So, so much has happened. I know I should have written it all down as soon as I had all the information, but I just didn’t have the time. I was also completely crushed for a moment and that typically makes me withdraw a bit to recover. So, let me start from the beginning of yesterday.
As I have become accustomed to, I woke early in the morning to head out to my blood work and ultrasound appt. I was seen by a new doctor, a fellow, and all of my follicles were measured. As was expected, my growing follicles had recruited a few more and I still had a large number growing. Many were right on track for retrieval with a couple front running at the 20mm range, a little a head of schedule. We were pretty certain we would be triggering earlier than expected but had to wait on the blood tests to determine when. I still thought it would be several days away. I received a call that morning, actually many calls with some new and hard to hear developments. My blood test results showed that my estrogen levels were very, very close to the danger zone for OHSS, about 4000 (5000 being the low range of risk for OHSS), but the bulk of my follicles were not quite large enough for retrieval. I had two options. Trigger yesterday, hope that I have many mature eggs even though the bulk were still a little small and be able to do a fresh transfer 5 days later OR trigger tomorrow, greatly increase the risk for OHSS and almost certainly freeze all the embryos created without doing a transfer at all.
I was devastated. I cried and cried and cried. I cried to Tim, I cried to the doctor and I begged someone else to make this decision. I felt like I was making the choice between later success and more embryos or just a huge gamble for the chance at a fresh transfer this cycle. And everything was more complicated by our ability to be treated at WR only while Tim is deployed. Would we make it on another cycle before he got home? It’s seriously unlikely. The decision was really, maybe get pregnant now, or make more embryos. I mean, I am not even sure if we could ever afford to do another cycle of IVF again. So much guilt. Am i willing to throw away ALLLL of these eggs I have grown for this instant gratification of the possibility of being pregnant this go round? What if none of these eggs are viable or mature. What if none of them fertilize. What if none of them continue to grow? I felt it was impossible to make this choice for Tim and me. Everything was happening too fast, it all has happened so fast since I have been here. And if this sounds like I was able to toil for hours and really think through the implications of all of this, I wasn’t. Every 5 minutes the doctor was calling me again to see if I had reached a decision because she had to let the embryologist know. Am i here to make a farm of embryos, or am I here to get pregnant? To eventually have a successful pregnancy and a child.
I am here to experience motherhood, whatever the powers above decide that to mean. Needless to say, I am sure you have surmised at this point that we decided to trigger yesterday. Something that should have been a blissful, exciting decision was wrought with fear and anxiety and guilt. But the decision was made and at 2230 last night, Taylor stuck me with the longest needle ever and shot me with 10,000 units of hcg. For the next 9 days, every stick I pee on (you know, the kind that test for pregnancy) will be positive for the first time in my life. Even though its not real, its still pretty awesome. The shot was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be (or was told it would be) but I also iced my rear for like 20 minutes and was so pumped on adrenaline that I probably could have karate chopped a brick in half. Also, Taylor was super gentle. I mean, as gentle as one could be stabbing another with a four inch long needle.
It was a hard decision and I was emotionally strung out. I needed to blow off some steam and i am so glad these girls were here to help me do just that.
We ventured through the Metro:
We did some sightseeing:
We lost the car in the Metro parking garage! Don’t worry, we found it again. We also were completely entranced by the two story Target we found that had an ESCALATOR for your CART!!!
It was the literal coolest. I was pretty knackered, but I had some good friends to keep an eye out for me on the journey, even when I had to take a load off wherever was available.
We also visited the Holocaust Museum:
Which was very sobering. We really appreciated the time we spent there, it was eye opening and is something that should be on everyone’s list while they are in DC.
We also got the see the National Botanic Gardens, which I adored. It was so peaceful and tranquil and I really loved to see all the interesting plants, especially the orchids.
Today, as we gave the trigger shot time to work, I vowed to eat all the things, do everything that I wanted, listen to my body fully and release any stress or worry I have built up before my surgery Monday morning. So this morning I went into the lab yet again and had just blood work done to make sure the trigger was administered correctly. I went back to the hotel, took a short nap and was up again to pick up Aunt Paula from the airport.
We headed straight to Arlington National Cemetery and then went to lunch. I was completely exhausted so they dropped me off at the hotel to rest and they headed out again to run some errands before our date this evening. When they were finished we headed to Georgetown to meet up with Margaret and Ashley, both with SO’s deployed with ours and we had the best meal and catch up before my surgery tomorrow. I had pasta AND dessert! It was decadent.
It’s always nice to catch up with other military wives, especially to connect with ones that that live far away from our guys home base.
Now, we are back at the hotel, I am waiting on laundry and completely unable to sleep. Tomorrow at 7am, I will check in for my surgery. I am nervous and scared about many things. The most important one is that I made the wrong decision and that if this is successful or not is completely my responsibility. I do know, however, that there is nothing I can do to influence the outcome any longer. Going into tomorrow, I would be extra grateful for your calming thoughts, prayers and vibes. Specifically that we are successful in retrieving an adequate number of healthy eggs, that the embryologist can fertilize as many eggs as possible, that they grow as they should, and that my estrogen and progesterone levels stay within a range that would allow me to undergo a fresh transfer five days from today. We can pray for sticky babies later.
My mantra for tomorrow is:
My body is a vessel, my eggs are the perfect half of life, I am strong enough for any outcome, I am capable of what I have asked of my body.
As always (even if its late), I will keep you update as I receive reports and let you know what exactly is happening at each stage. I can’t thank all my readers enough for your encouraging words and thoughts and for reading about my story. You have given me such and invaluable tool and I can’t wait to continue to give you reason to follow us on this surreal journey.
Til tomorrow: Retrieval Day,