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A Transfer Tale/ How I became PUPO!

I’ve been sitting on this post forever. We had our FET at CCRM this past Friday. It’s been a roller-coaster ever since. Here’s our transfer story:

We booked an early morning flight to Denver one day before transfer (cheapest fare we got!) and somehow K managed to convince himself that the flight was at 630 when it was actually at 6. There was some rushing about and some angry muttering involved but we managed to make it in time for boarding. We reached Denver nice and early, found our rental and reached our favorite hotel, The Element, all in good time. That first day we didn’t do much -had some yummy pho at Viet Pho for lunch, came back to the hotel where I alternated between reading trashy novels and dozing off intermittently while K worked remotely. Dinner was takeout from an Indian place which we paired with a Bollywood movie on the computer!

Friday morning I got a call from CCRM to confirm that we were thawing one 5AA embryo. I had a quick non-soap shower (we had instructions on not using anything heavily scented), changed my patches, shoved the endometrin in and K gave me his first (and my third) PIO shot. It wasn’t all that bad; I mean it does hurt like a %@$#@# and throbs through the day but nothing I can’t handle. While he got ready, I paced the room partly out of nervousness and partly to let the PIO absorb. It was then that I heard a telltale whoosh sound. I yelled at K through the bathroom door–no babe, not the deo!!! I heard him cursing repeatedly as he remembered he wasn’t supposed to use it. Poor guy went right back in and took a second shower all the time yelling SHIT! SHIT! SHIIIIIT!!! We were concerned he wouldn’t be let in but it wasn’t an issue in the end.

We reached CCRM around 11.30 and checked in at the front desk for our labs. They took half an hour to call us in. The lab work itself was quick and painless after which we headed upstairs to the surgery center for the transfer. I was chugging water at a rapid speed by now. Soon enough, I was called in for acupuncture. We were directed to a room outside which was a whiteboard with my name which for some reason I really liked! I changed into the hospital gown and wore my lucky super girl socks (at least I hope they will turn out to be lucky!). K took a few pics of me, hopefully my last pre-pregnancy pics!

The lady who did the acupuncture was kinda reserved and a little aloof but I suppose she did a decent job for I was asleep pretty quickly. Although the valium might have helped! A little while later the lights were switched on, and the show was ready to begin. The embryologist wheeled in the incubator and Dr Su strode in, all smiles. He shook hands with both of us and asked me if I was ready. I nodded hard and he got to work. We signed some paperwork as he readied himself. He was pretty tickled with my blue and pink super girl socks which have little pink ‘capes’ behind them. He even showed them to John, the embryologist and they both solemnly agreed they hadn’t seen cooler socks before! He took my permission to tuck the capes in though cause they would’ve come in the way of his doing his stuff!

As soon as they showed me my little embabie, already hatching, on the screen, silent tears of overwhelming joy and love started streaming down my eyes. This is my child, I thought to myself. The transfer itself was a smooth, seamless affair. We could see where baby was in the uterus; kinda floated upwards in a gliding motion. It was beautiful, moving and precious all at once. Both the nurse and John agreed it was one of the smoothest transfers they had seen.

Once they were done, Dr Su untucked my sock-capes, wished us luck and confirmed that my tears were tears of happiness! I got the post-transfer acupuncture (was awake throughout, dying to pee!), got up to unload my bursting bladder and was then wheeled to our car and back to the hotel. I stayed on bed rest for the requisite 48 hours and we flew back home Sunday night with hope in our hearts and prayers on our lips.

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Lining check 2

Yesterday’s lining check was encouraging. My OB checked it at various places and it ranged between 11.5 to 13 which I am happy about. My labs also came good with e2 at 434 and p4 nice and low at 0.5, which is what they want at this stage. I was a bit freaked out with all the EWCM I’d been getting but the u/s showed many follicles on my right ovary; I think the elevated estrogen is probably causing the CM. Too bad this isn’t an IVF cycle, it’s funny how I almost felt bad about them going waste!

I’ve been asked to stick with my current calendar. A teeny bit worried that my lining might get too thick with all the estrogen I’m consuming but I’m going to trust my doctor and go with the flow.

I took my last lupron shot today. Tomorrow night I start the endometrin and the doxy. Monday onwards the endometrin gets bumped up to thrice a day and I also start the much-dreaded  PIO which shall get its own post once I get through the first one!

I go in for my last blood draw before transfer on Monday and then if all looks good, we fly out Thursday morning to Denver. Fingers, toes, everything tightly crossed!

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How do I feel?

It’s coming sooner than I can say hello. In a week we leave for Denver for my first ever IVF transfer. It always amazes me that despite almost 3 years of TTC we’ve done so little when it comes to baby ‘cooking’. We did all of two IUIs and swiftly moved on to IVF. Our first cycle was a bust with no normals to transfer and we’ve spent the past year just making our embabies who sit cozy in a Colorado freezer as I type. Between my first (and only) pregnancy, the miscarriage and subsequent D&C, the swollen ovary that refused to go down for months, a gazillion different vaccines and shots that require you to abstain from sex and the IVF cycles, there’s been a TON of waiting around. So it stands to reason that my approaching FET inspires some crazy shit in my mind.

I flip-flop between feeling immensely hopeful and sure that this is it and then, immediately after, wondering why should I be so lucky now. Which is crazy, for ‘lucky’ is sure as hell not how I would describe the past three years of my life, ttc-wise. I know I have done everything possible to ensure the best outcome; controlled my diet (and my temper!), exercised, meditated and in general avoided stress and stressful situations to the best I could. I know that my body is capable of implantation at the very least and that my uterus looks good and makes a good lining. I know pregnancy and motherhood is in my fate. I also know that I damn well deserve this to work out. I wonder, though, if all this is enough.

I’ve been getting these signs (at least I am interpreting them as signs!)–a couple weeks back I found a pacifier on my patio. Granted, I have new neighbors who I suspect have a baby but then we’ve always had a family with a baby living next door to us and there have been no mysterious paci spottings ever in the past 2.5 years! I’ve been dreaming a lot about babies which, for me, is R.A.R.E. I remember a time when I would force myself to visualize cute, snuggly babies before I went to bed just so I could coax them into my dreams. None of the babies in my recent dreams were mine, however, and almost all were baby boys. A gender hint?

When we went to Cabo last week, the car that came from the resort to fetch us had a baby seat in the back. The driver was apologetic saying he did not know why there was a baby seat in the car when there were clear instructions to pick up a couple! And then today, I got this email from Shutterfly:

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Ermmm… to the best of my knowledge I have not signed up for Shutterfly or announced that I’m having I’ve had a baby!

So well, we’ll just wait and see how it goes. For now, I’m hunkering down and trying not to look beyond the present day. Preps-wise things are going fairly well. On day 6 of the patches, my lining was at 7.7-7.8 although e2 was low at 38. After an exasperating 3 days of waiting, I was finally told to add oral estrace to my daily regimen. Next check is this coming Friday and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a healthy lining and appropriate estradiol levels.

While the terrible hot flashes have finally retreated, daily lupron and estrogen make me look like I swallowed a massive watermelon. I am seriously bloated and unable to fit into any of my jeans or pants! I’ve heard progesterone makes it worse so I’ve that to look forward to. Next up on the ‘eeks–I can’t do this’ list are the PIO shots which start on the coming Monday. Fun times.

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Sun-kissed days… make my troubles seem so far away!

I wake up with a start. Something seems off. I look up and see azure sky with a few idle specks of cottony cloud. I’m not in my room, I realize. I’m at the beach! I’m in Cabo!

The weather seems to have been concocted to perfection -sunny, warm and breezy. We walk into the water, K and I. It feels so cool, an inviting liquid bliss. There’s fishes everywhere, some striped, others with yellow tails. They swim around us, generously letting us share their playground. We play with the tide, giggling uncontrollably each time a wave knocks one of us down. The hot sand scorches our feet as we race back to where we laid out our beach towels.

Later, we hang out in the pool. It’s Taco Tuesday and we’re ravenous! We wolf down fish and chicken and steak tacos and drink fruity beverages (mocktail for me!) decorated with lemon slices. We lean against the edge of the infinity pool and stare out into the formidable Pacific, at the famous arches where it meets the Sea of Cortez. A tiny dot in a magnificent universe. That’s what we are.

In our room we lie side by side, laughing over inane jokes that are our own brand of funny! He messes up my  hair, I tickle him till he begs forgiveness. It’s so wonderfully ordinary. We’ve missed ordinary so much.

I don’t forget. I can’t forget. I take my Lupron shots, I dutifully change my patches every other day. I’m aware of each day getting us closer to the day we have been waiting for. I can’t wait for that day to come. Yet, I cherish the preciousness that today is.

I know that hope can be a chameleon, changing color when least expected. I know fate can turn traitor. But I won’t let worry taint my dreams anymore. For, as of now, I’m living one of them 🙂

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View from our room!

View from our room!

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Here we go!

I’m just two days shy of starting my FET meds. Excited, very excited but also scared. I’ve packed in a lot into the next three weeks to ensure I don’t go batshit crazy! Coming up first in line is a long overdue vacation in Cabo!

Just the anticipation of four days with K spent luxuriating on a Mexican beach, unadulterated by the cacophony of everyday-ness has thrown me into a right tizzy. I’ve spent this whole week prepping for the trip like an excited teenager headed for spring break! Some new clothes have been bought, legs have been waxed, eyebrows threaded and hair will be cut tomorrow… I’m all set to seduce my husband, hot flashes notwithstanding!

Speaking of which, shouldn’t they be done by now? It seems in the past few days alone they’ve doubled in intensity; I now break out into a sweat like every 15-30 minutes! Nights are simply insufferable and the recent heat wave we’re having in Nor-cal does not help things one bit. The fact that no walls have been punched and no objects have been broken is a testament to my growing inner zen-ness 😉

My first lining check is the very next day after we’re back! My nurse told me today that Dr. S has started doing early lining checks for his patients so that if there are any issues there is more time to tweak the meds and hopefully resolve things. Makes sense to me; I only wonder why they didn’t think of it before!

So that’s where we’re at, all ready to jump off this cliff with the assumption (or desperate hope!) that we’ll be able to swim to safety upon landing. Let the fun begin 🙂

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Untamed Loquaciousness

This always happens. Blogging takes a backseat and as I plot each day to give word to my tumultuous mind, something else takes over and before I know it, there’s a veritable truckload of random-ness to feed to the cyber-world.

So here goes (in no particular order):

1. One month from now, right at this time I will be in LoneTree. That thought makes me dizzy with excitement and sick to my stomach in terror.

2. Hell hath no fury like a woman Lupron-ed. Doubt it? Call my husband.

3. This Friday it’s my left eye’s turn to get laser-zapped. Right eye tolerated said zap-ness admirably well but not before some truly fat tears were shed in anticipatory nervousness.

4. My eyes still remain very, very dry. Since I’m about to add another cocktail of hormones to my daily diet, can only imagine how poor eyes are going to take it. Sometimes I make myself yawn just to get some moisture in my poor eyes!

5. I rub my eyes excessively and tend to stare a lot nowadays as a result of the dryness. Probably explains why I got shifty looks from folks at the mall this past weekend.

6. I’ve injured my left arm/ shoulder from yoga. It now bears the honorable badge of a frozen shoulder or a torn rotator cuff. It is b.l.o.o.d.y painful, especially at night. Don’t get to sleep much.

7. No sleep + point no. 2 = go figure!

8. I spend an inordinate amount of time doing hot/cold compresses for my shoulder and warm compresses for my eyes. And arm stretches. And eyelid scrubs. Eye drops. Muscle rubs. Add chiropractic treatment and acupuncture to this and voila! watch my day poof away into oblivion.

9. PhD dissertation? What’s that?

10. I’ve come to the conclusion that after three years of my reproductive organs hogging the limelight, my other body parts are now playing a crazy competitive game of ‘let’s show her who’s boss’.

11. On my daily walks (no yoga remember?!) in the past week I have discovered a decapitated doll, a yellow toy teacup (so Tim Burton, no?), tons of luscious spring flowers, a house numbered ‘one ohh ohh one’, the pleasure of swaying on the swing with eyes shut and the cutest doggy with a mournful expression who I always find peeking out of the blinds from his house.

12. I’ve been trying to meditate every night for almost a month. My mind just does not know how to shut the heck up.

13. I get craazzaaayyyy dreams. Like you might stop reading this blog if I put them down. They are scary, graphic and often wake me up in tears.

14. I miss India A LOT. In the past 3 years I’ve spent only four weeks there 😦 Thankfully, I spent good time with my parents and my brother this past year so at least that’s nice. Still, I miss my friends, I miss ‘home’, I miss the food, the craziness, the shopping… everything.

15. Despite 14. above, if I cannot go to India for the next couple years because of ‘the right reasons’, I will be the happiest soul ever!

16. I am so, so bored of food and of cooking. I’ve been cooking a lot and we go out often but nothing seems to hit the spot. What I truly crave is spicy konkani seafood. Perhaps I should try cooking some?

17. I need to go do my cold compress thing.

18. Hope you all are having a brilliant week!

19. Ta!

20. Yea, yea I’m going.

21. No really…

22. Okay, here I go

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It’s getting hot in herre!!

Poor Nelly. Little did he know that his chart-buster would make such an apt Lupron anthem! That is, until you get to the lyrics. The steaminess oozing from that song has about as much in common with a lupron-induced menopause as does a Himalayan yak with a chessboard.

Tomorrow, I will take my second (and hopefully last ever) Depot-Lupron injection. While my symptoms haven’t been as rabid as I expected them to be, I look forward to saying goodbye to killer headaches and those ridiculous hot flashes. One moment I’ll be the picture of serenity sitting with some friends over dinner and the very next moment I look like someone who’s just emerged from a Bikram Yoga class. And then there’s the morning fatigue. I don’t know if this is a common side effect or not but for the past month getting out of bed in the morning has held about as much appeal as the thought of skinny dipping in sub-zero weather. Once I’m up and about, though, it’s all good.

Of course, as far as K is concerned, there’s just one side effect of Lupron. It’s kindly titled ‘the return of the psycho shrew’. We’ve been squabbling like a pair of newly-weds over just about everything. All it takes is for me to discover some shaving gel on the bath counter or for him to say something like ‘babe you never keep my water bottle filled’ and it’s like I morph into a crazy, fishwife version of myself complete with door-slamming, yelling and full-on histrionics thrown in for good measure. The poor man sits silently while the gale storm that is his wife exhausts her fury and finally subsides into intermittent sobs. I swear (s.w.e.a.r) it’s the medicine making me cuckoo. It’s like I can observe it happening the way you would observe a chem-lab experiment go horribly wrong. I’m helpless though to control it. It’s exhausting, not just for K but for me too!

On a different note, I’ve been going for yoga pretty regularly. My new-found love affair with yoga is pretty ironic considering how inflexible I am. The good thing about my yoga studio is that it gets all types of people (and not just crazy fit LA types clad in second-skin spandex doing downward dog with all the agility of a bendy straw) so I don’t feel quite at sea when I’m unable to hold on to my heels with both hands while my body is bent and head is thrown backwards in camel!

My eyes continue to feel vacuum cleaned. I went back to my eye doctor and he still insists on a gentler approach. I’ve had no luck getting him to prescribe me something stronger but he has agreed to try out his patented non-medicated dry eye treatment (he’s a dry eye specialist) with me, starting tomorrow! I couldn’t be more excited. My eyes have felt so sore and so tired; I’m ready to start feeling better!

Exactly 7 weeks left until transfer. Time is crawling by and yet, I know, the day will be here soon enough and that makes me sick with excitement and nervousness!