Today was graduation day and I graduated!

Well, the build up for this day was bigger than it was and I have a slew of mixed emotions about it. I knew today was going to be my last visit with the IVF doctor, since I ended my meds last Sunday, but I didn’t know I’d feel funny about it.

Last Thursday I got to half my meds, so 1ml of progesterone per day, 2 estrogen pills a day, no more estrogen patch. It was exciting. My husband kept prompting, ‘isn’t is exciting babe? You only have a few more days of being poked!’. While that part was exciting, there is so much more to be fearful of. My body will be left on it’s own to see if it can handle baby girl without meds. I had no idea what was going to happen. So, that’s what we did, we halved the meds, then Sunday came rolling around, and the last dose of everything, last shot, last pills, and it felt surreal. I mean, I’ve been following this routine for 10 weeks now. Strange how something becomes such a part of you. In all, said and done, I was poked 170 times. Including, blood tests, blood test vein misses, IV’s, and of course, the dreaded shots. When it was all over, I didn’t actually feel any different. Still had nausea every day, still have issues with gagging every time I cough. I felt fearful for the future and read some things on line about still borns in IVF patients and it made my fears grow wider. I called the doctor because I couldn’t get it out of my head and the nurse told me she’d never heard of that. It wasn’t the nurse I trust, so I put it out of my head, but knew I was going to ask the doctor when I saw him again.

Mid-way thru the week, I noticed a yeast infection going on in the nether regions, and might I add I noticed something odd about 7 weeks ago, but didn’t know what it was and never had the typical symptoms, so I brushed it off as nothing. Now I know for sure it’s a yeast infection and man is it gross. I’ve only ever had two of these in my life and not so fun. So, I didn’t know who I should call, my OB/GYN or my IVF doc…so I waited to see my IVF doc today and he told me to just get something over the counter…that wouldn’t harm baby. At least I feel better knowing that’ll be taken care of soon.

So, today…my last day seeing that office, seeing those receptionists, seeing those nurses, seeing that doctor. It’s bittersweet. I’ve spent so much time there, gotten to know the staff. I’ve talked to them, heard their stories, one is newly pregnant as well. So many have gone through IVF and can offer sympathy because they know. I went in the room and asked my onslaught of questions for my doctor and he answered each and every one. Then the ultrasound, seeing baby girl dance around in there is the best. I really wish I could watch it all day long. We got a good view of her wiggling back and forth and a nice profile of her face. She looks like the man in the moon currently, here’s to hoping she gets a little better looking in there…lol. She was moving so much my doctor couldn’t get a good read on her measurement, so hoping she’s still on target.

He told me my placenta is anterior and it’s partially covering the cervix. I got a bit freaked out about that and asked the nurse for more info when it was just her and I. She told me it’s barely touching and as my uterus grows, the placenta will most likely move up with it, not only moving away from the cervix, but also freeing up the space near where my c-section will be. I was kind of bummed to hear my placenta was in the front because it softens the blows when baby moves, which was the most amazing part of my last pregnancy, getting to see the backflips and front flips baby does in there.

After all that, I sat up and my doctor gave me a hug. After I talked with the nurse at length, I gave her a hug and said goodbye. It was a bittersweet moment, happy to graduate, but sad to not have the constant care and reassurance I was getting. So, come Monday, I will be calling my OB/GYN and getting my appointment in there as soon as possible. I know how excited she’ll be to see me again. I’ve had the same OB/GYN since I was 20 years old, so for 17 years now. She’s seen me through a marriage, a divorce, a remarriage, a miscarriage, three pregnancies, and she’s delivered two of my babies. We’ve been through a lot, her and I and I love her. She’s the best OB/GYN, and I’m lucky to have found her, so I really can’t wait to see her, now pregnant with my first girl. She’s going to be so excited!

So, I can file away my IVF folder, filled with info, and test results, and calendars, and bills, and receipts and hospital bracelets. I can safely move on to the next phase. 12 weeks today. On to the next chapter. The second trimester. Cheers.

Why Fear The Unknown When It Truly Is The Unknown?

Why do we do it? We have a tendency to fear the things we don’t know about or fear the things we cannot control. It’s innate in us, we just have a hard time wrapping our brains around a feeling we have never experienced yet.

When I was told I was going to have to have a Hysteroscopy to remove a small polyp in my uterus, before my egg transfer, I thought, how in the heck are they going to get in there, without cutting me open? When I inquired, the nurse told me they go in through the vagina and in through the cervix. I asked how they open the cervix and she said they would prescribe medication to dilate it. Wait, hold the phone, I know what that means, that means you are going to give me medicine to act like labor, I’m no dummy. She assured me it would not be like that.

When I picked the medication up from the pharmacy, I had the name of it and made the cardinal mistake of looking up information about it online. I read pages upon pages of women’s stories that told of the horror this medication afflicted on their bodies. I read of nightmarish things that made me so afraid of the pain I was going to experience I got myself prepared for the worst. I got lavender essential oil for my diffuser, I got epsom salts for a bath if needed, I downloaded meditation apps, and looked up pain reliever videos on you tube. I was all set to hunker down and work through it all night.

When they called to tell me my surgery time was 2pm, I started tearing up. I asked the nurse, how am I going to make it that long in writhing pain? I won’t be able to do it. She told me it would not be bad at all and not to worry. Of course, I worry, because I haven’t experienced it myself so I don’t know.

The time came to insert the three Misoprostol 200 mg tablets into my vajayjay. I pushed them as far up as I could reach and laid down in bed to wait. The first hour went by, and I felt a twinge of pain for a second, I thought, oh god, it’s coming, and I waited. The second hour went by and no pain, the third hour went by and still no pain. Hmmmm…did I do it right? Based on what other people said I felt like I must have screwed things up. Either way, there was nothing I could do about it now. I stayed in a horizontal position for about 3 hours to make sure nothing ‘fell’ out when I stood up. Really, there was no pain, maybe mild cramping, like a period a little, but I’ve had worse periods. I did take the Tylenol and Ibuprofen as instructed and to the minute based on what my directions were. After the last dose of pain killers, I went to sleep, and I was able to sleep through the night.

The morning came and I still had no pain, I got caught up on bills, made some important phone calls, and just relaxed to get ready for my surgery. When we got to the office, we checked in and since we were 45 minutes early I figured it would be a minute, but nope, I literally was sitting less than a minute and they called my name. To the back we went, and before you know it, there are 5 people in this tiny little pre-op curtained room. I swear to God. I had three nurses, one to ask me questions (which was so confusing with everything going on), one to put my IV in (which I wanted to focus on so I didn’t scream or move from pain) and one to watch the one doing the IV because the one doing it was new. Then I had the anesthesiologist in there asking questions through the nurses, and my doctor came in. Holy mackerel. It gave me a little anxiety before everything. But I told the nurse since I was dehydrated and my veins are small it might be a challenge to find a vein. I expected to be poked at least twice, especially with this new nurse. But she got it on the first try. I thanked her for not poking me twice. Then they brought me this substance to drink, a little shot in a red plastic container. I asked what it was and they told me it was for nausea. The minute I smelled the sour smell I remembered it from my past two c-sections. It tastes like a lemon drop on acid and a deep medicine taste. It is horrible! When all calmed down, I was just waiting my turn in the operating room. My husband was in there with me, and he was playing on his phone and I read a couple articles in my magazine.

Before I knew it, they came in to get me. I walked to the bathroom to pee, and then walked right into the OR. It was the same table as my egg retrieval and they had me back into the table and they untied my gown and had me lay down, with my butt at the end of the table and my legs in these stirrups. They are massive cushiony stirrups and they are lifted up high, and they cradle your legs and strap them in. I gotta say, minus the breeze in my nether regions, it was pretty comfy.

The anesthesiologist put a blood pressure cuff on my arm and strapped my arms to the table. Before I even knew it, I was asleep. They don’t have you count down or let you know it’s going to happen, it just does, and you wake up 45 minutes later feeling like nothing happened at all. It’s the weirdest feeling. I chatted with the nurse once I woke up and I had little to no pain, just grogginess. They gave me Tylenol just in case there was pain and I was on my way. I was starving because I couldn’t eat all day and they gave me something for any nausea associated with the anesthesia, so my husband and I stopped and got some food on the way home. It hit the spot perfectly.

A few hours after getting home, I started to feel cramps in my uterus and it isn’t pleasant, but I took some Ibuprofen and I hope it stays pretty mild. So far, all my fears have been disproven. I hope that continues as I start injections back up tomorrow morning. In fact, the big dog drugs are coming out to play now. Tomorrow begins, Lovenox injection, estrogen patches, estrogen tablets, aspirin, and the antibiotic I’m on from the surgery today. A week after that I add Progesterone in Oil to the mix, another one of my great fears.

One more thing down, and I’m keeping my eyes on the prize. My sweet sweet baby girl.

Everything I Do Is New and Scary

Yesterday was the first day of taking this antibiotic they prescribed me in preparation for my water sonogram. It said on the sheet to take it with food, and I took it when I woke up, knowing by the time I got to work, within the 30 minute mark, I would be eating something. Well, I barely made it to that point, because I felt very weird, sort of out of it, nauseous, sick, everything. I forced myself to eat a Fiber One bar and that was it. I dry heaved for close to an hour and then when the food set in, I felt better. I didn’t even know what the medicine was called or really what it was for. When I got home I looked it up and was shocked to read that it can be used to prevent anthrax poisoning and malaria. CRAZY! No wonder I felt so crappy after I took it. I made sure to take it with food in the evening. I was also instructed to take an Ibuprofen 600 tablet before bed and two hours before procedure. I didn’t feel like it would do much…

I was expecting pain, and I got pain. I also wasn’t sure what to expect, pretty much at all. I read about it on the internet and I thought I would be able to feel the water going in. That, I couldn’t. But where the pain came in was the “mock transfer’ where my doctor put the catheter into my cervix. He had some trouble getting it in and it was painful and uncomfortable. Not enough to make me cry, but my husband was there and I was squeezing his hand. He told me he couldn’t have that happen the day of my transfer, but honestly, I’m not sure what will be different then, maybe just that he knows it’s a challenge. My doctor did find a polyp inside my uterus and he told me that because it is posterior and that is where he attempts to place the embryo for implantation, it needs to be clear of that type of thing. So, now I need to have surgery to remove it.

Having the nurse explain this surgery to me has me slightly freaked out again. Yes, I will be sedated, and yes, it’s outpatient, but when I asked how they will be going in to get it, they told me they will dilate the cervix and go in that way. I said, as if I’m in labor? and they said, yes, but not so bad. I’m thinking, when I had my second baby and I went into labor naturally, I was demanding drugs at 4 cm because I was in so much pain. Now, I have to endure this pain on purpose again? Ummmm, I don’t think so. Ugh. So, another day off of work and I am not looking forward to the unknown again. It just seems like every step is scary. But every time I complete something, it’s one more thing crossed off the list.

Today was also the day they administered my Depot Lupron shot. This is the shot the nurse told me cost $1000 out of pocket, but thank God my insurance covered it. They told me because it’s so expensive, they like to give it at the office, so nothing goes wrong. I had talked to a friend who went through it and she said it was the worst shot ever. It was big and long and scary. Well, I chose not to look at it and I asked the nurse if she could get me a frozen ice pack for my wimpy self. They got me one that was not cold enough and I requested a more solid frozen one, and they obliged. If nothing else, they sure know how to humor me. So I put it on my backside and let it sit for a few minutes. I took my husbands hand and when she gave it to me, I barely felt a thing. That solid ice pack works wonders. Now, to sit back and wait for the side effects, the hot flashes, and night sweats. I hope I bypass all that stuff.

On my way out of the office, my husband had to use the bathroom, and I was waiting by the elevators. This woman came out of the office and made the same mistake I do a million times with opening their new glass door. It needs a little sign that says either Push/Pull, because you always do the opposite and then you feel silly. Well, I made a comment to her, laughing that I do the same thing all the time and she laughed and asked me a question about if it was my first appointment. I told her it wasn’t, then her and I got chatting about all that’s gotten me up to this point in the process. She told me that she just went to her consult appointment and how much information it was to take in. I agreed and we talked for what seemed like forever. She and I seem to be a lot alike and I thought it was cool that she was wanting to go through IVF for the same reason as us. I don’t know anyone who would be willing to go through it like me, so to meet someone else who is thinking about it was pretty refreshing. We talked so long, I said, we should exchange numbers because it was nice chatting. It’s funny because we were talking about signs and she told me she believes in them, when I got in the car, I told my husband that I hope she sees us meeting as a sign, because I know I would have. When I got home I got a text that said she is looking at our meeting as a sign. I smiled. I know all about signs.

So, now I have to wait to have this minor surgery and hope that’s not too painful. Just one more step until my baby girl is growing inside my belly.

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.