Saturday, April 28, 2012

D-O-W-N That's the Way to Get Down!

As some of you have pointed out this DE cycle is moving at lightening speed.  Within a week of choosing a donor I was heading to see the Baby Maker for my baseline ultra sound and trial transfer.  This is where she looked to make sure nothing weird was going on with my uterus or ovaries.  She also inserted the catheter that she will use for the embryo transfer to make sure there wouldn't be any problems on the day of the real transfer.
Since that appointment I have been taking BC pills and Lupride injections.  About a week ago I stopped taking BC and continued on the Lupride.  To my surprise I got a very heavy but short period 2 days earlier than expected. The Baby Maker assured me that it was fine and not to worry.
Yesterday, I went in for another ultrasound and some blood work.  This time they were looking for normal LH and E2 levels and quiet ovaries.  Thankfully it was a Saturday so we didn't have to miss any work and Jason could join me.  Our first stop was the clinic where the Baby Maker does all of her appointments.  The nurses there are great!  They are sassy and knowledgeable.  So many times I have asked nurses or receptionists questions about what I'm supposed to do and they just say yes, not really knowing.  It's infuriating.  The nurses at this clinic don't do that.  When I ask a question I get an answer and, usually, an explanation along with the answer.  I've never gotten an Indian head bobble that could be a yes or a no that is usually accompanied with a blank stare revealing the bobble head's confusion. When it comes to medical procedures Westerners want to know what is happening. They are usually very well informed and want to know that their medical provider is providing the very best care. This cultural difference can be the most difficult part of dealing with any sort of medical procedures overseas. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I appreciate that this clinic get's that.
After my blood tests were done and I chatted with my favorite nurse the clinic provided us with a car to take us to another clinic.  The Baby Maker usually does all of her own ultrasounds but she has taken a few days off this month.  This surprisingly puts my mind at ease.  Everyone needs a break and I'm glad that she has taken some time for herself, her family, whatever the reason.  So we arrived at the clinic which was basically right down the street and walk into the waiting room.  It's was a typical scene.  Lots and lots of people, women mostly, sitting around waiting.  There was no real cueing system to check in so I did my best to wiggle my way to the front and was sure to mention that I was one of the Baby Maker's patients.  As I waited I realized that they didn't really know what to do with me and I began to worry a bit.  It's never a good sign when the receptionist and the nurse have several conversations about you in a language that you don't understand.  But, finally, I was called in.
There is little sense of privacy here in India so when I walked into the doctors office and there was another woman there speaking to the doctor I wasn't all that surprised.  The nurse, I presume, brought me to the other side of the divider and mumbled something to me along the lines of "here ok?'  I asked her if I needed to empty my bladder first and she just stared at me.  So I went around to the other side of the divider to the doctor who was still meeting with his other patient and I asked him if I needed to empty my bladder.  Then he began asking me why I was there, what procedure did I need.  I began to panic a little.  So now I have to tell this doctor in front of another patient that I'm using donor eggs and that, no, I am not here for follicle monitoring.  It's all right there in the schedule you have in your hands.  I was shown the way to restroom, which was filthy, and after I peed as I was washing my hands I looked into the mirror and I gave myself a pep talk.  I could totally freak out here or I can just roll with it. I've faced much worse on this journey and decided to just roll with it.  I went in, saw that the other patient was gone,  took off my unders and the nurse prepared the ultrasound machine.  Doc came back and took a look.  Then, surprisingly, he answered all my questions.  As I was walking out of his office he wished me the very best of luck.

So, there you have it.  I'm down regulated.  Let the stims begin!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Level Up

A while back I read a post written by Jay over at The 2 Week Wait entitled "Level Two" where she likened IF to a video game, but, instead of saving the princess at the end you get pregnant. I remember after reading it wondering when I would have enough points to finally save the princess. On my journey to save the princess I've fought monsters sometimes winning, sometimes losing. Through the past few months I gained IF points when battling monsters that took the shape of Bacterial Infections and HPV to Jealously and Depression. I've even lost a few points along the way. The night the IF monster reared its ugly head was a battle lost. It was not one of my proudest moments.
All along as I've played this game battling monsters in secret chambers humming the tune to Nintendo's Mario Brothers I've been aware of another way to reach the princess. There is a secret realm that only a few venture into in the Land of IF. It's a whole new level of infertility that I have just recently graduated to. From far away this realm is scary and unknown. But from up close it's not so bad at all.
After our 27th cycle failed things were as they usually are. We were devastated for a couple of days and then, as we tend to do, we picked ourselves up off the floor and asked ourselves what our next steps were going to be. It just so happened that we had planned a trip to Ireland for our spring break so we knew that the coming cycle was going to be a much needed break. Before we left I convinced Jason that it was time for us to look into using donor eggs. We have friends here that did and I know a few of couples from the blogging world that have grown their families that way. I knew in my heart that it was time. So we went to talk to a doctor, who from here on out, will be called The Baby Maker. She runs a clinic here in Dehli that caters to westerners who are interested in egg donation and surrogacy. At first Jason was unsure of the whole thing. The Baby Maker is a savvy business woman which in some ways can be very off putting. But I reminded Jason that she is in the business of making babies and she's damn good at it. She really knows her fertility shit. She spent close to an hour with us answering and ASKING questions. Doctors here in India tend not to do that. They tend to glance at your documents and then give you a photocopy of whatever protocol they use. The Baby Maker suggested that before we make any big decisions I should get my day 3 hormones and my AMH checked since it's been about a year since those have been done. I just happened to be on my second day so the next morning I went in and had my blood drawn. The day threes were back later that day with a raised FSH, higher than it's ever been. The following day my AMH came in. It was devastatingly low.
As I looked at the number I felt the strangest thing. I was relieved. I almost laughed actually. It was just what we needed to take that next step. It was the key to the hidden realm. When I sent the results to The Baby Maker she responded in an email with, "the path ahead is clear." And so, I've leveled up, just not quite in the way I had expected.
Just hours after we had gotten my AMH results we boarded a plane to Ireland. It could not have come at a better time. Ireland, especially in the spring, is lovely and exotic and unpredictable. I've often felt that as an infertile it's so difficult to live in the moment. We're always thinking of what is coming next, always waiting. In unpredictable and lovely Ireland we hadn't a thing booked. Every decision was a game time decision, where to stay or eat or when to get out of the car and look at the scenary. Jason and I haven't lived entirely in the moment in a long long time. It was one of the best trips we've ever taken. (click here if you'd like to read about our adventures in Ireland and here to see them) In many ways it was bitter sweet, though, poetic even, looking at those beautiful Irish faces knowing that my child will not have my freckles or my blue eyes. However, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else in the world while mourning that loss.
The day after we returned we headed to the Baby Maker's clinic to discuss the details of our DE cycle. By Friday our chosen donor had started her period and was beginning treatment. By Saturday I received my schedule and started my treatment. Today I go in for my first ultrasound and away we go. It all happened so fast and yet it feels so right.
So as it stands now we are scheduled for egg retreival on May 8th or 9th and embryo transfer on May 11th or 12th. If I get a positive result I'll have just enough time to have a 5 week scan before Jason and I head back to the states to our home in MN for the summer.
For the next few weeks I have a feeling I'll be updating this blog fairly frequently as I capture this crazy ride.
Here's to the princess. She's closer than she's ever been before.

And here's a bit of fun! I've leveled up in another way. I've gone from being OLF with Bernadette over at Rasta Less Traveled to being friends IRL! I am so fortunate to be part of a community of strong women.