Still Crazy, but not psycho. I poured out all that ick onto the keyboard yesterday, and then corresponded with a few people, and managed to get myself back to some semblance of functional. After that I went to work and felt like I acomplished something (not always true of my work). And then had a good dinner of enchiladas. So hopefully today won't be quite as nuts, and I can keep ahold of the reality that I am more than this reproductive project.
I am very sleepy. It is not even 9am, and I want to go lie on the couch. I know, I know, you're thinking "Ah ha! She's pregnant!",but let's just hold our horses, shall we? Boobs aren't sore, but there are twinges and cramps in the old ute, so maybe that is a good sign. Again, I am so grateful that I'm exhausted, and I can't get up much OCD just yet.
I was finally released from my 6 days of bed arrest yesterday. If you recall, the egg retrieval from hell was last Saturday, and then the hail Mary lap was on Tuesday, and then the pulling-it-out-of-the-crapper embryo transfer was Thursday, so the couch and I became very familiar. oh, and I also discovered Bride.zilla. Yuck, but also yum. I know. I should debase my potential children by exposing them to such drivel, but better than firing up a crack pipe, don't you agree?
Yesterday was my 2nd 20th high school reunion. I switched high schools in junior year, leaving the town I'd been born in, and all of the friends I had, some of them since preschool. My family didn't move, or any of the usual reasons, and it was my choice. At the time, and in retrospect it was the right choice for me, but I do wish I'd taken better care of some of the friendships I left behind. I've reconnected with some of the people I was closest to in elementary and middle school, and my best friend from early high school. She flew in from the east coast and we spent a few hours together in the morning catching up and then reading my old yearbooks so that we could have some sort of credible memory. We really enjoyed the mullets. Wow. The best class of mullet was parted in the middle, but feathered all the way across the hair so that the part formed a really high peak. I was pretty relieved that the picture they chose for me was from the junior yearbook (we must have had pictures taken at the end of the year?) when I had my fierce short hair with lots of gel, big hoop earrings, yellow paisley shirt (why was I allowed to own yellow? I am the sort of blond who looks wrong in yellow. My sophomore picture was in shocking yellow!) and I imagine my long black skirt and asymmetrical belt. Lookin' good.
Anyhow, enough about me and my shallow concerns 23 years in the past. I made a big effort to seek out the people I knew in elementary school, and in two cases (both males) to tell them good memories I had of them giving encouragement during a kickball game (3rd grade) and the 'turkey trot' race (5th grade). These memories stood out because they were just so blatantly positive. Also, one of the organizers had been through IVF, and all of the friends I've reconnected with know what is going on or read the blog (hi!), and everyone was so excited that I'd made it, and determined to make sure I was sitting down. Being very open about the IVF and infertility could have made me feel vulnerable, but what happened instead is that I felt incredibly supported, and got to hear other's stories of IVF, or struggles they'd had. Again, I just feel humbled, and reminded that by this time, everyone has had their share of pain, and in al the cases I ran into, the games are over, and the real people are just there to want good things for you. Maybe they always were? Probably not. My friend who flew out from the east coast and I were remembering some of our snottier moments. Ugh.
The husband here, coming at ya with the succinct sounds of results-oriented reportage.
We got the call this morning to come in for a Day 5 transfer. Wahoo! So around 8:30am we had 1 blastocyst (the embryo formerly known as the lonely 8-cell'er) and 1 morula (one of our 5-cell pups workin' hard to make it to the major leagues).
But hey, the time we got to the office, the morula had moved on up into an early-stage blast, and (sweet embryogenesis!) one of our other ne'er-do-well 5-cell'ers had hauled it's butt into morula-land. We ended up transferring 1 rock-solid blast, 1 early blast, and 1 morula -- exactly the same mix as last cycle, but actually a day earlier this time.
And, would ya believe, we have 3 more laggards that have a fightin' chance of making it to blast by tomorrow, so who knows, we might even end up with 1 or 2 blasts to freeze.
Needless to say, we are both feeling mighty relieved, and may I say, rather pleased with ourselves.
Ok! Better news than expected! One blastocyst, One Morula! The blastocyst is b/c quality, not the best, but it is a blast, so who cares, and a bonus morula. From little acorns, big oaks grow. Honestly, I'm just so relieved that there is something to transfer, that the whole thing feels like a bonus.
I don't know if I have adequately conveyed the amount of pain I have been in since the retrieval. It has been awful. From the moment I woke up from the TVA on Saturday it was clear that my right ovary was in distress. It took me an extra 3 shots of fentanyl to get off the table in the recovery room, and no positions, save kneeling next to my bed with my belly hanging down gave me any relief. Also peeing has been horrendous. Each time I would sit down it was as if all of my internal organs would try to crowd down onto my bladder and the normal umpf one puts behind peeing was really painful. And then on Monday the pain from my bladder got so bad that I thought my ovary was improving. You guessed it, I had a bladder infection. I was in such a state of accommodation Monday that I thought I was feeling a little better, as long as I stayed standing, didn't walk too much and hung my belly. That is NOT what I would consider a normal recovery. I was sort of getting the run around from my Doctor and Nurse, which was frustrating.
I woke up at 3 am Tuesday morning with some throbbing pain that was mostly distracting, but not excruciating. I took Tylenol, sat on the couch with my bucky bag, so as not to fall asleep with the heating pad on my belly. And by 6am I could tell things were not right. I waited until 7:30, called the IVF nurse, who again was having a hard time understating that I was not just experiencing 'regular' pain. Finally, on the verge of tears, I told her I was getting very scared and that I wanted to talk to the doctor.
Finally the doctor called around 8:30, mostly to tell us that we needed to do a 3 day transfer because we had one eight celled embryo and three five celled embryos, and it seemed as if we might not make it to a 5 day, but she wanted to examine me because she didn't want to do the transfer if I was in too much pain. I crab walked into the office, sat with my eyes closed just squeezing the life out of my husband's hand and trying not to mewl in pain. We finally get in to see Dr. Calm and she could see that my right ovary was up and out in stead of down and in (should be lower and 'behind', to some degree, the uterus.). She gave us orders for a doppler ultrasound to insure that the ovary had blood flow, and then we had to talk about what to do with the embryos.
Ugh. She recommend that we either freeze them at day three and do an FET in October, or let them grow until Thursday, and transfer what we've got then. The two of them bandied back and forth about the science and the timelines etc, but I just laid there and thought of how to minimize the heartbreak quotient. After my husband had all his questions answered he asked me what I wanted to do. I was surprised at how clearly I could feel and articulate my preference : I wanted to attempt to go to day 5, because I believe that the lab medium is really good and what ever chance the 8 celled one had, I'd rather know it petered out in the lab, then to freeze it and have to wait until November to find out if it was viable beyond 8 cells. It seems sort of cold,but for me it was the most self-compassionate option I could come up with. I want this cycle to be self contained--I can't bear to have it hanging out there. So with that decided, we went to the hospital.
I had a 45 minute ultrasound, both looking at my pelvis and my abdomen (to rule out appendicitis). They determined that my ovary was out of position, but that it wasn't twisted, so that was great news because I really didn't want to have 'lost an ovary' as part of this whole extravaganza of the lamest cycle ever. Ok, I'm sure my first one was worse, but this cycle reminds me of a road trip. Have you ever taken a road trip in a car that seems like its ok, but once you get it out on the open road the water pump goes, the radio only works on am, the tires are inexplicably bald etc etc? That is how this cycle has seemed to me. It is as if we have been driving down the road having to stop at repair shops every other day. Just as soon as all the problem seem fixed, another one crops up. Ugh. Back to the US: they called my doc, told her it wasn't twisted and she said she'd call us at home. 2 hours went by. I hadn't eaten anything because she said we might do surgery. Around 2 o'clock the pain was the worst it has ever been. I was in my bedroom kneeling on the floor with my arms on my bed weeping. I got my husband to track down the doctor and get it across to her that the pain was excruciating. I think she didn't realize how bad it was because after her exam, where she might have moved it into a less awful place temporarily, I could walk out of her office. But also, I think she just didn't get it. I have that effect on people. It's as if most people, except my husband thank God, my physical pain doesn't seem to to be so bad. It isn't as if I hold back, or don't tell how much it hurts. Maybe my mother put some kind of invisible tattoo on my head saying "Pay no attention to the little drama queen." Anyhoo, Dr Calm got the picture, scheduled the Laparoscopy and got me admitted for pain control.
We made it to the hospital before our orders did, but my hero hunted down a live person in the doctors office and got me admitted, but quick. Have I adequately expressed how wonderful my husband is in these situations? He is a results-seeking-missile and very sweet to me. The down side (if you could call it that), is that he is fierce about monitoring my 'resting'. The upside and downside to his working at home.
The morphine, which is usually the one I count on did not much about the pain, made me nauseas and gave me a local reaction. Thankfully the Anesthesiologist came by, gave me some relaxation meds (maybe versed?), and got me up the operating room. I had to have throat tube, so my throat is a bit sore today, but my belly is NOT! From the moment I work up I could tell that things were going to be better. I had a little bit of throbbing, but it felt normal, not amping up to excruciating. I got lots of Demerol, a cup of apple juice to sip and some of the best saltines of my life.
When we got home I had some chicken soup, more lovely saltines and 2 vicodin. I toddled off to bed with my viocodin and a glass of water. I did wake up every 4 hours, not so much from pain, but because vicodin kind of makes me wired. I took, an ambian around 3:30 and slept until 7. Then I snuck down stairs and did the dishes!!!!!!!!! Good lord that felt good. It is really frustrating to have to sit around and not even do things for yourself.
Next bit of news should be whether or not there is an embryo, or embryos to transfer tomorrow. Stay tuned.
One of the nice things about doing a second cycle (if ya gotta have silver lining...) is that they do have some sense of how things went last time. At about 8:45 Dr Calm called to say that the embryos haven't divided again, but that is what they did last time, so it is pretty likely that we'll have a 5 day transfer. Whew. Hopinghopinghoping.
My right ovary has been killing me for the last 18 hours (or so). Nothing seems to be wrong with it except that it is exceptionally swollen. I'm kinda wondering if it isn't my psoaz muscle that got tourqed funny in all the laying around in the operating room. Oddly I found some relief by leaning over my office chair and checking email. Hmm. I may try icing my back.
So, any minute now they could call with the fertilization report...Luckily I've been in too much pain to obsess about it much. I know it isn't likely for all 10 to fertilize, but a girl can dream.