Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Introducing Dr. Augusta

I did it! It's over and done. I'm a doctor now. The defense went very well. It was actually shorter than I anticipated: we wrapped up by noon and the entire committee took me to lunch. I was very nervous at the start of my presentation, but by the time we got to the questions, I was enjoying myself. I even cracked a few jokes, to help me relax and it worked: the audience started to laugh and it lightened the mood. There were no questions I felt I couldn't answer, and even when I didn't know the answer immediately, there was always something I could say.

I can't even begin to describe the relief I am currently experiencing. I'll try with capital letters:HUGE RELIEF. Not quite, but it will have to do.

Do you know what time our anxious owl woke up this morning? 3am, and that was that.

So I am off for a nap.

Your encouragements are wonderful! I am so lucky to have your support.

P.S. Did I even notice the very pregnant internal/external examiner? Not really. I took it as a good omen. 

Here goes...

talk to you on the other side, women.
I'll post a short update this afternoon to let you know the outcome of my defense.

THANK YOU for your amazing support.

Monday, March 28, 2011

your order of fresh cortisol has arrived!

Oh yes, it has. It's a case of nerves, and it's getting worse. And I keep freaking out about the potentially lethal levels of cortisol in my blood. Lethal to the embies that is, I've survived it thus far in my life. I would like to take this opportunity to remind myself to breathe. Inhale. Exhale.

Only 2 more sleeps and it will be the day of my defense. It is at 10am EST on Wednesday. It started affecting my sleep last Thursday night, and it hasn't really let up. I couldn't fall asleep last night.

Sattva organized a dry run (mock defense) on Saturday with two other dear friends from grad school. Yes. Sattva gives me eggs, reads my dissertation and makes constructive comments, and organizes a mock defense for me. How does one even talk about gratitude when it's a few galaxies beyond that. Anywho, the dry run was extremely helpful. It helped me feel more confident about my presentation and about my topic and my work in general. They gave me useful feedback and I now feel much more ready to tackle this beast on Wednesday. I also really enjoyed the fact that my presentation launched us into a discussion of clinical issues for another hour and half. And by the end, we had changed theoretical models of psychopathology and re-written the DSM.

Any of you have ideas on how to disentangle symptoms of anxiety from symptoms of early pregnancy? I'm swimming in a soup of confusion on that subject, so thank jaw (that's Roccie's expression and it always makes me laugh) that it isn't the topic of my dissertation. Clearly, subjective feelings of anxiety are related to anxiety about Wednesday. No brainer. Feelings of nausea in the morning tip the scale on the side of early pregnancy symptom. I'm pretty much queasy at some point during the first hour after getting out of bed. It was pretty serious on Saturday morning, and then yesterday and today, I felt some waves of nausea, but they were short.

Last night, as I said earlier, I couldn't fall asleep. Initial insomnia is very much linked to performance anxiety for me. I remember having to take figure skating tests as a kid and not sleeping the night before. However, last night I wasn't just nervous, I also felt very hot. And this was part of the difficulty in falling asleep. I had to push Mr. A over to his side of the bed and remove most of the duvet off of my body. Finally, I had to get up and do crosswords. But while I was lying there, attempting to think calm thoughts, I felt some definite cramping in the region of my uterus. Nothing major, but I still could feel it and call it crampy. I definitely feel a heaviness in that region, and certainly pulling when I try to stretch my body.

List making is our friend at these times, so to recap, here are to date, noted symptoms of both anxiety and potential early pregnancy:

Signs of anxiety about Wednesday: subjective feelings of anxiety, trouble sleeping, lower GI upsets, obsessing about details, generalized jitters.

Signs of potential early pregnancy: nausea and queasiness in the morning, one noted instances of rise in body temperature, some mild cramping, heavy uterus, very very sore boobs (and they are looking bigger than normal), random weeping (not tearing, weeping) on Saturday night upon hearing the song 'that's what friends are for' by Dionne Warwick and friends (!).


Most of the items in the anxiety list could go in the PEP list, and most (but not all) items on the PEP list, could go in the anxiety list. As you can see, creating these lists was really helpful.

I'm doing pretty well overall, despite this last display of obsessional thinking. I am not driving myself too crazy about the results of the IVF. We'll have the beta on Saturday and test on Sunday. In the mean time, I am trying to enjoy the thought of being pregnant. This may be the only 2 weeks I ever believe this. One thing is for certain, I will not soon forget March 2011. And I'm happy to report that Mr. A is all better. So nice to see him back to his old self.

Keeping you in my thoughts, women. I'm particularly excited about Roccie's slam dunk BFP!! And about Bunny's baby ukulele. What a surprise! I am still feeling hopeful for Pumpkin who had a negative early hpt and is awaiting her beta this week. Hopeful for Foxy who is in the midst of the 2ww. Hopeful for Adele who awaits to cross the threshold to the second T.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

still.cannot.concentrate

This is was happened after my lament of a post on Tuesday evening. I woke up the next morning, went for my gentle walk, did all my morning routine things and despite being up for a couple of hours, I just wasn't getting hungry. I had a substantial piece of salmon for supper on Tuesday and still felt full, a decrease in appetite not altogether surprising after a change in my activity level. But like a switch, it suddenly turned to nausea. And then from mild nausea to 'oh my gawd, I'm gonna barf' nausea. That is certainly not a remotely typical reaction to my delaying breakfast. I get nauseous on planes, boats, watching home videos, and every few years when I get a stomach virus. Certainly not from delaying breakfast.

To be sure, this nausea could have been entirely of psychogenic origins.  

Or, it could mean something else.

Like the estrogen (unlikely, I've never had problems tolerating it) or the progesterone (more likely, since it is a hypothesized cause of morning sickness in pregnancy) I am on currently. I am taking 2x the amount of progesterone I normally take on my regular cycles. There are theories that hcg causes morning sickness. If that's true, and if my nausea wasn't psychogenic, then I have reason to hope.

No big nausea this morning, as I ate breakfast more promptly, but there was some mild queasiness post breakfast.

I should really be leaving this level of detail to my defense prep. Which is what I'm going to have to do right now.


Some of you have asked if I will POAS and the answer is yes. But it will not be until the weekend after my defense. Mr. August has been quite clear with his wishes regarding the peeing on things and I can see his point. My advisor is having a little gathering on the night of my defense, and then my friends are having another shin-dig on Friday, April 1st. Mr. A wants me to be able to enjoy my celebrations. He knows all too well that if it's negative, it will be next to impossible to enjoy myself.

My beta blood test is on Saturday April 2, but I won't get the results until Monday, April 4 (because I can't do the actual blood test in FTT, and by the time the clinic gets the results, it will be Monday). Because I don't want to hear the results of our DE IVF at work, I will pee on a stick on Saturday or Sunday. Haven't decided yet. I know that technically, I could start testing this weekend, but I just don't want to do this to myself. I will continue to be hopeful and ignorant of whether I am with child until after April Fools Day.

I am stupidly excited about Roccie's darkening pink and blue lines on the complement of POAS approaches she has been using. I am hopeful that my other two cycle sisters, Pumpkin and Foxy are also coming upon some wonderful news imminently.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the 2 Week Wilderness

On the Appalachian trail, there is a section in Maine called the 100 mile wilderness. It's the most remote stretch of the trail. Like its nickname suggests, it consists of a section of trail without any access to civilization. I was always looking forward to Maine, when I hiked the AT. Unfortunately, an injury stopped me early in my thru hike. It was one of my life's big disappointments.

What will come at the end of the 2 Week Wilderness? Blissful joy or one of my life's big disappointments? It seems all so black and white at this moment. 

Ok, women, is this suppose to feel like anything? I'm not feeling anything yet. Except, maybe a bit grouchy.

I miss my daily workouts. I went for a gentle walk this morning. No sweating. No attendance at the gym. Just a little walk around the neighborhood. I find it very tough not to go to the gym. It's my surefire way to cope with stress. It works 98.97 times out of 100.

I wish I knew what was going on in there. It is very hard not to know, not to feel like it's one way or another. What to think? My rational mind is trying SO BLOODY HARD to think its way around this question. What a waste. I should be reading articles. But I'm still completely distracted and now I'm also grouchy.

Maybe the grouchiness is a good sign. When Sattva was pregnant with Anne, she thought she was depressed for the first 10 weeks or so. She felt awful about life and her career prospects and everything. She tells this very funny story of telling her husband that she must be depressed. Maybe her eggs give off the grouchy, depressed kind of hcg.

I'm back at work, chickadees. My heart's not in it this week. I've just mostly been writing reports and feeling behind the 8-ball because I missed most of last week and I'm not going to be there most of next week. I am not letting myself stay until my usual 7pm, but instead coming home early to work on my, ahum, defense (or blogging).

I received the feedback from the external examiner for my dissertation. It was a pretty good report, as as externals' reports go I hear. Only very minor "fine tuning" changes are what she suggested. She used words like "excellent" and "may well lead to publication in a scientific journal". I can't believe how much relief I derived from her evaluation. I had obviously been catastrophizing catastrophically.

A little update on Mr. A. Sadly, he is still ill. His parents came over to take him to his chest x-ray on Monday and then decided to take him to their house. So he packed up Chicken and her scratching post, and off they went. The chest x-ray was inconclusive for pneumonia, but his white blood cell count was very high. He is taking the week off and resting some more, much to his dismay. Mr A is a keep busy kinda of a guy, and sitting around doing nothing is pretty much agony in a jar.

Thinking of you, women. I'm loving the good news lately. It's helping me keep positive.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

first photo of the kids



I hope you know that the title of this post is simply to amuse myself. We are a long way from actual children. But this may be as close as I ever get, so I am going to enjoy it, darn it! I am thrilled to introduce to you our embryos. Mr. A thinks the top one looks a bit like him. The bottom one definitely has more features of Sattva.

You can tell that I am completely green when it comes to IVF. You veterans reading this, please go ahead and laugh. I'm ok with that.  I like talking "as if" though. I feel like there is something sane in that mode of thinking. Sure, this may not work. But 2 embryos have been deposited inside my uterus, the same uterus which was sporting a very nice lining and is being maintained by lots of nice progesterone. There are good reasons for this to work. I can be sad and depressed when/if it fails. But I am going to enjoy this for now. It's nice to feel excited and happy. What a concept!

Mr. A and I walked slowly to the farmer's market this morning (10 minutes away) and walked slowly back. That's the extent of my movements for the day. I freaked out when I sneezed. But not too much, that might upset the embies. We purchased one fresh, organic pineapple that I intend on consuming slowly over the next few days, including the core. Thank you for your input on this matter.   

I had lofty goals of reading articles while lying down yesterday, but who am I kidding. I am so distracted! I just watched Jun.o in the afternoon, and then some episodes of Gre.y's Anat.omy in the evening. That's as far as my intellect could take me. I sure need to ramp things up. I'll get back to finalizing my slides.

Thank you for your wonderful comments and for keeping us in your thoughts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Homecoming

Ok, so what is this about pineapple I need to know. Please enlighten me, women! I am in the dark. I have never been anywhere remotely in the neighborhood of pregnant. And now I'm PUPO!!!!!!! So, if I need to be eating bucket-loads of pineapple or do some tango or any sort of crazy shit like that, please let me know.  I depend on you.

Today, I wore my lucky owl underwear. I brought little Hoot that Pumpkin gave to me, just so the kids would know there would be toys in their future. I started the day with yoga. I took some deep breaths. My friend SJ was able to come with me. I kissed Mr. A goodbye and told him we'd be back soon. I did all that I could today to make this successful. Now it is not in my hands anymore. This is a kind of lottery or God's will or whatever tickles your fancy. I just know I don't get to decide. I just get to go along for the ride.

The transfer happened as planned this morning. It was scheduled for 10:45, but didn't happen until an hour later. I needed to go with a full bladder, and having planned that for 10:45, it became almost unbearable by 11:26. I almost started to cry in order to evacuate some fluid from my body. The nurse who told Sattva and I we were cute on Tuesday just told me to go. I promptly drank a bottle of water afterward, but my timing still stank. They called me right away.

The nurse's name was the same as Sattva's name. I told her so and we both felt that was lucky. The lab biologist (I didn't ask for her title and I don't feel like calling her a lab technician. She was infinitely more than that to me.) came in and told me my skirt (hospital sheet) was very becoming, especially with my striped socks. I liked her right away. She said there were 2 beautiful embies awaiting. One embryo had reached the 7-cell stage and, in the doctor's words, was as good as we could hope for. The other one was still at 4-cells but still growing. She put them up on a screen so I could look at them while having the procedure, and she also made me a take-home picture (will scan and post soon). She said the other 2 didn't make it. And it that moment, it didn't feel like it mattered. We were all lined up for a great transfer in the here and now.

The doctor was not my usual RE, but I liked him too. He couldn't visualize my uterus from the abdominal ultrasound (my bad), but he wasn't bent out of shape about it. He did a transvaginal u/s instead and took measurements. He got everything ready, and then the lovely biologist poked her head through the little window between the procedure room and the lab. "The babysitter is getting antsy" is what the doc said. The procedure was fairly quick. We talked about my dose of estr.ace and prom.etrium, and they sent me on my way, with earnest hope-filled wishes.

I cried only once I got in the car with my friend SJ. I looked at the picture and just couldn't fucking believe it. Pardon the French, but that was necessary under those circumstances.

They're in! Welcome home embryos.

After the procedure, the doc said "and now it will be the longest 2 weeks of your life", to which I responded that my Ph.D. defense should keep me distracted. He smiled.

Mr. A did make it in to see the doctor again this afternoon. They are querying pneumonia but he was unable to get an x-ray, given that it was Friday afternoon and we live in a fairly small college town. He seemed a little better this afternoon. He kissed my belly and seemed excited about the homecoming. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Embryos awaiting

I drove to acupuncture with thoughts racing. Faster than my little Neko could in afternoon traffic. I thought about how the nursing staff goes home at 4pm, just about the time I would get out of acupuncture. I elaborated a plan to call Mr. A once I got to Dr. Ninja's and if the clinic hadn't call, I would call them myself with a well placed "what's up?". No need. They'd called Mr. August, who was in bed coughing up a lung. He didn't ask about grades the lab gave the embryos, so I have nothing of the sort to report. Here is what I was told by my semi-conscious husband:

3 embryos at the 4-cell stage, where they should be on Day 2
1 embryo lagging behind but still in the race. Could look different tomorrow.

So if things continue to go well, there will be 2 for tomorrow, 1 or potentially 2 to freeze. It might be less than that once we get to tomorrow, but I'm feeling positive.

I left Dr. Ninja's with a bottle of prenatal vitamins.

Holy cow!

I just talked to Sattva and she is doing very well. She said she was up yesterday teaching her afternoon class and seeing clients today. And she liked her flowers. I was so glad to hear this great report from our beloved Sattva. What a woman!

As for the drive tomorrow, well, it is up in the air. I have had an offer from Roccie, but Chicago is a long way from Pleasantville. And I want her to focus on calm thoughts given that she is herself cradling precious cargo within. You women are AWESOME! I was completely blushing when I read all your comments and felt SO LOVED! Thank you. I think that perhaps my dear friend SJ could drive me. And if not, I can ask a few other friends. And if I have to drive myself, well, at least the wee ones will start out by knowing their mama is a strong one.

The anxiety creeps in

Have not heard from the lab yet. I will update as soon as we do. I have been able to stay very positive, but in the last hour, I've noticed myself getting more anxious. I went to school and printed SPSS (stats) output files "just in case" I would need to get technical in my defense. I also did a lit search on a measure I used in my study, and this got my anxiety going. SO MUCH I haven't read. I can't possibly know EVERYTHING before March 30th!!!

You get a sense of the anxious spiral I'm on.

I walked back in the house and Mr. A tells me our Nurse Case Manager called to confirm that I have been taking my prom.etrium since Tuesday. Three times a day, religiously, was my answer on her answering machine. If the lab hasn't called but she called to make sure I was on prom.etrium, it could be a good sign. Right? She would have heard news from the lab potentially, and knows that we are going ahead for tomorrow. Or not.

An added twist is that Mr. A has been sick for almost three weeks, and things have gotten worse since Tuesday. It started out as a cold, and now it's definitely something else. He started antibiotics on Tuesday evening, and he seems worse for it now. He is running a fever all the time and sleeps day and night. His cough is hurting his chest. He probably won't be able to come for the ET tomorrow if he is still in this state. I am able and willing to go alone, except for the fact that I have to take the prom.etrium orally tomorrow morning in anticipation of the procedure, and I've only taken it vaginally. I hear it makes people feel strange, dizzy and loopy when taken orally. Will I be able to drive? If anyone has input on this, please chime in.

Off to acupuncture in 45 minutes. Operation healthy, calm, balanced Augusta continues (with a few bumps along the way).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fertilization has occured

Our lovely Nurse Case Manager called this morning to say that 4 of the 6 had fertilized. The lab will call tomorrow afternoon with the fertilization report. I was relived and very happy to hear that 4 had fertilized. We're not sure if all 4 will become embryos, but we are hopeful.

Still working on my slides and have taken myself away from the internet connection. My level of distractibility is already at peak levels, no need to encourage it.

Augusta's self-care program is in high gear. I slept in until 8:20am this morning (instead of my usual 5:30-6am). I have an acupuncture treatment booked for tomorrow afternoon (so looking forward to it!). I went to one of my favorite classes at the gym this morning; a great way to start to my day. For lunch, I made an awesome salad, which included shredded carrots, lightly steamed broccoli, chick peas, green peas, and toasted sunflower seeds. I drizzled it with my lemon-mustard dressing. Yum! As you can see, I am hoping to make my house most hospitable for the arrival of our honoured guest.

I'll post again tomorrow to let you know about the fertilization report. Thank you so very much for your comments and encouragements. It is quite amazing to stop and take in all the support that we have had in our quest to have a baby. I am truly humbled.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eggs

My body has never produced eggs. The sum total of eggs I've ever produced is 0. Never ovulated. 99.99% likely that I never will. The circumference of all the eggs I should have produced in my reproductive years is the distance between us and our child. Today, we were able to start bridging that span.

We met at the clinic at 8am for the egg retrieval. Sattva looked tired, and said her belly was very unhappy. She also couldn't have coffee on the way over. I felt pretty bad for her, and just wanted the procedure to be over so she could start to feel some relief. We were all invited to the prep/recovery room where we stayed while she went in for the procedure. Once they got her on IV, and gave her antibiotics, things went pretty quickly. They wheeled her out of there and brought her back within 20 minutes. She seemed drowsy, but she was doing great, and able to have something to drink and eat right away after the procedure. Sattva started crying when telling me there were only 6 eggs. And all I could think and try to convey was that 6 was infinitely more than 0. The nurse caught this, and said under her breath that we were so cute. It felt more like poignant for me, but I caught the spirit of what she was saying. I guess there is something inherently and universally beautiful about an act of such altruistic proportions. I held my tears back, with my ever present clinician hat on, thinking I have to be strong when someone is feeling vulnerable.

Sattva was given tyl.enol 3s, ate some food and had a little nap, while Mr. August and I sat beside her. Just before we left, Mr. A was called to produce his sample. He was gone a long time and I was nervous that he was getting performance anxiety. He told me that the sample-producing room was in a hallway with traffic, and that it was pretty distracting when trying to get the job done. I was sending him sexy vibes. He finally came back with a smug expression, which I took as an excellent sign. The lab gave us the go ahead to leave, meaning that the sample was adequate.

When Sattva was changing, I asked the nurse about whether there was a high likelihood that we wouldn't be called back for Friday, meaning that none of the eggs would turn into embryos. Her face said it all when she expressed that this was unlikely. Having never gone through IVF, I wanted her opinion on this. I also wanted to reassure myself and Sattva. The nurse felt it was likely that we would get 2 good fresh embryos, and that embryos to freeze would be a bonus. Again, starting from nothing, I feel overjoyed at this prospect. The nurse could tell that I was anxious and suggested that she have our Nurse Case Manager call us tomorrow with an interim update on the embies. The lab will call Thursday afternoon with the fertilization report.

Mr. August, who had rented a car to get himself and Sattva over to FTT from Pleasantville, went to visit parents while Sattva and I returned home. We had a good conversation about work in the car, and then it was time to take her pain meds again, and she fell asleep. I dropped her off very groggy, and was glad to see that her husband was home. My next stop was my favourite flower shop to order a beautiful bunch of spring flowers for our beloved Sattva. I got it from the same flower shop that did our wedding flowers.

And now I must sign off and work on prepping for the defense.  I will keep you posted as we hear from the clinic. I am feeling optimistic, and very blessed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Forward

Picture this commonplace scene from our past. March 6th to 9th, 2008. Sattva, C. and I are in Chicago for the Society for Research on Adolescence conference. We had decided to take the earliest flight back home on the Sunday morning, given that we all had lives to get back to. What we didn't account for when buying our plane tickets was the time change. Clocks are changed in the night of Saturday to Sunday, and when we get the wake-up call, all three of us are confused about what time it is and whether we've missed our flight. In addition, we are still on EST, and Chicago is on CDT. Sattva is about 7-8 weeks pregnant with Ginger, and by the time our cab pulls into O'Hare, she is green with nausea. It's so damn early; it's dark like 3am. We make it with time to spare and I run around the airport, desperate to find something to put in Sattva's belly to make the nausea go away. I have a picture engraved in my mind of her sitting on an airport waiting area bench, looking pale, yet relieved that I was bearing coffee and baked good. 


Picture this more unusual scene from this morning. March 13, 2011. Sattva and I are both expected in FTT for an u/s, and Sattva also needs to get blood work. I get up at 5:15, but because of the change to daylight savings time,  it really feels like 4:15. I get to her house at 5:45. We drive in the night. It's so damn early; it's dark like 3am. In the car, Sattva tells me that her ovaries feel very big. We get to the blood work lab. Her name is not on their list. Weird. She goes in and I almost fall asleep on my chair. We drive to the hospital and find parking on the second floor of the parking garage. It must be Sunday. We wait in the waiting room until the nurse comes to get Sattva (no receptionists on Sunday. Too bad, I was wearing my name tag), and soon after comes to get me. Sitting outside the u/s room, I can hear that it's Dr. RE who is on call. This brings me infinite reassurance. I trust him so much at this point. When one of the two change rooms becomes available, I go in and know that Sattva is the one getting the u/s on the other side of the door. Despite the music playing in the change room trying to cover the conversations going on in the u/s room, I hear Dr. RE call out the size of the follies. It all sounds good to me, in the 1.6 to 2.0 range. I think I count 9, but I'm not sure. My turn comes, and the resident is the one doing the u/s. She tries to visualize my uterine lining, but is not quite getting it. Dr. RE moves her over gently, and locates what he wants to see. It's still good. 7.5 he said. I'm wondering how it went from 9 to 7.5, but if he says 7.5 is good, that's all I need. They tell me that Sattva will trigger tonight and that retrieval will be on Tuesday.   

Following the u/s, the nurse took us into her office to teach the HCG trigger shot to Sattva. She also helped Sattva by extracting the last bits of meds from her 2 used go.nal-f pens so that she could get her final dose tonight. Sattva inquires about follies and the nurse tells her there are 8. We leave and make our way to the elevator. Sattva looks concerned. She feels that 8 is not enough. Meanwhile, I'm overjoyed to get that many, and all within a very close range in size. When your ovaries do not produce eggs, any amount is a miracle. 8 has always been my favourite number.

This gets more real everyday. Mr. August wanted to talk about midwives versus OB at brunch this morning. I humoured him, knowing that if things go south, I will look back on this conversation with great sadness. But at this point, my heart is completely in it. It's like when you are 17 and you lust after a boy very much,  and you can see yourself falling and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. I already knew my heart had to be in it. I already knew that if things didn't work out, it would hurt. I am doing this consciously. I want you to remind me to read this post if or when things go south and I start loathing myself for going through with the DE IVF. I made the choice with full knowledge of potential consequences.

But let's stay north for a while longer here (instead of talking about things going south). I decided to go to work tomorrow, and take the rest of the week off. Sattva and Mr. A will drive to FTT together on Tuesday morning and I'll meet them at the hospital. I'll drive Sattva home and then focus the rest of the week on preparing the presentation for my defense. Do you think I've been able to concentrate on that at all? Not so much. I've booked an acupuncture treatment for Thursday afternoon and we will go in for the embryo transfer on Friday morning (if all goes well and embryos get made). This is getting more real everyday.

Thank you for cheering me on. I feel very blessed to have you with me.
 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Snowstorm

And a surprise one at that. The meteorologists were calling for rain. But in FTT, it was a whopping snowstorm. I got up at 5am, like Sattva, and went to the gym. Might as well do something with that anxiety. Mrs. cell-phone-phobic carried it everywhere with her in the gym, just in case Sattva needed to get in touch. I was worried sick about her in her rental car without snow tires.

I got to the clinic at 8:05. The new receptionist was there again. She asked for my name. I said I was here to meet Sattva. She asked for my health card. Loudly. I moved in closer to her and said I was meeting someone here, specifically our donor. Oh. Oh, I see. I think I might get a name tag next time which says: 'Augusta, 36, Infertile, Egg Recipient', just so EVERYONE is clear on what the hell I am doing there. I sat down and read about parenting the anxious child for a consult I had later on that morning. That did nothing for my anxiety. And then at 8:13am, there she was. I couldn't believe she was there, safe, all in one piece and only 13 minutes late. We gave each other a big hug. The drive had been harrowing.

She had her u/s in good time. Her follies had grown. On Tuesday, they were actually in the 0.8 to 1.2 range. This morning, they were in the 1.2 to 1.7 range. Her next monitoring appt. is on Sunday morning. The clinic also called me to have me come in for an u/s on that same day to do another lining check. We will head out early together from Pleasantville on Sunday. At this point, I am anticipating that the retrieval will happen on Tuesday or Wednesday. We can't tell for sure, but I think that's a good guess given the data available.

I'm sipping a glass of awesome red wine at the moment, wondering if it will be my last one for a while.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Overachiever

That's what I can say of my lining. When I got to the ultrasound room, the doc said she would hope for a thickness of 6mm at this stage. Mine was at 9mm. She said that I should keep at this dose (8mgs) and would add pro.metrium the day of Sattva's retrieval. 

Next is Sattva's monitoring on Friday. What will happen then? We don't know. We can just hope for the best.

Thank you for your comments. I was very anxious in the waiting room and then took a breath, and remembered that you were all with me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pinch me

Things are still going well. How is that possible? I don't know, but I'm rolling with it. I can even say that I like it.

I met Sattva at the clinic this morning. Once again, she got up at 5am, drove 90 minutes in the dark to get a needle in her arm and some vagcam action. All before 8am. 

I got to the waiting room and took a seat. I pulled out a pen and paper to do some math on the gon.al-f dosage and when we would replenish her supplies. The receptionist came over asking me for my health card, and I had to explain in a hushed tone that I was, hum, waiting for our donor. "Oh. Oh, I see." She wasn't the usual receptionist but she handled it well once her brain started to put it together. Sattva showed up almost at the same time: she had already had her ultrasound.

Even though we both had to get back to work, we felt that because it was so early, we could afford the time to have a coffee (tea for me) and chat. It's becoming our little ritual to go down to the 3rd floor cafeteria and sit at the table where I sat with little Ginger back in January. I'm enjoying so much all this time I get to spend with her.

Things looked good. The follies were at 1.2 cm, which they said was right on target for day 6. They want to see her again on Friday. We tried to plan what things would look like after that. Will they want to see her on Saturday or Sunday? Will the follies be big enough on Friday that they will have her trigger on Saturday night for retrieval on Monday morning? Hard to predict. We talked about the different scenarios and how we would do it logistically over the weekend. Sattva's husband is away this weekend, so the girls would need to be looked after if we have to go to FTT for monitoring.
 
So it looks like Sattva is actually going to make it to retrieval. This is actually going to happen.

I realize how much I have prevented myself from believing in this dream. I realize it now because I think I'm starting to believe in it. Is the moment of believing the same moment it all shatters to pieces? That is certainly one of my many fears.

Of course, retrieval does not equal embryos, and even embryos does not equal fetus (and fetus does not equal baby).

It just feels strange to go to the clinic and receive good news.

I can get used to strange.

I am going in tomorrow morning for a meeting with the wand. Hopefully, my lining looks nice and plump and cozy. 

Oh, and Sattva and I were having a discussion about how there would be leftover from one gon.al-f pen and she would have to combine it with stuff from another one. Our nurse explained how she could do it with an extra syringe so that she would mix the meds from both, and only have to inject herself once. Pfff! Not our Sattva. She injected herself twice last night, she said with a little grin. She's so hardcore.  

My commenting has been sub-par lately and I apologize for that, women. I have to say, there is less of me to go around these days. I am focused on getting through the DE IVF and getting ready for my defense. Please know that my thoughts are with you, even if I am not commenting with the same frequency. Also, THANK YOU for your great comments, for your support, and for keeping me in your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Suppression check

Sattva got up at 5am this morning so she could drive for 90 minutes in the dark and get her blood drawn at 7am in Fertility Treatment Town. I then met her at 7:52am in the parking garage of large hospital of the fertility clinic. Just randomly, we got there at the same time and parked near each other. What a wonderful sight to see her waving and smiling at me from her rental car.

Everything looked good at the ultrasound. She got out of there and said "I'm suppressed!" She later said they had counted 5 follies on one side and 9 on the other. I'm not sure what that will translate to in terms of eggs, but I took 14 as a nice, round, egg-shaped number.

We got her the gon.al-f, a little more supre.fact at the hospital pharmacy. She gulped when the pharmacist told us the total. I didn't bat an eyelid. We won't care about that money in 5 years, either way.

I think she will start her injections tomorrow evening and I wish I could be with her. I won't be back to Pleasantville until Friday, and so she will be on her own for her first injection on Thursday night. Somehow I'm having a hard time with it. I found my first injection really anxiety-provoking and had my beloved friend who is a nurse practitioner coach me through it. I remember even by my third injection, I was still shaky and needed to move very slowly through the process not to fuck it up.

Mr. August and I have a wedding anniversary on Sunday. Our first wedding anniversary. I think that we will all be getting up at 5 am and going on a road trip to celebrate. We will bring Sattva along and get her poked with a needle for the occasion. It seems fitting somehow that this is what we'll be doing on our anniversary.

Must. go. to. bed.

But before I go, just have to say how ecstatic I am about Adele's news. She heard a heartbeat for the second time today and graduated to an OB.