Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meet-cute or the story of how a boy and girl met in NYC (and neither of them turned out to be a bunny boiler)

I thought I'd share our meet-cute story during this waiting period. Enjoy the kismet.

A Boy and a Girl are out on the town (separately) in NYC. As the clock strikes three, the Girl gets into a cab with her girlfriend, calling it a night. When the Girl arrives at her apartment, the friend realizes she's left her purse in the cab. The Girl calls her friend's phone for ten minutes but the driver never picks up.

Across town, a Boy walks out of a bar and into a cab. As he climbs in, the floor of the cab begins to ring. He reaches down and picks up a purse, pulling out the phone. He answers it.

The Girl is relieved to finally hear a voice on the other end of the line and her interest is peaked by his yummy Australian accent. The Girl asks to meet to get the phone back but as it is 3:30am he tells them to come by his place in SoHo in the morning to pick up the purse and phone.

The Boy hangs up, liking the sound of the young Girl's voice down the line. He may even wake up a few minutes early to shower before she arrives in the morning.

The next day, the Girl and her friend make their way to his apartment and the girl has one question on her mind, will his face and bod be as hot as his voice??? Not taking any chances, the Girl puts a little more effort into her appearance. When she arrives, the Boy opens his door and it is love (er... make that lust) at first sight. He asks her out that very night and the rest is history.

The date was January 26, 2003 (coincidentally, Australia Day, which means hubby never forgets the anniversary!).

Friday, June 22, 2012

The waiting game

The embryos are in but the big question is, will they take??

After the transfer comes the dreaded two week wait. Two frustrating, hair pulling, second-guessing-everything-your body-is-doing weeks! 

After the transfer, I was instructed to be on bed rest for 48 hours. I ain't gonna lie, it was awesome! I  got to lay in bed, guilt-free, watching bad reality TV (is there good reality TV?), reading girlie books, having my hubby bring me all meals in bed (woot!), and of course, surfing the net (do people still say that or is there a newbie phrase for internet time-suckage?).

But then the waiting began. In total there will be fourteen days of waiting until the first pregnancy test. And with the waiting comes the paranoia. OMG, I feel dehydrated, I must be pregnant! OMG, I feel a cramp, I’m not pregnant! OMG, I have to pee all the time- preggers! And so on, day after day.
Some women say they just ‘knew’ the moment they conceived and I must say I do not trust such women.  It’s easy to say you knew after you have a positive test in your hand. But how many women say the ‘knew’ only to find out they were wrong? We’ll never know b/c they would never tell. Well, I am not that woman. I HAVE NO IDEA!

So far, I have had every sign and no signs that I may be pregnant. It’s very frustrating and during my time of need I turn to my favorite therapist, Google Search. As with any good therapist, she turns my questions and inquiries back on me, and I am always back where I started- unsure and driving myself crazy! Only time will tell.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Womb for two

The shots are done (woot woot!), which means time for egg retrieval!

On the day of the retrieval, I checked into the office, changed into a backless hospital gown (easy access!), slipper socks, and snuggled into the hospital bed. Then the anesthesiologist pumped me full of sleepy drugs and I was wheeled into the procedure room. The doc came in and mid-sentence I was out (the story they ask you to tell is how you met your husband/partner. Isn't that sweet? What a nice thing to be thinking about as they retrieve your eggs for baby. Of course, I only got to the part where the phone was left in the cab before I zonked out. When they put the embryos in three days later, the doc asked for the rest of the story).

When I woke up I was out of the procedure room, sans a half dozen eggs. The doctor suctioned those babies right outta me. It was painless. I felt a little bit of cramping afterwards but nothing worse than mild period pains.
Next, they whisked those plump eggs off and into the little lab and magic happened. My hubby’s spermies were united with my eggs and they became embryos. I would have liked to have played them some Marvin Gaye but alas, I was not allowed in the room.
"Babies 1st picture"
I am not delusion. I realize this picture is
only exciting for hubby, me, and grandma.  

Three days later I was back in a little room, the lights were dimmed, candles lit, and soft music played (no joke) as the doc placed two little embryos in me (they gave me the "babies" first picture at that time too). I watched on the ultrasound as they dropped them into my womb. Then the doctor left my husband, babies, and me alone for an hour as they made a cozy home for themselves.
It was serene and peaceful until the forty-five minute mark hit and I had to pee, bad. Very bad. You are asked to come in with a full bladder- because it will press down on your uterus, making it easier for the embryo transfer- but then you need to lay flat for an hour. I was desperate for a Depends and trying to tell myself that I could hold it for just fifteen more minutes. These babies need it! I held that pee in and when the nurse finally relieved me, I raced to the toilet and relieved myself.

And so I made my first sacrifice as a mother. Okay, I think I've made a LOT of sacrifices for baby but I don't care. Fingers crossed, it was effen worth it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A shot in the dark

When I began IVF I made a decision to cut back on my drinking. To be clear, my doctor said it was fine to drink (in moderation) but I didn't want to risk having to go through this whole process again. So I refrained, except on a couple special occasions.
On one particular evening (a day spent wine tasting, which turned into night), I put a little reminder up so I would not forget my shots (the tipsy mind is not the most reliable!):

The reminder was a success but I did make my husband stand next to me to check I was mixing and injecting everything correctly. Safety first!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is that a dozen needles in you or are you just happy to see me?

I had never even considered acupuncture until I started going through fertility treatments. I had no idea what to expect when I went in to my visit except there are scary needles involved that supposedly don't hurt.

Here's what really goes on during a typical visit:

First of all, acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) have been around for thousands of years, so they've had lots of time to perfect their methods and the doctors and practitioners deal with you as a person and not just you as a problem to solve.

During a typical visit, I am asked about my mood, stress, sleep, exercise, and diet. But they also ask for the most basic signs that my body may be telling me something is not right. They ask about my bowel movements (this was quite surprising when they first asked and I was like, "... er, fine. Beautiful. Would you like to see?") But now I just describe "it" to them. I always keep a straight face as I go into poetic detail about my poopy but Inner B is giggling behind me like a ten-year-old.

Then they ask to see my tongue and they check my pulse. If my pulse is sluggish, for example, it means my circulation is poor and they will do treatment to increase my blood circulation. The science behind it is much more complex but this is what I can tell you in layman's terms.

Now some women say they went to acupuncture JUST ONCE and OMG they got pregnant! And, yes, that does happen, but more likely your body will need time. It's like exercise, you can go once and it may make you feel good, but it takes times for your body to respond and improve.

What does it do for pregnant women (besides improve their overall health)? It can increase your hormones, improves your egg quality, and FSH levels, among other things.

But I know what your real question is: DOES IT HURT? 

The answer is no. Okay, sometimes you feel a tiny pinch when the needle goes in but if you have a Doctor who has been doing it for years, you'll hardly feel anything.

As you lay on the table you're meant to relax, sleep, or meditate but I often find my mind wandering to darker thoughts... about an earthquake happening in the middle of the treatment and me having to run out with all these needles sticking out of me or what if I fall of the table and onto all those needles?!! Of course, that never happens. But what if??

The other part of acupuncture treatment are the herbs. If you really want the treatment to work, you need to take herbs. How do you take them? As a tea. You can either take them as a powder that dissolves into hot water or boil raw herbs into a tea. I do the later b/c it is more effective (though it tastes like dirt with cinnamon on top. But the benefit is so great, I don't mind. Or at least, I put up with it.)

So that's your 101 on acupuncture. I hope you have enjoyed this honest look into the world of Eastern medicine. I will be quizzing you next week.


Monday, June 11, 2012

The first time

D-day has arrived and gone. I have given myself the first round of injections  (and more). I ain't gonna lie, I was terrified. But for anyone who has to do this it is not as bad as you fear it will be. But I'll get to that in a minute.

The night I had to jab myself, I laid out all the paraphernalia (needles, viles, syringes, alcohol swaps, and the big red "hazardous material" carton). I made my husband stand by my side for moral support (actually, he was by my side almost every time I've given myself the injections). I decided to do the scariest looking needle first (Menopur). I mixed the viles (instruction pamphlet and nurses notes nearby). I pinched a handful of my skin just under my belly button as instructed, took the needle in hand, and stood posed and ready to go... for an hour (okay, it was more like twenty minutes but it felt like a bloody hour!). I'd bring it close to my skin, then pull it away. I'd even tease myself, letting the needle poke at my belly but I wouldn't push it in. To rev myself up, I'd bite my lip really hard and tell myself that biting my lip hurts worse then these shots will.

My mantra switched between:  "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this!" to "I can do this. I can do this. I can do this."

Finally I did do it. I stuck those needles in. And you know what, it wasn't that bad. What freaked me out most wasn't pushing the needle in (okay, that was freaky too) but pushing the drugs from the needle into my belly.

(For anyone that may have to do this, I will let you know that the Menopur shot stings a teeny tiny bit as it goes in. Nothing to really worry about, but you do feel a slight discomfort as it goes in- or at least I did. But truly nothing bad. The Gonal-F shot was a breeze. The needle is easy and painless (almost) and you can't feel the medicine.)

I've gone through the ritual for several nights now and it became less and less scary. Once I realized that the needles will just slide right in, no resistance, the fear soon evaporated.

Except for this one time...

...but that's another story.

If you are curious what this looks like, here is a video I watched on Youtube that helped me prep for my shots. (this is NOT me).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Labor pains

When I first saw the Gonal-F needle presented to me at the doctor's office, I thought this won't be so bad. It's only a small needle. But when you bring that needle home and cradle it in your hands it is a completely different story.

It's only what??
When I mused about the fear of turning my tummy into a brothel for needles (up to three pricks a night!) my husband's response was: "It's only pain."

After I resisted the urge to hit my darling husband, I told him I was going to ask my doctor for ploceba shots so he can experience this little "it's only pain" journey for himself.

And if this is the kind of comforting advice he's gonna give me as I try to squeeze a watermelon out of a lemon hole, hand me the gun now.

Monday, June 4, 2012

IVF cocktail

 Yes, I'm doing this willingly.

Strap me down. I'm ready to go!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The truth and nothing but the truth

I’ve had to fill out many New Patient Forms over the past few years and I just completed yet another one for our new fertility specialist.

There’s the version you tell your doctor and then there’s the other version:


                Marital Status: (circle one) M   S   W   D   SEP

                Smoking: ___N/A______ (how many) packs per day for __N/A____ years
(Okay there were those months as a student in London but I had to! If I was gonna be sucking down second hand smoke every day, I might as well enjoy the whole damn cigarette)

                Alcohol: __8-10__ (number) drinks per week

(errr… make that 16 drinks a week . What can I say, we’ve got numerous social engagements; birthday parties, work functions, sporting events, dinner dates, oh my. It adds up! But before you call me an alcoholic I can refrain! I went cold turkey for three months during the IUI/Chlomid cycles… and I looked damn good.)

                Recreational  Drug Use:  __No___
 (One word: college)

                Special Diet: __Vegetarian____
(except when I eat meat)

                Exercise Routine: ___Run 2-4x/wk, cardio at gym 2x/wk, yoga, hike, bike __ (No need to lie here. I’m damn proud that I get my ass up and work it girl!)

MENSTRUAL HISTORY                  

                Age at first period ___12______ (Maybe if I started trying then, I’d be preggers by now) 

                Age at menopause __n/a_____

                Period interval is __24-27______ days   (I better know this- I’ve been tracking it for three years!)

Duration is approximately ___4-5______days

                Do you have pain or cramps with your period?  ___no__ (YES! My heart is torn out of my chest every time it comes!)

                Do you bleed or spot after intercourse? ___No____ (except from the handcuffs. Does that count?)         


Present method of contraceptive ____n/a____

Previous methods:

Method                                               Duration                                             

The Pill                                                  16 years
(before you start your calculations- I originally got on it to regulate my periods. I swear.)

                                Pull Out
(to all you kiddies out there- this is NOT a viable method! But when you’re in a jam, you pretend it is.)                                        


Do you have pain in your pelvis or female organs?  ___No___ (except when I get waxed- that fuckin kills my female organ)
                If yes, Explain: _________________________________________________________
                How often do you have intercourse: __Approx 2-3x/wk____
(Does oral count? Can I change my answer to 4-5x/wk? My husband is satisfied!)

Sexual history:
                Satisfactory __Yes___
(Are we talking my overall sexual history? Well, there was that bartender in Cabo… he would have made my sexual history exemplary. Oh, well… I’ll have to stick with satisfactory.)                   

                Wish to discuss __No___
(that’s what my girlfriends and a bottle of wine are for)

                Do you have a history of infertility? __Yes____

                If yes, explain: __grab a drink- this is gonna take a while___________