Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thirty

One of my co-workers thinks she's pregnant.  I think it's exciting, and I'm not trying to snatch her newborn, but there's a fire under my ass that just got hotter.

Heather and I agreed in August to wait a year.  It was time to take a break from charting and appointments-and from squabbling about them.  The other night, it took just a few minutes of conversation before I choked up.  I don't know if I was thinking of the stress, or of the cluster of cells that weren't ready to become a baby, but I felt this profound grief that I couldn't and can't navigate.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Babytalk

The other night, I found myself lying uncomfortably between the very comfortable forms of our Chihuahua and our kitten.  Apropos of absolutely nothing, I thought of needles and Follistim and 8:30PM appointments with alcohol wipes.  And, honestly, I felt a little nostalgic for them.

The obvious argument, of course, is that I miss having hope, blah blah blah, but the other argument is that it was nice to be good at something.  I liked the routine of laying out a paper towel and spreading supplies across it: two wipes, a syringe, the second needle for the syringe, all while the vial warmed.  The last became a matter of habit rather than benefit, since, late in the process, Heather's muscles were so tight from the nightly injections that even warmed oil didn't absorb.

And maybe part of what I miss is the team spirit-collaborating with Heather on a mutual goal.  Everything else was total fucking chaos, but the shots we could do.  Occasionally Heather was pissed if she bled; next to nurse phone tag, that meant nothing.

What has surprised me, though, is that we've felt so connected since finding out about her miscarriage.  That first week was such a haze of grief, with no way to talk to friends or family about the hopelessness and loss we felt, that we clung together.  I don't know that I have ever felt closer to her.

Yesterday we celebrated our four-year anniversary.  The flower-delivery guy brought arrangements to both of us at work, and in a couple weeks we're going on our third-annual trip to a cabin in Mississippi-a place known to welcome committed lesbian couples.  I don't know if it's the kitten or what (FYI, she is so fucking cute, it's ridiculous) but we're very content.  It isn't as if the baby thing has disappeared, or that the miscarriage doesn't back up on us sometimes, but neither hope nor grief is at the center of our life together.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cleo

We got a kitten.  We find ourselves gazing at her as she sleeps, interrupting our coos only to say how precious she is.  Kittens are always cute, but, yes, we know what's happening here.  We're so obvious.

As eagerly as we soak up little Cleo's affection and admire her boldness, there's a real anticlimax to "Heather, look!  We have a kitten."  I say it sometimes, just to remind myself that something real has happened.  We have an object for our affections.  She has toys and doctor's visits and requires a lot of supervision, and we worry about how she'll fit in.  We tell the other cat and dog that Cleo is their little sister: she just wants to play with them and that they're still very loved.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Walls, emotional and uterine

I thought I needed to hide from people and discussion of Heather's miscarriage, but I was reminded that I started blogging because I needed to talk myself through something that was-- even in lighter times-- pretty crummy.  And while the only person who's really in it with me is Heather, there's only so long you can talk to the other person in pain about how crummy that pain is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No comments

The blob was still there at Tuesday's ultrasound, but there was nothing in it.  The creature we put everything into couldn't hang on.  There's nothing there anymore.  It's as though the money and science and our hearts have just dissolved.
No comments, please.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ever anxious

That was a long pause.  It started out bad, and now I guess it's not, and we're back to waiting.

Last Friday, Heather had the third blood test of the week, displeasing the fertility powers-that-be with the results.  That Monday, she'd been at 163; Wednesday, 349; Friday, 529.  That was not good.  Heather and I spent our lunch break home in bed, weeping over what we felt was an imminent miscarriage, and mourned off and on through the weekend.  Heather felt certain we were done, while I felt ashamed that I was holding out just a little hope.  We both planned out Monday afternoon, anticipating the blood test results around 12 with a swift exit from work to go home and grieve without distraction.


If, the Nashville crew told us, the hCG levels on Monday morning hadn't advanced significantly, we probably weren't looking at a viable pregnancy.  If the numbers improved, Heather would need an ultrasound to see where the embryo had implanted.  So we spent the day sitting around, vibrating with anxiety.  Lunch was the most painful experience possible, with neither of us able to do anything but stare at each other like caged animals.  Well, caged animals who occasionally cry and compulsively check their phones.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paradigm shift

Dude, we're pregnant.  We are.  Let's give the ol' fuck-you to "maybe" and "kind of" and "tentatively," because Heather has a growing embryo in her uterus and that makes her pregnant.  It's a plus-sign, a second dark line, an hCG number that increases on schedule.  Fuck it.

After yet another voicemail marathon yesterday-- "Debbie, I'm sorry, I know we just spoke, but it's 4:10 and I'm worried you guys are going to close before we get today's results"-during which I was camped out in my boss's office because I was terrified to answer incoming work calls lest I miss incoming Nashville calls, I finally spoke to Jennifer (Jordan and Martha apparently out of pocket), who said that Heather's hCG level had more than doubled, from 163 on Monday to 349 on Wednesday.  Super, right?  "We're still concerned that's a little low."  Motherfucker.  The numbers doubled like you wanted; isn't that the important part?

Jennifer elaborated that the doctor was concerned about the possibility of ectopic pregnancy because of the combination of those levels and her cramping incident on Monday.  Per Jennifer's question, I explained that Heather's cramps had gone away shortly thereafter and not reoccurred, but she didn't seem to feel any better about it.  Motherfucker.  I don't even...

She asked if we were still using the progesterone.  I said yes, that we'd just gotten a new vial that morning ($150 + $15 overnight shipping).  Good, she said; keep it up-unless it's hurting much, in which case we can discontinue.  Per Jennifer, there's no need for it at this point, but that, if there's a miscarriage, we can't help wondering if that's a cause, "just psychologically."  What?  What?  But anyhow we have it, so we're going to use it.

The conversation ended on what, for me, was kind of a sour note with the whole "numbers too low"/"ectopic pregnancy" business.  It's an interesting comment on the situation that Heather, given just raw numbers, was completely delighted, while I had already taken the kinda/sorta
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"My breasts feel fluffier."

One dear lady-- whom I did not pay-- fulfilled my deepest, darkest fantasies by saying she was reading the blog like a trashy romance novel.  My heart glowed like those pictures of Jesus.

An important distinction, however (other than the fact that I was happier than Jesus looks in those pictures), is that she said she didn't regularly read trashy romance novels, while I have spent the last twenty-four hours incessantly reading the final book of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.  I've been afforded the opportunity because Heather has been incessantly sleeping.  Every now and again, she wakes up to turn on a movie or the Olympics, then fall back asleep while it plays, so at least my sleazy reading has had a patriotic soundtrack.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Cramps can mean so many things."

Heather has legendary menstrual cramps.  They're ridiculous.  Or she says so, anyway.  Today she's building a new legend wherein she has brutal... pregnancy cramps.  Obviously, we had to page the on-call doctor.

That's kind of an unfair way of putting it.  Heather wasn't being hysterical (an apt word, under the circumstances), and whatever she was, I was right there with her.  She came home from work late, slumped on the couch, and said her legs and lower back were hurting terribly.  At around 2:30, I'd spoken to a nurse in Nashville who said that Heather's hCG had nearly tripled-- from 55 to 163-- so we should continue to be cautiously optimistic.  I asked when we could be fully optimistic; she said it would have to wait for the ultrasound, which will be around the 17th.

Metal mouth and other auspicious symptoms.

We've got another few hours of waiting ahead of us, and it's going pretty well.  Much better than Friday, anyhow, when we knew absolutely nothing.  It was an encouraging weekend-Heather, of course, continued her daily home pregnancy tests-so we're approaching this afternoon's results with enthusiasm.  It's a big step for me and I'm hoping I won't get kicked in the stomach with bad news.

Yesterday, Heather told me her mouth had this metal taste to it and nothing made it go away.  Pregnancy symptom.  She's been drinking orange juice like a... like a citrus fish, I guess.  Yesterday she ate only the lemon-flavored sour-star candy she bought at Garden Ridge (where they wisely pack the long, long check-out line with candy of all types and where I was also called upon to carry a 15-pound ottoman because Heather is in a delicate state or maybe just lazy).  I mean, the sour stars were quite mild, but Heather isn't a fan of strong lemon flavors, so that was a pretty good sign.  She's also sleeping funny-crashing out at 9:30 or so, then waking up around 2AM, totally unable to sleep for another couple hours.  From what I can tell, she mostly spends those hours taking pregnancy tests and waking me to tell me the results.  Her mood is a little inconsistent, too, which I guess I should appreciate as a sign that she'll soon bear my child.  I don't appreciate it just yet.

I'm enjoying the fantasy very much.  My mom is, too, having so far not just hinted of Friday's results to my sister, but also a work friend and my aunt.  (I saw that my aunt asked my mom if she was "ready for grandma-hood, but didn't see the reply.)  My dad has said nary a word to me on the topic, which could be an indication that he still hasn't accepted the situation, worries that he'll inadvertently offend me, or simply doesn't know how to talk to me in general.  I continue to approach that the same way I did with getting a cat: yes, it's unauthorized, but once it's in his arms he'll mellow out.  If only Heather's hormones would allow her to do the same.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sourpuss

My sister and I have been on kind of rocky ground lately.  I contend that no two people who share, or have shared, a bathroom will ever be completely at peace with one another; the emotional consequences of shampoo- and toothpaste-centric battles can be devastating, years and towels later.  If you think someone has used your satsuma soap without authorization, well, you just can't come back from that.  Trust is trust, yo.

Heather has shared bathrooms with her own siblings, so she was duly surprised this afternoon to get an encouraging text from my sister.  She called my desk breathlessly. 

"Your sister sent this really nice text.  I guess your mom said something.  Your mom might have as big a mouth as you do."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pregnancy by the numbers

We're pregnant.  Mostly.

Heather says I need to stop with my doomsday attitude and focus on the fact that she is actually pregnant, which she is, instead of getting caught up in the hCG numbers that Nurse Jordan says are "a little low."  Heather scored a 55 when the goal was 100 (apparently measured in something like milli-international-units per milliliter, or some such shit), and now the hope is for her number to triple by Monday.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Drinking at work

While drinking at work is (in my workplace, anyhow) discouraged, taking Xanax is not.  I'm not sure how much it's going to take me to get through tomorrow and I can't help thinking it would be more efficient just to drink.  Rules is rules, though

Yesterday was painful.  I ached with anticipation the way Heather's body ached with hormones.  She continued, and continues, to tell me about all her symptoms and what percentage of certain she is, while I marshaled my own forces to fight off that confidence.  It seems like setting myself up for disappointment, or maybe it's the Christmas-morning thing: I don't want to think about my presents until I'm opening them.  The one time my sister encouraged me otherwise--"Okay, what did you ask for?  What did you say you really wanted?  Now, what size might that box be?"-- I found the unwrapping of my Barbie motor home anticlimactic.  A Barbie motor home should never be anticlimactic.  Those fuckers are miraculous.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Do your job.


I have confidence in me!

With each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They'll have to agree I have confidence in me!


I like to talk shit about how Heather is impatient, prone to cheating on home pregnancy tests, and unable to savor the anticipation, but I'm on board now.  This is excruciating.  To hell with the savoring.

Yesterday over dinner at the Olive Garden, I realized I was grumpy and negative and had hit my wall.  Heather is getting more positive every moment-- 80%, she says-- just a week since she and I wept together about what it would mean to get another "no."  And that's the game, kids: you careen from moments of hope to total despair, day in and day out.  I texted Heather's usual Wednesday-night dinner group to ask them to please not cancel because I needed her out of the house.  The only way I can get the baby stuff out of my head is to be away from her, and I need it out of my head for at least a few hours a day.  I'm grateful that she understands.

Maybe she understands because she believes she's pregnant, so my anxiety seems adorable.  She's been walking around today with this beatific expression, as though she was getting a wonderful foot massage, but telling me that her body is aching and swollen.  The two aren't unrelated: the pain and discomfort might be symptoms of pregnancy, and swollen breasts are a small price to pay for fueling that fire.

Yes, I hear how creepy and bitter that sounds, as though Heather is delusional.  My point is that I'm souring rapidly, as though Friday is the exact moment that I will lose my shit if I don't know for sure if she's pregnant.  I just can't do it anymore.  And the idea of getting another "no" makes me mad, like we can't catch a fucking break, blah blah blah, and I'm kind of itching for a fight with the fates. 

Believing Heather is pregnant, silently, is bad enough, but I'm terrified of saying it aloud, so I don't think about it if I can help it, and I try to avoid talking about it, too-- not (obviously) the situation, but whether I believe it's legit.  There's maybe some iffy evidence that could support that theory, and maybe Heather's confidence should encourage me.  "At this stage," she said, "I would be surprised if I wasn't pregnant."  That scares the bejesus out of me.  I like that she's happy, but seeing her so joyful is such a treat that I don't want to watch her face drop.

FYI, guys, the blog is going to go dark starting Friday for probably a few months.  If we get a negative, I won't want to talk about it for a long time, and, if we get a positive, I don't want to jinx it by saying it publicly.  I probably will, though.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The -real- final countdown

Today is Tuesday, and Friday is Heather's pregnancy blood test.  If it's negative, it'll be the last pregnancy test she ever takes.  She's tempted to game the system.

If you've read the blog through previous generations of potential pregnancies, you'll know that Heather has no wherewithal when it comes to observing the official timeline.  Nine days is too early to test.  Wait for your period or two full weeks.  Patience is not my beloved's strong suit, and I don't believe she has ever made it two weeks for a pregnancy test.

This has been an ongoing back-and-forth between us, as I beg for two weeks of hope before facing results-which, so far, have only been negative.  I don't want to hear bad news any sooner than I have to, especially when the bad news doesn't even count.  After a week, you're definitely going to get a negative, so why do you want to do that to yourself?

But this is the same woman who would like to open her Christmas gifts a week early, forgoing the ritual I treasure.  And it's in the same spirit of ceremony that I want to sit down in her office with the door shut to listen to our voicemail Friday afternoon, instead of squinting at (imagined) pink lines on a pee strip for days beforehand.

The most ridiculous element of the whole thing is that we were warned specifically at our IVF class not to bother with home pregnancy tests because they could be influenced by the remaining traces of hcg from the Ovidrel trigger shots we administered just before egg retrieval.  As of today, that was 13 days ago exactly.  Sunday night, Heather, overcome by desire to both learn the secrets of her uterus and, I suspect, make some use of the dozens of pregnancy tests living in our bathroom closet, snatched up her iPad to dispute my warnings.

"Listen!  This lady did her test only ten days after the trigger shot.  They say it only stays in your system ten to fourteen days."

"Well," I said, "it's not fourteen days till tomorrow, and there's no point having a half-answer-or a bad answer-when we'll get an official result on Friday."

This did not register at all.

"Okay, this lady says that she did her test after ten days, though, and she got a pale pink line.  You just have to watch and see if it gets darker."

"Heather, the nurse in the IVF class said that you'd just be kidding yourself to test in advance."

"Yeah, but this lady says that it's about a week if you get a 250iu shot, ten days with 500, and fourteen with 1000.  What did we do?"

"Hell if I know, babe.  They were pre-filled syringes and I just put 'em in like they said.  There were two, though, so it must have been at least 500iu."

"Why don't you know?  How do you find out?"

Overcome with the adrenaline of baby-making research and rebellion against my ideas, Heather hopped out of bed.  I began to drift off.  I think at some point she came back and tried to tell me something else, eventually giving up when all my responses were "Dude, you're supposed to wait.  Stop it."  And I'm pretty sure she tried to fall asleep, then left again.  I can tell you that, when I got up Monday morning, records from MetroDrugs were strewn across the countertops.

Maybe, she told me later, she could take the tests every day and see if they got darker.  I expressed disapproval, but I'm not sure she heard me.

Today we're supposed to get our toes done between naps.  Wednesday night Heather has dinner out with friends.  Thursday night, we're going to see a movie.  By my estimates, that will kill about six hours of the seventy between now and the voicemail.  Thank god for the Olympics.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crossing over


We’re less than a week from Heather’s first—and maybe only—pregnancy test, and we are melting the fuck down.

Once she pointed out that this was truly her last chance, things took a sober turn.  I want to comfort her, but I want to raise her child, too, and it’s not really something you can minimize anyhow.  You can’t comfort somebody who’s looking at the end of her thirty-year-long dream.  Yes, we talk about all the trips we’ll take and how we’ll drink and she’ll smoke, but we don’t even like drinking.  Even in Amsterdam, through the cloud of smoke, we’ll know she can’t have a baby. 

It’s exactly that attempt at self-soothing that’s getting us into trouble lately.  “Think positive” is the mantra, maybe visualizing a pregnant belly or infant.  “Snuggle in,” I tell the embryos.  You can’t imagine the message with good news without imagining the bad one, though.  “Hi, this message is for Rachel and Heather.  We just wanted to let you know that this cycle did not produce a pregnancy…”  I hear the nurse’s kind voice and intonation so clearly.  Do they call you directly if you are pregnant? 

Funnily enough, they gave us a customer-satisfaction form as we left following Heather’s egg transfer.  I think they want to be sure you fill it out before you get the test results.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tongue-biting


Today hasn’t been the best one, as I literally bit my tongue while eating a bland sandwich* and failed to do so figuratively when Heather questioned me about some weird news from Nashville. 

Yesterday, Heather had an estrogen/progesterone test at the lab here in Memphis, and we checked our voicemail in Nashville to see if there were any messages about it.  There weren’t, but we didn’t know if they were going to update on that anyway.  My beloved had left her cell phone at the house, and of course that was the number they called.  If I did this baby thing over again, I would just give them my number and leave Heather’s out of it.  Alas, it’s too late now, and of course what Nurse Jordan said was, “Oh, well, I’ll leave a message in your voicemail.”  Nary a message, nor a chance to talk to anyone in the office at 7PM.  Fuck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Can't you see the sunshine?

Heather is ostensibly bed-resting today after yesterday's egg transfer and she's doing just fine.  What she definitely is not doing-- definitely-- is crying over Team USA's triumph in the hockey film Miracle.  That's not something she would do.

What she would do, however, is tolerate my snuggling against her (albeit with tender accommodation of her everlastingly-sore breasts) with a hand placed over what I imagine to be her uterus.  She's reported to me that embryos are something like 1/100th of an inch in size, and I'm guessing they aren't receptive to my baby-talk, either, but I feel like we have to put those encouraging vibes out there.  Hence the inspirational movie that Heather most assuredly did not cry over.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Insurance

My mom and I made a date to see Magic Mike today, both of us hampered by partners in pain and on drugs.  Mom has been stuck with my dad during knee surgery and its aftermath, and I have the great pleasure of sharing in Heather’s reproductive process, so this is kind of a caretaker’s-day-out situation.  Don’t tell Heather; she thinks I’m just doing it for my mom.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Quick like a bunny

As of yesterday, we have two embryos with the desired four-or-more cells, two approaching it (all four, according to the embryologist's voicemail, are grade B), and the fifth is... grade C.

I was subsequently told by a nurse that there's no way to know whether little #5 can catch up, but a cursory web search suggested that the really slow-developing embryos were probably a little fucked-up anyhow, so perhaps that's not meant to be the object of our life's work after all.

With four-- the two "approaching" maturity, the embryologist, would probably catch up-- Heather and I are back at the question of PGD.  She is leaning heavily, I believe, towards canceling the test and just getting all the embryos we can, but I'm listing in the opposite direction.  Diseases aside, abnormal embryos are much more likely to miscarry or just not implant at all, so, yeah, maybe skipping PGD would mean we had two embryos left for a second cycle if we needed it, skipping PGD might also mean we will need it.

The lab is scheduled to do the biopsy on day four, tomorrow.  They were left instructions to call us before they did anything.   Heather and I have to decide before then.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Prime numbers

Five eggs fertilized.  I don’t know what happened to #6, but the message from the embryology lab said they ICSI’d five and all fertilized.  Having had very iffy luck so far, Heather and I are both over the moon.  We’ll wait till tomorrow to see how the embryos develop, then they’ll make decisions about PGD and whatnot.  Who cares.  We’re enjoying the first good news we’ve had in a while.

Of course, the good luck was tempered by Heather's day-long sojourn at the toilet, vomiting up her morning doxycycline, Wendy's chili, and a variety of other items.  Nurse Jordan dispatched me on an evening Walgreens run to get nausea medications, saying that, if Heather couldn't hold anything down, she would have to go to the ER.  "I don't want to go to the hospital!" said Heather.  She didn't, but she's an exhausting sick person, so I'm optimistic that she has food in her belly again.  

Waiting today for more news about how the embryos are developing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh, dude

You'd think I'd be done posting today, but my sleep schedule is fucked.  Heather was roused earlier, took her pills and the PIO shot (painlessly!), sent me to Walgreens for Tylenol because her fuck-up girlfriend didn't pick up the pain meds from the pharmacy in time, and now has fallen back to sleep on the couch.  It wasn't even the Tylenol PM-- and that much is worth noting simply because I wanted to force the sleeping stuff on her so she'd stop making sad faces at me for forgetting the prescription.  Rachel FTW.

The thing that has belatedly occurred to me as I contemplate a late-night snack is that I will have to be the first to listen to the embryologist's message.  Heather knows the message will be in our mailbox at noon, and she knows how to access it, but I feel pretty confident that I'll be the one dialing.  Should we put it on speakerphone and listen together?  That would have to be better than telling her.  Still, I'll have to watch her face when she hears the numbers.

We spent a lot of the afternoon talking about the next steps-- how many eggs we thought would fertilize, etc.  "You know," I said, "If you'll remember, there were a couple weeks when we thought we'd gotten pregnant after the first ICI.  We said it had to happen to somebody and maybe we're the lucky ones who'll beat the odds.  That didn't happen, but what if it happens now?  We haven't caught a break yet, so maybe this is it.  Maybe all the eggs will fertilize perfectly, and then four of the embryos will pass PGD.  It has to happen to somebody."

So we're going with that.

Groggly II

It's nearly 9PM in our backwards-ass household, where people sleep in the daytime and collect syringes.  And that backwards ass has big circles in the upper-right quadrant of each cheek.

Heather is still in bed and not excited about getting up.  "You can go right back to sleep," I told her, but she muttered that she needed thirty more minutes.  Listen, lady: I am more than happy to let you sleep while I watch unending re-runs of Big Bang Theory, but let's knock out these new meds first.  (That, anyway, is how it goes in my head; I'm not sure how to approach someone as drugged and sleepy as she is.)

Groggly

I'm about to fall asleep, but I will briefly say that we have been up since before 4am and that a nice nurse drew circles on Heather's ass cheeks with a marker.

They only got six eggs.  It's not great.  According to the handout they sent with us, they'll go forward with implantation if there's at least one embryo of four cells or more.  If they only have a few good ones, PGD will be canceled (and, hopefully, refunded) and they'll just put whatever they've got into Heather's uterus.

They plan to fertilize the six eggs via ICSI, and by tomorrow at noon we'll find out how many developed.  Meanwhile, Heather is drugged to the hilt and has collapsed with her decorated butt cheeks into bed for what I assume will be another eighteen hours.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baby, I'm howling for you

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and Heather is scheduled for her egg retrieval at 8:45AM. I am excited, and Heather is traumatized.

Monday morning, she had yet another visit to the Memphis clinic for an ultrasound and estrogen test. She had several follicles over 20mm, as well as some stragglers—about nine "measurable" ones in total. You can tell things are getting serious since they're now recording the follicles in centimeters rather than millimeters. All afternoon we waited for news from Nashville about the results: Was it time for the trigger shot? When was the egg retrieval?

In past, it took till the afternoon for the test results to arrive in Nashville, so I occupied my morning with an e-mail to Nurse Jordan. It wasn't so much that I expected her to e-mail back—their office is disappointingly phone-centric—but Heather started spouting out questions and I was afraid I'd forget. Anyway, otherwise it was just empty waiting.

Later I gave in and called. I left a message. (Dude, that would be the best drinking game: sit down with a bottle of Grey Goose and the last six months of this blog, then take a shot every time messages or voicemail are invoked. It's awesome.) Debbie, the receptionist, asked if she could tell Jordan why I was calling; I endeavored not to say The same baby-making bullshit we always talk about. Does it really need to be more specific than that? The options are test results, medications, and treatment plans. There isn't much more to it. The time I asked that the office not specifically refer to Heather as a lesbian when dealing with the Memphis office, the other receptionist got all antsy and said she'd just give the nurse our number.

When I heard back from Jordan, she confirmed that we should go ahead with the trigger shot that night, then come to Nashville for egg retrieval Wednesday. We went over the questions from my e-mail, including:
Q: Do larger follicles mean higher-quality eggs?
A: Nope. A larger follicle might mean the egg is more mature, but it has nothing to do with quality. Quality decreases with age and fattening up the follicles won't change that.
Q: Will you take out all the eggs, or just harvest from the bigger follicles?
A: We will take everything we can get.

The part that caused Heather to be traumatized is something we already knew, but she had either forgotten or blocked out.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The fear of the lord

My mom, irreligiously, says sometimes that a situation will "put the fear of the lord in you."  There's a reasonable amount of panic mixed into baby-making, but sometimes even the heathens among us feel it's reached epic proportions.

Thursday, realizing we were low on Follistim cartridges, we spoke to Nurse Jordan in Nashville about ordering more and how much.  She said we should have enough to get through Saturday morning, but we couldn’t be sure till Friday morning’s lab work-up.  Anxious after Jordan’s casual mention of cancelling the cycle, Heather leaned on the tech to tell her what her follicle stats were; I took the numbers, called Nashville and spoke to yet another nurse—although likewise a very pleasant one—to get advice about the Follistim.  She said that they hadn’t gotten the lab results to be sure, but sounded very optimistic about the follicle information I offered.  She said would let me know by 2PM how much to order.  I, of course, had Heather staring at me through all of lunch, so I called at 2:15.  I left a message.  They called back to say that the results had just gotten in and were in the hands of doctors, but we should get enough Follistim to get through Tuesday morning.  Okay.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well, for heaven's sake

Today has been medium-sucky.  Maybe.

All night, doubts about our medication supply irritated me the same way my goddamn bra strap did all day, and once Heather was in bed and the house was quiet, the bra was gone so I just had the doubts.  I started calculating and recalculating how much Follistim we needed compared to how much Follistim we had.  There wasn’t much left, but there were no clear notes telling me how much longer Heather would be on it.  Sometime around 2AM, I dragged out our old sample calendar, trying to figure out where we were in the drug timeline.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Make it so.

Every week or so, a co-worker forwards to everyone at the company an e-mail with sales tips from one of those guys who thinks he’s a selling guru.  I am in no way interested in selling, and, to my mind, the e-mails offer up that same repulsive hyper-confidence and smarminess that give salespeople a bad name.  I resent this guru for his attitude first, and his writing style second.  Comma splices right and left, guys!  C'mon.  Maybe when you're God's gift to capitalism, you don't have time to punctuate thoughtfully.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A shot in the dark

Oh, man, I had an awesome morning.

Yesterday afternoon we got back from Nashville with enough time to float in the pool before late-day naps.  The suppression check was pretty mellow: a blood test, pelvic ultrasound, and medical history.  Despite a family history chock-full of cancer, Heather came out rosy with the regular medical history, having had no surgery or other disorders in her past.  The worst revelation was that penicillin made her itchy. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Good news bears

Appointments: scheduled.  Hotel room: reserved.  Drugs: ordered.  Pool time!

After hearing from Nashville that our schedule had been set and the drugs had been ordered, we spent the weekend in fear of the cost.  The estimates that the fertility clinic offered ran between $3K and $6K; Heather is taking a high dose of Lupron, and you pay for the convenience of FSH in pen form, so we were twiddling our thumbs waiting for the bad news.  We had a $6,000 credit card available and weren’t sure if it would be adequate.  (Yeah, I know, debt is sucky, but we’d exhausted most of our cash supply and will be able to pay off the card soon, so please don’t judge.)  Could we use multiple cards?  Could it wait till payday?

We did a little back-and-forth with the pharmacy on Tuesday, exchanging information (including, optimistically and vainly, that of our insurance company), and waited for a call Wednesday to settle the last of it.  To my great delight, they called Heather’s phone to get the payment, so I had no part in it.  A signature is required for delivery, which I find both frustrating and extremely reasonable since it’s approximately 600 degrees outside and the box is worth thousands of dollars.  On top of that, the Lupron expires in 30 days, so there was some juggling to do in scheduling the package’s arrival.

$3,000.   We don’t know how it happened.  What were the discounts?  What was the pre-discount cost?  When Heather told me, I just laughed.  Seriously?

So now we wait for the box.  It should arrive Tuesday, then we go to Nashville for an appointment Thursday, and Friday Heather’s scheduled to start injections.  We’re supposed to practice beforehand, and I’m hoping the Nashville people will help.  ("The only way to learn is to do it," Heather said philosophically.  I'm not convinced she'll feel that way in a week.)

Because of Independence Day and the Nashville trip, we’re taking off most of next week, planning to float in the pool and watch unending episodes of “The Good Wife.” 

It's June 30th.  The first pregnancy test is scheduled for August 1st.    That gives us a month to make a mockery of nature by manipulating Heather's body with pharmaceutical substances, tiny catheters, and aspirated cells before finding out if we're getting a baby or tickets to St. Croix.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another perspective on hormone issues

Heather asked me yesterday if I thought we were going to have a baby.

“I don’t know anymore,” I said.  “I felt confident before, but the AMH test has me doubting it.”

“Yeah,” she said.  “I feel kind of the same way.”

Months ago, after another unsuccessful effort at ICI, I remember sitting forward on the couch with my head in my hands, crying.  Heather started to cry, too, and told me to stop—that I was supposed to be her rock and she needed my support.  “I feel like it’s my fault because it’s my body, and you’re making me feel shitty.”

This time, she seemed to be at peace, though.  Not pissed, not grieved, not bitter. 

“At least it’s a reason.  What was pissing me off was that there was no explanation for why I wasn’t getting pregnant.  If it turns out I just don’t have enough eggs, or they’re not in good shape, then at least we know.  If it doesn’t work out, at least I can say I did everything I possibly could to get pregnant.  I’ve always wanted a baby, but maybe it’s not meant to be one that I carried.  Maybe it’ll be one that you carry.  Listen: if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bad news bears

A nurse from the Nashville clinic called to say that the AMH test results had come through-- mildly gentling my general hostility towards Dr. King's lab and clinic.  Oh, and they're bad.

IVF drugs, types, brands, methods, syringes, pens, etc., etc., etc.

Heather has been way mellow this week.  Pleasant, warm, affectionate, and laid-back.  Does anyone know if birth control has such a side effect?  Or any way I can keep her on it?

There is absolutely zero else going on.  We were both delighted to finish up with the antibiotics and attendant queasiness yesterday, and this afternoon we heard that the AMH results were in.  ("They look good," said the nurse.  "Um, yeah, did you fax them?"  Of course they look good; every test looks freaking magical and Heather's no more pregnant than she was during the first hundred tests.  Fax the goddamn thing.)

The theory, I suppose, is that someone in Nashville will call us this week to set a drug schedule for Heather.  Now that it's getting close, I keep going back to my notes from the IVF class last month to see what's coming.  AND I found out, in doing so, that I was totally wrong about what all this stuff is.  So I'm going to review.  (Teaching is the best way to learn, right?)

Lupron

Lupron is central to the ovarian-suppression phase and is designed to drain your reproductive hormones.  According to my notes, the Lupron will come in a little bottle and will look dangerously empty.  It won't look like there's enough for the whole cycle, but allegedly there is.  So says Nurse Jennifer.  You inject 10 units every morning with an orange-capped insulin needle.  It can be injected anywhere you can pinch the skin, but the stomach is often least painful (so long as-- and I was vague about this before-- you don't insert it along the longitudinal line of the navel).  You poke it in at a 90-degree angle; my notes say that 45 is too shallow.  Not sure why. 
Side effects are due to low estrogen levels.  The most common are headaches and, just before you begin FSH, nighttime hot flashes.

FSH (Follical Stimulating Hormone)

FSH is the beginning of the ovarian-stimulation phase.  Right around Day 27 of the cycle, you have a "suppression check"-- something that the Nashville people take very seriously.  It's a super-long appointment, we're told.  They check estrogen  (technically estradiol or E2) levels, do a pelvic ultrasound, and do a test run of embryo transfer where they use the catheter to "map the cervix" and figure out which things twist which way.  I guess so they don't poke your innards too hard during the real thing.  Once they see how all that plays out (the E2 level should be below 50), they kick off the FSH.  What's ridiculous is that the Lupron has been suppressing your FSH all this time, so after the suppression check they wean you off the Lupron while jacking you back up with the FSH.
FSH is definitely supposed to be injected into the belly.  The average dose is 300IU.  There are a few different ways of administering it.  We picked Follistim because Nurse Jennifer said that was what PGD manager Amy would want-- and we were grateful because the four options they gave us were confusing as fuck.
1) Bravelle: This one scared me most.  It's a powder that you mix with sodium chloride, and there's a whole long thing about the "q-cap," which goes on top of the syringe...  All of which is to say that my eyes began to glaze over at, say, step three out of what the Bravelle website describes in eighteen.  (You can take a look at their website for the FIVE videos it takes to explain this, along with the PDF instruction sheet.)  Per my notes, Bravelle is a pain in the ass, but cheaper than the pens at about $50 for 74IU.  
2) Menopur: Also a powder; uses the exact same process as above.  It's not clear to me what's different about the two, as they're made by the same company.  According to the Menopur folks, it is "the most widely used and extensively studied reproductive hormone, proven to be both safe and effective."  Not claimed about Bravelle.  Both Menopur and Bravelle contain a combination of FSH and LH (luteinizing hormone), but in different concentrations-- Menopur has a higher level of LH.  Our doctors didn't give us any sign that one is better than the other, and from a casual Googling it looks like a lot of doctors put women on a combination of the two, or switch depending on what's effective.
Also, both are made with hormones extracted from urine of postmenopausal women.  Neat!
3) Gonal: This is a pen application, like Follistim.   It comes with little needles in cartridges that look like the Keurig K-Cups.  The pen portion has a little dial at the end opposite the needle, and you twist it to select dosage.  When you pull back on the plunger, it locks the dose in.  The pen will also warn you when there's not enough in it.  This one, you hold in your fist like a murder weapon, then push the needle all the way in at a 90-degree angle.  
4) Follistim: Also a pen.  The drug comes in little cartridges that you place inside the pen-- like you would replace ink-- on top of a springy plunger.  You twist the two halves (see below) together to close it.  One nice bonus is that you can cap it for portability.  The best thing we learned about it was that, if, when you spin the dial, you go too far, turning the dial in reverse will cause the whole thing to squirt.  I got it in the face during our training session and there was much merriment.  So, anyway, just keep turning it in the same direction till you get back to the appropriate dose.

During FSH treatment, you have to be all cautious-like because it has caused your ovaries to swell grotesquely (okay, maybe not that much, but still enough that there are creepy warnings).  If the FSH gets you too excited, you can get into OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome), which means that the standard side effects of stimulation are severe enough to cause illness.  Bloating, headaches, and worse.  Even without reaching the level of OHSS, during your time on FSH you're not supposed to have any alcohol, lift anything over 10lbs., make any kind of twisting motion-- vacuuming, for example-- or exercise beyond light walking.  Heather's kind of upset about the vacuuming part, actually.
FSH also seems to mean a lot of doctor's visits.  From my notes, it looks like you have to get testing done on days five, seven, and ten of the FSH process.  On the third visit, the doctor will most likely assign you to employ another drug, hCG (Ovidrel), to trigger final cell division.  I'm very excited for this one because Ovidrel comes in pre-filled syringes.  One in each side of the belly, then you're done with that, FSH, and Lupron.  In the next day or two, you go through egg retrieval.

Progesterone in Oil

This starts right after embryo transfer to keep hormones pumping while the placenta develops.  I am not kidding when I say that my notes state that it "maintains uterine integrity."  Much to Heather's chagrin, the drug is drawn up into the syringe with a giant pink needle; when you're ready to inject, you take that one off and replace it with a skinny gray one.  You do this around dinnertime, injecting the drug in the ass, in the northern hemisphere of either cheek.
Even without the big pink needle, the progesterone shot seems like a painful one.  There are really detailed suggestions for avoiding pain, like warming the vial beforehand in your bra (I am so prepared for this) so that the oil will disperse more easily.  Using a heating pad on that area afterwards helps, too.  Some people recommend icing beforehand, but the nurse pointed out that a cold muscle and cold oil were just going to result in a chilly oily bubble on your back, so you should go for warmth instead.  Baths are good, too.  
Another suggestion was to press your finger hard into the skin for several seconds.  Use the divots as insertion sites.  The nerves, they say, will be "distracted."  The deeper you insert the needle, the better.
Ickily, they allow vaginal inserts of progesterone after a few weeks, but they're messy and most people stick with the needles.  Haha.  Also it makes me think of Suzanne Somers and her hormone creams.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Third doughnut, third call

Glazed, sprinkled, and chocolate.  Yes, it was worth it.

I paused my sugar rush to get some Mountain Dew from the car (my co-worker pointed out the irony of doughnuts and diet soda, but that’s how I roll) and took the opportunity to leave a semi-hostile message on the nurses’ voicemail at Dr. King’s office.  It was a follow-up to a call I had from the lady in the records department there, asking if I was referring to labs from May.  No.  No no.  Tuesday, I said.  Three days ago.  Per usual, she was flustered, telling me that all she did was scan paperwork and that she would leave messages for the lab and Dr. King’s nurse.  Because I understand being in a support position with no control of anything that might be important to a customer/patient, I thanked her kindly.  Then I called the main office back to leave a direct message on the nurses’ voicemail.  I might have been pleasant to the records lady, but it doesn’t mean I trust her to deliver messages.

Heather asked me afterwards what the story with the AMH results was.  She was no more surprised than I was about the records lady’s confusion, and I told her that I had left a grumpy message for the nurses.  She frowned.  “No, really.  I was almost grumpy enough to satisfy you.  Not up to your standard, but pretty bitchy.”  I’m not sure that she believed me, but she still seemed reassured.

My grumpiness was exposed as the fraud it was when the nurse called back.  Goddamn it.  She was apologetic and said that she wasn’t sure who would have suggested the results would be available so soon—in fact, she said, it usually takes something like a week.  I felt bad.  I don’t know how Heather does it.

When Marsha at NFC returned my anxious call, she was a lot more mellow than I was.  That’s cool, she said.  We don’t need to do anything just yet.

Dude.  No more calls till the test gets in.  Nobody else needs money.  Heather is having caffeine withdrawal, but we’re handling the antibiotics just fine, and we’ll occupy ourselves with surreptitious baby shopping online.  Sheepies and toyland, trains and giraffes…  I like giraffes.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Antibiotics, nausea, and Oreos

Tuesday was Day 3 of Heather’s cycle, and we celebrated.  She returned from her early-morning blood test with McDonalds, and we snacked and speculated about how many calls it would take to get the results to Nashville.  We welcomed the first of seven days of antibiotics with a hash-brown welcoming committee in our bellies.

Wednesday morning, I started putting on eyeliner and dry heaving at the same time.  Surely not.  So I did some deep breathing, looked back at the magnifying mirror, and vomited.  I recognized it was taking meds on an empty stomach, so I zipped to the kitchen and grabbed the first food I could get my hands on: a vanilla Oreo with red & blue icing.  I went back to the bathroom and subsequently vomited into the sink.  Okay.  Twenty minutes later, I was texting my boss that I’d been in the car but vomited out the window (and, no, not all the way outside the car) and was now in the parking lot of a gas station, waiting for my stomach to calm before hitting the interstate.  I vomited again and got to work half an hour late.  Heather was an hour late, curled up in bed with a combo of cramps and nausea.  We gathered they weren’t kidding about the “with a full meal” warning.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh, man, oh, man: the one-day wait

I am so freaking excited.

Heather started her period two days ago.*  Her antibiotics and birth control are in their pharmacy wrapping, sitting ready on the bathroom counter, and there are approximately three things in the way of getting the ball rolling.  Then the wee icy center of the snowball will form and hopefully next May it’ll melt down to a chubby baby.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In IVF escrow

I don’t know for sure what escrow means.  I think it has something to do with having money and putting it somewhere to sit until you need it.  That’s where we are.

We’ve allotted part of my stock money for the $4,250 PGD (preimplantation genetic something or other that involves stealing cells from embryos to find out if they’re going to make fucked-up babies and, incidentally, if they’re going to make girl or boy babies), which presumably I will pay up on Tuesday when we have our phone consultation with the head of the PGD department in Nashville.  This clinic is so hardcore that they have a lady who talks about this full-time, so much so that we had to make an appointment weeks in advance to talk on the phone with her.  I don’t know how long it takes to say, “We would prefer a healthy child,” but I’m pretty sure it’ll be followed by, “Okay, well, you guys seem to know what you want, so let me transfer you to the financial office.”  Still, charges and appointments are unending—as Heather points out, a favorable outcome for these appointments will be followed by prenatal appointments, then pediatrician appointments, then college visits…

If things play out as planned, by Tuesday Heather will have already coughed up the first $8,800 for the NFC flat fee, and will shortly after pay the $5,000-ish for medications.  Next week is a big one for money, but I am way, super, crazy excited that things are really going to be in play.  Once Heather’s period starts, this is for real.  Much as appointment follows appointment, one drug follows the next.  After about seventeen days, Heather will begin piercing her belly with Lupron-- FYI, the nurse told us in class that you shouldn't inject yourself along the line of your navel because it hurts more; who knew?-- and some time after that there's FSH.  After egg retrieval, she'll be taking three medications, some of them multiple times a day.

For now, though, there are prenatal vitamins in the morning and folic acid at night, and I can't begin to say how thrilled I am that we're only a few days away from the pharmaceutical marvels that lead to a baby.  This time next year, we should have one.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Wannabe Lesbian Mom and AdSense

You may have noticed that there are crazy-ass ads popping up in the midst/sides/bottom/top of the blog now.  I don't feel great about them-- this is a very personal blog and I think it's icky to exploit the people who bother to read it-- but I am a) curious and b) greedy.

I'm going to try this out for a little while, maybe a month or two, see if I'm rich, and either keep going or discontinue it.  Part of me wants to find it's a waste of time so I can take it all down, and the other part says that, if there's cash involved, fuck it: I can betray my principles.

So, anyhow, don't hate me for being a capitalist, but Mama needs to pay her phone bill.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting: Really Expensive Prenatal Vitamins

I don't know what's in Prenaissance Plus Oral.  The basics seem to be calcium, iron, DHA, folic acid, and DHS.  Somehow, the magic formula of those over-the-counter supplements seems to run about $50 for a 30-day supply.  What the eff?

WebMD says Prenaissance Plus is comparable to CitraNatal 90 DHA*, described on its website as "a comprehensive prenatal vitamin with increased amounts of iron. It has now been reformulated with a patented dual iron combination of ferrous gluconate and carbonyl iron.  The formulation contains calcium citrate and ascorbic acid, which enhance iron absorption."  Moreover, the site says, "CitraNatal® 90 DHA also provides docusate sodium, a gentle and effective stool softener that protects against the discomfort of constipation."

"No, you didn't do anything wrong, but you get on my nerves, and I don't like that."

Today I have ordered what I hope is our last vial of sperm ever.

Today I have also been embarrassed talking to Marsha in Nashville because she totally knows, as does Therapist Michele, that it's me (again, if you want to say something about "it's I," you are probably ridiculous) and not Heather who's calling.  We have two phone numbers, and I have lied to both of them by saying that we trade phones around to be sure there's always someone to get these calls.  What really happens is that I babysit the phones and the calls, and Heather makes the physical appearances when blood or a uterus is needed.  "Oh, no, you're totally talking to Heather."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Helpful facts

Okay, I'm sick and phlegmy, so this is going to be disjointed at best.

One, I looked up assisted hatching and found via Google some guy's explanation:

Assisted hatching is the oldest and most commonly added procedure aimed at improving an embryo’s ability to implant. Embryos must break out or hatch from their shell that has enclosed them since fertilization prior to implanting into the uterine lining. This can be performed mechanically, chemically and most recently by utilizing a laser microscopically aimed at the zona pellucidum, the shell surrounding the embryo. Assisted hatching appears to benefit patients who are older than 38 years of age and those with thick zonae.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Of Tums and deviance

This morning, Heather asked me when her period was due.  Her stomach hurt, she said.  “Nope.  Nope.  Not till next weekend.”  There is no wiggle room for her to deviate from schedule; she needs to take some Tums and suck it up.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

YOU ARE GROWN-UPS

I have this thing about grown women with childhood fetishes.   I think it's because my middle school friends somehow aligned themselves with Winnie the Pooh characters-- one affiliated herself with Tigger and henceforth could only wear clothing that bore his image, while another surrounded herself with stuffed likenesses of Eeyore.  There was something about it that made me think of the porn trope of slutty schoolgirls.  I think my friends wanted to appeal to boys by hiding their power and personhood.  Claim it, yo.

So when I see a grown woman, unironically, refer...  Okay, what she wrote was, "All embies made it to blasts and frosties!"  I don't know how to provide adequate commentary.  EMBIES, for chrissake. 

That's why I don't like to read fertility forums. 

Optimism and sticky icky baby dust

Today has been mostly pretty awesome.  I was bummed yesterday that we might never get an appointment to qualify Heather for monitoring in town, yet, lo and behold, Heather arrived at my desk this morning bearing her phone and a missed call.  Cancellation.  Two o'clock appointment.  Go!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cast off the shackles of yesterday

It’s Wednesday, my work week is in play after a beautiful long weekend, and my administrative duties have resumed.  I hate today.

Heather appeared at my desk just before lunchtime, brandishing her phone.  “It’s time!”  I hate today.

Yesterday, as I was swanning about in the pool, Heather came out of the house—she was delayed in joining me by the last few minutes of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”—and said, “Hey, who’s Kristi King?”  Goddamn it

Monday, May 28, 2012

Everything's closed on Memorial Day

I both love and hate that there's nothing I can do today.  It's terrific that we can swan around in the pool and be paid for it, and nice to eat the things you eat on grilling holidays-- Ruffles will always be my hot-dog chip, and hot dogs will always be one of my favorite foods.  It's terrific that my hands are tied on stressful phone calls, but it makes me crazy.  The federal government is getting in the way of my self-imposed misery.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Upper-body strength

I’ve only recently taken up drinking coffee, and it’s mainly because there was a day when I was out of Diet Mountain Dew and I really needed caffeine.  So I loaded it up with powdered creamer and sweeteners, then convinced myself it was drinkable.

I had a little travel mug next to me Saturday afternoon; it was half-full of coffee and I could not lift it.  A co-worker brought his baby by my desk to visit while he had some business in the store, so I sent him off and made googly eyes at her for fifteen minutes.  There was bouncing and tickling and snuggling, and by the end my arm muscles were shot.  Man, though, if you’ve got a three-month-old right on the edge of smiling, you’re going to do what it takes to push her over the edge, whether your biceps are faltering or not.  I was successful, but I needed a good nap afterwards.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bullshit clarification:

Also, I found the original voicemail from Therapist Michele's student, reporting that she'd found a lab in Memphis who could handle the monitoring.  Turns out, it's the same place that wouldn't treat lesbians before.  I e-mailed Michele to ask if the student had mentioned that we were gay and whether that might be an issue, so I guess we'll see.  Not comforting.

Total and unending bullshit

Heather and I have been so frustrated and overwhelmed by the influx of IVF information/disappointments/surprises that we’re pretty fucking sick of each other.  It’s really hard to have a conversation with each other that doesn’t either start or end with IVF, whether it’s the money or the timing or the personnel, and consequently we’ve come to associate each other almost entirely with the misery of baby-making.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Girl, look at that body

Wednesday in Nashville was just about what you'd think: alternately mediocre and awful.  Even going to Starbucks before driving home was exhausting.  I'm not kidding when I say the best part of the trip was watching "United Stats of America" while falling asleep Tuesday.  They talked about potatoes.

Wednesday morning, I believe I kept my anxiety to a very reasonable level-- Heather would dispute that-- and enjoyed scanning the fertility center's waiting room to speculate which other couples were going to be experiencing the miracle of PowerPoint with us.  One couple looked pretty worn out and a little older, so they were easy; then there was another where the guy looked a good fifteen years older than the lady, so that was pretty simple, too.  The whole group of us were gently herded to a conference room with wonderfully comfortable chairs and a big-ass TV.  Everyone got goodie bags full of syringes as they walked in, and I made Heather sit near the front because I'm nerdy like that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shorty got low, low, low...

I'm in a surprisingly nice king-size bed in the Best Western, killing time while Heather reads and initials an 18-page document that maps out every element of IVF, from drugs to risks to chances of damaged sex chromosomes.  She's muttering, "We're gonna have fucking twins."

It took me about twenty minutes to read the thing, and I realized belatedly that I had given our consent to donate any unused or unusable eggs or embryos to the lab to improve their "quality control" procedures.  I like to believe they're going to use the eggs to practice with lasers and needles and whatnot, but shouldn't they already know how to do that?  Fuck, I hope they do.