Tuesday, 10-13-09 (Day 28)
Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Because of nerves and swollen girl parts my appetite isn't what it used to be, so this little guy is back to it's original job of simply prepping my body to accept-and not reject-the new life that will soon be inside me.
Ciprofloxacin (500mg, oral pill): These are still ridiculously big.
Dostinex (.5mg, oral pill): Tonight I took the last of my little estrogen dropping pills, and I'll remain grateful for their ability to keep my bloating and swelling in check. I wasn't in nearly as much pain as I was last time, and I'm just about back down to my normal pooch.
PIO (1ml, IM injection): I'm pretty sure having to ice an entire side of my cheek hurts worse than these shots, because I'm trying so hard to numb the area that I end up with freezer burn.
And my husband is disgusted that I don't sanitize the ice pack afterward.
Egg Transfer: Completely uncharacteristic of early October weather in California, a perfect storm was raging today. I woke up to dark, clouded sky's pouring down the heavy rain, and blustery wind raging through and destroying anything in it's path.
It was beautiful.
I'm not a huge fan of the rain; mostly because it messes up hair and clothes and makes driving difficult, but I've always loved the first real storm of the year. There's nothing more cozy then listening to the rain bounce off the windows while your snuggled up and warm, especially right after a dry, hot summer. So when I woke up this morning and saw the gloomy weather, I couldn't think of a better day to do an egg transfer.
Every minute that drew closer to my appointment time without a phone call telling me not to come was a good thing, because that meant I must still have some little embryos growing. My heart was still beating faster than it should, but I took my time getting ready and calmed myself with prayer and my iPod playing inspirational songs. I wanted to enjoy every moment of this day and try my best to remain positive, all while trying to look good for the first introduction to my embryos.
As our in-laws drove us through the storm and partially flooded streets of Sacramento, I started to get anxious. Not only because it was about 15 minutes until our appointment time and we were late because of the traffic caused by broken tree limbs setting in the middle of the freeway and partially flooded streets, but because my phone was ringing.
And it was the doctors office.
My heart skipped a beat or too, and I felt light headed. As I answered the phone, I prayed they weren't calling to let me know that they just checked on my precious pumpkins and found them all arrested, canceling today's transfer and our last shot at our own biological family. We were so close, and I just couldn't imagine it all ending now.
But despite my constant lack of faith, God continued to bless. The nurse had no information on the amount of embryos remaining or the status of their stages, but she did let us know that the embryologist just checked on them and the transfer was still on; and she was just calling to make sure we were safe in the storm.
And I could finally breath again.
Since we got the the office about 20 minutes late with a more than full bladder, they allowed me to release it and then start drinking again. There was only one other patient doing a transfer that day and she had arrived early, so they simply switched our appointments. And as I sat there drinking water to painfully overstuffed my bladder for the second time that day, all I could think about were my tiny little pumpkins and how many of them had survived.
Shortly after, we were called back to set in doctor Greene's office and told he would be with us in just a minute. We were both nervous as we waited for him to come in, having no idea what to expect. The room was silent as we sat perfectly still, contemplating the possibilities and scenarios of what we were about to jump into.
After the longest 30 seconds of my life, Dr. Greene entered the room and sat down in the chair across from us. He opened up his folder, and started pulling out pictures of our single grade 3 blast and our two grade 2 expanded blasts, all while explaining to us that the other three were still being watched closely for the possibility of reaching the blast stage and freezing.
I was shocked.
All six of our pumpkins were still alive and well, and half of them were blasts, with a third of them reaching the expanded blast stage. That is pretty amazing, given the statistics; and I could pretty much hear God in my head saying Oh ye of little faith, I told you so!
Or maybe it was the Dr. I was hearing, because he was shaking his finger at me and telling me I shouldn't be surprised. I had sent him a few e-mails to which he responded by telling me not to worry because everything was progressing well. He let me know that if there was cause for concern, he would have been truthful with me, but he insisted I relax and remain positive.
But I never listen, and now I was getting lectured for it over a picture of my beautiful blasts.
We spent a few minutes going over the details with the doctor and deciding our next steps. He gave us his recommendation of how many and which ones to transfer, and then left the room to allow my husband and I to make the final decision. We disputed for a few moments, contemplating the possibilities of our situation with open hearts and minds, and after another question or two my husband reached the decision that we were both most comfortable with. The doctor then informed the embryologist of our choice, and I was given a small yellow pill and whisked away into the transfer room.
I was told to remove my clothing from the waist down and set on the table. As I started to undress and my husband took his seat to the right of the bed, I tried to take a mental picture of the room and my surroundings, because I never wanted to forget any of this. And then I started to worry, realized how fast things were moving, wondering if the freshly taken Valium would kick in on time.
As I finished undressing and sat on the table, my husband peeked his head out to let them know we were ready. But as the team came in the room and took their places, they let me know that I was sitting on the wrong end of the table.
And I was still wearing my panties.
So after a quick and embarrassing switch up that I wished I could blame on the Valium (but couldn't because I'd only taken it five minutes prior), we were in position and ready to begin. I warned the nurse I may pee on her because my bladder was so incredibly full, but she ignored me and pressed hard on my pooch with the sonogram wand, trying to find my jelly bean shaped uterus, and the doctor assumed his usual southern position and and let me know that the nurse must like me, because she warmed up his speculum.
She must have liked me a lot, because it felt like a curling iron was being slid inside of me.
I knew the Valium hadn't kicked in yet because I could feel everything and I certainly wasn't relaxed. First I was flushed out with a cleaning liquid to remove all cervical mucous, and then a small catheter was inserted into my uterus, just like in an IUI, only this time I was able to watch the entire process on the computer screen. As soon as everything was in place, the embryologist was called in to finish up the process, bringing in his very own tiny catheter and placing it inside the larger one. We all watched as a tiny spark showed up on the screen where new life was placed inside of my womb for the very first time ever.
After the procedure, my bladder was drained using a small catheter. Let me tell you, there is nothing more embarrassing than an entire room listening to you pee for more than 5 minutes, while your feet are still up in stirrups and an awkward silence fills the room.
Oh, but it felt so much better.
For the final step of the process, I was left lying somewhat upside down as a precautionary. The doctor said that it wasn't necessary, but it just gives everything a chance to settle in and relax. He turned on some soothing music and my husband and I were left in the dim room for about an hour, hoping, praying, and of course texting.
And then it was over. I was given lab slips for my HCG betas, instructions to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting more than 10 pounds, and the assurance that as of right now, I'm pregnant. Bed rest wasn't necessary, but taking it easy was, so we headed to lunch and then back to my in-laws. I felt giddy the entire time, knowing that at least for the moment, there was life inside of me.
I swore that if we ever made it this far, I wouldn't be able to handle the wait, wondering if the Lord chose to bless us with a pregnancy. But to be quite honest, I've never felt more peaceful. The majority of the difficult waiting is over; the eggs have been grown and retrieved, they have lived and thrived, and God has allowed the doctor to place life inside of me. A mixture of my husband and myself is setting inside of me at this very moment, and I realize we've done all we can possibly do. We are secure in our decision of the amount transferred, and the rest is up to our Heavenly Father, there is nothing more we can do.
God has been with us and this process every step of the way, even during the times when I spent more energy worrying that trusting and believing in Him and His abilities. Our family, friends, and even some whom we've never met before have poured out their hearts and prayed for us and our precious pumpkins, and I know that God heard every single one of those prayers.
And He'll continue to hear the prayers as we wait to see what will come of this cycle, praising Him and hoping for a positive outcome.