Today is day 12 of IVF. Today is better than yesterday…thank God. Day 11 was my most difficult day thus far. I cried myself to sleep on day 10, forgot to take my Tylenol PM which resulted in a horrible night of sleep, and on top of the emotions I was sinking into, I was angry with my husband. Over the past couple of days I felt like he was distancing himself from me and not quite as supportive as I had imagined he would be. I should be thankful that he comes home every night, gives me my shot and asks if I need anything…but with everything I’m putting my body through, I had this image in my mind that he would SEE me differently. I thought he would look at me through this process and say to himself, “THAT is my wife, she is so strong, and I have so much respect for her because of what she is going through for US”. Instead I was receiving responses and body language of, “you’re tough, you got this, I don’t need to baby you.”
I gave myself my Cetrotide injection that morning. Rick saw me giving myself the shot and asked if I needed some help. I told him “no” in the tone of voice that says “everything is wrong and I’m angry as hell, but I’m saying I’m fine.” I’m hurt and overwhelmed and without control of my own body and mind…I’m losing my grip on this.
We had a discussion while we got ready that morning and came to a resolution of why our needs are. Rick decided to attend my ultrasound appointment that morning. We decided to drive separately so we could go to our offices afterwards. The weather was cool and clouds had formed proving rain was on the way. It was a very fitting environment to match my low, cool mood. I wore a pair of light pink linen drawstring pants, and a loose long sleeve shirt. I was running out of clothing options at this point, so I’m sure I looked like I was wearing pajamas. I drove to the Rose Medical Center in a haze, perhaps from the two morning injections, or the exhaustion creeping in. We arrived at the same time and walked together to the building, to the elevators and to the sixth floor, without words.
There was no one in the waiting room again, and the ladies at the front desk told me there was no need to check in. I thanked her and went to sit down. The ultrasound technician was behind the counter and raised her hands in the air with excitement. She told us, “I have been preparing for your appointment all morning! I’m focused and ready!” I smiled, and Rick and I both chuckled. I felt like a small time celebrity in the Rose office because of my follicles. She called us back to the dark room. I got up and began my waddle down the hall with images of babies and success stories of IVF families. I was hunched over and unable to fully stand straight. She noticed my Quasimoto walk and gave me a look of pure understanding and acknowledgement that I was hurting. THIS is all I needed. I wanted it from Rick, but truly it wasn’t fair to ask him to be that person. He needs to have his organic and authentic reactions to this process, just as much as I needed to. She gave me a moment to get undressed and get on the table. I began to cry…I reminded myself to get my shit together over and over again. She returned to the room and said, “I know you’re hurting, and there isn’t any room left in your body, especially this ultrasound wand.” Rick kind of chuckled and she said more sternly, “I’m not kidding, so we are going to go very slow.” The tears began to well up in the corners of my eyes, and Rick put a couple of tissues in my hand. The technician turned to Rick and asked, “a lot of TLC at home?” Rick responded and said I probably needed a little more. I think it clicked in that moment, and Rick understood that this isn’t easy for me. I began to cry again. Not the kind where you just have tears falling out of the corners of your eyes, no, this was the kind where your face scrunches, your brow furrows, your upperlip stretches and you can’t breath. I took soft breaths to keep the sobs down. I asked for Rick to hand me my phone so I could distract myself from my emotions during the ultrasound. We finished 40 minutes later. We looked at our numbers and we finally had a few follicles that reached the 16mm mark. I knew we would take our trigger shot that evening, and then have surgery on Friday.
I got dressed and went down the hall for my blood draw. The nurse commented that I looked like I wasn’t feeling well. She asked how many follicles I had, I responded telling her, “as of yesterday morning we were at 43, not including new ones today.” Her eyes widened, and she shouted, “Oh my God!!” I was getting the impression that my numbers were not the norm.
With our surgery looming around the corner, I decided to go to Nordstrom and purchase some comfy pajamas and a sweater for the surgery day. I remembered from our IVF class that we would need comfortable soft clothing on the day of surgery…and not to mention after the morning I had I needed some retail therapy. I picked out a few options and took them to the dressing room to make sure everything fit my new body shape. I began the awkward dance of trying to undress and try on the new items without hurting myself, or God forbid dropping something and not being able to bend down and get back up. I ended up with a pair of flannel shorts and matching button down long sleeve top, an UGG sweater, and a black pajama pants and loose matching short sleeve top. A girl needs options!
On my way home Nancy called to give me my update. I answered and asked if I could conference Rick in, and she said, “of course, but I do want to tell you, you’re not going to be triggering this evening.”My heart sank. How could this be the news for today??? I had 16mm follicles on my chart, I did everything I was supposed to do, I did everything perfectly, why is this not over?! Nancy told me I have one more day. I didn’t have to take the Gonal F shot (small win for me), and I would go back to the Rose office for blood work and an ultrasound the next morning. Nancy and I finished our call and I immediately called Rick to tell him the news. I was sobbing by this time, and thankfully Rick was just as upset. He said he would be leaving the office early to come get me and take me to dinner.
The next morning I was feeling a bit more refreshed thanks to the quality nights sleep I received. I got up and began my regimen of getting ready for our day. Wake up, shower, take injection of cetrotide, get dressed, drive to Rose. We were again the only ones in the waiting room and we did not need to check in. Our technician told me to empty my bladder and head to our room. She asked how I was feeling, and I told her I was feeling nauseous today. She must have known this look of women being on the verge of loosing their breakfast at this point in the game. She asked if I would like a juice to help me through the ultrasound, and my eyes lit up with delight. She returned with a little pouch of capri sun and told me she would be taking breaks today so I could get through the nausea a bit easier. Apparently this is typical at this stage of injections. The hormones really start to play some tricks on you. We began our counting and measuring and she said, “I felt so awful for you yesterday.” I thanked her and about 45 minutes later we were finished.
The nurses called me for my instruction call that afternoon. They told me I no longer had to take the morning Menopure injection, and we ARE doing the trigger shot that evening!!! HALLELUJAH!!!! The nurse told me I would receive a call later today with instructions on the trigger shot, and surgery will be scheduled for Saturday!
There is a light at the end of this tunnel. I just pray I’m not wishing away the easy part of IVF. Perhaps the toughest days are ahead of me.