Eight is Enough

My husband drove carefully over the border from San Diego into TJ. We had hit some traffic, and as much as I wanted to tell him to press on the gas, I also wanted to arrive all in one piece. I had an egg retrieval to get to, and I was all bloated and ready. My nipples were saluting the president  We parked in our normal parking lot and told the attendant por dia. Once inside the clinic we waited in our usual spots in the reception. My husband went to use the bathroom and then the nurse took the opportune time to lead me to my hospital room. Before I knew it, I was undressing and wrapping myself in a hospital gown. I was worried that Cristian wasn’t there and that they would take me away before I got to say goodbye. I told the nurse I wanted to see him and she told me after she started my IV. We communicated completely in Spanish and if my anxiety hadn’t started to rise, I might have preened a little bit at my developing Spanish skills.

Eventually, once I was settled in, Cristian did find his way to me. The doctor popped in to say hello. She asked how I was feeling and then told me to do a pee. Everything starts with doing a pee, she said. She then laughed and so did I because it was true. Every time I saw her it always begins with doing a pee. This time I had an IV and a bag of saline to carry.

After the pee, I did kiss Cristian goodbye and followed the doctor into another room with a table that had the largest stirrups I have ever seen. Up until that point I actually hadn’t been nervous because in that moment seeing the stirrups and the stage light perched over it, the nervousness did settle in.  There were six people, including myself in the room: the anesthesiologist, two doctors, two nurses and me. As I was sliding onto the table, the doctor told me that pretty soon it would be like having a margarita with an extra shot on the side. I laughed again. I hadn’t realized what a great sense of humor my doctor had. The minute I had met this women wearing a tight pony tail and brown knee-length boots I knew that she was the doctor for me. But I had no idea she was funny. Perhaps, it was because our conversations have primarily consisted of cervical mucus, follicle growth, and quality of semen. It seems like there are plenty of jokes there and perhaps Chris Rock would be all up in the that stuff, but for us, this is hum drum in the realm of IVF.

I don’t remember having the margarita, but I woke up 30 minutes later, back in the recovery room. My first question was, “How many eggs did you get?” I could have been falling off a cliff and this would have been my last question. The doctor came in a few minutes later and proudly exclaimed, “Great news. We got eight eggs.” If I hadn’t been half out of it, I would have danced a follie  jig. I only had 8 follicles and we got 8 eggs. It was a complete success. Then came the bag of new drugs and ones to buy at the pharmacy. I got a shot of progesterone in the bum and off we went. The last words from the doctor were to eat a big steak later. Cristian perked up at the mention of steak. This is his favorite meal and now having been ordered by the doctor to have one, he was ecstatic.

After crossing back into the U.S. we headed for the Outback close to our house. One steak and lobster later, I was ready for sleep. I didn’t want to sleep that much because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep later. Boy was I wrong. I slept all day. Woke up and streamed Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, then fell back asleep again. Sleep was my friend.

The next day the bloating is still my constant companion. My nipples are super sore, and this is what it feels like to be pregnant. The doctor called to say that 5 embies had fertilized. I had dreamt of winning 5,000 dollars at a casino. In the dream, I also held a full house with two aces. It looks like my dream had come true. So, now the waiting game. Hopefully, the transfer will be on Saturday or Monday. We will transfer 3 and freeze 2. I went to acupuncture again today and have basically spent the day watching romantic comedies (I want to keep my mood positive) and eating sweet potatoes with guacamole and cheese. It a delicious combination that I found on All Recipes. Still extremely sore and bloated but hopeful.

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Getting Eggy

Today in acupuncture, as I lay in the prone position with various needles in important and tender spots, I began to write my thank you conception letter to all that have helped me so far on my journey. It was filled with tears and gratitude. It began with a simple Dear Giselle, and I continued from there. You see, I’m ready for this journey to be over. I want to get on the short or the long bus or any bus that will have me. I’m ready not to take daily swigs of wheat grass; prenatals divided into three portions; royal jelly with a shot of honey; needles filled with LH, FSH, and HCG. I’m ready to wear a squishy Bjorn and buy little socks with Santa’s face. I’m ready for cheesy family photos and nights of no sleep. I’m ready for the next step.

During acupuncture, I practice my visualizations while listening to a gurgling fountain and soothing music. Peace does descend and in that hour I believe that one day I will get to cross over. I will get to cross over to the inclusive and elusive mommy club. One day I will complain about poopie diapers and leaky nipples. I will get to be normal. I see a little girl, sometimes a little boy. I can smell their hair and feel their shoulders. They squeeze me tightly and tell me they are coming. I just have to be patient.

Patience I have learned. I have had no other choice. Trying to conceive requires an overabundance of this virtue. It should be marketed along with folic acid, omegas, and vitex. If patience could be bottled and stamped with organic, sales would surpass milk and bread as a daily staple. Stores wouldn’t be able to keep it in stock.

Tomorrow is egg retrieval day. My eggs have performed beautifully so far. I have five ready to go and two more hidden under the chicken and will be ready tomorrow. I only have eight follicles to begin with, so a healthy seven is a success. I injected the trigger shot last night, and all day I’ve felt what it is like to be pregnant. I spent the afternoon wandering Target buying a baby gift for a good friend of mine. Everywhere I turned (I was after all in the children’s section) were mothers with babies of all shapes and sizes, packaged in fat strollers loaded with must have baby stuff. For the first time in a long time, I did not experience the sensation of being forgotten, but rather the sensation that my time was near.

After retrieval, I plan on streaming romantic comedies on Netflix, starting with Love Actually, followed by a long nap and a antioxidant milkshake. I will continue with my wheat grass and beet and carrot juices. I will continue swallowing my vitamins and hoping, hoping that one day very soon, I will no longer need so much patience because my time, our time has come.