A Heart at the End of the Tunnel

Subtitled: IVF Orientation 101

** A record of my two and a half hour orientation this morning. **

– 🍋Drank 24 oz of lemon water in the car; didn’t think this would be too difficult because as a teacher, I am constantly finding myself in extreme peepee discomfort. WRONG. I was fine until I wasn’t, then it was excruciating.

– 💲Hubby calls from his sperm freeze drop off to complain about price ($190). I explained this is one of two things not covered by insurance and he should count his lucky stars that we have amazing insurance. This took my mind off of peeing for 1 minute.

– 🚽Doctor’s office is freezing. This does not help pee situation. Ultrasound tech takes me right back and says, “You’re going to hate me, but I need just the smallest urine sample, but don’t empty your bladder. OMG.

– 🆒 Now she puts the ultrasound goo on my tummy. Cold =have to pee, but I’ve never had that type of ultrasound before so the science dork in me thought that was pretty cool. She announces my bladder is officially full enough for the mock transfer. No shit, and thank god!

– 🍝 Enter Dr. D. He’s my favorite, and my main doc. Practice transfer is first. First catheter doesn’t work (“like feeding a wet noodle through a pin hole”). 2nd catheter is no cake walk, either. He’s asking me about my dog, and anything else he can remember about me, but I can’t shake the image of him fishing for my cervix, which is apparently very narrow. Doc is eventually successfully, but I will have to return on Tuesday for a Dilipan insertion that is meant to dilate and soften the cervix. *If any of you have ever had this procedure, please enlighten me!*

* 🎈Next up, Sonohysterogram (SHG). A poor man’s HSG since mine was all the way back in January. A precaution to make sure there are no blockages that have developed recently. Water is inserted into the uterine cavity. There are more catheters involved. Doc can’t get a good look… the cramping is starting to make me a little woozy, and I’m trying to relax by singing along with Carole King. It is decided that the catheter with the balloon at the end is what he needs. (“I see something at the top of your uterus and I just need a good look to make sure it’s nothing we have to remove.”) …again, my details are fuzzy here because balloon catheter = the antichrist. My heart skipped several beats as I prayed everything would check out normally. Turns out the top of my uterus has a slight heart shape but there is nothing of concern. Good.

– 🚺 I FINALLY GET TO PEE!!!

– 📝 Next is the consent forms. I would have to say the highlight of this was deciding what to do with frozen sperm and eggs should one or both of meet an untimely death. We also made the decision NOT to do genetic testing on embryos ($5,500 uncovered). Doc sees no reason to encourage this at this juncture. We also talked a little about whether to transfer 1 or 2 embryos. To me, it’s a no brainer (two!!!), but R is a harder sell. It’s not that I’m hoping for twins, but I want the higher success rate… discussion still open.

– 💉 Final stop: nurse’s office to discuss and practice meds. I will do a separate post about my protocol, but the box of goodies is being delivered tomorrow. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted that I would one day be filling syringes ad self administering injections. Us infertiles are pretty bad-ass, if you ask me!

So that was IVF 101 in a nutshell. Somewhat painful, and a little overwhelming, but oddly exciting. Someone (I honestly can’t remember who), encouraged me to “enjoy the IVF journey.” I am taking this advice to heart, after all, THIS is how our baby is going to be created. Some people have sex (lucky bastards), and some of us, well… go back and read this post again. But I am fully invested in this journey and I’m not dreading one tiny part of it, because I do feel in my heart that it will lead us to having the family we so desperately want. 👶👶

3 thoughts on “A Heart at the End of the Tunnel

  1. Omg I had the evil ballon catheter, too during my sono. I was so nauseous afterward and felt like I was gonna faint! Congrats on getting the green light to begin your protocol. If you are on follistim, don’t panic (like I did) if you see extra meds in the vial. They overfill (I got an extra 75 units out if my 300 iu vial). Excited for you to start IVF. Wishing you a successful cycle!

  2. I just went through all that on Tuesday! The having to pee thing was the WORST 😦 I tried to get away with not drinking too much water, and after they checked with the ultrasound, they brought in two huge glasses for me to drink. I thought I was going to give the doc a surprise if they pushed any harder on my belly during the mock transfer.

    • Too funny… I was wondering if I could get away with cheating! Guess not! Good luck with your cycle! I’m still waiting to hear if we have a green light for this month or not. Ultrasound showed possible follicle which would cancel the cycle. Three more nail biting hours hoping the phone won’t ring…

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