Tuesday, June 30, 2009


For my second post of the day, I have actually gone back and read my own archives to see if I was in this much pain after the last retrieval. The answer is no.

Is this a bad sign? Has anyone ever felt worse after retrieval as time goes on? I am crampy and it hurts to pee or sit down too suddenly. I have to walk in a sort of hunched over way and if I stretch out in any kind of diagonal direction I actually make myself yelp. I had to drive to Topanga today (windy mountain road) and it turns out that you actually use your stomach muscles a lot in twisty driving - I had to keep pulling over to let people with working abs pass me.

I'm not sure what my E2 was, but there was no mention of possible OHSS. I haven't gained any weight or become nauseous. I don't have a fever. All of my googling has turned up a million stories about pain after retrieval, so I'm not super worried. Still, it doesn't seem like a good thing. 

Technical Terms

I got the fert report from the clinic coordinator this morning. She said, and I quote: of the ten eggs, two "died" and two were "broken".

Not sure what that means, but the other 6 fertilized "beautifully", so I'm trying to just be glad that something in there seems to be working. I'll know more Thursday morning - in the meantime, I am still in the "whatever" mindset, so none of this is either getting my hopes up or bringing me down. I'm not even trying to be all zen about it, I just don't have that level of excitement that I used to think was so unavoidable.

I used to take each step as a cleared hurdle - yay, retrieval! yay, fertilization! etc. - but now I know that it's not about making it through each minor part of the process. Anything can happen, and all of those milestones don't really mean as much to me anymore. There are a million light years between where I am now and a sibling for my daughter, and I know that every journey starts with a single step, blah blah blah. But for now I'm looking at the big picture, not "futurizing" (as my daughter's ed. psych. says) and just focussing on the fact that I will be able to know in my heart that I did everything I could, that one way or the other I will be at peace with all of this.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Get

So, my husband has the kind of job that absolutely doesn't allow any time off. I suppose if I were in a terrible accident he would be allowed to leave, but being late is just not an option. He works in film production, which means that any lost time has to be covered by production insurance. Which means that a bonding company has to okay anything that may or may not affect production. Plus, my husband can't just have someone cover him because he's contractually obligated to do it himself.

All of which meant that I had to hire a chauffeur to drive me to my retrieval this morning. Yep, I went in style, a big black town-car and a hunky wanna-be at the wheel. Considering how tender things can be "down there" after the procedure, I'm actually glad I wasn't going home in my husband's little gas-miser. There is something to be said for a giant leather back seat, after all.

I won't know much until tomorrow, of course. Of the thirteen, ten seemed mature. Because my husband couldn't be there they will have to use his frozen "specimen", which we have never done before. I've heard that it can actually be better in some cases since the thawing and washing process winnows out the bad ones - but "fresh is best" is the usual recommendation, so I am a little nervous about it. My clinic ICSIs everything, so as long as there are a few good ones in there somewhere it should be okay, but adding one more thing to the list of "what-if"s isn't ideal.

My doctor said something funny just as I was going into the OR. The embryologist grasps the sperm by the tail, which immobilizes it so it can be manipulated. I had a sudden image of some kind of Harry Potter scene, of embryologist-wizard students learning these secrets. Maybe it was the fentanyl, but there is a kind of strange-magic quality to the whole process.

In any case, thanks for the book recommendations. I managed to borrow almost all of them from friends, but I was so out of it for most of the day that I just watched Mad Men and dozed. If all goes well, transfer will be on Saturday - which is perfect for a long weekend of books, with my husband around to fetch me whatever I call for (until Monday, anyway).

Fert report tomorrow morning.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This, That, The Other

Those follicles are still going strong, all within 14-17 mm. My doctor thinks we'll trigger tomorrow (Friday) for a Sunday retrieval. Which is unbelievably good timing, since it's the only day my husband can be there for his part in the process. We have three vials of his frozen "specimen" as a back-up, though.

I'm still relatively noncommittal about the whole thing. Follicles? Great. Retrieval? Sure. If I get to the point where I need a perinatologist, I'll start to think we may be onto something. Until then? Okay, fine, whatever.

As for bed-rest, my tivo is full of late-night shenannigans, Chelsea Lately and Craig Ferguson. I love that Craig - he's wry and sweet at the same time, which turns out to be charming. And Chelsea is lewd and smart, also a good combo. So, I hope they can amuse me for a few days. I have more or less given up on regular TV - it's not that I don't like anything, but I can't commit to keeping up with a plot line of any kind.

My emergency TV is My So-Called Life. I bought the whole thing on DVD a few years ago, but I never watched it. Somehow, I thought it would be best to save it in case I ever really needed to be distracted. I watched the first three discs earlier this year, after the baby died. It seems silly to rely on TV to help you through a crisis, but I have to say the time-wasting was just what I needed.

Other than that, I need to get a good book. A really good book. I loved The Time Traveler's Wife and there are rumors that the author has another book coming out soon - but not soon enough for any upcoming bed rest. So - any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baker's Dozen

Four on the left, nine on the right.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Here, Again

Well, here I am again. Gallons of follistim, desamethasone working it's insomniac magic on me in the wee hours, acupuncture and supplements and meditation and whatever the hell else I can come up with...

But I'm beyond hope this time. It used to be that I was just too nervous to admit that I was hoping much, even secretly. It wasn't so much the genuine disappointment of a failed cycle that I was trying to protect myself from. I wanted to be able to be objective so that failure wouldn't feel personal. I wanted to be able to shrug off a bad cycle so I could gather myself together for the next one. I was trying to be strong and realistic and determined without letting myself care too much - but it doesn't matter how much you tell yourself that you won't hope if deep in your heart you know you're wishing as hard as you can.

I've been stuck for so long in the in-between phase, knowing that hope isn't going to help me but unable to keep it completely at bay. Hope, wish, want. How could I completely separate the process from the goal? Impossible, really - the goal is the only reason for the process. But this time, the goal has changed for me. I just don't want to leave this unfinished. I'm not expecting anything but closure.

And I can write all of that here and know that it makes sense - but you can bet that if I said it to most people the first thing I'd hear would be "It'll probably happen now that you've just relaxed and stopped worrying so much!"