Let’s Break (It) Down

  • I did my trigger shot Tuesday evening on 11/1.
  • Thursday, on 11/3 was my egg retrieval.
  • Roughly 36 hours after the retrieval, Friday, 11/4, I got the call at work from my doctor. 

Now I’m going to break it all down. 

Thursday morning we arrived for my egg retrieval. Despite being completely nervous about the anesthesia I was feeling alright. We were taken back into the surgical area where they had me change, and informed me about the anesthesia. Top picture is of my IV of saline. Interestingly enough or, if you’ve been following my blog, this won’t surprise you: they had an extremely difficult time finding a vein they could work with. 

 

Below was my view,  prior to the retrieval. It was ominous. I watched the woman before me who was also having a retrieval walk in. I also saw her on the recovery side. 

The one thing I don’t understand? No makeup, no nailpolish, no hair scrungies (as they called them) are allowed. But yet I walked in that day IN these socks…had the procedure with them on…and left with the socks never being removed. Logic? None as far as I’m concerned. And that, is my lovely hair net thing. Yuck. 

 

The doctor then came over to introduce himself. (I knew it wouldn’t be my doctor performing the procedure, which I was perfectly fine with. We were informed of all of these factors at our initial consultation.) Until he spoke to us, time truly felt as though it was standing still. He was calm. Soft spoken. Shook our hands. Started talking about what he was hoping would happen,”I should be able to get 4-6 eggs today. So well hope for the 6. I’ll see you back there.” 
…I broke…
Sunday I was told there were 8 follicles. HOW WAS HE ONLY PLANNING ON 4-6?! I looked at DH and in a completely unflustered voice said, “this isn’t going to work. This is a loss. I can tell this isn’t going to work.” Tears slowly started welling in my eyes. Immediately I chastised myself about crying, took a deep breath, and was overcome with coldness. 
Rigidly sitting there in my chair, my fingers kept frantically edging their way around the hair cap or whatever it is called. Less than 20minutes later, the nurse came over. I was up. I’ll spare the details of walking in, the conversations once in the OR, and my other memories. Fast forward, well I don’t know how long exactly…and I’m in recovery. 
I felt good. Surprisingly good to be quite truthful. The nurse checked to see if there was any bleeding, none; and then asked if I wanted something to eat and drink. My choice was that of a five year old, animal crackers and apple juice. Listen, we were stopping at Starbucks afterwards, so I wasn’t going to fill up on crappy coffee or a bad pastry. As I was sitting there, I could overhear the nurse telling prior egg retrieval patient how well her procedure went, and the medication outline for the next few days. She then popped into my curtained area and asked if I wanted her to get DH. Yes, obviously. Minutes later he was sitting beside me asking how I felt. 

She seemed to reappear shortly thereafter, and indicated that the doctor was going to come over to speak to us. I looked at DH and said, “this is bad. This is very bad. Something is wrong.” From the split second she uttered those words, it was like I was having an out of body experience. The soft spoken and calm doctor was back. “How are you feeling?” he asked. “Ok.” I responded. “I’m afraid things didn’t go as we were planning.” Cue my usual direct and questioning attitude floating away. With that my fiery temper also seemed to instantly disappear. “Unfortunately, we were only able to get one egg. I was planning on 4-6 but it just didn’t happen. I’m so sorry. Also, one of the follicles that was measuring on the left, was not a follicle, it’s a cyst. I don’t know who was doing your ultrasounds or what your doctor was looking at, but this definitely shouldn’t have gone undetected. You need to follow up with your doctor about that. Again, I’m so sorry that things didn’t go the way you or I was planning.”
I really want to say the world stopped spinning, but it didn’t; it fell out from underneath me. I was white hot with unparalleled rage. HOW was there only one? WHAT were they counting? WHO told me there were 8? HOW was this cyst missed? HIS coworker is my doctor, and he was surprised she missed this? WHAT the actual fuck? WHO do I trust, him or my doctor? And my last thought, “I knew from the beginning this wouldn’t work.” This time no tears formed. I was borderline psychotic and completely paralyzed with shock, and immediately launched myself into the statistics. After a few minutes of mental calculations, I knew this round was over. I wouldn’t need the follow up call the next day, there was truly no need for it to take place as there wouldn’t be any good news. We finally we able to leave. I got in the truck, tried to fall asleep, and immediately started sobbing. Here’s a visual for you, I looked like a St. Bernard covered in slobber. I called my mom. I called my MIL, and texted those that knew what was going on. Everyone said the same thing “it only takes one.” After a few explanations that we were already at a negative starting point, all I wanted to do was sleep and forget this entire experience. Upon arriving home I did sleep after watching two hours of TV. Physically I felt alright, just a heaviness like pre-period cramps, but was exhausted. 
Well…that one didn’t take per the phone call Friday afternoon with my doctor. So for the sake of my sanity, please never say that to me again. Was I surprised absolutely not. Did I cry? Nope. Did I want to punch a wall? Certainly. The call sucked, the rest of my day sucked, and that entire weekend sucked. I don’t think I cried anymore after Friday evening and talking with DH. 
Until Saturday, 11/12 when I sat down to write this blog. I completely crumbled into a billion little pieces. I’ll get into that another time. 

Here’s really what I’d like to say…

A massive fuck you to my first doctor. The doctor that told me in the beginning of 2016 that we had a 95% chance of being pregnant by the end of the year. Thank you for etching that into my brain. Thank you for constantly making me feel like a failure and a huge disappointment to myself, my husband, and my family. You have demolished every ounce of faint hope that I ever possessed in this year. I was convinced after leaving your office that day I’d be pregnant for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Those were milestones I anticipated despite knowing there was a chance it wouldn’t happen. Well, now those times start a week from today, and I blame you for my misery, sadness, and the facade of happiness I have to display. FUCK YOU for making bold and brash statements that I allowed my sanity to cling to, and now I sit here with barely a shred left. 

This week. THIS week. THIS WEEK!

Wednesday through Saturday afternoon of this week had me feeling like a mouse on a wheel in its cage. I just kept running and running, at first it was fun and almost exciting, but that changed. It became exhausting, challenging, and supremely frustrating. There were problems almost daily; treks out to get more medications, pharmacies that couldn’t fill my prescriptions, people that provided wrong information, and HOURS on the phone. 
Fast forward to 7:30am this morning at my UltraBlood appointment. (Yes, I had one last Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.) My veins are fried. There is scar tissue on both sides, bruises, and hard veins to get in first place. Insert butterfly needle into bruise, and through scar tissue. The woman must have sensed it hurt, as she asked “are you ok?” I’m undecided if it was m clenched jaw or my white knuckles wrapped around the stress ball I was squeezing. A simple nod was all she got in response. Back into the waiting room I went. Then “Lois” came to get me for my ultrasound. She told me that things looked good on Friday and she had high hopes for me today. (I didn’t need her commentary, I had enough of my own hopes running through my head.) Up on tnd gable, and the ultrasound games begin…”starting with your right ovary…” At this moment while half asleep I realize she is going to give me the play by play. Peeking up slightly I responded “ok.” Whoosh, whoosh, click click, whoosh, click, whoosh whoosh, click click click. “You have five follicles on the right measuring between 14 and 16.4! And let’s go over to your left…” I lay there dumbfounded and mutter “oh. Five? Ok.” Another series of whooshes, clicks, pressing down on my abdomen, and “Lois” states, “three follicles on this side, 11, 12, and 16!” “Really?” I questioned her. “Yes, they’re looking great.” Repeating thank you over and over silently in my mind, I gave a small smile and a nod and told her to enjoy the rest of her day.
I quickly walk out to the waiting room and tell DH that “Lois” spoke to me the entire time. He gave me a concerned look, and I told him, “it was great!” And rattled off my measurements. Listen I know these aren’t amazing numbers, or huge follicles, but I’ve been lucky in the past to get two follicles above 14. So not only do I have eight total, more than half are measuring above 14. It’s a freaking miracle people. (Fully aware that it’s not, but allow me to enjoy my few minutes.)
Early this afternoon the nurse calls me to give me update information about my injections. I am doing the same combination, Gonal F at 75, a dose of Cetrotide, and 150 of the Menopur. She informed me my estrogen level was at 800 something, I have it written down but I’m in a comfy blanket cocoon as I type this so I’m not getting up. She then says ” you will either be triggering Monday or night Tuesday!” I gasped. “Isn’t it exciting? We need to get you in here tomorrow morning to see where things are, but it will be happening this week. Congratulations!” “I…thank…uhh, yes. Ok. This week!” was my eloquent response. 
After fisnighing confirming everything with her and taking my notes, the call was over. I scrambled into the living room, and told him the news. We high fived! It sounds lame, but it is by far the most excited we’ve been throughout all of this. Sitting there chatting and figuring out the days, and logistics, and everything else was elating.
Then the dread kicked in. Can’t I keep growing the eggs? Yes, they’ve grown slowly, but it’s going well. They’re INSIDE of me. My face drops. Things are correct. There are no problems. I don’t want the anesthesia. What if the eggs aren’t good enough? What will happen if  we don’t even get to an embryo transfer? My palms are clammy. I couldn’t help but to immediately start anticipating the worst. 
Almost five hours later, I’m more relaxed. I’ve trusted the process this far, despite my natural tendency to be pessimistic. I’ve begrudgingly taken it one day at a time, because that’s how your life is when dealing with infertility. But here I sit, optimistic and petrified, all rolled into one ball of hormones!