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Category archive for: Thoughtful Reflection

Day 35, Sort of, also considered Day 0

This morning we had the retrieval. Here’s how it went:

6:30am – Woke up, stomach hurt, went to the bathroom.
7:00am – David work up, worked his magic
7:30am – We left late! We were supposed to leave at 7:15am.
7:55am – David made it there 10 minutes faster than it takes me.
8:15am – Or thereabouts, we are taken back, I put on the gown and we sign some forms.
8:30am – Someone comes by and reviews our IDs to confirm the sample is ours and we are who we say we are. He is the person who will review the sperm and do the ICSI!
8:35am – Someone from anesthesia comes by and tries to put stuff into veins in my left hand, that doesn’t work, then my right hand, that doesn’t work, so she bandages me up and leaves the room.
8:40am – Someone else comes by and says, “They missed twice,” inspiring great confidence in me, but we laugh it off.
8:45am – Someone else comes by and puts the IV drip in my left arm, in a spot close to where they’ve been pulling blood. Blood did not squirt everywhere, so that went smoothly.
9:00am – The person in charge of explaining the clinical trial we are doing comes by. The trial requires an extra month of drugs that we did not realize. David asks when we can declare we don’t want to do the trial anymore, because we are thinking the same thing.
9:20am – I’m in the operating room! They declare it is 9:20am, I don’t remember anything here.
9:47am – They ask David back to the room I’m in. And I am there. I asked David what I said to him. He says I said, “David, it hurts.”
9:48am – I tell David I am thirsty and he holds up water for me. There are also saltines, and he asks if I want one. I say a small piece. In my head I want him to eat the other half, because I don’t want it. He asks me if he can have the other half. I love him for this – his love of saltines. The Doctor tells us they retrieved 20 eggs, and I will likely feel some pain these next few days. I was planning to play tennis on Tuesday, but this is not happening.
11:35 – We are home. We fall asleep immediately.
12:55 – I am awake and working on a project for a client who called us Friday. He was crying because instead of three weeks from now, his client is going live Monday and wants to know what we can do. I have been working on this all weekend, and I deeply resent my inability to say “No,” to people.

I ate a banana, and in the afternoon David picked up a salad for us to eat this afternoon, and we ate it. My ovaries/stomach still hurt, a lot. They gave us pain killers, but it’s just Tylenol. So I haven’t taken any. I’m going to go lie down now.

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Ode to David

David I love your medium-length curly hair.
I think you look sweet, strong and debonair
For Halloween you’re going to be Mandy Patinkin
At least right now that’s what you’re thinking.

These last few weeks have felt longer than most
But you were so good, to myself I boast.
You mixed the medications, you got up early,
You weren’t your morning self, which is rather surly.

We made jokes that I so wish I wrote down
And when I was difficult you were the clown
You made me laugh even though it hurt
You cooked us tasty salmon and got us dessert.

This morning’s blood draw shows we’re on track
We’ll review the clinical trial, a little to unpack.
And you have to do your part as well.
You’ll stroke your manhood and it shall swell.

Tomorrow’s the day for retrieval surgery!
Let’s hope Kavanaugh gets slapped with perjury!
Anyway, to phase 1 we can finally say adieu
And I want you to always know this, I love you.

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Day 32, Sort of

Today is Thursday. It’s a pretty big day, because Dr. Ford is going to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Panel. It’s a “she said, he said, only witness says he didn’t, but witness refuses to actually testify” situation, so I don’t know what is going to happen! All I know is that most companies would not hire someone with these many allegations, and this is a lifetime appointment to one of the highest positions in the country.

Last week my dad said that the public is not interested in sexual transgressions, and really Americans are worried about the multiple wars we are in and the death and poverty around the world.

Today is also another day of blood work and ultrasound. On Tuesday, a friend of mine asked if I wanted a recommendation for a good acupuncturist, and I shared I was not interested in more needles. It officially took 7 days for me to really become wary of needles. The nurse today missed the vein on the first try and starting moving the needle around inside my right arm looking for the vein, and I started to panic in my head. I asked her to switch to my left arm, where there were more bruises from other pulls that made the target easier to find. I even drank quite a bit of water this morning hoping that would help with the blood. Last night when David extracted the needles it nicked my skin both times and I squirted some blood. “David! Be careful!” I whined, and he said he was being careful. Then I kissed him on the forehead (he sits and I stand for the injections) and realized he was sweating. So neither of us are enjoying the needles.

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Day 31, Sort of

This morning I drove to my bloodwork and ultrasound appointment. I was planning to walk after David administered the morning shot, but I didn’t feel comfortable, so one minute into the walk I turned around and got into my car.

Last night I also felt uncomfortable, and I wasn’t sure if it was the ovaries or the tights I was wearing. I had to stand up throughout the night and sit awkwardly during D&D. I don’t think anyone noticed.

Yesterday I had five eggs in my left ovary and five eggs in my right ovary. Based on the preliminary analysis from this morning, I’m at eight eggs in my left ovary and eleven eggs in my right ovary! “You were busy last night,” she said. I sure was! I asked if I could take a picture of the ultrasound, and she printed one for me. So here you go! A picture of ovaries chock full of follicles that might have eggs in them. The follicles are the black spots. My estrogen was 1977 when this photo was taken.

I did become concerned that I have too many follicles and started researching OHSS, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. I compared the photo to pictures online, and I read different accounts. When my nurse called me, she shared that that happens after the egg retrieval. So nothing to worry about for now! For the bloating she recommended drinking Gatorade for the electrolytes. I don’t care for Gatorade, so I squeezed some lemon into water instead, because according to the internet lemon has electrolytes too.

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Day 30, Sort of

I walked to my bloodwork and ultrasound appointment this morning, after David gave me the Cetrotide shot. The forecast said it was not going to rain, so I wore a city slicker jacket which looks like a raincoat and costs like a raincoat, but it’s maybe just a windbreaker or a layer of clothing. It’s definitely NOT water proof. It looks cool and has a flattering cut, so I like wearing it.

Anyway it was sprinkling when I stepped outside, and I rationalized a little sprinkle would be lovely on the walk, perhaps it would feel invigorating. I welcomed it.

After three blocks it started pouring. This turn of events was less welcome, but I kept going because turning back would make me late(r).

3/4 of the way there, the sidewalk was closed! It was closed for just two blocks. I didn’t even know they were planning construction there.

I arrived at the office 8 minutes late, which was fine, there were several people ahead of me. One woman was lifting an 8lb weight with her left hand in the waiting room. “That’s a great idea!” I said to her, thinking she was trying to get in a little exercise. “It’s the only way they can see the vein,” she replied sheepishly, lifting more.

I felt bloated this morning, but I pretty much always feel bloated, so I could not tell if the medication is causing it or it’s just Tuesday.

The Doctor did my ultrasound, and she said things were moving along and it looks like we have another week before the removal. This was upsetting because I was hoping we could wrap this up this week! She shared I have some little follicles they are interested in seeing progress, so they can retrieve as many potential eggs as possible. The smaller follicles might not have eggs, she shared, but they want to optimize the retrieval.

I walked back home in the rain.

When I got home, I saw the Washington Post had a digital clip of a young woman deciding whether or not to freeze her eggs. A therapist asked her how she would feel if she froze the eggs and found out that they did not work. She thoughtfully responded, “I’d be upset about all the money wasted.” I thought that was a super honest answer, no matter what stage you are in in the process. It’s all so expensive.

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Day 29, Sort of

This morning David administered a package of Cetrotide, per instructions we received last night. Cetrotide is to prevent ovulation. And tonight he will administer a lower dose of Gonal F and a higher dose of Menapur. Gonal F is to stimulate the follicles and Menapur is to help stimulate the follicles and ovulation. It sounds like these drugs are all fighting each other, but the gist of it is that they’re trying to grow a bunch of follicles (rather than just one) at the same time so they can extract a handful of eggs.

The nurses recommend avoiding exercise during this process, but you are allowed to walk. It’s raining outside, so I roamed the building hallways a little, got the mail, and put my registration stickers on my car license plate. You’re also supposed to limit twisting motions, and it has made me a little more conscious of how often I’m twisting in general. Whether it’s sleeping, sitting on the couch, or even sitting at my desk, for some reason my body is rarely entirely facing forward.

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Day 2 Sort of

Greetings! I have just had my second birth control tablet. Last night I ate some cheese and caffeinated iced tea, so I’m already living it up.

I was also moody during Dungeons and Dragons, but I don’t know if I can blame that on the birth control. Currently in the game we are being held captive by magic wrist bands of some sort. In exchange for our freedom we have to do the bidding of the local colonizers. But I have yet to see evidence that anyone has been freed from these bands before, so as far as I’m concerned, we are just helping oppressors who have not demonstrated they are acting in good faith. My character feels similarly.

I also learned that the app I use to track my period has a “TTC” setting. TTC is short for trying-to-conceive. I think that’s a new feature. I activated it, and there are so many additional components I did not know about! There are charts you can complete, words I did not know before (what is ferning?), and symbols to help identify important times of the month. Fascinating!

I just looked up ferning. I think I’m going to buy a microscope.

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Gah

I do not like the nurse that calls to tell me I’m not pregnant. Joan. I don’t blame her for the news, but I do blame her for her delivery.

Next time I’m going to react differently. This time I knew, so I was understanding, but I had follow-up questions about next steps, and Joan seemed surprised by that, which was also annoying. I felt asking those questions was logical. But next time, I’m going to be really crazy. The conversation will go like this:

Joan: I have some bad news.

Me: What is it?

Joan: It was negative.

Me: What was negative?

Joan: The blood test.

Me: What does that mean for me?

Joan: You are not pregnant.

Me: How would a blood test prove that?

Joan: ….

Me: Joan are you there?

Joan: (heavy sigh) I’m sorry this must be difficult. (who knows if she would have the wherewithal to even say this)

Me: Joan what are you trying to say?

Joan: You are not pregnant.

Me: Thank you for sharing your opinion. What did the real doctor have to say about this?

Joan: The doctor says we should try again next cycle.

Me: So you’re saying the doctor shares your theory about blood tests.

Joan: ….

Me: Joan, how do I know…you are not making this up? What if I have the baby, and you take it away?

Me: Joan where is my blood right now? I want it back.

Me: JOAN.

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