I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong. This ISN'T going to be one of those posts where the infertile pours her pain out telling the world all the insensitive things her friends say and do. Nope! This post is full of love.
First a little history:
About a year ago K and I became fast friends. That's how it is overseas. I think there are a few factors that go into it. But, most importantly, it's that when living overseas your friends become your chosen family. Of course it helped that Jason and K's husbo, J, were having their own bromance. It wasn't long before K and J were our new favorite couple.
This all happened in the midst of the worst year of my life. In that year I went through 5 fertility treatments, 3 clomid cycles and 2 IVF cycles, all of which failed. K was always there always knowing just what to say. I often wondered how she knew whether I needed to cry or a pep talk. She just knew, I guess.
As we all know fertility treatments make you fat. So K and I started walking after school. We walked and talked about living overseas, travel and the things we miss about America. We talked about infertility and babies and her upcoming wedding. I knew K wanted to get pregnant right after her wedding. I knew they would start trying right away. And of course we talked about that too.
Now a whole lotta love:
Fast forward to August. Kelly was officially trying. We got our periods around the same time shortly after arriving back from summer break. It was so strange how it hit me. As I was picking myself up from the disappointment and gearing up for yet another cycle I knew that Kelly was going to get pregnant. This was all during my HPV debacle . This is when she showed her truly brilliant colors.
It's the hardest thing an infertile has to hear, her friend or sister or coworker telling a room full of people that she is pregnant. I think it's even harder to hear than getting a bad report from a doctor because it's public. It's so hard to explain but if you've been through this you know just how hard it is. How many of you have practiced your, "I'm so happy for you/are you fucking kidding me" face in the mirror?
This time, though, I didn't have to use it. It was the worst timing possible but K still knew just what to do. I had come home from getting my cervix scraped feeling weepy and still groggy from the anesthesia. K was 3 days late for her period so I asked and she told me. She didn't have to. She could have lied. Ha, thinking about it now maybe she didn't have a choice. Either way she knew just what to do. She told me. She told me before it was time to tell. She told me before she told her family. She told me before she told her oldest friend. She told me so that I wouldn't have to use that face.
And do you know what? It was different this time. I never had to grapple with all those mixed emotions in front of people or wonder if people felt sorry for me and were whispering. That thing, that pit in the bottom of your stomach, I never felt it. Somehow that made everything different. I can't explain it. Because now we still talk just as we always have. We talk about living overseas and travel and the things we miss about America. We talk about infertility and babies and her pregnancy. I knew K was a dear friend. I knew she always knew just what to say. And, of course, we talk about that too.
So, pregnant friends of infertiles take note. Do what you've always done, talk to your friend just as you always have. Chances are, you'll keep talking.
Ten years ago on a beautiful September morning I was rushing around the house getting my things together. I had just called the taxi to come. I wanted to catch a 9am train into Manhattan. I was excited and nervous. In just three days I was going to leave for a trip around the world. Everything was ready to go except for one thing, I had to go into the city to get my visa for India. I had my bag in my hands and I was watching out the window for the taxi when my phone rang. It was my mother. I almost didn't answer it. She was not thrilled with my decision to travel around the world for a year by myself. I picked it up on the third ring. I heard her on the other end saying that something was happening and I couldn't go into Manhattan. I wasn't really listening and began talking over her. I remember getting frustrated with her and basically telling her I was going, whether she liked it or not. Finally, she got through. She said,"Kate, turn on the news. You're not going anywhere." She was right. I wasn't going into the city or anywhere for that matter. I turned on the television. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The first tower had been hit. News reporters were saying that a small private plane hit one of the towers. But there was so much smoke. Suddenly, I saw a small speck in the lower right hand corner of the television. Before I could process what it was it smashed into the second tower exploding as it hit. I couldn't make out what the reporter was saying. I was scared. The whole thing was so dreamlike. It took a few minutes before I knew what was really happening.
Those first few days I didn't want to believe that my trip would have to be canceled or postponed but I knew it would be. I remember the morning I was supposed to leave sitting on the back patio looking up into the sky. I could still see particles in the air from the fallen towers. I was numb but I knew I was among the lucky ones. No one in my immediate family was killed. A few came very close, but somehow made it out.
Soon, the smoke cleared. I saw my fellow New Yorkers change right before me. We were no longer rushing past each other eyes fixed. People looked at each other. People listened to each other. Shock turned to collective pride and I began to feel uplifted by the sense of community I felt. This feeling is what I held onto. This is what motivated me to continue on my interrupted path.
I never did take that trip. Instead, I headed in a new direction. I used the money I would have used for hostels, transportation and meals to pay for a masters degree. I still ended up traveling the world but, instead of doing it as a penny pinching backpacker I live and work abroad. I get to know the countries I visit more intimately. Along my path I have changed. I have become more compassionate and patient and friendly. I am truly blessed.
Ten years later I am still uplifted by humanity.
Ten years later I find myself on another interrupted path. I wonder in what direction it will take me. I wonder where it will lead me. I wonder how it will change me.
I thought I was doing everything right this time around.
I went to see the famous doctor.
I started acupuncture.
I take my vitamins.
I have been kind to my body for the last 3 months. THREE MONTHS of doing things right. Three months of finally feeling good. And for what? For it to all go to shit again.
It all started when I got my results back from the routine pap I had done in the famous doctor's office. I was sent an email from one of the office managers saying that I had evidence of high risk HPV in my pap and that I need to see a gyno immediately to have a colposcopy. Not an email you want to get. Then I looked at it and saw that the name and date of birth were wrong. I was relieved. I send an email back saying that the pap send to me was not mine. To make a very long and infuriating story short. It was informed that due to a clerical error my name and date of birth were entered incorrectly. Are you effing kidding me, Famous Doc? How can something like this happen?
Really God, really!?
So since they fucked up so bad I went for another liquid pap to make sure that I do, in fact, have high risk HPV. Surprisingly, I managed to stay relaxed. I reminded myself that there was no point in worrying until there was something to worry about. Instead I used the opportunity to go to a new doctor here in Delhi. I was feeling pretty good about things after seeing her.
It didn't last too long. As it turns out I DO, in fact, have high risk HPV.
Really God, really!
I'm a 35 year old married woman. How do I suddenly have HPV? How was this not checked in the last two paps I've had here? How did my IVF doc not see that there was something going on?
Really God, really!
Today I had my colposcopy. Luckily my period ended in time for me to go have the procedure today. We had off from school today for Eid. I tried to tell myself that I was grateful for this. I tried to stay calm. For some reason I just could help but sob on the operating room table as I waited for New Doc to come and take a look at my cervix. Did I know that I had reason to sob? Did I know that it wasn't going to be good news? Have I done something so bad that I deserve this? My cervix is covered with pre-cancer cells, covered. I'm still asking why no one noticed this the countless times doctors have been up in my business.
Really God, really!
The effected area is so big that I have to miss work on Friday to have a procedure that calls for me to be put under with general anesthesia. It means that I will need to allow my cervix to heal for up to three months before we can start trying to get pregnant again.
Really God, really!
And now, my acupuncture doctor might break up with me.
We spent two glorious nights in Istanbul, Turkey, albeit in a tiny, tiny bed. Istanbul has to be one of my favorite cities in the world. We took a boat ride, saw old buildings and ate amazing food (no more diet). It was a great start to the summer.
Long Island, New York. 2 nights, tiny bed. We sort of used my parent's house as a home base in the US this summer so it was the most slept in bed.
Orlando, Florida. 8 nights in another tiny bed (notice a trend here?). This is where my
in-laws live. We had a nice time going to farmer's markets, Disney, and just generally hanging out and relaxing. The highlight of the trip was meeting a friend from India and her 17 siblings at the Magic Kingdom. What an incredible family. Her parents had Alicia and her older brother without any trouble. Then they struggled with infertility and ended up having triplets with the help of IVF. After that her parents began adopting children from all over the world, many with special needs. The kid's ages range from 4-34. All I can say is, "Wow!"
Murphy Lake, Minnesota. 13 nights in THE most comfortable bed all summer. There was a lot happening the two weeks we spent there. Jason's grandmother, who had been suffering from lung cancer decided it was her time to go. She passed away two days after we got there. It was sad, as funerals are. But Jason and I were so grateful that we were there and could be with family. Gramma Nancy had a plan and I know she would have been so pleased to see us all together eating bars and telling stories. She was a pretty cool lady. We had fallen in love with Murphy Lake the summer before and had decided that we wanted to buy a place there. As you can tell with this blog post, our summers can be hectic. We really wanted to find somewhere we could spend a few months a year in the fresh air. We found a place that was perfect. So perfect, in fact, we didn't even look at another place. From the day we went to look at the house to closing day was about 4 weeks. It was surprisingly easy to buy a house.
Back to Bed #2 for three nights to hang with my family and eat lots of yummy seafood.
Liberty, NY. Our first pitstop on a our wedding road trip. Nothing to report here. It was your average Holiday Inn bed. Big, comfy and overpriced. But it was a much needed rest stop on our way to Ottawa.
Ottawa, Canada. Two nights on a futon was worth seeing our dear friends Kristi and Jason. It was so good catching up with them. I miss them loads and wish I could see them more than maybe once a year.
Grand Falls, New Brunswick. After a long drive through Quebec we were looking for a place to eat some dinner and sleep. After making a few wrong turns off the Trans Canada we ended up finding this local joint called Le Kozy. They had amazing BBQ ribs. And it was so much fun listening to the locals meander between English and French effortlessly. We also learned as we were sitting there that, in true Canadian fashion (being that it's like America but different) they are in a time zone east of EASTERN STANDARD TIME! What?! Here we are at the falls.
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Same as Bed #5. This was a pitstop to meet up with our friends before the wedding. It was Canada Day which is like The 4th of July. Another example of Canada being like America, but different. The Bride's parents had all the guests at their house for lobster rolls, games and fire works. Jason and I were the only two that showed up in Canada T-shirts. They are like 4th of July shirts, but different.
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Three nights in what may have been the tiniest bed all summer. Hotel owners please take note: A full size bed is not intended for two people. Anyway, we had lots of fun catching up with old friends. The wedding was lots of fun. I woke up the next morning sore from all the boogying the night before. Jason and I definitely misbehaved ourselves. Nova Scotia is crazy beautiful and I'm pretty sure we overdosed on lobster and mussels by the end of our trip.
Prince Edward Island, Canada. After the wedding we headed up to PEI to eat more mussels and visit more friends from our days in Korea. Our friend's son was my student when he was a second grader and is now going into middle school. It was so cool sitting around and talking with him.
Fryeburg, Maine. Two nights hanging with friends from India. There is nothing like being with friends from India, not even being with friends from Korea. We are lucky to have friends and family who are supportive and even curious about what we do, but, it's our friends in India that truly get it. It was here that I got the inspiration for this blog entry. Our friends had also slept in 13 different beds this summer.
Danville, Vermont for wedding #2. Three nights at Injunjoe's Cabins. This little piece of Americana was by far the best place we stayed all summer. It was, also, the most uncomfortable bed we slept in. It was owned by this little old Quebecois lady that we affectionately called Nona. It was built in the 50's and hasn't been updated since. We shared a little cabin with Alicia (the one with 17 siblings). There were about 45 other guests from the wedding there and it turned into quite the party place. Like hanging with friends from India, there is, also, nothing like meeting friends and family of our friends from India.
Needless to say the wedding itself was loads of fun. There was more misbehaving andI woke up the following day feeling sore from getting down on the dance floor.
The day after the wedding was spent in the sunshine hanging with the newlyweds eating left over guacamole and drinking micheladas. That day we decided that we really wanted to head back to MN for the closing. So the next day we headed back to bed #2 for two nights and then flew to MN in time for the closing.
We slept in Bed #4 for one night before closing. I also happened to be ovulating so I'm currently hoping that the luck we had with the house will somehow extend to my uterus. Now that we are on the subject I just wanted to mention that not only was I ovulating, but I actually had a sex drive like in the days before fertility drugs. And I had had one ALL SUMMER. Can I get a "hell yeah" for that!
Finally Bed #13:
Murphy Lake, Minnesota. Three nights on a blow up mattress in our new home! It was a magical three days there. Our house is empty but we managed to have our first dinner party. We even had unexpected guests, as tends to happen on Murphy. We made a fire pit and met our new neighbors. We would have loved to stay longer but we had to get back to NY to go see Famous Doctor. So we said our good-byes and made plans for next summer.
Back to Bed #2:
Long Island, NY for some QT with my family. We are actually staying 8 nights here, 5 down 3 more to go. These last days of summer for us are about hanging with old friends, and my nieces and nephews, eating some sweet corn and, oh yeah, Famous Doctor. We went to see him on Wednesday. It was so nice sitting down with a doctor who wasn't in any kind of rush. He sat with us for an entire hour and went over all that we have already done and explained what he wanted us to do. Basically, we still don't know why I'm not getting pregnant and there are a number of cultures and blood tests that both Jason and I can get to help us understand why. I feel so much more comfortable with this approach. I, also, know that I wouldn't have been as open to it a year ago. I was is such a state of panic that I wouldn't have listened. I just wanted to get pregnant already. I still do. But I am accepting that, for me, it is going to take some time. So that's where we are. This summer is just what the doctor ordered, that and some lab tests. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm looking forward to getting back to India.
I feel rested and calm. I'm ready to continue my journey...
In the last year and a half I have gained about 18 pounds due to stress and fertility drugs. I'm only 5'3 so that's quite a lot. I saw pictures of myself back in march and couldn't believe how I looked. I was always thin and in shape. So when the scale tipped at 131 pounds I decided that I had to do something about it. I had never been on a diet in my life and had no idea where to begin. My friend, Kelly, introduced me to the slow carb diet. Basically I cut out all kinds of crappy carbs and replaced them with beans. I also increased my veggie intake, which was already pretty good. Between IVF #1 and number #2 I lost 11 pounds in about three weeks. I felt great! I noticed how much better I felt not eating wheat. I don't think I suffer from celiac disease or anything but I think that I can do without so much wheat. The first week or two was great. Although, I have to admit it got old by the third week. I longed for the cheat day all week long. The day after the cheat day I remembered that wheat and I don't get along so well. Once I went in for my egg retrieval I stopped the diet but was still very conscious of what I ate.
In those few weeks I managed to maintain my wait. So after IVF #2 failed I decided to give it a try again. This time I'm not being nearly as restrictive. I am reading The Fertility Diet and am using a lot of the suggestions in there as well. I've switched to whole milk for my coffee instead of slim or soy. That goes for yogurt, as well. According to the slow carb rules you're not supposed to eat fruit. I just can't buy into that. This time around is also the end of the school year. There is a social function just about every day. It's been really hard not to cheat but I've managed to lose two pounds in one week. I only have 6 or 7 more pounds to go until I reach my wedding wait. I hope I can do it before we leave for summer in two weeks. The hardest part isn't the food, it's the wine. And I know that drinking wine is not helping my fertility. I guess I just have to have the same mindset as I would if I were pregnant. sigh.
Another really big development is that I also have an appointment with Dr. Sami David on July 14th. I just read his book Making Babies. I'm really inspired by it. I want to talk to a doctor who will answer my questions. I want a doctor who will try to really figure out why I'm not getting pregnant. I know that I have a low ovarian reserve. But I don't know how low or what that really means. I don't know how many more IVF cycles I can take, if any. My current doctor won't even talk to me about other options. I want to know if something LESS invasive might actually work for me. Or, I should just give up trying to use my own eggs and go with a donor eggs. I'm really hoping that we can be like one of those couples in the anecdotals in Making babies where Dr David discovers some easy solution to the problem. I'd be happy if he just listed some viable options for me and helped us to decide which one is best for us. For now, I'm patiently waiting...
Doc says it's probably just left over HGC from the shot I had last week. I'm stopping all meds. I'm still pretty numb. I haven't cried yet. I do have a bottle on wine opened so I'm sure the tears will follow soon.
Not sure what to do now really. We leave for the States in three weeks. We'll visit family and friends for 8 weeks so I guess you can say that we'll have a forced break. I need it, I know I do. We will be getting a second (and possibly third) opinion while we are in NY. I feel like I need a straight talkin' New Yawker to tell me how it is. Sometimes I miss my people. By summer's end I'm sure I'll have some of my accent back.
We have so many different paths to choose from at this point. Which one is the right one?
Do we try a LESS aggressive approach and try Eastern medicine?
Do we look into using donor eggs? I'm only 35 and I'm borderline everything. But at the same time I'm just so ready. I'm tired of waiting.
Before I go I want to send a heartfelt thank you out into the universe to all the amazing people who have been wonderful supportive friends to me while I've been on this journey. To my husband who, even though it drives him crazy, let's me be the boss. To my mother and my aunt for their love and support. To my countless girlfriends (and my two favorite guyfriends) who, amazingly, alway know just what to say. I am so blessed to have so many strong women (and men) in my life. To my teaching team who have covered my ass at all the missed meetings. To my principal and assistant principal who have shown me kept me in their prayers since the beginning. I admire both of you. And to the housing director. It was not easy talking to him about my ovaries but he was so compassionate and understanding. He really kept my situation in mind when assigning housing to us for next year. Thank you
Update: half a glass of wine in mom called... tears.
Well, I went for my beta today. I wasn't planning to it just sort of happened that way. Yesterday when I went to the chemist to get more syringes I just happened to pick up a pregnancy test or two. I'd been thinking about this coming weekend and getting really nervous. You see, I was supposed to wait until Saturday to get the beta done. Saturday is a very busy day for both Jason and I. He has a stag night and I would hate for him to miss it if the news was not good. I thought if I could get the news a day or two early then I'd be fine by Saturday. I also have a girls night with some friends that are leaving India in three weeks and I really didn't want to miss out on that. Somehow, I also have to get report cards written for all my little perfect angels. Each child gets a personal anecdotal report of about 200-300 words. Needless to say, it's time consuming.
So I called Dr. V. and asked her if I could come in a day or two early. I told her that I had taken a urine test and it was negative so there is a really good chance that the beta would be too. I have one little shred of hope left though. The tests here in India are no where near as sensitive as the ones you can get in the states. So the doctor said I could come on into the IVF lab and get blood drawn this afternoon. I have to wait until tomorrow to get the results because I didn't get there until almost 4pm. She did warn me that even at 16 days past transfer the results could be inconclusive. So tomorrow after 11am I can call her to find out what the beta says. I'm not quite sure how I feel. I guess tomorrow we'll know...
This week has been a blur. Thankfully, the end is coming into focus. There have been ups and downs along the way.
Friday night was such fun! The faculty threw a big party for some of our fellow teachers who are leaving us this year. Two of the couples that are leaving are dear friends of ours. They were even at our wedding in Thailand. It's so sad to see them go but it was a great party full of laughs, hugs and tears. After a few hours of dancing and mingling it was time to go and pick up my mother and aunt from the airport.
Saturday we took it easy. Mom brought some bagels from New York! They were still perfect, even after the long flight. We did some shopping, ate some yummy indian food and got to bed early so we'd be fresh for our early morning train adventure.
Sunday morning we were up bright and early to catch a train to agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was a lovely day of site seeing and lounging by the pool finished off with more yummy indian food.
Monday morning we woke at the crack of dawn to watch the sun rise on the Taj Mahal. It was perfection. I had never actually been to the Taj. I had planned to go with friends one of my first weekends here three years ago. But, Jason decided to fly into Delhi and ask me to marry him so I was distracted for the weekend and never did make it. That morning I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. I should know by now that here in India a sore throat is bad news. By that afternoon I had a fever and sinus congestion. The worst part was that our train didn't get back into Delhi until after 11pm and we had to get up for work the next morning. It was a very uncomfortable ride back.
When I woke on Tuesday morning I knew I still had a fever and that the congestion had moved to me chest. I got up anyway, showered and dragged my ass to work. This year I've had some really difficult parents and several of them had already complained that I had been missing school so I felt like I had to go. Anyway I didn't make it very long. I even tried to go down to the health office and have a nap but the nurses, who know of my situation because they give me my 3pm shot, scolded me and sent me home.
By Wednesday I still had a fever. It was never higher than 99.8, just high to make me very uncomfortable but not high enough to warrant medication. I decided to stay home and rest one more day. I was really being horribly selfish, wasn't I? Wednesday night I tossed and turned with anxiety. I knew parents would begin getting into a tizzy about my absence. Let me give you a little background here. I happen to work at a very prestigious embassy school. It is known as one of the best in the world. I am lucky to be at such and incredible place. I'm also very deserving to be here. I'm a damn good teacher. Unfortunately, some people are horrible and negative no matter how much you care for their children's education and wellbeing.
Sure enough, as soon as I arrived Thursday morning my wonderful full time instructional assistant informed me that 2 parents had gone to both the assistant principal AND the principal to complain about it. Never in all my years of teaching have I been treated like this by my students' parents. One of our missions at our school is to teach compassion. Children are so naturally compassionate it is such a pleasure being surrounded by them all day long. We are all so blessed to be able to know and love so many others who are unlike us. It is baffling that these loving, compassionate children have such mean spirited, sneaky parents. One of the parent's complaints today was that on my facebook status I wrote, "Back to the grind. Seven week and counting!" She accused me of not liking my job because of what I said. First of all, what the hell are you doing looking at my facebook page? We're not friends. This woman had to go and look me up in order for her to see that. She's a horrible horrible person. I have since reset my security settings so that only friends can see anything I post. Thankfully, my principal stopped her and asked her to stop and think for just one moment why I might be missing school days. She asked the parents to trust me and have some compassion and understanding. I really love my principal. I've never felt more supported by an administrator. She is a strong woman and I appreciate and admire her strength.
Anyway, sorry for the rant. I had to get it off my very congested chest. The last thing I need is this stress. I still have eight days until I go for my beta. I've been feeling crampy for the last few days. So that's been worrying me. I know, I know cramping could be a good sign. It could also be a bad sign. I don't feel any other symptoms. I've never wanted to feel nauseous so bad in my life. I'd even take a dizzy spell here or there. But, like I said, the end is in sight. I think I might actually make the whole 20 days without peeing on a stick. This weekend is going to be busy with a bachelorette party and my mom and aunt's final days. After the weekend, it's only 5 days until the beta.
Just two days ago I was feeling great. I was really excited about how well my embryo transfer went and overall just felt full of hope. But today, looking at the calendar at the long wait ahead of me I just don't know if I can make it. Has it really only been three days since my transfer?
I have so much to do at work and all I did today was stare at my computer screen and my plan book. And to top it off I feel super grouchy. It's not fun for anyone in second grade when the teacher is grouchy.
I know this is all from the PIO shots and all the other crap I'm on. Is this how I'm going to feel for the next two weeks? Will I get it all done?
What a weekend it has been. At every turn I just kept thinking that I should have a blog. I've thought about it a few times over the past 6 months or so but I kept hoping that I was at the end of my IVF journey and then it'd be one of those annoying IVF blogs that immediately turns into a pregnancy blog. Well here I am, still on my journey so what the hell. I'm going to give this blogging thing a try.
Let's begin with Friday. It was a pretty typical Friday. Spring fever is running rampant at school, teachers and students alike are effected. The second grade team was going out for a happy hour at a local restaurant to celebrate the year coming to an end. Later I met up with Jason at the American Club. I hadn't been feeling well all day. I had been constipated for a few days, from what I have no idea. I live in India sometimes it's best not to try and figure it out. Jason and I decided to go home early and try to get a good night's rest before the big day.
I woke up on Saturday with intense stomach cramps and diarrhea (thank you India). On the way to the hospital I thought for sure that I wasn't going to make it. All I kept thinking was that the retrieval would have to be cancelled. I just couldn't imagine the anesthesiologist allowing me to go under if I had diarrhea. After running to the restroom I went to check in. Since my last IVF attempt the hospital where the IVF lab is has changed its policy about egg retrieval. They were now requiring that IVF patients be admitted on the day of the retrieval so that they can be more closely monitored. So it was 9:15 and we were checking in. They said my bed wasn't ready so we sat and waited about a half hour during which I had more diarrhea. When I got back from the restroom one time my husband suggested that we check to see how long it would be. The admitting desk said it would be about 2 more hours wait for my bed. I lost my cool a bit with the admitting clerk. I told him that I had reserved a bed two days earlier and that I was an IVF patient and that I had to be in the IVF lab for my procedure. I said something along the lines of, "you have no idea how to do your job and I am important so don't ignore me." I lose my cool like this on a fairly regular basis when dealing with Indian bureaucracy. I know it's not cool but sometimes when emotions are running high it's hard to stay calm. So I marched myself up to the IVF lab where I knew I would be taken care of. I burst into tears as soon as saw the nurses. They put me at ease and said they weren't going to cancel the retrieval because of diarrhea, called the doctor and got me on some IV fluids. Then a string of doctors came to see me. Usually Indian doctors don't introduce themselves. Bedside manner is rare here. I'm not sure how many doctors came to see me in the end. Maybe it's because most of them asked me the same questions over and over again. I kept telling them these were the same questions I was asked the day before for my physical fitness test. But they insisted on asking so I answered their silly questions. I don't see how long I've been married has anything to do with having diarrhea but I'm not a doctor. The first doctor was my favorite of all. I'm not sure why he was there because as it turns out he didn't even know I was having diarrhea. Maybe it had something to do with the new policy. He was asking me what I think of India. As ex-pats we get these questions all the time and I answer them politely and try to move on. But this guy then started going on about how over populated India is. Yes, true doc, India is over crowded. Then, I couldn't believe it, he started going on about how fertile India women are, too fertile he said. So I looked at my husband in astonishment and tried to end the conversation by saying, "I wish I had that problem." But it didn't work. He just kept going on. Luckily I had to run out of the room to have diarrhea. Thank god for diarrhea.
Finally it was time for the egg retrieval. I was a little nervous. Getting knocked out is a pretty big deal. But the anesthesiologist did his best to put my mind at ease. His best was whatever drug he shot into my IV. Nothing like getting a little bit stoned before an egg retrieval. The moment I woke up I asked how many eggs were retrieved. Two! OK two is not too bad, we only had three follicles to begin with. Then they wheeled me out to the recovery room. On the way they have to wheel me through the IVF waiting room which was full of other hopeful couples and my dear husband. I have no recollection of this but, apparently I high-fived Jason and said, "it's your turn. go do your job!"
I wish I can say that I recovered from the anesthesia and went home to rest and heal. But we have to go back to the new policy at the hospital. That's right folks, more bureaucracy. So the IVF nurse comes to the recovery room and tells me that I have to go to the bed that is now ready for me. So they wheel me to a completely different part of the hospital. Thankfully Jason was there waiting for me. Of course, Jason and I had a million questions about our after care. First, I was hungry. I wanted to know if I could eat. So I asked the nurse in this general ward if I could. She said I could eat in two hours. So I asked if it was two hours from now or two hours from when I went into the recovery room. She looked at me, did the Indian head bobble and walked away. Jason asked her again to please clarify and we got the same response. So, again, he marched down to the IVF lab and talked to the Dr. V. Then Dr. V, both IVF nurses and their office manager came to see me on the other side of the hospital. The nurses in the general ward were not happy that we went over their heads and they let us know. I explained to them the the IVF lab knows me and my needs very well. I'm not a typical patient and need very specific care. I let Dr. V. know that this new policy that is supposed to protect the patient actually takes her away from the highly skilled care givers that she needs. I made it out of there with one more argument. The nurse ordered 16 gage needle for my PIO shots even after telling her that IVF patients use 24 gage for those shots. She ignored me and still got the 16 gage. I lost my cool again but this time I knew that I had to make sure I got what I needed. Could you imagine getting a 16 gage shot every day for 8 weeks? That's the thing she didn't understand. Finally, we got what we needed and got the hell out of there. It was a nine hour day. I got home and went right to bed to sleep off the anesthesia.
Sunday was a pretty easy day. I had a little more diarrhea but felt much better by 10am. Late afternoon we called Dr. V. to find out if our eggs fertilized. They did! Both of them! We were told to report to the IVF lab Monday morning at 10am.
Monday morning we got up had some breakfast and headed back to the lab. I was feeling really good. Everyone was all smiles when they saw me. When the Dr. V. arrived she said we could go in and look at the embies. The embryologist had given both of them a grade one, one was 4 cells and the other 2. I could just tell that they were so much stronger than our other little guys from our first IVF attempt (two grade three 2 cell embies). Everyone hugged me and congratulated me. It just feels really different this time. We are still being cautious but we are way more hopeful this time.
Today, thanks to my wonderful administrators, I am resting at home.
Now I'm just hoping that a blog will keep my mind off the very, very long wait I have until I can take a pregnancy test. My Doc wants me to wait 20 days! She wants me to take 3 HGC shots over the next ten days to help with luteal support. So the long wait begins. Pop in anytime to read how I'm keeping busy. My mother is coming for a visit so that should be interesting. I hope you enjoy! Sending out big love and positive vibes to the whole IF community! I leave you with a picture of my embies.