the things they don’t tell youPosted: July 23, 2010
So. You want to hear about my IVF cycle? Yeah. I know you do. It’s a riveting tale of drugs! and money! and my bruised belly. Money! Drugs! Bruises!
Okey doke. Now that you’re all settled in and ready, let’s see if I can make this some sort of coherent narrative….
Sometime back in June, I started Lupron (meds and jabbies courtesy of one of the ever generous members of the IVP). Oh, it was fun at first! I had to draw up 10 units of liquid into my little syringe and then pinch up some belly fat and jab it right in – 90º angle! – and then push the plunger in and it fulfilled all my medical fantasies. So fun! I was so hardcore! I could stick myself with a needle every night and not care! Woo and hoo! Lucky for me, I had really no side effects from the lupron – maybe menopause will be a breeze?
And then it started to get old. The injection sites would itch a bit and I gave myself one good sized bruise and the sheer waste of using a new needle every night…. I mean, I was and am grateful that I pulled together the money to do this and I tried to keep my proverbial chin up, but sheesh…. The constant jabbing seemed like adding injury to infertile insult.
Ha! And it wasn’t over! Once I hit cd 1 again, things really started getting good. I added – yes! – more meds! more needles! Now, let’s pause a minute to note that I really, really don’t mind needles. I have a mess of tattoos; I like to watch the lab guy do my blood draws; I pierced my own ears several times as a teenager (maybe we all did?). But the repetition of these all these IVF needles…. well, it was, as I said, getting old. So the news meds kicked in, one after the other: stims to rev my ovaries into overdrive, menopure to help with the overdrive and bump up the LH and then finally the big gun of the trigger. Looking at my protocol, I think I may even have been on the light side, in terms of the number of things I had to inject into my gut, so really, I know I didn’t have it as bad as other folks, but again, sheesh…
I was just… tired of it. Old, as I said. Do I seem to be repeating myself?
And in among the ritualized jabbings, there were wandings and bloodwork and phone calls. Oh, the phone calls. When you combine the new RE’s necessarily crazy schedule with my lack of a cell phone and inability to take calls at work, well, there was a lot of phone tag. See, for this IVF thing, I have become the proud owner of not one but two – yes, 2! – REs. My very dear doc here doesn’t have the facilities to do IVF, so he sends the serious infertiles to another RE in Richmond. All wandings and bloodwork are done here, retrieval and transfer in Richmond. There are, by necessity, a lot of phone calls and faxing. Anyway, it seems to be, in most cases, a very fruitful partner ship. My dear RE here very quietly quoted me a success rate that’s so high I don’t even dare to commit it to the internets.
So there were jabbed meds, there were wandings and bloodwork and phone calls and I threw acupuncture in there for good measure. And was it ever the best part of the whole deal. I really don’t want to sound too whiny here. I know other folks have a far harder time. It’s just I was, well, tired. From the meds a little, but more from five fucking years of beating my head against the same damn wall.
Um… where the hell are we in this “narrative”? Oh, yes. The trigger. For those lucky ones of you who haven’t been to infertility boot camp, trigger is the lay term for a big ass shot of HCG (that’s human chorionic gonadotropin to you, mister). In one’s ass. See, all those other jabs were in my belly, just into the nice layer of fat that’s there. But the HCG needs to go into the muscle. Fun times! I had a friend come over and do it for me. It’s too hard to stick your own self in the ass. At midnight. Because that’s how the Richmond RE told me to roll.
And now we get the the good part! Settle back into your seats, kids. Now we are at the egg retrieval part. This is where is starts to suck. Not in terms of outcome – go back and read the stats from the other day – but in terms of how I felt. Even with the tiredness and general blah of infertility, I never really felt physically bad. But, whooeee, was I a mess after the retrieval. Let’s tell it like a campfire story:
It was a bright and sunny day…… cho-girl and I left her house early so as to get the the new fancy pants clinic at my appointed time. I had, as instructed, neither eaten nor drunk anything at all since midnight. I was hungry. And I missed my bff, coffee, so bad it hurt. Poor me!
After getting almost lost and very certainly intimidated by the grand lobby of the fancy pants clinic, I was put in a gown and given cute socks and and allowed to pee and hooked up to an IV and then rolled away to the OR. I remember nothing after the rolly bed left the room. The drug guy, let’s call him Frank, as that’s his name, was good. And then I woke up. Still in the rolly bed, back in my room, where cho-girl had cued up the post egg retrieval playlist from the gf, who couldn’t be there herself. And then I was a little weepy. I think anesthesia does that to me? But otherwise ok. The clinic folks were so nice and they gave me crackers and ginger ale and continued to laugh at my jokes. Then they wheeled me out to the waiting Subaru to be taken home.
Oh, let’s make this a cliffhanger, shall we? This post is long enough as it is. Tune in later to hear how the aftermath went. Titled, “Hydrocodne and I Are Not BFFs.” or, “How About Some More Hippie Gatorade?”