IVF Begins


After finishing all of my birth control pills, I was feeling extremely anxious about our next doctors appointment. I was due for an ultrasound and blood work…these were two hurdles I had to clear before we could move forward with injections.

Rick and I showed up to our doctors office on a beautiful August morning…truly a beautiful day. The sun was rising and beginning to warm your skin, the birds were singing, the dew on the grass was beginning to evaporate away from the sprinklers the night before. We walked hand in hand into the brownstone building, neither of us spoke. We sat in the waiting room for a few minutes, and I began contemplating looking at the scrapbooks on the coffee table to keep my mind from racing. They were filled with cards and photos from past patients who had experienced success with reproductive assistance. Before I picked one up, I heard the nurse call my name. I asked if my husband could come with me, and she said, “of course”. I was told to undress from the waist down…so sexy for my poor husband. Moments later the nurse came back into the room, dimmed the lights and began the ultrasound. She asked me several awkward questions like, “what did you do over the weekend?”, and “do you have to go back to work after this?” I’m sure it was a tactic to make her feel more comfortable while she was looking at images of my uterus…but I felt like saying, “ma’am you have a probe the size of a miniature baseball bat in me right now…I think we can skip the first date questions and just get down to business!” I heard myself abruptly ask, “so what are we looking for here today?” She kindly responded telling me that number one, the uterine lining needed to be thinned out, and number two, to look at the ovaries. I asked what would happen if the ultrasound showed cysts on my ovaries (as I have never had an ultrasound without cysts showing up). She told me if cysts were present it could cause some issues, as they could elevate hormone levels, particularly estrogen. This caused me to panic. The estrogen levels must be within a certain range in order to proceed to the injection phase. I looked at Rick and I know he could see the worry in each of my forehead wrinkles. Our nurse softly said, “there are no cysts.” HALLELUJAH!!!!!! I got dressed and we headed to the front desk to make our payment to begin IVF. It was uncomfortable to make the nearly $17,000 payment…this was so much money. So much money. I was then called back to have my blood drawn and left my husband to complete the payment. I asked the nurse if our karyotype test results were back as she drew my blood. She pulled our file when she was finished and informed me that my husband and I both had no abnormalities in our chromosomal makeup. HALLELUJAH! She told me the results of my blood work would come later today and I would receive a phone call.

Now we wait.

I anxiously waited for this phone call all day. Unfortunately for me, my career is a 24/7 role where all clients have access to my cell phone number, and on this day in particular every client wanted to call my number. Every time it rang, I felt a wave of anxiety rush through my chest. Alas, at 2:32 PM my nurse, Nancy called. I took two deep breaths before answering, and I was surprised at the length of time I allowed to pass before picking up. “This is Amber,” I said. “Hi Amber, it’s Nancy!” She had a cheerful tone and I was put at ease. She said she had positive news, and we do get to move forward! My estrogen levels were great, and my LH levels were in range. Tuesday will be the day we start our injections!

I was so excited to get home and prep my morning injection. My husband was home before me, so he had a chance to witness my OCD kick into high gear. He tends to stand back as the small tornado, known as his wife, whirls around the house. Some of our medication had to be refrigerated, so I was rustling around in all the boxes and bags making sure I didn’t miss one instructional label marked “refrigeration”. I think my husbands curiosity was peaked, and he peered into the kitchen to see what I was up to. I had our IVF calendar on the counter and the box of Menopure in my hand while reading. I set out one injection needle, one skin penetration needle, one alcohol swab, and a cap. I was reading to figure out how much liquid to pull from the saline jar, to mix with the Menopure. My husband began to get anxious that the ten minutes I had the medication out of the refrigerator was too long and I was beginning to deplete the powers of the drug. He asked that we put everything away, and I obliged. I placed the medication for the morning meticulously on the designated IVF shelf in our refrigerator, and closed the door gently. My husband and I went out for dinner that night and sent a text to our loved ones to let them know day 2 of IVF had arrived and we would begin injections in the morning. It was odd to be so excited and full of hope, because we GET to take copious amounts of medication, experience the joy of painful injections, and go on the hormonal roller coaster ride of our lives. And yet, I couldn’t have been happier or more ready.

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