Happy Birth Day Little Miss

The day has come and gone and I am still here on this earth, living and breathing and enjoying my newborn baby girl, despite my number of fears. Going back to the day though, feels no less scary as it did in that moment.

The night before, I was wide awake, midnight came and went, 1am, 2 am, 3 am, still awake. Finding things to busy myself, whipping out the sewing machine and sewing a pillow cover I had sold that week. Cleaning the master bedroom, and packing all the stuff for the hospital. I finally decided I should get some shred of sleep for the big day and I laid down and fell asleep. Only to wake a few hours later to get ready and leave.

We pulled up to the hospital, me only thinking the worst, fears in high alert now. Fighting back tears telling my husband my wishes for certain things, like not to bury me with my wedding ring, to keep it for the kids. I could barely speak at this point, tears welling in my eyes like water balloons ready to explode. My husband asked me if I wanted him to drop me off at the door, and I told him I wanted to walk, so we parked and walked inside. I felt like dead man walking, quiet as a mouse, just thinking and being totally up in my head. A moment of complete excitement and all I could do was be afraid.

We went up the elevator and checked in at the desk, a moment later a nurse came and got me and we walked the loooonnnnnggggg corridor to the triage area for surgery prep. My surgery was scheduled for 10:15am. We got there at 8:15 am just like they asked. Immediately the nurse began asking a bunch of questions to find out medical history and started an IV. IV’s suck for me because my veins are horrible to find, but she found it right away without having to poke me twice. Thank God. So we sat there, me on this very hard, very uncomfortable exam bed, in a gown, IV attached and ready to go. And with the two hour prep window before surgery, I laid there all up in my head. My phone there to distract me, battery slowly dying as the minutes tick on. And we come up to my surgery time, when they inform me an emergency took precedence and my time slot was bumped back a bit. No time estimate was given and I am just laying there, scared to death, anxious beyond belief that now I am prolonging the inevitable. When I met the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist I told them how I get really sick with the spinal and I would like to not be puking through the whole thing. I told them that my last c-section went really well because I told them my issues and they gave me something to combat it. They told me they could see what they could do, but with my high blood pressure it would have to be a wait and see kind of thing. When my doctor came in, I cheered, literally raising my arms in touchdown fashion, and audibly blurting out ‘You’re here!!!!!!!!!!’. She and the nurses were talking about how it was pushed back and she chuckled and said, ‘this is probably the worst person that could’ve happened to’ (talking about me and all my fears) and the nurse said ‘yeah, she’s been getting pretty worked up, but she’s okay now’. Because I had been crying off and on the entire time, thinking about what could go wrong. The nurse was talking at one point about the interns that were going to be watching and she said she’s had to talk them out of starting in Labor/Delivery, because it’s not always roses and sunshine, they can see a lot of bad things happen and it’s not a good place to want to start after medical school. While that may be true, it did nothing to ease any of my million-and-one fears.

So, it was time, they had me drink this sour substance that I’m no stranger to now, and as I was drinking it, something happened I can only explain as a reflex, because a bunch of it got spit out in an over-the-top comedic type of way. Then I walked into the operating room, a different one than I had been in previously. It was cold, sterile, smelled crisp like oxygen. They had me sit on the edge of the table and I held my doctors hand and rested my head on her shoulder, scared of the spinal. I squeezed her tight as they just went for it. Of course, they did the rundown of my stats, who I am, why I’m there, and any issues they may come across. They did their medical check that seems like a distant memory to me now, and when I was holding my doctor, she began asking me things to get my mind on other things, a tricky little deception whenever they are about to inflict pain. I felt this sheet of sticky material placed on my lower back and I felt fingers poking around, he told me he was just feeling to see where things were, and I thought there was more time before the poke, but there wasn’t. That’s when he just went for it. I felt a few pokes and a ‘filling’ sensation into my body, then a wave of strange came over me and they had me lay down. I felt like a mountain crumbling onto this tiny little table. Immediately I felt strange, I felt my legs sort of going numb, but I asked how they know I’m completely numb. They told me they will pinch me and they don’t tell me when they do it, and he told me if I don’t say anything, they proceed, they also asked me if I felt anything, after they did it and I said I didn’t think so, and he said, oh, you would know with how hard they pinch. And with that, the feeling in my lower body was gone.

Might I add that two weeks prior, I had a cold that left me with a lingering cough, that sucked to say the least. I was coughing the entire time, which was mildly annoying. At this point they brought my husband in to sit beside me. As I was laying there, I told the NA that was wasn’t feeling good, that I felt like I was going to throw up and there was nothing he could do at that point except get me a container to throw up in. Anyone who has thrown up during a cesarian knows how terrible it is. You have no feeling beyond your breasts and heaving into something with your arms strapped to a table, while being on your back, half able bodied and attached to a million monitors, is about the least fun experience ever. Basically vomit just pours out of your mouth into this container he holds up, sliding down your cheek in utter embarrassment. And it just keeps coming, over and over. While it did make me feel better to throw up, it just sucked. At one point I looked over and saw my stats on the monitor, and I saw my blood pressure dropped to 60/40, and that is why I was sick. Which is also why they couldn’t give me anything until they knew what my blood pressure was going to do. Every time it dipped and I got sick, they gave me something to help it go back up so I would feel better.

At this point I am feeling a lot of tugging, a lot of pressure. I am smelling the cauterized flesh that is my own, and I am trying to remain calm. I’m still alive up to this point, which I find reassuring. I ask a lot of questions through the sheet hanging directly in my face. Any time they said anything I didn’t know what it was, I asked what it meant, which wasn’t that much, but it kept my mind on simple things. I kept looking at my husband, and he kept looking in the reflection of this glass cabinet in the OR to catch a glimpse of something. It was a swift point of a lot of pressure, pressure that takes your breath away, and the NA asked my husband if he wanted to see his daughter being born, and he told him to stand up, and he did. At that exact moment of immense pressure there was a peaceful release, and then I heard the cries of my daughter. They brought her over to show me what she looked like and she was covered in the slick white stuff. They took her to clean her off and my husband went over to look at her and take pictures. I told the hospital staff I wanted to do skin-to-skin immediately and they brought her to me and placed her on my breasts. Because I only had one available arm/hand since the other arm was strapped down, the nurse holds baby to secure her while I can semi-hold her, but she is on me. It was magical. All I could do was cry. She was here, in my arms. I looked at her in awe and knew everything was worth it. They sewed me up, and it took a great amount of time, they tell me because of all the scar tissue. But having her on my chest helped pass the time. When it was ready to go to recovery, they all moved me over to the gurney. Nothing makes a girl feel fatter than having 7 (not actually sure how many people there were, but there were more than 3) people struggle to move your fat ass from one bed to another. And as they wheeled me to recovery I thanked my doctor and exclaimed ‘I’m alive still!’ to which she told the nurses of my fears of death.

The sensation of telling your toes to move and not being able to move them is a very weird one. But as the spinal wore off, I kept trying to move my toes, it wasn’t until we got to our room, my toes began to feel normal.

Going into it, I had a gut feeling I wanted her name to be Savannah Grace, but I didn’t want to make any decisions until I laid my eyes on her. Well, the minute they put her on my chest, I knew. That was her name. My sweet Savannah. When we got to the recovery area they immediately put her on me again to try to establish a latch and it really didn’t work, but she laid there, happy in my arms, happy on my skin, happy hearing my heartbeat. And we laid like that, the entire time. I couldn’t be happier.

Her stats:

Savannah Grace

7lbs 8oz

Born: 12:37 pm, June 11, 2018

19″ long

 

 

Riddled with Fear, Is it Genetic?

I am now 35.5 weeks pregnant with our special IVF baby girl, and I am riddled with fear, crippling fear that sometimes hurts every part of my body, and brings me to tears. This is not something that is new for me, I’ve struggled with fears this debilitating most of my life.

Remembering date nights when I was a child, I would sit at the window watching cars pass my house crying because I was afraid my parents would be in a car accident and never come home. This was every single Friday. I would wait until I saw the car from afar that slowed down with a blinking turn signal, and hold my breath waiting until I saw the flickering car headlights through the row of trees lining my street. When it would turn in the driveway, I’d stop crying and relax, a heavy weight off my shoulders. It didn’t stop as a silly, normal kid thing, it got worse.

I became completely engulfed in the news around 9/11 and manifested fears of flying, and fears of terrorism that were non-existent prior. I was up all night, afraid. This morphed into unhealthy fears of being murdered, which was directly linked to things I was watching on t.v. Talk shows, news channels, crime shows. It became imperative for me to turn the t.v. off of those things because it was doing far more harm than good. My fears didn’t subside, but they relaxed enough for me to function. I never liked going anywhere alone because of these fears and I was too afraid to tell anyone about them, and it became hard when friends would wonder why I seemed stunted in mental growth, and I didn’t want to verbalize my fears and tell them what was running through my mind all the time. It’s become my silent battle. I told my massage therapist, who I trust with these types of things, and she did open my chakras at one point, which opened the flood gates of tears for 48 hours until she closed them back up. She told me I had to cut the news off, and never watch it again.

Not only was I afraid of the physical part of life, but also the emotional part as well. The man I began dating when I was 18, I fell in love with and right after our 1 year anniversary, he wanted to break up. I remember being so afraid to lose him and fighting for us, and he was so impressed (and I think scared), he decided to give it another try. The initial sting of him not wanting me stayed with me, and haunted me. It wasn’t until I was in Italy on a trip with friends and I called him to say hello and he basically broke up with me over the phone, I realized how devastated I was. I threw up and it ruined part of the trip. Why anyone would be so callous to end a 2+ year relationship over the phone while one party was in another country showed how weak and cowardly he was. When I got back to the states, I won him back again, and fast forward more years, we ended up getting married. I loved him with everything I had. The problem wasn’t my love for him…it was always his love for me. I was always afraid he was going to leave me. I was afraid if we didn’t talk before walking down the aisle, he would leave me there alone, I was afraid I would get too fat and he’d leave. Which is a real fear, because as I gained weight, he didn’t hesitate to let me know he didn’t find me attractive anymore. He was unable to give me the love I needed. My fears were realized when I decided I didn’t love him like I thought I did, and I left.

Leaving him freed me in a way I didn’t think was possible. I was carefree and fearless for the short time I was single without him. My fears started creeping back in when my high began fading.

But, the fears never left. I know every time I get on a plane, I cry at take off, thinking the plane is going to explode and I’ll die. I grip the seat armrests so hard the color drains from my entire hand. And, clearly, we land and I live. But I always think, what if? What if I’m on the plane that a terrorist is on, or a problem with the plane occurs. I try and tell myself that if something happened, it would probably be quick and I wouldn’t know what happened anyways, but that’s little comfort in the midst of fear.

This brings me full circle to my deep fear of my upcoming c-section. I’ve become so afraid I will die during the procedure and every time I voice my fears, I cry. And, sadly, it’s a real fear, that people can’t really squash and say ‘oh, it won’t happen’, because it does happen, and can happen. I know in my heart it probably won’t. I know that I have a greater chance of being involved in a car accident than that happening, but it doesn’t get rid if the fear. There is more at stake now, I have three children, and this special baby girl, who we’ve worked so hard for, my fear of not meeting her and holding her is real. I know many women go into a c-section with normal fears, mainly stemming from the fact you are awake the entire time. Being aware and being out of control of your own body is naturally frightening.

I’ve tried to meditate, and I told my massage therapist yet again of my fears and she did some light therapy on me. I have no idea what it was like or what she did. I know I felt like I saw a lighthouse in the distance with a rolling light going around and around. It calmed me down that day and I felt good, but my fears crept right back in the next day.

I got the mail and in the mail was a document on how to prepare for your surgery, and it said to bring a living will to the procedure. Well, isn’t that a way for my fears to be even more scary? Now, I don’t have a living will, nor do I even know what I want. Do I want to be cremated or buried? Do I want to be around  so my family can always visit me, or do I want to be thrown away some day when you are grandkids in and no one knows who you were anymore. I know I don’t want to die. That’s all I know. So, here I am 13 days away from this surgery and meeting my darling daughter I’ve been waiting a lifetime to meet and I’m scared.

Her room isn’t 100% done yet and the house is a disaster and I’m just wanting some sense of calm. I feel like I need to relax and I know it’ll be over before I know it. I think it takes like an hour total, between prep and getting baby out and sewing back up. I’ll be in recovery before lunchtime. I know thinking positive is good, and once it starts there’s no time to be scared, but I can’t stop the tears now.

There are my fears about me, right out there on a platter, but then there is the day to day, minute by minute fear of the baby remaining alive. Every day when she is sleeping or there is low fetal movement I go to the worst and fear she will be stillborn. If I feel her moving a ton then my fears go away. But until she’s here breathing oxygen and I am safe and stable, I feel like I can’t get excited. I am riddled too far in with fears and it hurts my body, my soul. It literally causes aching in my body. I can’t wait to hold her, and bring her home, and for the boys to meet her, I get so happy thinking about it, then the fear creeps in and I become afraid I won’t get that, it will be ripped from me. Joe says, God hasn’t brought us this far to let us fall. I have to repeat it, like a mantra. We have come so far in this journey, we’ve done it. It will work, we will be ok. I have to believe that though, and that is the hardest part.

I have to wonder, is being afraid a genetic thing? My dad is naturally a worrywart and my grandmother was as well…is it evolution that has made me afraid and paranoid? I did see a hypnotherapist around the 9/11 timeframe and with no knowledge of what would happen or how it worked, I went into it blind. I was immediately catapulted back into past lives and traumatic experiences. I was conscious and aware of what I was seeing and saying, and it blew me away. I was hysterical and although it was interesting, it was a horrible experience and I was too afraid to go back. But that just makes me wonder, where does unnecessary fear come from? Why am I afraid of these number of tragic what ifs? How do they go away? How can I relax?

Let The Injections Commence

So here we are, a week of giving injections to my tummy again. This time, not so great. I have begun getting ready for my egg transfer, which is a week from tomorrow. I began taking Aspirin, Estrogen pills, Estrogen patches, and Lovenox injections. The morning of the first shot, I woke up early and got myself all ready. My husband came in and was all ready for it, but I swear he needed practice again or something, because not only did the shot hurt, but I bruised so bad it looked like I got hit in the gut with a softball. I thought holy crap, there is no way I’m going to be able to do 120 of these bad boys. Especially since the injection site was sore to touch and felt like an actual bruise. Even though the nurse warned me of the bruising, she assured me they would not be painful, so I thought to myself how I’m not going to be able to do it.

I took to the internet and scoured pages and things that helped ease the pain of these shots and many people complained of the pain associated with them. In that moment I realized I put a rubbing arnica on my kids when they bruise and it helps every time, so I decided the next day I would try the arnica, which is a homeopathic gel that comes in a stick form that helps prevent bruising and swelling. It worked, no bruise. I also followed the advice I read about online, which was to apply direct pressure to injection site immediately following and then ice it again. So it was hard to tell, was it all of it combined that worked or just the arnica or ice? I began reading about arnica and there seemed to be a drug interaction with the lovenox, and I got worried, so I called the after hours nurse and she had never heard of arnica before, but looked it up and said it shouldn’t be a problem. She said she would check with my doctor and let me know his advice the next day. I never heard from them. I used it that day and the day after and then I read it wasn’t safe in pregnancy and I decided not to use it again since I will hopefully be pregnant in a week. I tried the pressure/ice method and it seems to work the same. Now, this isn’t to say the bruising has stopped, because it hasn’t, my tummy is a grid of bruises now, but at least they are just kind of tender, not painful. I am also very OCD about the location of the injection with it becoming a literal grid so I never go over the same area twice. I am also counting down each injection as I go so I can see how far I’ve come and have a visual for how far there is left to go.

I have had mild side effects from the estrogen, like my breasts are super tender, and they are getting fuller every day. My stomach cramps all the time, but mostly when I’m on my feet a long time or walking around. I have been extra hot, but that very well could just be me, because I run hot. And…I hate to admit the emotional side of things, but it’s there. I did have a little cry this past weekend and it felt good to just get it out. Oh, one more thing…and I’m tired…really tired.

So, now I have an ultrasound/bloodwork and lots of questions set for a couple days from now and then I start taking a bunch more medicine, including the dreaded progesterone in oil shots. I’ve prepared as much as I can reading how to help those go smooth, but it is just something I will have to figure out, I’m sure.

The Waiting Game Just Begins

Well, I’m a couple weeks out from my egg retrieval now and I feel like it’s been an eternity. I felt really yucky the week after the procedure, like hard to breathe, move or do anything really. I ended up calling off of work and staying off my feet for five days after, and when I started moving around again, everything hurt. Wasn’t debilitating pain, but a lot of discomfort. After the retrieval they told me I would get the results right away for how many fertilized and then in a week I would get the results of the genetic screening.

The next day, I did get a phone call, to tell me that out of my 22 eggs that were retrieved, 17 fertilized. I was happy, but scared, I don’t know if that’s a good number or not, and truly, I only need one to be a girl, but what if there weren’t any? I anticipated getting another call in a week to let me know how many survived the five day grow-out stage, but I never got a call. I called the office and they said no results yet…waiting some more…called back…still no results. I’m getting antsy now. It’s been a week and half and I go on my first trip of the year to Beaver Island, MI. Just for the weekend, but nonetheless, it gets me the heck out of the mundane and worry. And it did just that, I was able to have fun with my friends and enjoy the beach and weather. It was just what I needed. Not to mention the fact I got some major signs from the universe not to worry.

So, a few posts back I wrote about my experience with reiki, and how I was so driven by worry and fear that it won’t work out that I was having trouble sleeping. I asked my massage therapist, who is a very dear friend of mine, to do some energy work on me. Not knowing what to expect, I was just lying there trying to relax, when a very vivid vision came into focus. Long story short, it was of me, in a field, with my hair down and a bald eagle came soaring down and landed right in front of me, I put a pouch in it’s beak and it flew away. That was metaphorically my ‘bag’ of worries and fears, that I just gave up and let the eagle take them from me.

So, fast forward to now, when I’m on Beaver Island, and my friend and I are walking around the little harbor area, and a bald eagle soars right overhead, so close to us. Not high up in the sky, not far away, 20 feet up in the air right above our heads. It was amazing! I was on cloud nine! I was like, is that a sign I don’t need to worry? I told my friends about the vision and they were all thinking it was a sign too and I relaxed a little bit. They were just as excited as I was to find out the news. Later that day, we were laying on the beach and another bald eagle was flying directly over us while we were resting. Soaring high above the sand and water. I watched it fly down the beach and land in a large pine tree, so I walked over to the tree to try to get a better look. It was so dense and dark I was unable to see anything. But I’m convinced those were signs from the universe to relax.

When I got back from my mini vacation I was searching for property on Beaver Island because it was so pretty, and I stumbled across a picture of a field with tall grass. It was the field from my vision. Almost exactly, only thing missing was the wildflowers and me. I took that as another sign and fell asleep excited to hear the news.

Two days pass, and now it’s been two weeks since my retrieval. I call the office because I thought for sure I would have heard something by now and they told me they got the results for how many blasts made it through the 5 day waiting period. I got 11 out of 17 that were strong enough to survive. Scared me. I thought well, that dramatically decreases my figures for a healthy baby girl. They still didn’t have the genetic screen done. I figured it would be another week, so I began patiently waiting for more news. I told the few people who knew and most were like, there has to be ONE girl, I mean the odds are in your favor. But then there were a couple who tried to poo poo it by saying, if you don’t get one, it’s okay, boys are just fine too. So, to me, that goes to show they truly do not understand WHY I’m doing this in the first place. Keep it positive people! Now is not the time to play devils advocate. And let me tell you, I’m a pro at that when it comes to advice and telling people what I think, but you have to know when the right time is to do that, and when someone is not in the place to hear that the alternative is a true possibility. I mean come on, you think I don’t think that 24/7? Sitting here riddled with worry, I mean seriously.

The next day I get a call from the office and it’s my favorite nurse. I say, ‘omg, do you have my results?’ and she says ‘yes, I do’. I asked her to hold on so I could go somewhere private in case I cry, because I was at work. When I was somewhere private I said, ‘I’ve been waiting so long and I’m so nervous’ and she said, ‘I’ll just cut to the chase and end your suspense, you have three girls!’ I said ‘Are you serious? Omg, I cannot believe this!’ and she ended up telling me of the 11 blasts, I had 5 healthy embryos, of the five, 3 are girls, and 2 are boys. Holy moly, for someone who has more boys at home, I figured the ratio would be a bit the other way. I started crying, I told her I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment and I am so excited. She got me set up with an appointment for a water sonogram, which my doctor prefers to do before I do a transfer.

I am currently on my birth control pill and I will be skipping my period next time to have this procedure. I’m scared and nervous and excited to start the next phase. It’s happening, it’s really happening! Yesssssssssssss!

Egg Retrieval Day

Monday, after my blood work and ultrasound, they told me it was getting ready to be time for my egg retrieval. They originally told me it would be Thursday, but I had been in a lot of pain from how big my ovaries had gotten. They estimated about 30 follicles between both ovaries. I was waiting to hear from my doctor to advise me what to do next.

That afternoon, I got the phone call from the nurse, she said my retrieval was going to be Wednesday and I needed to swing by the office to pick up this other drug they didn’t order for me. She asked me to bring my HCG and she would mix it for me in the office. I stopped by my house on the way there, and got the meds. When I got there I expressed how nervous I was to get the HCG injection, because this was the first intramuscular shot I’ve had to take so far. She drew a little circle on my backside so my husband would know where to stick it, told me the exact time I needed to take it, 12:30 am. I had to do two other subcutaneous shots in my tummy at that same time. My husband went to bed and set his alarm, I stayed up, because I was anxious and couldn’t sleep anyways. We did the two tummy ones, and then I prepared and laid face down on the bed for him to give the HCG shot. We used an ice pack and I told him to do it, I felt a little poke and I seriously thought he poked and then pulled back because he got nervous. I kept shouting for him to just do it, do it, get it over with, and he said he did it already, it’s over. So I was relieved I didn’t really feel it, but I was overcome with emotion because it’s been a long ride and I was so scared. So, that’s it for shots for now.

The next day and this morning I was still sore and the feeling of being full is an understatement. I was doubled over in pain as I walked into the IVF facility for my retrieval. I got there and was super nervous and excited. They called me back and started asking me lots of questions, a little overwhelming to say the least. Then they started to get the IV ready, they noticed right away that I have horrible veins and asked where I normally get an IV. I told them, and they tried there, in the top of my left hand, and it didn’t work. Big surprise, I didn’t expect it to, sadly. They called another nurse in and she found a vein on my right wrist, and put it there, that sucks. But once it was in, it was alright.

They asked my husband to go so he could give his ‘offerings’ and that was it. I thought I’d get to kiss him bye or something, nothing. Then they asked me to use the bathroom, so I walked over there with assistance, since I had the IV hooked up at that point. I thought we were going to go back to the area I was in, but they had me just walk right back to the operating room. I got on the table and laid back, they had these cushy leg-stirups that hold your entire leg so it’s relaxed, quite comfy, but I felt a bit uncomfortable because people were in and out and my hoo hoo was just hanging out for all to see, and I kept feeling breezes, lol. I had told the nurse that I get nauseous with anesthesia, and she made sure zofran was given to me in my IV. I told them I was nervous and they said they’d give me something for that. I remember telling them the stirrup things are comfy and that I was dreaming I was on a beach, and that’s it, then I woke up in the recovery area. It really was so weird, to just not remember anything.

I woke up in a lot of pain, pain like I’d been hit by a truck, that kind of pain. They told me my ovaries were so gigantic they had gone up under my rib cage and they literally had to manually get them out via the outside of my body, by manipulating and pressing on the outside of my body, it got them to move so the doctor could get the eggs. They said I will have lots of external bruising and lots of internal bruising, since I had 30 follicles. I did not expect the amount of pain I’m experiencing currently.

The bright side is that I got 22 eggs, so those are good odds to get at least one girl egg. I am currently laying in bed, it hurts to breath and I just took an Oxycodone, so hopefully that kicks in soon.

I will get a call from the office next week with the number of eggs that fertilized. I’m both nervous and so excited. This process feels extremely surreal, like we’ve been waiting for so long for it and now it’s here, I can’t believe it.

Is It Over Yet?

I’m 13 days deep in this process and 38 pokes down. It’s starting to get rough now. Emotionally, I’m trying to keep it together, but it’s rough. I have begun to feel like a pincushion, especially on ultrasound/lab work days. I go in, after having my husband just given me a shot, and since I have such poor veins, they poke and poke and my arms are all beaten and bruised. I look like a drug user, and I know its going to get worse. Today is my last day on the calendar they gave me, but I don’t know what to expect for the rest of the week. They are telling me my egg retrieval will more than likely be Thursday, and today is Monday, so I don’t really know how many more pokes to expect. I guess I’ll find out today at my appointment.

So, the pain from what these drugs are doing to my body is real. It started as a dull cramping and fullness, and now I full on feel like I’m in the beginning stages of labor. My uterus is cramping, I feel pain in my abdomen and my lower back is killing me. I’ve read a few things saying not to take Ibuprofen, so I’m trying to steer clear of it. I spent my entire Sunday laying on my back in bed. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to work and make it to Thursday for the retrieval. From what I’ve read, those symptoms are normal, and I just need to work through them. My injection sites are bruised and my middle child yesterday asked, ‘mama, what are those yellowy spots on your tummy?’ and when I told him he asked ‘but why are they yellow?’, and I had to explain the process of a shot going in my skin and causing pain and why a bruise would form. Hard to explain to a 4 year old. My tummy is in rough shape as I’m losing valuable square footage to poke it. Each shot feels different based on where it goes in and if it hits any of those pain receptors or not. Some shots I don’t feel at all, not even a poke, others make me jump. It’s weird.

Emotionally, I’ve had my moments. Sometimes I feel weepy, and down on myself, thinking about all the people who have had a boy, and a girl and how lucky they are. I get mad that I feel that I need to do this in order to get a girl, and other people didn’t even try and that’s what they got. I was in line the other day at the deli counter and a young woman (probably early 20’s) was in line in front of me. She had a baby girl in a car carrier in the shopping basket of the cart and she was sleeping away peacefully. I asked the mom how old the baby was and she said 3 months, we exchanged silly banter and I told her I had 3 boys, she said she wished her baby was a boy, but she got her instead. For some reason, that made me cry when I got home. Probably because of the pain I am going through for my dreams, and others just get it naturally.

They warned me of the Centritide injection making me emotional and angry, and I’ve only really experienced the emotional part, acting a little more down than normal. Until yesterday, where things got a bit, oh, how do you put it…screamy…lol. It all started normal, until I began doing laundry and I decided to change the baby’s changing pad cover and throw it in the wash, well, I’m in pain and can’t walk down the stairs all that easy, so I call down to my husband to throw it in the already started washing machine…no answer…he was just there, I’m calling and calling and nothing. I’m getting aggravated now. I make my oldest put it in the washer and there is hubby, I screamed at him that I had been calling to him and I needed him. He asked what for and when I told him, he clearly thought I was insane. But I was mad! I realize my level 10 blow up was unnecessary, but I felt angry in the moment and it is what it is. This basically happened all day, with him and the kids, then I asked him to run out and get me food from Ruby Tuesday and he didn’t want to go. I begged him to and he went, at 9pm on a Sunday night, when he was already exhausted from the kids all day. He pretty much is a saint, I’ll tell you that right now.

So, here we are, me in writhing pain, waiting for word on when these eggs can be removed and hoping to God I can work this week, because my vacation time is running a bit thin these days.

Halfway Point

Well, I’m currently on day seven of my stims. It’s been going pretty good so far. The first night, I took a Xanax to calm myself down because I was so scared of the first shot. When I couldn’t sleep, I just got up and got everything prepared and ready. My morning medicine is Gonal F. It comes in a predetermined pen-like shot. I just click the end to the correct dose and put the needle on the end. I checked the dose, to make sure it read 225, and set it down. I pulled an ice cube out of the mini fridge we bought to keep my meds cold. I placed the ice cube on my stomach, two finger widths from my belly button, just as the nurse instructed. I called my husband upstairs and after talking about it, I pinched my skin where he was to deliver the meds and I seriously didn’t feel it at all. It is a 29 gauge needle and is only 1/2 inch long, it’s really so small. I was impressed. I high-fived him and proclaimed ‘I got this!’

I expected the medicine in the evening to go the same. I got everything all ready, this time the shot is a bit different. I had to mix the solution with the powder and there are so many different pieces, I got flustered and frustrated and wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. I had my husband double check what I did and he thought it looked right, so we did the same thing I had done earlier, with the ice cube, but on the other side of my stomach, as the nurse instructed so as to give each side ample time to heal before another poke. We cleaned the area with the rubbing alcohol pad and he stuck me. It stung. I was a bit disappointed, but thought maybe I did something wrong. I called the nurse to ask if I did something wrong and she suggested I use more solution next time, it might have been too concentrated. I thought that would make all the difference. But when I did it the following night, I added .7 ml solution instead of .5 ml, and it hurt again, and the needle was in too long, so we settled on .6 ml as the perfect amount, because it turns into .5 ml after mixing with the powder. However, it hasn’t stopped hurting, in fact, the third night, when my husband went to poke me, I jumped backwards and he just went in and stabbed me again, and I was so mad. It hurt and I was sore the rest of the night. We established he totally did it outside of the ice cube zone and I felt it, also we determined I can’t just be standing, I need to be standing with my back against the sink counter, so I can’t instinctively move backwards when poked. It’s taken some kinks to get everything worked out. I also think the Menopur, which is the pm shot, just hurts more because the needle is a 27 gauge, so it is thicker. I almost always have blood drip from that poke. I also have very minor bruising from that shot. But I showed the nurse my belly yesterday and she said it looked great, that some women have major bruising. I just have a bunch of poke marks and a couple faded bruises.

They take my blood at my ultrasounds and yesterday they poked me three times before getting a working vein. I had three different nurses try and that sucked, but nothing I’m not used to. My veins are very difficult to find and I often have to have blood drawn from my wrist or hand. In fact, when I was in labor with my first born, the nurses couldn’t get my IV in, I was poked over 35 times, between two anesthesiologists and the nursing staff.  The last anesthesiologist told me on the last try if he couldn’t get it, the IV was going in my neck. He finally got it, on my outer elbow. Talk about crazy.

This ultrasound was with my doctor this time, not a nurse, like last time. I was nervous because I read that they can tell how many follicles you will have at this time. He asked me how I was doing, and I told him I was nervous, he said, ‘what? about this?’. I replied, ‘Yes, you can tell how many follicles I will have this time right?’ and he said ‘Yes, but I wouldn’t be worried if I were you’. I laid back on the exam table and he began, and was talking to the med student he had with him. He was telling her how ‘beautiful’ my follicles were, and asked if I could see (even though the monitor was not facing me). I told him no, and he looked over his shoulder, saw there was no monitor yet (they just remodeled the office) and said ‘oh’ and turned the monitor so I could see it. He showed me all the follicles and said they look great. He estimated I have around 8 on one side and 12 on the other. I asked if that number will grow and he said no, that will be it. The pressure of the ultrasound and him pressing on my belly was uncomfortable. I was a bit crampy from it, and I took some Advil Menstrual Pain an hour before my appt. He said the number was good and told me not to worry, that he expected that for my age. He told me to wait on the third daily shot, until he sees me again tomorrow. He also told me not to continue the Xanax, which is a slight problem, because I didn’t take it last night and slept horrible. So, hopefully tonight is better.

Now my fingers are crossed and I am hopeful there will be a viable girl in the mix of those 20 follicles. Fingers crossed. Seven more days (possibly more) before my egg retrieval. I literally am taking this one day at a time. I cross off each shot as I go and keep my eyes on the prize, I got this, I am a warrior woman.