Lucky 13?

On Tuesday afternoon, I got “the call.” The one telling me my follicles were ripe for the plucking. After a thoroughly cryptic conversation with the nurse in my company cafeteria, I pieced together the triggering instructions. Then popped back into a meeting like it was NBD.

300 units of Gonal-F at 8:30. Novarel trigger at 9:30. At this point, I feel like one huge injection site. Ah, well… thems the breaks for the infertiles.

My retrieval was scheduled for Thursday morning. So nothing to do on Wednesday but wait. I’m used to waiting- that’s what the TTC game is all about, right? Mr. O, it seems, was late to that party. Because he had what is his equivalent to a freak out.  It happens infrequently, but when it does… Boyo, there is no talking him out of it.

It is worth noting that a “Mr. O Freak Out” looks a lot like my baseline for existence. He tends to latch on to something small then just perseverates on it for about 30 minutes. His obsession of choice today was how many embryos to implant. Like a dog with a bone, he would not let this go. “If we get one, obviously we’ll implant it and be done. But what if we get 3? Do we implant 2, then save the other one for later? What if we get 5?” And so on and so forth.

My feeling is that I will do whatever it takes to have a healthy pregnancy. If Dr. Petrel thinks that means implanting one, one it is. If she thinks that means two (and we have two viable ones), then we’ll go for two. Of all the things that have preoccupied my mind over our first IVF cycle, how many to implant has not been one of them.

Thursday morning, we show up for our retrieval. I don’t know how to explain this, but it was one of the saddest experiences I’ve had so far. Every couple that came in was “like me.” We’re all experiencing some kind of heartbreak. Perhaps I’m projecting, but everyone looked kind of sad and weathered.

When one couple walked in, the nurse said “I think I know you. Have you been here before?” They had been here in July. Like a dagger to my heart, friends.

Hooked up to my IVs, I sat and waited my turn. About 15 minutes before I was scheduled to go in, a nurse took Mr. O to the porn room. (Oh, come on… We’re all adults here, and THAT’S what it is!) I watched him walk out, and I just kept thinking “I didn’t want this for you.” I was just so deeply sad to be at this point. And so I sat there alone, trying not to weep openly.

When I woke up from the procedure, I had no idea where I was. I started crying, I babbled, I asked if it was Christmas*. It took about 5 minutes for Mr. O to calm me down, and for me to remember why I was there in the first place. Another 20 minutes later, we went home.

For the record, egg retrieval is fine. For me, it was a lot easier than the hysteroscopy. But don’t let anyone fool you- this isn’t like getting your teeth cleaned. I spent most of yesterday in bed, chugging Gatorade and eating a lot of meat because this is supposed to help my ovaries recover. (Who knew ovaries had so much in common with 15 year old boys?)

They were able to retrieve 13 in total. I’ll get a call today to let me know how they are progressing, then we could go in on Saturday to implant them. Does this seem early to anyone? I thought they’d need time to percolate or something…

Anyway, it feels like the hard part is over. Okay, the second hardest part… because this TWW will be one for the books.

Prepare yourself for more truly neurotic posts.

*This may seem random, but it isn’t. My mom went in for an endoscopy in November of last year, and experienced a whole mess of complications which have left her in the hospital for over a year. She went in November 1, and didn’t wake up until Christmas day.

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16 comments

  1. mamajo23 · November 21, 2014

    I know what you mean about wanting to weep in moments like that- moments that it all feels so real. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was in this situation 20+ years ago without the miracle of IVF. It helped me reach gratitude in moments of harsh reality. Best of luck with your lucky 13!

    • thecommonostrich · November 21, 2014

      WORD. I also think this hit me harder because it is one of the few times my infertility is so open. There is absolutely no pretending to be there for any other reason.

      Science is pretty damn impressive- I have often thought that there would be exactly zero percent chance of me having a baby without it. Even through my bouts of gloominess, I see I am fortunate to be here at this precise point in time.

  2. labmonkeyftw · November 21, 2014

    13! that is a great number of eggs!
    Implantation can be day 3 embryos, which would be Saturday for you, or day 5 embryos: I think they make that call based on how many are developing and how well they are progressing: later embryos are generally healthier, but fewer make it to that stage, so it’s a bit of a balancing act. I think most clinics prefer to freeze day 5 embryos though, so even if you implanted some tomorrow, the others might still percolate for a bit.
    Oh, my fingers are crossed for you Ostrich. I know exactly what you mean with not wanting this for Mr. O. Or yourself either: it’s both of you in this situation. It’s always how this affects Pea that always ends up getting to me though.
    hugs! hurray for successful egg ripening and retrieval! Are you through the worst of the injections now, or do you have progesterone shots too?

    • thecommonostrich · November 21, 2014

      You are so much better than Google. 🙂 I was about to start looking for this info, but now you’ve saved me from hours of manic searching.

      Ultimately, it is the both of you on the IF train. I think it’s easier to push our own sadness aside. It’s much harder to do that with someone you love.

      I think I’m done with injections for now. I will have to start estrogen and progesterone tomorrow. The estrogen is a patch. Progesterone is mercifully in cream form, straight up my hooha. Hard to imagine, but it sounds delightful compared to the injections.

      • labmonkeyftw · November 21, 2014

        I know the progesterone-via-hoohah route quite well. 🙂 Be glad you have escaped the progesterone-in-oil injections, they made my sister explode in full body hives, and gave her (more) delightful bruises, this time on her butt.
        Again, fingers are crossed for your little embryos: go embies go!

  3. My Perfect Breakdown · November 21, 2014

    It sounds like 13 may just be your lucky number!! I am so hopeful that you many of them “percolate” perfectly and that your transfer on Saturday will be exceptionally easy. Hopefully Mr. O can calm down about the numbers, but I kind of suspect you are going to have a “fun” few days helping him digest all the updates you get from the clinic. 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · November 21, 2014

      Normally it’s the other way around– I’m full on crazy, and he is the stalwart pillar of strength.

      He has already texted me twice today. 🙂

      • My Perfect Breakdown · November 21, 2014

        I love that he’s so crazy – I think it’s adorable! 🙂

      • thecommonostrich · November 21, 2014

        (Read as I got his FOURTH TEXT. This is ridiculous. And yes, adorable too.)

      • My Perfect Breakdown · November 21, 2014

        Hahaha! I love it. 🙂

  4. g2the4thpower · November 21, 2014

    I love 13! I have great hopes for you and your eggs!! Xx

    • thecommonostrich · November 21, 2014

      Thanks! As weird as it sounds, I was so overjoyed to get them out. To get out so many was a bonus.

      • g2the4thpower · November 21, 2014

        I bet! It’s a really odd feeling, to have your eggs harvested. On that day, I felt that I truly was an animal. And that I was also a really large lab rat!

  5. Pingback: Currently | The Parenthood Diaries
  6. julieann081 · November 22, 2014

    Yay for 13! Wishing you all the very best! ❤

  7. lucy50 · November 22, 2014

    I woke up from anesthesia crying too. It’s weird what drugs to do our bodies. I’m thinking about you and hoping one out of those 13 is the winner.

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