Monday, December 29, 2008

Theeeeey're i-in.

Friday night - December 26th, 2008:

We went to our final US to determine if we were going to get to do the fresh transfer after all. Based on previous post, the crickets and/ or tumbleweed out there reading this know that we had very low expectations of getting a thumbs up. Doc came in harried, did the US (no magic wand - on the belly) and said we were good to go. OMG! Dan and I looked at each other w/ shared dropped jaws. Did our "terrorist" fist bump and in a happily dazed state, took our orders to follow the next day. Went to one of our favorite parts of town - right near that Sogo, but closer to Dunhua. Stumbled upon the perfect spot. Not only was I excited about being able to complete this cycle, but for the first time since being stimmed, it felt like my ovaries weren't clanging together. We were pretty jubilant. Nice feeling.

Saturday morning - December 27th, 2008:

Transfer on the 27th right on schedule (I realized once I double checked my trusty IVF notebook). Instructions: still take the Progesterone suppository in the AM, drink a shitload of water at 10:00, register at hospital at 10:45. Do transfer at 11:00. All the while, remaining in a constant state of "OMG."
(see - OMGing in the taxi to the hospital.)
Luckily I drank up around 10:15, b/c Dr. Li was running late (he runs a crazy-busy practice) and rushed in at 11:30. I told him to chill, that I wasn't even close to peeing my pants. (Dan and I enjoy giving him our doses of inappropriate American levity - we know he doesn't come across it much.) He seemed to appreciate my attempt to calm him. It certainly wasn't an altruistic gesture though. I wanted him as CALM as POSSIBLE. I knew how important this stage of the IVF process was; getting the embryos centered just right in the sweet spot of the uterus is crucial to help aid implantation.

Dan was getting irritated (for those who know him: he was becoming what I like to refer to as "Forehead Dan") at being lied to about them not having Internet. Pushed his buttons about just how rule-following and robotic in nature the Chinese/Taiwanese culture can be. See, the nurse (?), embryologist (?), the woman who was to load up the catheter w/ our embryos and serve a major role in the procedure had showed us this:

(Day 5: 1 blastocyst - top, 2 embryos [but he kept calling them something else I can't recall. Starts w/ an "m?"])
prior to Dr. Li's arrival. Dan wanted her to send the actual image directly to him via email. That's when she lied about not having Internet service. For some reason, she couldn't tell us her real reason for denying the request. Perhaps it was against the rules, but she lacked the words in English to properly express that. It's hard to believe it was due to rules though b/c when Dan first met...


This same professional was babysitting her 4 year old nephew at the clinic on a Saturday while men were to go off in the very next room jerking off to porn. Hmmm. We just found something about that scenario so OFF. So I'm going to go with: laziness. Not sure. I was satisfied with taking a picture of the picture.

For the sake of remaining consistently compulsive, in case anyone is actually following, I screwed up on our stats before. Here's the final count:

Follicles after stims: around 32
Egg Retrieved on 12/22, Monday: 23
Eggs NG right off the bat: 2
ICSI procedure performed on: 21
Day 3: 4 more NG - kicked it, = 17, they left the 4 strongest to grow for transfer, 13 were frozen.
Day 5: blast transfer: 3. Another didn't make it that far.

If he did tell us the quality of what was left, I was too distracted to digest. But based on the fact that they weren't all complete blasts, and my age, we decided to have all 3 transferred.

When I settled into the comfy operating room table, all scooted down and good to go, they were hitting the ground running, I asked if Dan was going to be able to come in. They both said plaintively and in unison, "No." Legs in stirrups, bladder topped off, hard-earned genetic specimens in their color-inside-the-lines hands, Forehead Dan outside, I quickly did the cost-benefit of posing an argument. I knew guilt would strike later, but did not want to compromise the procedure by throwing off their coloring project. "Oh, Okay." The procedure went super smoothly. When I saw the embryos actually injected into my womb, I involuntarily welled up, tears streamed out of my right eye and down my right cheek as I was watching the monitor to my right.

The emotions surprised me (yeah, dur). That eventual guilt I expected? Well... it hit me even sooner than expected. They checked that the catheter was emptied of all embryos and it wasn't. There was a rare hanger-on-er. I was excited I'd get to see it again. They did the procedure again - went just as smoothly. I was also surmising, based on my vast scientific background, that having it done a 2nd time would possibly give us a better implantation opportunity should it be in that much better of a sweet spot.

Here was our surprise: I was to be on STRICT bed rest for the next FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS.
(Where's the hidden camera? You're fucking with the gringos, right?!)
So strict, in fact, that I got to have a catheter poked into my bladder and they drained it for me, right there and then on the table. (Good thing I have shitty boundaries or else that would have qualified as potentially humiliating experience no. 112.) Then they g-e-n-t-l-y transferred me to the hospital bed they'd rolled in. It was a strange experience to be fully sans sedation and watch the ceiling tiles and fluorescent lights flow by as I rode the elevator down to the 6th floor to spend the next 4 hours pulling my hair out. OMFG. Think they could have told us to at least bring some reading material??!
(Dan played the snake game so long, his phone ran out of juice.)
Time has not crawled by that slowly since I was in detention with Emilio Estivez and that girl who made her hair into a snowflurry.
(4 hours + first time bed-pan pee experience later... we made it.)
Dan picked up a crap load (no pun intended) of Indian food to last us for days. LOVE Indian food. Indian food, risotto, mac-n-cheese... they all have a beloved common theme: comfort food you don't need to chew.

Now I'm back to bed rest to calm my ovaries down and we're waiting the 2 weeks just like a normal couple whose sperm may have properly traveled up and thrust itself into the egg. Hoping we get an implantation right about... NOW. This is about when it should happen. Then the HCG levels would start to build and my OHSS will get more exacerbated. So if I start to feel WORSE, it could be a good sign it worked. But then it will mean more time to get over the OHSS. At least, and thankfully, I have the luxury of having the time to deal with it while here.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. Still want to get that picture.