Sunday, June 13, 2010

Transfer Day

I've been anticipating this day for months and it's finally here. We stumble out of bed and it feels like Christmas morning. I feel excited, yet strangely calm and resigned to whatever happens next. He's cautious by nature and I'm hopeful leaning toward delusional. I've been a good patient, dutiful and diligent. I'm nervous as hell.

We crack bad jokes as we head towards our clinic. The transfer is on a Saturday and the office is quiet. I like that. A female aid with a mustache leads us to a absurdly small room. Her bedside manner is awkward and the room seems far too clinical for how much we're spending. She dims the lights and we wait for the doctor. We hold hands and say nothing.

Our doctor arrives with technician who shows us our top pick embryo in a 'ultra-sound'-like photo. They gush at how big and healthy it is. We decide to transfer just one egg (I am 46 and concerned about carrying twins). My valium is beginning to kick in and my mind goes loopy. My musical man plays classical music on his iphone. I fall into a deep sleep.

I'm aware that time has passed, but my mind is still in a fog. Another nurse steps in a helps me into a wheelchair. Our doctor leans in for a hug and whispers, 'Good luck.".

I'm wheeled to the front of the clinic as I wait for him to pick me up. I've never been a wheelchair or in the hospital for that matter. I still feel high, like I'm in a dream. We drive away, I fall back asleep.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome little eggs!

The day has finally come, our donor is scheduled for retrieval. They've scheduled my honey's 'drop off' an hour before. I go with him to the clinic to support the big day. It's a beautiful Saturday morning and we're giddy with excitement.

We have to sign a three-page legal agreement regarding our donor. There's additional charges as well. There's always a new charge and I feel frustrated that my insurance doesn't cover any of this. I live in California and i wonder if that has something to do with it. But I digress...

After the big 'drop off' (no, I didn't go in the room ... his choice, not mine) we took off to celebrate with a big breakfast. I do wish we had left flowers for our donor at the clinic. It didn't strike me until after we left. It would have been a lovely gesture as we're so grateful for her.

Within hours after the retrieval our doctor called to tell us the good news. Our doctor sounds like a radio announcer or an actor playing a doctor, so I'm always amused by his delivery. He said everything was 'just terrific' and we were the proud parents of 16 embryos! 16 is my lucky number. Always has been. Always will be.

It was a sunny day in January and hope was in the air. God, aint' science grand.

Back in the saddle again

Fast forward two months. It's Christmas Eve and we're about to start our IVF cycle again. There's something magical about starting on December 24th. Or so I tell myself. Pills ... check. Shots ... check. Hope ... god, let me feel hope.

We take a flight to visit my folks for the holiday. I put the drugs in my purse and the needles in my suitcase praying that we won't be separated from our bags. It's Christmas morning and our flight is delayed for hours. We finally board and take off. I'm stuck next to the 57-year old AA divorced man who decides to share his entire life story with me. My body language is clear. My one word answers spell 'not interested' to anyone who's aware enough to hear. Clearly he couldn't read the signs. Why do people on airplanes feel it's necessary to confess their drug, alcohol, gambling and sex addiction. My honey is spared the gory details as he sleeps away the flight. Lucky.

We finally arrive five hours late to my hungry, tipsy family. My adorable nephews rush outside to greet us. It's wonderful to be home. We're poured two large glasses of delicious Oregon pinot noir wine. I'm trying not to drink but I cheat and enjoy a glass. As I haven't shared what we're up to, I know I'll be interrogated by my bossy clan if I don't drink. Happy to report that I fake-sipped my way through the rest of our trip. Four days. No wine. Harder than it sounds. Worth every fake sip.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back to square one.

I'm glad to report that our original egg donor is on the path to recovery. It has been reported that she is in good spirits despite the seriousness of the accident. Via our agency, we sent her a box of chocolates and a card. I wanted her to know she was in our thoughts on a daily basis.

My agency suggested that we choose another donor right away. I was unsure if we should wait or move on to another donor. Our donor's rehabilitation could last up to six months and we weren't in a position to wait. I was left with this acute feeling of loyalty to our donor. I felt guilty that we were switching so quickly. We had no choice. Like it or not, we were back to square one.

It was just as frustrating as the first time around. I said it once and I'll say it again: choose wisely and choose quickly. Our first two picks weren't available. Our agency sent us 'first looks' at a few new girls that weren't on the web yet. I really appreciated their tenacity towards finding us another donor. Our third pick was a 'maybe' until a couple from New Jersey decided to fly her across country for their cycle (c'mon, can't they find someone on their own shore?!)

Just when I was ready to give up or switch agencies, I got a phone call from our agency. Turns out my first egg crush (the nanny with the porcelain skin) just became available for cycle. Her first cycle was with our IVF doctor which made everything just a little easier. There was one glitch ... she wouldn't be available for three months. Three months felt like an eternity. Or was it?

I poured myself a big glass of Pinot and decided to go with my gut. This was the one. She'd come back around and I wasn't about to let this go again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The phone call no one expected.

I was two weeks into my cycle. Our nightly shots of Lupron were less painful than I had imagined. The estrace pills made me feel somewhat 'fuzzy.' My brain, body and soul missed coffee. My jeans missed my pre-ivf body before the bloat. Overall, I felt pretty good. A little moody. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I took a two-week commercial knowing that it would be fast and furious. Nothing I couldn't handle, but the lack of caffeine was going to kill me. I muddled through my first day, happy to be working with a dear friend in from New York. I hit the ground running. I shop for a living. It's not as glamorous as it sounds, but not a bad way to earn a living.

Around 3pm, I started to drag. My normal routine was a predictable latte post lunch.
A little kick to get me through traffic, rude salespeople and not enough time for too many sets. I popped a little dark chocolate and kept moving.

My phone rang and I read the name of my clinic in the window. Huh? Our coordinator was a chronic emailer, a call was out of the ordinary. I answered in my cheery 'work voice.' The minute I hear our coordinator's voice, I knew something was wrong. "There's been an accident," she said. "Your donor was in an accident last night. She was thrown from the car and she's in intensive care." I think I muttered 'Oh my god."

Too many thought raced through my head. I prayed she'd recover. I prayed for her son. I prayed that she'd make it through what appeared to be a horrible accident. I tried to push away my sense of dread and fear and pity and disappointment that my donor wasn't going to be my donor anymore. I sobbed. I called my man and cried some more. I was in shock. Complete shock. I felt guilty for my feelings that screamed 'why me again?' My sorrow paled in comparison to this incredible soul that was fighting for her life. I stopped crying for myself and started sobbing for her.