? I have never been so excited to be off hormones. And red wine never tasted so good. Even bad wine tasted like nectar from the gods. I’m hoping the night sweats fade and the leaky va-j-j is almost cleaned out. Of course, I know many of these symptoms will return when I do get pregnant, but for now I am happy to return to my body with my hormones.
Lots of conversation is to be had as to how we’re going to proceed. We’ll know more once we check in with out doc in person, get a second opinion, and move through the options how we can best build our family. For now, I am throwing myself at the mercy of the best acupuncturist in SF and listening to everything he tells me to do. He’s cheaper than IVF, and I love seeing my mom when I drift off. Not a bad deal.
When you don’t hear from your doctor you start thinking about the worst case scenarios. The eggs fell apart. We need to do this again. But then the doctor calls and really tells you what you never, ever want to hear: you could go through this again, but I would start thinking of Plan B — either egg donation or adoption. I appreciate that my doctor is to the point and focused on success (success meaning we expand our family), but seriously?! This is what she’s thinking?? You might as well slap me, maybe shoot me, and otherwise tell me I’m a failure. Awful. Terrible. Worst thing to ever hear. Ok, not as bad as my mom’s death, but this ranks a very close second. So I cried. And then I got a hold of myself.
WHAT THE FUCK???!!!!!!!!
Things could be worse. I did not get news that I am terminally ill. Neither did my husband or best friend or dad or brother or others that I love. As my BFF reminded me: miracles happen. As another friend reminded me: there is more than one way to become a parent. And, this process might not be over …. there are two embryos fighting the good fight in the lab. Yes, two! They are beating the odds and we’ll know more tomorrow, but we’re hoping those little suckers are fighters, just like me. They are long distance athletes: like me they get stronger the longer the race goes on.
Here’s to the two little ones in the lab. Here’s a big F-U to the world (momentarily). And here’s to getting a grip on this and conquering it. Like I said in my first post … put me on the starting line and I know I will finish. I may stumble and cry and take a few hits to my confidence, but by god I will finish!