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Two Week Wait Day 7: Twilight Zone

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Two Week Wait Day 7: Monday, February 28, 2011

First of all -thanks to everyone for all your sweet comments about my worries (and about Randy). Publishing all of my crazy worries for all to see made me feel vulnerable and exposed, and your comments made me feel much more confident and empowered in my exposure.

And now, onto the wait. Today felt like the Twilight Zone. When I woke up I was sure there was no way I could get up and go to work and interact with people and pretend like I wasn’t completely out of my mind. But Randy convinced me that I could and so in my zombie-like state I showered, dressed and drove to work. The morning was completely bananas because of power outages at the office due to downed power lines caused by last night’s storm, which was also making the sky look all gray and apocalypse-y. Add to that my realization that my Yahoo mail account was hacked in the middle of the night causing everyone in my address book to get spam about “taking their penises in an ambulance”. When I finally got to my desk after the power had been restored I felt so strange that I couldn’t imagine going on with the day as normal.

I didn’t feel normal in any way. I felt like  – and this has been the best I can come up with in the way of description – my insides were screaming. Like there was so much pressure bottled up inside me I was going to explode. Like I couldn’t sit still because the anxiety was pacing around inside my chest, looking for an escape valve. I imagine this might be what a panic attack feels like? I didn’t think I was going to make it through the work day. But in the end, Kara came through, as she always does. The key to bringing me back to reality from the Twilight Zone? Turns out, its Kara handing me a post-it note on which she has penned a labeled drawing of her new bra to illustrate how its making her uncomfortable. I know for many people this might be the catalyst for feeling Twilight Zonish. But I guess I’m not most people. This and other antics throughout the day brought me back from the brink and by the end of the day I was functioning almost normally. I was even clear-headed enough to make the decision to not take a home test today. The risk for a false negative is still too high and I don’t need any unnecessary anxiety.

I leave you with a high-fashion photo shoot starring Kara and the birthday hat I knitted for her and finally gave her today. Only a week late. 🙂

Two Week Wait Days 2 & 3: Back to the Grind

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Two Week Wait Days 2 & 3: Thursday & Friday, February 24 & 25

Back to school: check (you try to take it easy, but the children don’t let you)

Fever: check (running around after kids makes it worse)

Worries: check (though my temp hasn’t climbed above 99.5 I’m worried my embryos are burning up)

Enter: Gina – my too-good-to-be-true buddy and coworker. She brought me this washcloth and container of water to use as a cold compress to reduce my fever.

love. Love. LOVE.

I’m so lucky to have such good friends.

Cycle Day 20: But More Importantly, KARA’s BIRTHDAY!

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Cycle Day 20, February 20, 2011

Today was kind of like a free day in cycle world – no embryo transfer to go to, no post-transfer resting to be done. Which worked out perfectly because its Kara’s 30th birthday! I am making her an extra special and slightly big hat (she claimed to have the world’s biggest head but when we finally measured last week it turns out to be only one inch larger than mine – which is pretty average…) in honor of her 30th year, but its not done yet! Eep! But I brought the work in progress with me to her celebration so that she knows its coming. I also brought a sock monkey hat for her to give to her nephew, Brady, for his upcoming 4th birthday. I think it was a hit.

Kara has been one of our biggest supporters throughout our infertility journey – cheering us on and being a champion empathizer though she’s never been down this particular road herself.  Lately she’s been giving me Auntie 101 classes and I’ve been able to see through her eyes that I actually may be able to enjoy this whole nephew business (which is approaching at an alarming rate!) despite my “open wounds”. Kara and I share a workspace, a Girl Scout history, a love of all things melty and cheesy, and so many volumes of TMI that I think either of us could make bank blackmailing the other if it came to that. 🙂  I’m so honored to count her as one of my best friends and have been blessed to get to know her AND her entire family. Here’s to the next 30 years!

Cycle Day 16: Cheaper By the Dozen

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6:15 a.m.: Alarm goes off. Randy groans and covers his eyes. I hop out of bed – I haven’t slept well because this whole not drinking anything after 11pm business has wreaked havoc with my sore throat. I am ready to get this DONE and drink some apple juice out of a juice box in the recovery room.

6:44 a.m.: Our car pulls out of the garage – me with my Valium in hand, ready to make the world look a LOT more fuzzy.

6:45 a.m.: I take the Valium – and a photo of myself, which is too blurry to make out. Have I mentioned that I dropped my camera last week and it now vibrates something fierce the entire time the power is on?

7:10 a.m.: We park in the clinic’s parking garage and make our way to the elevators. The world is moving slowly for me and my legs feel much heavier than usual. I start with the giggling.

7:15 a.m.: We are met by a nurse who takes us back to the pre-op/recovery room and has me change into everyone’s favorite spring fashion – the hospital gown, accessorized with the finest disposable booties and surgical cap. This marks the first (out of five) egg retrievals that I didn’t have to come out of the changing room to groggily ask the nurse if the gown opens in front or back. Victory!

7:20 a.m.: Victory #2 – the IV goes in without a fight! Eww – my arm looks kinda gross so close up.

Note: From here on out the time estimates get VERY fuzzy, so just go with it.

7:?? a.m.: After much asking of my name, birthday, and reason for “being here today” the nurses were satisfied with my answers and left Randy and me alone-ish to chat and play with our camera phones. (I don’t think they knew that bit about the camera phones.) In a drug-induced and ill fated plan, I have Randy take a picture of me in my hospital bed. It looks hideous and I promptly delete it. He spend the next five minutes convincing me that I don’t actually look hideous and he is not repulsed by me. 🙂

 

Randy is hungry and tries to eat my paper-clad foot:

 

I look HOT in my new hat:

 

Randy is sleepy and wishes he had my job today (okay not really):

 

7:?? a.m.: The nurses instruct randy to kiss me goodbye and they wheel me back to the door of the retrieval room, but they make me get up and walk into the room and get on the table myself. Once I’m situated, they put my blanket back on me, attach a blood pressure cuff to my right arm, put one of those finger-pinchy pulse monitor things on my index finger, and the oxygen hose thing into my nose. Are you impressed by my mastery of the technical medical terms?

7:?? a.m.: The nurses prep the room and the equipment and tell me to relax. I am convinced they have forgotten to give me the oh-so-vital sedative, as I feel completely alert (as alert as you can feel on Valium). I almost say something twice, but I don’t want to be a pain so I wait a little while longer and sure enough, the nurse comes over and says “now I’m putting the good stuff into your IV – if you feel like going to sleep, let yourself”. I am alert for a few more moments/minutes? and then I must drift off  because I don’t remember the RE coming into the room. Aaaand cue waking up in recovery, right? Not so fast…

7:?? a.m.: I’m still in the retrieval room and I feel lots of pain. Toe-curling, sheet-gripping pain (I know because I actually curled my toes and gripped my sheets). I’m very fuzzy and drowsy, but I tell the nurse it hurts, and she says she’ll give me more medicine. Things are blurry after this, but I’m convinced at the time that I’m awake until I get to recovery. Its anyone’s guess.

8:?? a.m.: I am in recovery and I see the nurse who promised to give me more medicine. I say: “I feel REALLY coherent right now…”. She says: “Well we didn’t give you as much sedative as last time.” I say nothing but think: WHY??? I say: “I felt a lot of pain.” She says: “yeah, I told you I’d give you more medicine, but I didn’t. There wasn’t enough time left in the procedure.” Again, I say nothing but think: WHAT?!? As I write this now I realize it may sound kind of horrifying – and it was definitely NOT fun – but it wasn’t as traumatic as it probably sounds, primarily because of the sedatives. I was awake for more of the fun than I should have been, but I use the term “awake” loosely. Its all very fuzzy and blurry, so its not haunting me or anything. But I bet it would be if this were my first retrieval experience!

8:?? a.m. I temporarily forget about the pain because the nurse tells me they got 12 eggs. 12 EGGS. I think I probably say: “It was 12?!?” about three times before I actually believe it. This almost doubles our previous record and is more than they even saw on the ultrasounds. Remember, I am used to coming out with fewer eggs than were seen in ultrasound.

8:?? a.m.: Randy saunters into the recovery area sipping a coffee and looking relaxed. Have I mentioned the gender inequalities in this process? (Don’t worry, Randy is fully aware of them and tries to make up as best he can through cooking and housework – guilt is handy sometimes.) I almost shout at him: “WE GOT 12!!!” I then start chatting his ear off telling him I’m extra coherent because they didn’t give me enough drugs. I then recount my “awake” experience to him and he laughs because every time we have a retrieval I am convinced at first that I was awake the whole time and felt everything. Then later things become fuzzier and I realize that I was probably only awake for a minute or two right in the beginning, because there are so many gaps in my memory. But this time is different, I insist. I know I wasn’t awake the whole time but I know FOR SURE that I woke up and asked for more drugs – that was confirmed by the nurse. Vindicated.

8:?? a.m.: The nurse offers me juice and crackers and I drink the entire juice box in probably under a minute because my sinus-drainage-ravaged throat is screaming at me. I ask for Tylanol for the cramping and she brings me another juice box, which I promptly chug. We hang out for a little while longer and then they let me go to the bathroom. Once I’m successful (Victory #3) they remove my IV and let me get dressed. We sign some release papers and we’re off!

9:15 a.m.: We pull into the McDonald’s drive-thru line for our traditional post-retrieval breakfast of McGriddles, Hash Browns, and OJ and felt so supported knowing we had an army (of two) doing the same this morning in our honor! Click here for Tricia’s account and here for Kara’s!

9:30 a.m.: We sit on the couch and pig out and post about our 12 on Facebook and bask in the rare glow of things gone well in an IVF cycle.

9:45 a.m.: I retreat to our bedroom and disappear into our flannel sheets, emerging only intermittently for bathroom and snack breaks.

6:30 p.m.: My Momley arrives with dinner for us! Chicken casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, sweet potato casserole, and cinnamon rolls for dessert. Aren’t moms the best? Dads are good too, but mine stayed home today because he is battling an even worse cold/illness than me and didn’t want to get me all germy. I appreciate that – I need all the help I can get right now!

And this concludes our broadcast day. The evening was marked by lots of couch-sitting and TV watching and some Bejewled playing. And now, its off to bed again – I think I know what its like to be a cat now!

Cheering Up

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I can think of few people better to cheer me up during a rough spell than Kara for several reasons:

  • Opportunity – we essentially share a desk, separated only by a half divider and about 4 feet, so she sees a lot of my face and can tell almost instantly when a negative thought crosses my mind, putting her in prime position to be my first responder. Usually her first action step is to make her funny lip/cheek noise, which, I have to admit, is quite effective. Its hard for me to see this trick and not laugh.
  • She takes pictures of me and turns them into album covers in case I ever become an international pop sensation.

  • She makes me presents! Today she surprised me with this awesome coffee cup cozy she custom made me over the weekend. Two reasons its awesome: it has elephants WITH spots AND its reversible! Kara – I owe you like a million Mountain Dews.

 

Melt With You

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Scenes from a cozy winter lunch at Melt in Northside.

Pepper Problem: Photo #330

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Kara has a problem.  A pepper problem.  I counted at least 12 packets going into her soup today.  I hope she seeks help at some point.