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. ┬áThe 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.