No, I’m not referring to the stomach bug that J caught just a day and a half before Thanksgiving (poor thing, he was miserable and couldn’t enjoy his dinner). I’m referring to the pit that has taken up residence in my stomach and its tenants: nerves, excitement, and my old friend, anxiety.
Last week was chock full of ultrasounds and blood work (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) to see how I am responding to the stims. Monday the nurse simply did a blood draw to check my E2, which was over 300 from being 20 on Thursday, so things were headed in the right direction. They lowered my meds to 5iu lupron, 150 follistim, and 2 vials of menopur to make sure I don’t respond too quickly and have one or two pull ahead and eat up all the meds. Tuesday I had a “date with the vag cam” during which we saw that I have 10 follicles between 6 and 11mm. The doctor told me to go enjoy my Thanksgiving and come back Saturday because it was still early, and meds were lowered again to only 1 vial of menopur (thank goodness, because that one kinda burns!)
Thanksgiving with Justin’s family was really, really lovely. Before dinner, when it was time to do injections, J and I excused ourselves to the bathroom with our refrigerated bag of goodies. Eva (our almost 6-year-old niece), in her usual inquisitive nature, asked a bunch of questions about where we were going, what we were doing, and why. Justin’s mom told her that we had to give me shots in the belly. Of course, when I came back out to the living room, she made it clear that she knew what I was up to and asked me why I needed the shots, to which I responded, “well, we’re trying to have a baby and we need medicine to make that happen.” I explained that the needles were small and didn’t really hurt and that it would hopefully all be worth it soon enough. If only adults were so forthright with their questions. J
At dinner (and at Eva’s request), we went around the table and listed what we were thankful for. Justin’s mom named several things dear to her like books and Rome (she recently came back from a solo trip to Europe), but cried when she mentioned how happy she was to have family with her. It breaks my heart because I know how sad she and the rest of the family are that we are planning to leave. I wish our life choices weren’t hurtful to the ones we love, and I don’t envy Justin having to feel the way I did when I left my sister back east. Pretty sure we’re done moving after this.
When it was my turn, I shared my thanks for modern medicine and the possibilities it offers, family that enjoys each other’s company so much, and the technology to communicate with my side from afar. After dinner, we watch the requisite Snoopy Thanksgiving special with the kids and Boris played the piano. I couldn’t have been more at peace and relaxed.
By Saturday, my E2 had climbed to 2750 and I had follies approaching 16mm, so it looked like we were getting close! Sure enough, Sunday’s ultrasound showed 6 mature follicles between 15 and 18mm and 9 others in a group of smaller ones that may or may not catch up. It was go time! I triggered last night with 5000 units of HCG and 450 of follistim and am scheduled for egg retrieval tomorrow morning at 9:30am!
Up until yesterday afternoon when I got the call with my lab results, I was purely excited. Now, I can hardly concentrate on anything else. I am queasy thinking about how much is at stake and worried about how many eggs we might get, if they’re mature or not, if they’ll fertilize and divide properly, and if they will ultimately give us a baby of our own. They tell you when you start an IVF cycle to just take one day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Do I even know how to do that? How to not overanalyze and stress every little detail? I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
Side note: As per our usual silliness, Justin has named the stim phase the “Lupron Fiasco” (a la the rapper, Lupe Fiasco) and called all of the dots on my stomach from the injections the “constellation”. Lol! You really do have to have a sense of humor to get through all of this with your sanity intact.