Thursday, January 9, 2014

31 Is the New 21

Yesterday was my birthday. In true birthday form, I was in tears before 7am, driving along on my way to work and crying because I had, stupidly, peed on an hcg stick before leaving and it was, naturally, negative with no chance of there being any sort of trace of hcg anywhere. Never mind the lingering concept of knowing that this is not where I wanted to be at 31 nor did I ever expect to be here. Forget the fact that I am being pumped full of the 'mones and am therefore about a billion percent more emotional than normal. Nope, the tears were brought on by my full-on stupidity of peeing on a godforsaken stick before I went to work on the day of my birthday, 6 days post frozen transfer.

 By the time I arrived at work, I'd already screwed up my makeup and my entire day. My boss fully forgot my birthday (again) which is fine, it's a week after New Year's, I don't expect anyone to care or remember when I go out of my way to make everyone else's birthdays special (hello, bitter? party of one). The Facebook notos flooded in but really, do any of those people give a shit? And how much has Facebook ruined our culture, by the way, when my own mother and brother thought a simple post on my wall was going to suffice?

Yes, I'm full of self-pity mixed with wallowing over the probability of another negative beta mixed with self-sabotage from forcing the negative test upon myself. Luckily the boys I watch were sweet as pie all day, making me toy cakes and just as I was about to "blow them out" saying, "No no, it's not ready yet" and running to grab some other drool and snot covered toy to add. The stress of the day must've shown on my face because one of the 2 year olds looked at me while I was changing his diaper and asked, "Are you otay, (my name)?" I nearly lost it right there but just planted as many kisses and hugs upon him as he would allow before running off to be a race car.

I work long hours on Wednesdays but this day, somehow, mercifully went by at a bearable speed and by the time I got home, I just wanted to curl up with my dogs and my husband and cry. The fact that there were NO birthday cards in the mailbox ensured plenty of tears by the time the dogs greeted me (yes, I'm a spoiled brat, but it was my birthday and I will cry if I need to). My grandmother, who is 90 and is always ever so punctual with a card and a check for any occasion, is in the hospital so the disappointment of not having a card was then replaced with guilt for being so self-centered when my grandmother is sick, cue more tears.

By the time Husband walked through the door - with an embarrassingly large bouquet of flowers - I was a balled up, bawling mess on the floor next to the dog bed. Husband is ever the optimist about our infertility battle so he simply held me and told me I was being dumb about the testing, then he said something that really broke me, he said, "don't you think I blame myself for this every day?" Great. At this point I think I had cried myself into a lower immune system and all of the snots and coughs and grossness the kids I watch have rained upon me for the past two weeks caught up with me and I became sick within literally minutes of my husband coming home. Because, why not? It's my birthday, dammit. Let's cap off a fantastic day with an annoying cold and no appetite. Wah wah wah.

Now I am here all stuffy and gross, supposed to be renewing my driver's license with THE hottest DMV photo of all time. Looks like I'm driving without a license til next week.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Finally Found My Mantra!

Every time - and I mean EVERY.TIME. - I try to come up with a mantra for yoga or meditation, I can only think of either Grandmother Willow  in Pocahontas ("Que, que naturah, you will understand") or, and this is silly, but I am a Beatles fan, George Harrison had a hand in a nice version of a Hare Krishna chant ("Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, hare hare/ hare Rama, hare Rama, Rama Rama, hare hare"). Neither of which means dick to me or my journey, so I always end up either counting breaths or doing what my mom taught me as a very young child, which is to visualize breathing "in with the good, out with the bad": simple but somewhat effective. 

Well since I'm on my quest to be more zen and am also in the two week wait once again - how is that for a test of wills, by the way? For the beginning of my quest to coincide with the wait?* - I downloaded some regular meditation podcasts and one fertility mediation podcast which I really enjoyed the episodes I tried out. The first one introduced the mantra, "I let go, it is beyond my control". How simple is that? How perfect is that for infertility? Pretty perfect if you think about the way a mantra is supposed to work, that's to say, if you really stick with it, you can in fact make a change in your thinking and train your brain to release control. I know it's not for everyone but for me, it's better than those "ohm shanti shanti shanti ohm" ones, which are effective as well but don't mean much to me. 

*I realize I used "quest" twice and that's bad form for creative writing but I just love the word and it makes me feel like Atreyu whenever I use. If you aren't down with Atreyu, don't even think you're down with me. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Frozen Transfer

I've officially survived my first frozen embryo transfer (FET), both remaining embryos survived the thaw, and, bonus, Husband and I survived the drive in the beginnings of a blizzard. I was not hopeful that both embryos would make the thaw, so just the fact that they are both at home in my uterus is a big relief. We arrived early, despite the bad weather, and the entire building was a bit of a ghost town. I came prepared with a liter bottle of water this time and had to stop drinking a few exits before our turn off because I was already starting to feel full. 

Since there had been so many cancellations and issues with the weather, we hardly had time to sit in the waiting room before the extremely flustered receptionist* brought us to the atrium where all of the procedures are done. When we walked through the door, there was just one nurse and not one patient in sight in the normally bustling place, she brought us back to the transfer rooms and we did all of the normal checkin stuff plus I had to ask: what do they do tomorrow when the storm is supposed to be at it's worst? Turns out because of the holidays, they only have one egg retrieval scheduled for tomorrow - transfers have leeway to be pushed a day although not always ideal - and then the monitoring that couldn't be moved would have to carry on so basically they all have to get there. 

The nurse then informed me that my own RE was doing the procedures today - I can't even tell you the relief I felt after the last RE lying about the quality of the embryos, plus all of the catheter debacles during transfer, which had led to quite a bit of pain and cramping for 24 hours post transfer. Plus my RE is my people and we have a relationship, of course, whereas last RE and I just have a "look at my vagina" type relationship going on. I was quickly seen by the ultrasound tech who assured me that my bladder was at ideal levels and to hang in there because I was next but she didn't know how soon that would be. Husband and I sat and chatted and laughed until I finally had to tell him to just let me breathe or else I would pee the table. I started to try meditative breathing but within a minute there was a knock on the door and we were ready to go.

I got the picture of the embryos (blasts) which I always feel like they are expecting some kind of fabulous reaction out of me but I always feel like, "do I have to hold this?" and we quickly got to work. My RE did try the first kind of catheter last RE tried first but only made one quick attempt and then called for another kind rather than poking and prodding the way last RE had. Within seconds the catheter was in place and the embryologist was in the room with my teeny tiny embies and before I knew it we were watching them blast onto the screen ane into my uterus. By this point I had to pee so badly I just wanted to close my eyes and tune everyone out but the embryologist and ultrasound tech were being so kind and assuring and wishing us well that I was honestly touched. 

Ten minutes later we were making our way out - funny tidbit- the women's bathroom was occupied so I ran into the men's room in the hallway only to be greeted by a man of at least 80 when I stepped back out. He muttered, "I didn't know you were a man!" and I had to giggle as I took off for the elevator and the excruciating ride home. Within ten minutes I felt like I needed to relieve my bladder again and there were so many mother effing cars on the road that should not have been. By the time we got to our exit I made husband pull over at McDonald's so I could run in and hover over a pee-stained seat (seriously ladies? How do you even do that?) and obviously so I could get some French fries. We were home in just over two hours, round trip. Now I'm chuckling to myself as I tell my husband, "ugh, I feel so terrible that I can't help you shovel today!" Mwahaha fuck that. Dogs cuddled up, tv and Netflix all to myself: being snowed in is going to be great so long as I can get out by tomorrow afternoon to distract myself from the two week wait crazies. 

*When we walked in, the receptionist was on the phone with an egg donor calling from Florida who was supposed to be coming in. Can you imagine? What do they even do? She isn't getting a flight here any time this weekend. Then we heard quite the earful about how the poor receptionist is months away from retirement and gets worked up over this weather. I must make a note to send her a thank you for being there.