Join us as we embark on our very last (at least that’s the plan) go-round with IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) and bring our journey to become biological parents to a close one way or another. We have decided to detail our entire experience here both as a documentation of our own family history and as a way to share the ins and outs of a process most people (thankfully) will never experience.
Final IVF Days 1-3
Tuesday was my “Day 1” – infertility speak for “first day of menstrual cycle” – and the day I call our reproductive endocrinologist (known hereafter as RE) to let him know we want to start an IVF cycle. The timing of these things is not flexible – you are at the mercy of your body’s whims, and you MUST get a blood test on day 2 or 3 to check for hormone levels. I made an appointment for Thursday morning and of course, the earliest they could see me was 8:45 – the exact time I’m due at school on Thursdays. But the appointment is not optional, so I took it and made arrangements to be late. One of many times my job has had to conform to the demands of my reproductive system. Luckily, I have pretty flexible jobs and very understanding bosses.
Now lets review the joys that awaited me at the RE office this morning:
1. I got to undress and wear a white paper blanket for “privacy”!
2. Next… ultrasound time! We got to get in there and see what my wacky ovaries are up to these days. Turns out, one of them is up to no good. The left one has already returned to its wily, endometriosis-growing ways. Super. The other looked clean, which, I guess is a relief. The RE asked me how I was holding up – was I okay or was I worn out? All I could say was “worn out” – I think he suspected. We are growing weary of each other – our relationship wasn’t supposed to last this long.
3. The blood draw was next – my favorite! Luckily, today my veins decided to cooperate and give it up on the first stab. Unfortunately, my overall constitution wasn’t as accommodating – I got that “uh oh” feeling of dizziness that sometimes comes after these blood letting sessions.
4. But I persevered! For there was paperwork to do, and lots of it! So much so that I got to sit in the special meeting room adorned with the 3-d model of the female reproductive system to work on it. There are legal documents to attend to with every cycle: what should happen to the embryos if one or both partners die?, who gets custody of the embryos if the couple splits up?, do you give us permission to chip the “shell” of the embryo with a laser to encourage “hatching”?, on the day of retrieval, who’s sperm should inseminate the eggs – the husband/partner or a donor? Once the legal documents are completed, I still have the Female Patient Health History forms to contend with. By now, my head is spinning.
5. The really fun part: ordering mega-expensive medicine. Luckily, we have a few vials of medication left over from the last cycle, so the nurse didn’t have to order as much for us. I waited as she faxed the prescription order to the specialty pharmacy (they don’t carry these drugs at your average CVS – they have to be shipped from the specialty pharmacy in Texas direct to my door) and then told me that the drugs would arrive tomorrow. One problem with that – since the shipment is so expensive FedEx requires a signature, which means someone has to be home at the time of delivery AND one of the medications has to be refrigerated immediately upon receipt (its boxed with an ice pack). One problem with that: Turns out, Randy and I both have jobs – someone has to pay for all this medicine. Randy agrees to try and work from home tomorrow since its really difficult to try and lead Girl Scout meetings from home.
6. I stopped by the restroom on the way out, dizzy, a little nauseous, and reeling from “this can’t be happening again” type emotions. Once in the relative privacy of the stall, I lose it. I don’t want to be doing this again. I cannot imagine putting myself through this even one more time. The elevator is spinning around me on my trip down to the parking garage. I call Randy. He arranges to work from home the rest of the day so he can take care of me. I text my coworkers and tell them I can’t make it today. They are, once again, amazingly understanding.
So my first trip to the RE this cycle was less than a blazing success. I spent the afternoon sleeping on the couch while Randy worked quietly from the dining room table, stopping occasionally to check on me and tuck me in again. The highlight of the afternoon was confirming my drug order with my dealer – make that pharmacy. We went over the order, confirming all the quantities and came to a total – only $2059 this time! What a bargain! (Actually that’s not sarcasm – last time the drug bill was $3k) And because of snow storms across the country, their shipments are behind a day and the medicines will be delivered Saturday, making it possible for Randy to go into the office.
But the best, most awesome part of the day happened a little later when I calculated the probable date of my official pregnancy test and guess what: its my sister’s due date! Wow – didn’t think this through.
I want to curl up into a cardboard cave of coziness like Einstein here. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. 🙂